Classes at the Humane Society of Huron Valley Harmony Dog Training is a proud partner of the Humane Society of Huron Valley. Through our partnership, we offer the following classes at their beautiful Ann Arbor facility. Class descriptions follow. You can view a current schedule and register here.
Puppy Preschool The most important thing for puppies to learn is that the world is a fun, safe place where lots of good things can happen. During their critical socialization phase, puppies are busy learning about the world around them, and making decisions about what is good or bad, safe or unsafe. Impressions made during this time will influence how they feel about the things that they will encounter throughout their lives. As puppy-raisers, our job is to make the most of this sensitive time period by giving them positive experiences with a wide variety of people, places, animals, and environments, so we can help them develop into confident, outgoing dogs. A puppy who feels comfortable in a wide variety of situations is less likely to develop fear, anxiety, or aggression-related problems down the road.
Puppy Pre-School is designed to help owners get their pups started out right. We will start introducing basic manners training, such as name recognition, sit, down, stay, come, polite greetings, and loose leash walking. In addition, we do targeted socialization and “real life” training to help prepare them for the human world and the various things they may encounter – having their bodies handled, visiting the vet or groomer, hearing weird sounds, walking on new surfaces, easily sharing their toys and food, meeting new people, and playing with other puppies.
We will also go over the best ways to meet your puppy’s basic needs in a way that makes everyone happy. This class teaches students how to provide outlets for normal puppy behavior and how to manage and modify inappropriate behavior such as jumping, chewing on shoes or nipping hands and legs. We help students understand the importance of and be able to implement management strategies to prevent unwanted puppy behavior such as hard mouthing, potty accidents and chewing on inappropriate items.
Don’t miss out on this important time in your pup’s development – get them started out on the right paw so you can have a lifetime of fun together!
Is Puppy Pre-School for me? Is your puppy 6 months or younger? If so, this class is for you!
Behaviors covered: Sit | Down | Stay | Come | Go to your mat | Leave it | Loose-leash walking | Anti-jumping
Basic Manners “Training is about teaching animals to live in our world successfully.” - Ken Ramirez Do you want a well-mannered canine companion? One who can accompany you on your daily adventures, whether that means a walk around the park or a trip to the sidewalk café, and then who can relax calmly by your side at home? We can all have that perfect family pet – we just have to show our dogs what we want in a way that is positive, clear, and consistent.
Basic Manners class will help you communicate to your dog what these good behaviors are that we are looking for – things such as sit,down, stay, coming when called, walking nicely on leash, greeting other people and dogs politely, and leaving food and distractions alone. Our main goals in class, however, are to help you have a greater understanding of how dogs learn, and to give you the skills to teach your dog anything you might want to train them throughout your lifetime together. Dog training is both an art and a science, and we will help you understand how to bring them together in a way that is fun for both you and the dog. We will also help you understand how to read your dog’s own body language, to understand better what they are feeling and communicating, and to make sure we are meeting their needs for social, mental, and physical enrichment – all of which lead to a better relationship and a better-behaved companion.
Our methods are all force-free and positive reinforcement-based. We focus not on simply luring a dog through the learning steps, but on setting up situations where your dog learns how to make the correct decision on his or her own. You will come away with a dog that not only understands their basic cues, but who has also learned to choose polite behavior on their own without being continually reminded. And, most importantly, both you and your dog will have fun doing it!
Is Basic Manners Class for me and my dog? Does your dog need to work on some, well . . . basic manners, such as sit, loose leash walking, greeting guests, coming when called, or stay through distractions? Is he or she 6 months or older? Is he or she comfortable around other people and dogs? If so, this class is for you!
Behaviors covered: Sit | Down | Watch | Come | Stay | Leave it | Loose-leash walking | Anti-jumping | Wait
Reactive Rover Do you have a dog that is PEOPLE-FRIENDLY, but exhibits on-leash reactivity, such as barking and lunging, when he or she sees other dogs? Does your dog become stressed, uncomfortable, or over-aroused in the presence of other dogs, and do you have a hard time keeping your dog calm and focused when other dogs are around? This may be the class for you!
Reactive Rover classes will help you understand your dog's reactivity, and will give you methods for managing and modifying it. We solely use positive methods and work at each dog's individual level, so that over time we can change the dog's emotional response to his or her "triggers." Our goal is to help you teach your dog focus, impulse control, and relaxation, so that walks and outings can be more fun and less stressful for you both! How can you have a group class of reactive dogs?!? Excellent question, but we make it work! Rest assured that this class will not be a room of dogs barking and lunging and feeling stressed. Reactive Rover is a small class of only four dogs, with two instructors, and we carefully structure the class to set every dog up for success. At orientation, we go over specific protocols that we will use, and in class all dogs have their own stations with visual barriers that we shift to gradually expose the dogs to distractions as they are ready. By being patient and reinforcing calm behavior and good decisions, we can have dogs that can successfully handle real world distractions without reacting. Dogs who do NOT fit into Reactive Rover Class: -Dogs who have done major damage to another dog (such as hospitalizing another dog) -Dogs who are aggressive towards people -Dogs who bite their handlers when their handlers try to redirect them from focusing on another dog
For dogs who do not fit into a Reactive Rover class, we would recommend consulting with an in- home trainer first. Please feel free to contact us for recommendations at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can refer you to someone who can help.
Advanced Reactive Rover For graduates of our Reactive Rover classes, this new class will help you and your dog start to work at the next level. Using the same principles of desensitization and counter-conditioning taught in our Reactive Rover class, we will start to raise distraction levels and strengthen your dog’s skills, all while working at each dog’s pace. If you are looking for more opportunities to help your dog feel increasingly relaxed, focused, and comfortable in the presence of other dogs, this is a great next step.
This class will have a maximum of four dogs, with Reactive Rover as a pre-requisite. To register for this class, please contact our instructor directly at email@example.com.
Fun and Games Are you looking for fun ways to spend time with your dog? Do the winter weather and short days have you both getting “cabin fever”? Do you want to build your relationship with your canine companion and learn to play together more?
We all know how important training and physical exercise are to our dog’s well-being, but dogs also need opportunities to use their minds. This class will introduce you to a variety of mental enrichment activities that will harness your dog’s creativity and intelligence, and show you fun ways to enjoy time together. Watch your dog use his nose. Let him show his creative side. Watch her problem-solve a puzzle. Discover the many ways they learn to read our cues and body language. You will come away with a new perspective on what a clever companion you have, and will have a lot of fun in the process!
To participate in this class, dogs should be comfortable in the presence of other dogs and people. Dogs may attend wearing a flat-buckle collar, martingale collar, harness, or head halter. Please no choke chains, prong collars, or electronic collars.
These classes are currently located in the Education Center at the Humane Society of Huron Valley 3100 Cherry Hill Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48105
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