Friday, July 19, 2013

Shameless Self-Promotion

I’ve never done this before (this being promoting my classes; I’ve been teaching classes for reactive dogs for two years now), but I’ve had some emails lately from local folks wondering about when and where I teach. So, if you’re from the Minneapolis area, read on. If not, you should move. Our winters are awesome!

I teach for Paws Abilities Dog Training. While the main location is in the Rochester area, I teach in the Twin Cities, and I have some classes starting up here in a few weeks. The schedule is here. I teach two different classes: Growl (levels 1 and 2) and Agility Unleashed (levels 1 and 2). Both classes are taught with two instructors. This time around it will be me and the awesome and amazing Laura.

Here’s a quick run down on each class:

Growl Class
This class is limited to four students, which means we have one trainer for every two students. This class is designed primarily for dogs reactive to other dogs. If your dog is also reactive to people shoot me an email at reactivechampion(at)gmail(dot)com and we can chat about whether or not the class can be set up to meet your dog’s needs.

Level 1 teaches the basic skills you will need to help your dog survive the scary world. Many of these exercises are taken from the book Control Unleashed, but the curriculum does vary slightly based on the dogs that show up in class. No previous training experience is needed. We use barriers to help keep dogs under threshold, and generally speaking, dogs will not see each other until the last few weeks of class- if at all.

Level 2 builds on the skills learned in level 1, and includes more systematic exposure to the other dogs. By the end of the level 2 class, the dogs are usually working parallel to one another.

Agility Unleashed
This class is limited to six students, again with 2 instructors, for a 1 to 3 ratio. This class is meant for dogs who can look at other dogs without immediately going over threshold but who struggle with the increased motion or chaos often seen in agility (or obedience!) trials and classes. It’s also great for dogs who are easily stressed around other dogs and need to build up more confidence in a structured format.

Agility Unleashed is very well-suited for performance dogs, but it is not an agility class, and I am very upfront in saying that I have only a rudimentary understanding of the sport. This makes the class very interactive; I expect my students to speak up if I’m teaching them something that contradicts what their agility instructor has taught them. (Don’t worry- this doesn’t happen often!) I do have pet dogs take Agility Unleashed; sometimes Growl 2 graduates continue their work in this class.

Level 1 teaches many of the same basic skills introduced in Growl, but progresses through them quicker and includes additional exercises as well. We do some single-obstacle exercises in level 1, usually a jump, but we can modify all exercises for dogs who don’t know how to do a particular obstacle.

Level 2 builds on all the exercises learned in level 1 while increasing the number of dogs working at once, the amount of motion, and the difficulty of the tasks. Depending on the dogs present, we will do short sequences (usually 3 obstacles).

Both classes are a ton of fun for me to teach. I absolutely love seeing how much progress the dogs (and their people!) make. And, since one of the class rules is Have Fun, chances are good you’ll have a good time. Let me know if you have any questions, and I hope to see some of you there!

1 comment:

Chris and Mike said...

Wish you lived (and taught) in Boise! Habi and I would sign up in a heartbeat. Those lucky people in Minnesota :-(

It has been so much fun to watch you (and Maisy's) journey over the last few years - what a long, long way she's come, and how much you've learned and shared with us, your faithful readers.

I'm about to head out the door with Habi to go find some dogs to 'practice on' - last year was "Year of learning to walk on a loose leash", which she has now nailed, so we've stepped it up to "Year of the learning that not all dogs are Wicked Aliens". So we're hanging out outside of dog parks, visiting pet stores, walking on the greenbelt, following other on-leash dogs at a distance...anything that I'm pretty sure will give her a successful experience. It would be a lot easier if she had a few easy-going dogs to practice with, but we don't. And easier if you moved to Boise and taught a growly dog class...hint, hint, hint. :-)