Our Polite Pooch Program consists of a series of classes to systematically take you step by step from beginning manners for the average family dog to the necessary skills to prepare your dog for a therapy dog evaluation or service dog public access foundations.
Group classes are a fun and economical way to work with your dog. All of our classes employ positive reinforcement and clicker training for working with your dog.
General group classes are not appropriate for all dogs. If your dog is reactive towards other dogs or people (barks, lunges, is fearful) private training for behavior modification, or special classes for reactive or extremely distracted dogs could be a better fit for your dog.
Polite Pooch Classes
Polite Pooch class is the perfect place for the average family to begin with a new adult dog, or older puppy to learn basic manners such as sit, down, heel, wait, stay, focus, etc. You will learn to communicate with your dog, and build a positive relationship.
Polite Pooch class is a 6 week class that is perfect for beginner dogs of any age.
This class addresses introductory manners such as Sit, Down, Stay, Wait, Loose Leash Walking, Recall, Attention to handler and more.
Each 6 week class is $275 and includes a clicker, a treat apron, skill booklet, video tutorials and handouts after each week to help you review homework, and an interactive mid-week virtual check in in an online group class with fellow students via Google Classroom.
Passing the first 2-3 skill levels (Primary, Elementary, Junior High) of the Polite Pooch Booklet is required to move on to Polite Pooch 2.
After completing the 6 week class, if your dog is not ready to move on, you can sign up for the next Polite Pooch 1 class at a 30% discount for more practice. (Must sign up within 1 month of completing the first Polite Pooch class to use the discount)
POLITE POOCH 1 Classes
POLITE POOCH 2
- Polite Pooch 2 is the class that picks up where Polite Pooch 1 leaves off. It's an intermediate level class that takes basic manners learned in the Polite Pooch 1 classes and adds challenge by increasing exposure to 3 of the 4Ds. (Duration, Distance, Distractions). If you and your dog have mastered the skills in the Primary, Elementary, and most of the Junior High School Level of our Polite Pooch Program, you are eligible.
- Topics include: LLW with another dog team nearby, recall past distractions from a distance, and the items on the AKC Canine Good Citizen test.
- Manners skills are practiced with more distractions in the environment, more distance between dog and handler, or higher expectations for compliance. This class works on completing level 3 and level 4 (High School level) of the Polite Pooch skills booklet received in Polite Pooch 1. We also work to increase speed and latency of responses, and decrease reliance on food rewards. PRE-REQ: Dog must have successfully completed Levels 1-3 of Polite Pooch Booklet or equivalent. If you are hoping to try therapy dog work or public access work in the future, then Polite Pooch 2 is on that track.
- The Canine Good Citizen program is offered by AKC and is often considered the first step to more advanced expectations for pet dogs. The CGC Test is one indicator that a dog may have the potential for therapy work. A dog who successfully completes a CGC test can earn an AKC Title.
- The CGC Test is administered on the 6th class.
- This class is for teams working on the “Undergrad” level of our Polite Pooch curriculum and above, dogs who already have a CGC and are working for CGCA, or CGCU. We alternate between AKC Community Canine and AKC Urban Canine Testing and successful completion of Polite Pooch 2 is Prerequisite for this class, (or a dog that already has a CGC Title.)
- This class meets in the classroom and in public locations to practice around typical and unusual distractions. Public Polite Pooch 3 is the next challenge for dog and owner looking for more reliable manners in home and out.
- This class will help teams looking for preparation for therapy dog testing with the organization of their choice as the class takes place in public venues with common distractions one might find in a therapy dog situation.
To become a pet therapy team, you must first decide which therapy organization you want to register with. Find out more about therapy programs by comparing the requirements from the three main nationally recognized organizations.
Pet Partners - www.petpartners.org
Alliance of Therapy Dogs - www.therapydogs.com
Therapy Dogs International -
- While we currently do not affiliate with any particular organization or conduct evaluations, our series of manners classes will help prepare teams for most therapy dog evaluations offered by recognized registries such as Pet Partners, Alliance of Therapy Dogs, Therapy Dogs International and others.