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K9 Manners Level 1


In Level 1:


We Focus on basic relationship building and communication skills.


The goal is to get relaxed dogs in the group setting and get you a solid communication base with your pup.

You’ll be on your way to earning your “Novice Trick Dog Title”


What's Covered in Level 1?

  1. Attention on you in Public

  2. Name Game

  3. Place 

  4. Touch 

  5. Sit

  6. Focus 

  7. Loose Leash Walking 

  8. “WAIT” and “OK”

  9. Come 

  10. Down 

  11. Sit/Stay 

12. Excite / Settle

13. Puppy Pushups 

14. Middle

15. Back Up / Away 

16. Intro Go Say Hello

17. Settle

18. Mirror Time at Home – sit & down

Goals for Skills Level by Last Class

  1. Wait for your dog to focus on you & reward (with no lure)

    • Dog should be able to turn back to class and focus on the handler.​

  2. Name Game

    • Dog should respond with distraction and distance to Name.​

  3. Place – Ask from 3 feet away from place in class (no lure) + release

    • At Home: Dog should Place from across the room with a point and verbal place. & wait for release.

  4. Touch – Ask 3+ feet & move around in class (opposite hand baited behind back or in treat pouch)

    • At Home: Dog should respond to Touch from across the room with treat in at least opposite hand.  ​

  5. Sit – + focus from 2-3 ft. away in class (opposite hand baited behind back or in treat pouch) + release

    • At Home: Dog will sit from distance, and hold sit+focus & wait for release

  6. Focus – ask with hand signal – hold 10 seconds in class (opposite hand baited behind back or in treat pouch)

    • At Home: Dog will hold focus for 15+ seconds & wait for release

  7. Heel – 30 steps & right & left turns + focus, change pace in class (with lure if needed, no use of leash)

    • At Home: On & Off Leash dog will go 40+ steps changing pace & direction

  8. “WAIT” and “OK” 15 second wait

  9. Come – Dog will Come towards you with using their name to get their focus before asking.

    • Your dog will automatically come towards you with name, come cue, & hand signal​

  10. Down – ask + hold 5 seconds in class (jackpot ok) & wait for release

    1. At Home: dog will hold for 10+ seconds, plus focus, & wait for release

  11. Stay – 3 feet & in a circle around place in class & wait for release in sit position, and starting down

    1. At Home: dog will stay while you take 15 steps back, to the side, move around, make noise, & turn your back​

  12. Excite / Settle

    1. Dog will stop and sit in the middle of excitement, offer focus, & wait for a release

  13. Puppy Pushups 3 sets out of order

    1. Sit, Down, Sit, Stand out of order & wait for command and release.  Will do verbally and ​with just hand signals.

  14. Middle - Dog will weave following hands for treats to sides in class

    • At Home: Dog will weave when lured without leash on and can complete a figure 8

  15. Back Up / Away – 10 steps in straight line back from you

    • At Home: Dog will go back 15+ steps in a straight line​​

  16. Intro Go Say Hello - Dog only gets to go see someone if you release them, then call them back to you again

  17. Settle - Relaxed/Sphinx Down in class and at home

  18. Mirror Time at Home – sit & down

Each dog and handler team work at their own pace, so if you miss a class, you aren't really "behind".  

However, each class has "Homework Goals" for where to be at with your skills by the next class, that get slightly more difficult each week and include new things.

By Week 8, our Goals Look Like This:

My Dog Already Knows Basic Obedience,

So What Level Do I Start At?
Everyone starts at Level 1 no matter what their previous experience.  Why?

Well, Trainer’s train differently, and I need the chance to build my relationship with you and your dog before we tackle the harder stuff!

Plus, our Level 1 curriculum isn't based on just basic obedience.  I could send you how to teach basic obedience at home, but that doesn't mean your dog will respond as reliably once in a group setting around all different types of dogs and their owners.  Especially around other dogs that are loud or hyper.

Our Level 1 focuses on communication skills between you and your dog, so by the end of the class you should have a solid foundation on:

HOW TO COMMUNICATE in a way your dog understands and

 HOW TO TEACH any skill you want your dog to learn

even if we don't cover it specifically in class.  

Thirdly, our curriculum isn't basic, we don't just teach sit, down, and stay.  There are also always to make everything your doing with your dog more challenging, and if I see that you and your pup have a specific skill down relatively quickly, I'll show you individually how to make it harder in class.  Our curriculum also expands beyond the requirements to pass the level itself.  Meaning that if you attend every session of class to practice, you should have completed the skills required to pass Level 1 by week 6, while still continuing on to learn harder things that we will continue to proof in level 2.  Because it wouldn't be fair for me to teach you something week 7 and you be perfect at it by week 8.  

One last note, all our levels build off the foundation created in Level 1.  So skipping Level 1 will leave you possibly confused on how to teach things to your dog productively if you just jump to the next levels.  

A Note on: Reactive & Shy Dogs
They are welcome in all our classes

You may be at Level 1 or 2 for a bit longer, and that’s ok. Because the goal is getting your dog controlled exposure while learning.  We also offer Shy Dog Specific Support Groups to help expose them to more and allow them to feel more comfortable working in public.  

How Quickly You & Your Dog Learn

How Quickly You & Your Dog Learn

It’s going to be different for every team!

Everyone has to figure out how to best communicate with their dog.


Its Up To You!

You and your dog will learn more the more effort you put into building on our skills as a team in class and in your everyday life.


Effort is more about consistency, not special set aside training time.


Every interaction you have with your dog is a chance to train and bond with them.

Skills to Move Up to Level 2

  1. Name Game : Dog’s head turns toward owner with name with minimal distractions

  2. Touch: dog will walk 3-5 steps to touch hand.Food in touch hand ok

  3. Focus: Hold focus for 2 “good dogs”sFood in lure hand ok

  4. Sit: Hold sit for 2 “good dogs”s

  5. Place: Dog will step onto and sit on place mat, holding sit for 2 “good dogs”s

  6. Down: Hold down for 2 “good dogs”s

  7. Stay: Dog will stay for handler to take 2 slow steps back.

  8. Come: Dog will Come from end of leash, and do a touch.

  9. Walk on Leash: Dog will take 2 large steps with you and automatically sit

  10. Wait:  Dog will hold a 2 second wait, and will wait 2 seconds with open baited palm not at nose level.

  11. Puppy Push Ups:  Dog will do 2 rounds: sit, down, sit, stand

  12. Settle: Dog not squirming to get away from you and remains non-reactive at whatever learning threshold needed.

Below is what each handler and dog team must be able to show in a group setting to move up to Level 2. 

Treats and luring are allowed at Level 1

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