Training

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 of our members to be model guardians of healthy, happy, well-behaved pit bulls, we offer FREE training to our dues-paying Love-A-Bull members who are proud parents of dogs labeled as “pit bull type dogs” – More information about membership here! • About the TrainersClass InformationHow to RegisterUpcoming CGC TestingFrequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

About the Trainers

Love-A-Bull partners with two trainers for our classes, Jessica Wilson & Crystal Dunn.

Jess Wilson is a certified Canine Training and Behavior Specialist, and AKC approved CGC evaluator. She had been involved with Love-A-Bull from its inception, but began teaching the free training class in 2009. When Jess joined the team, she completely revamped the training program, as well as adding an advanced obedience class tailored towards preparing dogs for the AKC’s Canine Good Citizen (CGC) test. Jess strives to customize her training programs and plans for each individual dog’s needs and limitations.  Jess is the owner of Austin-based K9 Savvy, through which she offers private lessons, behavior consultations, obedience training, sport training, CGC testing, and adoption consultations. K9 Savvy also offers training discounts to all dues-paying members of Love-A-Bull, and is able to travel to most homes for private lessons.  Jess can be reached at k9jess@gmail.com

Crystal Dunn has taught obedience to all bully breed classes in Houston with great success and has worked with numerous rescues to rehabilitate many abused and neglected dogs.  In 2008, she worked with the Conroe Chief of Police as an Adviser to reorganize the Conroe Animal Shelter.  This resulted in a complete shelter over-haul with a no-kill agenda, a strong volunteer organization, and the removal of the shelter’s Pit Bull auto-kill policy.  Crystal currently owns and trains for Leaps N’ Hounds Pet Care & Training in Austin, TX.  She offers private obedience training, behavioral counseling, and CGC Classes and is a certified CGC Evaluator.  She and the Leaps N’ Hounds team are proud to be partners with the Love-A-Bull organization and offer training discounts to all dues paying Love-A-Bull members. Crystal can be reached directly at crystal@leapsnhounds.com / www.leapsnhounds.com.


Class Information

All classes consist of 4 sessions. Classes may not be taken/registered for individually. All classes are taken as a series (typically once a week for 4 weeks). More information about additional future classes will be posted as soon as available.

We do not accept registration paperwork in advance or “wait-list” for future sessions. We require those who register to verify they can attend the dates and times of the session posted prior to registration. If you would like to begin training immediately, there is a list of trainers on this page (scroll to the bottom) - All listed are trusted partners of Love-A-Bull. If session is not at capacity, registration will automatically close on Day 1 of the training class session and no further registrations will be accepted. NOTE: Love-A-Bull has updated their registration forms and requirements, and the new training application is online. The new registration procedure is described in the section “How to Register“. You will receive a confirmation email when your registration is complete.

 

Mud Puppies  (SOUTH) » 2015 E. Riverside Dr., Bldg 9 Austin, TX 78741

  • Basics classes will be held on Sundays: July 20, July 27, Aug. 3 & Aug. 10
    • Classes run from 8:30am-9:30am | Trainer – Justin Crawford
    • Registration is currently CLOSED
  • Advanced classes will be held on Sundays:July 20,July 27,Aug. 3 & Aug. 10
    • Classes run from 9:45am-10:45am | Trainer – Justin Crawford
    • Registration is currently CLOSED

Austin Animal Center (CENTRAL) » 7201 Levander Loop, Austin, TX 78721

  • Registration for all classes at this location is currently closed

Mud Puppies  (NORTH) » 12233 FM 620 N. Suite 110-A Austin, TX 78750

  • Registration for all classes at this location is currently closed

 


How To Register (NEW PROCEDURE)

Please read all information thoroughly and in its entirety.

1. Fill out and submit the Love-A-Bull training application. Be sure that you enter all of the required information. There are fields in the form for you to provide information about current year dues and/or training deposits if they have already been paid. Filling out these fields will make it easier for Accounting to find your payments and complete your registration more quickly. After submission, a copy of the new Love-A-Bull agreement AND facility waiver for your training class location will be emailed to you. The form is already filled out for you from information entered in your application. Verify the fields in RED, then print, sign, and date the form. Original signatures are REQUIRED.

NOTE: We require new forms for each session.  If you are taking a class for a second time (advanced or basics), you must resubmit your application and send in your forms again.  Please email your updated forms to training@love-a-bull.org or mail them to Love-A-Bull at P.O. Box 18792, Austin, TX 78760.  You may not bring your forms/payment to class – registration & class deposit must be done in advance – no exceptions.

2.  Scan or photograph the signed agreement/facility waiver, attach the PDF or image, and email to training@love-a-bull.org

3.  You will receive an email confirming that your information has been received and advising you of class space availability.

4.  Pay the training class deposit and Love-A-Bull dues if necessary.

  • You must be a dues-paying member of Love-A-Bull to attend training sessions. Dues must be paid each calendar year, and they are $25 per person.
  • You must pay a $50 fully REFUNDABLE deposit.
Pay Deposit – Zoom Room                Pay Deposit – Mud Puppies North
Pay Deposit – Austin Animal Center   Pay Deposit – Mud Puppies South

NOTE: The class deposit ensures that you will participate fully in the training program and are not taking a highly desirable space from someone, without the intention of working hard in class. As long as you attend all four classes on time, your $50 will be returned to you after class.

You can pay online by credit card or via Paypal or you can mail a check to Love-A-Bull at P.O. Box 18792, Austin, TX 78760. Please be advised that we will cash your $50 check and then issue a refund check of that $50, less any Paypal fees if you pay via Paypal. Paypal fees are typically about $1.75 and are a cost we incur when you pay via Paypal.  Moreover, unused deposits will become donations if you do not register for a class for more than six months.

5. After the signed waiver is on file and Accounting has verified current dues and training deposit, you will receive a confirmation email from training@love-a-bull.org  advising your spot has been saved for the class.

Please Note: Due to the small facility size, it’s necessary to limit the class size to ensure the safety of all in attendance. Classes do fill up fast and it’s a first come/first serve basis for those who meet all the requirements as listed above so please register as soon as possible. Your registration is not final until you receive an email from training@love-a-bull.org confirming that your registration is complete.

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

Please bring all of the handling equipment you are currently using for your dog.  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 basics/advanced.  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 deposit will be non-refundable. For more information on getting your dog spay or neutered, please go to our Resources page.
  • Bring a martingale collar that fits your dog. (Choke/prong collars will not be used during class.  If you are currently using a choke or prong collar, you must bring a martingale collar that fits your dog with you to class.  The trainer will help you transition.)
  • You MUST bring a leash with you to class. (No retractable leashes. No chains.  Leash must be sufficient strength for the handling of your dog.)
  • Closed-toe shoes only.  No sandals or flip flops.
  • Bring plenty of high value treats.
  • Please also bring dog waste bags and be prepared to clean up any waste produced by your dog.
  • Mandatory vaccinations include: Rabies (within 3 years) & DHLPP.  If your dog is not Bordetella vaccinated, we must have a signed statement on file that confirms you are aware of the risks.
  • Minimum session ages:
    • Basics is 5 months old
    • Advanced is 5 months old

Upcoming Canine Good Citizen (CGC) Tests

For more information about the Love-A-Bull CGC Program, please go to our CGC page.

Love-A-Bull Hosted CGC Test - Test Administrator Crystal Dunn

Date: TBD| Testing Starts: 6:30 – 9:30 pm  | Cost: $15.00

Location: TBD

Test Facilitator: Crystal Dunn

NOTE: This testing site requires advance registration and space is limited. To register, please enroll at http://form.jotform.us/form/32946127652155. The testing fee is $15.00 per dog in advance — you will receive an invoice after completing your registration.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Should I take the Basics or the Advanced Class?

Basic Training will go over “Sit”, “Down”, “Stay”, “Recall” and “loose-leash walking,” among other basic commands.

  • NOTE: While your dog may perform very well in your home environment, being in a class setting close to other dogs, people, and interesting smells does increase the challenge factor.  The minimum age for the basics is 5 months old.

Advanced Training will focus on preparation for taking/working towards their Canine Good Citizen (see CGC page for more information).  The minimum age for the advanced session is 5 months old.

  • NOTE: In order to register for ADVANCED training (without previously attending a LAB basic obedience class) your dog must be able to perform all basic commands listed in the Basic Training section with minimal correction or prompting.

How do the class sessions work?

Typically, there are four classes per session.  In order to get your class deposit back, you must attend all four classes.  Classes cannot be taken individually, and our classes are offered as part of a training series, only.

How can I be notified about upcoming classes?

Training classes are scheduled per the availability of the trainers and the facility we use.  While we try to get this information out as quickly as possible, there are quite a few coordination points that must be approved prior to publishing dates and times. Joining our Meetup page (http://www.meetup.com/love-a-bull) is the best way to be notified about upcoming sessions.

Is there a class waiting list? Can I send you my forms before future class information is posted to save a spot?

No.  Classes are offered on a first come-first served basis for those with complete registration packages (which must include all required forms with original signatures and registrants must be up-to-date on dues and deposit).  AND, there must be class availability.  Emailing your documents to training@love-a-bull.org is the fastest way for us to receive your information.

Classes do fill up fast, and, due to the small facility size, it’s necessary to limit the class size to ensure the safety of all in attendance.  If you decide cannot wait or have a preference to begin training immediately, please find the trainer contact info listed on the top of the page for their personal training options.

What happens if I mail my forms/funds for my spot but the class is full by the time you get my information?

You will be contacted via email (per the email you note on your forms) by training@love-a-bull.org to be advised the class has closed and next steps regarding your funds.  It is highly recommended that you join our meet-up page to get immediate notification regarding future classes and when classes are open for registration http://www.meetup.com/love-a-bull/

Where will the sessions take place & what at what time?

Classes are typically held on Sundays – Class times are scheduled at the trainer’s availability.

  • Zoom Room Austin is located at 7739 Northcross Drive, Suite #H | Austin, TX 78757 (near the intersection of Anderson Ln and Burnet Rd)
  • Austin Animal Center is located at 7201 Levander Loop | Austin, TX 78721 (near the intersection of Airport and Ed Bluestein)
  • Mud Puppies North is located at 12233 FM 620 N. Suite 110-A Austin, TX 78750
  • Mud Puppies South is located at 2015 E. Riverside Dr., Bldg 9 Austin, TX 78741

If I decide to re-take a class or move from basics to advanced, how does this work?

At the end of each class you will be contacted by our accounting team who will work through next steps with you and confirm refund eligibility and/or your request for Love-A-Bull to “hold” your deposit.  To take a future a class, you must meet the criteria below:

  • The class MUST BE TAKEN WITHIN 6 MONTHS
  • Your membership dues must be up-to-date/renewed
  • You must submit a new/updated Love-A-Bull waiver (original signature required) to training@love-a-bull.org or via mail
  • You must submit a new/updated facility waiver (original signature required) to training@love-a-bull.org or via mail

Are vaccinations required?

Yes.  Rabies is required by City Ordinance. Therefore, it’s required by Love-A-Bull.  If you cannot afford a Rabies vaccination, and would like to take our class, see our Resources page, or contact us for assistance. DHLPP (required) & Bordetella (recommended) are for the safety of other dogs in the training class and for dogs that are boarded at the locations we train.  Please contact us at training@love-a-bull.org for questions.

Can I register/bring more than one dog to training?

All dogs must be registered separately (1 membership for the household; 1 deposit for every dog registered).  We require that every dog have their own handler for every class attended.  One person may not handle more than one dog during the training session.  All handlers must be 18 or older.

I adopted a dog through Love-A-Bull, but I also have a non-bully breed dog in my home. I would like to bring both to training at the same time.  Is this allowed?

No.  These classes are solely for pit bull type dogs and pit bull type mixes.  All handlers must be 18 or older.

The classes sound like they’ll be helpful, but I really need some help with a specific behavioral problem or managing my pack dynamic – What should I do?

If you are dealing with a behavioral problem or pack dynamic, we can recommend several local (Austin-area) trainers. Please contact them directly for more information and next-best steps.

Jess Wilson k9jess@gmail.com

Crystal Dunn crystal@leapsnhounds.com / www.leapsnhounds.com Specializing in:

  • Puppy training, potty training, kennel training
  • Destructive Behavior, Jumping, Counter Surfing, Digging
  • Recall (come), treating flight risk issues
  • Leash Training and Heel
  • Hyperactivity
  • Resource Guarding
  • Separation Anxiety & Isolation Anxiety
  • Fear / Confidence Building
  • Leash reactivity / Dog or Human Reactivity
  • CGC and Therapy Dog Prep
  • CGC Certification

Aaron Hedberg: 512-736-6919 Specializing in:

  • All types of aggression, human and dog/dog.  Pack dynamics, introducing new pets into the home.

For questions about the training program, please contact us at training@love-a-bull.org.