Northfield Dog Training • 3676 W. Ellsworth Rd. •  Ann Arbor, MI 48103 • 734-995-7200 • Email us • only search NDT site

Advanced Obedience Course Descriptions

To download a PDF with a flowchart of recommended obedience and agility training classes, see Class Flowchart.

Course Name Weeks Length Prerequisites Description
Fundamentals 6 75 mins Puppy Kindergarten or Jumpstart class or something equivalent, and a desire to improve your training skills beyond the basic level. This class is geared towards handlers interested in training for the obedience trial ring. Learn how to: properly use conditioned reinforcers; teach an exercise; use fair corrections. The dogs learn attention, heeling with distractions, quick position changes (sit, down, stand), backing up, and recall games. NOTE: Do not bring your dog the first week.
Competition Puppy Obedience 6 55 mins Trainer has earned at least some kind of title on at least one previous dog. This will be an on-going class, starting November 2015, with puppies trained by experienced trainers. We will work on a variety of skills for competition-bound pups, starting with skills from Adele's Fundamentals class and advancing from there.
Tricks for Strength 6 25 mins Fundamentals or knowledge of training with food and a dog under reasonable control around other dogs. This class will explore ways to build strength in your dog through a variety of tricks, such as beg, crawl, spin, back up, side pass, and position changes. This is a treat heavy class, so plan accordingly.
Tricks Circuit 6 25 mins Tricks for Strength We'll do a 25 minute dog exercise circuit, starting with warming up, then doing the circuit of 8 different stations whose order will vary from week to week, finishing with some stretching. Dress for exercise and bring lots of treats!
Maneuvers 6 55 mins Fundamentals or prior approval via screening. Continue work on attention, hop, quick position changes. Teach steering commands for improved body awareness (forward, backward, side-step right and left), scoot sits, play running, spins, rhythm heeling and marking. Begin proofing of sit stays.
Intro to Retrieving 6 25 mins Fundamentals or prior approval via screening. Start or continue teaching your dog to retrieve a dumbbell. You need to provide your own dumbbell. If you need help with sizing for your dog, please see Adele before the class starts. You can also watch this excerpt from the DVD on teaching dogs to retrieve (Totally Fetching: Teaching and Proofing a Reliable Retrieve) that shows you how to fit a dumbbell.
Come and Stay 6 55 mins Maneuvers Build on and proof the formal obedience stays: sit stay, down stay, and stand stay. Teach fronts and finishes for formal recalls. You will learn a variety of recall (come command) exercises. Build on heel position maneuvers and Rhythm heeling learned in Maneuvers.
Heeling 6 55 mins Come and Stay Learn the remaining components of heeling for the ring, including circles, figure 8s, pace changes, halts, and turns. Handler footwork is also an important component.
Novice Ring Prep 6 55 mins Heeling or equivalent or prior approval via screening. Work on building the pieces of heeling into full ring patterns, in preparation for the Novice obedience class. We also work on Stays and Recalls.
Rally 1 6 55 mins Heeling Rally Obedience combines many elements of competition obedience with the variability and more relaxed atmosphere of agility. We will discuss the structure of a Rally course and learn all of the AKC Novice stations. We will practice a course each week, progressing to longer ones as the class goes along.
Rally Intro 1 55 mins Heeling class. This is a one week introduction to Rally.
Intro to Rally Novice workshop 1 90 mins Adele's Heeling class or instructor approval. This is a one-night, 90-minute Intro to AKC Rally Novice. We will work on as many of the Novice AKC Rally signs as possible. The goal is to familiarize you with the concepts of Rally, which will then allow you to attend the Thursday night Rally Practice class.
Rally Novice Practice 3 55 mins Rally 1 We will practice courses made up of the AKC Rally Novice signs.
Rally 2 6 55 mins Rally 1 or understanding of all of the AKC Novice signs. Build on skills learned in Rally 1. You will learn how to do all of the AKC Advanced signs, and practice on courses with signs from Advanced and Novice.
This and That 6 55 mins Dogs should be working at the Novice obedience level. We work on all of the elements of the Novice obedience class, including heeling patterns, Figure 8s, stays and recalls. We also work on beginning jumping, retrieving, and various target games. Sometimes we work on Rally exercises.
Intro to Retrieving and Drop on Recall 3 55 mins Come and Stay. Dog should be able to down on voice or hand signal. Start teaching your dog to retrieve a dumbbell or build on retrieving skills you already taught your dog, and start to teach the Open Drop on Recall. You need to provide your own dumbbell. If you need help with sizing for your dog, please see Adele before the class starts.
Rally Advanced Practice 6 55 mins Rally 2 or knowledge of all of the AKC Novice and Advanced signs. We will practice courses made up of the AKC Rally Novice and Advanced signs.
Rally 3 6 55 mins Rally 2 or understanding of all of the AKC Novice and Advanced signs. We will cover how to do all of the AKC Excellent signs, and practice on courses each week with signs from all levels.
Introduction to Open 6 55 mins Come and Stay We introduce retrieving, jumping, drop on recall, and out-of-sight stays. You will need a dumbbell and jumps to practice with at home. Check with Adele for help with dumbbell sizing. You can also watch this excerpt from the DVD, Totally Fetching: Teaching and Proofing a Reliable Retrieve, that shows you how to fit a dumbbell. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tdu4XXZdcE0
Rally Practice 6 60 mins Knowledge of the AKC rally signs at the level of course you are interested in. There will potentially be class every week I’m in town. I will set up a nested course with levels appropriate for those in attendance for a given week. This is not an introductory type of course, but for those trainers with at least some rally experience who want a chance to practice courses with coaching. Typically, I follow each person through the course on the first run, offering suggestions for how to better perform a station (or more correctly). Because of the set up involved, I need a commitment each week from at LEAST 3 people for me to hold a class in a given week. In order to communicate with potential attendees, I’ve set up a Facebook group where we can communicate about attendance. If you are interested in attending and would like to be added to the Facebook group, or If you are not on Facebook but are interested in attending, please email me privately. abyunck@gmail.com
Intro to Open (3 week) 3 45 mins Come and Stay We will work on as many of the Open exercises as possible in the 3 weeks.
Retrieving and Directed Retrieve 6 25 mins Come and Stay Build on the retrieve skills of your dog and start the Utility Directed Retrieve (glove exercise). You need to provide your own dumbbell. If you need help with sizing for your dog, please see Adele before the class starts.
Utility Signals 6 25 mins Come and Stay Introduction to Utility Signals.
Directed Jumping 3 55 mins Come and Stay Introduce all of the components of the Utility Directed Jumping exercise.
Broad Jump & Directed Retrieve 6 25 mins Come and Stay Introduce the Open Broad Jump and Utility Directed Retrieve (Glove exercise).
Retrieving and Directed Jumping 6 25 mins Come and Stay Introduce/build on dumbbell retrieve for Open. Introduce/build on go-outs and directed jumping for Utility.
Open 2 6 55 mins Intro to Open Build on exercises that were started in Intro to Open.
Introduction to Utility 6 55 mins Maneuvers and Intro to Open. Dog should be able to retrieve a placed article, both leather and metal. Teach Janice DeMello Around the Clock method of scent work. Introduce all Utility exercises. Students need scent articles and a can of Easy Cheese (or the like) for the first night of class. Also need a set of 3 white cotton gloves.
Utility Signals and Directed Jumping 6 55 mins Maneuvers. Helpful if dog responds to verbal down, has a good off-leash sit stay, and understands a target touch. Get started on the two most difficult Utility exercises, Directed Jumping and Signals.
Intro to Scent Discrimination 3 55 mins Come & Stay. Your dog should be picking up and holding a dumbbell. It will be very helpful if your dog will also retrieve a metal and leather scent article. Teach Janice DeMello Around the Clock method of scent work. Students need scent articles (at least 6 of two kinds - metal or leather or wood) and a can of Easy Cheese (or the like) for the class. As time allows, we'll work on a few other Utility exercises, too.
Utility 2 3 55 mins Intro to Utility Build on exercises that were started in Intro to Utility.
Intro to Retriever Training 6 55 mins Basic training such as a Puppy or Jumpstart obedience class. This class will focus on getting your dog started on the training needed for retriever field work, including basic retrieving, controlled walking, recalls, and sit stays. Though it will be an entry level class for handlers with little to no retriever training, more experienced handlers are welcome. We will also discuss test mechanics. I hope to be doing some work with dead birds by the end of the course. If you do not already own field training equipment, such as a whistle and bumpers, expect to be doing some shopping before the class starts.
Obedience for Field 6 55 mins Intro to Retriever Training We'll focus on improving HOLD, FETCH, COME, and STAY commands, their controlled walking, as well as building on retrieving skills required for field retrieving. The class will be customized to the skill level of the dogs as much as possible.
Force Fetch 6 55 mins Intro to Retriever Training. This class focuses on building a reliable retrieve using the Ear Pinch. Your dog should have a basic understanding of taking and holding before starting the force fetch.
Field Intermediate Skills 6 55 mins Your dog should be retrieving bumpers reliably. We build on the skills needed for retrievers training for hunt tests and field work. Class content will be based on enrollees skill levels. We might make field trips to nearby fields to extend the distances we can work.
Open/Utility Practice 6 55 mins You should have started most of the Open and Utility exercises. We will practice Open and Utility exercises each week. Class content will be determined by what current class needs to work on.
Novice Practice 6 55 mins You should have trained at least through Heeling to take this class. We work on all of the elements of the Novice obedience class, including heeling patterns, Figure 8s, stays and recalls. We also work on beginning jumping, retrieving, and various target games. Sometimes we work on Rally exercises.
Open and Utility Proofing 8 90 mins $20/week drop-in fee. You may buy a 4-week card for $60. You may buy an 8-week card for $100. You do not have to use the weeks consecutively. We proof several of the advanced (Open/Utility) obedience exercises each week. Utility beginners can get some guidance each week.
Field Basics 1 55 mins Basic obedience class. This class is geared towards retrievers and their handlers who want to learn the basics of training for hunt tests and Working Certificate work. Take this class if your dog is not reliable about retrieving.