Mylinda Weeks

 CPDT-KA

info@barkandlaugh.com

770-789-1280

Serving:  

Cumming, GA    and  surrounding areas

Association of Pet Dog Trainers - Dog Training Professionals  

member APDT

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Modular Classes

I now have the use of a building for training classes! It is roughly 1,000 square feet of space and out of the weather. It has electricity for fans and heaters. There is plenty of parking.  Unfortunately, there are no restroom facilities or running water but I am looking into primitive toilet arrangements for emergencies, and I will have water on hand for the dogs and for you as well as coffee, hand sanitizer, wipes, and other essentials. I am very excited that I can now offer group classes in a large protected space.  This allows me to offer you so much more in class curriculums, including games that train both you and your dog!

I am moving away from the standard six week linear class structure and into a more modular structure. Linear style classes meet with the same group of students at the same time each week to go over lessons in a specified order.  Although, I will continue to have that option available if you wish. Modular style classes offer multiple classes that each focus on a "module" of behavior. 

Modular Training offers you the freedom to choose the sessions that best suit your goals and your schedule. You have the freedom to choose which behaviors you want to work on. You can progress at your own rate and you can repeat or skip lessons.  You can start when you want.  You don't have to wait for the next class to start because they start every week!  You will only need to come to orientation before starting classes and there will be at least one orientation scheduled every week.  Several behaviors are included in each module and some behaviors cross over to several modules. Each Foundation module will be offered at least twice per week.

Instead of purchasing 6 one hour classes, you will purchase a ticket to come to as many classes as you wish to within a 6, 9, or 12 week time frame. The only limitation is no back to back classes. This limitation is for the dog's benefit.  You can come to a morning class and back again to an evening class on the same day if you like, but two classes in a row is putting a lot of pressure on the dog. They will get more out of class if they have down time between classes for the lessons to "percolate".  I encourage you to come to at least two classes per week if you can.

Being able to attend classes at different times on different days gives you greater flexibility to find a class that suits your needs.  If you want to concentrate on specific behaviors, attend the class modules that address those desires.  If you have a rotating work schedule, come on your days off or in the mornings one week and the evenings the next.  This flexibility in scheduling also increases the social opportunities for your dog; as it is likely there will be different dogs in class with you each time you attend. Different dogs and their handlers will give you built-in practice at remembering manners around unfamiliar dogs and people.

At this time, each class will be limited to a maximum of 5 dogs. This will allow me to give each of you individual attention as you work toward your next goal. You can reserve your space for a class by logging into my online calendar.  (You will receive the password required to reserve a spot after purchasing your ticket.) You can see the online calendar here. 

 Bark and Laugh Class Schedule

You can have up to 8 reservations on the calendar at any one time. Once a reserved class time has passed, you will be able to reserve another spot.  If the class is full, you can put yourself on the waiting list.

 The schedule will be changing based upon demand and my availability to meet that demand. If I see that there is a big demand one week for a particular module, I will try to add another class time for that module and send out a notice to everyone on the waiting list.  If no one has signed up for a particular class, I may cancel it and use the time for other tasks.  To guarantee the class will be held, reserve the spot you want at least 24 hours in advance.  Each module will be offered at least twice each week.

 The modules I am offering are:

 Foundation Modules:

Ten behaviors and skills spread across four modules. Sit, Down, Recall (Come When Called), Loose Leash Walking (Heeling), Leave-It, Name Game (Attention to you), Wait, Settle, Targeting, Shaping (Building Behaviors by capturing what is offered)

 Good Manners - Sit, Down, Name Game, Loose Leash, Leave-It

Come and Go-   Recall, Loose Leash, Name Game, Settle

Pay Attention - Recall, Name Game, Wait, Targeting, Shaping

Self-Control -   Down, Recall, Leave-It, Wait, Settle

Each behavior has four levels of mastery to work toward. Testing for progression to the next level will be offered at each class.   After you have gained mastery of at least 80% of the Foundation behaviors, you will be able to participate in the Continuing Education modules because they require a solid and reliable foundation to build upon.

Continuing Education Series:

Rally-O - A course is laid out with stations at which specified behaviors must be performed.

Agility for fun - ramps, jumps, tables, weave poles, and tunnels of course.

Nose work - learning how to find a specified scent

Stepping Out - going out on the town as a group for refreshments and exercise while showing off our well-honed skills.

Freestyle - Dancing with your dog.

AKC Canine Good Citizen and Therapy Dog preparation

The Continuing Education Series will be offered beginning in the late spring of 2012.  These are "just for fun" classes that increase fluency in the basics and build the bond you have with your dog. They are not preparation for official competitions in that we will not be adhering strictly to the competitive rules.  If the demand is there, we may get more serious about them in the future.

 Small Breeds (under 20 pounds) have their own classes for those who would rather not be in class with larger dogs. Small Dogs are welcome in all of the classes; however, this will be a time slot just for them.

There will be Puppy Head start sessions for young puppies aged 8-16 weeks. These sessions will be free with the purchase of a six week (or more) Foundation ticket.  Puppies will not be able to start attending the Foundation modules until they are 14 weeks of age but they can get a Head Start on socialization and coping skills. Please discuss Head Start with your veterinarian and get his written permission to attend on a copy of your puppy’s vaccination record. Bring this with you to your first Head start class.  While small breed puppies are welcome at all Puppy Head Start classes, there will be Head Start classes just for them.

Drop-In sessions are for trouble shooting, socializing, and game playing. Come for a few minutes or come for the duration.  The dogs will get some playtime, and you will get an opportunity to meet folks who you haven’t yet met in a class.  Drop-In sessions are limited to 10 dogs who are current ticket holders.

Pricing

Since this is a new type of class structure for this region, I am going to start with rates that are much lower than what I have been advised to charge by my mentors (who are running this program at capacity at their facilities in the western states).  I will be increasing the ticket prices in the very near future, so take advantage of the reduced rates while you can!  Keep in mind that you can come to class as many times each week as you want with the exception of back-to-back classes on the same day.

 6   week ticket - $175  come twice a week and that's only $14.58 per class  

9  week ticket - $250   come twice a week and that's only $13.88 per class

12 week ticket - $300  come twice a week and that's only $12.50 per class

You can pay for your ticket with cash or check at Orientation, or you can pay using a credit card here:

Modular Class Tickets

 You will be able to add a week to your ticket if you like in order to complete mastery of a level for $30 per week. 

 For multiple dog families, you will need to purchase a ticket for each dog, and if the dogs come to the same class, there will need to be a handler present for each dog attending.  There is a discount of $25 for each additional ticket (of the same time period) if purchased when purchasing the ticket for the first dog. I will refund the discount to you at Orientation. .

Class attendance

 If you are going to be unable to attend class for an extended time during your ticket period, (vacation, finals, surgery, etc. ) your ticket can be frozen for up to 4 weeks if given at least 3 days of notice prior to your desired "freeze" date.  Once you are ready to start again, your ticket can be re-activated for the remaining balance of time.

 I will be taking a Saturday off every 4-6 weeks, but will adjust the schedule accordingly so that all of the modules are still offered at least twice that week. Active Ticket expiration dates will be extended free of charge if classes are suspended by instructor (that's me), due to inclement weather, extended vacation, seminar attendance etc.; and I cannot rearrange the schedule to offer the modules twice each that week.

 Not ready for Modular classes?

 So what if you don't want or need all of this flexibility?  You can also buy a 6 week linear class for $125 and come at the same time on the same day once a week for six weeks.  The first week will be Orientation (you do not have to attend the Orientation scheduled for your time slot). In each recurring time slot, the ten foundation behaviors will all be covered at least once during any 6 week period.  You can start anytime you wish. If one of my weekends off falls during your six week period, you will have an additional week added free of charge.

You can pay for your linear class by cash or check at Orientation or you can pay by credit card here:   

Linear Class

 

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