Waukegan Park District Programs for Dogs
Dog programs at the Waukegan Park District recognize the bond between canines and humans. These programs are designed to assist you in training your pet to be a good companion. A variety of programs are offered from Basic and Advanced Obedience and Dog Agility to Rally Obedience and Nose Work. All teaching and training methods from instructor Karin Magnuson are based on reward, motivation and positive reinforcement as well as dog and handler training needs. Karen has extensive experience as a dog trainer and handler and makes sure both dogs and owners have a fun, positive training environment.
- Please bring your dog’s vaccination/health records to the first class.
- Owners of aggressive dogs must be in control of their pets at all times to remain in class.
- Classes are held at the Belvidere Recreation Center, 412 S. Lewis Avenue, Waukegan.
Obedience programs focus on teaching dogs to be a well-behaved family pet, a pleasure to own and a companion with manners that would enable the canine to accompany their owner anywhere. Instructor Karin Magnuson asserts, “A well trained dog does not end up in an animal shelter!” Dogs learn basic voice commands/hand signals and practice staying calm while socializing with other dogs and people.
It’s always best to teach good habits before bad ones are learned. Let your puppy have fun socializing while learning positive behaviors. Puppies eight weeks to four months old can learn walking to heel, sit, stay, and down commands.
This class is for dogs ages five months and older. Dogs who were in the puppy class will continue to learn in this class. For those new to obedience training, you will learn how to train your dog to walk properly on a leash, sit, stay, and come on command.
This is for dogs that have been through the Basic Dog Obedience class and are ready for more advanced training techniques. At the end of the class, you will have the option to take the good Canine Good Citizenship© test (Fee: $10 for each dog).
The handler directs the leashed dog through an obstacle course set by instructor Karin Nikopoulos. Owners may cheer, clap, and call the dogs through each obstacle as it best serves them. There are jumps of various types, climbing obstacles, weave poles, tunnels, and a pause table. This class is always entertaining whether the dog does as you ask or not. It’s fun for everyone! Dog and owner need to have completed an Advanced Obedience Training class prior to registering.
Never taken an agility class before? Then this class is where you and your dog six months or older need to start. This class will focus on the basics to get you and your dog familiar with agility training. Your dog will get exercise and you, a good laugh!
This is a more intensive agility class designed for dogs 9 months or older that have already completed a basic agility class and are ready to be challenged a little more or just need to maintain skills already learned. We had a hunch your dog would want to come back for more exercise and fun!
Rally combines characteristics of agility and traditional obedience for dogs and owners into a new fun and challenging sport. Rally Obedience is timed and includes 1-34 performance stations depending on the level of participation. It is critiqued by the instructor who watches for a smooth performance as well as skill in following the directions at each station. A sign at each station gives instructions to the dog-handler team, and each team must execute the station’s particular task within two-to-four feet of the sign. Rally is an opportunity for veteran dogs to remain active and a chance for shy or antisocial dogs to get experience. Many dogs enjoy this change from the usual silent heeling of traditional obedience classes as their handlers can clap hands, talk, or whistle to them throughout the entire course in a dance like flow. This class is not AKC certified. Participating dogs must have already completed an Advanced Dog Obedience training class.
This is the beginner level of Rally Obedience. All exercises are performed with the dog on leash and demonstrate the dog’s understanding of basic commands such as sit, stay, down, come and heel positions.
This is the second level, which includes more difficult exercise throughout the course. All exercises are performed with the dog off leash. Exercises include a jump as well as calling your dog to the front of you instead of to a heel position. Participating dogs must have completed the novice class.
Introductcion to Nose Work
Take advantage of your dog’s natural scenting abilities as he hunts for either food or toys. The class is great for all types and sizes of dogs, and wonderful for a dog that is bored and wants to play. Participating dogs must have completed an Advanced Obedience class prior to registering.
NoseWork (Introduction to Odor)
Continue the fun with your dog, face different challenges and learn new scenting exercises. Participating dogs must have successfully completed both Advanced Obedience and Introduction to Nose Work in order to register.
Dog Certification Programs
All K9 Programs are instructed by a certified AKC Approved S.T.A.R. Puppy and Canine Good Citizen® Evaluator.
AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy ® Program
The AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy Program is an incentive program for loving dog owners who have taken the time to take their puppies through a basic training class. This is how it works: Upon completion of the basic training class with your puppy, up to six months old, your puppy will be eligible to be enrolled in the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy Program. You will need to attend any puppy or basic training class at least six weeks. Your instructor will administer the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy test during and at the end of the course. We want you and your puppy to continue learning beyond puppy classes.
AKC Canine Good Citizen®
This is the next step after your dog completes the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy program. The AKC Canine Good Citizen (CGC) Program is designed to reward dogs who have good manners at home and in the community. The Canine Good Citizen Program is a two-part program that emphasizes responsible pet ownership for owners and basic good manners for dogs. All dogs who pass the ten-step CGC test may receive a certificate from the American Kennel Club. This test is administered on-site after completion of the Advanced Dog Obedience program. There is a $10 fee for AKC or Canine Good Citizen registration.
Fitness With Fido
Your dog can be your best workout partner and a great motivator. Combine cardio, strength, balance, and stretching, while incorporating basic commands into one hour of non-stop fun for you and your dog. There is no better outlet for your dog’s energy. Dogs should be at least six months old, able to walk on a leash and know basic commands; (sit, down, stay and come). Please bring proof of your dog’s current vaccinations and health records to the first class. Bring a yoga mat or towel, a water bottle, and leash (no retractable leashes please). Athletic shoes must be worn. One dog per owner; please no aggressive dogs. Fitness with Fido takes place at Hinkston Park. Watch for class dates and times in the Quarterly Program Guide.
Barn Hunt is the fastest growing dog sport in the U.S. The popularity of the sport has exploded because the dogs and the people have so much fun. Modern Barn Hunts are not just for dauchunds and terriers anymore. Any breed, including mixed breeds, may participate. The hunts still involve dogs seeking out rats, but the rats are encased in protective PVC tubes which are 4″ in diameter. Barn Hunt is a great sport for all ages and abilities of dogs. That goes for people too. Pre-requisite: A Basic Dog Obedience class must be successfully completed. To learn more about Barn Hunt please go to barnhunt.com. This class is held outside at Bowen Park by Lilac Cottage.