Classes We Offer

Four puppies drinking from the same water-bowl

Puppy Start Right

Building on the Family Dog 1 class, you and your dog will learn more advanced behaviours including an emergency recall and avoiding food left out in the open.

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A very calm German Shepherd relaxing on the ground

Private Lessons

From training your dog while you're at work to addressing specific behaviour challenges, private or semi-private lessons are the best option for many families.

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Isaiah giving treats to Penny as a puppy

Family Dog 1

You want your dog to pay attention to you; to sit, lie down and come when called; to keep all four paws on the floor, to leave things alone when asked and to walk nicely on a leash.

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Isaiah sitting on the grass praising Penny for being calm

Family Dog 2

Building on the Family Dog 1 class, you and your dog will learn more advanced behaviours including an emergency recall and avoiding food left out in the open.

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Three puppies drinking from the same water-bowl

Puppy Start Right

Early puppyhood is a critical time for socialization and learning. Puppy Start Right is the single most important thing you can do to start your puppy on the way to become a super dog!

This class is for everyone involved in the puppy's daily activity. Puppies should be between 7 and 12 weeks of age and must have started their vaccination series at least 10 days prior to starting class.

Puppy Start Right includes:

  • a one-hour orientation (without puppies)
  • four one-hour puppy socialization classes
  • one in-home private lesson

The program is structured so that you and your puppy can begin anytime!

Puppy Start Right     $175.00.

First class

Saturday, April 18, 2015 at 11:00 a.m.
Ball and Biscuit Pet Boutique
532 East Broadway,
Vancouver, B.C.

Email us or call (604) 754-1006 to register!

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A very calm German Shepherd relaxing on the ground

Private Training

Every client has unique needs and objectives. After an initial assessment, we will design a perfect, individual training program to meet your specific goals.

Private lesson packages include:

  • Initial assessment, 1.5 hours $100.00
  • A custom training plan
  • Weekly lessons, 1.5 hours each
  • Program length varies according to your goals. The average is 5-6 weeks.
  • A 5-week program is $375.00 plus $100.00 assessment: Total $475.00.
  • A 6-week program is $470.00 plus $100.00 assessment: Total $570.00

German Shepherd patiently leaving alone the treats that are on his paw

Semi-private lessons

Gather with one or two friends who also need help with their dogs and share the cost of private lessons! Host semi-private lessons in your home or garden for lots of focussed attention without the competing demands of public classes.

Lessons are limited to 3 participants. You'll have group time as well as plenty of individual focus without feeling stressed or rushed.

  • A 5-week program is $375.00 plus $100.00 assessment: Total $475.00.
  • A 6-week program is $470.00 plus $100.00 assessment: Total $570.00

Problem-solving

If you're struggling with specific training issues such as shyness, reactivity, walking calmly on a loose leash, meeting other dogs or humans, paying attention, developing a reliable recall, or if you need help with some basic skills, private lessons may be the most effective option.

  • 1 hour        $80.00
  • 4 lessons     $300.00
  • 6 lessons     $420.00
  • 10 lessons     $650.00

In-home day training

A dog learns best when the trainer gives undivided focus and consistent instructions, but after a long day at work many people lack the time and energy to train their dog. We offer private training for your dog in your own home, during the daytime while you're at work, along with weekly meetings to help you use and build on what your dog has been learning.

In-home day training includes:

  • An initial assessment meeting to determine your specific needs, set some goals and set you up with some exercises, 1.5 hours $100.00
  • A customized training plan including social skills, behaviour concerns and basic obedience skills
  • Two 40-minute training sessions every week
  • E-mail updates after every training session with quick exercises for you to practice with your dog
  • Twice a month, a one-hour in-person meeting to review what your dog has been learning and reassess progress
  • Initial assessment, $100
  • One month program, $450.00

Two dogs playing on the grass, one of them on its back

Day training intensive

Intensive day training is an ideal way to get a head start on basic behaviour skills. It's also one of the best ways to give behaviour problems the dedicated focus required.

  • Initial assessment, 1.5 hours $100.00
  • 4 daytime 40-minute training sessions with your dog each week
  • One 1.5 hour meeting with you at the end of each week
  • 2-week minimum $550.00

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Isaiah giving treats to Penny as a puppy

Family Dog 1

You and your puppy or dog will have a lot of fun together while learning to communicate effectively with each other. Our six-week program covers all the basics your dog needs.

This class is for puppies and dogs over 16 weeks of age and their human family members over the age of 10.

Family Dog 1 includes:

  • 6 weeks of group classes
  • Introduction to clicker training
  • Sitting and lying down
  • Coming when called
  • Keeping all four paws on the floor
  • Leaving things alone
  • Walking nicely on a leash
  • A couple of fun tricks!
  • One in-home private lesson.

Classes begin in early April.

Family Dog 1     $225.00.

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Isaiah sitting on the grass praising Penny for being calm

Family Dog 2

Self-control is the hallmark of a well-behaving dog or human. Building on the Family Dog 1 class, this course will help you and your dog learn more advanced behaviours.

This six-week program is for puppies and dogs over 18 weeks of age who have completed the Family Dog 1 course.

Family Dog 2 includes:

  • 6 weeks of group classes
  • Paying attention
  • Going to a mat
  • A solid "stay"
  • Avoiding food left out in the open
  • An emergency recall
  • Improved walking on a leash
  • One or two fun tricks!
  • One in-home private lesson.

Classes begin mid-May

Family Dog 2     $225.00.

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Training Philosophy

Consumers should ask prospective dog trainers three questions:

Dog eating treat on grass

What will happen when my dog gets it right?

Good things happen when your dog gives the correct response during training. He gets to have something, such as a food treat, or to do something he wants, such as play a game, go outside, sniff, dig, or meet other dogs or humans.

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Dog being praised by a man

Are there less-invasive training alternatives?

I am unreservedly committed not to use force, pain, fear or intimidation in my work with dogs and human beings. My training methods are as free of invasive techniques as I know how to make them. If I find a less-aversive way of working, I will use it.

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Dog standing and looking confused

What will happen when my dog gets it wrong?

When the dog doesn't respond correctly or when she performs an undesired behaviour, there's no reward. She doesn't get to have or to do the good things she wants.

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Ann with Juno

Ann Bemrose

I've lived with, loved and worked with animals for as long as I can remember. One family story was that I never actually crawled, but went around on all fours, like my parents' two Labrador retrievers!

Building on my lifelong affinity with animals and training my own and my family's pets as well as friends' and friends of friends' dogs, and birds, I'm dedicated to working with pet dogs and their human companions after a rewarding career as a minister, writer and editor. I live and work in Vancouver, B.C.

I'm a "crossover trainer." That means that my original training methods were traditional ones, including choke chains and leash corrections, which I used with success for years, as had my father who had trained our family's dogs.

My father had adopted a beautiful black female Labrador he'd found roaming around an oilfield (he was a geophysicist). She went on to earn several AKC field titles. He also adopted a black, bench-type male who eventually earned AKC conformation titles. They were glorious dogs. Their temperament, demeanour and intelligence made a profound and lasting impression on me.

About 20 years ago, when I bought a Labrador retriever puppy for my family and began to look for an obedience trainer, I decided to set aside the traditional methods I'd known and worked with for most of my life in favour of methods rooted in animal behaviour science and psychology.

Modern science has shown that living creatures learn best through consistent, positive reinforcement to reward behaviours we like and to prevent behaviour problems before they start. I found that this understanding of learning worked beautifully with our puppy and with a Newfoundland dog we adopted a couple of years later.

When my son Isaiah and I welcomed Penny into our lives five years ago, I picked up a clicker for the first time. Penny figured out what the clicker was marking right away; that was enough to convince me that using such a precise marker could make it possible to teach some behaviours that I couldn't teach any other way, all while having a heck of a lot of fun, too. Dogs love working with a clicker!

In addition to teaching puppies and dogs basic house manners and life skills, I use a variety of techniques to address destructive or fearful patterns such as shyness, separation anxiety and reactivity to dogs, other animals, human beings and the environment.

I've taken courses offered by the Fenzi Dog Sports Academy, the Karen Pryor Academy, Ian Dunbar and Patricia McConnell. As a professional member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers and the Canadian Association of Professional Pet Dog Trainers, continuing education to refine my skills and stay on top of the latest developments in animal behaviour science is integral to my work. I'm preparing to qualify as a Certified Professional Dog Trainer in 2015.

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Penny - a brown poodle

Penny

We're very proud of Penny, the first standard poodle we've owned. She's a sweet, affectionate, engaging girl with a laid-back personality, though she can be very active when she wants to be. A brown poodle, she's 21" high at the withers and weighs about 30 pounds. She is a "Paris Poodle," born October 27, 2010. Penny has had two litters of puppies and is retired from breeding.

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Juno - another brown poodle

Juno

Juno is the pick of Penny's first litter and looks almost exactly like her mother did at the same age. She's full of energy and seems to have springs in her feet. She was born on March 10, 2013 and she's about 21.5" tall at the withers and weighs about 30 pounds. We expect her chest to expand a bit by her second birthday and for her to put on a bit more bone and muscle mass. She's a thoroughly adolescent dog, full of zoom!

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Isaiah leaning over giving treats to Juno

Isaiah Bemrose-Fetter

Isaiah helps with all the things for which help is needed. He's fantastic with animals of all kinds and is a good dog trainer, too!

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(604) 754-1006

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