Strengthen the bond with your pet.
Obedience training especially helps reduce the risk of a Pet/Pet Parent separation due to the furry companion and human companion not understanding each other. Large numbers of dogs are surrendered to shelters each year because they lacked the initial puppy socialization necessary to get along with other dogs as an adult, or their pet parent didn’t understand them, often specifically their breed characteristics or tendencies. At the GACC, our obedience classes can help you and your pet at any stage of life to have the most enjoyable relationship together. After all, it is said that a dog is a man/woman’s best friend! Our goal is to promote and foster that best friendship for a lifetime. We even offer Therapy Dog Certification so that you and your dog can spread joy, outside your one on one bond, with others in hospitals and nursing homes. Brightening the day of those who truly can benefit from the love a Certified Therapy Dog brings during an on-site visit.
What to bring with you to class:
Obedience: Plenty of soft training treats, a 4’or 6′ nylon, leather or cloth (non-retractable) leash, and your dog should also we wearing a traditional nylon collar.
- Puppy Obedience
- Basic Obedience
- Intermediate Obedience
- Advanced Obedience
- CGC (AKC Canine Good Citizen Certification)
- CGC Advanced (AKC Canine Good Citizen Advanced Certification)
- Therapy Dog Training
We offer a wide range of dog obedience classes for many varieties of ages and skill levels. “Training a dog is something of a spiritual experience when done properly, a meshing of the instincts and traits of two very different species trying to live together harmoniously.” From the book “The Dogs of Bedlam Farm” by Jon Katz.
Welcome to Gardner Animal Care Center’s obedience class! This class is for you and your dog, so please feel free to ask for help with whatever training needs your pet may have.
There are no magic recipes or shortcuts to dog training. The only way to have the dog that you want is to use practice, persistence, and patience. Dogs are as different as people are, and what works for one may not work for another. However, all dogs learn through consistent, fair training.
Our relationships with our dogs include an obligation to provide leadership. Humans are not put to sleep for failing to provide leadership for their dogs, yet countless dogs are put to sleep. Loving our dogs is not enough. Dogs need a clear delineation of their relative status, and we must honor their need and provide leadership. Leadership is not a clenched fist, but a guiding hand.
We offer the following classes:
Puppy Obedience Class – 6 weeks – for puppies up to 6 months old
Puppies are like little sponges and they are eager to learn. It is important to use this phase to your advantage, create a solid foundation and learn how to communicate clearly with your dog.
This class includes 30 minutes of play time/socialization with other puppies while we take the time to talk about certain problems. We want you to learn a little about animal behavior to be able to properly address any issue you encounter with your dog.
Basic Obedience Class – Level 1 Obedience – 6 weeks – for dogs older than 6 months old
In this class concentrates on basic obedience commands all taught in a positive learning environment and go over common issues. We emphasize on personalizing the training to the individual students to maximize results.
Intermediate Obedience Class – Level 2 – 6 weeks – next level class after Basic Obedience
In this class, we concentrate on proofing the basic obedience commands with increased distraction and difficulty. In addition, we will add other useful obedience exercises for your dog to become a reliable companion.
Advanced Obedience Class – Level 3 Obedience – 6 weeks – next level class after Intermediate Obedience
The primary goal for this class is to slowly get your dog “off leash” while remaining willing and happy to obey.
CGC (Canine Good Citizen) – 4 weeks
Also called Canine Good Citizen
Prerequisite: The dog must be friendly and obedient. Intermediate Obedience – Level 2 Obedience- is recommended, but not required.
This class is designed to prepare dogs and handlers to learn, master, and test for the ten items on the AKC’s Canine Good Citizen test. On week 4, the participants can actually take the CGC test, at the Gardner Animal Care Center, at no additional charge.
All tests are performed on a leash and certificates are given to passing participants. For more information, visit the Canine Good Citizen Program website. To apply for our Canine Good Citizen program, click here.
CGCA (Advanced Canine Good Citizen) – 4 weeks
Also called Community Canine Good Citizen
Prerequisite: Participants must already have their CGC on file with the AKC
This class is designed to prepare dogs and handlers to learn, master, and test for the ten items on the AKC’s Advanced Canine Good Citizen test. On week 4, the participants can actually take the CGCA test, at the Gardner Animal Care Center, at no additional charge.
Therapy Dog Training – 5 classes
Pictured below: Rocky Hurley, a Certified Therapy Dog who received his certification at the GACC, visiting the East Brookfield Elementary School.
Prerequisite: Dogs must be friendly and obedient, and
These five classes are specially designed to introduce you to the world of therapy dogs. We will build on skills while gaining the knowledge and experience necessary to become a therapy dog team. During the training, we will do an actual visit to a healthcare facility. After completing these classes, students may be ready to take the Alliance of Therapy Dogs test, at GACC, for no additional fees.
Apply For Obedience Classes
Please call us for more information or to register for upcoming classes.
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