Group Dog Training Classes: Course Descriptions
S.T.A.R. Puppy Kindergarten | Home Basics Level 1 | Home Basics Level 2 - Off Leash | Advanced Classes
All group classes are taught by Mary Mazzeri or one of her experienced staff instructors.
PUPPY KINDERGARTEN | Click here for Scheduled Classes
This amazing Pre-school program is like a Montessori school for puppies! It is a six-week class for puppies up to 20 weeks of age. In this class the pups 'learn how to learn'. It forms good habits during their critical imprint/socialization period. The class reinforces good behavior patterns and covers: owner handling skills, housebreaking, socialization, safe exposure to new experiences, bite inhibition, basic obedience, management and relational skills, health care, grooming, nutrition, and more. It is the perfect foundation for a long, happy life together and for the Home Basics class. Fee includes classes, textbook, some handouts, and a house leash.
Interested? Click here for a registration form
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For puppies and dogs 5 months of age and older. Suitable for most dogs without serious aggression issues. An important part of maintaining a well-behaved, happy companion dog is learning how to communicate with your dog. We teach with REAL results! This six-week group class covers more than just basic obedience commands. It teaches you proper handling skills, improves your relationship with your canine companion and helps your dog gain self-control. Your dog learns to walk on a loose leash, sit, down, stay, greet people politely, to not bolt out doors etc, and come on command. Home Basics is the foundation for the Off Leash Basics class, where your dog gains increased reliability, even at greater distance. Training equipment is available at wholesale cost to students enrolled in the classes. (No prerequisite) $199.00
Interested? Click here for registration form.
A testimony or two:
I just wanted to thank you again for helping me train Lexi. She is soooo good at the polite greeting. The other husky puppy in the neighborhood who is in training, is not anywhere near as good at it as out little one. I know there are trainers and then there are trainers that really know their stuff (you.). Huskies can be difficult to train, but when I come to you, they become very good dogs. Yesterday was our block party. When it was winding down, I decided to take Lexi out to meet her human friends and meet new ones. With all the people out there, and her being in the crate for a good part of the party, I wasn't sure how she would be, but she was great. Never jumped on anyone and enjoyed all the attention she received. And she's only 8 months old. She has the potential of being our best husky yet. I would never have another trainer but you. I keep saying this will be our last husky puppy (it's gets harder for us with each one....our patience isn't as good as it once was), but never say never. I wish you all the best and I hope our paths cross again!
Cindy, Norb, Sasha (class of '08) and Lexi (class of '16)
I just got back from taking Denver for a walk. This was the first walk ever where he did not pull or lunge out in front of me. Amazing! Simply amazing. We have been working on the homework diligently and it has made all the difference. He is a much calmer, focused dog making me a much less frustrated owner. I cannot believe the change I have seen in him in the last two and a half weeks, my neighbors have noticed the difference too.
Thank you for doing what you do. I am so grateful to have found your obedience classes!
I wanted to update (and thank!) you on Jackson's progress. It has been a year since I adopted him. As you know, he was the most frightened puppy I had ever met. He was brought from an Oklahoma high kill shelter at the age of three months and came to me as a foster, terrified of everything and everyone. I adopted him because I believed I could help him.
We were lucky enough to enroll in your Puppy Kindergarten class just three days after he became mine. I'm sure you remember how he tried to make himself one with the wall or cowered under a chair when we first started the class. By graduation, he had made significant progress. He played with the other pups in the class, though he was still terrified of people.
I followed all your advice and kept working with him. Although he was always happy to see my kids' dogs when they came to visit, the people he saw regularly took quite a bit longer.! We took the Home Basics class twice -- placing third at graduation both times! -- and I could see him changing slowly as his confidence grew.
I knew Jackson would never be a friendly dog. My goal was to make him a happy dog who was not living in constant fear. Thanks to your guidance, we achieved that goal. A few weeks ago -- almost exactly a year from the date his adoption -- he changed in a wonderful surprising way. He suddenly wanted to accompany me when I walked Brody every morning, jumping and spinning in excitement, and then sitting to have his training collar and leash put on him. (Before this, he ran to his crate when he saw his leash!) He began greeting family and friends when they visited with happy vocalizations and polite hopeful sits for treats.
He is still quite wary of strangers, but he no longer runs and hides, he simply retreats to his crate and waits patiently for them to leave. When we walk every morning, he still finds some things scary but he no longer tries to flee, simply leaning into Brody and watching those thing carefully until we have passed them. (I'm sure walking between me and his 154 lb. 'brother' contributes to his confidence!)
So... I cannot thank you enough for your advice, help, and patience with us. Thanks in no small part to you, Jackson has turned into a real dog!
Off Leash Basics: Intermediate Level
Click here for Scheduled Classes
A continuation of the basic program. This six-week group class prepares the dogs and handlers for off leash control and increased on leash reliability…even when distracted.You’ll have the best-mannered dog on the block! You may optionally elect to take the AKC Canine Good Citizen test upon graduating. The AKC offers a certificate for passing this test and many insurance companies will take that into consideration when deciding whether to award Home Owners Insurance Policies to homes with dogs.
►(Home Basics is pre-requisite to this class.)
Interested? Click here for registration form.
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I don't know if you remember Danny, the little yellow lab who took your puppy class and the Home Basics class this summer?
Danny and I walk twice a day in county forest preserves, totaling about 2 to 3 hours, all off leash. Whenever we encounter another walker, dog, bike rider, jogger, etc. I call Danny to sit at my feet and let the others pass. His recall was getting soft. When I called him he would first look around to see what I was calling for. He knew there must be someone coming. Monday I starting using the Tag chain. After the very first time, he was 90 percent better. I practiced with it about once a day for the next 4 days. Today, Friday, we were walking off leash and we flushed two deer. They took off running only about 20 yards away. They were running diagonally away in clear view, perfect for Danny to take off and chase. He ran maybe 10 feet when I called him once. He IMMEDIATELY turned and returned to me, no tag needed. His focus went from "I want to chase deer!" to "uh oh, where is my boss?" in a fraction of a second. Your Tag technique works amazingly well.