All classes are held at the CVHS Adoption Center in East Montpelier. Classes are taught using positive reinforcement training techniques; we use a hands-off approach whenever possible. The use of prong collars, e-collars and choke collars is not permitted in class. Please bring your dogs to our classes wearing a flat collar and/or a body harness or head collar.
Our classes are held in our training room in the basement. If you need handicap access, please call.
**(Due to COVID, things change week-to-week in regards to whether or not classes are held in person or over Zoom, held inside or outside, etc. Masks are required, and there is no contact between participants.)
Our Puppy Kindergarten class is for puppies that are between the ages of 10 weeks and 4.5 months. This class focuses on socialization and will help your puppy gain confidence around other people and puppies. We are sure to include off-leash play time for the puppies so they can bounce around and interact with one another in a controlled environment. Our trainers will help you learn how to read your pup’s body language and will educate you on the signs of good play (**Currently, due to COVID, there is no puppy play, because there is no contact between participants). Puppy Kindergarten will also introduce the basic self-control skills to you and your pup that will be useful for everyday life. Sit, Down, Polite Greetings, Leash Walking, Recall, and even some fun tricks are included in our Puppy Kindergarten curriculum. Kasandra Fleury offers the AKC Puppy S.T.A.R. certification through her 5 week class. Please see the AKC website for information on this certification.
*Puppies need to have had at least 1 distemper vaccine given no less than 1 week prior to the first class. Rabies vaccines are given at the age the veterinarian says is okay*
Puppy Next Step
Do you have a puppy that is just beyond the age window of Puppy Kindergarten? Perhaps our Puppy Next Step class is a good fit. This class is for puppies that are between the ages of 4.5 months and 6 months. We feel that puppies really benefit from being with other puppies closer to their age and love having this stepping stone class between puppy and the general manners classes. Puppy Next Step offers all that Puppy Kindergarten does but we step it up a notch. In this class we learn Leave It and work more on teaching our puppies that they need to be nice and calm to get what they would like. This class is a great way to ready yourself for your puppy’s adolescent phase and our trainer will help you figure out fun ways to keep your puppy’s brain busy in positive ways. Play time is still an important part of this class but we also work more on our puppies’ self-control skills.
Good Manners 1
Good Manners 1 is our basic manners class and is for those dogs ages 6 months and up who have not taken classes before. Manners 1 is all about the self-control skills to help your dogs become awesome family members that can really be a part of your everyday life. We will work on teaching your dogs not to jump on guests, how to walk on a loose leash, how to come when called, and we will work on stay, along with many other useful and helpful skills.
Good Manners 2
This class is for those dogs who have taken the Manners 1 class and are ready to have their training taken up a notch. We focus on building up the duration, distractions and distance of many of our basic self-control skills. This class also allows multiple dogs to be up and moving at the same time and our trainers like to include fun games and tricks to keep the class extra interesting. The Manners 2 class is a great stepping stone to ready your dogs for any of our specialty classes.
Good Manners 3 / Canine Good Citizen Prep
Has your dog completed the Manners 1 and 2 classes at CVHS and you would like to continue their training? Good Manners 3 could be the ticket. This class will focus primarily on readying your dog for the AKC Canine Good Citizen Test. We will fine-tune dogs' self-control skills, and work towards having dogs off-leash more in this class, so please, no dogs with any aggression towards people or dogs. We will also throw in some tricks and game work!
Good Manners for Teens
Kasandra Fleury created this class for those pups who have taken puppy classes at CVHS so that they have a more gradual transition into the Manners classes. This class is for pups in the 6 month to 1 year age range and has been created primarily for repeat puppy students. We will work on building on our pups’ self-control skills in this class. Leash walking and recall are a big part of this class, as are Leave It and Polite Greetings of Guests. Kasandra will also introduce some fun games and tricks for other ways to burn off your adolescent pup’s energy.
This is a calmer class designed for shy or anxious dogs. The focus is on bringing dogs out of their shells using desensitization techniques, as well as obedience skills. If your dog spent Puppy Kindergarten hiding behind her chair, this may be the class for you. Meeting with individual dogs required before first class.
Tricks & Games
Kasandra’s Tricks classes have become quite popular at CVHS. She offers a beginner class to help you get started in the sport of trick dogging. This class introduces the best ways to teach a trick and how to determine which tricks might be great ideas for your dog. Her advanced trick class introduces more complex tricks such as teaching a dog to put their toys away or teaching a dog to copy your behavior. Kasandra’s canine assistant, Maggie, has received her Trick Dog Champion title through the Do More with Your Dog program and these classes were created to help handlers continue to strengthen their bonds with their dogs while having a blast. Both levels of tricks classes also include Nosework.
This is a specialty 5 week class offered by trainer Bill Grant. This class is for those dogs who may have some issues around other people and/or other dogs. The dogs in this class may be fearful of strangers, or may have some growly issues when they meet new dogs. This class is closely managed, and safety is the most important thing. The class has a limit of 4 students per session to help keep the environment safe for everyone. Bill will help you learn to read your dog’s body language and will help you learn to set them up to succeed in everyday life. He will help you gain the confidence you need to help your dog. It is very important that you contact the training program prior to registering to be sure this is the best step for your dog. If you are interested in more info, please email [email protected].
Come Here Now
Does your dog need some help learning to come when called? This specialty 4 week long course could be for you. This class will focus totally on a solid recall and Bill Grant will help you learn how to convince your dog that you are super awesome and that coming to you is the best thing in the world. Dogs must be alright around other dogs as there is a lot of moving around in this class.
Individual Training Consults
Do you need a little extra help figuring out how to tackle some of your dog’s behavior concerns? Our trainers are available for individual training consults and can help you work on everything from puppy play-biting, to leash walking, to coming when called. They can also help with dog-dog aggression, resource guarding, and fear of strangers. If you have a question, our trainers are here to help you. Consult fees vary so please contact [email protected] for information. In your email, please describe the behaviors you would like help with, and what town you and your dog live in (to help us determine the best trainer for your needs.)