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413-367-0094
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Congratulations on taking the first step in establishing a training program for you and your canine companion. We are excited to help you understand the whats and whys of your dog's behaviour and how to establish a strong, long lasting relationship.

Click here for a class registration form. This is a fillable form and may be downloaded and emailed. We accept credit cards, as well as check or cash, for client convenience.

  • All classes are held at our indoor facility in Montague, MA. Portions of some classes may make use of our 55-acre property.
  • Proof of vaccination must be provided before any dog can attend class.
  • Pre-registration is required for all classes.
  • Full payment must be received to reserve a spot in class.
  • There are no refunds after the class session has begun. Cancellations made less than one week before the class start date will be subjected to a 50% cancellation fee. Please feel free to come visit one of our classes to ensure this is the correct training facility for you and your dog.
  • Due to our small class sizes we can not offer make up classes. If more than one class is missed it is suggested that you schedule a private sesson to catch up on the missed lessons.

Puppy Socialization & Skills

Our Puppy Socialization & Skills class is a great Head Start for any puppy training. In addition to play, pups will experience exposure to novel objects and situations. The class is structured to include 2 long play sessions and time for interaction with various agility objects and off leash training. We will also work on Rev 'Um Up - Calm ‘Um Down, a great game to teach your pup how to settle.

Age Group: 8 to 20 weeks

This is a drop in class held on Saturdays at 10am. Open to current students. Sign up required.

Cost: $25/meeting or purchase a 6 week pass for $125.00


Puppy Head Start I

No puppies the first night of class - Human Training night Level I

This is the most important start you will make with your new puppy. This is for puppies ages 8-16 weeks. This class focuses on the Problem Prevention Program and Fundamentals of Training and Socialization developed by Elise McMahon and Anne Marie Forde in the early 90s. In this class we work on basic obedience commands and focus exercises, we introduce puppies to new obstacles, substrates, people and other puppies during this critical period of socialization. It is a great class for new puppy owners where topics from housebreaking, chewing, mouthing, and a myriad of other important topics are covered.

This is a five week class. $150.00

Next Session begins:

  • November 9, 2017 - Thursday nights at 7pm (McMahon)
  • January  12, 2018 - Friday nights at 6pm 

Instructors: Elise McMahon, Susan Kennedy, Lottie Haines


Puppy Head Start II

No puppies the first night of class - Human Training night Level II

A class for puppies who have completed PKI or are starting after 16 weeks of age. In this class we build on the basics that puppies have learned in PKI, strengthening the puppies understanding of the commands and introducing higher levels of performance. Some of the things we work on in this class include polite greeting behaviour, good leash manners, and building duration with Sit & Down.

This is a five week class. $150.00

Next Session begins:

  • November 6, 2017 - Monday nights at 6pm (McMahon)
  • January 11, 2018 - Thursday nights at 6pm (McMahon)

Instructors: Elise McMahon, Susan Kennedy, Lottie Haines


Advanced Puppy Head Start

Puppies who have completed Puppy Head Start I & II are eligible for the Advanced Puppy Head Start class. We expand our work on leash manners, polite greeting, building Stay and conditioning a broader concept of Leave It, among other things. The benefit of continuing in a Puppy level class is that play sessions are worked into the class schedule and the young dogs continue working on material appropriate for their age.

This is a five week class. $150.00

Next Session begins:

  • November 15, 2017 - Wednesday nights at 7pm (McMahon) 
  • November 18, 2017 - Saturdays at 11am (Haines)
  • January 11, 2018 - Monday nights at 6pm (McMahon)

Instructors: Elise McMahon, Susan Kennedy, Lottie Haines


Beginner Bascis (Levels I, II & Advanced)

No dogs the first night of class of Beginner Basics I

This is our series for older puppies or adults who have had no prior class training experience. This is a great class for the newly adopted rescue dog! We work on focus exercises and shaping in level I. Levels II & III work on establishing good training skills for the humans and learning skills for the dog. 

This is a five week class. $150.00

Next Session begins:

  • November 13, 2017 - Monday nights at 7:00pm (McMahon) - Beginner Basics Level II

Instructors: Elise McMahon, Susan Kennedy, Lottie Haines


Companion Dog (Levels I, II & III)

In this class we build on the basics that have been taught in Beginner Adult. We focus helping your dog become a well integrated member of your family. Some of the things we work on in this class include polite greeting behaviour, walking by highly desirable objects without grabbing for them; good leash manners, nice recalls and good stays.

This a five week class. $150.00

Next Session begins:

  • January 10, 2018 - Wednesday nights at 6pm (McMahon)

Instructors: Elise McMahon, Susan Kennedy, Lottie Haines


Canine Good Citizen & Canine Good Citizen Advanced

The AKC developed the Canine Good Citizen test to certify and award those dogs who have demonstrated polite dog to dog and human interactive skills. Teach your dog good manners and the skills it needs to be a Canine Good Citizen. 

This is a five week class. $150.00

Next Sessions Begins:

  • November 16, 2017 - Thursday nights at 6:00pm (McMahon) - CGC
  • January 11, 2018 - Thursday nights at 7:00pm (McMahon) - CGSA

Instructors: Elise McMahon, Susan Kennedy, Lottie Haines


Specialty Classes


Polite Leash (Levels I & II) 

All to often we teach our dogs that pulling is the way to get where they want to go. In these classes we work on the all important skills of polite leash walking. Being out and about with your canine companion should be a pleasurable experience for everyone involved. Beyond teaching the skill of walking on a loose leash we often want our dogs to be able to walk for sustained periods by our sides. This is traditionally called "heeling". Our dogs do not naturally walk as slowly as we do so this is definitely a behavior that requires learning to adjust their speed to match ours. Heeling work can be a lot of fun to train and we love working with people and their dogs to help them master this important skill.

This is a five week class. $150.00

Next Sessions begin:

  • January 10, 2018 - Wednesday nights at 7pm (McMahon) Level I

Instructors: Elise McMahon, Susan Kennedy, Lottie Haines


Reliable Recall (Levels I & II) 

This class is a lot of fun with a little bit of everything. A great class to use as a break from straight obedience or to begin working with a young dog. Recalls are one of every dog owners main concern. 99.9% of clients come in saying, "she is a great dog but she just does not come when I call her". Your dog's response to recall can mean life or death in some circumstances. The problem is that owners inadvertently either turn their dogs off to coming when called or they de-value the word "come" to the point that the dog simply does not pay any attention to it. Your recall is one of those commands that needs constant tune ups and constant positive reinforcement. Just because your 12 week old puppy came bounding to you every time you said "come", does mean he will be doing the same at 5 months. This class works on the recall, putting it back into a positive, consistently reinforced environment while training people how to avoid the common mistakes that so often undermine a good recall.

This is a five week class. $150.00

Next Session begins: November 15, 2017 - Wednesday nights at 6pm (McMahon)

Instructors: Elise McMahon, Susan Kennedy, Lottie Haines


Agility Foundations

This course is geared towards skill, attention work, and confidence building. While you learn how to keep your dog focus on you, your dog learns how to tackle various obstacles. For those who might want to go on in agility this course will prepare you and your dog for an intro agility course. This is a great class for owners and dogs who have been working through a string of obedience classes and want to add some splash and flash to their training! Have fun while training!

This a five week class. $150.00

Next Session begins:

  • November 18, 2017 - Saturdays at 12:00pm (Haines) 
  • January 11, 2018 - Monday nights at 7:00pm (McMahon)

Instructors: Elise McMahon, Susan Kennedy, Lottie Haines


Rally 

This class is a lot of fun for dogs who have already been through the Companion Dog class. Handlers and dogs learn the steps to success and finesse. 

This is a five week class. $150.00

Next Session begins:

  • TBA

Instructors: Elise McMahon, Susan Kennedy, Lottie Haines


Training with Tricks 

If you love shaping or want to learn more about this training technique, this is the class for you. Add new behaviors to your dogs repertoire and strengthen your own training skills.

This is a five week class. $150.00

Next Session begins: January 12, 2017 - Friday nights at 7:00pm 

Instructors: Elise McMahon, Susan Kennedy, Lottie Haines


Advanced Skills Classes


Continuing Ed Classes (Levels I, II & III)

This is a series of classes for dogs who have successfully completed classes up to Canine Good Citizen. We begin working on off leash skills. This class is tailored to each group of dogs and we often develop exercises to meet the particular needs of the group.

This is a five week class. $150.00

Next Session begins:

Instructors: Elise McMahon, Susan Kennedy, Lottie Haines


Advanced Obedience Classes (Levels I, II & III)

We love teaching this class. It is a tremendous amount of fun for dogs, handlers and instructors alike. We developed this as an advanced series. This is an ideal setting for owners who want to sharpen their training skills and learn cutting edge training techniques to bring the most out in their dog. We fine tune focus, handling skills, off leash reliability, and much more. This series of cases is also tailored to the particular group of dogs in each session.Pre-requisite: Continuing Ed III.

This is a five week class. $150.00

Next Session begins:
TBA

Instructors: Elise McMahon, Susan Kennedy, Lottie Haines



"We loved every aspect of classes. Thank you for grouping smaller dogs together for play sessions. Elise is great...we are fortunate to be associated with Canine Head Start." Tracey & Joe Follansbee & Their Dogs, Tanner & Cloe - Corgi


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