Dog Training Classes and Workshops
Pet Connections™ strives to be a leader in the education of dogs and their handlers, whether the goal is to have a great family dog or a highly-trained therapy dog to work in the community or in your therapy practice.
Includes training mat (handmade by Pet Connections)
Fall 2017 Session runs on Saturdays, September 16 – October 28
Level One: Connecting with Your Pet
Saturdays, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Prerequisite: Successful completion of Pet Connections™ pre-screening process
This class is recommended for puppies 16 weeks and older. Dog handlers will learn how to:
- Use basic cues (sit, stay, etc.)
- Perform canine massages
- Identify signs of stress and calming techniques
- Utilize positive reinforcement
- Use contextual positioning
- Walking on a loose leash and on-leash recall
Upon completion, dogs and their handlers will be formally evaluated for basic obedience skills such as, “sit,” “stay,” “down,” and other skills. Dogs will be awarded either a letter of completion or, for promising students, a diploma. Those awarded a diploma are invited to complete a higher level of training required for a greater skill set and for volunteers visiting at public facilities.
Level Two: Connecting with Your Pet & Others
Saturdays, 10 – 11 a.m.
Prerequisite: Graduation from Level I: Connecting with Your Pet and/or successful re-evaluation by the Pet Connections™ program manager in a novel setting with people who have varying levels of disabilities
This course will build on skills acquired in Level One and give handler-dog teams the abilities to work with people who have intellectual and developmental disabilities. Handlers will learn how to empower people with different levels of abilities to direct their dog, resulting in a deeper human-animal bond. Your canine will become more proficient and acquire the ability to perform in different circumstances.
Dogs and their handlers will gain more complex, advanced skills including:
- Clicker training and verbal markers
- Animal welfare and the 5 Freedoms
- Types of reinforcement
- Advanced cues such as leave it, go to your mat, release words and stand
- Intro to working with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities who have varying needs
- Interacting with children
- Working alongside other dogs
Upon completion, dogs and their handlers will be awarded either a letter of completion or a diploma, and offered the opportunity to take the test for Canine Good Citizen or for registration with Therapy Dog International. Those awarded a diploma are also invited to advance their studies with a higher set of skills to become eligible to work with therapists on specific physical and cognitive interventions.
Already a Registered Therapy Dog?
Then, join the Pet Connections™ family today! Your dog will still be required to go through a screening process to determine if they would be a good fit to visit our programs, which serve individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities. Some registered therapy animals may need further training to adjust to the needs of the people we support. Handlers will need to provide proof of certification, medical evaluation documentation, and liability insurance.
To schedule a Pet Connections™ screening, please contact Gail Furst at firstname.lastname@example.org or (585) 919-2146.
Please complete the enrollment form and submit your payment below.