Welcome to Orcas Dog Club
Let your dog Learn!

Who are we?

Orcas Dog Club is a community for dog owners interested in basic training and agility. We formed in early 2021 and, through 2023, have offered 25 classes to 135 islanders and their dogs. Basic classes will be held under the school pavilion and agility classes are at an outdoor horse arena graciously provided by one of our families.

Please let us keep you informed on our activities by joining our mailing list.

Students receive discounted classes for a year after taking their first class and early registration for classes and special events, such as our recent AKC Canine Good Citizen workshop.  Orcas Dog Club now has our first CGC dogs!

Orcas Dog Club is an entirely volunteer organization.

Training Philosophy

Orcas Dog Club is committed to using only positive, rewards-based, science-based training methods in all of our classes.  We will never use methods or devices that might hurt or frighten your dog.  The most powerful tool available to elicit desired behaviors in dogs is the relationship you build with them.  Behavioral science research has shown that positive training methods are effective and less stressful for your dog.

Orcas Dog Club classes will not use or advocate the use of force, fear, or pain-based methods.  This includes choke collars, prong collars, shock collars, or aggressive “bullying” language or actions toward dogs.  Concepts like “dominance”, “alpha dog”, and “pack leader” are antiquated, not supported by science-based best practices, and serve no useful purpose in training family dogs and canine athletes.  Those concepts are not part of ODC training classes.

Basic Communications

We offer our Basic Communication class primarily during Daylight Savings Time at the Orcas School covered pavilion.   This limits us to 2 to 3 classes per year for 7 to 8 students.  

If you are on our mailing list, you will receive notices about a week before registration begins.

All ODC classes build on methods taught in this class.  Students will learn how to teach their dog to make good decisions based on the situation.  We teach your dog to think and to choose appropriate behaviors.  Basic Communication focuses on exercises and games that help your dog learn to reorient to you in different situations, to offer default behaviors to access resources (food, toys, getting in/out of the house or car, going through gates, and going on walks, etc) and when interacting with their environment, and to rest calmly on a mat.

Dog Agility

Orcas Dog Club is fortunate to be able to offer dog agility classes to our members at a former horse arena on the island due to the kindness of the owners.  Dog agility is a popular canine sport involving skill and communication between the dog and its handler.  The primary predictor of success in dog agility is your relationship with your dog.  For this reason, everyone starts with our Basic Communication class. We understand that some of you may have already completed an “obedience” course elsewhere and are eager to get started.  Please consider Basic Communication to be your initial agility class.  Our experience is that the concepts in this course are necessary for success in dog agility and are only rarely addressed in traditional dog training classes advertised as “obedience” classes.

If you have previously competed in sanctioned agility trials with your current dog, please contact us so we can discuss your situation.  

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