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We're your canine coach

Need a basic manners class for your dog? Want to make sure you start your puppy off on the right paw? You've come to the right place. 

Check out our available classes:

Family Dog Manners
Puppy Class
Small Dog Manners

Our experienced trainers are here to help your dog learn the skills and manners needed to become a well-behaved member of the family! All programs utilize proven, reward-based training methods to provide a safe, fun and effective learning environment. Training classes not only teach your dog skills, they solidify the dog-human bond making the class experience beneficial for both ends of the leash.  

Classes are held in the Humane Society for Southwest Washington Education Center, located at 1100 NE 192nd Ave, Vancouver, WA 98684

 

Make sure to review our Class Policies prior to registration.

Who's behind it all? Meet our trainers!

 

SMALL DOG MANNERS

Would you like your little dog to learn more mannerly behaviors like sit when greeting guests or to walk by your side on leash?  Join us for a basic manners class tailored to small-breed dogs. This beginning level class focuses on positive reinforcement and reward-based training techniques to teach your little learner the fundamentals of good manners including sit, down, come, stay, wait at doors and more. Our certified trainers will teach techniques especially helpful for training little dogs. Class topics will also include interpretation of canine body language, potty training and daily management with attention to small-breed training challenges. Join us to help your little dog learn and thrive!

Available for dogs five months and older weighing 30 pounds or less as adults. First class is mandatory and for people only, no dogs please.

This class requires a minimum-enrollment of four dogs, maximum five..

Cost: $150 for six weekly sessions.

Dates: (offered in six-week sessions)

Saturdays, 11:15am-12:15pm | June 16 - July 21 - ONLY TWO SPACES LEFT

Requirements:

The following vaccinations are required for adult dogs (aged four months and older): Rabies, DH2PP (or similar combination vaccine), Bordetella

Dogs over six months in age must be spayed or neutered.

Proof of vaccinations should be submitted before or at the first class (orientation with no dogs present). Dogs may not attend class without proof of vaccinations. 

Ready to go? Register here. 

 

Family Dog Manners

Unleash the power of positive reinforcement to teach your dog basic family manners.  This class focuses on everyday life skills such as sit, down, polite greetings, loose-leash walking, wait at doors, stay and more. Whether your dog is new to your home or a long-standing (but sometimes unruly) member of the household, we are here to help! Our certified trainers coach you and your dog using proven, reward-based training techniques that strengthen the human-canine bond and build willing compliance throughout the learning process. Join us and be on your way to a more harmonious and joyful relationship with your dog!

Available for dogs five months and older. First class is mandatory and for people only, no dogs please.

This class requires a minimum-enrollment of four dogs, maximum five.

Cost: $150 for six weeks.

Dates: (offered in six-week sessions)

Saturdays, 10:00 am-11:00 am | June 16 - July 21 - ONLY ONE SPACE LEFT

Requirements:

The following vaccinations are required for adult dogs (aged 4 months and older): Rabies, DH2PP (or similar combination vaccine), Bordetella

Dogs over six months in age must be spayed or neutered

Proof of vaccinations should be submitted before or at the first class (orientation with no dogs present). Dogs may not attend class without proof of vaccinations. 

Ready to go? Register here

 

Puppy Class

Guide your new pup in the right direction with positive, reward-based training.  This class includes puppy socialization, handling, basic manners and daily management. Topics include crate training, potty training, introductory sessions on sit, down, leash walking and other everyday life skills. Your pup will socialize with other puppies as you lay the foundation for learning in a manner that will foster trust, confidence, and a loving bond with your new best friend. Coach your pup to love learning and start his journey to be a polite member of your family. Join us for this fun-filled class!

This class is for puppies 9 to 16 weeks old (up to four months) at the start of the series. At least two sets of shots are required. The first class is a people-only orientation, no puppies please. 

This class requires a minimum-enrollment of four dogs, maximum five.

Cost: $140 for six weeks.

Dates: (offered in six-week sessions)

Unavailable. Check back soon!

Requirements: 

Pups must be between 9 and 16 weeks of age at the START of class (not necessarily at registration).

Your dog must have lived in your home for at least 7 days prior to the first class with dogs in attendance.

The following vaccinations are required for puppies (aged under four months): two rounds of DA2PP (or similar combination vaccinations), Bordetella.

Proof of vaccinations should be submitted before or at the first class (orientation with no dogs present). Puppies may not attend class without proof of vaccinations.

Rabies vaccination and spay/neuter requirements are waived for dogs under four months of age.

Ready to go? Register here.

 

Our Trainers

Tara Zimmerman
CPDT-KA, Certified Professional Dog Trainer, Knowledge Assessed

Tara began with the Humane Society for Southwest Washington (HSSW) as a volunteer dog walker over 10 years ago. In 2008, Tara retired from her career as a professional Wildlife Biologist and refocused her interests and education towards her passion for dogs. This included a year of formal preparation and study in the fields canine learning theory, canine ethology, reward-based training techniques and a wide variety of dog-centered seminars and topics. Tara’s primary focus is keeping family dogs in their home and helping shelter dogs become more adoptable through scientifically proven training and behavior modification techniques. She is committed to a philosophy of reward-based training and a profound desire to strengthen the bond of trust and love between dogs and their owners throughout the training process.

After years of training her beloved Golden Retrievers, Tara now shares her home with Abner, a feisty Cairn Terrier she adopted in 2009 and her newly adopted family member, Spare-dog, a 7-year-old dachshund-spaniel mix. Additionally, Tara is an avid foster parent who routinely welcomes timid and special-needs shelter dogs into her home. Tara currently serves as the Canine Training and Enrichment Coordinator for the HSSW.  She is the Lead Instructor for the HSSW Canine Coach program and at the Larch Correctional Facility Pet Training Camp which pairs inmates with shelter dogs in need of additional training.

Lori Curtin
CTC, Certified Trainer and Counselor

Lori has been assisting and teaching in dog classes for over eight years. She realized that dog behavior and training had become a passion and pursued additional education with the goal of understanding and applying animal behavior though positive reinforcement training. She is a graduate from The Academy of Dog Trainers and earned her certification in Dog Training and Counseling. A successful adoption is key, so we work with the dogs to provide the best chance of success in their new home. With positive-reinforcement training we teach and provide guidance to help your train your dog in a positive and a rewarding manner. This benefits both the guardian and the dog.

Lori currently shares her life with two senior rescue dogs, a Dachshund mix and a Labradoodle, as well as two cat rescues including one bottle baby “foster fail”.

Lori is also a member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers, Pet Professional Guild and is certified in Pet First Aid and CPR.

 

Questions? Let us know! 

Tara Zimmerman
Canine Training and Enrichment Coordinator
[email protected]