Basic Obedience

The Basic Obedience class is the heart of training at CTA.  All of our activities build on the foundation we lay in this ten week course.  Basic Obedience is appropriate for anyone who wants to train their dog, of any age.

During this 10 week series of classes our experienced instructors will demonstrate a broad range of training techniques aimed at speeding you and your dog along the learning process. Learn how to gain your dog’s cooperation through clear communication, praise, and good use of voice, leash and collar.

As your dog is learning basic commands they will begin to learn calmness and focus, even around people and other dogs.  Most dogs lack self-control because they have never been encouraged to learn it.  Obedience training develops a dog’s self-control so they are calm enough to focus on their owners and learn new desirable behaviors.

Another benefit to obedience class is socializing your dog in a controlled environment.  A well-socialized dog will be comfortable and relaxed around other dogs.The class establishes communication and teamwork between dog and handler as students master six exercises:

  • Heeling on leash with sits, turns and pace changes
  • Heeling through and around obstacles (figure eight)
  • Stand and Stay
  • Sit and Stay
  • Down and Stay
  • Recall (Come) and return to heel position

Owners quickly find how useful each of these exercises is in daily life: heeling closely down a busy street, standing for the vet and/or groomer, lying down quietly while the family eats dinner, sitting politely by the door when guests arrive and most importantly, coming when called.

This ten-week session begins with an orientation lecture and ends with a graduation where each dog-and-handler team demonstrates their accomplishments for an impartial judge.  This class is offered at both the Beltsville and Davidsonville locations at a cost of $100.  Please see Upcoming Class Listings for times and class registration forms. After completing a 10 week session, you are eligible for CTA annual membership and any of the exciting advanced classes offered.

Owners quickly find how rewarding training becomes.  Not only does daily life becomes easier through use of the commands, but more importantly, owners find the challenge of teamwork has exponentially increased their bond with their dog.  By graduation, owners are deeply proud of their accomplishment and their dog.

Puppy Obedience

Once the newness of a puppy wears off and bad and unwanted behaviors emerge, owners are eager for help.

Puppies have a shorter attention span than mature dogs, which can make an ordinary Basic Obedience class difficult for them.  At the same time, puppies are highly receptive to learning new things and forming good habits that can last a lifetime.

To make good use of this critical time, CTA offers a Puppy class for puppies from 2 months through 5 months with current shots

Puppy class focuses on creating proper relationships for your new dog.  Socializing the puppy with other dogs and new people builds their confidence and teaches them how to behave appropriately in new situations.  We demonstrate dominance training to let the puppy know that the handler is in charge, not the dog.  All work is on leash to keep the puppy safe and under control.

The class introduces the exercises that they will later master in Basic Obedience.  Exercises are taught in brief, game-like ways. 

The 6 basic exercises are:

  • Heeling on leash with sits, turns and pace changes
  • Heeling through and around obstacles (figure eight)
  • Stand and Stay
  • Sit and Stay
  • Down and Stay
  • Recall (Come) and return to heel position

We also introduce retrieving – to get the dog to go after an object, bring it back, and give it to the owner.  While a fun game, this allows you to shape your puppy into a good retriever and one who readily gives up objects in their mouth when asked to do so by their owner. An undeniably useful behavior in a puppy!