Classes are 7 sessions total, an hour a week at the same time, held at 10789 E. Cherry Bend Road, Studio 11. This is the Kindergarten room in the former Norris Elementary School on the corner of Cherry Bend and M-22. The classroom is straight to the back of the building from the main entrance. Cost for the 7 week course is $180.00.

Puppy K (Beginner)

Learn how to understand and communicate with your new puppy! Discover the basics of canine communication as your puppy also learns about the world of humans. Participate in active, humane and science-based learning interspersed with supervised and narrated puppy playtime to build social skills. You will gain a basic and nuanced understanding of dog body language. We will problem-solve puppy topics such as house-training, leash walking and politely greeting both other dogs and humans. We will introduce the commands Sit, Down, Wait, Settle, Come and Give. First class is for human students only; bring your puppy to all the following sessions. Puppies ages 10 to 18 weeks are welcome.

Communication Fundamentals (Basic)

You and your dog will learn to communicate effectively and understand each other in this highly interactive basic training course. Learn to teach your dog to greet people politely (no jumping), to walk cooperatively on a leash, and to pay attention to you despite distractions. Examine canine body language and interpret what your dog is trying to tell you. The dogs will learn basic commands such as Sit, Down, Stay, Wait, Come, Give, Heel, Side, Leave It and Watch Me. First class is for human students only; bring your dog to all the following sessions. Dogs age five months and up are welcome. 

Communication Fundamentals II (Intermediate)

The continuing dog training course expands on basic commands – Watch Me, Leave It, Sit, Down, Stay, Wait, Come, and Heel – by working around increasingly difficult distractions. You will work on recall (Come) up to 15 ft away and further from your dog, and Stay includes a new Stand Stay and longer duration. Training games operating as a class increase the distraction level and difficulty for your dog. Interpret and understand basic canine body language and communicate effectively with your dog. Dogs will also refine household manners such as leash walking (disregarding other dogs) and greeting people politely. Prerequisite is Communication Fundamentals or instructor permission. 

Communication Fundamentals III (Advanced)

In the advanced level class you will work on adding distance and distractions for the commands Come, Stay, Leave It, and Wait, and adding distance work with Sit and Down, including varying body posture and signals. We develop a Moving Wait up to a run/jog (both humans and dogs), out-of-sight recalls, and add a “quick” down from a stand – the command Drop. Also, we will discuss separating hand signals and verbal cues and reducing visual signs of rewards on the trainer, working toward the randomization of any rewards. 


Out-and-About: Pack Training Walks

These “pack” training walks will emphasize polite on-leash behavior and manners in public. We will practice basic obedience in a distraction-filled environment to help maintain the dog’s attention and provide leadership in new and interesting places. This includes a rotating group of dogs, which is helpful for distraction work, as well as useful for those working on reactivity with their own dogs. Often we take various routes in downtown Traverse City, but occasionally vary the location.  Cost is $12.00 “drop-in” fee any time you attend. Come when you can and new dogs are welcome – we ask that if you are new you contact us to introduce yourself and your dog! 

Canine Good Citizen “Preparation” Classes

The CGC practice classes are oriented around the AKC Canine Good Citizen ( and other canine community-manners tests, but all dogs who would like to continue indoor/outdoor obedience training around a rotating group of dogs are welcome. We will meet in the Loupine training room at Leelenau Studios, 10789 E. Cherry Bend Road, Studio 9. I am a certified evaluator for all AKC CGC tests, so for those who are interested, I am also able to schedule evaluation dates. Cost is $12.00 “drop-in” fee any time you attend. Come when you can!