Life skills for Family Dogs


More dogs are euthanized for inappropriate behaviour than all medical conditions combined. While many pet owners are not interested in formal obedience or sporting competitions, all dogs need to learn the basics of living in human society.  This program is designed for dogs that are in need of a solid set of basic skills, that allow them to participate fully in the family's activities.  This may include puppies, dogs 'new to you' (ie. rescues, shelter dogs, recent adoptions and so on).  If you have a dog that has been with you for a while and you feel you need to work on some of these skills, we may still choose to use the LFD program to help you achieve your goals, we may just want to do a bit of one-on-one work first.

All dogs need to learn not to touch human flesh with their teeth, to accept a collar and leash, to be handled for veterinary care and nail clipping, to give up an object when asked and to share beds, couches and car seats with all humans, large or small.  Dogs need to meet different types of people (kids, adults, folks in wheelchairs or using a cane) and different kinds of dogs, and then be able to cope with both humans and pets doing various activities: skateboarders, bicyclists, joggers, dogs in yards and in cars, and at the vets, all without 'losing it'.


Most dogs are very good at being dogs.  This means they bark whenever they like and chew anything that feels good and guard their yard from all invaders and pee or poop wherever is convenient.  The list can go on and on....dogs see nothing wrong with greeting their humans enthusiastically with muddy paws on our good suit, or jumping on the couch soaking wet, or leaping around ecstatically at the sight of their leash (knocking over plants, bookcases and grannies in the process).  That all comes naturally to a dog.  It takes a bit of training to explain, and motivate, our canine friends to be good members of our human family.


Our family dog classes cover the basics of Canine Learning Theory, and how to use behaviour modification techniques as well as the physical skills of dog training and handling.  The foundation skills of sit, down, meet and greet, walking nicely on leash, as well as the basic lifeskills listed above, are all covered in a fun, relaxed atmosphere.  There's also room in the program for individual goals set by you, and integrated into the program for you to work on at home and in class.


Lifeskills for Family Dogs is divided into two, 6 week sessions.   LFD Level 2 continues to build on the Level 1 program, focusing on distraction proofing the dog's new skills, as well as building duration on our sit, down and walking behaviours, and laying the groundwork for weaning off of food rewards and showing handlers how to use life rewards to maintain the dog's skills.   Most dogs due need more than six weeks of classes, both for the socialization experience and for the skills training that their owner's need!!   There can be a bit of a break between sessions if life gets in the way, the important thing is to get started!


Feel free to Contact Us for current pricing.


Four month old, Isis, studying a training video before class........