Paws Academy of Chatham-Kent (PACK) offers motivational, fun-based training classes for basic obedience and various dog sports, as well as offering competitive dog events out of FargoRidge Kennels. Head trainer Laurie Soutar has 40 years experience as a trainer and competitor, and is a licensed judge in numerous disciplines.
Classes will be limited to 5 students (if a class fills, we will try to add a second class).
All classes are 6 weeks in length, and $150, except the 4 week Heeling and Tricks classes, which is $100.
Here is the schedule for the next session, starting on Tuesday, March 19. Please note that the Wednesday classes start a week later.
Tuesday, March 19
5:00 p.m. – Intro To Scent
6:15 p.m. – Novice/Advanced Nosework
7:30 p.m. – Master/Elite Nosework
3:30 p.m. – Performance Puppy
4:45 p.m. – FITDOG 2
6:15 p.m. – Obedience 2
7:30 p.m. – Rally trial readiness
NOTE: Not all classes are offered every session.
Family Puppy – Focus on basic skills to develop a well-adjusted, well behaved family pet, in a positive, motivational setting. Skills taught include sit, down, stay, wait, loose lead walking, as well as a reliable recall (come). Skills are taught using a variety of games and fun activities. Additional subjects covered include socialization, impulse control, grooming and handling, preventing
and solving problem behaviours (nipping, jumping up, destructive chewing, housebreaking, etc.), and training theory. First class is without dogs.
AKC Star Puppy – This class teaches similar skills to Family Puppy, with more emphasis on responsible pet ownership, and moving forward towards the CGN or CGC test. At the completion of the course, puppies can earn the Star Puppy designation.
Family Obedience – Focus on basic obedience for a happy, well behaved family pet. Skills taught include sit, down, stay, wait and come, loose leash walking, and introduction to off lead obedience. Subjects covered include responsible pet ownership, interacting with other dogs, and preventing problem behaviors. We cover some training theory, and throw in a few tricks and tips. All family members are welcome to participate. First class is without dogs.
Family Obedience 2 – This class builds on the skills learned in Family Puppy or Family Obedience, including heeling, advanced stays, automatic sits, and off leash reliability. Pre-requisite: Family Puppy, Family Obedience or equivalent.
Performance Puppy – Designed for puppies up to 6 months old, this class introduces foundation skills necessary towards participating in rally, obedience, agility, parkour, and many other dog sports, including go outs, retrieves, hind end awareness, body language, focus, platform work, and lots of other fun things.
Obedience and Rally Foundations – This course covers the foundations for both rally and obedience competition, and includes precision heeling, heel position, fronts, finishes, stand for exam, as well as an introduction to the rally signs. Pre-requite: The dog should already have a good understanding of sit, down, stay with a single command.
Introduction to Competition Obedience – Basic Obedience class geared towards competing in the Novice level at CKC or UKC obedience trials. We will review the rules, trial procedure, and work on the skills necessary to compete successfully, including heeling, fronts, finishes, stand for exam, off leash work, and group stays. Pre-requisite: Family Obedience 2, Obedience and Rally Foundations, or equivalent.
Trial Readiness – Obedience – This class is for those dogs that are ready, or almost ready for obedience competition. We will do Novice run-throughs, problem solving, preparing to enter the ring, strategies, rules and scoring, as well as introducing some Open exercises.
Introduction to Rally – Designed for the person with no rally experience, this course will teach you the basic signs, their correct performance, and prepare you to compete at the Novice level. We also cover the rules of various organizations, and will give you some experience with simple courses. There is no pre-requisite, but the dog should be able to sit, down, stay and heel prior to starting the class.
Trial Readiness – Rally – This class is for those dogs that are ready, or almost ready for competition. We will run full competition courses each week, as well as address warm-up, focus, strategies, ring nerves (both handler and dog!), teamwork, rules and scoring.
Introduction to Nosework – Designed for the dog with no previous experience, this class starts with the basics, and by the end of the session the dog will be able to find a single drop of hidden scent. This is a fun and popular sport that enhances the dog’s natural ability and desires, and is always totally motivational.
Novice Nosework – This class takes the lessons learned in Introduction to Scentwork, and builds from boxes to interior room searches, and introduces exterior searches. Students should be familiar with scent and the concept of searching for it.
Intermediate Nosework – This class continues to build on the previous lessons, and introduces vehicle searches, preparation for trials, multiple hides, distractions and handling skills.
Advanced Nosework – This class builds on previous lessons, building to multiple vehicle searches, novel locations, larger areas, handling strategies, and more.
Excellent Nosework – Preparation for Excellent/Masters/Elite competition in AKC, UKC and CKC. Handling skills, unknown hides, proximal hides, blank areas, inaccessible hides, and many other challenges are included in this course.
Handler Discrimination – This twist on Nosework has the dog searching for the handler’s scent. A branch of competition in UKC and AKC nosework, this course is also great for teaching the dog to find your lost car keys! The dog should be solid on scent at about the Advanced level before taking this course, as the focus is on WHAT to search for, not HOW to search.
ODDS AND ENDS
Canine Fitness – Learn how to keep your dog in tip top shape, by learning how to correctly stretch, build core strength, and develop proper form. Learn how to properly use fitness equipment to build the dog’s overall conditioning and fitness level through a series of fun exercises. Some fitness equipment will be available for purchase, as well as information on substitutes you can use at home. Class is taught by an AKC Certified Fitness Instructor.
Introduction to Clicker Training (4 weeks) – Ever wonder about clicker training? This class is the perfect chance to try it out! The dogs don’t learn anything useful, but they’ll have a ton of fun and learn some silly behaviours. You will learn the basics of clicker training, the importance of timing, shaping and capturing behaviours, and will build the knowledge necessary to use clicker training effectively, whether for dog sports, tricks, or just for fun. No prior experience is necessary, and the first class is without dogs.
Tricks (4 weeks) – learn fun tricks your dog can master, from playing piano to playing dead, as well as a lot of other adorable but totally useless skills! Always lots of fun for both handler and dog, and great for older children as well as adults.
Service Dog Skills – This class is intended to aid the Service Dog handler train the skills necessary to add specific tasks for dogs not already in a program. Handlers are expected to have a list of 3 or 4 skills/tasks they would like to add, and the content of each class will vary, depending on the needs of the students. This is NOT training a dog to become a Service Dog, it is designed to enhance the Service Dog’s skill set, and will not include medical alerts.
CGC Preparation – This class prepares a dog to take the Canine Good Neighbor (CGN – CKC), Canine Good Citizen (CGC – AKC), or Specialized Pet Obedience Training (SPOT – UKC) tests, as well as the Public Access Test for future Service Dogs. Class covers the skills and behavior necessary to pass these basic training and temperament tests. Dogs should have some basic obedience training, and tests may be offered at the end of the session.
Dog Sport Sampler – This class explores various dog sports – a different sport each week, and is perfect for dogs with no previous experience. It is the perfect opportunity to see what your dog (and you!) enjoy before you sign up for classes. Sports offered may vary seasonally, but can include rally, agility, nosework, parkour, lure coursing, tricks, tracking, etc.