Pet Training Classes

Tessa-learning-wait-in-training-class-001Overview

The Friends For the Dearborn Animal Shelter uses positive reinforcement pet-training methods for puppies and dogs, as well as advanced American Kennel Club’s Canine Good Citizen (CGC) test prep. The instruction teaches loving training, which results in a happier and safer pet — making the whole family happier. Classes include written instructional handouts and homework “assignments” for potty-training, crate training, sit, down, stay, come, leave it and much more…

Instructor

Linda Thomas, 313-943-2697 or lthomas@dearbornanimals.org.

Location

All sessions are held at The Friends Pet Training Center next to Pet Supplies Plus in Dearborn.

Our Partner

Pet Supplies Plus, 2621 S.Telegraph Dearborn

2621 S.Telegraph, Dearborn, MI

Students Say...

“Great instructor, the small class size and variety of training exercises, personalized  helped with any questions.”

Requirements

Puppies and dogs must be up-to-date on required vaccines (DHPP, Rabies if 4 months or older, Bordetella) and have proof of negative fecal and heartworm tests. Some classes have additional specifications, such as age restrictions, and may require attending an orientation. See class descriptions for more information.

Registration

For a schedule of classes, see our training schedule. A 20% discount is offered for dogs and puppies adopted from the Dearborn Animal Shelter and registered volunteers with Friends For the Dearborn Animal Shelter.

Refund Policy

Once you attend the first class, there are no refunds.

Puppy 101

For puppies between 8 weeks and 5 months

You will learn basic commands, such as “sit” and “down.” There will also be instruction on house- and crate-training, biting/mouthing, chewing, and socialization. Includes written instructions. You must enroll and attend orientation (without your puppy).

Class duration: 6 weeks

Cost: $125, $100 for puppies adopted from the Dearborn Animal Shelter or registered volunteers of the Friends For the Dearborn Animal Shelter).

Intermediate

For dogs that have had Beginner Basics or other beginner class

Add speed and reliability to basic behaviors in more distracting situations. Your dog will also learn some tricks Bow, Shake, Go to bed and more. You must enroll and be present for the first class. Dogs come first night of class.

Class duration: 6 weeks

Cost: $125, $100 for dogs adopted from the Dearborn Animal Shelter or registered volunteers of the Friends For the Dearborn Animal Shelter).

Agility for Fun

For dogs that have had previous training classes

Agility is a great way to bond with your pup! Have fun teaching your dog how to go through the tunnel, weave through obstacle courses, and soar over jumps. You must enroll.

Class duration: 6 weeks

Cost: $125, $100 for dogs adopted from the Dearborn Animal Shelter or registered volunteers of the Friends For the Dearborn Animal Shelter).

Beginner Basics

For dogs 5 months & older

Basic skills that all dogs and people living together should know! Beginner Basics teaches you the fundamentals of reward-based training. The primary reward is food and it is used to establish a positive relationship between you and your dog. Our goal is to build a solid foundation for: attention, grooming, handling, hand signals for sit and down, reduced jumping, and socialization. You must enroll and attend orientation (without your dog).

Class duration: 6 weeks

Cost: $125, $100 for dogs adopted from the Dearborn Animal Shelter or registered volunteers of the Friends For the Dearborn Animal Shelter).

Advanced

Dogs must have had Intermediate or a 2nd level training class – No classes available at this time

Get your dog from good to great! Completion of this course will result in a CGC and/or TDI certificate. You must enroll and be present for the first class. Dogs come first night of class.

Class duration: 6 weeks

Cost: $125, $100 for dogs adopted from the Dearborn Animal Shelter or registered volunteers of the Friends For the Dearborn Animal Shelter).

AKC Canine Good Citizen

Mutt Strut Lucy spokesdogStarted in 1989, the AKC’s Canine Good Citizen® (CGC) Program is designed to reward dogs who have good manners at home and in the community. The CGC Program is a two-part program that stresses responsible pet ownership for owners and basic good manners for dogs. All dogs who pass the 10-step CGC test receive a certificate from the American Kennel Club.

How to Participate

Make an appointment to bring your dog to the Friends Pet Training Center to practice or take the certification test for the AKC Canine Good Citizen by calling Linda at 313-943-2697, ext. #3558 or e-mailing lthomas@dearbornanimals.org.

Cost

  • Practice: $10
  • Certification test: $20

Items on the CGC Test include:

  • Test 1: Accepting a friendly stranger
    This test demonstrates that the dog will allow a friendly stranger to approach it and speak to the handler in a natural, everyday situation. The evaluator walks up to the dog and handler and greets the handler in a friendly manner, ignoring the dog. The evaluator and handler shake hands and exchange pleasantries. The dog must show no sign of resentment or shyness, and must not break position or try to go to the evaluator.
  • Test 2: Sitting politely for petting
    This test demonstrates that the dog will allow a friendly stranger to touch it while it is out with its handler. With the dog sitting at the handler’s side, to begin the exercise, the evaluator pets the dog on the head and body. The handler may talk to his or her dog throughout the exercise. The dog may stand in place as it is petted. The dog must not show shyness or resentment.
  • Test 3: Appearance and grooming
    This practical test demonstrates that the dog will welcome being groomed and examined and will permit someone, such as a veterinarian, groomer or friend of the owner, to do so. It also demonstrates the owner’s care, concern, and sense of responsibility. The evaluator inspects the dog to determine if it is clean and groomed. The dog must appear to be in healthy condition (i.e., proper weight, clean, healthy, and alert). The handler should supply the comb or brush commonly used on the dog. The evaluator then softly combs or brushes the dog, and in a natural manner, lightly examines the ears and gently picks up each front foot. It is not necessary for the dog to hold a specific position during the examination, and the handler may talk to the dog, praise it and give encouragement throughout.
  • Test 4: Out for a walk (walking on a loose lead)
    This test demonstrates that the handler is in control of the dog. The dog may be on either side of the handler. The dog’s position should leave no doubt that the dog is attentive to the handler and is responding to the handler’s movements and changes of direction. The dog need not be perfectly aligned with the handler and need not sit when the handler stops. The evaluator may use a pre-plotted course or may direct the handler/dog team by issuing instructions or commands. In either case, there should be a right turn, left turn, and an about turn with at least one stop in between and another at the end. The handler may talk to the dog along the way, praise the dog, or give commands in a normal tone of voice. The handler may sit the dog at the halts if desired.
  • Test 5: Walking through a crowd
    This test demonstrates that the dog can move about politely in pedestrian traffic and is under control in public places. The dog and handler walk around and pass close to several people (at least three). The dog may show some interest in the strangers but should continue to walk with the handler, without evidence of over-exuberance, shyness or resentment. The handler may talk to the dog and encourage or praise the dog throughout the test. The dog should not jump on people in the crowd or strain on the leash.
  • Test 6: Sit and down on command and Staying in place
    This test demonstrates that the dog has training, will respond to the handler’s commands to sit and down, and will remain in the place commanded by the handler (sit or down position, whichever the handler prefers). The dog must do sit AND down on command, then the owner chooses the position for leaving the dog in the stay. Prior to this test, the dog’s leash is replaced with a line 20 feet long. The handler may take a reasonable amount of time and use more than one command to get the dog to sit and then down. The evaluator must determine if the dog has responded to the handler’s commands. The handler may not force the dog into position but may touch the dog to offer gentle guidance. When instructed by the evaluator, the handler tells the dog to stay and walks forward the length of the line, turns and returns to the dog at a natural pace. The dog must remain in the place in which it was left (it may change position) until the evaluator instructs the handler to release the dog. The dog may be released from the front or the side.
  • Test 7: Coming when called
    This test demonstrates that the dog will come when called by the handler. The handler will walk 10 feet from the dog, turn to face the dog, and call the dog. The handler may use encouragement to get the dog to come. Handlers may choose to tell dogs to “stay” or “wait” or they may simply walk away, giving no instructions to the dog.
  • Test 8: Reaction to another dog
    This test demonstrates that the dog can behave politely around other dogs. Two handlers and their dogs approach each other from a distance of about 20 feet, stop, shake hands and exchange pleasantries, and continue on for about 10 feet. The dogs should show no more than casual interest in each other. Neither dog should go to the other dog or its handler.
  • Test 9: Reaction to distraction
    This test demonstrates that the dog is confident at all times when faced with common distracting situations. The evaluator will select and present two distractions. Examples of distractions include dropping a chair, rolling a crate dolly past the dog, having a jogger run in front of the dog, or dropping a crutch or cane. The dog may express natural interest and curiosity and/or may appear slightly startled but should not panic, try to run away, show aggressiveness, or bark. The handler may talk to the dog and encourage or praise it throughout the exercise.
  • Test 10: Supervised separation
    This test demonstrates that a dog can be left with a trusted person, if necessary, and will maintain training and good manners. Evaluators are encouraged to say something like, “Would you like me to watch your dog?” and then take hold of the dog’s leash. The owner will go out of sight for three minutes. The dog does not have to stay in position but should not continually bark, whine, or pace unnecessarily, or show anything stronger than mild agitation or nervousness. Evaluators may talk to the dog but should not engage in excessive talking, petting, or management attempts (e.g, “there, there, it’s alright”).

For more information on the CGC test : http://www.akc.org/events/cgc/

Personalized Dog Training

Agility PersonalizedPrefer the one-on-one approach of training rather than attending a group training session?  Linda, our expert instructor, is available to give you and your pet personal and specialized attention.

Each individual hourly session is $50.  Contact Linda at lthomas@dearbornanimals.org or 313.943.2697 for inquiries or to schedule a session.

How to Participate

Personalized classes can be arranged in our Training Center or at a mutually agreed upon location.  Contact Linda at lthomas@dearbornanimals.org or 313.943.2697 for inquiries or to schedule a session.  Each individual session is $50 per hour.

Doggie 101

This is a FREE class for all dog or puppy owners or prospective owners (Doggie 101 and Kitty 101 alternate monthly and are offered the first Thursday of the month, from 6 p.m. – 7 p.m.). It covers the basics of canine care, including:

  • Feeding
  • Grooming
  • Socialization
  • Play
  • Veterinary needs/recognizing illness
  • Properly introducing a new canine family member

*You do not bring your dog — just yourself!

Although the class is FREE, we do ask that you register so that we can properly prepare.

Kitty 101

This is a FREE class for all cat or kitten owners or prospective owners (Doggie 101 and Kitty 101 alternate monthly and are offered the first Thursday of the month, from 6 p.m. – 7 p.m.). It covers the basics of cat care, including:

  • Feeding
  • Grooming
  • Socialization
  • Play
  • Veterinary needs/recognizing illness
  • Properly introducing a new feline family member

*You do not bring your cat — just yourself!

Although the class is FREE, we do ask that you register so that we can properly prepare.

Meet Our Trainer and Behavior Expert – Linda Thomas, LVT, CPDT

Linda Thomas graduated on the dean’s list and at the top of her class from Wayne County Community College in 1983 with an associate’s of science for veterinary technology. She started her career at the Huron Valley Humane Society (HVHS) sterilization clinic and quickly became the adoption coordinator, helping match animals with new families to find permanent homes. At the same time she took her first training class and became interested in training and animal behavior. This led to offering free pet-parenting classes at HVHS and at other humane society’s as well.

In 1995, Linda attended her first Association of Pet Dog Trainers seminar with other colleagues. At this seminar the idea of a behavior department for the Michigan Humane Society was developed. Linda became a member of the planning committee, creating the mission statement, class names, and helping with the class content—even creating and implementing classes on her own. She quickly became head of the satellite training facility while still working as a licensed veterinary technician.

Linda has attended seminars on feline and canine behavior and training at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine in Ithaca, New York; Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana; and the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine in Urbana, Illinois. She became a Certified Pet Dog Trainer through the Association of Pet Dog Trainers in 2003. She has written numerous papers and provided in-depth presentations on feline/canine behavior for the Southeastern Veterinary Medical Association. Linda is a lifetime member of the North American Veterinary Technician Association, Society of Veterinary Behavior Technicians, and Association of Pet Dog Trainers.

In 2007, Linda started her career at Friends For The Dearborn Animal Shelter and as you can see, we are very happy to have her on our team. Linda has two dogs and one cat.

Linda is a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT), a professional organization of individual dog trainers who are committed to becoming better trainers through education. The APDT offers individual pet-dog trainers a respected and concerted voice in the dog world. We continue to promote professional trainers to the veterinary profession and to increase public awareness of dog-friendly training techniques. More about the APDT

Linda Thomas, LVT, CPDT

linda

  • Friends Staff Trainer & Behavior Evaluator
  • Approved AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator to certify dogs for the CGC title
  • Member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers
  • Contact Linda at lthomas@dearbornanimals.org

Resources for Pet Behavioral Information