Create a Positive Partnership between your dog and your whole family!

This course is designed to provide a mix of discussion, demonstration, training, student participation and just plain fun!

Many pet owners find traditional obedience classes to be rigid and impractical in every day life.  Break free from the formal obedience classes taught based on competition obedience work and try a new style of class – Family Dog Manners! The Family Dog Manners Class focuses on teaching owners how to train their dogs using the most up-to-date applications of science and learning theory. In Family Dog Manners, you and your pup will learn skills that are useful in your everyday life.

The class uses positive methods to tap into your dog’s intelligence and eagerness to work for food, toys, social or environmental rewards. The Family Dog Manners Class initially focuses on calming your dog and building attention and self control. We then begin teaching behaviors that will make your dog a more polite and enjoyable family companion.

Behaviors taught include:
• Food Zen/“Leave It” –We’ll start by teaching World Famous Agility trainer Susan Garrett’s version of “It’s Yer Choice,” a game that teaches impulse control around food. You’ll quickly have a dog that looks at you for direction when food is present, rather than trying to grab it from your hand, or steal it off the picnic table at your next family reunion.
• Go to Mat or Place – Renowned service dog trainer and author, Sue Ailsby writes “Picture your dog crated whenever you need a moment without her, no matter where you are, and without ever having to carry a crate around.” The Family Dog class combines Food Zen and Go To Mat training to teach a dog to lie quietly on her mat while you cook dinner for the family, prepare her dinner meal, or while you watch a movie and eat a bowl of popcorn.
• Coming when Called (Recall) – Teaching a reliable recall could save your dog’s life. We’ll go beyond the basics and condition your dog to happily romp, race or run to you whenever you call.
• Sit, Down and Wait– Basic behaviors all pet dogs should know simply because when performing these behaviors your dog cannot be doing other less desirable behaviors like jumping up on you, racing through an open door, or tripping you as you unload groceries from the car. In this class we focus on reinforcing behaviors we want, and learn how easy it is to teach a dog to DO things, as opposed to the difficulty of teaching them how NOT TO DO things.
• Walking Politely on a Leash – Learn the basics of training your dog to walk quietly next to you on a leash. We’ll discuss proper equipment and techniques, and practice the mechanical skills needed to train your dog to become a truly enjoyable walking partner.

Classes include email, video support and handouts.


  • 6-foot leash
  • flack buckle collar, martingale collar, head halter, or front attach harness
  • NO “choke” or prong collars


  •  MUST have proof of current rabies vaccination
  • Your dog MUST be at least 16 weeks old
  •  Consult with your vet regarding any other suggested vaccinations
  • The group instruction setting is not for reactive or aggressive dogs. If you have questions or
    concerns please inform the instructor to discuss suitability of your dog to this environment.
  • Lots of tasty treats!
  • A POSITIVE attitude!
  • Access to reliable internet: Many exercises in class are taught with supportive video examples
    sent via email. Dial up connections may be too slow and cumbersome for playing the videos,
    and without this your class experience will be greatly diminished.
  • Attendance at a minimum of 5 of the 7 classes will be required for a Certificate of Completion.

Dates: This course is comprised of 7 individual classes running approximately 50-60 minutes each.
The orientation is held without dogs inside the Turchin Room of the Watauga Humane Society, 312
Paws Way, Boone, NC 28607, from 6:30 – 8:30 pm on Thursday, April 14. The remainder of the
classes with dogs will be held in the same location from 6 – 7 pm OR 7:15 to 8:15 pm April 21, May 5, 12, 26, June 2, 9.
Attendance at orientation is mandatory, and attendance at a minimum of 6 of the 7 classes will be
required for a Certificate of Completion.
Cost: The cost for the 7-week course is $175.00.