Eat, Play, Live

More than simple commands and good manners

Diane Merzbach gives her husky lab, Keisha, a high-five during the May 13 Agility Trials at the PSU Ag Progress Grounds.
Diane Merzbach gives her husky lab, Keisha, a high-five during the May 13 Agility Trials at the PSU Ag Progress Grounds.

Editor’s note: This story is part of the Eat, Play, Live special section.

If you’re just looking to teach your disobedient pooch to stop chewing on the table legs while you have company over, you might want to look elsewhere. If you’re ready to get serious about your dog training, though, you could be in just the right place at the Mount Nittany Dog Training Club.

The Mount Nittany Dog Training Club sets itself apart by focusing on pure breeds and show-trained dogs, as well as dog obedience matches and exhibitions in the area. However, they also provide general education for the public to promote overall more responsible dog ownership. Based out of Boalsburg, the club has a training building at the Penn State Ag Progress Days site in Rock Springs.

The group offers a wide array of classes, starting with the basic obedience classes that teach the foundations of good puppy behavior — come, sit, stay, proper walking — and also combats bad behavior, like jumping and chewing. Think your dog might be too old to learn a few new tricks? In addition to obedience classes for puppies, the group also teaches the same skills to dogs that are a bit older. The classes are a family affair, and children are encouraged to come and get in on the training action.

Ace the obedience class, and your pup can move on to the intermediate courses that are designed to qualify pets for the AKC Canine Good Citizenship certification test.

Of course, dog training can be much more than just simple commands and good manners. That’s where the Mount Nittany Dog Training Club comes in with its expertise on competition obedience, therapy dog certification, conformation handling, tracking and agility. It also offers information on breeding, adoption, rescue dogs and other aspects of dog ownership. All the instructors are experienced and qualified professionals, with a passion for man’s best friend.

If you’re still not sure you and your pup can make the cut, you can come watch the club’s AKC Agility, Obedience and Rally trials, which are held in June and July, so you can get a better sense of what’s involved.

If the club sounds like something that can combine your passion for canines and competition, you might want to consider a formal membership. It’s not as easy as singing up and paying a membership fee, though. You’ll need to be sponsored by two current members, attend an introduction meeting, participate at club activities and then wait for your potential approval.

For more information, check out the club’s website, at

Mount Nittany Dog Training Club