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Competitive Sports Training

Fusion Pet Retreat’s training center has a wide range of class offerings to fit many dogs’ needs. Each class is lead by an experienced instructor, dedicated to personal growth and continuing education in the field. We focus on a positive and progressive approach to dog training and behavior.

All classes are hosted in the comfort of a climate-controlled 11,000 sq. ft. indoor facility.

Upcoming Agility Training Classes

Building Blocks of Agility I

 Length: 8 – 1 hour lessons
Cost: $175

In this class you and your dog will build confidence and develop the strong foundation skills of agility. Your dog will learn rear-end awareness, targeting and basic performance with all pieces of agility equipment.

Requirements: Dogs should be at least 1 year old and have taken a Basic Obedience Class.

Never done agility before? Just looking to try it out? Check out our

FUNgility Class

Please email Elizabeth@FusionPetRetreat.com.

Building Blocks of Agility II

Length: 8 – 1 hour lessons
Cost: $175

This class will continue to build the teamwork between you and your dog in the sport of agility. You will continue to work on skills from Building Blocks of Agility I as well as adding short sequences to your toolbox.

Requirements: All dogs must be one (1) year of age and have completed Building Blocks of Agility I or have Training Director approval.

Building Blocks of Agility III

Length: 8 – 1 hour lessons
Cost: $175

This class will be taking the skills you have learned in both Building Blocks 1 & 2 and taking them to the next level. We will start to now apply our flat work and individual obstacle skills into course work.

Requirements: Building Blocks 1 & 2 or dog should be familiar will all agility equipment (except weave poles).

Recommended Class To Take Next: 2×2 or Channel Weave Pole class is recommended to be taken either concurrent to the Building Blocks Program or before Novice Agility.

Class Sessions:

  • Tuesdays @ 3:45pm with Danielle
  • Wednesdays @ 6pm with Elizabeth
  • Thursdays @ 4:00pm with Megan
  • Thursdays @ 5:15pm with Britt

Novice Handling Class

Length: 8 – 1 hour lessons
Cost: $145 for split ring; $160 for whole ring

In this class teams will work on basic handling sequences and will receive continued instruction on all equipment to build confidence and knowledge in preparation for novice level competition. Teams should have experience with ALL obstacles and proficiency on most obstacles, but may still be working to master some skills such as weaves in sequence or contact criteria.

Requirements: Successful completion of entire Building Blocks Program or full proficiency on all obstacles (including at least 6 weaves and full height contacts)

Class Sessions:

  • Mondays @ 2:30pm with Beth H
  • Wednesdays @ 8am with Beth H
  • Wednesdays @ 6:15pm with Kelsey
  • Wednesdays @ 7:30pm with Kelsey
  • Thursdays @ 2:45pm with Lori
  • Thursdays @ 4pm with Lori
  • Thursdays @ 7:45pm with Kara

 

Advanced Handling Class

Length: 8 – 1 hour lessons
Cost: $160

In this class you will continue to build you and your dog’s coursework skills as a team. Students will work on handling sequences with increasing difficulty in preparation for open/advanced level competition and beyond.

Class Sessions:

  • Mondays @ 8am with Beth H
  • Mondays @ 9:15am with Beth H
  • Mondays @ 7:30pm with Caitlin
  • Tuesdays @ 1pm with Darci
  • Tuesdays @ 8:30pm with Lisa
  • Wednesdays @ 1:15pm with Elizabeth
  • Thursdays @ 9:30am with Jen
  • Thursdays @ 10:45am with Beth
  • Thursdays @ 6:30pm with Christina

Masters Handling Class

Length: 8 – 1 hour lessons
Cost: $160

In this class teams will tackle coursework geared towards the masters level of competition. Students will work on fine-tuning techniques, adding more advanced skills to their handling toolbox, and will be challenged with more demanding courses.

Class Sessions:

  • Mondays @ 11:45am with Beth H
  • Mondays @ 3:45pm with Beth H
  • Tuesdays @ 8:00am with Beth H
  • Tuesdays @ 2:15pm with Darci
  • Tuesdays @ 7:30pm with Leanne
  • Wednesdays @ 10:30am with Dawn
  • Wednesdays @ 12pm with Dawn
  • Wednesdays @ 5:00pm with Elizabeth
  • Thursdays @ 12:00 with Beth
  • Thursdays @ 1:15pm with Beth
Agility Dog Training Dog 5

International Handling Class

Length: 8 – 1 hour lessons
Cost: $175

This class will focus on analyzing and executing full length courses involving skills that teams might see in the following classes or events: Premier, Masters Challenge Biathlon, Masters Series, National-level events, and/or tryouts for international teams.  Expect to be pushed out of your comfort zone!

Class Sessions:

Tuesdays @ 6pm with Leanne

Weave Class

Length: 6 – 1 hour lessons
Cost: $120

This 6-week class will introduce the 2×2 method of training weave poles to your dog. Weave Poles are not taught in Building Blocks, and it is typically recommended to take this class concurrently with Building Blocks 3.

Requirements: Dogs should be at least 12 months old
Currently at the level of Building Blocks 2 or equivalent. You will need at least two sets of 2x2s for home practice. If you don’t have them, you may rent them from Fusion on the first night of class.

Homework: Plan for at least 2 hrs/week, spread out through the week, in 5-8 min increments. Short, frequent practice sessions will create a stronger understanding of your dog’s criteria! Homework will be noted in your journal, which will be provided.

Upcoming Classes:

Thursdays @ 10:45am with Jen

Drop In Handling Class

Length: 1 – 1 hour lesson
Cost: $22.50

Want some extra practice? This class is perfect for you! This class will be a one day Drop-In agility class. The class will have nested courses appropriate for all levels from Novice to Masters. The class will be taught by one of Fusion’s qualified instructors. Each student will have individual instruction given to them during their turn.

Classes:

  • Tuesdays @ 11:30am with Dawn or Beth H
  • Thursdays @ 8am with Beth H
  • Some Fridays @ 6:00pm with Beth H 
Agility Dog Training Dog 5

Drop In International Handling Class

Length: 1 1-hr lessons
Cost: $22.50

This class will be a one day Drop-In agility class. The class will have courses with challenges that are unique to international style courses. Each student will have individual instruction given to them during their turn.

Dogs should be proficient in all obstacles and competing currently. This class is not appropriate for dogs or handlers who are new to agility and just learning crosses. These courses will be challenging and are meant for as preparation in UKI or Premier style courses.

Classes:

  • Fridays at 4:45pm with Amanda Edstrom
Agility Dog Training Dog 5

Choose Your Own Adventure: Personalized Skills Class

Length: 4 – 1 hour lessons + Online Instruction
Cost: $120

This class allows you to choose a single skill you want to ​further advance over the course block. Each week you will receive one-on-one time with the coach. Skill progress will be evaluated, a customized home training plan suggested for between classes, and in-class time to practice. In addition to biweekly class instruction, there will be three 20 minute ring rentals included in the class price.  Also included, support and instruction via the class FB group page during the weeks class does not meet.

Agility Dog Training Dog 5

Skills and Short Sequences: Advanced -Master/International

Length: 8 – 1 hour lessons
Cost: $160

Masters and Premier/International level skills and short sequences.  Learn about different handling options for sequences, proofing your skills, handling to support your verbals, increasing distance and independence, layering, and more.  Different skills and sequences each week.  This is a great supplement to your regular classes.

Classes:

  • Mondays @ 10:45am with Beth H

From Class to the Backyard (Sequences, Skills & Proofing Exercises to Recreate at Home)

Length: 8 – 1 hour lessons
Cost: $160

Have you ever struggled with what to practice at home? This class is perfect for you.

In class, small sequences will be setup. You will practice these in class, and then be given the tools to recreate them at home, giving you even more practice time.

In addition to handling exercises, class will focus on proofing the weaves with challenging entries and distractions. Proofing contacts will also be practiced. If you have any of this equipment at home, those exercises will also be given for at home practice.

Classes:

  • Mondays @ 8am with Beth H

Proofing Your Contacts and Weaves

Length: 4 – 1 hour lessons
Cost: $80
Do you struggle with your contact and weave performance in sequences? This class will focus on improving your desired behaviors on weaves and contacts. Class is meant for dogs who already know these obstacles and want to progress their skills on these. Skills worked in class may include: proofing your contact performance, proofing weave entries, proofing weave exits, proofing behaviors during distractions, and troubleshooting your specific obstacle struggles.
Pre-requisities: Dogs should have at least 6 weaves. Dogs should have full height contacts. Dogs should be able to do a minimum of small sequences up to 10 obstacles.

Classes:

  • Wednesdays @ 3:45 with Amanda starting 5/15
Agility Dog Training Dog 5

Small Spaces, Big Skills (Masters Levels Skills Class)

Length: 8 1-hr lessons
Cost: $160

This 8-week class will focus on practicing and refining skills that teams might see in the following classes or events: Premier, Masters Challenge Biathlon, Masters Series, National-level events, and/or tryouts for international teams. This class is a great opportunity for teams planning to attend the US Open, AKC Nationals or AKC Invitationals! Skills may include difficult weave entries/exits, independent backsides, treadles, discriminations, etc. Teams should be proficient with ALL obstacles and performing at the Masters level. This class will not be full courses, but will feature 4-5 obstacle sequences to grow skills and try new options. Expect to be pushed out of your comfort zone!

Classes:

  • Thursdays @ 7:45pm with Christina

Puppy Sport Class

Length: 6 – 1 hour lessons
Cost: $140

This 6-week class (45 minute class) focuses on teaching your dog the fundamental skills needed for dog sports. An emphasis will be placed on getting your dog ready for agility, but other sports are also welcome. This class is designated for dog handlers that have previous experience in dog sports (more specifically, agility). All handlers must have participated in agility with another dog either training or competing at the Intermediate levels or higher.

Never done agility before? Try our FUNgility class!

Other Competitive Sports Training Classes

Conformation Run-Thrus

Length: 1 Run-Thru
Cost: $13

Practice your handling skills and get another eye on you before upcoming show. Dogs over 4 months and up-to-date on vaccinations welcome; handlers should have some prior knowledge of Conformation skills.

Classes:

Every Monday at 1:15pm with Becky or Gretchen

Competitive Obedience Skills (Drop-In)

Length: 1 hour drop-in
Cost: $23

Join us to learn about the exciting sport of Competitive Obedience! This class is great for all levels; from people (and dogs) completely new to Competitive Obedience and would like to dabble in a new sport or activity with their dog to people who are actively competing in Competitive Obedience with their dog already!

This class is also appropriate if you’d like to work on Rally skill-building (no Rally courses will be set for this drop-in class)

Tricks for Agility

Length: 6 – 1 hr. Lessons
Cost: $140

In this class your dog will learn how to perform various tricks. Each trick will aid agility performance in some way. Not only are these tricks cute, but they will also teach your dog body awareness and be a good foundation for agility. This class is appropriate for any level of agility dog who wants to build fitness or body awareness.

Classes:

Wednesdays @ 10:45am starting 3/20 with Beth H

Rally Obedience Run Thru's (Drop-In)

Length: 1 hour drop-in
Cost: $23

Each week one Novice Rally course will be nested into one higher level Rally course in our classroom addition to accommodate practice for AKC Rally shows.

Each team will be given 10 minutes to walk the course and discuss signs. Then each team may get 3-4 timed opportunities to practice. We use a 3 minute timer.

Positive and fair training methods only please. This hour is meant to be fun and supportive to dog and handler alike. (Practice for non AKC venues are welcome, just know signs and equipment will be set up per AKC regulations.)

Please email Lori with your practice levels each time you register for a daytime run-thru:  lorimck66@yahoo.com.

Our Competitive Sports Training Team

Fusion’s passionate team of professionals are trained by a certified behaviorist and take continuing education seriously.

Becky Koeger

Conformation Instructor

I have been competing in dog sports since 2000 and I believe in having a well rounded dog.  My Border Collies compete in agility, obedience, rally, herding and conformation.
I have put numerous titles and championships on my dogs and have competed in multiple national events.  I love to teach and see the progression with handlers and their dogs, it’s a rewarding experience when a team comes together.

Beth Crowley

Agility Instructor

I train service dogs and work with clients with physical disabilities thru my work with Helping Paws in Hopkins.  I started doing Nosework with my own pet dogs in 2011-2012 and haven’t stopped training and competing since then.  I love watching the personalities of individual dogs grow in confidence as they grow in their Nosework skills.  I also like to do water rescue training and draftwork with my Newfoundlands.

Beth Hostetter

Agility Instructor

As a Certified OneMind Dogs Instructor, I love using and teaching the OneMind Dogs method to help my students better understand their dogs. It is a joy to see these teams come together and grow. Clear communication, that is natural to the dog, increases both speed and confidence, while allowing the handler to work calmer and at greater distance.  My classes focus on the handler understanding their dog, team building, and growing confidence in dogs and handlers alike.

Britt Sepanski

Assistant Training Director & Agility Instructor

I love working with our “special needs” dogs that don’t know how to play, teaching them to open up and learn appropriate play so they can make friends. In my freetime, I compete in agility with my dogs.

Brooke Knotek Benjamin

Agility Instructor

I love seeing the “light-bulb” moment when teaching a new dog and handler team a new skill. Outside of dog training I work as a certified veterinary technician (CVT) and as a certified canine rehabilitation practitioner (CCRP).

Caitlin Varhalla

Agility Instructor

I have been training and competing in agility for the last 20 years and currently share my home with two border collies. I am constantly evolving in my training and am always excited to try new things and approaches with my students. I try and make every class a positive fun experience where everyone leaves excited to come back.

Christina Wessels

Agility Instructor

When I took my first tentative step into the sport of agility with my first Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, Nikko, back in 2012, I was immediately hooked. I love the partnership you form with your dog and the challenge of training skills and running courses. I now compete in AKC and UKI with three Tollers and have been an agility instructor since 2016. I particularly enjoy working with young dogs and new handlers just discovering the joy of agility for themselves.

Danielle Wagner

Agility Instructor

I have been training and showing dogs since I was three. Agility is my first passion, which has grown over the years. During this time, I have trained several breeds, providing me with a diverse skill set that enables me to train my dogs to the highest level possible. It is my passion to help people with their dogs, by helping them to build a connection, a working relationship, and skills to help them achieve their goals. Watching the partnership succeed is one of the best things about teaching.

Dawn Plekkenpol

Agility Instructor

Darci Wagner

Agility Instructor

I have been training and competing with my dogs my whole life.  I grew up showing in conformation and obedience but my true love is Agility. Over the years I have owned many different breeds from small to tall which gives a great perspective for when it comes to teaching agility classes and I definitely think there is not a one size fits all approach to teaching agility.

Elizabeth Doyle

General Manager &
Agility Instructor

I have been competing in dog agility since I was 11 years old. I have had the opportunity to train many different dogs. Currently I train with my two border collies. When teaching, I try to bring my knowledge and experiences to provide an individualized approach for each dog.

Gretchen Olson

Conformation Instructor

Bio coming soon!

Jennifer Sorum

Agility Instructor

Bio coming soon!

Julie Heller

Agility Instructor

Bio coming soon!

Kara Maytag Kaszas

Agility Instructor

Kara has owned and occasionally bred Standard Schnauzers for the past 20 years. She competes in Conformation,
Agility, Barn Hunt, Dock Diving, Scentwork, FastCAT, Obedience and Rally with her dogs. When not busy with dog
activities she is cheering on her 12 year old daughter in dance, crafting, cooking, baking or curling.

Kelsey Germscheid

Agility Instructor

I’ve been around the agility world since being a junior handler, and have also trained in Obedience and Scentwork. I love using training to teach a better relationship between dogs and their people, and my favorite thing is seeing that relationship bloom while our dogs learn new skills. When not teaching or training my own Sheltie, Renly, I love to do anything outdoors whether that be hiking, camping, skiing; along with practicing photography on the side.

Leanne Wortman

Agility Instructor

I have been active in the sport of agility since 2007.  Learning new things and striving to be a better trainer and handler for my dogs is a major part of what I love about the sport.  I have been fortunate enough to train with some amazing instructors from near and far, as well as compete locally, regionally, and nationally.  I enjoy helping teams add skills to their toolbox and learning from both my human and canine students.

Lisa Hennen

Agility Instructor

Bio coming soon!

Lori McKusick

Rally Obedience Instructor

I’ve been training dogs for 14 years. After trying many dog sports, my favorites are Agility and Rally because she enjoys the mental challenge of memorizing courses. I will provide challenging practice courses each week at all AKC Rally levels.

Take a Tour

Want to learn more about us?

Our staff would love a chance to show you around and answer all of your questions.

If you would like to tour our facility after watching the virtual tour, feel free to come in during any of these time windows:

  • Monday 10-11am,
  • Tuesday 10-11am or 5-6pm,
  • Wednesday 10-11am or 2-3pm,
  • Thursday 10-11am or 5-6pm,
  • Friday 10-11am.