By partnering with some of the most talented, qualified and experienced instructors and groups in Virginia, we have assembled an unmatched collection of courses.

Did you know that, statistically, trained dogs live longer than their untrained counterpart?! In addition, having your dog trained will also reduce your blood pressure!

A bit about our philosophy on training:

We believe that positive reinforcement based training is the most humane way to work with animals. While based on positive reinforcement training, we work with a full compliment of training methods; concentrating on the least aversive method that succeeds given the situation.  Positive reinforcement training is not about being permissive, nor about being a pushover for your dog.  Positive reinforcement training is about establishing a relationship with your dog based on trust.  Unlike aversive methods, positive reinforcement training is not about fear. We seek to reinforce the dogs' desirable behaviors (with attention, treats, praise and play) and, inversely, challenge ourselves to not reinforce the dog's undesirable behavior.  While we prefer the use of a simple buckle collar, we recognize the need for slip collars, prong collars and similar specialized training aids in specific circumstances.  We do not, however, use, nor advocate the use of electronic collars nor any type of harsh corrections.

We are keen on professional certification and credentials.  After all, in the world of dogs, your pedigree is your ticket!  All of the personnel at The Dude Ranch Pet Resort are actively involved in furthering their education in the pet care arena.  MSEd, CABC, CPDT, MS, CDT, PAB, PH, CGE,  ACT, CACT, CKO, as well as MACH are all samples of titles that our staff proudly hold and/or are pursuing.  We are active members in numerous certification and industry trade groups including ABKA, APDT, IDGAA, PCSA, PSDT, AMAC and IACP.  Several of our staff and management serve or have served on advisory boards to councils, training/certification advisory boards, and government as well, including the Invitation-Only-Advisory-Board (IOAB) of the American Pet Dog Training Assoc.  Our broad range of backgrounds ensures that you and your dog will have the greatest breadth of training possible; rather than the limited 'my way' programs provided by single instructor programs & organizations.

All of our instructors, as well as the management at The Dude Ranch welcome the opportunity to discuss our training philosophy and/or to review any specific issues that may be of concern.

Please take a moment and review our course offerings. All of our courses are offered at staggered intervals over the weeks ahead.  Each and every class lasts at least a full hour.  We schedule our classes to allow time after-class for questions too!  Classes are held at our 47 acre Ranch facility, either outdoors, or indoors as appropriate.  Our State-Of-The-Art Indoor Facility is fully air-conditioned & heated, brightly illuminated and has over 5,000 sq ft of sports flooring for your comfort and the safety of your dog. Don't be fooled by those saying they are "..the largest.." or "..most offered.."  A "matted" floor is just that - a bunch of mats; not a true purpose based sports floor.  Go and look.  You'll see - the Dude Ranch Academy, at The Dude Ranch Pet Resort is un-rivaled from the ground up; in Richmond, Greater Richmond, if not the entire Commonwealth.

Classes, both group and individual, multi-week and single-week drop-in classes are all held through-out the week:

Our special programs include RED CROSS, Dealing with a Shelter Dog and more. These special programs parallel our PET BASIC classes continually scheduled month after month!

We're proud to be one of the ONLY FACILITIES that offers both INDOOR AGILITY classes (Basic, Intermediate and Advanced) as well as OUTDOOR AGILITY.  Don't e stuck in a hot building without air.... or never training or practicing outdoors on acres of space!  Our Agility program is taught by those who REALLY KNOW.  These classes are held in true competition setups.  Yes, we actually hold REAL AKC (and other) agility trials here.  We're not a empty lot between industrial buildings or a crowded warehouse!  Come on over and see for yourself!  You and your dog deserve the best!

We host PERFORMANCE RUN THROUGHS here every week on Wednesday and Thursdays.  Thursday is just about all day PERFORMANCE day with drop-in and run-throughs for Obedience (Novice, Open & Utility) along with Rally right into the evening!  Thursday night still sees traditional Conformation drop-in in Ring 1 with Competitive Obedience run-throughs taking place in Ring 2!  All taught by AKC judges and those who MAKE THEIR LIVING exhibiting dogs.  Those who KNOW because THEY DO - not just talk.

Worry not - we also have our traditional classes such as PUPPY, PET BASIC and RALLY as well as MANNERS and CGC / CGC-A programs too!   You'll also encounter all sorts of exciting dog events here at The Ranch, including Regional Specialties, Obedience and Rally Trials, Nosework ORTs and more.  

Please note that scheduled Classes run 6 weeks and are held both during the day as well as in the evenings. Current calendar of offerings is available online if you click on TRAINING CLASSES or by calling us at 1-804-798-7900 at The Ranch.  Class sign-up may be done any time at our front desk (Retail Store - 7 days a week).  Please call for current schedule as drop-in classes are subject to seasonal shifts.

Class Registration is available at the Front Desk (Retail Store - 7 days a week). If you cannot find the class you want on the day you want it - call us.  Our class schedule is subject to change, and a quick call may surprise you! 1-804-798-7900.