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Agility Classes Building Bonds & Making Friends

Classes are designed with an objective based curriculum. We use only positive reinforcement training methods to help owners develop the understanding, patience, and skills that will build a relationship between a dog and owner. We use agility to train all behaviors because the atmosphere is fun for the dog, but requires the dog and owner to build trust in each other.

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Using Agility to Bulletproof Obedience

Because of the repetitive nature of obedience skils (sit, lie down, stay, etc.), it becomes very boring to a dog. In agility, we teach the dog to sit, but then reward the dog by jumping over a jump, which provides an “energy” release. Because we are allowing that release, the dogs are more willing and able to focus on the tasks that we want the dog to learn.

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Kids Learn Life Skills through Training Dogs

Kids Only classes are designed to prepare kids with the training that is required for the Kid-to-Kid Mentors Program. Classes are targeted for ages 10-16, but kids of any age can participate. Participants can use their own dog or be paired with a foster dog awaiting adoption.

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Kids Mentoring Kids

We are passionate about kids. We have found through the experience of teaching and encouraging a dog to do such outlandish behaviors their conceptual understanding of authority, responsibility, gentleness, patience, and empathy becomes real. Kids all seek a bond or relationship that is not strained, dogs can give that to them. By pairing kids that have a good understanding of the sport of agility, the patience to lead and teach, and the compassion to share in a partnership with special needs kids an opportunity is developed to create a friendship and a feeling of accomplishment for all involved.

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I came to classes at Faithful Friends after being discouraged at another training facility. I found that classes at Faithful Friends are fun. The focus isn't on perfection, but improvement. Looking for improvement rather than perfection makes every week makes a positive experience.

- Beckie and Trace

Classes Fund Veterans & Mentor Programs

In order to the fund the Veterans Resource service dog training, the Kid-to-Kid Mentors Program, and the At Risk Youth Program, we use the profits from the agility training and the agility dog shows to fund the programs that service the community in a unique way.

Objectives Based Training with Homework

Weekly group classes have an established generic curriculum that guides class sessions. There are set training objectives and agility skills for each week with a written discussion of the homework drills to solidify the training objective taught in class. Every week ends with a practice night that incorporates all the agility skills taught.

Training Focus: Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement is anything that increases the likelihood that a behavior will be repeated. There is a positive relationship between behavior and consequence. The more the pet does a behavior, the more consequence it receives and what it gets is good. This makes that behavior increase.

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Training Focus: Learn to Earn

Learn to Earn relies on creating predictability and clarity in the tasks or behaviors you are asking for from your dog. In agility there is an added importance of being able to control your dog in a high energy, high stimulus environment. One of the best ways to develop control in such a heightened environment is by controlling the rewards so that they are EXCLUSIVELY used to reinforce desirable behaviors.

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Training Focus: Establishing Requirements

It is certain; that if your dog does not do something you want them to do outside the agility ring they will not do it inside the agility ring either. Your dog (all dogs really) is inherently selfish. If your dog has the ability and opportunity to do something they want to do in which THEY perceive as more fun than what you are able to offer they will. Establishing Requirements will motivate your dog perceive what you want them to do as the most fun.

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Why Faithful Friends?

  • They Treat Agility as a Game
  • The Learning Goals are Clearly Laid Out
  • Progress in More Important than Perfection
  • "Success" Criteria is Defined by the Owner
  • New Course design Every Week
  • And so much much more...