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.

 


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


 

  • Obedience Basics 

Instructor: Cait Diechmann

Class Dates: 7:30pm on 12/3, 12/10,12/17, & 1/7 (skipping 2 weeks for Christmas & New Year)

Duration: 1 hour

 

LOCATION

» Pet Supplies Plus (NORTH) » 

Located in the 183 & Anderson Mill Shopping Center

13450 US-183, Austin, TX 78750

ENROLL FOR BASICS HERE! 

For questions about enrollment or financial assistance (training scholarships) contact info@love-a-bull.org


 

  • Intermediate Obedience 

Instructor: Crystal Dunn

Class Time/Dates: 7:30pm on 1/21, 1/28, 2/4, & 2/11

Duration: 1 hour

LOCATION

» Pet Supplies Plus (NORTH) » 

Located in the 183 & Anderson Mill Shopping Center

13450 US-183, Austin, TX 78750

 

ENROLL FOR INTERMEDIATE HERE!

For questions about enrollment or financial assistance (training scholarships) contact crystal@love-a-bull.org

 


Class Information

  • Obedience Basics (4 weeks) $50 members/$60 non-members

    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) $50 members/$60 non-members

    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) $50 members/$60 non-members

    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) $30 members/$40 non-members

    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!

About the Trainers

Crystal Dunn

CrystalBabyRita

Crystal with Pit Crew dogs: Baby and Rita.

Crystal volunteered as a trainer with LOVE-A-BULL in 20011 and has been with the organization ever since, serving in a myriad of roles.

As a trainer, Crystal has a long and rewarding history in helping people and their beloved dogs. After getting her start in shelters as a volunteer, she transitioned to professional training in 2006. From 2008-2017, she owned and operated Leaps N’ Hounds, a 5 star-rated family-friendly training company where she and her team specialized in working with dogs in their home environment as well as offering an excellent class program. She has consulted for all types of dog-related companies; from toy makers, to dog-friendly bars, to boarding facilities.

Her other roles include serving on the board, working with the rescue committee, and, of course, working with the Pit Crew therapy dogs.

Crystal lives with her husband, daughter, and three dogs: Lyla, a shepherd mix; Jack, a pointer/border collie mix; and a Pit Bull named Winnie.

Certifications/Roles:

Certified Professional Dog Trainer-Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA), Certified Class Instructor, CGC Evaluator, Therapy Dog Evaluator

 

 

Lindsey Ortiz

lindsey_ortizLindsey Ortiz is a long-time animal lover, shelter employee and volunteer, and community activist. She and her husband Landon adopted their first pittie in 2009 and became forever advocates for the breed, later adopting another.

Lindsey is a certified professional dog trainer (CPDT-KA) and serves as Director of the highly-rated local dog daycare and training facility, Taurus Academy. For LOVE-A-BULL she is the current President of our board of directors and heads up our events and rescue committees. She has been with the organization since 2010!

A community warrior, she prides herself on volunteer comradery and networking with people who can truly influence and change negative perceptions about pit bull-type dogs.

Lindsey is a proud mother of a pittie-loving girl and future LOVE-A-BULL volunteer named Kenzie.  Her four-legged babies include Julie the pittie, Vinnie the 100lb pittie mix, Kobe the dachshund mutt and best good boy.

 

Cait Deichmann

Image may contain: 1 person, eyeglasses and dog

Bio coming soon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Courtney Timbs
Courtney Timbs began interning with Love-A-Bull’s volunteer dog training team in the fall of 2015. Her passion for canine care has led her to study canine body language and behavior. She has attended multiple seminars and workshops to hone her dog training skills and has found that her favorite aspect of dog training is dog-dog socialization. Currently, Courtney works as a dog trainer and consultant at Taurus Academy and maintains a dog walking service through WAG. She enjoys helping people understand their canine companion and enrich the human-canine bond. Courtney can be reached directly at Cpawsk911@gmail.com.