How To Choose a Training Class and Make the Most of It
Vivian Levén, CPDT-KSA, CBCC-KA
Dog Training Director

At Fur-Get Me Not we focus on the family dog and help rescue dogs get adjusted in their new homes. That said, there are still lots of possible choices that you as a dog owner have to make. How do you figure out which training services would work best for you? Below is some helpful information on how to decide between the different options and find the right class for you and your dog.

Levels program
This is our basic obedience program and it is a good fit for every dog who needs to learn manners. It can include a new puppy or a newly adopted rescue dog. These classes are for dogs that would not otherwise have issues participating in a group class. Our instructors are flexible in accommodating special cases as long as the dog can function in a room with other dogs and people. For example, we can handle some minor fear issues, and dogs who need some extra space from other dogs, with no problem. If your dog ends up not being a good fit for group classes, we would transfer you to a more appropriate class. We would not turn you away; our goal is to partner with you.

Specialty classes
Our specialty classes are geared towards two audiences. The first is for dogs with an especially difficult behavior that needs tweaking. For example, our Dog Reactive class is for dogs reactive to other dogs and People Reactive class is for dogs reactive to people. Impulse Control class is for dogs that need to improve their self-control. Dogs that have some frustration issues on leash that materializes in minor reactivity may also be a good fit for the Impulse Control class. Our Confidence Building class is for fearful dogs that have difficulty in everyday life situations due to their fears. It may be fear of people, other dogs, sounds, novel visuals, or a new environment. The Social Manners class is an excellent choice to warm your dog up to future off leash interactions with other dogs as well as to practice on gaining more reliability when interacting with your dog around distractions like the proximity of other dogs.

The second is for people who have completed some good manners work with their dogs and are looking for new challenges or would like to continue to work with their dog in a more active setting. We offer classes such as Wag It Games, Therapy, or a Sports Sampler allowing you to enrich your dog’s life outside of standard obedience classes. We also offer a City Walks class which takes your dog's obedience education outside. The class is a great way to practice what you have learned in class in the real-life environment. We've taught classes in both Shirlington Village and in Clarendon.

These are shorter classes, lasting 1 or 2 sessions. It can be an add-on for students in our Levels Program who want more practice on one particular behavior. It is also a way for a new student to try us out and decide whether they want to commit to a longer program. It is also an excellent option for private clients to get some group class exposure to see how they are doing in a different setting with their training. Some of the workshops are obedience related, others are focused on classical conditioning like the handling workshop, and others are just for fun.

NoseWork classes
We are one of few training facilities in this area who have Certified NoseWork Instructors. This class is all about letting the dog do the work, while the owners stand to the side to watch! It can be a difficult transition in the beginning for some, but it does wonders for the confidence of the dog. It is a wonderful activity for dogs to take part in and handlers learn a lot about their dogs just by watching. One dog is out on the floor at a time. We recommend it for anyone who wants to do an activity with their dog. We are especially proud that we can accommodate all our specialty class students who want to take these classes. Both people and dog reactive dogs are welcome and encouraged to attend. We have procedures to handle them in the class setting, and it is a great way to continue working with these dogs. It is truly doggie therapy.

Day training
While your dog is in daycare or boarding with us we can work with your dog. If your dog is at your house, we can come to your home and work with your dog too, while you are at work! Day training can be a good alternative for the really busy client, or the client who wants a more experienced trainer to complement the work that they do themselves at home. You sign up per session so there is great flexibility.

Private training
These happen at our facility or in your home and always with you present. We cover everything from regular obedience to behavioral problems. Every client receives a personalized summary e-mailed to them after each session. We only allow our certified trainers (CPDT-KA and CPDT-KSA) to conduct private sessions.

Our trainers have a great interest in canine behavior and no matter how challenging the behavior, we are here to partner with you. We love working with all types and all kind of issues that you and your dog may be facing.