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Intermediate Class
link to current schedule


We use Sue Ailsby's levels for our curriculum in our intermediate class. Ailsby's program has 7 levels. Here are the behaviors covered in the levels:

1. Come. From running back and forth between two people, to coming through other dogs and people, to formal Recalls.
2. Contacts. An agility skill with applications in many areas. You can stop the dog where you want, when you want.
3. Crate. The dog learns to be confined at home, in the car, at the vet. To enter the crate willingly and stay in it – calm, quiet, and relaxed.
4. Distance. The dog learns to respond to cues near you AND away from you.
5. Down.
6. Down-Stay. In sight, out of sight, confidently, quietly.
7. Finish. Lateral movements for carting, obedience, agility. To return to Heel position from anywhere.
8. Front.
9. Go To Mat. Anchor the dog in a place anywhere so you can do what you need to do with the dog quietly and confidently out of the way.
10. Handling. Manipulate the dog's body in any way, cut toenails, groom, repair.
11. Heel. Total concentration and total position control.
12. Homework. Various questions to give the trainer a good grounding in the theory behind the training.
13 & 14. High and Broad Jumps. What sports DON'T require confident, clean, enthusiastic jumping?
15. Leash. I'd call Loose Leash Walking the hardest thing we'll ever teach a dog!
16. On The Road. Concentrating on training all behaviours in strange places two Levels below the current Level ensures the dog is able to perform in many locations, and ensures the handler understands that "He does it at home" is NOT a reliable indicator that he can do it elsewhere!
17. Retrieve. My personal indicator of true communication between a dog and person. A TRAINED retrieve of any article.
18. Scenting. Add a little fun and amazement to your training schedule.
19. Sit.
20. Sit-Stay.
21. Stand.
22. Stand-Stay.
23. Target. With paw and with nose, targeting is the basis of hundreds of behaviours and an easy way to lure many others.
24. Trick. I use tricks to explain the various ways there are to get behaviour, to teach the dog and trainer to be creative, and to remind the trainer of why he got a dog in the first place.
25. Watch. A concentration and duration behaviour, difficult and important.
26. Zen. The more the dog wants something, the harder he has to think about giving the trainer what HE wants. A perfect explanation of life and training!

We also work on the canine good citizen (cgc) test items.

Test 1: Accepting a friendly stranger
This test demonstrates that the dog will allow a friendly stranger to approach it and speak to the handler in a natural, everyday situation. The evaluator walks up to the dog and handler and greets the handler in a friendly manner, ignoring the dog. The evaluator and handler shake hands and exchange pleasantries. The dog must show no sign of resentment or shyness, and must not break position or try to go to the evaluator.

Test 2: Sitting politely for petting
This test demonstrates that the dog will allow a friendly stranger to touch it while it is out with its handler. With the dog sitting at the handler's side, to begin the exercise, the evaluator pets the dog on the head and body. The handler may talk to his or her dog throughout the exercise. The dog may stand in place as it is petted. The dog must not show shyness or resentment.

Test 3: Appearance and grooming
This practical test demonstrates that the dog will welcome being groomed and examined and will permit someone, such as a veterinarian, groomer or friend of the owner, to do so. It also demonstrates the owner's care, concern and sense of responsibility. The evaluator inspects the dog to determine if it is clean and groomed. The dog must appear to be in healthy condition (i.e., proper weight, clean, healthy and alert). The handler should supply the comb or brush commonly used on the dog. The evaluator then softly combs or brushes the dog, and in a natural manner, lightly examines the ears and gently picks up each front foot. It is not necessary for the dog to hold a specific position during the examination, and the handler may talk to the dog, praise it and give encouragement throughout.

Test 4: Out for a walk (walking on a loose lead)
This test demonstrates that the handler is in control of the dog. The dog may be on either side of the handler. The dog's position should leave no doubt that the dog is attentive to the handler and is responding to the handler's movements and changes of direction. The dog need not be perfectly aligned with the handler and need not sit when the handler stops. The evaluator may use a pre-plotted course or may direct the handler/dog team by issuing instructions or commands. In either case, there should be a right turn, left turn, and an about turn with at least one stop in between and another at the end. The handler may talk to the dog along the way, praise the dog, or give commands in a normal tone of voice. The handler may sit the dog at the halts if desired.

Test 5: Walking through a crowd
This test demonstrates that the dog can move about politely in pedestrian traffic and is under control in public places. The dog and handler walk around and pass close to several people (at least three). The dog may show some interest in the strangers but should continue to walk with the handler, without evidence of over-exuberance, shyness or resentment. The handler may talk to the dog and encourage or praise the dog throughout the test. The dog should not jump on people in the crowd or strain on the leash.

Test 6: Sit and down on command and Staying in place
This test demonstrates that the dog has training, will respond to the handler's commands to sit and down and will remain in the place commanded by the handler (sit or down position, whichever the handler prefers). The dog must do sit AND down on command, then the owner chooses the position for leaving the dog in the stay. Prior to this test, the dog's leash is replaced with a line 20 feet long. The handler may take a reasonable amount of time and use more than one command to get the dog to sit and then down. The evaluator must determine if the dog has responded to the handler's commands. The handler may not force the dog into position but may touch the dog to offer gentle guidance. When instructed by the evaluator, the handler tells the dog to stay and walks forward the length of the line, turns and returns to the dog at a natural pace. The dog must remain in the place in which it was left (it may change position) until the evaluator instructs the handler to release the dog. The dog may be released from the front or the side.

Test 7: Coming when called
This test demonstrates that the dog will come when called by the handler. The handler will walk 10 feet from the dog, turn to face the dog, and call the dog. The handler may use encouragement to get the dog to come. Handlers may choose to tell dogs to "stay" or "wait" or they may simply walk away, giving no instructions to the dog.

Test 8: Reaction to another dog
This test demonstrates that the dog can behave politely around other dogs. Two handlers and their dogs approach each other from a distance of about 20 feet, stop, shake hands and exchange pleasantries, and continue on for about 10 feet. The dogs should show no more than casual interest in each other. Neither dog should go to the other dog or its handler.

Test 9: Reaction to distraction
This test demonstrates that the dog is confident at all times when faced with common distracting situations. The evaluator will select and present two distractions. Examples of distractions include dropping a chair, rolling a crate dolly past the dog, having a jogger run in front of the dog, or dropping a crutch or cane. The dog may express natural interest and curiosity and/or may appear slightly startled but should not panic, try to run away, show aggressiveness, or bark. The handler may talk to the dog and encourage or praise it throughout the exercise.

Test 10: Supervised separation
This test demonstrates that a dog can be left with a trusted person, if necessary, and will maintain training and good manners. Evaluators are encouraged to say something like, "Would you like me to watch your dog?" and then take hold of the dog's leash. The owner will go out of sight for three minutes. The dog does not have to stay in position but should not continually bark, whine, or pace unnecessarily, or show anything stronger than mild agitation or nervousness. Evaluators may talk to the dog but should not engage in excessive talking, petting, or management attempts (e.g, "there, there, it's alright").

intermediate class (attend 10 sessions during a 6 month period) $150


no intermediate classes are currently scheduled, intermediate skills are practiced in the older puppy class (Tuesday 8:15-9:15) and the cgc plus agility class (Wednesday 5:45-6:45 )