Q: What class should I enroll my dog in?
A: If your dog is under 16 weeks of age, we recommend you enroll in Kindergarten Puppy Training. If your dog is over 16 weeks of age and has never taken a training class with us, then we recommend you enroll in Beginner Obedience Training.
Q: My dog has never taken a class with you, but knows a lot. Can we go right to Advanced Obedience Training?
A: All dogs taking Advanced Obedience Training need to demonstrate that they can perform basic obedience around people and dogs. Graduates of our Beginner Obedience class have demonstrated that they know those skills. If you have good control of your dog around people and other dogs, then you can sign up for a private lesson so we can determine if Advanced Obedience Training is a good fit for you. Private lessons are $100; please email us for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: Do you require vaccinations?
A: Yes, all dogs under 16 weeks must have the first two distemper vaccinations. Dogs six months and older must have the completed distemper series as well as a rabies vaccination. Please visit the Vaccination FAQ page for more detail.
Q: I’m having trouble registering for group class on the website, what do I do?
A: We can register you over the phone, give us a call at 978 464 0429. A common problem people encounter is uploading vaccination records or pictures. If this is the problem, select “none” in the vaccinations section, and then email us a copy of the vaccination record to email@example.com.
Q: What is the average age of dogs in group class?
A: Puppy class students generally start class around 10 weeks, though they may start as late as 15 weeks. Beginner Obedience Training students range from 5 months to several years old. We have a wide variety of ages in our advanced classes.
Q: I’d like to make my dog a therapy dog, where should I start?
A: A therapy dog is a dog that goes and provides comfort to strangers. These dogs often go into schools, hospitals, and nursing homes. If possible, start with Kindergarten!
If your pup is too old for that class, start with Beginner Obedience Training. You’ll then progress to Advanced Obedience Training, then Canine Good Citizen, and then finally Therapy Dog. These are all 6 week courses that most of our therapy dog clients complete.
If you are looking for a service dog to help mitigate a physical disability, then please contact Canines for Kids, they can connect you with a trainer or organization. They help people of all ages. https://caninesforkids.org/
Q. How many people can attend a group class with the dog?
A. Please check our Covid Class Protocols for the most up to date information on how many people can attend our group classes.
Short answer: For the first two sessions of a class, there is a strict two person maximum per dog policy as space allows, and it should be the same people for those two sessions. If your dog is enrolled in their first class ever with us, we ask that no more than two people attend class with the dog, and we recommend they both be adults. (If there are circumstances that prevent the same person from attending the first two classes, or you have an older teen who wants to take part in training, please contact us.)
Long answer: Especially when training a young dog, consistency is the key to good training. The most consistent training will come from one dedicated trainer per dog. However, we do understand the benefit of two people coming to train & learn. Kindergarten and Beginner Obedience classes are challenging because both the dog AND the person(s) handling the dog have a lot to learn. The more individuals involved in the learning process, the longer it takes for the dog to make progress. Once the dog has learned some basic skills, it’s much easier to swap human handlers from class to class. We usually handle these swaps on a case-by-case basis after the instructor has seen your dog in class. (Lastly, our training facility seems spacious with one or two people per dog per session; it quickly becomes overcrowded if every dog has multiple people.)
If you are looking to involve the whole family in training (including younger children) it’s best to practice the training exercises at home when the dog is less distracted. We send out written notes and videos after each class so everyone in the family can be aware of what we practice each week. We also have a private support group on Facebook for students. The whole family can join, it’s a great place to ask questions, post progress videos, and access more written/video material.
We can also set up private lessons for the whole family to attend. In Advanced Obedience class, it is much easier on everyone to include other family members in group classes.