|I think I look like I got the class...|
C.L.A.S.S. is a training program that focuses on positive reinforcement to strengthen the relationship between dog and owner.
The components of C.L.A.S.S. include:
- Assess Real-Life Skills
- Encourage Ongoing Training
- Expand Opportunities for Well-Behaved Pets
- Support Shelters/Rescues
- Educate Responsible Dog Ownership and Positive Reinforcement
Something that's different about this training than say, the basic training we received at Petco, is that there is a component of assessment. Each dog and their owner is evaluated on their training skills learned in C.L.A.S.S. classes through a series of real-life activities. The three C.L.A.S.S. assessment levels include:
- Bachelor's (B.A.) Level- Core life skills
- Master's (M.A.) Level- Life skills with distractions
- Doctorate (Ph.D.) Level- Team performance reliability
How classy is Athena?
Even though Athena has completed 7 weeks of basic obedience training and many people compliment us for how well she is trained, we will find out tomorrow just how classy she really is. Before beginning the C.L.A.S.S. training we must first be evaluated to determine which level we will be placed in. So, tomorrow we are going to meet our new trainer and take the Bachelor's (B.A.) level assessment. Generally, here are the skills that we will be evaluated on (and my thoughts on how we will score):
- Wait at the door (there's a 50/50 chance we will score well on this one)
- Come and leashing up manners (come is iffy and leash up manners should be good)
- Loose leash walking and attention (eh, we shall see how Athena is feeling tomorrow...)
- Meet and greet (50/50...depending on how exciting the person is that she will be meeting...)
- Leave it (What will she have to leave? Food, toys, people? We will fail...)
- Wait for the food bowl (We've got this one 100%!)
- Stay (We better get 100% on this one too!)
- Settle (Yeah right)
- Give and take (YEAH RIGHT!)
- 2 Bonuses- rollover, spin, fetch, speak, or paw (We aren't honor students...)
As you can see I'm expecting a big ole' FAIL on this assessment. Especially since the C.L.A.S.S. program prohibits the use of the Gentle Leader and we use this tool like a crutch! Along with Athena's training assessment, we also have to pass the Student Knowledge Assessment multiple choice test about responsible dog ownership.
Even though I don't have high hopes for the assessment, I'm so excited that at the end of this new 6 week class we should be able to successfully complete all of the above skills! In a way we are also happy that we can't use the Gentle Leader in the class or during assessments because it is our ultimate goal to have Athena trained on a flat collar.
Overall, we can't wait for this new set of classes to begin! Have any of you gone through any C.L.A.S.S. training or something similar? What did you think of it?
**All of the above information comes from the Canine Life and Social Skills student handbook. You can check it out here for a full description of the training program**