Welcome to Cheryl May's Basic Obedience Class!

Welcome to beginning dog training! Congratulations on working with your dog to become a Canine Good Citizen and a more pleasant companion. The work you do will pay off in enjoyment and pleasure for the lifetime you share together.

This section of my Web site is especially for those taking my Basic Obedience class.

Your class is based on the American Kennel Club guidelines for a Canine Good Citizen class. We will address all the skills your dog needs to complete the CGC test. We will also discuss management, basic grooming, and problem behaviors. If you have a special interest you would like covered, please be sure to let me know.

Your success will depend on how much time and effort you are able to devote to dog training between classes. Also, different dogs progress at varying speeds.

As with most things, there are many ways to successfully teach behaviors. The methods we will be using in class were developed by Dawn Jecs of Washington state. You are not required to purchase any books for the class. For your information, though, the basic text I draw on for this class is Dawn's "Simply Living with your dog". This is the basic obedience program that Dawn teaches her students before they begin their competition work. Using non-confrontational, gentle and motivational methods, the dogs learn to walk on a loose leash, come when called, and other valuable behaviors. Available from Dogwise.

Here are some links you may find informative:

  • American Kennel Club

  • Canine Good Citizen program. Here is everything you might want to know about taking AKC's CGC test. There's also a list of evaluators - and there a lot of us in Kansas!

  • My Canine Good Citizen page
  • My Dog Behavior and Basic Training Page. Here you'll find resources and advice about many dog training issues and problems. Don't miss my article, How to Succeed in Basic Obedience Class ... by Really Trying.
  • My book recommendations and some reviews are on my book review page.

    Especially relevant to many people taking a basic obedience class are:
    "How to be the Leader of the Pack" by Patricia McConnell. Teaches owners how to establish themselves as the leader, without resorting to harsh methods. Available from Dogwise.

    "Cautious Canine" by Patricia McConnell. How to help dogs conquer their fears with desensitization and counter conditioning. Step by step method can be used for any problem behavior that is motivated by fear. Available from Dogwise.

    "I'll Be Home Soon" For people who must leave their dogs at home alone by Patricia McConnell. Includes techniques for solving separation anxiety. Note: separation anxiety is very rare -- if your dog sleeps anywhere other than your bedroom, it doesn't suffer from separation anxiety. Available from Dogwise.

    About Cheryl: I've enjoyed dog sports since the early 1980s when I started competing in obedience. I've earned AKC and UKC utility obedience titles, multiple CDX and CD titles in both organizations, and advanced agility titles -- AX, EAC, U-ACh -- in AKC, NADAC and UKC. I've taught obedience and agility for several dog clubs and groups. For many years I volunteered as the 4-H county dog leader in Riley County, Kan., and really enjoyed working with young people and their dogs. I'm also a co-founder, current president, former training director, former secretary and former treasurer for Heartland Dog Training Club. My most accomplished dog was sheltie Rocky, UUD UACh Tartan's Dream Catcher, UD, AX, EAC, NAJ, NGC, NJC, TC, CGC, Delta Pet Partner, who died in May 2005 at age 14 years, 1 month. My current dogs are Lacy, age 6, UAGI Andaka-Zederland Time Travel, CD, RA, NAP, NAC, HIC, TC, and Katie, UCD, UAGI Andaka-Zederland Wildatheart, CD, RA, NAP, NJP. Lacy and Katie are German shepherd dogs. Lacy is primarily my husband's pet, but she enjoys rally obedience and tracking with me. Katie, 2 years old, is my current performance partner. She started her performance career in late August 2004 and quickly earned both her AKC and UKC CD titles and her UAGI agility title. She is doing AKC, UKC and NADAC agility, rally obedience and AKC and UKC obedience. I am an AKC CGC evaluator and an ASCA obedience judge for all classes. I compete with my own dogs in obedience and agility and do tracking for fun.

    back to Cheryl May's Dogsports page