Don’t Bring a Stuffed Dog
Your dog will less interested in treats if you recently fed your dog a big meal. Feed less food on class day to compensate for more treats and/or feed your dog more the following day.
Be an Early Bird
Come to class ten minutes early. Tether your dog and begin clicking and treating on the mat for calmer behavior. The start of class can be the most difficult and exciting time for your dog. Help your pup cope as others arrive by rewarding good behavior. Another bonus: You get ten extra minutes of class training time!
Don’t be a Struggler
We watch our beginning students stagger in, precariously balancing their dog’s mats and other gear while being pulled like a sled by their wildly excited dog. We recommend making two entrances: the first to bring in your gear, the second working with your dog and giving treats for good behavior as you enter. If you’re not sure what to do, watch others or ask us for ideas! Avoid leaving your dog unattended in the car if you think he is at risk for eating it!
To condition your dog to relax on the mat when you first arrive, you can give your dog a ‘doggie pacifier.’ Ask us for examples and advice about which would be best, given your dog’s size and breed.
Don’t permit your dog to pull to tethered classmates or people. Greetings in class are structured.
While an occasional bark in class is okay, disruptive barking is not. The best way to get help for your excessively barking dog is learn strategies by working with us one-on-one. Once we have figured out an effective strategy to reduce barking, you are welcome to return to class.
Ask for help!
If your dog is strong enough to pull you despite your best efforts, ask us for equipment advice that will give you the upper hand.
One of the skills we will be teaching is how to manage your dog despite the exciting distractions in class. Enrollment is ongoing; new people and their dogs are an important source of opportunities for practice around unfamiliar dogs and their people.
Write down any important insights and ideas for practice. We have paper and pens available on request.
Daily Doggie Drills
Make sure to practice your daily dog drills! Class exercises are meant to be practiced daily at home.
Take it on the Road
If you want your dog to behave in public, you must practice in public! Once your dog performs class exercises easily at home, practice when out and about. If your dog is rarely away from home, expect class to be particularly challenging.
Our goal is that training will make life at home easier for you and your dog. While we love watching your dog improve in class from week to week, it is how smooth your relationship is at home that really matters. Ask us during question time about ideas to help you with problem behaviors at home. If you need in-depth help, private sessions are available.