Welcome to Courteous Canine, where we are committed to providing you with the best dog training and pet care available – and it’s all about positive reinforcement. We believe that all training should strengthen the bond between the dog and their parent. That means, rather than using fear or intimidation to train the dog, we use positive reinforcement, games, and fun! This approach is just as effective, if not more so, than the punishing alternatives, and it builds the trust that is so important in the life of a family pet.
We specialize in aggression, fear related problems, barking, and house training. We work with dogs of any age from puppies to mature adult dogs. Your problem becomes our problem and together we find solutions.
AKC Star Puppy Kindergarten and Basic Manners Group classes. Choose a day and time that works for you, enroll and immediately start in the class. All students in the class will be working at their own level simultaneously.
Help your puppy put their best paw forward! We cover house training, not mouthing, sit, down, coming when called, stay, loose-leash walking and more. We work with you and your dog to establish a trusting relationship that serves as a foundation for future training and a happy life.
Whether you think your dog will excel at pet therapy, trick training, or needs to relax, Courteous Canine has the Dog Manners class for you. View twelve of our manners and obedience training courses regularly offered at our main dog training campus.
Lure coursing is a humane sport that makes use of a lure—usually a plastic bag, that is pulled by a motor around a course of pulleys. The dogs have a blast! Prior to Lure Coursing please obtain permission from your vet that your dog is healthy and fit enough to play. Lure coursing is a highly intense activity.
All of our agility group classes emphasize fun and work to minimize and eliminate any stress. Agility is a form of therapy for dogs that is tremendously beneficial to almost all dogs that are mentally and physically capable of learning the equipment. We look forward to having you!
Just like people, many dogs don’t take to swimming naturally; they need to learn how to do it. Courteous Canine offers group swimming classes, Air Retrieve Dock Jumping classes, as well as introduction, intermediate and advanced dock jumping.
Dog Parkour or Urban Agility is a fun and creative way to use the objects in your environment to help bond with your pup, build athleticism and grow confidence! Using game-based training and play this 4-week course is designed to get you and your dog up and moving.
Outdoor play for one hour with a certified dog training professional supervising and educating about play. This program is divided into two groups: Under 25 lbs and 25 – 50 lbs. and is a one time 60-minute class. All dogs are pre-screened and require instructor approval prior to joining.
This group class prepares the dog and handler teams for the AKC Canine Good Citizen test which is administered at the last class. However, this class also starts teams interested in pet therapy. Ideal for dogs that are free of reactivity toward humans and other dogs.
Our fearful little rescue is starting to trust people with everything we’ve learned! Alex was very patient with her during individual sessions and makes sure she does not get overwhelmed during group sessions! Highly recommend!
I went for dog training. It was my first class but I was really happy with how it’s run and how she teaches in a group but also helps individually as needed to adjust for each pup. Looking forward to the rest of the classes
If you cannot make it to class then please contact your trainer directly. Unfortunately we can’t offer make ups as classes are in high demand. If you or your dog is sick we can freeze your group class and restart you when you are better. We can also freeze your attendance if you have an emergency. You can pay an extension fee for an extra class session for puppy class and basic manners. Please speak with your instructor directly.
How can I find the right dog training group class for my dog?Meghan McKenna
Select the ideal group class for your dog by setting goals for your dog’s training and then browsing our site. If you are interested in basic manners, control and obedience our Basic Manners class will be ideal. If you are looking for training for your puppy, sign up for our AKC Star Puppy Kindergarten group class.
If you are interested in Pet Therapy we offer a class for the AKC Canine Good Citizen that also includes Pet Therapy information.
If you just want to have some fun or increase your bond with your dog consider one of the many dog sports we offer:
Fun Scent Games
If you have a dog that is being reactive barking, lunging or being unruly around dogs or strangers, sign up for our My Dog Has Issues program or schedule a behavior consult!
As it is used in dog training, the term “positive” can be very misleading and confusing to the pet owner. In the context of learning theory, the science behind how we all learn, the term positive means the addition of something. Positive reinforcement means you are giving the dog something it likes whereas Positive Punishment means you are giving the dog something it does not like.
At Courteous Canine, we use the least aversive and minimally intrusive training methods possible. We work to minimize stress and maximize fun! Dogs do not seek to avoid or escape the methods we use, so yes, we are positive trainers. We NEVER inflict mental or physical harm on any dog. Courteous Canine’s methods are educational, instructional, effective and efficient and most importantly they are user friendly. Friendly for the dog and friendly for the owner.
For any of our puppy classes, puppies must be up-to-date for their age, with at least the first set of DHLPP shots, usually given between 6-8 weeks of age. Because socialization is so important and needs to begin as early as possible we do not usually recommend waiting for the full three sets of puppy shots. Veterinarians will suggest different guidelines for your puppy, so please take their advice into consideration. If your veterinarian tells you that your pup must have ALL vaccinations before attending a puppy class then he or she may not be current on the latest protocols for puppy socialization and vaccinations. We also require bordetella, lepto and flu shots.
At Courteous Canine, Inc., we agree with the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior’s Position statement -“In general, puppies can start puppy socialization classes as early as 7-8 weeks of age. Puppies should receive a minimum of one set of vaccines at least 7 days prior to the first class and a first de-worming. They should be kept up to date throughout the class.”
For non-puppy classes all dogs must have:
the full sequence of DHLPP (usually an annual booster for adult dogs)
H3N2 canine influenza vaccine
Your dog’s shot records may be anything from a vet receipt to a shot-vial sticker to a note from the breeder or a checked-off list with the shots on them. We have to work a bit on the honor system, but we do want to make sure the puppies are all safe
Can a dog trainer or behavior consultant come to my house?Meghan McKenna
We do offer private dog training classes. Private dog training lessons are available in individual lessons or as packages. If you have a dog behavioral problem such as fear, anxiety, dog aggression, human aggression, resource guarding or other problem behavior, your trainer will make an initial appointment to conduct a full behavioral consultation. After the initial consultation your trainer will be in a better position to advise you on the Behavior Change Program needed and how long it will take to reach your goals.
For private training and group instruction that is held outdoors, we will make every attempt to contact students at least two hours before if we are canceling class. Please note that Florida weather is known to shift within minutes so we will do the best that we can.
Generally classes are held during light rain, if there is lightning classes are cancelled. If you see lightning during your class please let your instructor know immediately.
If you don’t hear from your instructor your class will occur as scheduled.
For the first class you will need to provide your dog’s vaccination records, although ideally email them to LoveDogs@CourteousCanine.com ahead of time.
Soft and small treats, size of a fingernail – we recommend chopping up low fat hotdogs, string cheese or any other soft treat that agrees with your dog.
A hungry dog. Please don’t feed your dog for at least 4 hours before class. If you have a highly food-motivated dog then your trainer may advise you to give them half their food rations before class.
Bringing a mat or your dog’s bed may also be very beneficial to give your dog a “station”.
A standard (non-flexi) leash and nylon collar or body harness. **Please no choke, prong or shock collars.**
If you are already using a Head collar then bring that too. If you are planning on using a head collar please do not put it on your dog for the first time just before class. Your dog will spend the first session feeling uncomfortable and trying to remove it.
A squeaky toy that can be used to get your dog’s attention. You can also bring a tug toy.
A water bowl and water. Training makes a dog thirsty. A stressed dog can also get thirsty and don’t forget water for yourself too.
My puppy is deaf. Can we still attend a group class and do your methods work?Meghan McKenna
Yes! If a dog is only partially deaf then we can still use the clicker or the word ‘yes’. If your puppy or dog is completely deaf, then we use hand signals or a flash light or other visual cue to teach them desired behaviors. We love working with all dogs including those that have unique challenges.
My dog is very noisy, how do I keep them quiet during class?Meghan McKenna
Our trainers are experienced in handling noisy dogs and provide visual barriers and food stuffed toys to minimize barking. Please do not be embarrassed, all our dogs have funny quirks! WE recommend using epecially delicious treats like hot dog and cheese help to keep dogs focused and quiet
If I cannot make it for a private training appointment, what should I do?Meghan McKenna
Please cancel your private appointment as soon as possible; we prefer 48-hours notice so we can schedule other clients who may be waiting for an appointment. If a client no shows for an appointment or our trainer arrives to the appointment at your home and you have not notified them that you are unavailable then the appointment rate will be charged.
Can we bring the whole family to a private training session or a group class?Meghan McKenna
We are currently allowing two handlers per dog to attend group classes. If you would like to have more family members or friends participate in training, we recommend signing up for Private Training Sessions! Multiple handlers are welcome to attend private training sessions at this time.
What is a ‘clicker’ and do I have to use one if you work with my dog and me?Meghan McKenna
A clicker is a tool used to tell your dog ‘yes, you got it.’ It’s an excellent way of marking the precise behavior you want. A clicker is the equivalent to a whistle used in animal training. You can also use the word ‘yes’ instead of a clicker. Some people find clickers hard to coordinate with a treat bag and a leash and a dog. We also use the lure-reward method of training; it is fun, highly effective and great when involving children into the training process. While we encourage the use of a clicker we are force-free for both dogs and people!
This question will depend on your dog’s age, experience, previous training history, your goals, schedule, budget and family situation. We have a dog training program for you that offers the training you need, when you need it.
Because you can! Some of the more traditional dog training methods use corrections as the main form of communication. These methods were popular before we knew as much about dog behavior and training as we know now. The dog training industry has progressed in many areas over the last 20 years. We want dog training to strengthen the dog-human relationship and we want dogs coming back to learn more with a happy demeanor and a wagging tail. Force based methods also have hidden consequences. With force, dogs learn to fear us and this can cause avoidance and escape behaviors and even lead to aggression. It is easier and more effective to use fun to modify behavior and train your dog.
Yes! Socialization is much more complicated than just exposing your dog to its own family of dogs. Ideal socialization means ever widening exposure to new and varied objects, places, people, dogs etc. Come join the puppy class fun!
For private training and group instruction that is held outdoors, we will make every attempt to contact students at least two hours before if we are canceling class. Classes are held during light rain, if there is lightning classes are cancelled. If you see lightning during your class, please let your instructor know immediately.
If you don’t hear from your instructor, your class will occur as scheduled.
To participate in class, your dog must have received:
Distemper/Parvo (core combination)
If your dog is not eligible for these vaccines, we will also accept a letter of exemption from your veterinarian due to your dog’s age or medical status.