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The original item was published from 4/1/2022 9:55:25 AM to 4/9/2022 12:00:08 AM.

News Flash

Parks & Recreation

Posted on: April 1, 2022

[ARCHIVED] Program of the Week: Dog Obedience


Do you have a dog who might need a little extra training? What about working to get them certified as a therapy dog? Instructor, Jo Downing, offers it all! Want to know a little more about Jo?

Jo developed a love of animals at a young age, growing up with dogs, horses and a variety of other farm animals. In recent years, building on the experience and training with her dogs, she has trained/competed/titled multiple dogs in multiple venues, in Rally Obedience, Agility, Obedience, Fast Cat, Rally FrEe, Barn Hunt, Herding and doing Therapy Dog work. Her commitment to educating dog owners has led her passion on K9Fitness and Conditioning work.

Jo has been teaching a variety of basic manners, CGC/Therapy Dog, Agility, Rally, Tricks and K9 Fitness classes for over 10 years. She believes very much in "training the dog in front of you" and loves to troubleshoot skills and training needs of the teams she works with. In addition to helping individual pet owners with their training needs, Jo also works with Goochland Pet Lovers, providing training and guidance to the staff and volunteers of the Goochland Animal Shelter. The goal of this training is to allow the shelter dogs to be able to learn some usable skills, in turn making them more adoptable and more successful in their expected new homes. 

When Jo is not helping others with their training needs or training her own dogs, she's busy working on her farm, that houses sheep, a mini-hereford steer named Sebastian and her flock of chickens. She shares the farm with her 4 Australian Shepherds: Houdini (12), Choo (9), Orion (4) and Khord (18 months). 

Jo’s certifications include: UT-CCFT (Certified Canine Fitness Trainer), AKC CGC Evaluator, AKC Tricks Evaluator, ATD Tester/Observer, DMWYD Certified Trick Dog Instructor/evaluator and AKC Farm Dog Judge.

CGC/Therapy Dog Prep

Students in this class will have had prior basic manners training with their dog. Dogs should know basic skills such as: sit, down, stay/wait, recall. Teams should have a good working/training relationship prior to enrolling in this class. This class will prepare teams who are interested in testing for their AKC Canine Good Citizen and/or Alliance of Therapy Dog certification. Testing may be done at the end of the 6-week session.


April 20-May 25


CHS Gym Classroom


Puppy 101

Calling all puppies! In this class we will work on your training foundation with your new puppy! Skills will include name recognition, sit/stay, down/stay, mat/place work, recalls, plus fun games and other ways to keep your young puppy on the right path.


April 19-May 24


CHS Gym Classroom


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