What Should You Teach Your Puppy Next? 14 Fun Classes For You And Your Pup!

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What should I teach my puppy next?
What should I teach my puppy next?  14 fun classes for you and your pup!

Congratulations!  I’m glad you decided you want to continue training your puppy!  Most people think when it comes to training your pup it’s a one and done.  They take their puppy to one obedience class (if that) and now the pup and owner know everything.  While taking your puppy to one obedience class and applying what you learn over the lifetime of your pup is great there is so much more you can do with your puppy.  We already told you what your should teach your puppy first.  So, what should you teach your puppy next?

What Should You Teach Your Puppy Next?

I’m a huge advocate of continued learning not just for my dogs, but in my own life as well.  I’m hoping to improve my photo and video chops by taking classes at my local community college this coming semester.

Self-Improvement is great, but what about Pup-Improvement?  Here’s a look at all the classes we’ve taken Archer to over the past year (including his schedule for the rest of 2016)

ARCHER’S PUPPY TRAINING SCHEDULE

1. Obedience

We’ve probably all done at least one obedience class.  This is the foundation for all your training and important for every dog.  Learn dog training skills and teach basic cues like sit, down, stay, recall, etc.  What you don’t see in the schedule below is that we’ve taken the Fundamentals class 4 times, Testing Cues 2 times, and College Prep 2 times.

  • Puppy Kindergarten (Completed) 
  • Obedience Level 1 – Fundamentals (Completed)
  • Obedience Level 2 – Testing Cues (Completed)
  • Obedience Level 3 – College Prep: Distance, Duration, Distraction (Completed)
  • PhD Training – Advanced Walking Skills (Scheduled 9.26.2016)
  • Real World Training – Out and About (Scheduled 11.21.2016)

2. Sport Dog

We’re loving the Sport Dog class!  So much so we’re thinking about enrolling Linus.  There’s a lot of balancing on platforms, giant peanuts, discs.  Learning to crawl, weave through legs, backup, etc.

  • Sport Dog Level 1 (Completed)
  • Sport Dog Level 2 (In Progress)
  • Sport Dog Level 3 (Scheduled 9.27.2016)

3. Tricks

We’ve already learned a few of these like Give Five, Crawl, but we’ll add a few more to Archer’s repertoire.

  • Tricks Level 1 (Scheduled 8.20.2016)
  • Tricks Level 2 (TBD)
  • Tricks Level 3 (TBD)

4. One Day Training

These are single classes focused on specific behavior.  Does Archer need help in all of these areas?  Maybe not, but I’m sure it can’t hurt…

  • Really Reliable Recall (Scheduled 8.31.2016)
  • Door Manners (Scheduled 8.31.2016)
  • Focused Attention (Scheduled 11.19.2016)
  • Street Smarts (Scheduled 12.3.2016)
  • Fido Fetch (Scheduled 12.3.2016)
  • Nosework Intro (Scheduled 12.15.2016)
  • Focused Attention at the Park (Scheduled 12.17.2016)
  • Street Smarts at the Park (Scheduled12.17.2016)

That’s Archer’s schedule. Here are a few other classes we’ve taken with our other dogs:

5. K9 Nosework

Tons of fun.  Teaching you dog to use his nose to find different odors.  I’m thinking about getting Stetson back into Nosework.  We’ll see…

6. Canine Good Citizen

Stetson passed his CGC many moons ago.  Our plan is to get Archer his Canine Good Citizen certification before he starts working as a service dog.  Go Archer!

7. Guide Dog Class

We’ve raised 4 puppies through Guide Dogs of America (GDA) and they offer monthly classes to their puppy raisers.  These classes are specifically designed to prepare puppies to become guide dogs.  Unfortunately, these classes are only made available to guide dog puppy raisers.

8. Service Dog Class

We raised Adelle for Canine Support Teams a service dog organization.  Similar to GDA, Canine Support Teams offered specific training classes for puppy raisers to help prepare puppies to be working service dogs.

9. Socialization – Out and About

As guide and service dog puppy raisers we are privileged to have outings organized by our group leaders to help get our puppies used to being out and about in public.  A few outings have included bus training, fire station visit, shopping malls, movie theaters, theme parks, baseball games, train rides, and many other public locations.

Here are a few classes we haven’t yet taken, but look like a ton of fun:

10. Treibball

Treibball is a terrific new way to play with your dog. The game consists of “herding” a number of large inflatable exercise balls into a soccer-like net.  Sounds like something Linus would enjoy, but I’m not sure he’d be too keen on pushing a ball around with his nose.

11. K9 Freestyle

A modern dog sport that is a mixture of obedience training, tricks, and dance.  Another possible class for our Aussie mix, Linus!

12. Rally Obedience

We’ve actually dabbled in rally obedience, but I’m not sure any of my dogs have the chops to be a Rally champion.  A dog sport based on obedience following a course with signs/designated stations.  Hrrmm…maybe something we could do with Raven?

13. Agility

Any agility class screams Linus!  The only problem is I’m not sure he’d weave through poles, burrow through tunnels, or walk across platforms…Raven probably would!

14. Zen Dog Class

A class designated to help “dogs with issues”  Well, I’m sure I could classify all 4 dogs to have some kind of issue (I’ll talk about that in our next blog post).  Anyhoo, sign up all 4 of my dogs!

So, What Are You Going To Teach Your Puppy Next?

While dog training classes can be invaluable especially when you have a certified professional dog trainer helping you every step of the way many of these activities can also be done on your own.  Honestly when it comes to teaching your puppy knew things you are only limited by your imagination (or maybe the videos posted to YouTube).

Hopefully todays list has motivated you to do more with your puppy.

So what about you guys?  What are you teaching your puppy next?  We want to grow our list so tell us what you’re teaching your puppy in the comment section below.

What should you teach your puppy next?
What should you teach your puppy next?

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14 Comments

  1. We think the Zen Dog Class may be beneficial to so many doggies. Let’s face it, if you get a rescue, they may have some issues to overcome! But we still love them like nobody business!!

  2. I really enjoy any type of class with my dogs, and they always seem to love classes too! I’ve only taken Remy to a puppy class and we desperately need to get into a basic obedience class. I’d also like to start agility in a few months. And then there’s Ace, he used to love going to obedience classes so much and we haven’t gone in over 3 years. I might have to sign him up just because he’d enjoy it so much.

    1. Classes are great for building the relationship with your dog. Stetson is like Ace. He loved his K9 Nosework classes, but we got off track several years ago when we were working on training the guide dog pups. I’m not sure if you remember my puppy Derby, but his brother Dutch is in the same situation. Got off track with training and trying to get back into the group classes because he loved them so much. I have a plan I put together to get all of my dogs back into group training. It’ll be in my next blog post if I ever get it published 🙂

  3. We live in Austin, TX and are considering adopting a furry friend – for reference, what should we expect to pay for obedience classes? I know it probably depends on the size and breed of the dog, but have y’all had success in a particular price range?

    1. We’re in Southern California and the size and breed of the dog doesn’t usually matter when enrolling in obedience classes. However, I’m guessing that location will have some bearing on the price of classes. For your reference over the past 10 years I’ve had 2 trainers that rose above the rest. One charged $295 for 5 weeks of group training. The second charged $199 for 5 weeks of group training.

  4. There are so many different areas of training. We have trained our puppy well but the one area of concern is still the ‘Stay’ command. Indoors he is doing really well but as soon as we head outside then the distractions are too much. We dedicate loads of time to training (in short sessions), so we know that we’ll get there, but it’s certainly the one area we want to improve upon.

    1. It’s great to hear that you work so hard on your puppy’s behavior. “Stay” is a big one for us to get down as puppy raisers. We’ve been working with Archer and the 3 D’s – Distance, Duration, and Distraction. Best of luck with your training.

  5. Wow! Archer is going to be busy! Whoever gets him as a service dog will definitely be getting a well-rounded dog! I’m sure having dogs in different classes helps keep them active and keeps the dogs with lots of energy a little more calm (aka: tired) at home. Can’t wait to hear how Archer does in all of the classes!

    1. We love Archer and he does well in his classes most of the time. Sport dog class is a ton of fun, but after completing level 1 we have realized that Archer is not the most agile of dogs and doesn’t have the same balance or core strength as some of the other dogs in our class. I guess that’s why certain breeds excel at agility.

  6. I want to continue working with my dogs on recall. Living in such a rural area, our dogs have so many distractions and a lot of space. This time of year, we have deer, coyotes, skunks, rabbits, and other animals.

    We’re getting better, but we have a lot of work to do. I don’t want to have to yell at my dogs to get them to hear me (it doesn’t work).

    1. I can’t imagine having that much space, but I figure you need a really reliable recall when your dogs are out and about. Linus has such a strong prey drive he would probably not return if he spotted a rabbit, squirrel, etc until he either caught it or lost sight of it. A few years back we had that problem when he spotted a coyote and slipped his collar when we were walking along the golf course. I chased after, but he was out of sight within seconds. Fortunately, he came trotting back after a couple minutes I assume because he lost sight of the coyote.

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