Since 1998, Family Friend Dog School and Agility Place has grown into one of Oregon’s leading training destinations for dogs and their people, helping them develop positive working relationships in the home as well as in the competition arena.
Founded by Patty Bensene, CPDT-KA®, Family Friend offers a full range of classes, both group and private, from novice to expert. Specific training includes basic foundation classes for puppies, companion obedience, and agility, including advanced training and preparedness courses for those interested in agility competition. We're also available to help you problem-solve behavioral issues.
Positive Reinforcement Dog Training
We firmly believe that encouraging dogs to perform behaviors because they want to, not because they have to, is always the better alternative.
Patty Bensene, cpdt-ka®
I owe my business to my very first German Shepherd Dog "Shasta." Taking her through companion obedience classes not only helped her find a happier way to be in the world, it sparked a passion that changed the course of my life. With the encouragement of my first trainer, I began reading books, watching videos, and taking seminars from some of the best dog trainers and behaviorists in the business, including Ian Dunbar, John Rogerson, Patricia McConnell, Jean Donaldson, Brenda Aloff, and Turid Ruugas.
In the late 1990s, I was introduced to clicker training and quickly recognized its potential as a more positive, clear, and effective method of training. In addition to teaching basic obedience classes, I began offering agility as a way to help dogs with behavior issues learn positive ways to build confidence and coping skills. One day the light bulb went off: if clicker training worked so well for obedience, why not try it for agility? From that moment on, my business began taking off, my passion for agility followed suit, and I began training dogs in earnest for competition—including my own beloved dogs.
philosophy and approach
With nearly 30 years of experience in working with dogs and their people using numerous training methods, Patty has developed a unique curriculum for dog training. Every dog owner and their canine companion has different strengths, weaknesses, needs, and personalities. Patty's training methods take these varying factors into account, allowing the dog's owner to "get inside their dog's head" — teaching people how their dogs think, and then guiding them in the use of that knowledge to positively and effectively influence their dog's behavior.