Marsha Houston

Obedience Instructor

Marsha Houston leads the Country Dream obedience program. A student of dog training, Marsha analyzes behavior, asks questions, and suggests peaceful, positive and long-term solutions.

Marsha has trained in competition-style obedience for many years, has been a CGC evaluator, and has titled her dogs  in obedience and agility. Marsha believes that trialing and titling are natural, enjoyable extensions of the training process but that trialing and titling are not the only measurements of success.

Marsha's students are encouraged to attend obedience or Rally trials but, if you choose not to compete, there’s still plenty of training fun to be had.


by Private Appointment only

Marsha's obedience training protocols condition the behaviors we want to see repeated and interrupt-and-replace behaviors we want to extinguish. Conditioning is the simple process of creating a belief in the dog that certain behaviors will always initiate the corresponding reward. Examples include ringing a bell to get the door opened, or sitting to get attention and petting, etc.

Rather than correction-based training, which often just suppresses behaviors in specific situations, we rely on the clever dog’s desire for reward and the canine willingness to repeat behaviors they find rewarding. After all, no dog wakes up thinking, “how can I irritate her today?” Dogs aren’t capable of malice or spite. They do what works and they want to be an accepted member of their pack.

Dog Training
for Agility
Novice Competition Obedience Rally Obedience

Fundamental Dog Training

Commonly referred to as “basic obedience,” our Fundamental Dog Training students participate in problem-solving exercises with their dogs. We want to address more than just the ability to walk down the sidewalk with a dog, so we allow everyone to bring specific problems for discussion. Along with the weekly homework, specific problems suggest specific training exercises.

Obedience for Agility

Obedience for agility training includes start line stays, pause table protocols, contact obstacle obedience skills. This is a 30-minute class held in conjunction with novice agility or advanced beginner agility class.

Novice Competition Obedience

In competition obedience we focus on heeling, automatic sits, left and right turns, recalls with fronts and finishes, and stays. Our training methodology includes consistently rewarding heel position and building confidence in the dog. No harsh corrections are permitted, regardless of how you and your dog have trained in the past. 

Rally Obedience

Rally Obedience is an AKC and APDT titling event with a skill level designed to fall between that of the Canine Good Citizen certificate and a novice obedience title. For years, obedience competitors have used “doodles” to warm up their dogs. These doodles included heeling in straight lines and circles, assisting the dog into fronts and then having them finish right or finish left, or encouraging quick sits.


Country Dream Obedience Training   |   740-749-3597   |   E-Mail: