Class Descriptions

The Greater Fredericksburg Kennel Club classes are available to members and non-members. Classes are designed to help the companion dog owner teach his/her dog, using positive reinforcement, work toward a American Kennel Club Performance Title. Performance competitions are open to both purebred and mixed-breed dogs. Once registered, mixed-breed dogs will be able to compete in AKC Performance Trials, such as Obedience, Rally and Agility. You may register your mixed-breed dog at:

Performance classes require a 6′ training lead of either leather, nylon or cotton. Instructors will discuss and recommend collar types either at your request or at their discretion. You will need small treats that your dog can swallow without chewing such as string cheese sliced into dime size pieces. Bring water for yourself and your dog. Other required items will be discussed in class.

Puppy Socialization
The Puppy Kindergarten class will bring owners and their puppies together for the benefit of socialization with people and other puppies. This class will help owners learn to train in a positive, non-threatening manner so the puppy will gain confidence through learning. Problem behaviors and training methods will be discussed.

AKC Star Puppy
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Our goal for GFKC Obedience classes is to teach the handler confidence. In rerturn the dog gains confidence and reverses unwanted behavior into positive.

Basic Obedience consists of exercises which deal with consistency, repetition and praise. This includes training for focus, body awareness and the basic commands of sit, down, stay, stand, walk nicely on a lead (heel) and recall.

Intermediate and Advanced Obedience deals with perfecting and developing the previous exercises with more emphasis on Distance, Difficulty and Duration and introducing the jumps, the moving down, scents, and dumbell retrieve.

At the end of all six week classes, the handler and dog may be, and encouraged to enter AKC (but no excluded to) trials and receive titles for Pre-Novice (PCD), Beginning Novice (BN), Companion Dog (CD) Open (CDX) and Utility Dog (UD).

Rally Obedience
This class focuses on the basic skills needed for Rally Competition. Each week will spotlight on a particular skill, for example, circles and pivots, turns, stop and sit, down and, walk around. A rally sequence/course will use a number of signs highlighting the week’s topic as well as more basic signs. Beginning teams can learn the basics of how to train the skill. Intermediate teams will get practice and improvement. Dogs that are competing will get an opportunity to go around a practice course in either practice mode or competition mode. Depending on the class’ needs. Additional skill drills and higher level signs will be available. Students will receive instruction on how the various AKC signs should be performed.

Canine agility is a fun and rewarding companion sport in which a handler directs his/her dog through an obstacle course in a race for both time and accuracy. Beginner Agility – Introduction to the companion dog sport of agility. This 6 week class will include introduction to the course equipment, teach basic handling skills, and provide agility training techniques. Upon completion of the 6 week class, handlers and dogs should: Have a basic understanding of agility, and Confidently be able to negotiate standard agility obstacles.

Intermediate and Advanced Agility is for the dog and handler who has taken Basic, Intermediate and Advanced Agility and/or is already competing. The exercises will be more difficult and challenging and will include lots of jumps/weaves, and contacts to ensure the pair Qualifies at their next trial.

Conformation Handling Run Thrus and Socialization Class
Handlers and dogs “run thru” the process that is done in the conformation show ring. Instructors play “judge”. Instructors range from owner handlers of toy breeds to giant breeds. Instructors are available to answer questions and to help aid the handlers in training and handling techniques, if applicable. We encourage dogs socializing with each other when appropriate, especially puppies.