Dog Training

Because Life Isn't the Westminster Dog Show.

Our classes provide you with hands-on coaching and real-world methods to help you transform your pet into a loving, polite, and safe member of your household. Our methods are balanced - we use positive motivation and reward-based techniques, yet we don't shy away from teaching appropriate boundaries via gentle and clear consequences. Classes are offered seven days a week and are insightful, creative, and effective. Over 80% of our students pass their Puppy S.T.A.R. and Canine Good Citizen evaluations (think of them as SATs for dogs) on the first try.

Basic Obedience Classes

Most folks who come to Obedience classes have things just about 'half right' - they have a positive relationship with their dog and have been diligent about trying to raise up a friendly, sweet animal. But typically, the 'other half' is missing - how to put boundaries on an out-of-control dog so that the dog still loves the owner but also take more responsibility for behaving politely in the presence of people. This is where we can really help, with techniques, sometimes different equipment, and always - coaching and encouragement! Owners must be able to hang on to the dog on leash, but that's about all. We teach more than a dozen communication words, plus loose leash walking, greeting manners, and several fun tricks designed to help your dog be safe around strangers and children.

Puppy Classes

We have a class for each development stage your puppy goes through: Puppy PreSchool - for smart puppy owners who understand that training should begin NOW! Get going on the basics, have all your New Puppy Questions answered, and start off socializing your puppy and encouraging acceptance of handling and restraint. Puppy 101 - a good place to start off right, walking on a loose leash, sharing, house-training, crate training, positive reinforcement, and most importantly - structured socialization! Puppy 102 - for puppies who have just completed Puppy 101, this class adds life-like distractions and situations to all the good things your puppy learned in the first class. Longer stays, quicker responses, better leash walking, are emphasized, as are things like what to do when the doorbell rings and other household distractions. Puppies take the A.K.C. Puppy S.T.A.R. certification on the last week of class.

Specialty Classes

We believe there's more to 'obedience' than just the basics, so we offer a host of ongoing, advanced, and fun classes for all ages and breeds of dogs. Agility, K9 Nose Work, Reactive Rover, Outdoor Adventure, Farm Excursion, Canine Good Citizen, Advanced Obedience, and Tricks are just a few of the different types of class activities that your dog may enjoy. The opportunities rotate and change often, so check our Class Schedule to find out what is currently available.

Training Camp

Unleash the Good in Your Dog!

Training C.A.M.P. is our specialty. We created this program as a wonderful way to obtain professional training assistance without the stress and loneliness of sending your dog off to boarding school. With our award-winning daily drop-off training program, you stay highly involved during the process, so you learn right along with your pet - and never have to spend the night without each other.

Training C.A.M.P.

Since every dog and every family is different, we customize our instruction to resolve the issues at hand. Jumping? Barking? Pulling on leash? All of the above? We focus on the areas that need the most attention in your life with your dog.

Initial Training: Your dog stays with us during the day and goes home to you each evening, Monday through Friday, for three weeks. Each day, your dog enjoys several training sessions with an experienced C.A.M.P. Trainer, plus Lap Time, Nap Time, and (if appropriate) supervised Play Time with other dogs. Each evening, you'll receive a report card of your dog's progress, then you'll take over and work with your dog on simple homework assignments. Every week you will receive a private coaching session with an experienced trainer, so that you can participate in your dog's training progress each step of the way. Basic 3-week Training C.A.M.P. includes Sit, Down, Shake, Wait, Off, Stay, Leave It, Come Here, walking on a loose leash, working around distractions, and much more. Your pet will also go on several off-site field trips.

Maintenance Training: The most important element necessary to maintain your pet's training is practice, practice, practice! After the initial three weeks of Training C.A.M.P., your graduate will be able to sign up for Refresher Day maintenance training. These drop-off days include a full day of play, love, and maintenance training to help support and solidify everything learned in Training C.A.M.P. As a bonus, often the dogs go on an outdoor excursion in and around Issaquah, during which we teach dogs some additional things, such as how to carry a backpack.

Post-Graduate Support: We are only successful if you and your pet are successful together. Therefore, our Lifetime Coaching guarantee of support comes complimentary with every 3-or 4-week Training C.A.M.P. After graduating from Training C.A.M.P., if you experience any difficulties or questions about what we worked on in Training C.A.M.P. with your dog, you can come back in and have a private Lifetime Coaching lesson here at Riverdog with one of our experienced trainers - at no charge.

Specialty Training C.A.M.P.s

Selecting the right type and length of C.A.M.P. is typically done after meeting with us for a complimentary Behavior Evaluation. In addition to our 3-Week program, we offer a 4-week program for dogs with behavior problems, We do not work with dogs who have aggression problems or dogs who have had confirmed bites. You may also like our 1-2 week short course if your dog already has training, yet needs improvement or refreshing on a few simple commands. And if you are looking solely for a long-distance 'Come' command, we are one of only a handful of trainers who offer a 2-week course for off leash radio collar control.

Individual Instruction from Experienced Trainers

Private lessons are available for clients who wish to work individually with an experienced Trainer. Privates work well for clients who want extra instruction in addition to basic classes, or who may be working on specific problems not appropriate for the class environment, such as aggression and reactivity.

Private Lessons at Riverdog

When you arrive, you will be asked to complete a short history of your pet, then the instruction will begin. These lessons are about one hour long, and the agenda will be completely determined by your needs and what you wish to accomplish. You'll work in our beautiful Hairizona classroom, or outdoors in our large open field upon request. 

Positive Puppy Starting Lesson

Our highly popular Positive Puppy Starting privates are available for clients who are waiting to begin puppy classes but wanting to get a head-start on their training in the meantime. You and your puppy will meet with a trainer for one hour, during which you'll receive hands-on coaching on the latest positive training techniques, an assessment of your puppy's temperament, and answers to all kinds of questions relative to successfully rearing a puppy, such as house training, crate training, socializing, and the like. At the end of the lesson, you'll receive a nice thick packet of supporting material to take home for reference. For more puppy services see Positive Puppy Starting.

How To Enroll

To enroll, call or email us to set up an appointment for a free initial Training and Behavior Evaluation so that we can meet you and your dog and understand your training needs. This meeting is required prior to starting C.A.M.P. so that we are able to customize our program to your family in order to meet your training and behavior goals. Fill out form below to get started!

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Information about our current scheduled classes. Not all class descriptions are below. We update class schedules around the 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month.