Life Skills Class For Dogs & Their Humans



VivaPaws will be offering our first Life Skills Class outdoors in the fall! Dates & new location coming soon!

would you like to enjoy life with a calm, well-mannered & attentive dog by your side?

Our classes are designed to foster lifelong trust, learning, and communication between dogs and their people.

Our emphasis is not on achieving specific levels of success in dog behavior but rather on human decision-making skills in real-life situations with your dog.

See below for more details.

Our Class Is Like No Other Currently Offered In Charleston! Come See For Yourself…

The overall goal of our Life Skills class is contextual learning & real-world decision making & problem solving.

  • You will learn to understand your dog’s behavior better and how to be proactive in handling real-life situations to prevent future problems from occurring.

  • You will become a better handler, observer & communicator to your dog.

  • The bond and mutual trust between you will grow stronger.

  • Above all, you will have lots of fun while learning!

Please note: If your dog is fearful or aggressive around other dogs or people, our classes are not suitable. We recommend our private sessions instead!

puppy class curriculum:

  • The main focus in our puppy class is on socialization: Each week we encourage you to take your puppy to a new place to meet new people, other animals, noises, etc. You will receive a Puppy Passport where you can make notes of the places you take your puppy and what they encountered. There will be a prize each week for the guardian/puppy who has been to most new places!

  • Another focus is on reinforcing calm behavior and adopting a ‘Say Please’ rule structure, teaching your puppy that with polite behavior come great rewards!

  • We focus on real-life situations and problem solving throughout the course and how to handle various tricky situations in the kitchen, living room, when guests come, on a walk, at a cafe, vet exams, etc.

  • Your puppy will learn basic behaviors like Sit, Down, Settle on a mat, Touch, walk nicely on leash, as well as being desensitized to different noises…..and more!

  • You will, of course, receive many handouts on topics like housetraining, chewing, nipping/biting, etc.

  • PUPPY CLASS: Puppies can start when they have had their second shot of vaccinations (often listed as dhpp, dhlp or dapp), at least one administered by a veterinarian. Please provide written proof with dates. This class is for puppies under 16 weeks.


adult class curriculum:

  • With a focus on teaching both you and your dog important foundation skills, you will learn to understand each other and communicate much better utilizing the distinct, precise, and unique language of the clicker.

  • Human foundation skills: clicker mechanics, using reinforcement instead of correction, shaping, cueing, observation.

  • Canine foundation skills: Give attention to handler, offer behavior, respond to a cue, targeting, self-control.

  • The class starts with some fun Capturing & Shaping games (you will learn how to capture and shape behavior in your dog).

This curriculum is unique in that it combines the learning of (life) skills with the learning of behaviors. You and your dog learn the foundation skills through the process of teaching these specific behaviors:

Sit -Down -Mine/Take it -Name Game - Polite Walking -Recall - Settle - Targeting - Wait (at a boundary)

  • ADULT CLASS: Puppies over 4 months and older can participate in this class.

Please note: If your dog is fearful or aggressive around other dogs or people, this class is not suitable. We recommend our private sessions instead!


Why Choose A VivaPaws Class?

“Why should i choose your life skills class? ”

  • Simply because there is no other class like it in Charleston! This is the first clicker training class of its kind. Your instructor is Charleston’s 1st Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner! If you have tried clicker training before and felt it didn’t work, chances are you were not taught how to use this tool properly. This is your chance to learn clicker training the right way.

“What does that mean exactly?”

  • It means that your instructor, Vivi Myslik Jorgensen, is highly skilled and trained in the clicker methodology (Karen Pryor is the founder of Clicker Training), and as such, is the number one expert in Clicker Training in Charleston! Many Positive Reinforcement trainers are familiar with clicker training and know how to use it, but none, other than KPA CTP’s, have acquired such rigorous training in the clicker methodology - which is taught at Karen Pryor Academy exclusively.

“That sounds great, but why will i get more out of this class than so many others?”

  • Because our focus is different: YOU learn as much as your puppy/dog learns, and YOUR skills as a handler makes all the difference in how your dog learns, so if you want to become a better handler to your dog - this is the class for you! Additionally, YOU will experience the joys of clicker training alongside your dog and watch as your mutual bond grows through a common language.

  • Did we forget to mention?…….YOU will get your very own complimentary clicker (no need to buy one!)

What You Get With Your $200 Class Fee:

  • 6 week class @ 1 hour

  • The first class is an Orientation with HUMANS ONLY

  • A complimentary clicker

  • 5% discount for any future training (Private Training, Upcoming classes, etc.)

  • Most important: A well-behaved dog & an improved relationship with your best friend!

Puppy Class:

  • Dates & location TBA soon!

Adult Class:

  • dates & location tba soon!

  • You will enjoy our small classes (max 6 dogs) for more individualized attention


  • Fee: $200

  • Click on the button, Secure your spot, fill out our Intake form, and pay the fee.


Ready For Life Skills Class?

The class where both you & your dog will learn to communicate & understand each other better.

Requirements for Life Skills class:

Dogs must be current on distemper/parvo and rabies vaccinations. Puppies must have had their second set of vaccinations before starting class. Please have proof of vaccinations ready at the orientation, or at the latest, on the first day of class.

Dog has lived in your home, without illness, for two weeks.

When bringing children under 8, please bring a second adult to help so you can focus on your own and your dog’s learning.

Any dog, who in the trainer’s opinion, poses a potential risk to any person or dog, may be asked to transfer from group class to private lessons.

You will need to pay the fee ($200) when booking your spot. Payment reserves your spot in the class. Your registration is confirmed when we have received your payment.

The fee is non-refundable unless a request is received at least 48 hours prior to class start date.

If your dog must drop out due to injury or illness, please let us know. With verification, we may apply a partial credit toward future training.

In case you have you to miss a class, we can arrange a 30 mins make-up session (schedule permitting), at no extra charge, on the day of your next scheduled class. If you miss more than one class, we require a fee of $25 for a 30 mins. make-up session.

There are no other make-up lessons.

what to bring to class:

  • A hungry dog (avoid feeding your dog his or her evening meal prior to class)

  • Vaccination records (unless shown at the Orientation)

  • A 6 ft. leash (no retractable leashes please!)

  • A plain collar or harness

  • High value treats and a treat bag (we sell treat pouches for $5 if you wish to buy in class)

  • A stuffed KONG or Bully Stick for calm down time on mat.

Example of high value treats (PEA SIZE): string cheese - hotdogs - freeze-dried liver treats - meatballs - boiled chicken breast. High value treats is whatever your dog considers to be high value (not YOU!)

  • Your dog’s mat (or a towel will work)

  • Water bowl

  • Please note: Prong/shock/choke collars are not permitted in class.

  • Questions? Email Or Call Us At 843.560.0178