C.L.A.S.S. is an educational program designed to promote training focusing on the use of positive reinforcement and to strengthen relationships between humans and their canine companions. The mission of C.L.A.S.S. is to promote positive relationships through positive training methods. This approach both develops and safeguards harmonious relationships by maintaining trust and mutual respect.
Developed by the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT), the C.L.A.S.S. program is designed to benefit pet owners and their canine companions, dog trainers and others who work with dogs, animal shelters, and the community overall. In a series of real-life activities through which an owner accompanies his dog, C.L.A.S.S. Evaluators will assess a dog/owner team’s core training skills, with options to test advanced training skills. There are three C.L.A.S.S. levels: the Bachelor’s (B.A.), Master’s (M.A.), and Doctorate (Ph.D.). Successfully completing each C.L.A.S.S. level is like earning an academic degree in real-life skills with your dog.
The Objectives of C.L.A.S.S. are to:
• Promote reward-based training
• Strengthen dog/owner relationships through shared activity and fun, positive training
• Encourage dog owners to participate in ongoing training and activities with their dogs
• Value the real-life skills of dog/owner teams
• Educate pet owners in dog behavior
C.L.A.S.S. Evaluators are Full and Professional Level APDT members. Evaluators administer C.L.A.S.S. assessments and score performances of teams, and provide feedback to teams on how to improve their training skills. In order to become an Evaluator for the program, a Full or Professional level APDT member must pass a series of online tests on their training knowledge and on the rules of the program, train a minimum number of hours per year to qualify, and receive regular training on program updates.
To learn more about C.L.A.S.S., visit the program web site at www.mydoghasclass.com. To learn more about Rhonda Procopio, visit her website at www.leaddogcanineservices.com.
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The APDT is a professional educational organization of trainers who are committed to becoming better trainers through using positive, dog friendly methods based on sound scientific principles. With over 5,000 members worldwide, the APDT provides professional dog trainers with a respected and concerted voice. The APDT promotes caring relationships between dogs and people and works to increase public awareness of dog-friendly training techniques. For more information, visit the web site at www.apdt.com.