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Puppy Pre-School for Building Manners, Behaviors, and Ongoing Relationships

Our Puppy Pre-School for Building Manners, Behaviors, and Ongoing Relationships class provides young puppies with the building blocks on which to develop not only good attention and listening skills but also gives them important dog and human socialization at a key formative stage in their development.

Taught by Lisa Edwards, CDPT-KA, CDBC, the puppies are presented with both a fun and stimulating environment built on solid positive reinforcement training methods that will not only help them to become better members of your family but will also teach them to love to learn – which is a lesson that lasts a lifetime.

Puppy Class Guidelines:

  • Because of age limitations these classes are like a flash-mob.  When we have enough puppies under 20 weeks the class is “ON” and runs until we no longer have enough puppies. Owners need to notify instructor two days ahead of time if they will be attending. Classes will run when there are two or more puppies.
  • Each weekly class is 55 minutes long.
  • The class is intended for puppies 20 weeks and UNDER. Although many of these pups will not have complete vaccinations their humans need to bring a copy of current to class. Puppies who are sick should NOT attend pre-school.  Puppies need to have started their vaccination sequence.
  • This is a come-when-you-can class. We understand that not everyone can make it all the time, but puppy will still benefit from controlled and guided social experiences at an early age.

For more information on the safety of puppies attending puppy socialization classes without complete vaccinations please see this statement from Perdue University:

This letter’s purpose is to define Purdue University’s recommendations for Puppy Class protocols.

The main objectives of puppy classes are exposure and desensitization to potentially frightening stimuli, socialization, and the teaching of appropriate dog-owner interaction. Although simple commands are trained as well, obedience training is not a main objective of puppy classes.

Puppies go through well-defined developmental stages. Puppy classes are designed to utilize the sociability of young puppies. However, the socialization period of dogs ends at around 12-14 weeks of age. Up to that age, puppies can readily learn not to fear new things, and to develop appropriate social behavior. If this opportunity to shape puppy behavior is missed, the puppies are likely to show behavior disturbances later in life. Therefore, in order to maximize the benefits of puppy classes, puppies should be enrolled at 7-10 weeks of age if possible, the sooner the better.

The puppy classes at Purdue University’s Animal Behavior Clinic start any time between 7 and 14 weeks of age and at least 10 days after initial vaccination for the Distemper/Parvo combination and Bordatella. We encourage the use of an intranasal Bordatella/Parainfluenza (+/- Adeno) combination and the use of a high-titer, low-passage Parvo vaccination. These should be vaccinations administered after a thorough veterinary exam. Several vaccines are currently on the market, which meet these requirements.

Trainers and veterinarians have had concerns about placing puppies at risk in an environment where they may pick up an infectious disease. As with anything, one must always weigh the risks and benefits. “Puppy cuteness” only lasts so long and many more puppies currently lose their homes due to behavior reasons than die of viral diseases.

We are aware of only one Parvo problem in a puppy preschool class in Minnesota in the early 90′s and none since high titer Parvo vaccines gained mainstream use in 1995. There have been no Puppy Class participants infected with Parvo virus in any puppy classes offered at Ohio State or Purdue University. These are both facilities that treat high humane society caseloads and numerous Parvo cases annually.

Preliminary investigations underway at the University of Pennsylvania suggest that low-level exposure to pathogens, like what might occur in a clean although not completely sterile environment, may actually promote a “stronger” or more responsive immune system. (verbal communication with Dr. Karen Overall, dipl ACVB 1998)

Let’s welcome new puppies into our society by showing them what we expect, not dispose of them because we failed to communicate our expectations at a time when the puppies are most impressionable.

We will work on a few basic skills to teach your puppy while we allow puppies to socialize.

They will play with each other and with the other humans present. We will teach puppy appropriate play and interactions while we teach you how to guide your pup much like an adult dog would help a younger member of their pack learn good social skills. It is just as important that your puppy learn good doggie social skills as it is that you learn what is appropriate and what is not and how to best interrupt behaviors that may lead to being a bully dog later in life or being bullied later in life.

This class does not replace the skills taught in the Basic class. It is geared to be an adjunct to the Basic class or other puppy classes that you may already be taking.

Click here for our class schedules.


Basic Manners, Behaviors, and Relationships Class

Our Basic Manners, Behaviors, and Relationships class sets dogs of all ages out on the path of not only developing a solid set of aptitude and personal skills but also builds a love of learning based on positive reinforcement training methods.

Taught by Lisa Edwards, CDPT-KA, CDBC, students are presented with both a fun and stimulating environment that helps them learn the basic skills to not only be better dogs but also better members of your family.

Basic Class Guidelines:

  • Each class is six weeks long, meeting on a weekly basis at the same time and location. The first week is just for humans and then dogs attend all the rest of the classes with their handlers.
  • Each weekly class is 55 minutes long.
  • The class is intended for dogs from eight weeks and up. We have had dogs as old as seven years in the class — it’s never too late to start. Proof of vaccination is required prior to the beginning of the first class with dogs.
  • Because class size is limited, once you have enrolled and a spot has been reserved for you we cannot offer refunds.

Basic Class Outline:

Humans will work on:

  • Teaching dogs behaviors and manners.
  • Communicating with their dog.
  • Reading their dog’s body language to help avoid problems and issues.
  • Appropriate handling.
  • Developing attention skills.

Doggies will work on:

  • Sit
  • Down
  • Stay
  • Wait
  • Loose-lead Walking
  • Off
  • Drop It
  • Leave It
  • Attention
  • Trust
  • Go Say Hello
  • Settle

The tuition for our Basic class is $190.

Click here for our class schedules.


Intermediate Manners, Behaviors, and Relationships Class

Our Intermediate Manners, Behaviors, and Relationships class continues dogs along the path of expanding and proofing their set of aptitude and personal skills in a fun and rewarding atmosphere based on positive reinforcement training methods.

Taught by Lisa Edwards, CDPT-KA, CDBC, students are presented with an environment that is both fun and challenging without ever once forgetting that for dogs to want to learn they have to enjoy it.

Intermediate Class Guidelines:

  • Each class is six weeks long, meeting on a weekly basis at the same time and location.
  • Each weekly class is 55 minutes long.
  • Both the Dog and Human need to have graduated from the Basic Class or have prior permission from instructor. Proof of vaccination is required prior to the beginning of the first class.
  • Because class size is limited, once you have enrolled and a spot has been reserved for you we cannot offer refunds.

Intermediate Class Outline:

Humans will proof and fine-tune:

  • Dog behaviors and manners.
  • Communication with and understanding their dog’s body language in distracting environments to help avoid potential issues.
  • Appropriate handling in distracting and stressful environments.
  • Attention skills with ever greater distractions.

Doggies will proof and fine-tune:

  • Stay – with distance and distractions.
  • Wait – with distance and distractions.
  • Loose-lead Walking with distractions.
  • The Beginning of Heel.
  • Come – with distance and distractions.
  • Distance commands
  • Attention – with distractions.

Doggies will proof and review:

  • Trust.
  • Sit.
  • Down.
  • Off.
  • Drop-It.
  • Leave-It.

The tuition for our Intermediate class is $190.

Click here for our class schedules.


Advanced Manners, Behaviors, and Relationships Class

Our Advanced Manners, Behaviors, and Relationships class presents dogs with a challenging series of exercises and skills in a fun and rewarding atmosphere based on positive reinforcement training methods.

Taught by Lisa Edwards, CDPT-KA, CDBC, students are presented with an environment that provides them with a skill-set that will not only allow them to function well in complex environments but will also prepare them to move onto more advanced areas like animal-assisted therapy.

Advanced Class Guidelines:

  • Each class is six weeks long, meeting on a weekly basis at the same time and location.
  • Each weekly class is 55 minutes long.
  • Both the Dog and Human need to have graduated from the Intermediate Class or have prior permission from instructor. Proof of vaccination is required prior to the beginning of the first class.
  • Because class size is limited, once you have enrolled and a spot has been reserved for you we cannot offer refunds.

Advanced Class Outline:

Humans will proof and fine-tune:

  • Communicating precise commands, instructions, and requests.
  • ON and OFF lead attention skills with ever greater distractions.

Humans and Doggies will proof and fine-tune:

  • More HEEL ON and OFF Lead.
  • Review of FRONT, BACK, FORWARD, FOLLOW, and TURN.
  • Touch.
  • Recall — ON and OFF Lead.
  • Just for Fun: Moving Down, Moving Stand, Jump, and Heel Backwards.

Humans and Doggies will proof and review skills for the CGC Canine Good Citizen Test:

  • Accepting a friendly stranger.
  • Sitting politely for petting, sit and down.
  • Appearance and grooming, drop-it and leave-it.
  • Out for a walk.
  • Walking through a crowd.
  • Sit and down on command, staying in place.
  • Come when called.
  • Reaction to another dog.
  • Reactions to distractions.
  • Held by a stranger.

The tuition for our Advanced class is $190.

Click here for our class schedules.


Animal-Assisted Therapy, Education and Activities Class

The Essence of the Human-Animal Bond:

“It is a rare thing in humans to be able to look at the face of a person whose life has so obviously been harsh, or has taken a turn in that direction, without visible pity and anguish. And it is a rare thing for the person being looked upon to not see the discomfort in the face of the onlooker. However, it is the dog, the cat, and the rest of our companion animals who do not see what has been, but who look only at the possibility of and need for joy that exists in all of us. For the animals, it’s not about pity, anguish, or guilt, it is about their rare and majestic gift of being able to tease out the joy in all things even where there seems to be none left. And it is in this that allows them to often go where no person can go to do therapeutic work.”
- LJ Edwards

dantevisit2This class is for anyone wishing to be involved with their dog in any kind of visiting program, and especially for anyone wishing to be a registered Pet Partner.

Lisa has been teaching Animal Assisted Therapy, Education, and Activity classes since 2000 and is a Pet Partner (formerly Delta) certified Instructor, Certified Evaluator, and has been a Registered Pet Partner with  three of her dogs. Lisa is also a guest speaker at Green Chimneys and holds workshops for the Hudson Valley Humane Society Visiting Pet Program.

Here are a couple student comments collected anonymously:

“Mrs. Edwards is very professional and has always delivered the material on a level the entire class could understand. Mrs. Edwards incorporates humor as well as stories and metaphors to further drive home her point or lessons. She is an outstanding instructor.”

“What a fabulous instructor and class! We are eager to continue!! Thank you – even the hour long commute on my only day off was worth every minute!”

Here are some not-so-anonymous testimonials from some of our students:

Sophie-Testimonial-Photo-1The handling skills that I learned with my dog, Sophie, in Lisa Edwards’ AAT class gave us a wonderful foundation for the visiting that we began soon after completing the course. In the area where we live, there are dog/handler classes for obedience, rally agility and tracking, but none that teach the skills specific to therapy work, so we commuted from update NY to Mahopac for the 10 week class. There’s no doubt in my mind that I would do it again without hesitation.

The exercises, the work amidst distractions and the role playing gave meaning to the material we studied and prepared us “for the real world.” Being able to practice and hone our handling skills under Lisa’s watchful eye gave me confidence and helped build a relationship of trust with my dog. I have no doubt that we are a stronger team because of her class.

Jean and Sophie, Ithaca, NY

One thing that impressed me the most about Lisa’s classes is that there are no “stars” (either human or pet). Everyone participates – with the same goal – to help the other humans and pets understand and enjoy each other a little better.
Cobber-and-Dodger-Testimonial-Photo-1After just two classes with both of my dogs in the same class, the change was obvious to me and to all who visited our home. The dogs’ demeanors changed drastically for the better – toward guests and toward each other. And the best part – no more pulling on leashes and no more need for the Gentle Leader.

Lisa’s knowledge and intuitiveness of dog behavior was readily apparent from the first class and from the respect she gets from the outset from the owners of and from the dogs. More importantly, Lisa makes the class fun for all, and heaven knows, we humans sometimes have to chill.

Cobber-and-Dodger-Testimonial-Photo-2Thanks to Lisa, Cobber and I passed the Delta evaluation (although I’m still peeved that Cobber received a higher score than I did) and we look forward to doing visits in conjunction with the HEART Program. And, time permitting, I will be back in the Spring for the Delta class with Dodger.

Cobber, Donald, and Dodger, too
Garrison, NY

Dear Lisa,

Had it not been for your knowledge, patience and creativity we would not have passed the Delta evaluation. After failing twice I was beginning to think that this might not be for us.

Orville and I had been to other trainers without success. No other trainer was able to figure out how to get Orville to understand the requirements for being a therapy dog were different from his former experience as a show dog.

Orville-Testimonial-Photo-1Thank you for giving us the ability to participate in his gratifying experience. Orville and I have been doing a lot of therapy work and as you predicted he is perfect for the job.

There is a boy in the local Children’s Hospital, who is waiting for a heart to be transplanted and he loves Orville. Orville has also become attached to him and when we go into his room Orville jumps up on the bed and does his lap dog routine. Yesterday while on a visit two Pediatric Cardiologists came in to examine the little boy. I had previously told him that I would be back on Tuesday. The doctors informed him that he was going to have a diagnostic procedure done either Tuesday or Wednesday. The little boy replied that Tuesday would not work for him. The doctors asked why not Tuesday and he replied Orville will be visiting.

Lisa I know it is your profession but I have to thank you again for helping both of us have these incredible experiences.

With my very best regards,

Michael Galuskin
West Nyack, NY

Lisa has set up dozens of programs through HART Programs and with her own Pet Partners she has done several hundred visits throughout her AATEA career. As a result, she is keenly aware of what a team will encounter on any given visit. She structures her AATEA course as an adjunct to the Pet Partners Team Training Course and as a support for any other visiting pet program by teaching the handling skills boovisit2necessary to prepare teams for the variety of experiences their dogs will need to tolerate while she prepares the humans to support and facilitate the animal connection while visiting. This course will cover the advanced skills necessary for interacting and working around various medical equipment, strange objects and toys, out-of-the-ordinary spaces, and new environments; this course will explore best practices for handling dogs in various distracting situations, how best to handle the stress your dog will face while doing this work, and how to best interact with the various interpersonal situations visiting will bring including, but not limited to, what to do when your dog won’t visit with someone, or what to do if there is an incident.

Three Dogs Training offers the six week AATEA class for handler and dog, and offers separately the one-day Pet Partner Workshop for handlers only.

Teams can do any combination of those two that works for them.

The Three Dogs Training Animal Assisted Therapy, Education, and Activities (AATEA) class is for the dog and handler together. This class prepares the team for most national evaluations and prepares them for the various situations they will face on a visit. This class focuses on the connection between handler and dog and exercises the team around distractions and in mock visiting situations. We will expose your dog to a variety of distractions, and things that can be spooky for a dog like medical equipment, strange surfaces, odd moving items, etc. We will teach you how to help your dog around these things and make it fun. We will teach you how to read your dog’s subtle signals and signs to keep all visits fun and safe for you, your dog and the clients. All of this will build a wonderful working connection, relationship, and rapport between you and your dog.

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Teams will need to pass a pre-evaluation by Lisa Edwards prior to the beginning of the AATEA class. There is a nominal fee for pre-evaluations (scheduled individually).

This is a 6 week long class and meets for an hour and a half each week. For upcoming class dates please see our class schedule.

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The Pet Partners Team Training Workshop is for Handlers Only. This is the One-Day workshop that is required by Pet Partners before a Team can take the evaluation test. Teams may also opt for the Pet Partners Online Team Training Course. Three Dogs Training offers the Pet Partners Team Training Workshop in Mahopac or Brewster, New York. The fee for the one day workshop includes your Pet Partners Team Training Manual and lunch. For upcoming class and workshop dates please see our class schedule.


Distract-O-Doggie/Rally-O Class

Please note: this is not the class to work through dog-dog aggression or fear issues. These issues are best suited for Private Training or Behavioral Consulting.

Distract-O-Doggie

Taught by Lisa Edwards, CDPT-KA, CDBC, this class focuses on all the distracting things that suddenly make our dogs forget that we are standing right next to them. Based on our proven positive reinforcement methods, we work in as much fun for the humans as we can while we are proofing doggies to working around ever-increasing distractions and stressors.

Additionally, each week we will explore different Rally-O exercises in preparation for fun and/or competition. This class is ideal for anyone looking to ask their dogs to do Animal Assisted Therapy, service work, SAR, competition, or to just be the best dog they can be when company comes over or you take them to doggie camp. We build understanding, communication and reliability with this class.

The Distract-a-Doggie Portion – is great for proofing and practicing behaviors in ever-increasingly distracting situations – it is also Great Fun! Some of the games we have played in Distract-a-Doggie have been a hoot for all and great work for the dogs:

  • A quick game of kick ball allows humans to know just how motivated their dog is by moving objects like balls and running people; and allows humans to learn how to adjust their dog’s behavior around these things if necessary.
  • A rousing game of charades or musical chairs allows humans to see where they need to work with their dogs on the fine art of just being around other dogs without interacting when great, exciting things are happening all around.
  • Talking dolls and motorized toys allow humans to know how their dogs will react to these objects and what they may need to do to adjust behavior or make doggie feel safe.

In addition, we explore a variety of techniques designed to allow the human brain an insight into the thinking of the doggie.

The Rally-O Portion – is a direct re-creation of the exercises used by both APDT and AKC in their Rally-O competitions and a strange application of Rally-O exercises in configurations designed to increase social pressure and proof better and better behaviors. Rally-O is a new sport that is loosely a cross between competition obedience and agility. It is less physically demanding on the human and dog than agility and less rigid in the positioning and postures usually associated with competition obedience. Rally-O is a sport that forces human and doggie to communicate with the same precision as one would need in either agility or competition obedience. It allows for the human-dog team to develop some very nice working skills that can be applied to the demands of therapy work, show work, mediating or preventing behavioral issues, or just getting around the house with multiple big dogs. The beauty of Rally-O is that its premise appears rather simple, but the actualization of the exercises is anything but simple without practice.

The better we can be at reading the distracted dog, and at knowing what we need to do for each level of distraction, the happier and less conflicted our relationship with our dog will be – and the more likely we will be to be able to regain their attention when they are distracted and pulled in other directions.  This class offers anyone interested in advanced work with their dogs, Animal Assisted Therapy, Service work, SAR, or just advanced work around the house when company comes over the opportunity to work around distraction, work better and better positioning skills and learn how to help their dog tolerate every increasing stressors and distractions. My experience working with dogs who have behavioral issues has shown me that the more we can reliably ask of our dogs the deeper our level of communications is and the better equipped we are to avoid or adjust behavioral problems now or in the future.

  • Each class is six weeks long, meeting on a weekly basis at the same time and location.
  • Each weekly class is 55 minutes long. This class is a nice mental workout for both the doggies and humans.
  • This class is open to anyone who has taken the AATEA class, the Three Dogs Training  Intermediate Manners, Behaviors & Relationships dog training class or higher level, or by pre-evaluation with instructor.
  • This class can be taken as a whole course or teams can attend on a drop-in basis that suit their schedules and needs.

Click here for our class schedules.


Tricks, Puzzles & Clicks

Tricks and puzzles help us understand our dog’s wants while we help them to dispense extra energy after a walk or an exciting visit from family. Tricks and puzzles are invaluable enrichment for your dog’s life – and fun for you, too!

Taught by Lisa Edwards, CDPT-KA, CDBC, this class focuses on shaping tricks and puzzle solving skills while developing clear, positive markers via clickers and others tools in the world of positive reinforcement.

Tricks are a lovely way to take a behavior your dog insists on doing (that you may not like so much) and shape it into something that works for everyone. For example:

  • The jumping dog learns to go up in the air and balance like Scooby Doo instead of jumping on people.
  • The dog who is constantly giving paw learns to play patty-cake instead and generally only when cued.
  • And the dog who chews everything they can find not nailed down in your house learns to pick up strange things and bring them to you instead of eating them while you are not looking.
  • Then there are the fun silly tricks like riding a skate board, dancing through your legs, rolling a ball through a hoop, and more…

All too often when a dog keeps doing something over and over again they are telling us they enjoy it or otherwise need to do it for one reason or another. If we are annoyed by these behaviors and just say no (or even punish the dog) for doing them, we are not helping the dog because we are actually not teaching them anything.

As their parents, our job is to help our dogs understand what we want from them and help them to accomplish it.

Puzzles are the very best way to dispense your dog’s extra energy. Whether your dog is cranked up because it’s a yucky day out and you can’t go for a walk or your dog is cranked up because you just had a great walk and they’re now bouncing off the walls, puzzle toys will allow your dog to do what Nature intended for them to do. Dogs are hunters and gatherers who are more cunning than we would like sometimes, so let’s give them the chance to use those smarts in ways that don’t drive us mad.

The dog who opens your closet doors to get your shoes out will have a blast with some of the higher end puzzle toys out there – and the ones I can teach you to make up yourself. The dogs who currently aren’t getting into things will enjoy some of the easier puzzle toys we can come up with. Either way, whether your dog is doing Advanced Sudogku or Sudogku for Beginners they will have a blast.

Additionally, we will polish your abilities to mark the exact behaviors you are looking for in your dog for more precise performance in all areas of your dog’s life. Clickers, keep-going-praise and marker words will take center stage in getting your dog to move through the tricks and puzzles.

This class is ideal for anyone looking to ask their dogs to do animal assisted therapy, service work, SAR, competition – or to just be the best dog they can be.

The Tricks – are great for visiting and working dogs. Tricks entertain clients on a visit, and when working in either visiting or service tricks allow your dog a moment of fun, stress-relieving exercise. At home, tricks allow you to redirect your dog and to both enjoy a quick bit of fun together.

The Puzzles – are great when working in service or SAR. Most of the training for these occupations requires a puzzle-acute canine mind and to be a successful service or SAR dog your dog needs to be an independent thinking puzzle master. At home, puzzles allow your dog the cognitive exercise the canine mind requires to keep from getting into trouble.

The Clicks – are a great way for you to become a better trainer as you learn both precise timing and the patience required to shape behaviors.

This class is six weeks long, meeting on a weekly basis at the same time and location.

Each weekly class is 55 minutes long and a wonderful mental workout for both the doggies and humans.

This class is open to anyone who has taken the AATEA class, the Three Dogs Training Intermediate Manners, Behaviors and Relationships dog training class or higher level, or by pre-evaluation with Lisa.

This class can be taken as a whole course or teams can attend any number of classes that suit their schedules and needs – the first class must be attended to begin, then you can drop in as needed for your schedule.

Click here for our class schedules.


Nose Work Class

This class will introduce you and your dog to the canine nose and what your dog can do with it.

With over 200 million receptors in their noses, your dog has an almost supernatural ability to detect scent and so many of us have already seen just how much fun it is for them. This is the greatest puzzle toy we can give our dogs to enrich their lives and keep them thinking and loving it.

Taught by Lisa Edwards, CDPT-KA, CDBC, this class will teach your dog how to begin to search for scent without your help – remember you do not know what their nose knows! The motto of this class is “let go and let dog…”

This is a great way to give your dog a job. It is open to anyone who has been through the Three Dogs Training Basic class or higher levels or by special permission of the instructor.

Click here for our class schedules.


Free Form Class

Free Form is a solutions/shaping/proofing class.

This is the class where you get to tell me what we will be working on each week as students present me with a couple training challenges or puzzles and together we will work on them.

You might want to work on loose-leash walking, barking, mouthy behaviors, resource guarding, jumping, chewing, stress reduction, pushy attention getting behaviors, tricks, fears and confidence building. This is the place!!!

In other words let’s say you’ve done Basic, maybe Intermediate, or even Advanced and there are still things nagging you – this is the class!

Very often folks have similar issues but don’t compare notes, sometimes teams can learn from each other as much as from me. This is not the class for reactive behavior that we nave not worked on in private setting. Teams need to have done at least Basic manners or have instructor’s approval.

You can enroll for all six classes or drop-in when you can or need to.

The tuition for our Free Form class is $160.

Click here for our class schedules.

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