About Us

Pennsylvania State Requirements

All our Instructors have clearances that are required by the State of Pennsylvania to work with children under the age of 18.

Private Lessons

We offer Private Lessons for those dogs and handlers who have trouble dealing with a class atmosphere.

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Professional Instructors

What makes a Professional Instructor?  All of our Instructors have finished All Levels of Competitive obedience  or Agility under the requirements of the American Kennel Club.  All have a Companion Dog Excellent titles or Utility Dog titles; Master Agility Championships or Preferred Agility Championships.

Xcel Class Descriptions

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Xcel Class Descriptions

 

All dogs that participate in group classes must be able to be controlled by the handler. If the dog causes any type major disturbance, such as excessive barking; biting another dog, teacher, another person or the handler; it will be released from the group class. Private lessons will be recommended until the dog can be controlled in a group atmosphere. It is suggested that a dog of questionable behavior problems be evaluated first before starting any type of group class. There is a $20 fee for evaluation to design the proper training program for you and your pet. Click on any of the links below.

Children 12 years and over are eligible to participate in class. However, they must be accompanied by a parent or guardian 18 years of age or older at all times.

Agility Classes

Agility is structured from Fundamental 1, Fundamentals 2, Intermediate, Advanced. You need a prerequisite of Fundamentals 1 for 2.  Fundamentals 2 begin handling in sequencing.  Intermediate and Advanced teams should be proficient in all equipment off leash.

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Obedience Classes

Obedience is structured as Puppy 3-6 months (need at least 2 sets of combination shots), Basic over 6 months; Beginning Novice/CGC (Canine Good Citizen)/TDI (Therapy Dog International).   In order to be in a Beginning Novice Class you must have been in a group class in the last 6 months., if not your team will need to be evaluated.  Drop Ins on Saturday is Novice level exercises for people interested in showing or the equivalent.

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Rally Obedience Classes

Rally classes are a drop in class in 6 week intervals in coordination with our schedule.  No classes on off weeks.  Rally courses are  normally nested in Novice and more Advanced signage. If you are new, our Instructor is happy to walk with you to help.  Prerequisite is at least a Basic obedience class or Novice training knowledge.  

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Conformation Classes

 

This is a consistent drop in class for people interested in earning a  Championship or Grand Championship on their dog.  If you purchased the dog from  a well known breeder, they may require you to work toward this title.  If you are  interested in breeding, you may want to achieve this title.   Conformation is based on how the dog is structured for the breed. So, each breed  has the breed requirements that are noted on the AKC website.   That is what  they are judged on in the show ring.
 
In class, you are taught how to “stack” (stand) your dog specific to how  the breed is supposed to stack in the show ring.  There is a certain way to  stack a dog properly to keep it in the stand.  Plus learning how to bait  properly to show your dog off to the judge.  Some dogs need to learn how to  stack on a table.  Dogs need to learn how to be  comfortable with a  judge examining the dog, checking teeth, etc. and still hold a stack.
 
You will learn what the proper “Gate” is for the dog.  Or, teaching  the dog to move properly on a “show lead”, which you will need for class.  Each  dog needs to gate differently.    

Learning ring etiquette and what to do and not do in the  show ring. 
 

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Testing Details of CGC/TDI at Xcel Canine Training

The Beginning Novice/CGC/TDI class is a Group class that prepares the teams for the testing.  It is not a requirement to take the class before any of the testing.  If you think your dog can pass after reviewing the details on the AKC CGC website and the TDI website, then you can join the testing for that day.  CGC test days are normally the last class of the 6 week session.  TDI tests are normally on Tuesday evenings and are typically done in Spring,Summer and Fall every 8 weeks.  These testing dates are normally on the home page of the website and also on our Schedule Page.  Pre-registration is suggested for the CGC testing.  TDI pre-registration is required.  Flyers can be downloaded from this site.

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Agility Classes

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Competitive Agility

Breaking down agility exercises, sequencing, clicker training and teaching you and your dog handling confidence. This is for the serious competitor. Prerequisite: Dog must be under control off leash and know basic obedience commands. It is very helpful if the handler has done agility before with another dog. Agility – Fundamentals Will focus on flat work, clicker training, preparing the dog for jumping, preparing the dog for the obstacles, concentrating on the touching the contact of the contact obstacles, weave pole entries. Prerequisite: Must have at least 2 basic obedience classes, private lessons or the equivalent after the dog has been evaluated. Dog must know down, sit, come and the beginnings of the stay command. 

Agility – Intermediate, Advanced, Competitive

This class will focus on the beginnings of sequencing and learning handling skills. Prerequisite: Must have had beginning agility class from either Xcel or another training center or a novice agility title or higher. Dog and handler must be able to work together as a team off leash. The advanced class will focus on harder sequences and longer sequences. It will also focus on the aspect of handling for the dog handler and will give them experience that will be needed for competition.Also, you must have completed the Agility Fundamentals II class. 

Agility Fundamentals 1

Class focuses on working on the flat (meaning boards on the floor, beginning of handling with no jumps). Teaching the skills necessary for the dog to learn how to turn their bodies properly in order to negotiate turns safely and correctly. Learning come to hand exercises to teach the dogs not to cut in front or behind the handler. 


Dogs under 1 year of age will not be jumping. Jumps will eventually be introduced as class continues for dogs of jumping age. Preparing the dog for jumping and teaching the skills necessary to jump successfully. Teaching targeting for contact obstacles. Learning weave pole entries and all the ways to teach weave pole skills. Intro to tunnel & chute. Dogs will not be on regulation contact equipment in this class unless the contact equipment is lowered. Prerequisite: Dogs may be  under 6 months and older. At least, one puppy and one basic class or the equivalent. (someone who has done agility before) No matter what age, the dog must have a good understanding of the "come" command. Young dogs need to know their down, sit and the beginning of their stay commands. Dogs must be manageable by handler on and able to be off leash. All dogs should wear a tab (very short leash) with no loop. The tab should come to the dog's shoulder, no longer. Any dog that is consistently out of control will be excused. 


Children at minimum of 12 years of age can handle the dog provided dog has had 1-2 puppy/basic obedience classes. The child must be able to take instruction and control the dog. This will be decided by the teacher. If the child cannot control the dog properly or take direction in this class, an adult is required to be ready to handle the dog

Agility Fundamentals 2

This class starts dogs on higher obstacles; adding new handling skills for the handler; the beginning of front crosses; rear crosses; blind crosses; tandems; weave poles and teaching the dog how to be more proficient on the obstacles. This also starts the handler on how to analyze a novice course and introducing jumping skills to the dogs such as the broad jump; double jump, triple jump and working around wing jumps. (Prerequisite Fundamentals 1 or a similar class) 

Obedience Classes

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Basic Obedience

This class is for 6 months and older dog that has not had any formal obedience training. It is also for the handler who has not trained any dog. It is recommended for handlers that have trained other dogs, but this dog has not had any training before this class. Any problems or bad habits will be addressed in this class. Proper dog etiquette will also be addressed. You will be taught sit, down, stand, come when called, leave it command, beginning of the stay command, the wait command, walking on a loose leash and addressing suggestions on how to stop your puppy from jumping up on people. Preparation for CGC (Canine Good Citizen) and TDI (Therapy Dog International) testing will be taught. Prerequisite: A dog with no training experience or previous puppy class training at another training facility. A manageable temperament is important to get along in a group atmosphere. 

Puppy Obedience Class

This is for puppies 3 to 6 months of age. Please check with your veterinarian if you have the proper immunizations to start class and what age to start for your breed. It is also for the handler who has not trained any dog. It is recommended for handlers that have trained other dogs, but this dog has not had any training before this class. THIS IS NOT A PUPPY KINDERGARTEN/PLAY CLASS this is an "Obedience" class. You will learn the following in this class: sit, down, stand, come when called, leave it command, beginning of the stay command, the wait command, walking on a loose leash and addressing suggestions on how to stop your puppy from jumping up on people. Any problems or bad habits will be addressed in this class. Proper dog etiquette will also be addressed. Prerequisite: A dog with no training experience or previous puppy class training at another training facility. A manageable temperament is important to get along in a group atmosphere. This class is taught at a slower pace then Intro to Basic. 

Novice Obedience

You will learn the advanced exercises need to compete in a show atmosphere. Sit, down, stay, recalls, teaching fronts, finishes, mild distractions, set ups, ring knowledge, handling. Prerequisite: Basic obedience class or more, handler has trained other dogs in the past either at Xcel or another training facility. The interest to compete or to desire a higher level of training for your dog. 

Open Obedience (offered in a private lesson)

The dog will learn dumbbell hold, take, retrieve. Jumping skills, drop on recall. Advanced stay exercises. Must have a CD (Companion Dog Title) or skill equivalent. 

Utility Obedience (offered in a private lesson)

The dog will learn, run outs, articles, moving stand, glove retrieves, directed jumping. Must have a CDX (Companion Dog Excellent Title) or skill equivalent. 

Advanced Obedience Canine Good Citizen/Therapy Dog

If you have a dog that has basic manners, can heel decently on leash, can come when called, down, sit and stay and is at least 1 year old. You do not need a prerequisite of a Basic class for this class, but it may be helpful. You and your dog will be required to perform the exercises in this class. This class introduces more difficult exercises for the dog to learn. Such as heeling in "heel position", coming when called and fronting to handler off leash; teaching them how to handle wheelchair obstacles, walkers, crutches. Greeting a person and a new dog. Adding time to stays and getting distance; finishes; stand for exam exercise and sit for exam, and all the CGC/TDI exercises you will need to pass the CGC and/or TDI test.  

Other Obedience Classes

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Novice Rally

You learn the beginning, novice exercises for competing in Rally or to refine your heeling technique in obedience. Prerequisite: Basic and/or novice obedience classes. Your dog should have a good idea of where heel position is and should know its’ down, sit, stay and heel relatively well. Good attention is also an asset. 

Intermediate/Advanced Rally

You and your dog will learn the more difficult signs and exercises used to compete in Rally. Prerequisite: Beginning Rally, novice obedience classes or has a novice rally title. 

Trick Dog 1 (Private Lesson)

Prerequisite: Dog should have at least 1 basic obedience class

Teaching students how to shape behaviors using positive reinforcement to make simple tricks fun for students and dogs.  Using clicker or voice and food rewards as lures in the beginning to help the dog learn the desired trick.  Trick 1 title usually can be achieved after 1 session.

Conformation Classes

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Conformation Classes

Dog shows (conformation events) are intended to evaluate breeding stock. The size of these events ranges from large all-breed shows, with over 3,000 dogs entered, to small local specialty club shows, featuring a specific breed. The dog’s conformation (overall appearance and structure), is an indication of the dog’s ability to produce quality puppies. 


Handling your dog is an exceptional and enjoyable experience. From the grooming table to the show ring, you and your dog will develop a bond. While training classes offer the best handson way to practice for the show ring, attending shows and observing your breed is also a great way to gain understanding of what judges and other competitors do. 

Testing for CGC or TDI at Xcel Canine Training

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Canine Good Citizen (CGC)

As you work with your dog to teach the CGC skills, you’ll discover the many benefits and joys of training. You’ll enhance your bond with your dog, and dogs with basic obedience training are a joy to live with—interacting well with other people and dogs and responding well to household routines.

The CGC program offers many practical advantages too. The CGC award is a prerequisite for many therapy dog groups. Some homeowner’s insurance companies encourage CGC testing, and an increasing number of apartments and condos require that resident dogs pass the CGC test. The tagline of the CGC program is, “Responsible Owners, Well-Mannered Dogs,” and that is what CGC is all about.

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Therapy Dog International (TDI)

Therapy Dogs International (TDI®) is a volunteer organization dedicated to regulating, testing and registration of therapy dogs and their volunteer handlers for the purpose of visiting nursing homes, hospitals, other institutions and wherever else therapy dogs are needed. 

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Testing for CGC/TDI at Xcel Canine Training

1. Part of your test can either be in our lobby, upstairs, or the entire test outside of our building weather permitting. We normally hold classes the evening of the test so more than likely it will not be in our training room.

2. It is under the discretion of our CGC TDI Evaluator where she would like to pick to have the test. Xcel will not know ahead of time nor does the evaluator have to inform us ahead of time.

3. Per TDI CGC requirements it is not Xcel Canine Training, Inc.'s responsibility to tell you ahead of time where (outside or inside) the test will be held.

4. It is your responsibility to train your dog for each circumstance that may occur during a test.

5. Examples: Your dog may need to do a sit or down on concrete, your dog may need to be able to be under control in a small area with other dogs. If your dog has a physical issue that we should know about before testing, it is up to you to report it to us ahead of time.

6. Most of the requirements of this test are NOT the requirements of Xcel Canine Training, Inc. The class preps you for the requirements of the exercises. That’s all. It is up to you to do the rest (Example: Training for distractions, outside, indoors, small areas, noises, etc).

7. It is up to the Evaluator how many times she permits you repeat an exercise you have failed. It is a TDI/CGC requirement and an evaluator’s choice not a choice of Xcel Canine Training, Inc.

We can only help you so much accomplish your CGC TDI title. It is up to you to train your dog for any circumstance that may occur during the testing process.