Registration for Virtual Training Now Open!

Winter 2021 Virtual Training Classes Begin February 27

KCFA is pleased to announce that registration is now open for two virtual training classes:  Virtual Basic Skills and Everyday Manners and the club’s first-ever virtual puppy class, Virtual Puppies 101.

Both classes will start on Saturday, February 27.  Each class will be six weeks in length and will cost $50.  Virtual Puppies 101, scheduled for 10 a.m., is limited to 12 students; Virtual Basic Skills and Everyday Manners, scheduled at 11:30 a.m., is limited to six students.  Participants in each class will receive a training booklet, a completion certificate, and a coupon toward a future KCFA training class.

Registration for both classes is open through Wednesday, February 17, and the classes will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

While COVID-19 safety measures prevent KCFA from offering an in-person puppy socialization experience, many people who have become new puppy parents are looking for guidance during those critical first months of their puppy’s life.  Virtual Puppies 101 is appropriate for puppies from 8 to 24 weeks of age and will include instruction on puppy nutrition, health, grooming, house-training, and safety.  Real-time demonstrations and individual feedback will help students teach their puppies basic commands using principles of positive reinforcement.  Each 45-minute class will also include a question-and-answer session.

Content for Virtual Basic Skills and Everyday Manners will mirror that of KCFA’s in-person class, covering Sit, Down, and Come, along with Loose Leash Walking, Stay, Leave It, and Polite Greeting.  This class is appropriate for dogs more than 24 weeks old.  The virtual format allows handlers and their dogs to learn in the familiarity and security of their own homes, using a mostly leash-free and hands-off approach to teach handlers how to teach their dogs to work for reinforcement.  Students will have the opportunity to practice the skills demonstrated and to receive individual coaching during each 60-minute class meeting.  Concepts and skills covered each week will be supplemented with selected materials and links to web-based resources provided by email.

Both classes will utilize the Zoom video conferencing application, which can be downloaded for free (further instructions will be emailed to class registrants).  To participate interactively with two-way video and audio communication, students will need access to an internet-connected device (computer, tablet, or smartphone) equipped with a camera and microphone.  Students who do not have a computer with a camera and microphone will still be able to learn and participate by watching each class meeting in real time and submitting questions using the chat function.

For more details about Virtual Puppies 101 and Virtual Basic Skills and Everyday Manners, visit our Training Course Descriptions page .  To register, download and complete the General Agreement and the Training Class Application from the Training Dates and Registration page. (Scroll down on that page to find the links to the forms.) No vaccination records will be required for these virtual classes.

Mail completed forms and the $50 class fee by Wednesday, February 17 to: Attn: Training Committee; The Kennel Club of Fort Atkinson, Inc. (KCFA); P.O. Box 205; Fort Atkinson, WI 53538.

These classes will be filled on a first come, first served basis, so don’t delay – sign up today!


Donations Sought for Watering Fountain Project

Project to honor founders of KCFA 

KCFA’s latest community service project, titled “Puppy Serenade,” will culminate in a artful yet practical watering fountain for human and canine users of Rock River Park in Fort Atkinson.

The club is seeking monetary donations toward completion of the bronze statue by local sculptor, Mark Dziewior and a tri-purpose (human/canine/bottle filling) fountain; and a combination bench/pedestal by local artisan, Bob Muench, from Stonecroft Masonry.

The project will honor the three founding members of KCFA—Patty Beran, Marleen LaPlant and Rita Hasel—and their dogs.

Visit our Puppy Serenade Project page for more information and a link to the recent Daily Jefferson County Union article.

Training to begin Sept. 12 – Register now!

KCFA’s Training Committee is pleased to announce that registration for Session 4 training classes (all outdoors) beginning in September, is now open!

KCFA will offer Puppy Kindergarten on Saturdays at 9:30 a.m. and Basic Skills and Everyday Manners on Saturdays at 11:00 a.m., beginning Saturday, September 12.  [Note:  Both Puppy K and Basic Skills are full as of 9/9/20.]

Both classes will be six weeks long, will cost $80, and will be held in the Humane Society of Jefferson County’s exercise yard.  This large yard is securely fenced, is convenient to the shelter’s parking lot, and is equipped with dog waste clean-up tools and disposal receptacles.  [Please note: We will not have access to the Humane Society building during these classes and there will not be access to restrooms on-site. Bring drinking water for yourself and your dog. Dress for the weather including appropriate footwear, as the grass could be wet. Registrants will be advised regarding notification of any cancellation necessary due to weather. ]

Just for KCFA members!   The popular Dogs About Town class will be offered this fall on Saturday afternoons (time and start date TBD).  This class will be open to members only and is for teams that have mastered the Basic Skills Criteria and are looking to continue with more advanced training.  The location of each class meeting will vary in order to provide the teams with different environments in which to practice their skills.  A minimum of 4 students will be needed to hold the class (maximum of 8).

As we adjust to living with the risk of exposure to the COVID-19 virus, KCFA has taken steps to resume group training classes as safely as possible.  Not only will the Session 4 classes be held outdoors, but several safety measures will be implemented to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.  These include: limiting the classes to 8 students, requiring all participants to wear a face covering and to practice social distancing, allowing only the handler of each dog to enter the fenced class area, and conducting the classes without physical contact between people, between dogs, or between people and dogs other than between a dog and its own handler.

The full list of KCFA’s safety measures can be found in the “COVID-19 Safety Acknowledgment and Participation Agreement,” a signed copy of which must be received by KCFA to secure a place in any class, along with other required forms, records, and training fees.  Registrations for Session 4 training classes will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. 

Visit the Dates and Registration Info page for all registration forms.




Sign Up Now for Spring Training Classes!

Registration is open for classes beginning in March and April.  Classes fill quickly, so don’t delay – send in your registration today! 

Puppy Kindergarten will be offered Monday evenings at 6:30 p.m., beginning April 6th.

Basic Skills and Everyday Manners will meet Saturday mornings at 9:00 a.m., beginning April 11th.

Continuing Basic, with an AKC Canine Good Citizen emphasis, will be on Tuesday evenings, beginning April 7th, at 6:30 p.m.

Intermediate Skills, with an AKC Novice and Graduate Novice emphasis, will begin on Thursday, April 9th, at 7:00 p.m.

Advanced Skills (competition emphasis) will meet on Tuesday mornings at 10:30, beginning April 7th.

Preregistration is required and class sizes are limited.  Instructor approval is required for some classes.   Click the following links for more information:  course descriptions and class dates

New Titles Honored

Heather - OpalMany KCFA members compete in a variety of dog sports, and several dog-handler teams earned new titles during 2018.  These teams were honored at the recent KCFA Annual Meeting held at Sammy’s Place restaurant.  Titles earned range from Canine Good Citizen to Trick Dog to Rally, Agility and Hunter titles.

Visit our Join the Fun page to see photos.  Click on a thumbnail photo to enlarge it, and use the browser’s “back” button to close the photo and return to the page.

Congratulations to all our new title holders!

Service Dog Tales

Come join us on Saturday, July 28, at 1:00 p.m.,
to meet working service Cadence pushing door buttondogs and their handlers, and to listen to their stories of teamwork and transformation.  Learn about the functions of service dogs, how they’re trained, and laws that apply to them.  The presentation will be held in the Community Room of Dwight Foster Public Libary, 209 Merchants Ave, Fort Atkinson.  Admission is free and the public is invited.

Amber Marzahl, a member of the Kennel Club of Fort Atkinson,  will anchor the presentation with her service dog, Cadence.  Gulf War veteran Warren Demmin and his PTSD service dog, Loki, will add their own remarkable story to the presentation, and Katie McDonald, with her service dog, Zyko, will talk about what it takes to train a service dog and what functions they might perform.

Topics will include:  What is a service dog?  Who can benefit from a service dog?  What public access rights do service dogs have?  What are a business owner’s rights with regard to them?

The growing problem with “fake” service dogs will be discussed.  These are dogs that don’t perform services other than providing companionship, but are purported by their handlers to be service dogs in order to gain access to housing or public venues where dogs aren’t usually permitted.

Time will be allowed for questions from the audience, as well.

Here’s a poster you can print and post to help us spread the word about this event:    Service_Dog_Event_Flyer