Building Trust & Confidence
Social & Environmental Skills Class
Building bravery with games, props, patterns, and social challenges.
Building Trust & Confidence
Social & Environmental Skills Class
Building bravery with games, props, patterns, and social challenges.

Class Duration

Class meets once a week for 6 weeks, on the same day and at the same time each week. Each classroom session lasts for one hour. Choose a starting date/time for details and to register for that 6-week series.


Cost & Size

The cost of the 6 week series is $250. Class size is currently limited to 6 dogs.


Dogs who are nervous around people often struggle in daily life. In this program we will work on increasing your shy dog’s trust with other people and increasing your dog’s trust in you to keep them safe. Our dogs may never be best friends with everyone they meet, but they can learn to relax near people, develop skills for interacting, and be comfortable with people talking and moving. You will also learn how to set achievable goals and create comfortable games and activities for your dog. You will also learn how to teach your dog to interact with new objects in the environment in a structured setting. The dogs systematically learn to go on, over, under, and through different obstacles. Through these activities, the dogs learn to view novel items as a potential opportunity for these games, rather than something scary. As we progress, we will add tasks and combine skills, which will continue to build teamwork and develop environmental confidence. The classroom environment offers you the opportunity to practice these skills around dogs and handlers working on the same activities. The small class size ensures plenty of individualized coaching.


The instructor for this class is Sarah Keegans. Sarah will help adjust each exercise for your dog's current focus, motivation, and comfort. She will help you practice consistent and clear communication so that you more effectively guide your dog in varied circumstances. Sarah carefully structures the challenges to build incrementally so that confidence is gained every step of the way.

Tools & Methods

Building Trust & Confidence is a reward-based class. Treats, toys, play and praise are generously utilized. Sarah recommends that you bring your dog to class on a front-clip harness or a flat buckle collar or regular harness. Bring a six-foot leash, lots of tasty, healthy treats and a tug toy (optional), settle mat (optional).

Who It's For

Building Trust & Confidence is for shy family dogs of any age. If your dog shows hesitation in new environments or around new people, this class is for you.

If your dog expresses nervousness by lunging and barking at other dogs or at people, please do not register for this class. Instead, check out our Rowdy & Reactive Program instead.