A: It's not the dog nor the dog's behavior that determines which training option is the right choice, it is about the level of service you as an owner wish to pursue. Group classes and in-home training are the do-it-yourself options, and Boot Camp is the we-do-it-for-you option.
We liken the decision to a kitchen remodel. You can certainly do it yourself. Take classes at your local hardware store; ask a lot of questions; slowly work on it as you have time; and eventually get the job done; but perhaps not quite as well as a professional. Or, you can spend the big bucks and get it done right and fast.
In-home training is for best for behavioral issues; providing personalized training; and working around busy schedules. It is similar to a class except that we come to you on your schedule, and only work on what is important to you. We get the dog started on the right path, but it is up to you to do the repetitions to ensure the new behavior will last.
Q: What is the clicker method? / I donít like the clicker method.
A: This type of training is called Mark and Reward, commonly refered to as clicker training. You may use any sharp noise to mark the behavior (we use a crisp "yes" rather than a clicker) then follow if up with a reward. This type of training helps your dog better isolate the behavior you are teaching, which also speeds up your training. Plus, it is lots of fun!
Q: How can I become a dog trainer?
If you are serious about becoming a dog trainer, start looking into programs. Starmark Academy in Texas and Jean Donaldsonís program in California are both good (there are none locally). In the meantime, take as many classes as you can; work with rescue dogs; foster dogs with behavioral issues and work through those issues. Hands on experience is invaluable!
Q: Is the class fee for each session or the entire course?
A: The class fee covers the entire course, i.e. the cost of the Level 1 Obedience class is $129 for the full six week period. When you register, you are registering for the ENTIRE course, not just one week. The website lists the start date for each individual class, as well as the time and location for the class. You would have your first week of class on the start date listed, and then return at the same time and location every week for however many consecutive weeks that class runs to complete your class. The only reason your class schedule would differ is if there is a skip week (which would also be listed online).
Q: Can I bring my significant other/kids?
A: Absolutely! We encourage you to take the class with your significant other/kids. This way, everyone will learn how to train your dog, and everyone will be on the same page when handling your dog at home. That said, the class is run at an adult learning pace.
Q: If I have to miss a week of class, can I make it up?
A: Yes, with some exceptions (see below). If you miss a session from a class, you can make up that session in another class anytime up to a month after your class ends. You can attend another session at any location. Click here to view our calendar and find another session that works for you. Once you find one, email the office (email@example.com) so we can inform the trainer that you're coming.
Exceptions for Make Up Classes - for the following classes, the make up session is human only. These make up sessions are without your dog.
Q: May I observe a training class before signing up?
A: Yes, of course! Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know which class you would like to observe and we will let the trainer know. However, please leave your dog at home.
Q: I need to switch to another class/drop out of the class I signed up for. What are my options?
A: You can transfer to another class or cancel your registration up to 24 hours before the class begins. Contact our office via email (email@example.com) and we can transfer you, refund you, or hold your payment as a credit.
Q: What is your refund policy?
A: Please see the Refund section below.
Q: Can I bring both of my dogs to the same class?
A: Yes, you will need a separate person and registration for each dog.
Q: Is my dog too small for the class?
A: No, we have dogs of all sizes in every class.
Q: If I bring two dogs to one class, can I get a discount?
A: We do not offer discounts for multiple dogs in one class at this time.
Q: Why are Leash Aggression classes only held outdoors?
A: Leash aggression is displayed toward unfamiliar dogs on walks. Since these are dogs that you don't have time to introduce your dog to, this is the environment we need in order to practice the issue. Once your dog gets to know the classmates, typically they will not display aggression when walking by each other.
Q: How does the Dog to Dog Socialization for Aggressive Dogs class work?
A: It is a very controlled class that focuses on building positive experiences with other dogs. The class is small (6 maximum) and the training facilities are large to ensure that your dog is calm. The instuctor will help you get your dog into the facility the first night to ensure that your dog stays calm and open to developing more appropriate responses toward other dogs. This class will not "cure" your dog, but will give you tools to introduce your dog to an other dog in a safe, calm way so that you may be able to build a friendship or two for your dog. (*Note: This class is not intended for leash aggression nor housemate aggression issues.)
A: It depends on what you want your dog to learn. The Puppy class is for dogs under four months, and it addresses typical puppy behaviors like biting and jumping. Level 1 Obedience teaches eight basic commands, including sit, down, come, leave it, and more.
Q: If the class skips a week, is that week still included in the class?
A: Yes. For example, if week 3 of Level 1 Obedience falls on Thanksgiving Day, then week 3 will resume the following week, and all six sessions will still be held.
Q: Are vaccinations required for classes/play times?
A: We do not require proof of vaccinations, but we do expect that owners bring dogs who are current on their vaccinations.
Q: How/when do I pay?
A: Payment is collected for each session before you schedule. You can pay online using the indicated links, or call and pay over the phone. We accept all credit cards as well as eChecks.
Q: How do I know how many sessions I need?
A: Many issues require only one session to teach you the tools necessary to correct the behavior. You can decide if you need additional sessions with the help of your trainer at the end of your first session.
Q: When are you available?
A: Trainers are available for in-home training afternoons, evenings and weekends.
Q: If I have two dogs, does the rate change?
A: No, the rate will be the same.
Q: Iím not able to drop off my dog between 7:00-9:00 am/pick her up at my scheduled time. What can I do?
A: Contact our office and we will do our best to accommodate your situation.
Q: Is my puppy too young for Boot Camp?
A: We accept dogs of any age, and offer various programs suited to different life stages.
Q: Will my dog learn to be friendly with other dogs at Boot Camp?
A: In Boot Camp you will learn how to walk your dog nicely past dogs. However, Boot Camp will not make her social with unfamiliar dogs. This would need to be addressed in our Dog to Dog Socialization class or with in-home training.
Q: Do you provide any guarantee?
A: We do not provide guarantees. Assuming your dog does not have any severe anxiety or phobia issues, we haven't had a dog that we cannot train. However, that is only half the training. You are hiring us to get your dog to listen to you, for that to happen we need your participation at home. That is the part we cannot control, but we sure try!
Q: What type of collar should I bring?
A: Bring your dog to Boot Camp wearing her regular fabric or leather collar, snug enough so it canít slip off. Feel free to bring any other collar(s) that you are also using.
Q: If Iím not always able to pickup my dog, can my babysitter/relative/friend do it?
A: Yes, however we prefer that you, the owner, make as many pickups as possible in order to receive your private training session. These sessions transfer the training to you.
Q: Can I receive a refund?
A: For Group Classes, you may receive a refund or transfer to another class if we are notified in writing at least 24 hours prior to the start of your class. For our Boot Camp program, you may receive a refund if we are notified in writing at least 7 days prior to your scheduled start date. Requests must be made to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please do not email your trainer to request a refund.
Q: I have a gift certificate--how can I sign up for a class?
A: Register online, select pay by check, and email the gift certificate code to email@example.com. We will email you an invoice which you can pay online if there is a remaining balance due.
Q: Do you offer discounts?
To receive the discount on classes: