Should I do Private Training or group classes?
You can learn a lot about dog training from both taking a class and taking part in private sessions. With private sessions, you will receive professional advice and guidance on how to improve and change your dog’s behavior for the better. With privates, we are able to focus on your unique situation.
We recommend private sessions for tackling aggression, anxiety and any fearful behavior. Many dogs start with a private session, then find a class that suits their needs. Private sessions can also be wonderful way to learn how to use effective and humane dog training techniques with your dog.
On the other hand, group classes are a fantastic and cost-effective way to learn many new skills in a relatively short amount of time. If you are new to dog training, or if you are looking for a great way to bond with your new dog, group classes are the right choice!
We always recommend group classes for puppies (ages 10 weeks to 16 weeks at the start of class)! For puppies, it’s all about the socialization!
What is your training philosophy?
We believe in using the most effective, humane and tested dog training techniques available. When working with dogs, we believe it is important to use the best practices available by the profession, just as doctors and teachers do. We also strongly believe that there are important ethical consideration when working with dogs. Just as there are when working with people
We believe in using the most effective and least aversive technique when working with dogs. It has been well established that punishment has negative side effects to behavior. In a nut shell, too much punishment causes avoidance behaviors in animals. Though we are not anti-punishment per se, we do not believe that it is wise to use any techniques that are likely to elicit avoidance behaviors in our dogs.
We feel that training should be fun and enjoyable for both humans and dogs. Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns about any training techniques, and for more information, please look through the AVSAB position statements on punishment and dominance.
How old does my dog have to be for puppy Kindergarten?
Puppies can participate in our puppy kindergarten classes when they are between 10 weeks and 16 weeks old at the time of the first class. We also like to see that they have had at least two rounds of vaccinations and that the vaccinations have been given by a veterinarian.
The age requirement is to ensure that the puppies are all, well, puppies! Though many of us look upon our dogs as puppies, even up to about year number two, developmentally they are puppies only until about week 18 when they move into the juvenile period of development.
Before about 18 weeks, jaw strength is still poor and the canines have not yet fully erupted.
More importantly, between about 8 weeks and 18 weeks, puppies are in the socialization period when their brains are extremely elastic. This means that it is the best time to expose them to new things. And Puppy Kindergarten is a safe place to learn new skills while experiencing as many new things as possible.
If you have any questions or concerns about our puppy policies, please let us know!
How old does my dog have to be for other classes?
For all of our other classes, dogs should be at least 4 months old at the start of class. Again, this is simply to make sure that they are all behaviorally appropriate to be together.
What vaccines does my dog have to have to take a class?
We require that dogs at our facility (for lodging, training & play group) be up to date on their veterinarian’s recommended vaccines OR that we have a signed copy of our Health Certificate on file.
We highly recommend that your dog be up to date on their bordatella vaccine to ensure that they are as protected as they can be again kennel cough.