Group Class FAQ
Answers for common questions relating to our dog training and group classes.
Do you have questions? Read on for answers to some of the most common questions about our dog training and group classes.
Our classes are held outdoors, this means that sometimes bad weather can affect our schedule. If bad weather occurs we will cancel class for that day an hour prior to the class start time. Rain, lightning, and exceptional heat indexes are all reasons that could result in class being canceled. If we have to cancel a scheduled class during a course then we will extend the course by a week to make up for the class that was canceled.
What do you need to bring with your dog to class? A hungry dog (don’t starve them, but try not to feed a large meal just before coming to class.) A flat collar a 4-6 foot leash. Because we are focused on building bonds between you and your dog and want your dog to enjoy and engage in their training without fear of pain or punishment, we do not allow any choke, prong, or shock collars. We also do not allow any retractable or flexi type leashes in class because they make it difficult to manage your dog and teach consistently during classes. You will also need a large amount of small, easy to eat, exciting treats for your dog. Treats should be small pea sized, soft, and yummy. My dogs enjoy shredded chicken, tiny bites of cheese, and assorted treats from the pet stores, you should avoid treats larger than pea sized or anything that must be chewed to swallow.
Why do we use food rewards during training?
There are many things that can be used to reward behavior while training and treats are only one option. They are quick and easy for students who are learning and something that our dogs usually love, get excited about, and want to work for more! It also gives us an easy option to make the reward more exciting (like chicken, liver, or cheese) for more difficult tasks or we can use more boring food (like regular kibble) for easy tasks that they already know well.
We like to keep our group classes pretty small in size so that you and your dog receive plenty of one on one instruction to help you succeed throughout the course. Most courses will only have 4-6 students.
How to succeed at home with your training
We know that there is a lot going on during class and you are super focused on your dog! We have a private face book group just for students where you can post video or questions during the week. This helps us keep in touch outside of class and ensures that if you have a question or are stuck on an exercise that you don’t have to wait until the next class to ask, we can help you right away! It’s also great for bragging about what is great during your training journey.
How much time per week should you spend training?
Life is busy and dog training is one of the things that you get out what you put in, but you don’t have to stress over trying to train all day every day! Dogs are like kids, they learn best in short sessions. I usually set a timer for 2-3 minutes or set out a pre-determined number of treats, and aim for 3-5 mini sessions per day. Television commercials make a great time for fitting training sessions into your evening schedule!
Because our class size is kept small and classes fill quickly, no refunds will be given for class without notice any later than 48 hours prior start date.
Who should come to class?
Our group classes are really family oriented, we invite the whole family to get involved in training your dogs. Having everyone on the same page helps add consistency to your training at home and can be a great bonding experience for everyone! We do require children to have an adult supervisor other than the parent who is handling the dog.
Is my dog a candidate for a group class?
Because our group classes are family oriented, we do not allow any dogs who are aggressive toward people or other dogs in group classes, if you believe your dog is showing aggressive behavior please contact us prior to signing up for class. Our instructor does have the right to remove any dogs showing aggressive behavior from classes and no refund will be given. Also, dogs who are extremely fearful of new places, people, or dogs may struggle to learn in a group class.
What’s a clicker?
We use a marker sound to pinpoint exactly when your dog has performed the correct behavior. Because the click sound is always the same we can be much more consistent and precise in our teaching. Don’t worry you will not have to carry a clicker forever just because you started teaching with one, we use this click sound for teaching new behaviors easily, once your dog knows a behavior thoroughly you can just reward when needed.
Which class should I take?
For most dogs under 6 months we recommend the puppy classes. For dogs over 6 months we recommend the life skills classes. There are always exceptions and those ages do have some wiggle room for class so if you are not sure feel free to ask us to help you decide which class is the best fit!
We use positive reinforcement for positive results.
Our training philosophy uses positive reinforcement methods with a science based curriculum for faster and better results. That means a better behaved dog and a less hectic household! Our goal regardless of training level is to build a joyful and positive relationship between you and your dog.