What’s new and exciting at RBDT?

Changes at RBDT

Hello everyone,

Big changes are in development for Rewarding Behaviors Dog Training classes, effective beginning April 1st, 2010.  The schedule is being updated accordingly.

I am launching “all levels classes” to better meet the needs of my students.  These all levels classes will expand the variety and types of classes available to all of my students.

The following classes will be open to both beginner and advanced students at the classroom:  Manners, Tricks, Loose Leash Walking, Recall, Impulse Control, and Games.  (Sporty Pups and Crate Games all levels classes still in development, ready for release by end of summer).

Students can choose to “mix and match” classes, attending according to scheduling convenience, or choose to focus on any of the all levels classes, attending the same class weekly as they would a “linear” class.


Manners – Basic manners for every dog.  We welcome beginner students to learn new skills and advanced dogs to brush up on foundation behaviors.  In this class, we will work on behaviors like:  Name response, recall, loose leash walking, targeting (hand target, target stick, target disc), settle on a mat, “leave it,” wait at a boundary, etc.  No pre-requisites.  Students should bring a mat and/or crate, a stuffed Kong or chew toy, clicker, a variety of treats, treat bag, six foot leash, appropriate collar/harness/halter.

Tricks – Basic, intermediate, and advanced level tricks, depending on skill level of dog and owner.  Will discuss and practice various methods of getting behaviors including luring, capturing, targeting, and shaping.

Loose leash walking – This class focuses specifically on loose leash walking, practicing management strategies to increase loose leash walking reliability, loose leash walking and heel behaviors, wait at a boundary, walking politely on stairs, methods of getting past distractions while walking your dog, etc.

Recall – This class focuses specifically on developing a recall.  We will discuss and practice a variety of methods for training recall reliability, recall games, safety considerations for recall training, as well as surefire ways to ruin a good recall response!

Impulse control – This class is for dogs who are excitable and need to learn relaxation skills.  In this class, we work on behaviors like settle, wait at a boundary, sustained eye contact, name game, polite greetings, stationary positions and “The 3 d’s” (distractions, duration, distance) and focus on massage, reducing stress and stimulation in the environment, rewarding of desirable behaviors, management for unwanted behaviors, discussing various calming aids, mental and physical stimulation needs, the effect of diet on behavior, stress signals, human body language and dog behavior, etc.  Students must bring a mat and/or crate for their dog, a highly valued stuffed Kong or chew toy, any toys their dog likes, and are advised to exercise their dog before attending class.  Dogs should know sit, down, and targeting before participating in Impulse Control classes. This class is not for reactive or aggressive dogs, which will be seen in private consultations.

Games – In games class, we will play a variety of games which reinforce training skills and concepts.  Games may include Tic-Tac-Toe, Simon Says, Musical chairs, Behavior Jeopardy, Tricks contests, Behavior Baseball, Do You Mind?, C-L-I-C-K (our answer to H.O.R.S.E.!), learning to play with your dog, obstacle courses, play with food dispensing toys, shaping interaction with toys, etc.  Students should bring their dog’s favorite toy, a variety of tasty treats,  and should have rudimentary targeting, sit, down, and loose leash walking skills.

Sporty Pups (In development) – This is a socialization and basic skills class, introducing very early fundamental skills and obstacles pertaining to agility and rally obedience.  We will introduce the a-frame, tunnels, “cavaletti”, serpentine curve leash walking, pause box, buja board, hoop and bar jumps, etc.  Students are encouraged to bring their dog’s favorite toy!

Crate and Learning Games (In development) – a combination of Susan Garrett’s “Crate Games”

“Crate Games features not only mature dogs but also puppies as young as 9 weeks old learning how to have focus and motivation for work, how to relax in a crate even while another dog is working, how to have self control rather than imposed control for a phenomenal sit stay, a speedy and dependable recall, distance skills for obedience or agility, how to develop an amazing working relationship, confidence while being proofed during any tough distraction, how to offer responses keenly when being shaped, and much more.”

and Kay Laurence’s “Learning Games”

“Play is a natural form of learning. It varies from frivolous to intensely serious. It resolves conflict, strengthens bonds and provides physical workouts. Participants learn to play by rules and develop cunning strategies and solutions. During games players are not focussing on specific skills and their bodies and minds can learn effectively. They will be stretched physically and mentally.

Interactive games, also known as “training”, connect the players and deepen their understanding of each other. Dogs are world class players, they play for hours and hours, explore intricate rules and take on all play partners in their learning passion.”


Canine Good Citizen and On the Town classes will only be offered for advanced students who can demonstrate the following behaviors on cue – sit, down, settle, recall from ten feet, six foot stay, and loose leash walking both in the classroom and parking lot.  Dogs participating in each of these classes must be reliably potty trained.

A novice Rally Obedience course is also in development, pre-requisite behavior sets to be announced when the course is released.  Occasionally, reliability and off leash training workshops will be made available to all students for observation – advanced students will be allowed to apply for working spots on a limited basis.

Puppy class will remain available to all puppies under six months of age, older dogs are not eligible to attend puppy class.  The primary focus of puppy class is socialization to:  people, other dogs, children (whenever possible), walking on different surfaces, interacting with various obstacles, exposures to new sounds, various types of handling, management of and training for common puppy problems (nipping, jumping, etc.) and prevention of behavior problems like object guarding, food aggression/resource guarding, fear aggression, etc.  Students must bring a crate or mat, their dog’s favorite toy, a stuffed Kong or favorite chew toy.

I will also be offering a monthly workshop which will be free for all students.  Workshops will be attended without your dog and will address a variety of topics – child and dog safety, training for reliability, advanced training skill development, writing a training plan, canine nutrition, the perils of punishment, mental stimulation for dogs, clicker training your kids, etc.

Our prices will also be changing.  Here are the new rates and options:

6 classes in one month – $125

20 classes in three months:  $350

50 classes in six months:  $700

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