Reliable Obedience (Level 1)


This program is available in three different ways: in-person, as board and train and virtually.  Details below.

This comprehensive, 16-week obedience training program trains you, as well as your dog. Our program goes far beyond what is being offered by pet shops. Upon completion, your dog will be fully trained and certified as an AKC Canine Good Citizen. As a result, you get what you really want: A Trained Dog.

Program Benefits:

  • Enjoy your dog!
  • Your dog behaves in every-day life situations and is calm around dogs and people when in public.
  • Relax on the walk! Your dog is walking with you, on a loose leash, including in crowds.
  • You trust that your dog will come back to you when you call after our obedience program.
  • A well-behaved dog impresses people and gets compliments.
  • When you drop that pill you can have confidence that your dog won't pick up that medication.
  • Enjoy some bragging rights. Your dog will be a certified Canine Good Citizen (CGC) by the American Kennel Club (AKC).
  • Be ready for other AKC activities or Therapy Dog training, requiring a CGC certification before you can even start them.
  • Protect your dog! You can easily find yourself in a dispute with another dog owner over which dog 'started it'. With a CGC certified dog, you have the upper hand.
  • Move beyond the basic obedience classes of big box stores that won't hold up in public.

You will enjoy our play-based training style. It leads to fast and optimal learning. Dog training doesn't have to be a chore. Our obedience program is engaging and fun! Therefore, you and your dog will enjoy training from the first lesson!

Part 1: Foundation

Firstly, the obedience program builds a solid learning foundation. Far too many programs fail to lay a solid foundation and as a result, dogs don't learn reliable behaviors. For instance, you shouldn't have to hold a treat in your hand for your dog to actually sit down. Foundational training means, we teach your dog a marker system. This allows you to better communicate with your dog in daily life and make sense to your companion.

Too often, we and our dog are talking past each other. We will change that. Regardless of the context, you will be able to let your dog know when he does well or when something else is more appropriate. With our obedience program, you will have a simple and clear new language to communicate with. In addition, your dog also learns to understand the collar and leash as an informational communication tool and stops seeing it as a frustrating restraint device. Learning these basics first, improves your relationship, as it allows you to provide clarity to your dog. Your companion will appreciate it.

Part 2: Commands and Behaviors

Secondly, our obedience training program focuses on building and solidifying the commands. As the first part already included the recall and 'leave it' commands, these two just need to be finalized. In addition, the commands we are teaching in part two are: sit, down, look, place, easy, as well as loose-leash walking, not jumping on people and addressing any other behaviors your dog may have adopted that you'd rather no longer have.

Part 3: AKC Canine Good Citizen

Thirdly, our obedience program covers the CGC preparation and the test itself. The AKC's Canine Good Citizen Program is designed to recognize dogs with good manners at home and in the community. This rapidly growing nationally recognized program stresses responsible dog ownership for owners and basic training and good manners for dogs. All dogs who pass the 10 step CGC test may receive a certificate from the American Kennel Club.

In conclusion, the AKC CGC Program provides an excellent foundation for training other fun activities. Subsequently, you could get into training for tracking, agility, service dog, medical alert, and so on. The AKC CGC results in a well-mannered dog who is a joy to live with. Many therapy dog groups require passing the CGC Test as a prerequisite, some insurance companies recommend CGC training and an increasing number of apartments and condos.

The CGC TEST consists of 10 skills needed by all well-mannered dogs. All of the exercises are done on a leash.

The CGC Test Steps without other Dogs

  • 1. Accepting a Friendly Stranger: The dog will allow a friendly stranger to approach it and speak to the handler in a natural, everyday situation.
  • 2. Sitting Politely for Petting: The dog will allow a friendly stranger to pet it while it is out with its handler.
  • 3. Appearance and Grooming: 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.
  • 4. Out for a Walk (walking on a loose lead): The handler/dog team will take a short walk to show that the dog is in control while walking on a leash.
  • 5. Sit and Down on Command and Staying in Place: The dog will respond to the handler's commands to 1) sit, 2) down and will 3) remain in the place commanded by the handler (sit or down position, whichever the handler prefers).
  • 6. Coming when Called: 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.
  • 7. Reaction to Distraction: To demonstrate the dog is confident when faced with common distracting situations, the evaluator will select and present two distractions. Examples of distractions include dropping a chair or rolling a crate dolly past the dog. In addition, a jogger could run in front of the dog or a person could drop a crutch or cane.

The CGC Test Steps with other Dogs

  • 8. Walking through a Crowd: The dog and handler walk around and pass close to several people (at least three) to demonstrate that the dog can move about politely in pedestrian traffic and is under control in public places.
  • 9. Reaction to Another Dog: To demonstrate 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.
  • 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.

Is Your Dog Ready?

This obedience program teaches you and your dog new skills and is only available to dogs without behavioral issues. If your dog has behavioral issues like fear or aggression, we can help you resolve those as well, but that will have to be done separately first. Resolving such issues has nothing to do with obedience training and requires behavioral conditioning.

Training Options

This obedience program is available in three different ways: in-person, as board and train and virtually.

In-Person: $2600; this is the traditional training option where we come to your home and work with you and your dog hands-on. Given the current pandemic, this option presently starts virtually and converts to in-home sessions once the stay-at-home orders is lifted.

Virtually: $2100; this option is almost exactly the same as the in-person option but everything is done via video sessions in our virtual classroom. You can see and hear us and we can see and hear you. We demo with one of our dogs and guide you through to success with yours. Many of our clients LOVE this option, as it avoids driving and allows for more flexibility while still achieving the same outcomes and success. We use Zoom and it works on any laptop, tablet or mobile device. As long as you have a camera connected or built-in, you're good to go.

Board and Train: $3100; we do all the work for you and transition your dog into your home afterwards. Same results and outcomes in usually 8 weeks. Your dog stays with us in the home of one of our trainers, not stowed away in a kennel. You also get a 1-2 training videos per week on our YouTube channel, so you can see how your friend is doing. Read more details here: Board and Train Obedience.

Based out of Riverside County, Happy Dog Training offers a broad range of dog training and behavioral services. Our in-person and board and train services are available in Riverside County, Orange County, San Bernardino County, Los Angeles County, and San Diego County. In addition, Happy Dog Training offers coaching and virtual training services worldwide.
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