What can I expect at a LARPBO training class?
LARPBO group classes are geared towards preparing you and your dog for the Canine Good Citizenship certification. But what exactly does that mean?
We start you off learning the four building blocks that you can use for all training in the future.
With these four commands you will be ready to advance your training later. Everyone knows what “come” – “sit” – and “down” are. The one that seems to surprise people is “place”. Place is very simple. It is your dog placing all 4 feet on any object EXCEPT the ground. A box, a tree stump, a tire, a fire hydrant. Anything that takes your dog off the floor. In more advanced training “place” can even be a specific place on the ground (blanket, towel, leaf, etc). With this command you gain the ability to get your dog to physically “be” wherever you want him to be. The added bonus is that as your dog learns to place on different, smaller and more difficult objects his confidence will go up. And the more confident your dog is, the happier he is.
We also work a lot of drills for loose leash walks. Sometimes it gets repetitive but that’s what it takes to train your dog properly. Repetition and practice until you have a perfect “heel” and your dog finds the way to focus on YOU. Once you have that it’s time to work other dogs and people into the mix, so we do some close drills, passing other dog and handlers and working on no reaction. We’ve even had classes where our trainer runs around making noise on a skateboard to simulate real world distractions. Since our classes are all held in public parks, and not just a private room somewhere, there is always traffic, other people, soccer teams, horns honking, dogs walking by, etc. It’s real world training every day.
This helps you be able to take your dog anywhere from the local park to a place as busy as Santa Monica Pier. Your dog learns to ignore distractions from new people and dogs, to squirrels, balls and birds.
If your dog has any issues, whether aggression, reactivity, shyness, fear, etc. we will work with you to make both you and your dog comfortable. For any person that has a dog that “needs space” we have the option for you to put a yellow ribbon on their leash. This lets others know and makes sure nobody gets any surprises. If you have a dog that is overly friendly, this also lets you know which dogs you shouldn’t just walk up and introduce your dog too as if they are long lost littermates!
Once you’ve mastered these commands or gotten your CGC, training isn’t done! Your dog can do a lifetime of learning and so can you! Our trainers will help you learn how to teach other actions like “stand” “weave” “back” “bounce”. You can also take private classes with a trainer, one on one (or a group if you have friends that want to do it too) for more specialized training or to address challenges you are facing with your furfriend.
One of the biggest surprises for many of our members seems to be how much THEY learn. Training classes are not just for your dog..they are for YOU. Until you learn how to communicate with your dog, you’ll never have the relationship that is truly possible with them. Sometimes, just the way you stand or the direction you face can make the difference in whether your dog knows what you want or not..we help you find that.
Why come to us instead of somewhere else? How about cost and time? Our classes are low cost ($15) and you aren’t locked into any specific amount of classes. Lots of places you sign up for 6 classes for $150 or more and if you miss one …well you miss it. In some instances this is necessary. Agility classes for example. Each class is a building block for agility training and missing one can mean the difference between success and failure. But for obedience and CGC training we believe you shouldn’t lose something just because you can’t make it every single week. Our classes are structured in a way that whether you come once a week or once a month you don’t miss anything and you will still learn something you can take home with you. Obviously the more often you attend the more success you will have sooner, but we understand that sometimes life happens and we don’t want you to feel as though you have to start over from the beginning, or be afraid that you will miss something important just because you had a family reunion one week (or four). You pay as you go, or you can buy a one year membership that allows you to attend as many classes as you want for a 6 month or 1 year period.
We hope soon to be offering agility classes which will be possibly be more structured, but for now, come out and see us on a Saturday or Sunday (check http://meetup.com/larpbocommunity for dates and times). Stop by and see if LARPBO is a fit for you and your dog!