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Colorado Springs

Dog Training Company

Exceptional Training

that develops

 Exceptional Companion Dogs


Pamela Leland KPA CTP, CPDT-KSA

AKC CGC and Trick Dog Evaluator

 Certified Instructor for Freestyle and Rally-FrEe

Member, Susan Garrett's Inner Circle

(a mastermind group of top trainers)


If you are interested in developing an Exceptional Companion Dog, this is the path I suggest.  However, you may take any of these classes as a stand-alone if that is what you prefer.

  • Puppy Kindergarten > Obedience & Leash Walking > Advanced Skills

  • AKC Canine Good Citizen Program > Basic, Advanced, and Urban

  • Trick Dog Class

  • Helper Dog Class (give your dog a job)

  • Fun and mentally stimulating classes to keep your dog happy and alert for the rest of his life!

  • Scroll down for class descriptions.  Call to confirm class schedules.



Obedience & Leash Walking Skills


Here is where you begin to lay the foundation for an Exceptional Companion Dog.  Want to make your daily walk more enjoyable?  Want to take your dog on vacation with you and stay in a nice hotel?  Want to bring your dog along when you run errands and not have to leave him in the car?  Want to have a dog who causes people to turn their heads and watch in amazement at his good manners and advanced skills?  This is where you start.

It doesn't happen overnight.  Learning takes time for both your dog and for you.  It's a learning journey that you will cherish forever.

In this class, students learn basic obedience skills, how to manage the dog around distractions, and unique skills that allow you to manage moments when the dog might need a little help.  You and your dog will gain the confidence and skills needed to move on to the next level of training

Advanced Skills

This class offers more advanced skills for developing an Exceptional Companion Dog. 


The earlier your dog learns how to move efficiently and effectively, the better he will be at learning more complex behaviors. 


What they learn early, they learn best.


Movement skills:  pivots, backward pivots, backward walking, laterals, backing with and away from the handler.  These skills improve a dog's movement by increasing their rear foot and leg awareness and by building skills that shift their weight to the hind end and off the front end.  A lighter front end makes position heeling easier for the dog.


Position training:  platform work to teach the dog where to be; exercises for finding heel, finding front, and fixing lagging and forging in heel position; and teaching multi-directional movement on both the left and right sides.


AKC Canine Good Citizen Program


The AKC Canine Good Citizen program has three levels:  Basic, Advanced, and Urban.  At each level, your dog is taught new skills and tested against AKC standards.  If your dog passes, you can submit paperwork for your title.   Click on the Class Photos tab to see some of the interesting places we go!


The basic CGC class is where you and your dog continue to learn and refine the skills that you learned in basic obedience.  Dogs are not expected to be perfect at this level.  They are here to learn and mature so we give them the space to do that.


The Advanced CGC and Urban CGC classes meet at more challenging locations.  This is where you take the skills you learned in the CGC class and apply them to new and novel environments. 


As an adjunct to the Advanced and Urban classes, students are offered opportunities to participate in special outings.  We have ridden on boats and trains, and we have visited airplane terminals and horse stables, just to name a few.

The entire AKC CGC program is essential for creating an Exceptional Companion Dog.  It is also a major part of training for Service Dogs, Helper Dogs, and those dogs who will be doing  Therapy Dog work. 


The Trick Dog class can be taken anytime during the CGC program. 

Fun and mentally stimulating classes!

Freestyle & Rally-FrEe Classes


These classes teach advanced-level moves and prepare students for all levels of competition.  Most competitions are done via video submission to judges at Rally FrEe Elements, which means we don't spend our weekends at shows.  Freestyle and Rally-FrEe are dog sports that offer training for the lifetime of your dog.  Open to dogs of all ages with basic obedience skills.  You can learn more about this sport by visiting and by watching Julie Flanery do an amazing job with Kashi, her Tibetan Terrier.

Here is a link of Stormy performing some of the Advanced and Intermediate moves of Rally-FrEe.


Trick Dog Class 

This class should be taken before enrolling in the Helper Dog class.

The Trick Dog class offers all levels of AKC Trick Dog program: Novice, Intermediate, Advanced, Performer, and Elite Performer.  Class includes training, testing, the signed evaluator form, and ribbons.  It's incredibly fun! 

Do not dismiss the value of a trick dog class.  The skills taught for tricks lay the foundation for the skills used by a Helper Dog, Service Dog, and Exceptional Companion Dog.  In addition to learning lots of tricks, this class teaches your dog how to use its nose, mouth, paws, and body to perform complex behaviors. 

Additionally, enrolling an adolescent dog (age 4-20 months or so) in a Trick Dog class gives the dog time to grow up and mature without the pressure of having to do everything right.  Remember, these are tricks!  Trick training makes you laugh and your dog happy!

Here are the videos we sent in for two different competitions.  DMWYD is Do More With Your Dog and has a 9-part test for the Champion level title.  AKC has a Performer level title.  My Collie, Dancer, did great with both!


The DMWYD video is a little long because it was so involved.  It took four months to teach Dancer all the skills needed to earn the Champion title.


AKC Performer video.  This level requires a wide range of skills.


Helper Dog/Service Dog Skills


I created the Helper Dog class in 2019.  It has been very popular with many of my students including Service Dog clients and students who have bad backs, sore knees, or plan to have hip or shoulder surgery.

It teaches your dog to be a helper around the house and includes tasks like picking up dropped items, retrieving items, closing and opening doors and drawers, bracing, and an advanced level of obedience and manners. 


It teaches many of the assistance skills used by a Service Dog inside the home


To be successful in this class, dogs must be willing to pick up and retrieve items.  They don't need to be perfect because we will build their retrieving skills in class.  However, the dog must be willing to pick up something and hold it in his mouth if he is to perform complex behaviors.


This class is a "must-have" for a Service Dog as well as an Exceptional Companion Dog.  Click on the Class Photos tab to see some of the skills the dogs learn.

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