BEYOND BASICS is a class for dogs who have had some training and know the basics (sit, down, beginning stay).  We take what the dog knows, polish it up, strengthen it and add to it.  We work on distance, duration and distractions.  We also learn some new things–shaping behaviors, increasing your dog’s enthusiasm for learning,

better leash manners, tricks.  Each dog works at his own level. Some will be more experienced, some less experienced but no matter, each will work at his own ability level.

If working toward your Canine Good Citizen’s Test is one of your goals, this class will head you in that direction.  And  you can take the CGC test at no extra cost when you are ready to.

Dogs being trained as Therapy or Service Dogs will also find this class valuable.  Dogs who are already Therapy or Service Dogs can keep their skills sharp and improve on them here.

To keep the class fun and upbeat, we often use games as part of the class.

This is an ongoing class–come when you want.  No need to commit to a certain number of weeks.  Come when you want and it fits your schedule.  You only pay for the classes you come to.

If this sounds like something you and your dog would enjoy, email me at or text or call me at 540-748-3093.




terrier pushing ball

Does your dog need a job? Or do you and your dog want something super fun to do together? Treibball is the answer! Teach your dog to herd balls in place of sheep. Great for high energy dogs, but more sedate dogs also love it. Wonderful physical and mental exercise.  The foundation skills will be useful in your every day life with your dog, not just in Treibball.

What is Treibball? Check out this article to find out what Treibball is all about.


We have a class in progress now and are forming another class in Kanab to start soon   There is a 3 dog limit, but more classes can easily be added when this one fills. Date and time to be decided (with only 3 dogs, we can schedule it to suit). It will be a 6-week class, meeting once a week.

For more information or to sign up, email me at, or call or text 540-748-3093.



Treibball–what is it? Also called Urban Herding, the dog herds balls rather than sheep!



Can My Dog Do It?

Any fairly active dog can do Treibball–small dogs, large dogs, herding breeds, non-herding breeds or mixes. You and your dog will learn many skills, and greatly increase your communication.

Any size dog

What Will My Dog And I Learn?

Your dog will learn to go out to a marker when asked, a super stay, how to orient to your front (so he can push the ball to you), to go different directions when asked, and of course, to push a ball. Your dog will develop great impulse control–he will learn to work with you as a partner, rather than just running around in a frenzy. You will also find your reward system will strengthen–a must for training a dog to work with joy.

Where And When?

We are hoping to have another Treibball class up and running in Kanab in the near future.

Contact me at or 540-748-3093 for more information.



We are doing a new format for Good Manners Classes.  Because so many have trouble attending the same day and time for 6 consecutive weeks, we have changed to four private lessons at a discounted rate for Good Manners.  These can be scheduled at times you can do, and give us more flexibility in your schedule.  After the initial 4 classes, you can continue private sessions or move into a “drop in” group class.

Dog heeling

For more information or to sign up email me at or text/call 540-748-3093.

All positive reinforcement, so your dog enjoys learning and becomes a polite and willing family member.  Training should always be fun for you and your dog!  Topics covered:

  • How to get and keep your dog’s attention      Basic Obedience class
  • Polite greetings (without jumping)
  • Sit
  • Down
  • Come
  • Stay
  • Walking politely on leash
  • Leave it

And more. . .

Stay boy!

For more information, or to sign up, contact me at


This is a chance to get your dog out and about with other dogs and people.  We go to different places with our dogs.  Depending on the time of year and the weather, we may go to local pet friendly stores (such as CalRanch, Home Depot, etc.), or parks, take a walk through town, or have a snack together.  We work on the dogs becoming comfortable in different environments, working with other dogs, and improving their manners.  Always fun!

Brunch In Town



This is an ongoing class for dogs who have some basic training skills and are ready to go on to the next level.  It combines obedience, freestyle, and tricks.  The goal is to increase the handler’s training skill while the dog and his person are learning to enjoy training, and add to their many abilities.

Dogs and handlers work at their own level.  Even though some dogs may be more advanced, and others less advanced, they all work on variations of the same game or task, but at their own level.  This sets them up for success, and builds confidence.

As an ongoing class, it is run on a drop-in basis.

If you would like more information about this class, email me directly at


There are many good articles out there that may be helpful (or fun), and some websites with good information. This area is going to be links to some. It may be sparse now, but check back–it will be a work in progress. You can email me at if you have suggestions, or leave a comment at the end of the post. Tell us if you find an article or website particularly helpful.



This article goes over how dogs differ in what motivates them, what engagement is, and how all this applies to your training.  Click here to check out the article.


Should you go hiking with your dog on leash or off leash?  This article has some helpful hints if you would like to take the leash off, but aren’t sure your dog will stick around.  Click here to check out the article.


Clicker Training– is a fun website showing tricks by a dog, a cat, rats and ferrets.  It has some good information on clicker training, also.  Those of you who don’t think you can train a cat to do tricks should check it out.  Same as with dogs, it is a matter of finding what will motivate them, have them wanting to learn.

Training and Relationship--  has articles on training your dog and your relationship with your dog.  It also has a short but helpful book list.

Clarisse, Certified Therapy Dog

Therapy Dogs– is the website for Therapy Dogs International.  This group certifies teams (dog and handler) as therapy dog teams.  The site has information on requirements, how to get started, what you can do as a therapy dog team.  And yes, you can certify in the southern Utah area.

Service Dogs–Service dogs are trained to help an individual with a disability.  For some information about them, in a question and answer form, put out by the Department of Justice click on  This will take you to the site, then search for service dogs q and a and it will take you to Frequently Asked Questions about Service Animals and the ADA.  This is the federal law pertaining to service dogs.  And no, there is no required certification.  Yes, there are behavior and training requirements.  The certifications you can buy on line are a scam.

If you are interested in training for your dog as either a Therapy Dog or a Service Dog, contact me at


BarkBox is a monthly subscription for your dog.  You sign up and your dog receives a monthly box with 2 innovative toys, 2 all-natural bags of treats, and a chew.  You tell them your dog’s size, allergies (if any), and if you want a monthly, 6 month or 12 month subscription.

It’s a great way to find new treats and toys that your dog likes. Variety is the spice of life, right?  Price wise, it is definitely cheaper than if you were buying each item individually.  For more information you can go to their site by clicking here.


The name has changed to Red Rock Musical Paws, but the club remains the same.

The Kanab Canine Freestyle Club, started by several Freestyle enthusiasts is, as it says, a club. It meets once a week at the park in the Ranchos.  As a club, rather than a class, there is no fee. It is a chance for people to meet with their dogs, learn about Freestyle, and practice dancing with their dogs.      

Everyone is welcome! No prior experience needed. You don’t even have to really understand what Freestyle is, we’ll teach you. And no attendance commitment. Feel free to come only when you want.

Freestyle is a great way to make a connection with your dog, and learn to better communicate with each other. For the dogs it’s great mental stimulation (hmmm–for me also!). As you are interacting with your dog in a light-hearted way, many dogs develop a greater interest in being trained!

It is also a chance to make some new friends with a mutual interest in dogs.

There is now a Red Rock Musical Paws Facebook page. Check it out, and ask to join if you are interested.


Hello! I’m Keith, and I am the trainer at Good Times Dog Training. Our mission is to help people connect with and train their dogs using all positive, force-free methods. I do group and private classes in the Kanab and St. George areas in Utah.


I have been passionate about animals ever since I can remember. When I was 8, my family adopted our first dog, a mutt with a heart of gold, named Smudge. She quickly became my best friend and constant companion. We hiked through the woods and marshes together, biked over to my friends’ houses together (I shudder now to think of her running next to my bike on roads!!!!), and spent almost all my free time together.

It was a different era, and there were very few organized things to do with your dog, and certainly none with a mixed breed. How I would have loved to have classes or clubs to go to, or a chance to do agility or rally or freestyle!

But such things weren’t available, so Smudgie and I learned together. We did basic obedience, what are now rally exercises, jump and obstacle courses, sled pulling, freestyle type routines without the music, just about anything I could think up! I could never get her to retrieve (I could now that I know more, and she would have loved it!), or herd (my rabbit Freddie just sat and ate grass).

I got my first horse when I was 15. Riding and horses then became a big part of my life (and of course, Smudge’s). When I graduated from college with a degree in English Literature, I turned to horses to make my living. I loved the work, but found working for others forced me to do things I didn’t agree with. Nothing awful, for sure, but things like rushing a horse’s training to get him competing before he was ready.

So I went into business for myself.  Black Cat Farm was started, and my descent into poverty began! Wow, did I struggle financially, although I loved the work, the animals, and the people. How does this tie into dog training? The kids who came for lessons, 4-H, and Pony Club were very interested in the way my dogs listened to me, and what they could do. So we started informally working with their dogs, and my passion for helping people train their dogs was born.

I decided to choose another profession to make my living in, and keep my horse and dog activities as a sideline. This way I would have the freedom to enjoy working with the animals without the financial pressures.

So I went back to college, and graduated with a BS in Nursing and became an RN. I worked as a nurse for 30 years, until I “retired” to go back into dog training full time.


When I was about 10, my father brought home my first (and one of the extremely few at that time) books on dog training. I read it cover to cover many times, and learned a lot. But some of the methods struck me as not very nice.

The first thing was an explanation of how to put on and use a choke collar. I had actually found one in the woods, so I put it on Smudgie, making sure it was on correctly. The book explained how to make corrections with it. I looked at Smudgie with the collar on, promised her we wouldn’t do that, took it off and hung it in the basement. So far as I know, it hung there until my parents sold the house 30 years later!

I loved the chapter on heeling. I loved the concept of my dog maintaining her position at my side on a verbal cue, on or off leash. She already basically did that, but the book gave me ideas to improve it. Of course, the author recommended a leash correction, or popping my dog on the nose with my hand if she forged ahead. Again, I looked at trusting Smudgie and told her we would never do that!

Smudgie was a dog who loved to DO things. She wanted to be with her people and interact. I trained her with no treats or toys as rewards, just praise, my joy at her getting it right, and our interactions. And I often remind my students now–use your energy, smile, interact, give feedback!


But I now use a lot of treats and/or toys as rewards in training. Why? The majority of dogs need them as reinforcement, especially when training new behaviors (and many owners struggle with being happy and upbeat when training). And the dogs who would do it for the joy of working with you (my Border Collie, Echo) get that much more pleasure from training with treats or toys. And that is what it is all about. Finding ways to have your dog love learning and obeying cues, so you are both having fun!


Good Times Dog Training offers classes and private sessions, in Kanab and St. George. I also work with The Woof Center (now doing update renovations, so temporarily on hold) in Santa Clara.

I work closely with Best Frienbs Animal Society’s Canines with Careers program. This program helps find and train dogs as service dogs for folks with a disability, or for those looking for therapy dogs or Search and Rescue dogs.

I’ve been involved with K-9 Search and Rescue with my own dogs for many years, and presently work with Kane County and Washington County, helping with the training of their dogs.

I once read a quote (that I will totally misquote) from a child’s thank you note to his Aunt. “Thank you for the book on giraffs, I learned more than I ever wanted to know about them”. You are probably feeling that way about this introduction!

If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below. I would love to read them. Or contact me directly at

And give your dogs all a pat from me!

All the best,

Keith Hightower