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Behavior & Training

Training and socializing is vital to a happy, well-adjusted family!

At the Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland, we know that healthy pets in our community are happy pets in our community. Through our training and behavior department, we are excited to offer programs, guidance, and support to community members (both two and four-legged).

ABOUT OUR CLASSES:

  • All classes are held at our adoption and community center, located at 217 Landing Road in Westbrook.
    • We plan on resuming onsite/in-person group classes starting mid-June with thorough safety and sanitation procedures in place. Please read our COVID-19 preparedness plan for all upcoming onsite training classes.
  • Class fee is $160 per dog. ARLGP alumni dogs receive 20% off all class fees (when registering alumni: please enter promo code ‘alum’ at check-out to apply your adopter discount)

TO REGISTER: Please follow this link to sign up for your class. You will be asked to create a custom profile of you and your dog, so we have all the essential information to get you started.

OUR UPCOMING TRAINING CLASSES:

PUPPY START RIGHT DROP-IN CLASSES

Age group: puppies must be 8-17 weeks of age

This class is specially designed for your new puppy! We have this class on a module system so puppies (and parents) can join when they can, with the option of coming to our entire 4-week in-person series or picking the sessions that fit your schedule. In this class we discuss classic puppy problem solving topics like house training and chewing. We also work on basic puppy training techniques like coming when called, drop it, and walking on leash. And, no puppy class would be complete without games and play time!

Requirements to join Puppy Start Right:

  • Puppy parents are require to watch our one-hour orientation video from home, before attending a class
  • Puppies joining must have at least one DHHP vaccine

Be sure to read each class description in our drop-in series to ensure you are joining the best one for you and your puppy.

NEXT SESSIONS:
Available on select Sundays from 9am-10am.

For Dates and Registration CLICK HERE

PUPPY ALL RIGHT

Age group: puppies must be 18 weeks-8 months of age

This class is designed for puppies who are growing into mature, adult dogs. During this 5-week class, we will explore what the landscape is like as our puppies begin to mature. This can be a tricky time not just for you but for your dog. This class will follow up on some puppy problem solving topics, discuss enrichment items, impulse control, and take behaviors like downs, stays, recalls, and walking on leash to the next step.

NEXT SESSIONS:
Sundays, running February 21st through March 21st, 10:30-11:30am *FULL*
Sundays, running February 21st through March 21st, 12-1Pm *FULL*

Registration now open: CLICK HERE

PUPPY BE RIGHT

Age group: 9 to 24 months of age

In order for our puppies to be right, we need to first tame the teenage tyrant! This secondary stage of adolescence is the TOUGHEST. Your teenage brained pup has a BIG DOG body and has learned how to use it! They jump, they body slam, they bark non-stop in your face. They want to move WAY faster than you do on the leash, and want to chase off after everything they see. If you’re extra unlucky, this is also the time of life when behavior issues such as anxiety, fear, reactivity or aggression start to appear.

Whether you want to polish your puppy’s basics and take them to the next level, are late to the training game and are just getting started, or adopted a new teenage dog, this class will teach you how to work WITH your dog through the throes of adolescence, as a team. With a HEAVY focus on IMPULSE control, this class covers the basic foundation behaviors stay, leave it, place, and loose leash walking while also teaching you how to give your teenage tyrants what they REALLY need, life skills such as polite manners, patience, arousal control, focus and relaxation.*This class is Mim Coward’s Puppy 3: Taming the Teenage Tyrant.

NEXT SESSIONS:
Sundays, running February 28th through March 28th, 4:30-5:30pm

Registration now open: CLICK HERE *FULL*

CLICKER TRAINING: FOUNDATIONS

Age group: 6 months and up

We believe in setting dogs and owners up for success for the long haul. During our 6-week long class we will explore specific training techniques using marker training to ensure we establish a strong foundation of communication between ourselves and our dogs. We explore basic dog psychology, how marker training works, capturing, shaping, targeting, and luring behaviors, what are cues and what they mean to our dog, and the beginning stages of Problem Solving. This is a great class for those that want to establish long term communication and connection with their dog, whether your dog has done competitive obedience or struggles to sit, this is a class for all levels!

NEXT SESSIONS:
Monday Nights, running March 1 through April 5th, 7pm-8pm

Registration now open: CLICK HERE

CLICKER TRAINING: REAL LIFE SKILLS

Age group: 9 months and up

This is our next stage in our Clicker Training series. The Real Life Skills class is where we take the techniques we learned in our Foundations Class and apply them to real world scenarios. Over a 6 week period, the class focuses heavily on the 3 D’s, distance, duration, and distractions as they apply to your core behaviors, and how marker training works in your day to day life. Please note, in order to take this class your dog and you must have completed the Clicker Training: Foundations.

This is not a class for highly reactive dogs, not sure if your dog meets the requirements? Please email us at training@arlgp.org and we will help you determine if this is the best option for you and your dog!

NEXT SESSIONS:
Monday Nights, running March 1 through April 5th, 5:30pm-6:30pm

Registration now open: CLICK HERE

CLICKER TRAINING: TRICKS*New winter class*

Age group: 9 months and up

This is our third stage in our Clicker Training series. The Tricks class is where we take the techniques we learned in our Foundations and Real Life Skills Class and apply them to tricks! Over a 6 week period, we deep dive into capturing, targeting, shaping, and luring behaviors and exploring using them to teach our dogs behaviors like twist & turn, sit pretty, under/over, leg weave, and more! Let’s reward all our hard work by having some fun! Please note, in order to take this class your dog and you must have completed the Foundations and it is highly recommended to take the Real Life Skills class first.

This is not a class for highly reactive dogs, not sure if your dog meets the requirements? Please email us at training@arlgp.org and we will help you determine if this is the best option for you and your dog!

NEXT SESSIONS:
Tuesday Nights, running February 23rd through March 30th, 6pm-7pm

Registration now open: CLICK HERE

ZOOM CLASS for Clicker Training: Foundations

Target age group: 6 months and up

Due to a high volume of requests, we will be holding our Clicker Training: Foundations course via Zoom. We saw amazing results when we moved this class to the Zoom platform last spring. This is a great class for community members who are not participating in group gatherings at this time, as well as for people who are unsure how your dog will handle a group class setting. You can still get the skills you and your dog need without the high level of distractions found in a group class. We will all meet virtually once a week where you will be given instructions following the foundations syllabus, demonstrations, feedback as you and your dog practice, and handouts to help with your home activities for the week. Must have reliable internet and a computer, laptop, or tablet with a camera and microphone. Smart phones work too.

NEXT SESSIONS:
Wednesday Nights, running March 3rd through April 7th, 5:30pm-6:30pm

Registration now open: CLICK HERE

ELATED ENRICHMENT

All ages

Elated Enrichment is one of those secrets that everybody knows but nobody is really talking about and exploring. When we begin to bring more enrichment in our dog’s life, the rewards for us and them are endless. During a 5-week period we will explore basic dog psychology: sound, food, scent, and sight enrichment. We also discuss and explore how a safe environment, natural behaviors, companionship, and bonding effect enrichment. Come join us and explore ways to help bring further enrichment to your dog’s life. This class is for dogs that have taken some type of group class before, dogs that are highly reactive should email us to ensure this is the class for them.

Not sure if your dog meets the requirements? Please email us at training@arlgp.org and we will help you determine if this is the best option for you and your dog!

NEXT SESSIONS:
Coming April 2021

RECALL REVIVAL — *Seasonal class*

The ARLGP Training & Behavior department is excited to announce a special outdoor summer course, Recall Revival. This 5-week intensive group class focuses on one of the most important and difficult behaviors to teach our dogs, coming when called. We will discuss what a recall means for our dogs, a variety of techniques to help achieve a recall, and how we develop a recall over the long term. This class will be held outside and limited to 6 dogs. This class is for dogs that have taken some type of group class before and is not for highly reactive dogs.

Not sure if your dog meets the requirements? Please email us at training@arlgp.org and we will help you determine if this is the best option for you and your dog!

NEXT SESSIONS:
Coming April 2021

Registration opening soon. Email training@arlgp.org to be placed on the Notification List.

THE WONDERS OF WALKING — *Seasonal class*

The ARLGP Training & Behavior department is excited to announce a special outdoor summer course, The Wonders of Walking. This 5-week intensive group class focuses on the wonders (and sometimes not so wonderful aspects) of walking our dogs. We will explore different walking equipment, what a walk means for our dogs, walking etiquette, and learn about a variety of techniques to help us achieve loose leash walking. This class will be held outside and limited to 6 dogs. This class is for dogs that have taken some type of group class before and is not for highly reactive dogs.

Not sure if your dog meets the requirements? Please email us at training@arlgp.org and we will help you determine if this is the best option for you and your dog!

NEXT SESSIONS:
Coming April 2021

Registration opening soon. Email training@arlgp.org to be placed on the Notification List.


Do you have a training and behavior concern with your dog, cat or critter?

STEP ONE: Fill out our online behavior support form and tell us what you are experiencing
This form allows us to gather critical information to support you and your animal as efficiently as possible. Please take your time and answer each question thoroughly.

STEP TWO: We will connect. A member of our team will be in touch within two business days to discuss next steps for you and your pet.


Connect with Brittany, our training and behavior manager:

Brittany Linkenheimer is a certified behavior and training specialist receiving her certification from the world-renowned Karen Pryor Academy, a graduate of Starmark Academy’s 3 certification program, an AKC Evaluator, and has her BFA. Brittany utilizes humane training methods that are based on current scientific knowledge of learning theory to teach people how to communicate and train their animals.

Questions about our training classes? Contact Brittany at training@arlgp.org or (207) 854-9771


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