Hours:
Monday - Friday 7:30am - 8:00pm
Saturday - Sunday 8:00am - 3:00pm

Canine Life Skills Training

Puppy Training

We believe that all dogs deserve training and a responsible owner. Whether you have a new puppy, a new adult addition to your household, or are brushing up on skills and techniques, organized training classes can benefit you and your canine companion. MCAH is excited to be your partner in this adventure. Our experienced training staff is ready to guide you and your dog as you learn new techniques, improve skills, and strengthen your bond.

With multiple levels, we have a course that is right for you and your canine companion. You CAN teach old dogs new tricks! The goals for each training course are general – click here for class descriptions. The ability for handler and dog to reach these goals is dependent upon the maturity and distractibility of the dog. Additionally, the owner’s ability and willingness to work with their dog at home is a significant factor in skill development. Each dog will be treated as an individual with his or her own unique personality. We will do our best to help each and every dog (and handler) achieve your goals!

Training classes for your new puppy teach you how to communicate with your new addition most effectively. They also provide an opportunity for your dog to socialize with other dogs and learn basic skills. Organized classes also provide an opportunity to learn about housetraining, unwanted chewing, and executing basic commands in every day situations.

Adult dogs can also benefit from training classes, whether new to your home or a long-time family member. Our trainers will work with you to master basic skills, address specific behavior issues you are experiencing, or work towards achieving the American Kennel Clubs Canine Good Citizen certification.

We also offer individual private lessons as needed to addresses specific behavioral issues. We can schedule an individual session with one of our trainers to assess behavior and develop a training program and goals. An individual session may be needed just once for assessment or as a series before joining a group class session.

As with all things in life, the more you put into something, the more you get out of it. Successful training depends on consistency. Practicing skills and techniques at home on a daily basis is essential to success.

The courses are designed to teach the handler a wide range of skills needed to foster a good relationship with the dog. Our goal is to create a well-behaved canine companion and a well-socialized pet able to engage positively with other dogs. Emphasis is placed on developing trust and communication between handler and dog. While we welcome additional members of the household to participate in training, it is important that the primary handler be the same person.

Our Canine Life Skills program offers a flexible schedule to meet your needs. All courses will consist of 6 one-hour sessions. Class participants may attend classes on their schedule. Our courses are not designed on a strict 6 consecutive week schedule. If your schedule makes it necessary to skip a week, no problem. If it would work best to attend a Tuesday class one week and a Thursday class the next week, no problem. We do ask that you register in advance so that our staff can plan accordingly and we can keep the number of participants to a level to permits each student to receive the attention they require. For Level 1 and Level 2 courses, we strongly recommend you attend three consecutive weeks at the start in order to provide your dog with consistency and the best opportunity for learning.

Class Policies:

  • Registrants may attend any 6 classes of the same level. We ask that you pre-register for each session so that our staff members may plan accordingly. We limit the class so that we are able to give each handler and dog the attention they deserve.
  • For Level 1 and Level 2 courses, we strongly recommend you attend three consecutive weeks at the start in order to provide your dog with consistency and the best opportunity for learning.
  • Required Vaccinations – participants must be current on the following. For dogs younger than 4 months, please discuss with an MCAH team member.
    • Rabies
    • DHPP or DHLPP (Canine Distemper)
    • Bordetella (Kennel Cough)
  • Please enter and check in at the side entrance upon arrival each week.
  • We welcome an additional handler with each pet. It is a terrific idea for more than one household member to learn proper handling skills and techniques. The more members of the household who are familiar with handling techniques, the better.
  • Children are welcome to participate as handlers alongside an adult handler. Please let us know in advance and our staff members will bring along a trained dog with which your child may work. This is a terrific confidence builder for children!
  • Cell phones will not be allowed during class sessions. It is important to minimize distractions and interruptions for the benefit and courtesy of all participants.
  • Please be on time for class. We have a lot to cover each session and lots of enthusiastic dogs ready to go!
  • There will be homework! You and your furry friend will need to practice what you learn each week. Expect to practice 10-15 minutes, two times per day.
  • Questions are welcomed! Chances are someone else is wondering the same thing. We LOVE questions and the good discussions that often come out of them. Don’t be shy!

Materials Needed:

  • Collar – buckle, American Choke or Martingale preferred. Shock collars not permitted.
  • Soft lead, 4-6 feet long. Retractable leashes are not suitable for class.
  • Small notebook if desired to take notes
  • For practice at home, a small, non-slip rug or yoga mat
  • For practice at home, treats easy to break into smaller pieces
  • For handler, comfortable clothes and shoes. No dangling jewelry!
  • A positive and enthusiastic attitude!

Class Descriptions:

Puppy Life Skills Course $150 per student

  • For puppies 3-6 months of age OR puppies under 12 months who have not previously had any training.
  • Goals: At the end of 6 classes most puppies will be able to
    • Walk on a loose leash with distractions such as people and other puppies 5 feet away
    • Sit when handler stops, with some help. Some corrections will still be necessary
    • Sit, down and stand on command. Food may still be used to get puppy to obey
    • Do a one minute sit stay and three minute down stay while on leash and in a group setting with owner 4-6 feet away
    • Sit for exam and allow examiner to pick up front feet, ears and lips
    • Do a recall to owner from 15 feet away
    • With handler, approach another handler and puppy and have the dogs under control and sitting for a brief introduction

Beginner Life Skills Course $150 per student

  • For puppies 6-12 months of age OR puppies under 12 months who have some training.
  • Goals: At the end of 6 classes most puppies will be able to
    • Walk on a loose leash in heel position with distractions. Some corrections will still be needed
    • Sit every time the handler stops
    • Sit, down and stand on command without food and with distractions
    • Begin to respond to hand signals
    • Do a 3 minute sit stay and a 5 minute down stay in a group setting
    • Do a 20 foot recall with dogs and toys along the path
    • Stand for exam with handler touching head, shoulders, and rump
    • Sit while examiner brushes him/her

Novice Life Skills Course $150 per student

  • For puppies 12-24 months of age OR adult dogs new to your home with or without previous training
  • Goals: dogs will improve on basic skills and
    • Become more proficient at heel on lead and begin off lead heeling
    • Be exposed to noise distractions and able to maintain focus
    • Work in pairs and in opposite circles for visual distraction
    • Be able to do sit and down stays of 3-5 minutes with distractions
    • Be able to do a sit or down stay for 5 minutes with the handler out of sight and the leash being held by the instructor
    • Be able to do a 20 foot recall with other dogs walking around and food and toys along the path

Individual Training Sessions $75 per one-hour session

  • Work one-on-one with one of our experienced trainers regarding your dog’s specific needs
  • This is a great option for handlers with very specific and unique concerns or goals

Required Vaccinations – participants must be current on the following:

  • Rabies
  • DHPP or DHLPP (Canine Distemper)
  • Bordetella (Kennel Cough) For dogs younger than 4 months, please discuss with an MCAH team member

Current Class Schedule – Winter 2016-2017
Please contact a member of our Reception Team to confirm availability and reserve your preferred time slot.
Call 410-343-0200 or email Receptionist@MCAHonline.com

  Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Level 1 3:00 – 4:00 PM 12:30 – 1:30 PM - - 5:30 – 6:30 PM
Level 2 - 6:45 – 7:45 PM 11:00 – 12:00 noon 5:30 – 6:30 PM -
Level 3 6:45 – 7:45 PM - - 11:00 – 12:00 noon -