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Holly McArthur – Optimist Dog Training

Phone: (415) 259-9481

Optimist Dog Training at Pet Food Express San Rafael (Terra Linda)

Trainer: Holly McArthur, CPDT-KA

Holly McArthur is a professional dog trainer, behavior counselor and an optimist about the pets that share our lives. She left a successful career as a communications professional to help humans better understand their dog's behavior through her business, Optimist Dog Training.  Her motto is "Think Positively. Train Positively.™ 

With more than 15 years of study in animal behavior, learning and training, Holly offers both private lessons and group classes.  Thanks to her engaging classroom style and in-depth knowledge about the science of dog training, veterinarians throughout Marin County frequently recommend her. She is a Professional member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers, an AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator and certified in Pet CPR and First Aid. 

Class Schedule

Tuesdays:     5:30 - 6:25pm Beginning Puppy Class
                         6:30 - 7:25pm Beginning Family Dog Manners

Class Descriptions

Cost: $150 for 6 weeks - registration required. Puppy socials: $15 walk-in per pup - no need to register.

Beginning Puppy
Beginning socialization, management, handling, and manners class for puppies 9-16 weeks old at the start of the series. Focus is on developing confidence and a love of training in both the dog and handler. Class size is 6 or fewer dogs, so each team gets lots of individual attention. One set of shots is required at least 7 days before class begins, pup must have lived in your home for one week, and shots should be kept up-to-date during the course.

Beginning Family Dog
Skills taught include: sit, down, stay, polite greetings, polite leash walking, recall, attention, leave it, and general self control around distractions. Class size is 6 or fewer dogs, so each team gets lots of individual attention. Appropriate for any dog over 4 months of age that has completed all vaccinations including Rabies.

Puppy Socials
Puppy Socials offer a safe environment for your pup during the critical 9-16 week socialization window.  Puppies have an opportunity to play with other pups to hone their social skills in addition to the opportunity to meet a variety of humans in a positive way. A qualified trainer supervises these closely monitored sessions. Pups must be between 9-16 weeks when attending their first social.

Priority will always be given to the youngest puppies.

Puppy Social Requirements:

  • Bring proof of the first DHLPP vaccination with you to your first social. Pups must be a minimum of 7 days past their first vaccination and have been in your home for 7 days.
  • Guardian over 18 years of age must accompany each puppy.
  • On-time arrival is required to avoid disruptions. No latecomers allowed.
  • Space may be limited and will be closed when full.

A few tips!

  • Bring a few yummy treats for your pup.
  • For safety, bring pup on flat collar (no metal, slip collars or harnesses during play).
  • Puppy Socials are intended as a safe place for friendly pups to socialize and develop good skills. They are not an environment to work on existing behavior problems. Trainers reserve the right to excuse any pup from socials for any reason.

Available at the following Pet Food Express locations:
San Rafael - Terra Linda

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