Program Information

Registering? #1 Read this Class and Program Information page.

Prepare your pet for real life with you. Whether you are at home or away, your pet should be happy, comfortable and display manners. We help you to train your pet for the real world with practical, common sense training! We are training pets that live in our homes, may go to the farmers market, to sporting events, or perhaps the cottage or vacation get-aways. Pets should also be comfortable, not stressed or nervous and a pleasure to be around no matter where they are!

Results and Pawformance classes encourage you to interact with your pet - not train at it! This program is based on relationships for pets that live with you. Our handling and training implement a gentle hands on, praise reward system with a quiet discipline after training and much practice and then, only if needed. Note - treats are not used for teaching the sit, down or come commands.

As learning is never erased, the early experiences and training you allow your pet to learn are important - choose wisely!!

Pets do not attend the first classes of Pawformance Puppy Class and Obedience & Manners - Level One This is for the registered trainer and your household members that have the maturity to sit and listen quietly for this first class. Instruction covers exercises to start for the next class and how to handle your pet in-between the 'on leash training' home practice sessions.

Consistency in handling is important! If your mature household members are not able to attend, please take notes so you may share the information. Be sure to read the folder of information you will receive.

Powerful Results happen when instruction if followed. The main goal is for you to have an enjoyable life with your pet and your pet to have an enjoyable life with you! As the training commences, your pets ability to accept your handling, stress and distractions that occur as life happens normally increases, along with learning how to respond to obedience terms.

Gentle Leadership Skills - Results style!
My praise reward, non-reactive way of interacting will help develop and enhance mutual respect. This program believes in teaching first, 'perfect' practice, proofing and then using a quiet discipline - if needed. All classes are taught by our training director - cognitive style. Thus, no surprises by a well meaning volunteer or different instructor when you go from one level to the next regarding method.

Cognitive training is employed - not reactive training! Note that very limited treats are used, never for the come, down, stay and watch commands! No clickers - no electronics - no remotes - no luring with toys and balls! There is no need to have to learn how to use devices for obedience commands only to (hopefully) wean off of them later! Treats are used to begin leash walking for puppies, for crate training and housebreaking - and just because! Treats or toys are never used for the come, down, stay and watch (look) commands.

Your Praise - for most is simply the best 'Positive' training!
Simply put, when you implement our program and your pet respects you, your praise may be the best positive reinforcement - it works for many! So much better than walking around with a pocket of treats and having your pet 'smile' at your pocket instead of you. Or taking the chance that if a treat is not delivered as expected, your pet will disobey and possibly even sass bark you...
I will never tell you to bring your pet to class hungry! I have never understood how keeping a pet hungry so it will perform is considered 'positive' training - certainly not from your pet's view!!

Please do not sign up for this class if you desire to use a food/clicker/toy reward system. This program endorses a praise reward program to build your bond with your pet along with confidence and trust. It works best for people and their puppies if this way of training is not introduced in the first place. If you have started this method and wish to attend my class, please give your pet a break from it per the orientation/first class for people discussion for best Results!
Often my entry level classes will fill (Puppy and Obedience & Manners Level One). If you do not plan on following instruction, please do not register and take a spot from someone else that wants to follow my program. Thank you.

Discipline if needed - should be grounded. If you are too harsh or use a reactive discipline your pet will learn to fear you. Never should a pet be disciplined for a behavior it does not know is wrong - teach and practice instead! More is explained at class.

Trainer Fee, Requirements, Hearing, Age and Physcial Strength

Class fee is for one pet and the same handler/trainer that I (the instructor) will be working with throughout the class. If the trainer must miss a class (mandatory attendance at class #1), an adult household member that has been attending previous classes as a guest may fill in for the main trainer. Note, training time on the floor with the pet is not shared in between household members unless special circumstances warrant and are approved by the instructor.

Trainers must be age 18 and older. An exception may be made to allow junior handlers depending on age and size and age of pet and if the family has previously attended and successfully passed a class with the instructor. Do not preregister a junior handler (under 18 years old) if an adult is not available to attend every class and continue training if necessary per the instructor as refunds are not given. Email the instructor for more information and approval before registering.

Trainers must be able to hear instruction. Trainers must be able to interact with their pets as this is a 'hands-on' method of training - which means bending and touching the puppy or dog.

To help ensure class flow, trainers MUST be physically able to keep their pets from dragging them to visit other training teams - inside and outside of class. Classes are designed to teach obedience commands and manners in a group setting. If your pet is able to pull you at will, perhaps contacting a trainer for private lessons will be helpful to you. As training here is offered in a group setting, please do not register. Refunds are not given.

Non-Spayed Female Pets that come into season (have a heat cycle) may not attend class as they may be too distracting to other pets. No refunds are given. See the FAQ below for more information.

Pets that are Not Accepted: Wolf and wolf mixes are not accepted into the program. Nor are aggressive dogs or those which have had security or attack training.

Guarantee? Sorry as I as do not have first hand knowledge of experiences you and your pet have encountered nor do I have control of what happens outside of class, guarantees are not given. Know this program works very well for people that choose to implement it.

For decades the majority of trainers attending were referred and classes often have returning trainers with new pets! Many have told me that they will wait for a class with me rather than attend another that may be starting sooner. If you are motivated and practice, this may be the best class experience you have encountered. There are unsolicited notes of gratitiude listed at the bottom of the News and Referrals page. Take a look, find your pet's breed(s) and see what people have had to say....

NO REFUNDS: Brighton Community Education (BCE) and the Howell Recreation Authority have a strict no refund policy unless BCE or HRA have to cancel. Read the policy prior to registering and contact their office if you have any questions. Note the staff will not be able to answer training questions, that is what this web site if for. While here, follow the steps to help ensure a terrific class fit so hopefully this will not be a concern for you.

I, Training Director, Mary T. Ratelle reserve the right to help ensure a positive and progressive class for all. Trainers not following direction or posing a concern may be excused per my discretion if realistic goals of the class are hindered. Communication is not just for the pets, but for trainers as well. Please bring to my attention concerns that you may have! I wish all particpants enjoy the 'training journey' as I do. Time spent training here should be special time for you and your pet!

If you enjoy spending time with your pet and desire a wonderful companion, this approach to training may be just what you are looking for. Classes have class minimums and maximums. If you want to join, please preregister early to avoid disappointment.

After basic training is completed, recreational dog sports and advanced obedience are offered for our graduates! We have had much fun with these. To see what others have done past our basic classes, visit the Awards-Titles page. Listed are some of the fun activities trainers have done with their pets including therapy, Rally-Obedience, agility, conformation, obedience, tracking, field and more!

Instructor Background Link

Interested in Joining a Class? Step #2 - Read Entry Level Class Descriptions - Links Follow!

If your puppy's age is five months, but you want to do the puppy class, or if after reading the class descriptions you are not sure what class your pet belongs in, read the FAQs below. The training director cannot decide for you as she does not know you and your puppy.

Pawformance Puppy Class For puppies 8 weeks to six months. Older puppies may be accepted in need of confidence.

Results Dog Training (RDT) Obedience & Manners Level One For Puppy Class graduates, older puppies and dogs, minimum age six months if your puppy is 'mature' for it's age.

RDT Obedience & Manners (O&M) Level Two Pre-requisite: RDT Obedience & Manners - Level One with instructor permission.

RDT O&M Level Three - Off Leash & Pawformance Dog Sports Rally-Obedience Meld! Prerequisite: RDT Obedience Level Two graduates and Instructor permission.

O&M Level Four - Pawformance Dog Sports - AKC Beginner and Companion Dog Show Obedience Prerequisite: RDT Obedience Level Three graduates and Instructor permission. An exception may be made if a handler is experienced and has an exceptional dog from Results O&M Two, inquire!

Pawformance Dog Sports - AKC Rally-O and Dynamics! Clinics Prerequisite: see descriptions FMI. This offering may be attended by working or auditing.

Pawformance Dog Sports - Conformation Show Clinics Currently not offered, please inquire or check back!

Private Lessons & Behavior Consults for trainers in the program in need of extra help.


Inclement Weather?

Class cancellations with make up class information if available will be posted on my SCHEDULE page next to your class listing if possible. If a class has to be cancelled, a makeup will be planned.
Confirmation of the make up day and time will be posted if possible by your class listing on my Schedule Page.

Major cancellations will be broadcast on: WHMI 93.5 FM

Brighton Schools If regular school classes are canceled due to weather, bomb threat, fire, etc. - all Community Ed classes are also cancelled!

Howell Recreation closings depend on the current weather. If schools are closed, other events may still take place as some are located in non-school buildings. The HRC staff does try to call people affected if there is a closing, so be sure to list a good phone contact # when registering.

Note that BEC or HRC do not give credit or refunds, so do keep your calendar open for a possible make up day.

Q. I cannot attend the first class, will I miss much?
If you are a new trainer to Results - the answer is absolutely! The beauty of this program is everything melds to provide a stable foundation. Knowing how to handle your pet in between the leash training sessions is just as important as teaching commands. Perhaps waiting for a future session is in your best interest when you can attend all classes if you are new to the program.

If you are a returning trainer, please do your best to attend. With time, key handling techniques may have been forgotten. I take time to present the information because I feel it is needed. As a past Results staff person with over fifteen years with me said, every presentation she observes, she learned something. This person, "Arleen P." was one of the best trainers and staff people I had the pleasure of working with!

Q. I cannot attend the last class, may I still register for the next level?
If you and your pet have done well prior to the graduation class, you will be considered for next level - be sure to inquire prior to registering! While waiting for the next class to begin, if possible, attend a drop in offering when available to keep training from regressing. This is especially important if you have a 'busy' pet, are new to training with Results and would like to register for the next level of class.

Q. I cannot attend the last class, may I still receive a certificate and ribbon?
Your graduation certificate and ribbon are available for pick up prior to or after scheduled classes if you are not able to attend a drop in training session. If you are coming in a month after your class ends, please give advance notice so I will be sure to have it with me.

Q. Are private lessons available?
Yes, if you are in the program and can handle your pet if it is too strong for me. If not in the program, with regret, these are limited simply due to my schedule. If you have a new puppy, help is available to get your puppy started until a group class begins - if you have registered for same. At this time, I am on 'lift' restrictions and cannot handle some pets that may do too much pulling or are resistant to handling. Thus, pets that may be to strong for me will not be accepted at this time. Thank you for your understanding.

Q. May I observe a class without signing up?
Due to many various reasons, the answer is no. Observers are often distracting to class participants - people and their pets. I (the instructor) prefer to keep my sole attention on the class. Additionally, trainers new to the program with untrained dogs usually do not appreciate an audience while they are trying to comprehend the traning and trying to train their pets. To get an understanding of the dynamics of our program, read all of the information on this web site. Talk to people who have partipated in this program. The majority of people attending are here by referral or returning trainers with new pets. Having been in the community for several decades (literally) the chances are pretty good someone that you know has trained with me. I am always available if you would like to come in by appointment before or after a class and meet me. I also am available to do evaluations for a nominal fee.

Q. I have been told not to enter a puppy training class until my pet is six months old, is puppy class really important?
During the four week to four month period, a puppy is like a sponge! It learns at a rapid level during this time. After four months, the window begins to close. As learning is never erased, what handling and training your puppy experiences during it's first four months is never erased! What you allow it to learn during this time can make a lasting impression.
People that attend our structured Results - Pawformance Puppy class get a terrific head start in bonding and training! Yes, a puppy class is important to help develop your puppy! I, (the training director), was fortunate to attend the first puppy class held in MI in 1978 with my "Matt" (Golden Retriever). I had already trained several dogs by this time in my life and had shown a couple as well. The impact it made was incredible - it was well worth the time, money and drive from Brighton to Ferndale every week!

Be careful - a puppy'socialization' class that is nothing more than a play party or tricks for treats type class may actually imprint some puppies in a negative way and encourage poor behavior. My puppy class is structured and socializing is monitored to help ensure a great experience for all particpants.

Q. My puppy is almost six months, may I register it for the Obedience & Manners Class? Other programs teach young puppies the stay command...why don't you?
Puppies under six months are simply not accepted into this level unless you are certain that your puppy is an 'old soul' and will comprehend the training. The maturity needed to comprehend a true stay command is a good example of why puppies are not rushed. The 'Stay' command taught here is *not* a simple wait game for a treat. (See more below). Older puppies and pets will benefit more from a puppy class if the pet is in need of confidence and being able to socialize in a structured setting. Register for the Puppy class to give an excellent base for the next level of training and stage of development.

Results Obedience & Manners concentrates more on the mechanics of commands. The pets do not visit with each other until manners are learned and the pets are relaxed as we do in Puppy Class again until Obedience & Manners Level Two - if they are ready for same and want to be social. Some dogs do not appreciate another dog 'in their face or space'. As long as manners are in place and a pet is comfortable, socializing is not forced. Just like people, some pets simly are not interested. It is important that when visiting, a pet can display manners.

In Obedience & Manners Level One the pets must have the concentration to learn a stay command - with distractions and without a food bribe. This is training for real life! If your puppy is mature enough to learn a stay concept, you may enter the Obedience & Manners class. If you are not sure, and do not want to do our Puppy level, you may enroll and wait to do the 'stay' exercise distance training segment on your own at a later time. It is not fair to pressure your puppy by putting it into a level of training it may not be ready for.

Q. My pet is older than six months, and is nervous and shy, may it attend the puppy class?
First read the above answer. If you believe your pet will benefit from the more relaxed atmosphere of the puppy class, and you believe it will not continually bark and growl at the others in class, or scare the other puppies, you may register for the puppy class. Be sure to note your concerns and reason for wanting your older pet in the Puppy class. If your pet may benefit from a class where the activity level is more structured, or may bark and/or growl, the Obedience & Manners Level One program should be attended. Please read the next FAQ.

Q. My pet has developed minor barking and growling issues when it see other pets or people, it needs help, may I register?
If your pet is not truly aggressive, many pets with problems like these are stressed and behavior improves as the pet gains confidence. A private lesson after you have attended the first class Orientation is strongly recommended is most cases, inquire!

For the welfare of your pet, if participation of a (some) group exercise(s) may excite a pet so that class flow is hindered, the activity level of your pet may be limited upon the discretion of the instructor. When training exercises that increase 'drive' may trigger your pet in the early stages of training, the instructor may have you participate to the degree that your pet can be successful and then build on the exercise as your pet is ready.

If your pet does not improve within a reasonable amount of time and it is interrupting class flow, the pet alone may be excused from the class and you will attend without your pet to observe lessons to continue training. It is unusual for a pet not to improve if instruction is followed.

Q. I read the above FAQ, my pet has behavior issues and I am not sure if I should sign up.
Our offerings hope to provide an atmosphere and general instruction for the average pet owner. A group class has limitations. If your pet needs more help than what our class descriptions imply, perhaps it is best that you do not attend with your pet without getting a private lesson first.
Be sure to note that true aggressive behavior per the instructor's evaluation is not acceptable in our group classes and a pet may be excused, with only the owner attending to observe lessons and train with the pet at home. No refunds are given.

Q. Will obedience training ruin my pets conformation ring performance?
Not if you follow instruction! Be sure to share your goals with the instructor, note them on my Trainer Information Form when you join the program. Leash respect and the ability to move in a straight line is desired for the conformation ring. Also, your pet should be holding still when the judge examines your pet, this is very important. Obedience can help teach the discipline your pet may need to hold still when it would rather be visiting.

Cross training for more than one venue is simple if you keep your training clean. It is not desired to have your conformation dog sitting when it should be standing for an examination. Your pet should not heel with attention on you, looking up at you and moving as in obedience with a controlled walk or heel exercise. The conformation show puppy or dog should instead move in a straight line with a forward focus (not on the handler). Body language when traniing as introduced will alert your pet to the performance desired - if you train per instruction. I have much experience in the ring as a handler and I have also judged with return assignments. My observation with trainers that have conformation show dogs sitting in the ring simply are not training clean by accepting and even encouraging sits when handling and training. It can be pretty frustrating for me when handlers refuse to follow directions...

If you are new to showing in the conformation venue, note a Structured Conformation Class is offered as a special on occasion. You may want to consider joining that class or attending drop in classes.

Q. How do you feel about training with buzz or e-collars? (Electronic collars/mt)

I am frequently asked this question by many for various reasons. In some cases, a 'no bark' collar may be useful if you are not present to address the problem. Regarding obedience training read on! The most recent came from a Labrador Retriever owner interested in field training. No matter what the reason, my lengthy answer if usually the same. To answer here, I copied the pertinent parts of an email conversation below:

Dear Xx, ... reading my material - web page, hand outs, advertising - you will see I am not a fan, ... no electronics, clickers, ... I love hands on, praise reward with gentle pack skills and training with (not at) dogs.

I know I am in a minority. I have attended clinics multiple times for their use - I just cannot bring myself to use one. I simply have never had a need and I would rather do common sense training instead. Too me, even using a light buzz instead of a stronger poke is not what or how I want to train. 

... (ra)coon hunters ... used them, mainly to keep the dogs from running deer - that I can see.

Field training used to be a big part of my life. Upland game mainly although I would water train for field titles and because the dogs loved it. I just did not eat duck, didn't like the taste, so I primarily pheasant hunted. I was a founding member of the local XX. I have given field clinic and training seminars and was brought back by the clubs ..., (a nice compliment!) multiple times for the XX. I always donated time on the side for training and puppy starting to the XX and the XX until the e-collar people almost caused me to have melt downs whenever I was around them,... I don't understand why in the 'heck' a person needs to use an e-collar to teach a retriever how to retrieve?? Or come?? What are they bred for - what do they LOVE to do? Why burn them???

I have never had a need for one! I think they are only to be used in extreme cases with extreme caution. Arguments to use are usually from lazy people that do not want to train or train proper. Use of one may make a pet anxious...

Good luck if you or xx end up using one..., use common sense. Xx is sensitive and it will be a shame if xx shuts down... The pressure to use one may be strong. 

Q. May my female dog attend if she is in season?
Sorry, as female dogs that are in season (having a heat cycle) are very distracting to other dogs, thus they are not allowed to attend classes while they are in their heat cycle. This cycle may last as long as three to four weeks. If you register for a class and your girl comes into season, the trainer is to attend without the pet to observe lessons. Training can still take place at home. After discharge and swelling has ended, your pet is to be bathed before returning to class for the remaining classes. Note credit, transfers or refunds are not given. Best Results happen when pets attend class every week so attend when the timing is right!

Q. My pet has had previous training elsewhere, may I register for an advanced class?
Puppy graduates from other programs may enter our Obedience & Manners Level One if old enough. With all due respect for the training accomplished, every trainer and pet must start with our Obedience & Manners Level One program to help ensure uniformity. Class flow and training progression are important for all. Classes are often hindered when basics are not followed as taught here. Our training foundation is referred to during all levels of training. Note that experienced trainers that our new to our program are usually pleased with the time spent learning our foundation. If after reading this you still believe your pet will do well in an advanced class, evaluations are available for a nominal fee. Attending an evaluaton does not ensure that your pet will be accepted. Inquire! : )

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