CLASS is a three-level dog training class for students to help their dog learn real-life skills! Positive, reward-based training males it fun for you and your dog!
The three levels of the program are named after human university degree programs:
The B.A. for Dogs™ (Bachelor’s level), the M.A. for Dogs™ (Master’s level), and the Ph.D. for Dogs™ (Doctorate level). The skills in each level vary in the level of difficulty and distractions. For example, at the B.A. level, we allow the use of treats as rewards after the completion of an exercise, and some of the “real life” skills that are assessed are waiting at the door, drop it, and settle. In the M.A. level, dogs are asked to walk past several dogs of different sizes, breeds and genders, to wait in the car before exiting, and to allow the student to handle various parts of their body. And in the Ph.D. level, students must carry everyday objects such as a cardboard box or paper sack while walking their dogs on a loose leash, ask their dogs to back up, and have their dog demonstrate table manners during a simulated dinner session. Each level also allows for two “bonus rounds” that students may elect to try with their dog.
Canine Life and Social Skills (CLASS) has the following objectives:
CLASS, through its evaluation, curriculum, and training resources, advocates the use of reward-based training. Positive, reward-based training is fun for you and your dog! CLASS promotes relationship-based training, training in which the communication is two-way and the mutual trust is strong. It is training that is instructive, telling the dog, without anger or force, what we would like the dog to do.
Strengthen Dog/Owner Relationships
A positive approach develops and safeguards harmonious relationships by maintaining a mutual trust between dog and student. By encouraging positive, rewards-based training, the CLASS program strengthens relationships through effective communication, understanding, and quality time spent together.
Dogs are continually learning, so why not be proactive about what your dog learns? With its emphasis on maintaining training skills, as well as advancing to higher levels of training, the CLASS program supports continual training.
There are so many reasons to continue training with your dog:
- Training redirects your dog’s natural behaviors to acceptable outlets
- The more good stuff a dog learns, the less room there is for “bad stuff”
- Training is fun for you and your dog!
Having a well-trained dog makes it possible to engage in many more activities such as:
- Earning CLASS B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. Certificates
- Other training classes
- Dog sports and games
- Animal-assisted therapy work
- Outings and travel with your dog