Obedience Training/Behavior Modification


When life's tragedies become too much to handle, we seek professional help. Pets also have emotional traumas, but they can't tell us what has happened to them during their lifetime. As a result, by the time professional help is sought, behavioral problems have often developed. Early training is instrumental to a happy relationship and behavioral modification is crucial when problems develop.

We are very pleased to announce Ridgewood VeterinaryShake.png Hospital's Obedience Training and Behavior Modification Programs. We want to help you have a happy, healthy relationship with your pet for many years, whether a newly adopted pet or an existing pet having issues that are affecting your relationship. We begin with proper socialization and training; your pet needs to feel safe and secure in all social encounters. We are now offering several classes to help get your dog off to the right start and to answer all of your training questions. Currently we are offering a Puppy Kindergarten Class, Beginner Class and Advanced Beginner Class for puppies, young adults and adults with trainer Loraine E. Capurso, CPDT-KA. All of these classes are 6 week courses and will be held in our Ridgewood office.

Classes provide training assistance, as well as the educational materials necessary to help your pets remain happy, healthy and well socialized for the rest of their lives. We will provide handouts with the latest training techniques, health alerts as news is made available, and a little homework to continually provide positive reinforcement so that you and your pet retain the material and don't backslide into old behaviors. With practice, you and your pet will earn an A+!

Classes are scheduled as follows:

  • All classes are 6 weeks; the first week is an orientation about our training technique. We encourage the whole family to attend this first session, and please bring your dog as well. After the orientation class, we follow with 5 weeks of training with your dog.
  • Sign up at our front desk or call to schedule your class.


Requirements for class - At least 7 days prior to class, your veterinarian must provide: 

  • A physical exam
  • Distemper combination vaccine
  • Bordetella vaccine
  • One deworming
  • Documentation must be submitted at the first class, and all documentation of subsequent visits and vaccines must be presented as they occur throughout the remaining weeks of class. Dogs must remain current for all vaccines throughout the classes.

Class Topics and Processes


Socialization is the process by which an animal learns to relate to the stimuli in its environment, including animals, places, and things. Socialization recommendations are an important part of puppy preventative care. Why is socialization so important? Socialization is one of the key elements needed to keep you and your pet together for a lifetime of health and happiness. Puppies who attend early learning and socialization classes from 8-14 weeks are more likely to learn more quickly, be able to problem solve more effectively in new situations, and have calmer dispositions compared to unsocialized puppies of the same age. If puppies are kept in a deprived environment until 20 weeks of age, they are more likely to exhibit anti-social behavior. It is difficult for these pets to become well behaved family pets because they are slower to learn, more reactive and difficult to train. If dogs are not socialized during the sensitive period for socialization, there is increased risk that they will have behavior problems such as anxiety, fear and aggression later in life. It is far easier to prevent a problem in a puppy than to retrain an adult dog.


Noise Phobia

"Noise Phobia" is a common problem in dogs and cats. Many pets react with extreme fear and panic when they hear thunder or fireworks. Some hide and tremble, some cause destruction to the home, and some may even injure themselves trying to escape the home or crate. Noise phobia is often associated with barrier frustration and has also been associated with separation anxiety.

Separation Anxiety

The signs of separation anxiety are destructive activity, vocalization, elimination, and salivation in the absence of the owner. Separation anxiety must be dog-commands.jpgdifferentiated from barking at dogs or people due to territorial aggression, from failure of house breaking, from maternal nesting behavior in pseudo-pregnant bitches, and from hunger which drives the dog to raid the garbage and open cupboard doors. Enrichment programs are highly recommended, since regression is imminent with this type of problem and often requires a home training program.

Suggested Reading List

A member of the Behavior Team will call to schedule your class.