Family Dog & Agility Class Frequently Asked Questions:
My dog sometimes barks at other dogs. Can I still take a group class?
Our adult dog classes are intended for dogs who are able to be comfortable and focused around other dogs in a relatively small space. Although a little bit of barking at the beginning of class is acceptable, dogs who bark throughout class or at other dogs are not good candidates for group class. You may wish to consider our Rowdy and Reactive program or private lessons.
How does the class schedule work?
All of our classes meet weekly for 50 minutes at the same time (e.g., Tuesdays from 7:00-7:50 pm). The 10 minute transition time between classes is necessary to allow dogs from the previous class to leave and from the incoming class to arrive and settle without feeling rushed.
When you register for a class you will see the start date (e.g., “Tuesday, November 6 at 7:00 pm), and know that your class will meet at that time for the number of weeks specified (e.g., Tuesdays at 7pm for 3 consecutive weeks).
At times, there will be skip dates for holidays or other events. They are normally posted before you register, so the posted date may say something like this: “Tuesday, November 6 at 7:00 pm (Skip November 13)”. If there are skip dates, you do not lose a class; you merely skip that week and class continues the following week.
On rare occasions we have to skip a class after you have registered, your trainer will notify you in class, or will send out an email with the information.
What should I expect my first class?
The first week of class is often more difficult than expected for dogs and owners. The dog is in a new environment and may be excited or nervous about the other dogs and people in class. Being prepared for class, including items to help your dog settle (chew item, mat) can help. (Click here for suggestions on what to bring.) Be aware that dogs sometimes struggle to focus their first week, so even well-trained dogs may need rewards for attention to the handler and other tasks that they do easily at home. Most dogs settle in to the routine by their second week of class and do very well.
I have to miss one of my scheduled classes. Do you offer a make up?
No, unfortunately we do not offer make ups. Most of our classes are offered as 3-week modules that can be taken in any order, so if you know you will have to miss a week or two, you might consider skipping that module and signing up for it when it is offered at a different time.
I unexpectedly had to miss a class. How do I find out what I missed?
Come to class next week! Although the content builds from week to week, you will still be able to participate in class and improve your training skills even if you missed a class.
I am feeling very behind. What should I do?
Dogs enter our classes with a wide variety of prior training and experiences. Some dogs have had lots of prior training with a handler who has trained many dogs using positive reinforcement methods previously. Other dogs are brand new to the household or are young dogs. We encourage teams to judge progress relative to where you were previously, not relative to others. If you have questions about how to best spend your outside of class training time, please ask your instructor during class.
My dog gets sick eating treats. Can I just bring his regular dinner instead?
The group class environment is typically a challenging environment for most dogs. Bringing a variety of high value rewards will help your dog learn and help you both benefit the most from class. Our suggestions of cooked steak, chicken, or fish, canned dog food, string cheese are high value and tolerated well by many dogs. However, if you cannot feed your dog these items, please contact us before you start class. We would be happy to provide suggestions that are specific to your dog’s food needs (allergies, special diets, etc).