Not Just The Small Basic’s

Tonight the the most recent group of Just The Small Basic’s graduated from the SFSPCA.
My basic goal for basic classes is to help people find a way to create a common language with their dog but really my really big goal is for them to LOVE TRAINING WITH THEIR DOG. I want them to have fun. I want them to find the stuff that they and their dog need to forge a bond. I want them to see how cool their dog is and for their dog to feel the same way about them. I want for them to have more then just a Sit. I want them to make the training their own and do want they want with it. I don’t hoard the training and there are rules but there really are no rules. They can cheat, they can try it another way and they make up their own cues. I will show them fancy crazy stuff but I want them to take what they want and store away what they don’t need right now. 
I met this class 5 weeks ago at our class orientation. No dogs except for my demo dogs and loads of talking. I gave my opinion on dogs, I talked about training, my dogs did some demos and then we all talked. This class just had that energy that pops up sometimes. An excitement and interest in their dogs and dogs in general and in being together as a group for a class every monday night. I really liked them. They were so positive. The following 4 weeks were a blast. We worked together as a group to create  fun challenging exercises that they could break down and apply to life with their dogs.
Tonight for graduation we did some warm up sit, stand and down stays and some long distance recalls with distractions and then we busted all the junk out the back room and pulled out anything we could find to train on, around and with. 8 dogs 15+ people and  hula hoops, stairs, boxes, boards, poles, exercise equipment and no rules except to see what happened. I do this with most classes but this class just totally went all out individually and as a group working together. I think people learn far more about how to train their dog by doing anything other then sit down stay… I very often throw away the basic curriculum and just teach tricks or combined movement exercises that may look too advanced for a beginning level class but actually turn out to have a higher success rate then the static sits & downs. Teaching your dog how to go over a jump or up a flight of stairs while holding onto the leash gives you a much better picture of how leash tension works and how to teach your dog what the brakes are and what slack means. Everyone got amazing Stays just by rewarding their dogs at a high rate while they stood on top of weird stuff.
The pictures are awful because my camera hates the lighting in that big black floored room. But you cant cover up the total coolness of these teams.
Bellarina! Total Rockstar Doxie, fast, smart, SPICEY.
Fionn showed up to class fully fancy trained already. His guardian told me he was just there to bond with his dog a little more. :*)

Teeny Enzo rides the board.

Milo 5 months old hoop star

Olive mastering a flyball jump

Jimmy the Pug is a bosu king and also a bada** little heeling demo dog!
Cali on the stairway to nowhere!

 2 1/2 lb Enzo does the long distance stay with recall.
Goodbye Monday Night JTSB’s I really liked our classes together. Good Luck!

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