Good Dog! 2

Canine Sports Academy Offers Range of Training Levels

Whether you have a new puppy that needs to learn who’s “in charge”, an older dog needing some “good citizen” training or a high-energy companion who would enjoy dog show or agility competition, there’s a business south of Norman that has what you need.

The Canine Sports Academy, the only facility of its type in the community, will celebrate its ninth anniversary in September. It was created by Kathy Rasmussen, who said she has always been involved with animals, especially dogs–raising them, training them, showing them and teaching others to do the same.

“About 10 years ago, the OKC Obedience Club was looking for a new facility, and I got involved,” Rasmussen remembered. “So I started thinking about going into business for myself. I knew I wanted something south of Oklahoma City, so I just decided to do it.”

Rasmussen did it all on her own. She picked out the location, bought the land, designed the facility to her specifications and got it built. She even lived in the facility while building her home, which is about 200 feet west of the academy.

“We have an indoor, climate-controlled facility with two 40-by-50-foot rings for classes, or we can use the full 5,000-foot floor space when needed for special events. Our total space is 6,200 square feet. I got just what I wanted, but now it’s becoming not big enough.”

Good rapport with area veterinarians and word-of-mouth recommendations from customers are growing the business, she said.

Rasmussen and her staff of trainers teach a variety of classes. They include “Star” Puppy, designed for puppies 8 to 20 weeks of age, which focuses on good manners and basic leash training; and Basic 1 and Basic 2 Obedience for dogs 4 months or older. Basic 2 incorporates the Canine Good Citizen 10 steps training with CGC evaluation given at the final class.

Other classes are Rally Obedience, which is training for an AKC obedience competition; Conformation, for dogs competing in the show ring; Agility, standard class, for dog owners interested in agility competition; a special class for Teacup Dog Agility competition; and Therapy Dog Skills.

It’s important to Rasmussen that her trainers work with the dog owners as much as the dogs themselves.

“We like to train the owners to do the training themselves,” she said. “They don’t just turn their dogs over to us and leave. They need to understand the philosophy and psychology of proper pet training.

“And we should start with the puppy. Don’t wait until you have challenges to start training your dog. We use positive reinforcement training techniques.”

Her staff includes Sandy Ludwig, Rasmussen’s daughter Kari Smith, Kristin Spiva, Jim Baum, Susan Spencer, Heather Rhodes, Alice Ah Lo, Le Cambell, and numerous other volunteers.

Classes cost $115 for a seven-week unit and are held on Tuesday and Thursday morning at 10:30 a.m., as well as 6:15 and 7:30 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. The facility is open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays and on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons by appointment.

Friday, Saturday and Sunday are reserved for special events by reservation only. These can include club meetings or club-related activities or fun events such as a birthday party for a dog or a puppy shower for someone with a new puppy. They also host dog shows and agility trials.

Canine Sports Academy is located south off Highway 9, west of Riverwind Casino. Detailed directions are available by calling 288.0092.