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Canine Training Classes Offered Through Parks And Rec
dog train
Dog trainer Amy Lou Rhoten, at right, goes over some instruction with class member Chris Seeman, attending Saturday’s training session with her two-year-old Standard poodle, WayMo. Marg Jackson/The Times

Armed with some hula hoops and a variety of other items you wouldn’t necessarily associate with dog training, those attending the Bona-a-Fide Dog Training class in Escalon were happy to put their canines through the paces.

Dog trainer Amy Lou Rhoten was leading the April 24 class on Saturday morning, in front of the stage in the city’s Main Street Park. There were a number of canine attendees and their owners, with the dogs from just a few months to a few years old. All owners came with the goal of having their dogs better behaved.

The training is offered by Bone-a-Fide through an arrangement with the City of Escalon Recreation Department. This coming Saturday, May 1, will be the final class in this session.

Then, the class will move to Tuesday nights. They are held in five-week sessions so the Tuesday class begins May 4, running from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., concluding on June 1. Cost for the five-week session is $125.

The classes, along with the hands on training and instruction, also include a 30-miute question and answer period following the completion of lessons. It is a basic dog obedience class and sign-ups can be done through the Recreation Department.

Rhoten, from Escalon, was joined at the park on Saturday by Dog Training Consultant Kari Guidry of Manteca, assisting with the class.

“We do have openings in the next class,” Guidry said on Saturday, so those interested in signing their dog up for the basic obedience training can visit Parks and Rec at City Hall or go online. “We have all ages here, from about six months to eight years.”

JoAnna Perez of Manteca was attending with her Siberian Husky, Margot, who is almost six months old.

“They’ve been wonderful,” Perez said of working with the dog trainers.

Also attending was Roy Samaniego, from the Manteca area, with his one-and-a-half year old dog Bruno.

Basic commands are covered and the dog learns to obey its master’s voice, along with following the commands. On Saturday, that included putting the round hula hoops on the ground and having the dog sit in them, and, when directed by their owner, to lie down.

While the Saturday – and upcoming Tuesday – sessions in the park are group classes, Guidry said the firm also does private training sessions as well.

Attendees are asked to wear closed toe shoes to the classes and to not bring retractable leases. The classes are one hour each, followed by the 30-minute question and answer session.

Bone-a-Fide also hosts basic and advanced classes in Lathrop and a brief three-week training class in Ceres called Paws 4 Play.

Among the areas covered in the basic training classes offered in Escalon are no pulling on the leash, house training, jumping on people, destructive chewing, separation issues and anxiety, not coming when called and more.