Learn how we can help you and your dog
A Comprehensive, Six Week Program
If you’re dealing with any sort of aggression issues or separation anxiety, we recommend our six-week Masters Of Commitment program. This program is also ideal for anyone looking for a reliable off-leash partner.
We start with skills learned in the Associates of Focus and Bachelors of Partnership programs, including watch me, heel, auto-sit, down, come, etc. Once these behaviors are solidified, we’ll move off-leash. For dogs with separation anxiety or aggression issues, we’ll first work to find their threshold (ie at which level they engage in the behavior), then desensitize them and show them that you’re in control, and you’ve got this.
What Your Dog Will Learn
In the first week with us, we will help your dog become more comfortable with unusual stimuli, and being handled by unfamiliar people. This will help when you take them to the vet’s, the groomer’s, or out in public.
In the second week, we’ll introduce and/or reinforce basic commands to your pup. These include sit, down, and come with a lure. This establishes a clear rapport between us and the dog, and allows the dog to understand that we’re confident and in control.
In week three, we’ll introduce hand signals for come, heel, sit, and down. This improves their focus on us, and will further drive home that we’re in command of the situation.
Stay & Place
In the fourth week, we’ll work with the dog on “stay” and “place.” Stay is used to keep the dog from moving until released, while place is used to calm anxious dogs. When a dog is on a place command, they understand that we as the owners are in control of the situation.
Heeling On a Flat Collar & Auto Sit
In week five, we’ll build on the heel foundation, and will work with the dog to get them heeling on a flat collar. We will also train the auto sit, which means that the dog will sit whenever you stop moving on walks.
Off Leash Commands
In the final week, we’ll teach off-leash commands, including sit, down, place, come, and heel. This will give your dog an incredible amount of freedom, and will take your relationship to the next level.
When DaVinci first came to us, he was extremely dog aggressive. In fact, he attacked a dog statue at the vet’s office! During his evaluation, Matt had him at one end of a football field, with another dog at the other end of the field, 300 yards away! Despite his small stature, DaVinci was letting the other dog know in no uncertain terms what he thought about them!
By the end of his 6-week stay with us, DaVinci was participating in our group class with zero issues, and even passed his Canine Good Citizen test! Part of the test is greeting another dog; his response was to look away. In canine parlance, looking away and avoiding eye contact is a signal that says “I’m not a threat.”
DaVinci’s owners put a lot of work in, and it shows! Great job!
Live The Off-Leash Dream
If your dog won’t listen to you, it could be because he can’t focus on you, and is always getting distracted by the environment. After he’s completed our program, your dog will be able to listen and follow your commands, even in the busiest place with a lot of distractions. With a greater focus, you can also walk with your dog off leash worry-free.
Better Self Control
During the program, we’ll train your high-energy dog to be calmer and less aggressive. You can let them play with children or with other dogs, without worrying if your dog is under control. If you see the dog amping up, you can tell them to calm down, and they will listen. Better self-control will make your high-energy dog become an exceptional canine citizen, easing your stress.
There’s nothing quite like off-leash freedom for a dog. Able to move however they want, and investigate what they want without being constrained by collars or leashes. Throughout our program, we’ll work to improve your dog’s off-leash manners, giving them more freedom to explore the world.
In order to ensure that you get the most out of this program, we’d like to clarify a couple of things:
This program is for those who are willing to continue to implement the foundation & structure that we lay, and to continue the dog’s training. In this program, we create structure for the pup, and set boundaries. As a result, they come out of the program looking like they are “fixed.” However, we’ve often seen dogs revert to their old behaviors when turned back over to their owners. This is because they are not given the same structure that we put in place when they entered our program.
Owners who are willing to implement the new structure (crating, leashing, etc), and to MAINTAIN this training are more likely to see results. Dogs watch our every move, and are nothing short of opportunistic. If they do not have structure, they WILL find and exploit loopholes to self-satisfy with various undesirable behaviors, such as pacing, barking, counter surfing, jumping, etc.
That said, this program is NOT for those who want a “push-button” pup, and do not want to put in any extra work once their dog goes through the program. Dogs are beings with their own agendas and drives, and need structure to thrive. If they go back to their old environment where they can do whatever they want, they will revert back to the undesirable behaviors that caused you to reach out to a trainer in the first place.
Dog Aggression & Separation Anxiety Training
When specifically addressing behavioral issues such as separation anxiety and dog aggression / dog reactivity, we first work to find the dog’s threshold – that is, at what point do they become anxious or reactive? Once we’ve determined that, we’ll work with you and your pup to redirect their energies, and lower the threshold by associating good things (such as food) with either the presence of other dogs, or your absence.
As with all of our board and train programs, we review your pup’s progress with you every Friday, send them home for the weekend, and go over the game plan for the upcoming week when you drop them off on Monday.