Dog Days Training Association

Class Schedule

Course Descriptions

Dog Days Policies

All classes are taught using positive reinforcement and a clear understanding of how dogs learn (Operant Conditioning).
Focus is always on building a strong relationship based on leadership, trust, and cooperation.
Class sizes are small so everyone gets lots of individual attention.

Puppy Kindergarten
Objectives: Build a strong relationship with your new puppy based on trust and cooperation. Puppy classes are an indispensable foundation for the rest of your dog's life. All training is gentle and fun, and you will learn how to help your puppy blend into your family. Topics include:

NEW FORMAT: Your puppy may sign up any week if he or she is at least 8 weeks old and younger than 18 weeks! Sign up and attend 4 weeks of Puppy Kindergarten. Then decide whether to do a few more weeks of Puppy Kindergarten, move on to Beginner, or something else!

STAR Puppy Training

The AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy is an exciting new program designed to get dog owners and their puppies off to a good start. The AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy Program is an incentive program for loving dog owners who have taken the time to take their puppies through a basic training class.

The Benefits of Training
Training classes teach you how to best communicate with your puppy. Organized training classes also provide an opportunity for your dog to socialize with other dogs. In classes aimed at earning the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy distinction, youĺll be able to get information on all of your puppy-raising questions including housetraining, chewing, and the most effective way to teach practical skills such as coming when called. AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy training is a natural lead in to the AKC« Canine Good Citizen« Program

AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy info

Beginning Companion Obedience
Objectives: Build a strong relationship with your dog based on trust and cooperation. The dogs learn self control and good manners in a fun atmosphere. A clicker is used to enhance efficient communication between dog and owner. Skills include:

Prerequisites: Dogs should be at least 4 months old at the first class. Limited to 8.

Tellington TTouch Training Method Classes
The TTouch Training Method is a framework to look at the whole dog (body, brain, and emotions) and the relationship between dog and handler. In this class we explore the basic TTouch body touches, awareness aids, and groundwork exercises in order to promote awareness, balance and self-control in our dogs. If you've heard about TTouch and want to explore it, bring your curiosity and your dog to this class!

This class is for you if your dog

Focus is on building a strong relationship based on 2-way communication, trust, and cooperation. The class will address the individual needs of the attending dogs and people with a small class size to ensure individual attention.

Please bring a 6-foot, fixed length leash (double-ended is great) and a flat or limited slip collar. Head collars and harnesses are welcome. If you feel your dog needs to wear a different type of equipment, please discuss it with the instructor before signing up for the class.

Prerequisites: Beginning Companion Obedience or consent of the instructor

Canine Good Citizen Prep
Objectives: This class strengthens the dog-owner bond by increasing communication skill and practicing the behaviors required to pass the AKC's 10-step CGC test (given on the last week of class). The American Kennel Club's Canine Good Citizen program is open to all dogs regardless of breed (or mix) and is designed to educate and reward dogs to have good manners at home and in the community.

This is an intermediate level class. There are four weeks of practice on the CGC test elements with eht test given on week five. Your dog should be very prepared and almost ready to test before attending the class.

The CGC skills are:

Prerequisites: Dog should be very prepared with the required CGC skills before attending the class. This class is focused on polishing those skills in preparation for passing the CGC test which is given on week 5 of the class. Dogs must be be people and dog friendly and under control on leash.

Constructional Aggression Treatment (C.A.T.)
Julie Wilcoxson for information.

C.A.T. is a functional approach to changing aggressive behavior. It acknowledges that the dog is already receiving reinforcement for aggression and sets up a procedure in which the same reinforcer that currently supports the aggression is arranged to follow only desirable, safe behaviors. As the procedure progresses, the ultimate outcome is a once-aggressive dog that is now friendly.

The C.A.T. method for treating dog aggression works on the assumption that dogs who display aggression are doing so to increase distance between themselves and the other dog or person. To oversimplify, the idea is to have the trigger go away when the dog is doing something we want, namely not barking and lunging.

C.A.T. can be used successfully to treat separation anxiety, dog-dog aggression, and dog-human aggression.

C.A.T. is done in a series of private training sessions with an expert trainer.

Really Reliable Recall

RRR building a strong, reliable recall (COME!) regardless of distraction. This will be a positive, bonding experience for both dog and handler. Have fun 'playing recall' with your dog. Train while you play!

Prerequisite: Completion of a Beginning Companion Obedience class at Dog Days or consent of the instructor.

Sniff Class!

What do all dogs like to do? Use their noses!! In this class we will explore ways to teach your dog to recognize a specific scent(s), indicate where that scent is coming from and alert you to where it is by their behavior. This class will have you and your dog working together as partners and will give them an outlet to do what comes naturally to them...Sniff!!

Prerequisite: Completion of a Beginning Companion Obedience class at Dog Days or consent of the instructor.

Feisty Fido
Objectives: This class will teach handlers management, handling and training techniques to reduce reactive and aggressive behavior by their dogs toward other dogs, especially while on leash. Group sessions will be combined with private sessions with each dog/handler team. Handlers will learn how to identify aggression triggers and discern their dogs' body language in trigger situations. They will receive coaching in teaching their dogs to relax around triggers, and will learn techniques for improving their relationships with their dogs to help enable their dogs to relax. The first class meeting will be without dogs.

Prerequisites: Before enrolling, interested handlers will individually communicate with the instructor to determine whether the class is appropriate for them and their dogs. This class is not appropriate for dogs with significant fear of or aggression toward humans.

Beginning Therapy Dog
"Ideal" therapy dogs are friendly, greet people politely, enjoy being petted, have good obedience skills, remain calm in unusual environments, are unworried by unpredictable people and tolerate being thoroughly groomed frequently.

Characteristics incompatible with being a therapy dog:
Shy, afraid of some kinds of people, sound/noise sensitive, sensitive to hard or clumsy touching, don't like people, don't like being groomed or greets people too enthusiastically - cannot keep feet on the floor or tongue in the mouth when greeting, is very stimulated by new environments, cannot follow basic obedience commands when stimulated or possessive of people, objects or environment, ever trained to use mouth for bite-work, aggressive to any person or other dog.

Class descriptions:

Practice the canine and human skills needed to take a therapy dog program evaluation. Exercises are based on those used in the Delta Society's Pet Partner program. This class will also discuss the practical issues involved with being a therapy team.

Participating dogs must have passed, or be ready to take, the AKC Canine Good Citizen test and be friendly, people-oriented, enjoy petting, be tolerant of strange sounds, smells and unusual human behavior and be able to remain calm and focused in a distracting environment.

Start Smart Pre-Agility

You┐ve seen agility and it looks like fun. If you┐d like to find out what┐s involved and if it┐s right for you and your dog, this is a great opportunity. Or are you looking for a place to start your next agility star?

Objectives: Have fun with your dog! Learn the basics of the sport. Develop the foundation skills needed for success in a beginning agility class. Those skills include:


  • Dogs must be older than 7 months.
  • Completion of a group Beginning Obedience class.
      This is a requirement.
  • Dogs must be well socialized. Dogs who react aggressively to dogs or people are not appropriate for this class. Those issues must be addressed in an appropriate class first.
Special Note: We will not be jumping full height in this class or learning to perform the agility obstacles. We will do some preparation work so you and your dog will know what the obstacles are and that will help prepare you and your dog for a class where the obstacles are taught. Basically, you will need the above skills before learning the obstacles.

Rally Obedience
Objectives: Learn to compete successfully in the newest sport offered by the AKC, APDT, UKC and ASCA.
Dog and handler work as a team to earn titles by performing a series of obedience-derived exercises on a course designed by the judge. Each team is judged on accuracy, precision and enjoyment as they perform the exercises individually. Classes are offered for all levels; Novice, Advanced and Excellent.
AKC rally info is here:

Objectives: If your dog already knows the basic exercises -- sit/stay, down/stay, come, walking on leash or heeling -- but needs more proofing on distractions, this class is for you. Many people will say that their dogs know how to obey at home, but when they are in the veterinarian's office, the park, the competition rign, or out on a walk around the neighborhood, its a different story. This is the class that will help your dog understand that these commands still apply in the face of more enticing opportunities.

This is an intermediate level class, designed to prepare your dog for more real life experiences. This is not a class designed for people doing competition obedience. The class is customized for the people and dogs attending each five week session. Each week there are distractions which test the wits, curiosity, and fortitude of the dogs enrolled. The distractions consist of at least one sight, one sound, one textural or surface, and one auditory distraction per class. Every week the distractions get more difficult, but within the reach and reason of the class.

Prerequisites: Dogs should be at least 5 months old, 6 months is preferred. They should have comppleted a Beginning Obedience class from Dog Days, CJ's, or Happy Go Lucky, or consent of the instructor. Dogs must be people and dog friendly and under control on leash.
Limited to 8.

Tricks and Games!
Objectives: This is an intermediate class for you and your dog. You will learn to teach your dogs at least three new tricks and play three games per week. All the classics are here (shake, crawl, roll over, play dead, etc), plus some new fancy tricks. The games are a blast for everyone! If you have a trick request please speak up (WOOF!).

Tricks are taught by luring, shaping, and capturing, and clicker training technology is used.

Prerequisites: Dogs should be at least 5 months old, 6 months is preferred. They should have comppleted a Beginning Obedience class from Dog Days or Happy Go Lucky, or consent of the instructor. Dogs must be people and dog friendly and under control on leash.
Limited to 8.

Competition Obedience
Objectives: These classes prepare you and your dog to compete in AKC/UKC obedience trials. Dog and handler work as a team to earn titles by performing a series of obedience exercises. Each team is judged on accuracy, precision and enjoyment as they perform the exercises individually. Classes are offered for all levels; Novice, Open and Utility.

  • Heeling skills
  • Fronts and Finishes
  • Stays
  • Stand for Exam
  • Recall
Prerequisites: None for novice. Novice classes are limited to 8; Open/utility classes are limited to 6.

(Association of Pet Dog Trainers) combines elements from basic obedience training, competition obedience, free style dance and agility. Prepare for competition or just have fun learning new moves with your dog. You will learn how to teach your dog all the unique moves required to do well for rally (such as quick left pivots and sidesteps) and get comfortable with the signs so as to be able to perform a fast and smooth rally course.

Prerequisites: Novice Competition obedience. Your dog must know some heeling, fronts and finishes, and pay good attention to her handler around distractions.

Objectives: Flyball is a fun, intense sport for dogs of all breeds and mixes. Not just for dogs who love tennis balls, flyball is wonderful for dogs who like to run, jump and tug, and for many dogs who need a job. The class is a mix of all levels and will introduce jumping, the flyball course, foundations of a proper box turn, and handling skills.

Prerequisites: Flyball is not suitable for dogs with significant aggression toward or fear of dogs or humans, for dogs with serious sound phobias, for significantly overweight dogs, or for dogs with certain veterinary/ orthopedic issues (feel free to email instructor to see if your dog is a good candidate, even if you are not sure).

Feeling Outnumbered? Living with a group of dogs is different than living with only one. There are certain challenges that come with living with a group of dogs.

Does your house seem chaotic? Do you dogs compete for your attention? Is there tension between your dogs?

This class emphasizes specific and practical exercises you can do to teach your dogs to be polite and patient rather than pushy and demanding, adding peace and control to your home.

Positive reinforcement is used in training these exercises and keeping the joy in owning more than one dog.

Students may bring 2 dogs to class, each dog must be accompanied by a human, unless prior approval of the instructor.

Exercises are taught in class and homework will be included each week. Students are expected to train these exercises at home, between classes, to be able to follow the progression of the class.

Prerequisite: Dogs need to have some basic training. No aggressive dogs.

K9 Nose Work

Have you heard of the new dog sport called "K9 Nose Work"? Paula Zickert will lead you through the maze of understanding what this new sport is all about and how to get your dog started. K9 Nose Work is based on the training that is done with dogs who do drug and bomb detection. The dogs learn to find a certain scent and get a huge reward for doing so. We will start off using food and/or toys to motivate your dog to find the rabbit (the scent) to get the reward. Almost all dogs love the game of hunting, it is a natural instinct for them. Whether you are interested in just having fun at home with your dog or want to build confidence, or to go on to competing this will be a fun class for you and your dog.

This is not dependent on any previous training, even if you have never had any other class your dog can come. We also welcome shy dogs and dog reactive dogs because all dogs are done one at a time. It is a great confidence builder for any dog.

Limited to 6 dog/handler teams

Prerequisites: none

Beginning Tracking Class
Objectives: Learn the fundamentals of AKC tracking. Learn how to teach your dog to track with a goal of an AKC TD (Tracking Dog) title. Dogs will learn to follow a track in a straight line and add corners in both directions. Handlers will learn the fundamentals of tracking, including scent makeup, effects of weather and various covers, and beginning line handling.

This class is held at Frenchman's Bar Riverfront Park near Vancouver, WA, and each class lasts 2-3 hours.

Limited to 4 dog/handler teams.

Prerequisites: none

Workout with your Dog!
A GREAT way to bond with your dog. Learn exercises you can do with your own body weight to tone and strengthen your muscles, increase your endurance and improve your balance.

In addition to the handlers exercises there will be exercises for your dog to improve their body awareness, muscles strength and tone, better balance on all four feet and decrease the chance of injury.

Stretching for handler and dog will be demonstrated along with an explanation of duration and how often to stretch. All levels of fitness will be accommodated with modification of each exercise where necessary.

All balls, aerobic steps and core discs will be provided.

Prerequisite: Dogs need to have some basic training. No reactive or aggressive dogs, this will be an active class.

FOCUS! for Performance Dogs
s class will teach your dog to understand the value in focusing on you. Your dog will learn to look to you for the next instruction to be released to play, to learn a new trick, to go to mat, to leave it, and more. Fun exercises and games to increase trust between dog and handler is what this class is all about. We play a lot of games that work on extended stay/wait command at different distances, improved recalls, down from a distance and improved listening skills etc. We play doggy tic tac toe, doggy leap frog (not actually jumping over each other) and other really fun games that increase focus, attention to commands, cue reliability etc.

We will work with each dogs strengths and try to overcome their weaknesses. If you have a dog that plays, we will build on that play drive. If you have a dog that doesn't play we will figure out what moves them. You and your dog will learn valuable behaviors that teach you to communicate better and will increase your bond.

This class offers you the opportunity to incorporate small things into your schedule to get the desired behavior from your dog. These exercises can be done in 5-10 minutes a day. If done consistently, you will have a better relationship with your dog and a dog that loves to focus on you.

The classes fill with performance people in agility, flyball, rally and Obed and every single one of them have reported improvement in their performance during the course of class.

Prerequisite: Must be competing in any level of a dog sporting event (Obed, Rally, Agility, etc.). No reactive or aggressive dogs, this will be an active class.

Handling Class
Objectives: Get individual instruction on how to get the best from your dog in the conformation ring. This class is built around what each individual needed to work on rather then being a set week by week class. Limited to 6 dog/handler teams.

Prerequisites: none