Reactive rover class dogs in training

Reactive Rover: Foundations Class
People learning how to teach their dogs
to be calmer around other dogs

Reactive Rover: Foundations

Reactive Rover: Foundations class teaches you the skills to help your dog become less reactive towards other dogs on leash. Once you have these skills, our continuing Reactive Rover program offers you ongoing support to keep you and your dog learning and improving.
Sign up for Reactive Rover: Foundations Class Here

Reactive Rover: Skill Building Class

Reactive Rover: Skill Building Class
Building focus and manners skills
while continuing to decrease reactivity

Reactive Rover: Skill Building

Once you’ve taken our Foundations class to help you to gain greater confidence with having your dog around other dogs. Now it’s time to keep building reactivity skills and obedience around other dogs. Focus, walking nicely on leash, stays, coming when called and many other skills will be covered. These real-life skills will also be helpful in our Reactive Rover: Open Air, Agility and Scentwork classes. Take the class as may times as you need, until both you and your dog are ready for one of our advanced classes. Prerequisite: RR: Foundations class and/or prior approval of instructors.

Sign up for Reactive Rover: Skill Building Class Here


Reactive Rover: Open Air Class
Dogs practicing their skills
in Portland’s Northwest neighborhood

Reactive Rover: Open Air

Fun in the sun or rockin’ in the rain. Our ongoing Open Air reactivity class lets you practice your reactivity and manners in an outdoor setting. Our professional trainers help you both with growing your skills and keeping an eye out for dogs in the environment. The locations change each of the four weeks to keep things interesting and challenging for you. Prerequisite: RR: Skill Building class and/or prior approval of instructors.

Sign up for Reactive Rover: Open Air Class Here

Reactive Rover: Scentwork Class

Reactive Rover: Scentwork Class
Doing box work to find hidden rewards

Reactive Rover: Scentwork

We have found that working on nose-games with our dogs can be both mentally enriching and relaxing for them. Our Scentwork class shows you how to teach your dog to find a hidden scent in a room, using their natural abilities to hunt things out with their nose. The skills learned in this ongoing class can also be used as a foundation for later fun activities such as the sport of Canine Nose Work. Canine Nose Work trials are set up to be reactive dog friendly, offering competitions where only one dog at a time is allowed in the testing area. Prerequisite: RR: Skill Building class and/or prior approval of instructor.

Sign up for Reactive Rover: Scentwork Class Here

Reactive Rover: Agility

Agility is a sport that can help your dog build confidence. It can also help your dog learn to work through minor stressors with you to build their trust. Dogs who are reactive can also benefit, since the class combines learning agility skills with practicing dog reactivity skills and off-leash training in a safe and secure environment. While this one-of-a-kind class is geared towards dogs who are reactive to other dogs, we sometimes will open the class to dogs who are able to be crated and whose parents are able to help condition them (usually rarely) to the noises that reactive dogs can make. Prerequisite: RR: Skill Building class and/or prior approval of instructors

Sign up for Reactive Rover: Agility Class Here

Reactive Rover: Human Directed (Starter and Continuing)

Our Human-Directed Reactivity class teaches you the skills to help your dog become less reactive towards people. Class participation is by invitation only and is limited to no more than four (4) dogs at a time. In class, we will be doing a number of activities where your dog will be seeing and approaching both Synergy staff members and other participants in the class. To minimize the risk and provide safety for everyone involved, we ask that…

  1. Your dog be conditioned to be comfortable in a basket muzzle. This is as a safety precaution as all efforts will be made to avoid reactive or aggressive incidents
  2. Your dog should be comfortable being crated or tethered while you leave them
  3. All participants help with each others’ dogs. This is to help provide as many different people as possible for the dogs to work with. That is also why we are requiring muzzles. We want everyone to be safe.
  4. We strongly recommend that all adult family members attend the class.

Prerequisite: Prior approval of Dr. Valli.

Control Yourself!

Woo-hoo! What’s that over there? Can I jump on you and be your friend? Ball, ball, ball! Does your dog have a hard time controlling herself in exciting or stressful environments? Is he easily distracted by the world? Our Control Yourself class can help your dog discover the benefits of calmness and self-control. Prerequisite: One prior rewards-based training class or the equivalent in private instruction that you have taken with your dog. Note: This class is not suitable for dogs who have been reactive (growled, snapped, snarled or bitten) towards people or those who bark or lunge at dogs who are in their vicinity. Our Human-Directed Reactivity (dog-human) or Reactive Rover: Foundations (dog-dog) classes may be more appropriate in those cases.
Sign up for Control Yourself Class Here

Get Set for the Vet

From your dog’s perspective, visiting the vet’s office can be hard. Lots of strange smells. People prodding at you and shining lights in your eyes. Holding on to your paws…and don’t even get me started about nail trimming! Learn strategies to make veterinary visits fun rather than frightening. During the first week handler-only introduction, we cover the behaviors that will be focused on in class, how the training is done, and the finer points of reading your dog’s comfort. Classes are highly customized, but some common topics we cover are…

  • Ear and eye cleaning and medications
  • Physical examinations by new people
  • Nail trimming, grooming and brushing
  • Muzzle conditioning

Prerequisite: This class is intended for dogs who are uncomfortable with their veterinarian, clinic staff, you, or anyone else during handling. They will need to be comfortable wearing a muzzle for short periods of time, for safety during training. Dogs who have bitten a person will need to be individually assessed by Dr. Valli prior to being approved for class. This class is not suitable for dogs who bark at or lunge towards people (aside from veterinary or grooming situations) or towards dogs who are in their vicinity. If this is happening, please contact us for options on how we can most appropriately help you and your dog.
Sign up for Get Set for the Vet Class Here

Dauntless Dogs

No, don’t touch me! What the heck is that thing fluttering on the lawn? Mom, let’s just stay home…it’s too scary out there. This confidence class gives your dog opportunities to explore new items, situations and people, while helping you practice the right way to help him. We will show you how to build your dog’s confidence in a gentle, stepwise way. The first week (handler-only) class will teach you about fear in dogs, how to recognize it, and also how to (and how not to) build bravery. Prerequisite: Note: This class is for dogs who avoid or hide from new people, objects or situations. It is not appropriate for dogs who lunge or bark at people or dogs. Please contact us and see our classes above for reactive dog options.

Sign Up for Dauntless Dogs Class Here

Synergy Can Help!

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