Training

Grads: Penny, Marsha, Chloe, & Chip!

A bedrock belief of LOVE-A-BULL is that responsible guardianship involves a commitment to strengthening the bond between you and your dog. To support our goal of helping all pit bull guardians have happy, well-behaved pit bulls, we offer LOW-COST training to all pit bulls and pit bull mixes for dues-paying LOVE-A-BULL members and for non-members. Check out the perks of a LOVE-A-BULL membership here!

Training not in your budget but it’s still really important to you and your dog? Apply for a scholarship by emailing info@love-a-bull.org. We’re here to help.

PLEASE NOTE: Our training programs are currently on hold due to COVID-19.

 


Our Approach

LOVE-A-BULL partners with multiple trainers for our community obedience classes, all of which have diverse backgrounds but share a kind and supportive approach that will help you become a trusted and respected guide for your dog.

Training Methodologies: First, do no harm. We think you’ll find our approach to training kind and realistic. As a general rule, we always default to positive methods first and foster a supportive atmosphere in our classes (with our dogs and each other). Your dog is taught to make good decisions on their own and yes, we will reward them for those good choices. But we’ll also teach you how to use rewards other than treats and how to fade these things to create consistent good behavior habits with your dog.

Equipment: We require every dog to wear a martingale and/or a front-clip no-pull harness (Easy Walk or Freedom brand, for example) along with a soft, comfortable 6-foot leash. We realize that some dogs are acclimated to prong collars and may be too exuberant to control on a martingale collar or harness. In these cases, we encourage you to bring your prong collar along with the required martingale and we’ll work with you on how to use them (maybe we can help you fade the need for the prong too!). Don’t worry – we won’t gasp and judge you for using one.

We do not permit spiked collars, choke chains, heavy leather harnesses, flexi/retractable leashes, or chain leashes. We find these items either disrupt or limit training lessons and cause discomfort to the handler and dog.


Upcoming Classes

Note: All of our training classes are currently on hold due to COVID-19. We will update this page as soon as we have availability!

Class Information

  • Obedience Basics (4 weeks): Cover the beginning stages of obedience training and common behavior challenges like jumping, barking, mouthing, and chewing. Your dog will learn level one sit, down, stay, leave it, come, and polite leash walking. We’ll also cover the 3 D’s in training: distance, duration and distraction, to get you started on proofing your commands around distractions, and we’ll incorporate some fun games and routines in class to practice.
  • Intermediate Obedience (4 weeks)Learn side “heel” position and further proof all your commands around high distractions. We’ll also cover long-term stays, teaching your dog to go to bed on cue, and improve on recall (“come”) with more distance and distraction proofing.
  • Advanced Obedience (4 weeks)Fine-tune obedience cues for more consistent and reliable commands and prepare for the Canine Good Citizenship test. This class reviews all 10 assessments that each team will go through during a CGC evaluation. Our goal is to set up each participant and their dog for passing an upcoming CGC evaluation. In order to be successful in this class, your dog should know ( 90% success rate at performing) all cues/commands discussed in the Basic and Intermediate classes, including loose leash walking and recall, though it is not a requirement that you have done previous training with us to participate in more advanced levels of training.
  • Canine Good Citizen Test (2 hours)The CGC test is an AKC certification and serves as the gold standard for assessing dogs for sound temperament and obedience skills. It is the first step in becoming a therapy dog or just solidifying your accomplishments in training. Handlers can take the test as many times as they need to and we highly encourage this certification for responsible pit bull guardians who want to do everything they can to set their dogs up for success.

All classes consist of 4 sessions and are taken as a series (typically once a week for 4 weeks). Classes may not be taken/registered for individually and we do not offer make-up classes. Due to high demand, we ask that all registrants be available to attend all class dates for the complete time. Please see below for information on the most recent details for classes.


What do I need to bring to class the first day?

Below are items that you will need to bring with you the first day of class.

  • We strongly recommend your dog be spay/neutered, but this is not mandatory for attending training.  If your female dog is not spayed, she must not be in heat when attending classes.  If your dog is in heat, you will be asked to leave the class and your class payment can be applied to another class or refunded. For more information on getting your dog spay or neutered, please go to our Resources page.
  • A standard flat or rope leash. We prefer at least 6′ but 4′ works alright too. (Absolutely no retractable leashes or chain leashes)
  • Closed-toe/closed-heel shoes only.  No high heels, sandals, or flip-flops.
  • Plenty of high-value treats or your dog’s kibble. You might want to wait to feed your dog until after class or stick to a very light meal a few hours prior.
  • Dog waste bags. You are expected to clean up any waste produced by your dog.
  • Mandatory vaccinations include: Rabies (within 3 years) & DHLPP (parvo/distemper). We HIGHLY recommend bordetella as well since the most recent strains of this virus have been nasty and are highly contagious.
  • We highly suggest that all participants bring their dogs to class with a properly fitted martingale collar. For Love-A-Bull training classes, these are the safest as they do not allow for the dog to slip out (if fitted properly). If you are currently using any other training tool such as a prong/pinch collar, no-pull harness (this is different than a regular harness), or gentle leader, please bring this with you to class as well. Do not bring choke chains and chain leashes. These hurt our dogs and our hands. Thank you!

 

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