Training Programs

At Sierra Canine, we offer a wide variety of training programs. All of our dog training programs, from aggression rehabilitation and obedience training to all levels of personal protection are tailored or customized to our client’s individual needs and the goals that they have for their dogs. During your consultation, your dog’s temperament will be evaluated and we will discuss what your goals for training are and what behaviors you would like to correct. Other topics covered are our training philosophy, how the programs are structured and what your time commitment is.

Obedience Training

There are many different levels and interpretations of obedience training. Sierra Canine offers all levels and types. Please review some of the options that are available below and keep in mind that we tailor our programs to the specific goals and commands that you feel are important to you and your dog.

One of the many and most popular programs offered by Sierra Canine is Basic Obedience Training. Basic obedience training is the ground work for a balanced, well behaved and obedient dog. Once your dog has become proficient in their basic commands, we then incorporate them into everyday life at home and with the family. Upon completion of your basic obedience program, everyday life with your dog will be more enjoyable and rewarding.

Basic on leash obedience consists of the following commands or behaviors:

Loose Leash Manners: This is the most basic form of on leash obedience. Your dog isn’t required to be in any specific position in relation to you. They can be ahead of you, off to the right or left. The dog’s only responsibility is to not pull on the leash if you are moving or stationary.

On Leash Heel: Your dog is required to walk on your left side, ideally their shoulder is equal with the stride of your left leg while maintaining a loose leash. We teach your dog to make both, 180 degree as well as 90 degree left and right turns. Your dog will be taught to sit automatically when you stop walking and maintain a seated position at your side as long as you’re stationary.

Sit and Stay: Your dog will be taught to sit and stay while maintaining the seated position for up to a minute and a half. Outdoors, you will be able to drop your dog’s leash and walk up to 30 feet away while you perform tasks. Tasks include things such as sitting down, dragging something by your dog, getting something out of your vehicle etc. Indoors, your dog will perform this behavior leash free. We do not exceed a minute and a half since the dog is required to maintain the seated position.

Down and Stay: Your dog will be taught to lay down on command without any physical assistance such as a hand gesture. Your dog will maintain the lay down position for up to four minutes while you are able to go the same distance and and perform the same tasks as stated above. Your dog can maintain this position for a longer duration due to comfort.

Place Training: Place training or go place is a very popular exercise that can be added to any obedience program. At the completion of this training exercise, your dog will respond to your verbal command to “go place” by enthusiastically running to their place cot. Your dog will be taught that they can do anything while on the cot. They will be able to sit, stand, turn around as well lay down. The only rule will be that he or she must remain on the cot until being released. You will also be able to move a significant distance from the cot while completing various tasks. You can take full advantage of place training by using your cot both inside and out.

Below are two examples of place training. One dog was trained to automatically go to his place cot when he hears the doorbell! Listen for the bell at the beginning of the video. The second video is of a fifteen week old Australian Shepherd staying on her cot through various temptations!

In-Formal Off Leash

In-formal off leash training is having the ability to take your dog on a hike, a stroll through the park or a swim at a local river or lake! Your dog will be taught to maintain a safe distance from you as you walk, but still be aware of where you are at and knowing to stay with you. Should you choose to give your dog some freedom to run or chase a ball, you’ll have the confidence in knowing that your dog will come to you and sit at your feet the first time they are called. We will also proof your dog in the presence of various distractions or stimuli such as other dogs, kids, bicycles etc.

  • This is a 15 month old Golden Retriever that is a student of Sierra Canine. The video demonstrates the results of proper socialization and consistent training using a market based training system in a very busy and distracting environment. This is practical obedience that most pet owners can achieve.
  • This is a 20 month old German Shepherd. The customers’ goal was complete on and off leash obedience in highly distractive environments. Jogging off leash in these environments was also a priority.
  • This is a 10 month old Doberman who is being trained for full off-leash obedience training. This video/lesson was his first exposure to various high level distractions in a park and playground environment.
  • This video demonstrates foundation obedience training with a 5 month old German Shepherd puppy. He is being trained to compete in a working dog sport called IPO/Schutzhund. We are mainly working on focused heeling, where the dog must be in heeling position at the handler’s side while also maintaining focus on the handler. There is no leash or correction involved at this stage. This was done using food and a reward based marker training system.
  • This is Orion vom Kistha Haus(Rye) at 5 months of age. This video demonstrates foundation focused obedience using a marker based training system. There’s no correction at this stage of training.

Board and Train Programs

Board and Train programs are very popular and with very limited space, make your reservations as soon as possible. I am usually booked out a couple of months in advance. If you’re planning on getting a puppy and want to choose Puppy Camp One or Two, you will want to reserve your spot when you put a deposit down on your new puppy.

Puppy Camp Option One (ages 8 to 12 weeks)

Do you remember the last time that you brought a 7 to 8 week old puppy home? If you do, you’ll probably remember how exciting it was, but also how incredibly challenging it was too! From the housebreaking challenges to the jumping and biting and nightly crying. I’m sure some of you wondered if you had made a mistake!

I’m going to give you the opportunity to let me take care of that for you! That’s right! Puppy Camp Option One is a one month board and train retreat for your puppy to get off to the right start! Aside from my own dogs, I have had literally over 35 eight week old puppies in the past few years come for either Board and Train Option One or Two. Here is what Option One includes:

Crate Training: I will socialize your puppy to their crate through positive association. Your puppy’s crate is an important part of their life in the beginning, not only to expedite the housebreaking process, but to also keep them safe when they cannot be supervised.

Housebreaking: I will get your puppy on a consistent feeding and potty schedule. I’ll incorporate the word “potty” or any other word that you want your pup to associate with going to the bathroom. We teach your puppy to go potty on leash! This is a big deal! Some dogs will not go potty on leash if they weren’t started from the beginning and that can create big problems in the future.

Leash Socialization: I’ll socialize your puppy to a leash and collar. Some puppies shut down and don’t want to move or panic when on the leash for the first few times. You won’t have to worry about that. I’ll teach your puppy to walk on a leash properly without pulling.

Bite Inhibition: Your puppy will learn that it’s not appropriate to bite or nip. This is fairly common with puppies.

Jump Inhibition: This too is very common with puppies. I’ll teach your puppy that jumping up is inappropriate and that attention comes when they remain on the ground.

Socialization: While it is unsafe to take your puppy into public environments until they have received all of their vaccines, we have acres of interesting things! I will socialize or expose your puppy to a variety of objects, such lawn furniture, barrels, garbage cans, vehicles as well as vacuum cleaners and lawn mowers.

Foundation Obedience: It’s safe to say that your puppy will be too young to be proficient in their understanding of basic obedience commands. However, you will be surprised at what your puppy will know by the time it’s ready to go home. I’ll have a foundation of heeling. Your puppy will sit, most likely lay down on a command as well as have a pretty good understanding of sit and stay as well as down and stay.

Vaccinations: Your puppy will receive all of their necessary vaccinations on time by a licensed vet without ever leaving our property!

Weekly Updates: For the first two weeks you will receive updates on your puppy’s progress. This is usually done through a prearranged phone conversation. I’ll inform you of observations about your puppy’s temperament and progress. The second two weeks will include videos of your puppy’s progress.

Pick Up: I will spend an hour and a half with you on pick up day. I will cover in great detail your puppy’s housebreaking routine and how to successfully move forward. I will cover all of the do’s and don’t of your puppy’s first few days at home. I will demonstrate all of the obedience that was started with your puppy. Then, you’ll have an opportunity to video all of the verbal as well as physical instructions associated with every command or behavior that was taught. A homework program will be laid in detail for you as well.

Puppy Camp Option Two (8 to 16 weeks)

Puppy Camp Option Two is an extension of Puppy Camp Option One. The first four weeks of your puppy’s stay will include everything outlined in Puppy Camp Option One. Weeks 12 to 16 of your puppy’s camp will consist of the following:

  • Loose Leash Manners
  • Formal on Leash Heel
  • Sit and Stay (with distance and distraction)
  • Down on Command and Stay (with distance and distraction)

For a more detailed explanation of each of these commands or behaviors, please refer to the top of this page under Basic on Leash Obedience.

Your puppy with be proficient with their understanding of all of these basic obedience commands. I will also incorporate these commands into everyday life situations, such as having your puppy sit or down and stay while performing basic tasks as opening exterior doors or gates, moving objects by them. Or, having them stay while you retrieve something from your vehicle. I will train your puppy to be able to switch their responsibility on a walk from loose leash walking to formal heeling depending on the environment or level of distraction.

Vaccinations: Your puppy will continue to receive their necessary vaccinations on due dates by a licensed veterinarian on site without ever leaving the property.

Weekly Updates: You will receive weekly updates on your puppy’s progress through prearranged phone conversations. Videos of your puppy’s progress will also be sent.

Pick Up: On pick up day I will allocate an hour and a half with you. It starts with me demonstrating all of the obedience commands and behaviors that I have taught your puppy. You’ll be able to have a greeting with your puppy. After the greeting, I will allow you to video everything that is associated with each command. The first video will be a verbal break down of the puppy’s responsibility associated with command or behavior and how to practice. The second video for each command will be physical instruction on how to give the command, how to reenforce and how to practice.

  • This is Marshall, a fifteen week old Bernadoodle. Marshall stayed for a four week basic obedience board and train program. This video is uncut and is a sample of what commands he was taught. Marshall’s only mistake was that he had to be told to “down” twice. Not bad for a fifteen week old puppy!

Camp Option 4 Weeks (4 months and up)

The four week camp option for dogs 4 months and older is an on leash basic obedience program with the exception of sit and down stays indoors. I will teach your dog to be proficient with their understanding of the following commands:

  • Loose Leash Manners
  • Formal On leash Heel
  • Sit and Stay (with distance and distraction)
  • Down On Command and Stay (with distance and distraction)

For a more detailed explanation of these commands and behaviors, please refer to the top of this page under Basic on Leash Obedience.

I will incorporate these commands into everyday life with your dog. Your dog will be taught to sit and stay before going in or out any exterior door. I will also teach your dog to either sit and stay or lay down and stay, depending on the duration, while basic tasks are performed. Tasks include having your dog stay while moving objects around them, having people walk by or retrieving something from your vehicle while your dog waits. Loose leash manners and formal heeling will be a part of everyday walks.

I often tell people that my training programs are customized to the goals the my clients have for their dog’s. My board train programs are no different. If you would like to add something that is not included or if there is a certain command that you do not feel is necessary, adjustments can be made.

Camp Option 6 Weeks (4 months and up)

The six week camp option for dogs 4 months and older includes all of the commands offered in the four week camp option, but also includes place training and in-formal off leash training. I will teach your dog to be proficient with their understanding of the following commands:

  • Loose Leash Manners
  • Formal On Leash Heel
  • Sit and Stay (with distance and distraction)
  • Down on Command and Stay (with distance and distraction)
  • Place Training
  • Complete Off Leash Control

For a more detailed explanation of these commands and behaviors, please refer to the top of this page under Basic on Leash Obedience

In this program your dog will be taught to be proficient with their understanding of all of the commands included in the four week camp option. In addition, I will teach your dog the “place command” and complete off leash control. I will teach your dog to stay within a reasonable distance to you while completely off leash. You will be able to go for a hike, a walk in the park or a trip to the river or lake leash free. I will add the sit and stay as well as the down and stay commands into the off leash control. I will also train your dog to stay with you and not to run off in the presence of other dogs, cats or squirrels!

As mentioned at the bottom of the four week camp option, adjustments to your program can be made. If you would like to add something that is not included or eliminate something that you don’t feel is necessary, that can be done.