Training eFlyer Sign-up
Treat your dog to an hour of canine fun! Your dog will have a blast, with the added benefit of learning to participate in appropriate canine play. Owners will learn about canine body language, pack dynamics, and how to promote positive play. Each playgroup consists of 45 minutes of play and 15 minutes of Q&A. Dogs attending their first playgroup will be evaluated during their first session to assure proper placement and pack dynamics. No aggressive dogs please.
Playgroups for Timid & Shy Dogs
These playgroups are designed for the quiet, shy or more timid dogs. These groups have all the fun, exercise and activity of our larger, busier groups, but cater to dogs that are not quite confident yet to partake in exuberant activity! Our goal will be for these dogs to interact at a pace that is comfortable for them and not be overwhelmed by other, more assertive dogs. Because they will be able to interact at their comfort level and handlers will be taught to recognize cues and practice techniques to help alleviate anxiety for their dogs, their confidence will build.
Puppy Kindergarten Children's Supplement
If you are currently enrolled in one of our Puppy Kindergarten classes and have children, they are welcome to join our supplemental children sessions. This one-hour workshop is exclusively designed for younger family members and their puppies. In addition to practicing the hands-on training during Puppy Kindergarten class, we will also introduce additional handling that is targeted just for children. This will help support their efforts in becoming a leader rather than a "sibling.” Your children will feel more in control which will result in increased comfort level, as they are more able to interact with and understand their puppy. Basic techniques will help prevent jumping, mouthing, and other unwanted behaviors. Children under the age of ten must be accompanied by parent or adult.
Puppy Kindergarten/S.T.A.R. Puppy
The Especially for Pets' Dog Training Program provides a holistic approach to training your dog. We believe that a well designed Puppy Kindergarten class should include a solid foundation in lure/reward based training while addressing all aspects of raising a well mannered, happy and confident puppy.
Our Puppy Kindergarten class compliments the American Kennel Club’s S.T.A.R.sm Puppy Program which promotes Socialization, Training, Activity and Responsible ownership. Puppies will learn to play appropriately with other dogs as well as basic commands such as sit, down, come, stay and leash etiquette. Students will also learn how to discourage unwanted behaviors such as jumping and excitable greetings. Owners will learn training theory, puppy care and how to be a responsible member of the dog owning community. All of our seven week Puppy Kindergarten Classes will include an optional S.T.A.R. Puppy evaluation and certification. For puppies ten weeks to five months. Puppies should receive a minimum of one set of vaccines at least seven days prior to attending the first class and a first de-worming, and should be kept up-to-date on vaccines throughout the class. If you have any questions or concerns about your puppy's vaccine status, please consult your veterinarian or visit www.AVSABonline.
Puppy Power Hour
Did you recently add a new puppy to your family? Join us for this fun-filled hour of puppy play and learning. One of our professional dog trainers will lead the playgroup and answer your questions about puppy behavior and training. We offer a safe and fun environment, complete with treats and toys. For puppies ten weeks to four months. Puppies should receive a miniumum of one set of vaccines at least seven days prior to attemding and a first de-worming. If you have any questions or concerns about your puppy's vaccine status, please consult your veterinarian.
Puppy Training & Care for Kids
This class is specifically designed for your child, ages 12 to 16 and their older puppy, age five to 12 months. Children will be taught the basic theories of dog training at an age appropriate level. In addition to learning how to teach traditional obedience commands like sit, down, stay and come, participants will teach their dogs tricks and the basics of agility training. Responsible pet ownership, grooming and basic health care are also part of the curriculum. This class is designed to help children become more confident with their dog in order to build a trusting bond. For puppies six to 18 months. All dogs must be child and dog friendly.
Does your small breed or toy dog need basic training? This is the first level class for the 'little guys' covering all of the topics covered in our Puppy Kindergarten and Beginner classes with special focus on issues relating to small and toy breeds. This class is intended for dogs who will reach a maximum adult weight of 25 pounds.
This fun and educational playgroup will allow your dog to socialize in a safe and structured environment. Participants will learn about interpreting canine body language, adapting behavior, engaging in appropriate energy levels and play styles. In addition to promoting positive and controlled interactions, handlers will practice clear communication with their dogs in name recognition, disengagement, and recalls. Groups will be organized primarily by maturity and activity levels with consideration given to size and comfort levels. For puppies five months to one year.
As puppies mature and become more capable, they enter into a developmental period that may include some challenging behavior. This course is designed to build on the training and behavioral skills you learned in Puppy Kindergarten, while encouraging and defining your consistency and leadership abilities. Consistency, reliability and focus are some of the primary training attributes we will work on. In addition, we work off-lead so that puppies learn to practice appropriate social behavior and off-lead control. For puppies over five months. Prerequisite: Puppy Kindergarten.
Teen I & II
These new offerings have been created for adolescent puppies. As puppies go through various stages of development, how they perceive and respond to training will vary. You may notice more independence, testing behaviors, an increase in distractibility and a decrease in responsiveness. As your puppy is maturing physically, he is also going through psychological and behavioral changes. Adolescence can be a frustrating time for many dogs and their families, but with some patience, knowledge and understanding, it doesn’t have to be a battle. Our Teen classes are designed to help you understand this stage of canine development and to encourage clear and consistent handling and feedback, as well as appropriate training and behavioral modification. Our goal is to help you and your dog through this difficult stage and to continue toward the goal of a well-adjusted, well-trained and well-loved family member. Teen I is a first level class for dogs five months to one year whom have not yet had any formal training or are new to your family. Teen II is a second level class for dogs five months to one year. Prerequisite: Teen I or Beginner.
Adult Dog Playgroup
This fun and educational playgroup will allow your dog to socialize in a safe and structured environment. Participants will learn about interpreting canine body language, adapting behavior, engaging in appropriate energy levels and play styles. In addition to promoting positive and controlled interactions, handlers will practice clear communication with their dogs in name recognition, disengagement, and recalls. Groups will be organized primarily by maturity and activity levels with consideration given to size and comfort levels. For dogs over one year.
Advanced Obedience is for students who want to continue working their dogs in a structured environment. We will sharpen your dog’s existing skills and learn new ones that address real-world issues. We will also develop off-leash skills that can be applied to running your dog in a field or in the woods with control. If you enjoy working with and training your dog and wish to continue building the bond you have created, then Advanced Obedience is for you.
This course is designed to help create a positive relationship between dogs and their families. Techniques will be used that compliment canine language and nature. This makes it easier for your dog to understand what you are trying to convey. We will address the most common behavioral issues as we establish a common language for training and control. You will learn how to effectively communicate with your dog and gain a better understanding of canine behavior. In Beginner Obedience, we provide the necessary tools to establish a secure and successful relationship. This is the first level class for dogs five months and over.
Dog Training & Care for Kids & Dogs
This four-week session is specifically designed for your child, age 12-16 and their dog, one year and older. Children will be taught the basics theories of dog training at an age appropriate level. In addition to learning how to teach traditional obedience commands like sit, down, stay and come, participants will teach their dogs tricks and the basics of agility training. Responsible pet ownership, grooming and basic health care are also part of the curriculum. Dog Training for Kids is designed to help kids become more confident with their dog in order to build a trusting bond. All dogs must be child and dog friendly.
If you already have a good working relationship with your dog and are ready for more challenges, this class is for you. Through various exercises that mirror every day encounters and real life situations, your dog will be encouraged to rely more on your guidance while practicing confidence and control. With this higher level of distraction, we address the practical aspects of owning a dog that is well mannered at home and in public. Prerequisite: Graduate Puppy.
This non-competitive class is filled with obstacles and exercises that promote confidence and bonding between you and your dog. Agility I will introduce you and your dog to this fun sport that promotes confidence and a positive use of your dog’s energy.
Ready to put it all together? If your dog is comfortable with agility obstacles, Agility II helps you to combine stations and increase your speed. The focus is on the enjoyment you and your dog can get from working as a team and improving together. Please, no aggressive dogs. Prerequisite: Intermediate
Agility for Kids & Dogs
Looking for something fun for your children and your dog? This agility and tricks class was designed especially for kids, ages eight and older, and their dogs! The class includes instruction and guidance encouraging participants to work cooperatively over low jumps, agility obstacles and in response to basic commands. We will use only positive, motivational training methods. The goal of the class is to encourage the handlers and dogs to interact in a fun activity and enjoy the bond that develops when working together. No previous obedience training is necessary. Dogs must be friendly with children and other dogs.
The agility equipment will be ready for you and your dog to practice and have fun along with an instructor to help you put it together. Prerequisite: Agility I or II.
CGC (Canine Good Citizen)/Therapy Dog Information Seminar
Have you ever wondered if your dog would make a good Therapy Dog? Do you want to find out more about the process, preparatory training, necessary skills and cerification? Bring your dog for an initial consultation and find out what you need to know about the preparation and certification process.
CGC (Canine Good Citizen)/Therapy Dog Preparatory Class
This class concentrates on the ten exercises your dog must perform to earn the CGC certification, sanctioned by the American Kennel Club (AKC). The test requires your dog to demonstrate basic obedience commands, control in every day situations and appropriate social skills while in public. We will also address the additional exercises needed to pass therapy dog evaluations, which provides certification for Therapy Dog visits. Class offerings include one-hour workshops or multi-week classes.
CGC (Canine Good Citizen)/Therapy Dog Pre-Test Run Through
Are you preparing your dog for Therapy Dog or CGC testing? Join this one-hour workshop that will take you through all ten exercises your dog must perform to earn the CGC certification, sanctioned by the AKC. The test requires your dog to demonstrate basic obedience commands, control in every day situations and appropriate social skills while in public. We will also address the additional exercises needed to pass the therapy dog evaluation, which provides certification for Therapy Dog visits.
If you have taken our Advanced class and want to to continue working your dog in a class setting, you may be interested in Continuing Education. You will build upon skills learned in prior classes, including high levels of distraction, attention and off-leash work. In addition, you will sample the basics of Rally, Agility, Canine Good Citizen, Therapy and Competition obedience. Prerequisite: Advanced.
Looking for a fun, new activity that the whole family will enjoy? Join our latest Agility class for families. Bring the family together in this safe and fun environment. No-one will be bored during this upbeat and fast moving class. Your kids will love directing their dogs through, over and under the various obstacles. Your dog will build confidence and learn to take direction from the whole family. Everyone will be encouraged to work together to teach the dog while learning the rules for safety and positive, gentle, handling skills. As everyone progresses, we will practice sharing responsibility and taking turns, as well as team work. Family Agility will provide the opportunity for children to learn how their actions and attitudes can have an impact on their dog. Through kindness and compassion they will take pride in their progress and success.
Canine Freestyle combines training, teamwork, tricks and music to create an entertaining choreographed performance. It's built upon the foundation of a positive working relationship between dog and handler. Our Freestyle Fun class will introduce you and your dog to this fun canine sport. Teach your dog how to spin, side step, heel sideways, heel backwards, back up in a straight line, play bow, do a figure eight through your leg and weave through your legs as you walk! This class promises to be fun while developing great teamwork. Prerequisite: Puppy Kindergarten or Beginner.
Congratulations on your very special adoption! Greyhounds are very intelligent, loyal and friendly dogs who thrive on love, attention and human companionship. Especially for Pets recognizes this and that is why we have designed this class to address the specific needs of retired greyhounds. The main goal of our class is to develop a strong bond of trust between pet and owner using positive reinforcement. Our training philosophy is praise, focus and fun! This class will focus on basic obedience as well as some common issues of adopted greyhounds. Some of these issues include becoming a pack leader to your dog, socialization including other dog breeds, separation anxiety, sensitivity and how to develop confidence, and navigating the new environment, including stairs. Please, no dogs first class due to discussion length.
Introduction to Agility
Get a taste of this fun activity that develops your dog’s athleticism and confidence. This two-week introductory class will get you and your dog started in this fun sport that builds trust and bonding.
Introduction to Agility for Kids & Dogs
Looking for something fun for your children and your dog? This agility class was designed especially for kids, ages eight and older, and their dogs! The class includes instruction and guidance encouraging participants to work cooperatively over low jumps, agility obstacles and in response to basic commands. We will use only positive, motivational training methods. The goal of the class is to encourage the handlers and dogs to interact in a fun activity and enjoy the bond that develops when working together. No previous obedience training is necessary. Dogs must be friendly with children and other dogs.
Introduction to Competitive Obedience
Lisa Rockland, a nationally ranked competitive trainer, will introduce students to the sport of competition obedience. Lisa’s unique training program for competitive obedience will emphasize attention, which builds cooperation of your dog. Cooperation and attention are the cornerstones to success and high scores in the competition ring. Teamwork, footwork, fronts, and finishes will be covered. You'll learn games and motivational techniques using positive reinforcement. Stand for examination, sit-stay, and down-stay will be included. Need work on some or all of these? Join Lisa for this fun, exciting, and informative one hour workshop.
Introduction to Dog Training for Kids
This introductory class is specifically designed for your child, age ten to 16 and their older puppy, age five to 12 months. Children will be taught the basic theories of dog training at an age appropriate level. If time permits, participants will teach their dogs tricks and the basics of agility training. Introduction to Dog Training for Kids is designed to help kids become more confident with their dog in order to build a trusting bond. All dogs must be child and dog friendly.
Introduction to K9 Nose Work
Are you looking for a new fun activity with your canine companion? K9 Nose Work is fast becoming the hottest, fun sport in the world of canine competition. This sport teaches you how to access your dog's natural desire to hunt through positive reinforcement. In addition to nurturing a bond with your dog, K9 Nose Work classes build confidence even in the most timid dog. This is also a venue where high energy dogs learn to focus on both dog and handler. Participants with all types of dogs are enjoying the benefits of a positive working relationship that naturally develops when you are hunting together as a team! Dogs must be at least six months, walk on a leash and come when called.While this is a sport that reactive dogs can participate and do well, this workshop is not meant to address serious aggression or behavior issues. To learn more, click here.
Designed for the household with more than one dog, this class addresses the pack-order dynamics among canines and humans in your home. There are many benefits to having multiple dogs, including companionship and an exercise and play partner. However, there can potentially be complications and situations that develop and create a stressful home environment. We will work on establishing the primary relationship of human to dog and not dog to dog. Both dogs will learn to look to their handler for leadership, despite their interest in each other. Theory regarding pack behavior will be combined with hands-on-training exercises to help improve handling skills and increased responsiveness. Our Multi-Dog class is designed to address the relationship among all members of the family and is not a traditional obedience class (although basic commands will be used). The handler should have general control over both dogs and a working knowledge and familiarity to the basic commands of sit, down, and leash control. This class will be limited to six participants with two dogs each.
Newly Adopted Dog
Dogs who have been through the stresses associated with abandonment, neglect, multiple homes, lost or stray, and then finally brought into a shelter or rescue, have a very specific set of needs. This unique training opportunity is designed specifically to address their adjustment and transition, as well as the establishment of a positive relationship for these newly adopted dogs and their families. In contrast to traditional obedience classes, this program will focus on behavior adjustments, establishing clear communication and leadership, and creating a solid foundation for future learning. Our goal will be for families to have a clear understanding of their new dog's mental and emotional state during this transition period; from the first homecoming through the honeymoon period, and to also recognize the common pitfalls and mistakes new adopters often encounter. Classes will include in-depth discussion and problem solving, as well as hands-on training. This intensive four-week class is for dogs six months and older who have been adopted within three months. This class is offered in cooperation with our shelter partners.
Thinking about taking it to the next level? We offer courses in Novice, Open and Utility that will help prepare you for this exciting facet of dog training. In addition to improving attention, we will add jumps, hand signals, retrieving and footwork. Not only will you and your dog improve as a team, you will also become familiar with the rules and regulations for AKC competition that will prepare you for the obedience ring. Attention is at the core of every successful canine/human relationship. All of our competitive obedience classes include attention games which will teach and motivate your dog to pay attention to you under all sorts of distractions. With your dog’s attention, you are the leader of a content and happy canine! Whether you are just beginning to compete or have been competing for years, this will start you on your way to a performance and scores that you will make you proud.
Open & Utility
This course is designed for people who would like to advance to higher obedience competition levels. Learn all tasks required during the Open and Utility exercises while seeing your team from a different perspective. You will learn how to work all obstacles in a fun learning environment with distractions. You also will learn to keep your dog’s attention and commitment during the task on hand. In addition to improving attention, we will add jumps, hand signals, retrieving and footwork. Not only will you and your dog improve as a team, you will also become familiar with the rules and regulations for AKC competition that will prepare you for the obedience ring. Attention is at the core of every successful canine/human relationship. All of our competitive obedience classes include attention games which will teach and motivate your dog to pay attention to you under all sorts of distractions. With your dog’s attention, you are the leader of a content and happy canine! Whether you are just beginning to compete or have been competing for years, this will start you on your way to a performance and scores that you will make you proud.
This class is designed to showcase a variety of today’s popular canine sports and activities that you can enjoy with your canine companion. We will focus on the sport of Agility with introductions to Fly ball, Rally, Tricks and more. Find out what activities you and your dog enjoy the most and perhaps want to further pursue. This class is based on positive reinforcement and the goal is to enhance the communication between dog and handler and to enjoy the time spent together. Puppourri is appropriate for any age dog that is well socialized, responsive to his handler and controllable around other dogs.
If you and your dog enjoyed our Puppourri class then consider joining this second level option. We will take all the tricks, obstacles and skills you were taught in our first class and combine them for speed and accuracy. We will also introduce more difficult and advanced methods and maneuvers. As always, this class will be based on positive reinforcement and team building, but as a second level course, we will encourage increased responsiveness and consistency.
Do you want your dog to become more reliable, responsive, connected and attentive towards you? Do you want to add a new kind of fun to your training routine? Rally might be your next great adventure with your dog! Rally is a newer dog sport, developed by the American Kennel Club, that promotes a fun, motivating relationship between dog and handler. It combines the excitement of Agility with traditional obedience exercises such as sit, down, heel and come. The dog and handler proceed through a course of designated stations developed by the instructor. Each of these stations has a sign, providing instructions regarding the next skill that is to be performed. The team of dog and handler move at a continuous and brisk, but normal pace with the dog under control at the handler's left side. The goal is to create teamwork between the dog and handler and to produce dogs that behave in the home, in public places, and in the presence of other dogs.
This class focuses on teaching your dog to come to you, no matter the distraction. Designed for dogs six months and up, this four-week class will teach handlers how to build their dog's DESIRE to come. We focus on building positive associations toward this sometimes difficult command. As skills are built, distractions will be added and intensified. Participants will get weekly "homework" that includes practicing skills outdoors. Your dog will even learn how to come from play with other dogs!
Does your dog love playing ball but hate to deliver it back to you? Would you like to teach your dog to retrieve your slippers, the newspaper or other objects? Our new Retrieving Fun class will teach you how to teach your dog to fetch and retrieve all types of objects. This is a great way to provide physical and mental exercise for your dog and to promote a positive working relationship between the two of you. Prerequisite: Graduate Puppy or Intermediate. A desire to fetch items (balls, frisbees, etc.) is very helpful. Some parts of this class include off-leash exercises. No aggressive dogs, please.
Becoming a Pack Leader
This intensive program is designed to impact and change the relationship you have with your dog. Through better understanding and clarity in your communication, you and your dog will have the opportunity to create a clearly defined relationship within your “pack.” In order to achieve this, in most cases, the family dynamics and daily interactions between the family and the dog will require some changes. This course is highly interactive and we ask that you come prepared to honestly evaluate your behavior and handling, give and receive feedback, and be open-minded and willing to make changes and adjustments in your behavior which will ultimately lead to behavior changes in your dog. This course is limited to five dogs and their adult family members. In addition to our practice and discussion during class time, you will have additional coursework and goals to achieve during the week; email support will be available.
Coming When Called
Do you take a deep breath when you let your dog off leash and hope for the best? Can you take Rover to a park or the woods and be confident he will come when you call? Do you worry that he will run off with his playmates, or will disappear after that squirrel? Training a dog to come when called will not only make the relationship with your dog more pleasurable, it could possibly save his life. This workshop will help you reprogram your dog to have positive associations with the “come” command, while teaching you the tools to get your dog to come reliably.
Does your dog need a boost in communication skills for a specific problem or two? This workshop will help you solve some basic behavioral issues such as jumping up, pulling on leash and greeting people poorly. The most common questions in the group will be addressed. This is a one-hour workshop and will not address aggression.
Loose Leash Walking
Do you walk your dog or does your dog walk you? Does your dog lunge and pull toward every interesting dog, person, cat, and bush? This common and annoying problem takes its toll on you, your dog and your relationship. This workshop will include hands-on work with your dog. You will be shown a variety of techniques to teach your dog to respect the length of his leash and walk politely on a plain flat collar.
Do you and your dog need a little boost in your communication skills, a reminder of how to work cooperatively or simply an excuse to have an hour out together? This four-week session will have you working and playing with your dog while communicating clearly and positively. We will run a refresher of all the basic obedience commands and increase the effectiveness of your handling skills. We will also engage in hands-on problem solving of basic behavior issues and work on interactive and appropriate social behaviors.
Do you and your dog need a boost in communication skills around a specific problem or two? This workshop will help you solve some basic behavioral issues such as jumping up, pulling on leash and greeting people poorly. During each session we will address the most common questions in the group. One handler per dog, please.
Refocusing Your Aggressive, Reactive or Fear-Aggressive Dog
This two session workshop will teach you the principles of redirecting your dog’s negative reaction to people or other dogs. Specifically designed for the aggressive, reactive or fear-aggressive dog, it will teach you the principles for dealing with your dog’s unwanted behavior. You will attain the tools and confidence you need to control your dog in a variety of social situations. With over 30 years of dog training experience, instructor Lisa Rockland will show you how to get your dog under control. Lisa will teach you how to earn your dog’s attention. He will learn to look to you for leadership and direction, which will help him to be comfortable in any situation you expose him to. You will also learn to read canine body language and the warning signs that will help you step in before your dog reaches an aggressive state of mind. This workshop will start you on your way to a completely new way of addressing and reacting to your dog’s aggression. It will prime you both as a team, by supplying you with the tools you need to enter more social situations. At the end of this workshop you should be ready to enroll in one of our seven-week Beginner or Intermediate classes where you will be able to practice and reinforce what you both have learned, while being carefully monitored by one of our Especially for Pets' Dog Training Academy instructors.
Winter Games Workshop
Winter weather can be tough on all of us, canines included! On days when you are stuck inside, Fido may have an excess of energy that he needs to burn. Join us for this workshop and learn how you can keep your dog busy while promoting bonding. We will also add some “practical” exercises like walking on a loose leash. Games include Get it and Come, Hide and Seek, Tunnel, Sit, Down Stay, Spin, Twist, Under and Over, Walk in Figure 8, and Walk on Loose Leash. These games will be fun for both you and your dog, but more importantly, the class will keep your dog occupied mentally and physically.
Please note that classes and workshops are continuously being added to our schedule. Please call to inquire about upcoming classes that may not yet be listed on the schedule and to be put on a wait list.
Prerequisites serve as a guide for proper placement; for more details, please speak to an Especially for Pets' sales associate or trainer. For more information on prerequisites, see Placement Chart.