Training System

Canine College uses a training system that is unique in the local area.

Sandra bases her approach to dog training on the working dog clubs of Germany where she grew up. Dog sport clubs meet once a week and groups therefore include dogs at different levels of training: puppies learning foundation skills, young dogs progressing toward goals, and older dogs maintaining what they’ve learned. In classes, some work is done in a group (keeping in mind each dog’s current skill level) and some work is done individually while others watch and learn. The latter is the norm for training seminars as well, which offer working slots and audit (spectator) slots.

Canine College brings this approach to its own training for pets and working dogs. Each individual dog and handler is evaluated and a training plan is created based on the dog’s needs, the problem behaviors (if any) that need to be addressed, and the handler’s goals and interests.

We don’t offer one-size-fits-all dog training, like the 6-week classes offered at most training facilities. Our system takes into account the individual dog, how they learn, and where they need to start. Sure, it’s possible to teach a handler how to make a dog sit, lay down, walk on a leash and come in 6 weeks, but it isn’t possible to teach the dog to generalize those behaviors and ensure they happen no matter the environment or distraction. Many dogs who complete one-size-fits-all training are great in class or at home, but unpredictable and uncontrollable in new situations. Our focus is on helping you train a dog that’s great anywhere.

At Canine College, we start by building a solid foundation comprised of engagement and impulse control. Not only does this approach help us train individual skills more easily, it prevents common problems from happening as you and your dog progress.

Engagement training builds a bond, creates focus, and helps the dog understand that good things happen when interacting with the handler. Dogs who practice engagement are easier to train, work better around distractions, and are more eager to learn. These are the dogs who are excited for training and always want to do more.

Impulse control teaches a dog to control itself. Many problem behaviors, such as chasing the family cat, nipping at children, and dragging you by the leash are impulse-based and continue despite corrections because they are self-rewarding. Teaching a solid foundation of impulse control helps your dog make the right choices rather than forcing you to address problem behaviors after they occur. By building value in working with you and controlling themselves, you’re creating a solid foundation for all training.

At Canine College, group classes are offered on an ongoing basis. You never wait for a new class to start, and you’re not limited to attending 6 sessions with the same dogs and people even if your dog is progressing at a different speed.

Our drop-in classes offer flexibility. You don’t have to worry about missing 20 minutes of class because you’re running late or your work schedule changed, just come anytime between 7pm and 9pm to train. You also don’t have to worry about missing a class you’ve paid for. Miss a class? Drop in another day!

Additionally, you get a chance to observe other dogs and handlers. Watching others who are at a different level of training improves your own training, from little tips on addressing or teaching a specific behavior, to getting ideas for new activities to try.

Canine College also offers private classes if our group schedule doesn’t work for you, or if you prefer working one-on-one with our trainers. Private classes are available on any weekday before 6pm, by appointment.

If you’re not sure whether our training style is right for you, or you just want to take a look and see what we’re all about, please stop in and observe any of our group classes. Watch what we do. Ask questions. We’re looking forward to having you!