Obedience Classes

 In our classes, you’ll master the basics, work on handling skills, and tackle more complicated commands while improving your communication with your dog.  CHS regularly offers the following courses for dogs at every level.  All classes meet weekly and use positive reinforcement techniques. Class descriptions and schedule is below. All proceeds from these classes support shelter animals. 

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Class Info

Classes offered: Basic, Intermediate Obedience: C.L.A.S.S. (B.A.), Puppy Social Hour, Advanced Obedience: C.L.A.S.S. (M.A.), Obedience Master Class: C.L.A.S.S. (Ph.D), Puppy Kindergarten, TRICKS!, All About Walking, Control Unleashed, Reactive Dog, Noseworks.
Location: CHS Training Classroom, 190 Pleasant Street, Brunswick, Maine, 04011
Cost: $90 for 6 weeks and $65 for dogs adopted from CHS unless otherwise specified.
Class Duration: Most are 6 weeks (Reactive Dog is 5 weeks, and All About Walking is 4 weeks).  Each session is one hour long.
Class Size: 6 dog/owner pairs unless otherwise specified.
Instructors: Sarah Eve Steele, Liz Langham, Teri Robinson
Contact: 207-725-5051, ext. 12 or behavior@coastalhumanesociety.org
How to Sign Up: Click the register button above to sign up online, call the number listed above, or stop by the shelter to fill out a paper application.

 

Don’t see the class you want to take scheduled? Let us know and we might be able to schedule it.


Course Descriptions

Basic
This 6-week course is an introduction to obedience training. In this class you and your dog will learn basic commands such as sit, down, stay, watch, and other skills including loose leash walking, and coming when called. You’ll also troubleshoot learned behaviors such as jumping up, barking, and chewing. Dogs (and handlers!) of all ages are welcome! You are never too young or old to learn new tricks! Frequency & Duration: 1 hour per week for 6 weeks.  Course prerequisites: Dogs must be able to be handled by a friendly stranger and must be able to work safely around people and other dogs on leash. Cost:  Instructed by Sarah Eve Steele.

Puppy Kindergarten
This 6-week class is designed for puppies two to six months of age. Your puppy will get to play with other puppies, meet new people, learn all kinds of new skills, and build confidence in new situations. We will also troubleshoot puppy behaviors and issues such as potty training, crate training, mouthing and chewing.

Puppy Playtime
This FREE fun and laid back drop-in class is offered every Monday at 5pm and every Saturday at 1pm.  It is structured for both training and play for puppies ages 2-6 months. Classes will include “puppy playtime” to promote proper socialization, basic obedience instruction, including commands such as sit, down, stay, and focus, and other training for loose leash walking, and coming when called. We’ll also help with those puppy bad habits like nipping and mouthing, chewing, and barking. Have a new puppy and want to get off on the right paw? This class is just right for you and your pup! Instructed by CHS staff.

Family Dog
Similar to a basic level class, this course is instructed by Liz Langham of Tree Frog Farm and covers impulse control, handling to calm, eye contact, understanding canine body language, settling, greeting behavior, leash-walking, hand targeting, and basic commands such as sit, down, come, stay and leave it.  Offered to dogs 5 months and older.  This class lasts 7 weeks, and the first session is “humans only” and lasts for an hour and a half.

Intermediate Obedience: C.L.A.S.S. B.A. Prep
This 6 week course is designed to hone yours and your dog’s basic obedience skills. You and your dog will be preparing to take the Canine Life and Social Skills “B.A.” Exam. Test items include: Wait at the door, come, stay, settle, and leashing up manners. The course will conclude with an evaluation day where you and your dog can earn the Canine Life and Social Skills Bachelor’s Degree.  Dogs (and handlers) of all ages are welcome! You are never too young or old to learn new tricks! Frequency & Duration: 1 hour per week for 6 weeks.  Class capacity: 6 students. Course prerequisites: Basic Obedience. Dogs must be able to be handled by a friendly stranger and must be able to work safely around people and other dogs on leash. Cost: $90 for 6 weeks; $65 for dogs adopted from CHS, plus the cost of exam fees. Instructed by Sarah Eve Steele.

Advanced Obedience:  C.L.A.S.S. M.A. Prep
Further you and your dog’s education with this advanced obedience class. The goal for you and your dog in this class is to earn the C.L.A.S.S. “M.A. degree”. By adding duration, distance, and distractions to basic commands, you and your dog can achieve this prestigious title. Test items include:  Wait in the car, stand, handling skills, and hand targeting. The course will conclude with an evaluation day where you and your dog can earn the Canine Life and Social Skills Master’s Degree. Dogs (and handlers) of all ages are welcome! You are never too young or old to learn new tricks! Frequency & Duration: 1 hour per week for 6 weeks. Class capacity: 6 students. Course prerequisites: Dogs must have earned the C.L.A.S.S. “B.A.” to attend this class. Cost: $90 for 6 weeks; $65 for dogs adopted from CHS, plus the cost of exam fees.  Instructed by Sarah Eve Steele.

Obedience Master Class:  C.L.A.S.S. Ph.D. Prep
Conclude you and your dog’s degree program with this 6-week course designed to prepare you for the C.L.A.S.S. Ph.D. exam. Test items include:  Advanced leash walking, back up, come,  meet and greet, table and leashing up manners, and learning how to sit with additional distractions. The course will conclude with an evaluation day where you and your dog can earn the Canine Life and Social Skills Doctorate. Dogs (and handlers) of all ages are welcome! You are never too young or old to learn new tricks! Frequency & Duration: 1 hour per week for 6 weeks. Class capacity: 6 students.  Course prerequisites: Dogs must have earned the C.L.A.S.S. B.A.and “M.A.” to attend this class.  Cost: $90 for 6 weeks; $65 for dogs adopted from CHS, plus the cost of exam fees. Instructed by Sarah Eve Steele.

TRICKS!
In the 4-week course, you and your dog will work toward earning your Novice Trick Dog title. To earn this title, dog and handler teams must learn and perform 15 tricks together. Some examples of tricks are paw/shake, rollover, spin, play dead, and take a bow.  Teaching tricks is not only fun, it teaches skill and focus and strengthens the bond between canine and human. Dogs and handlers of all ages welcome; you are never too young or old to learn new tricks!  Class capacity: 6 students.  Course prerequisites: Basic Obedience. Dogs must be able to be handled by a friendly stranger and must be able to work safely around people and other dogs on leash. Instructed by Sarah Eve Steele.

All About Walking
This special 4-week class is designed to help you and your dog enjoy your daily walks. Walking your dog doesn’t have to be a chore or something you avoid, it can be fun and rewarding for both of you. Discussion and training topics will include loose leash walking, heel, and leash etiquette. Dogs (and handlers) of all ages are welcome. Frequency & Duration: 1 hour per week for 4 weeks.  Class size: 6 students. Course prerequisites:  Basic Obedience. Dogs must be able to be handled by a friendly stranger and must be able to work safely around people and other dogs on leash. Cost: $70 for 4 weeks; $45 for dogs adopted from CHS. Instructed by Sarah Eve Steele.

Reactive Dog
This 5-week specialty course is built for dogs who are reactive to other dogs while on leash. Discussions include reasons behind dog reactivity, how to respond when your dog becomes over-stimulated, and most importantly, how to identify the signals your dog gives before he or she reacts.  While in our quiet, small group class setting, we’ll teach and practice basic obedience cues including sit, down, stay and even learn a fun trick or two. Opportunities will be given for you to work with your dog around distractions while desensitizing your dog to other dogs in class.  The first class is humans-only. Cost: $100 for 4 weeks (Sorry, NO discount for CHS alums for this class.) Class size limited to 4 dog/owner pairs.  Instructed by Liz Langham.

Control Unleashed
Is your dog easily distracted? Unwilling to or too wound up by playing with a toy around other dogs?  Reactive* or easily aroused?  Anxious, stressed, or shut down?  Unable to control his/her impulses when excited? Unable to be quiet and relaxed in their crate, in a class/trial environment?  Uncomfortable or unable to work off-leash around other dogs?  A potential competitor in any dog sport?

Then Control Unleashed is for you! This unique program will teach you and your dog how to relax, focus, and work off-leash reliably in either stimulating or stressful situations. All dogs and owners will also benefit by learning better communication methods and skills to help your dog succeed in everyday life. You’ll learn how to read your dog’s behavior. Students participating in class should be serious about practicing at home between classes to get the most out of your class experience (a minimum of four, 15-minute long sessions each week between classes is recommended).

Games and exercises we teach in classes will help reduce the likelihood that your dog will react. Class exercises will help your dog relax and stay calm and will also help improve his behavior. Please bring a mat, rug, or cushy blanket to each class which both you and your dog fit on. Please bring a 4’ leash (no “flexi” leashes please). Clickers are recommended. Class lasts 6 weeks. Instructed by Teri Robinson.
Upcoming classes:
None currently scheduled

This class is based on the book Control Unleashed: Creating a Focused and Confident Dog written by Leslie McDevitt. You are not required to buy or read the book prior to class, but we do invite you to do so in order to get more out of your class experience!

Noseworks
Noseworks is a new and exciting, detection-style sport designed to develop dogs’ natural scenting abilities by using their curiosity, desire to hunt, and their love of toys, food, and exercise. It’s a great way for any dog to have fun, build confidence, and burn lots of mental and physical energy. Instructed by Teri Robinson.

Canine Good Citizen Testing
The Canine Good Citizen Program is a two-part program that stresses responsible pet ownership for owners and basic good manners for dogs. The CGC Program is open to mixed breed and purebred dogs. All dogs who pass the 10-step CGC test may receive a certificate from the American Kennel Club. This certificate is a title as well as a symbol that the team passed the requirements of the program, and is therefore a Good Citizen.  Call 207-725-5051 ext. 12 if you’re interested in being assessed.