Foundation Classes at Smarty Paws

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At Smarty Paws we believe a solid foundation is essential for any aspiring agility team and thus offer a series of beginner classes to build one.  We recommend that  students follow the progression of foundation classes  listed below starting with either Performance Puppy, Obedience for the Performance Dog or Value of Connection depending on the age and experience of the dog and handler.

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PREPPING THE PERFORMANCE PUPPY (for pups under 6 months of age)

6 weeks, $120, Class size limited to 6 pups

This class is for anyone considering doing performance sports with their new puppy, including agility, obedience, flyball, hunting, rally, freestyle, herding or just being a world class companion dog.  This class will help puppies develop focus and attention using games and setting up situations to teach recalls, retrieves and impulse control.  In addition the pup will be exposed to new situations in a safe environment and introduced to kindergarten obedience.  This is not a puppy to puppy socialization class but instead focuses on creating a thinking dog and promoting the bond with you during this critical time of their lives.

Pre-requisite:  Puppies should be potty trained and up to date on recommended vaccinations.

 

SESSION BEGINNING JUNE 12, 2022 @ 3:30 PM 

OBEDIENCE FOR THE PERFORMANCE DOG (for dogs over 6 months of age)

6 Weeks (First Class without Dogs), $120, class size limited to 6 dogs 

This class will cover the basic obedience skills every future performance dog needs to be successful.  This class is about more than good manners (although that is a pleasant side effect).  The main goal is to cover the fundamental obedience skills both the dog and handler need to achieve in order to be successful in performance sports.  These include attention/focus (both dog and handler), recalls, retrieves, sits, downs, stays, walking on a loose leash and learning to settle in distracting environments.   In addition the handler will learn how to clearly and consistently communicate with their dog to earn their attention, how to reward with food and toys, use marker words, shape a behavior and how to progress and proof skills. 

SESSION BEGINNING JUNE 6, 2022 @ 5:30 PM

VALUE OF CONNECTION (for dogs over 6 months of age) 

6 Weeks, $120, Class size limited to 6 dogs

This class provides the foundation for those who want to start their dog on an agility journey.  The main theme of the class is to have fun with your dog while concurrently growing the relationship and skills needed to progress in agility.  The handler/dog teams will learn how to shape useful behaviors, how to engage, connect and play together, create a thinking dog using It's your Choice concepts, build impulse control, create toy and food drive, body awareness, how, when and where to reinforce the dog, forward drive, along with an introduction to tunnels, jumps and the table.

Pre-requisite:  Dogs must have completed Obedience for the Performance Dog or be evaluated by an instructor if obedience training has been done elsewhere.  Please contact us if you would like an evaluation.

SESSION BEGINNING JUNE 6, 2022 @ 7:00 PM

GAME ON!

6 Weeks, $120, Class size limited to 6 dogs

This class continues to lay the building blocks for the fun sport of dog agility.  Previously covered skills such as focus, motivation, drive, shaping behaviors and impulse control are all revisited in the form of games to build the dog's confidence and grow teamwork skills.  The handler and dog will get their first taste of some of the common agility obstacles and be introduced to how they are trained to ensure the dog ultimately performs them correctly, safely and enthusiastically.

Pre-requisite:  Dogs must have completed Value of Connection or have permission from the instructor to enroll.  Please contact us if you have any questions.

SESSION BEGINNING JUNE 6, 2022 @ 7:00 PM

AGILITY SKILLS 1:  BEGINNER HANDLING: FLATWORK

6 Weeks, $120

Agility is not just about the learning how to perform the obstacles.  It is estimated that 50-60% of what happens on an agility course happens between the obstacles and it is between the obstacles where most mistakes happen.  This class teaches the handler how to execute the skills required for the dog to follow their cues before obstacles are introduced.  By learning the skills on the flat (without obstacles), there is far less confusion for both the handler and more importantly, the dog, when obstacles are introduced. Skills taught include circle work, recalls to heel position, turns, front, rear and blind crosses, sends, forward focus, lead out positions and more. 

Pre-requisite:  Dogs must have completed Value of Connection/Game On! or have permission from the instructor to enroll.  Please contact us if you have any questions.

SESSION BEGINNING JUNE 6, 2022 @ 5:30 PM

AGILITY SKILLS 2:  JUMPING AND OBSTACLE SKILLS

6 Weeks, $120, Class size limited to 6 dogs

Even though dogs generally know how to jump (a fence, a log or into your lap), most dogs benefit greatly from a jump education.  The act of jumping in agility may seem simple but in reality requires a large amount of skill on the dog's part, including the need to focus forward, scoping, adjusting stride, determining take off points, executing a turn, and preparing for collection or extension all while taking cues from the handler.  This course will introduce the dog to jumping skills and along with other agility obstacles including contact obstacles and weave poles.  

Pre-requisite:  Dogs must have completed Skills 1 or have permission from the instructor to enroll.  Please contact us if you have any questions.

SESSION BEGINNING JUNE 6, 2022 @ 5:30 PM

AGILITY SKILLS 3:  NOVICE HANDLING & OBSTACLE SKILLS

6 Weeks, $120, Class size limited to 6 dogs

This class will combine novice handling skills along with perfecting obstacle skills introduced in previous classes In particular, contact equipment skills will be emphasized by proofing 2ON/2OFF end behavior by adding distractions, excitement and handler motion.  Weave pole performance will be progressed.   

Pre-requisite:  Dogs must have completed Agility Skills 1 and 2 (or it's equivalent) or have permission from the instructor to enroll.  Please contact us if you have any questions.

SESSION BEGINNING THURSDAY, JUNE 9, 2022 @ 5:30 PM

AGILITY SKILLS 4:  SHORT SEQUENCES - Next Session Summer 2022

6 Weeks, $120, Class size limited to 6 dogs

This class will tie together all of the skills learned in previous classes and combine them in short sequences of five or less obstacles.  Jumping, contact and weave skills will continue to be emphasized and progressed along with introducing different handling strategies to prepare the team for future course work.  

 

Pre-requisite:  Dogs must have completed Agility Skills 1 2 and 3 or have permission from the instructor to enroll.  Please contact us if you have any questions.