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Our Obedience Bootcamp Level 1 course is for beginners or experienced dog owners looking to build a strong relationship with their dog and practice obedience. This course is created and taught by Andy Krzus, who is a dog training educator known for his relationship-centered training approach and his personalized teaching style. His background in psychology and public service, coupled with years of experience training search & rescue and assistance dogs, gives him an innovative perspective on dog obedience, behaviour & motivation in theory and practice. Read more about Andy’s experience here.

This course covers a comprehensive obedience curriculum and is our foundation prerequisite course for all other courses. This course includes 5+ hours of video and detailed step-by-step notes.

Before diving into the practical applications of training, Andy starts the course with:

• Why dog training? Our Philosophy/psychology of dog training (system of training)
• The importance of communication with your dog (does your dog understand what you are saying to him/her?)
• The dog training toolbox (what are you going to use to communicate with your dog and how to motivate your dog?)

In this course the following practical skills and topics will be covered:

  • Clicker/Marker Training
  • How does a dog understand marker training?
  • Teaching the heel position
  • Leash walking skills
  • Teaching touch pad and it’s important applications in training
  • What is ‘place’ and how to teach it
  • Food refusal, what and why
  • Eye contact and why it’s important for your dog to know it
  • Recall skills (come when called)

The training method that will be used in this class is called Marker Training.
What is marker (or clicker) training? In a nutshell, it’s an animal training method based on behavioural psychology that relies on marking desirable behaviour and rewarding it. This black and white method of communication is based on positive reinforcement and will revolutionize the way that you train your dog. This class will teach you about the power of training your dog with food and will focus on building the dog/handler relationship through engagement and motivation. During the class you will learn the basic concepts of luring, leash pressure and shaping of behaviours. We will also cover classical/operant conditioning and discuss how to build motivation in your dog through productive play. Marker training can be used to train any behaviour, from basic obedience and tricks to behavioural modification.

Note about training with food: We are going to learn how to use food in training without necessarily negotiating with our dogs. Working with food isn’t as easy as one may think. There are certain rules that we need to follow in order to avoid getting stuck in the luring phase (i.e. our dogs don’t do what we ask of them unless we have food in front of their face). Being stuck in the luring phase, can create a number of issues that become quite challenging in our process of training if we don’t pay close attention to it.

What’s next? After completing this class, the next steps are:

  1. Obedience Bootcamp Level 2 course, which focuses on Advanced Obedience skills (coming soon)
  2. Off Leash Freedom & Behavioural class (coming soon)

Here is a video clip of Andy practicing obedience exercises, taught in this course, with his 2 year old Belgian Malinois Paco