LEVEL 3 – Advanced Skills

For individuals who continue to Level 3 you are demonstrating your desire to have a pet who is extremely well trained and a close relationship between the two of you.  The goals for Level 3 are to continue improving on all obedience commands and training, using less treats and lures and using more body language and hand signals. At this level, we incorporate major distractions and work more off leash.  Most of the behaviors and skills have been previously introduced and now you will be working towards mastery of all skills.


  • Focus – This skill becomes even more difficult. With your dog up to 30 feet away, you will hold your dog’s focus for up to 3 to 5 minutes. We will also start adding in many more distractions during the exercises.
  • Advanced “By my side” or “By Me” – You will learn to use only hand signals to get your dog into this position. You will use no torso movement or other overt body language. Practice will continue by adding distance, distractions, and duration.  
  • Learn the 4 different Sit positions– You will learn the front, right, and left sitting positions and use them with the “by my side”/”by me”
  • Down – You will give this command, using hand signals only, from a distance. No other body movement.
  • Distance Sit and Down – While standing 10 or more feet away from your dog, using hand and verbal commands have them go to a sit and then down position.
  • Advanced Eye Contact/Focus – With your dog up to 30 feet from you, we confuse them with hand and arm movements as you continue to bring their focus back to you.
  • Achieve loose leash control by praising and repeating cues. – You and your pet should be able to walk for long distances with distractions and without tension on the leash.
  • Obtain off loose leash control by dropping the leash as you walk with your dog. Eventually we want to eliminate treats as we perform this exercise
  • Working on distance, duration and distraction with your pup in sit and stay, and sit and down position, calling your pup to you from a distance while in a sit and wait position
  • The challenge of working close to other pups in the class, while performing all commands and exercises including loose leash walking and sitting 2 feet away from other dogs
  • Teaching sit, down, halt and stand while in motion This is a challenging command having your dog sit, down and stop/stand, as you drop the leash and continue to walk away from them, then circle back and have them start walking with you again.
  • Separating you and your pup for 3 to 5 minutes – This activity will separate you from your pet while one of the other parent/owners in the class work with and control your pup. You will be out of the room.
  • Prepare for the Alliance of Therapy Dog test – We incorporate major distraction into your pup’s training; teaching the two of you to overcome distractions in public environments while working with wheelchairs, crutches and walkers. If you choose to do so, we prepare you to for the ATD test so you can register to become a Therapy Dog Team.