The Charleston Dog Training Club

"Make Your Dog Your Hobby!"

Join us for a fun Mini-mar on March 4 from 1-4 p.m. Working spots are limited to 12. $60 for non-members, $50 for members. Auditing spots are $25.

Tricks and clicks Mini-mar:

Pure fun with your dog! Learn how to correctly and optimally use a clicker while teaching your dogs tricks — ranging from basic entertainment to shaping for complex behaviors that will WOW your friends!

Jane Hirsch and Katherine Salmons are the instructors.
You can sign up online at our website.

Next class series begins the week of February 26.

Charleston Dog Training Club Classes


It is our goal at Charleston Dog Training Club for you to meet with success in our classes and improve your connection/relationship with your dog. Like when we went to school it starts with a strong foundation. If you have a puppy, based on the age, we recommend that you do Puppy 1 or AKC Star Puppy and develop great training habits for you and your dog. Please feel free to contact the instructor in charge of the classes listed on our calendar, if you have any further questions. Classes are built on a progression and we hope that you will eventually decide to join our club and participate in our activities.


Puppy Basics: Age 2-5 months. Must have had 2 sets of shots.  Course is 6 weeks for $120

Get your New Puppy off to a great start! How do puppies learn? Build their confidence. Get a head start on potty training, coming when called and the number one behavior people want help with, greeting people.  Learn how your energy affects your puppy and how to read their body language. How to deal with the two fear stages your puppy will go thru. Learn guidelines to socialize your puppy. Expose your puppies to other puppies in a safe environment. Watch your dog go thru a tunnel, walk on 7 surfaces and the tippy board. Learn how to read your puppy’s body language. Prepare for AKC Star Puppy. Register your puppy with AKC as a Registered Breed or a PAL


AKC Star Puppy: Age 5 months to 10 months Course is 7 weeks plus test for $120

Taught by an AKC Certified Evaluator

Earn the Star Puppy Medallion after completing 6 weeks of training and passing the AKC star Puppy Test. Look on for test and medallion. Puppies will learn many skills as: relax on the mat, sit, down, reliable recall and stay. Puppies will begin to develop their muscle memory of where we want them to be when we walk. After they understand to stay by our side we will work on change of pace: fast and slow. They will continue skills to build their confidence and socialization.  Owners will learn how to help their puppies deal with fearful situations barking and crate training games. Learn how to read your dog’s body language when he sees another dog and the correct way to approach. We offer many suggestions for separation anxiety. Classes are taught using a positive training method with a clicker and many treat rewards. Bring a hungry dog, plenty of soft treats and a mat to the first class. Dogs may wear a flat collar or harness.

 Graduate to Family Dog for people who want a CGC but have no desire to compete with their dog in any venue. They may decide to go on to a Trick class or earn their Canine Good Citizen. Novice Class is designed for dogs that eventually want to compete in Obedience, Rally, Agility, Therapy or Canine Freestyle and also earn their Canine Good Citizen.

Beginner Obedience Class:  Prerequisite: Dogs should be able to sit, down and come as well as walk on a loose leash. Class is designed for owners and dogs who are serious about training and eventually want to compete in Obedience, Rally, Agility, Therapy Dog and Canine Freestyle. Class is also designed for dogs who want to go on to Canine Good Citizen, Canine Good Citizen Advanced, and Canine Good Citizen Urban. Dogs should not be shy, or aggressive towards people or other dogs. They should be able to have a sit stay and a down stay for at least 30 seconds. 6 Weeks on going for $120 or $90 Member

Class taught with operant food training reward system. Bring a hungry dog and plenty of treats. Dogs will learn to heel next to their owners, have a change of pace, do right, left and about turns, sit and stand for exam, figure 8 and recall. Their goal will be to sit for 1 minute with the owner on the other side of the room and down for 3 minutes. We will stress how your body language affects your performance. By then end of this class with practice dogs will be ready to show in the beginning level of any venue i.e. Beginner Novice AKC.

They will also be ready to go on and take the CGC courses with the confidence passing.


Family Dog:  Prerequisite: Socialized Dog who wants to increase skills to go on earns Canine Good Citizen or does Therapy work.  6 weeks for $120 or $90 Member

Does your dog pull you down the street? Bark incessantly at other dogs? In this Class we will focus on teaching better communication between you and your canine partner. Our methods are positive and reward based operant training. Bring plenty of treats and a hungry dog. Dogs will learn basic manners, walking on a leash, sit, down, come, and stay. Owners will learn how to better socialize their dogs with people and other dogs. What does their body language tell us? Have a well behaved dog at your vet’s office.  Prepare to go for a Canine Good Citizen Class.


 AKC Canine Good Citizen: Prerequisite: Dogs who are 10 months or older and have completed CDTC’s Family Dog or Novice Class.  Dogs should be able to sit, down and come on command as well as walk on a leash. Dogs should be socialized and not aggressive or fearful of people or dogs.   6 weeks plus Test $120 or $90 Member Taught by an AKC Certified Evaluator With all the anti-dog legislation and insurance changes this is an important title to earn on your dog.

Learn about Pet Responsibility. You must attend all 6 weeks in order to take the test. We work with you to have a makeup session if you miss one class. Dogs learn to do their learned behaviors without luring and constant food reward.

Dogs will be able at the end of the 6 weeks without food to:

·         Walk on a loose lead with a slow, normal and fast pace which includes a left turn, right turn and about turn. Dogs also must walk through a crowd and past another dog.

·         Accept a friendly stranger; sit politely for petting, able to be brushed by the evaluator.

·         Not be nervous or aggressive when presented with a distraction.

·         Sit and Down holding the position while the owner walks 20 feet away

·         Shows the dog can sit and down on command

·         Supervised Separation for 3 minutes


Canine Freestyle: Ongoing Class with Certified Dance Instructor: Denise Miller

Prerequisite: Your dogs must be able to work off leash around other dogs and have basic obedience.

Denise brings fresh material to each session and trains owners and dogs how to dance to the beat. What fun and connection for you and your dog.

Rally Class:

Rally is a sport in which the dog and handler complete a course that has been designed by the rally judge. There are currently 299 rally signs and 3 levels of competition-Novice, Advanced and Excellent. In November 2017 that number will increase to 322 signs and 6 levels of competition-Novice, Intermediate, Advanced, Excellent, Master and Rally Champion. The judge tells the handler to begin, and the dog and handler proceed at their own pace through a course of designated stations (10 - 20, depending on the level). Scoring is not as herigorous as traditional obedience. 

Rally provides a link between the Canine Good Citizen® (CGC) program and beginning level of formal obedience or agility competition. It gives the handler and dog team a great way to get ring experience in a more casual atmosphere.

The CDTC class will introduce several new signs each week.  You will be taught the proper way to complete the sign as well as methods to improve and learn the behavior.  A course will be set up each class for dog and handler teams to practice their skills.  All levels of team experience are welcome.  Each team should be comfortable walking on a leash, know sit and down, and be able to stay in place for 30 seconds with their handler next to them.  We will build on those skills throughout the class.

Dog must be able to walk beside you on a loose leash.

Lisa Smithers

Lisa has a B.S. in Animal Science from the University of New Hampshire, including courses in Animal Nutrition and Animal Behavior. She has trained and competed in AKC Obedience  trials throughout New England with her Labrador Retriever, achieving a Utility Dog title, with many High in Trials. She currently competes with her Border Terrier in AKC Obedience trials in the Southeast. They have earned the Companion Dog Excellent title and are working toward a Utility Dog title. Her dog and puppy have earned their RATN  in Barnhunt. She is currently the president of the Charleston Dog Training Club. She has fostered dogs for Charleston Animal Society and fosters rescues for the North American Border Terrier Welfare Rescue.

Steve Monyko

Julia Williamsen

Mickey Januszkiewicz

Sue Cipolla

Judi Randall

Debbie Snyir

Debbie is our most experienced and talented competitive obedience handler. She has trained and successfully shown a number of border collies AND Polish Lowland Sheepdogs.  Debbie has been invited to the most prestigious AKC obedience competition, The AKC Obedience Invitational.   She has instructed many, many students for the club and has helped those of us that have come after her solve our unending performance problems. Debbie always has an idea about how to make your dog work better for you.  Come and attend one of her advanced obedience classes or a mini-seminar.

Jill Lundgren 

Jill's specialty is dogs with behavioral problems.  She has the patience of Job.  Got a dog with an attitude?  A problem?  Sign up to work with Jill and see an immediate improvement!  Jill has many years of experience working with rescue and problem dogs.  If she can't fix your dog, no one can.

Sharon Lann

Sharon Lann is an AKC evaluator. She has been a member of Charleston Dog Training Cub for  10 yrs. where she has served on the Board of Directors and as  an Instructor. She currently owns 3 Papillons. Ella has her UD and is now Sharon’s service dog.   Skye finished her UD this year and is training in Canine Freestyle and Tricks. She hopefully will be visiting children in schools with the Firemen to show the children how to stop drop and roll. Claire is the youngest and a  rising star  in obedience. Sharon  is a positive trainer,  using clicker and treat reinforcement . Sharon is also a very talented photographer and artist. She has done portraits of many of the club member’s dogs.

Susan Norris 

Susan started doing agility with her Yellow Lab, Jeb. A friend introduced her to Rally then Obedience and she got the "bug." Jeb, 10, has his CD, RN, and CGC. He is trained through Open and some of the Utility exercises. Hampton, 7, has his CD, RN, and CGC. He is currently training for Open.

Mary Evans

Mary has been in this business a long time.  She has a bunch of Paps who love her and can't wait to work in therapy, freestyle, agility and obedience.  Come meet Mary and find out what it's like to  love your dogs!


Charleston Dog Training Club ©2015

"Charleston Dog Training Club" is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization , 

PO Box 60695 
North Charleston, SC 29419-0695

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