We’re going to miss a class. What should we do?
Because our classes run full, we are not able to offer make-up classes. Missing one class in the series is usually not detrimental to your progress. Your class guidebook will cover the material which was missed and contains instructions on how to work on the exercises at home. However, you may always elect to schedule a private session to cover missed material and any other issues you are experiencing (extra fee applies). Make-up privates are offered at a discounted price of $30/half hour. To qualify for that discount, the make-up must be scheduled prior to the conclusion of your group class.
The first week of a level one class is especially information packed. Every effort should be made to attend week 1. If you’re unable to attend week 1 of a Manners 1 class, we strongly recommend a private make-up session. Our classes are action packed and cover a lot of material. If you start out behind, it will be difficult to catch up.
Should I go ahead and register for the next level class? Am I guaranteed a spot?
We do recommend that all dogs take Manners 1 AND 2. Those that stop after level 1 often find a regression in the trained behaviors over time. That second class really helps solidify the awesome new behaviors you’ve trained in Manners 1. Manners 2 also trains the behaviors you’ll need for your dog to be a good citizen in public. As a matter of fact, after completing Manners 1, you are eligible to take the AKC Canine Good Citizen© evaluation by signing up for a CGC Prep & Test. You are not guaranteed a spot in the next level, and the classes do fill quickly. We recommend that you enroll in Manners 2 as soon as possible to ensure a spot.
My dog doesn’t seem to be learning as fast as some of the dogs in our class. What’s wrong?
Dogs and people do learn at different rates. Also, some of the handlers in your class may have previous training experience. If you’re not progressing as fast as you’d like, we encourage you to study this manual carefully to be sure you are correctly and consistently applying the techniques and devoting adequate time to practice. We recommend a minimum of 15 minutes EVERY day. Multiple short sessions can be easier for young dogs. You may also elect to schedule a private session to get individual help on your issues.
I’m having some unique behavior problems with my dog that don’t seem to be covered by this class. Can you help?
You are always welcome to ask your instructor for tips on behavioral problems. If your issue is unique and not likely to be shared with most of the members of class, your instructor may choose to answer you after class. Or, if the issue warrants more than a quick answer, your instructor may suggest a private session, or even a referral to another trainer for help with your problem.
Should I bring my kids to class with me? I want them to learn, too.
Having the whole family on the same page does help your dog learn faster. However, do realize that the classes are taught at an adult learning level. So, kids under 10 are typically bored and not really able to grasp the concepts. Most parents choose to show younger children the techniques during practice times at home. Here are our facility rules regarding children:
o 6 years and younger: we require that an extra adult be in attendance with children this age
o 7 – 11 years: are allowed to observe (and may be able to assist you in class). Please bring a quiet toy to occupy them.
o 12 and over: may handle a dog in class, if accompanied by an adult
Are you able to help me with my aggressive dog?
Dogs with true aggression issues toward humans are better served one-on-one at your home, with a behaviorist. Our busy facility is not a safe environment for an aggressive dog. If your dog has bitten someone, or gives an aggressive display (growling, snapping) when confronted with strange people, we’ll be happy to give you a good referral to an animal behaviorist.
Can I rent one of the WAGD training areas for my group (e.g. breed club, meet-up, birthday party, social, etc)?
We do not offer rentals to groups. Our rings stay very busy with WAGD classes and privates. Thanks for asking, though!
Can you help me train my dog to be a service dog?
Our Pet Manners classes are a good start for training the obedience behaviors needed by service dogs with public access. However, we do not do specific training or certification for service dogs. We get a lot of questions from people wanting to know the laws surrounding service dogs and how their dog can qualify for public access under those laws. This comprehensive article explains the ins and outs of service dog access. The U.S. government website for the ADA also has good information on on this topic: www.ada.gov/regs2010/service_animal_qa.html.
Note: Get the full list of WAGD policies here.
Ongoing (Advanced) Classes
I’ll be out of town for a couple weeks. Do I have to pay for my Ongoing Class?
Yes, if you want your spot on the roster held. The per visit cost of the Ongoing classes is less than regular series classes or drop-ins. This accounts for the fact that it is a longer term commitment and that you’ll likely miss some classes. If you’d like to drop the class, then re-enroll when you return, you are free to do that. However, we do require a full week’s notice prior to dropping. Also, those on the waitlist will have the opportunity to enroll in that class, possibly filling it. We are unable to hold roster positions. It may sound like we are sticklers. But, we need to be fair to our instructors and our business. Thank you for understanding.
I’d rather not commit to a particular class time. Can I just do drop-ins?
Yes, you are welcome to attend Ongoing classes as a drop-in. Two criteria need to be met. First, you’ll need to have instructor approval that the class level is appropriate for you and your dog. Second, you’ll need to call the office to determine if there is space in the class that day. You may do this up to one day in advance. The fee is $25 for a drop-in. Please note that most of our Ongoing classes run full. So, you may find that you are unable to drop-in to many classes.
What if I don’t want to commit to coming to class every week?
If you’d rather not join the roster, but simply want to attend on a more sporadic basis, you can opt to do drop-ins. A drop-in is only allowed when a class isn’t full. Spaces are not held for drop-in students. Also, you must have instructor approval, to ensure that the class is an appropriate level. The process for dropping-in is first to ask the instructor for approval. Then you can call up to one day prior to the class meeting and we’ll reserve a drop-in spot, if its available. The cost for a drop-in is $25.
People often choose to join a roster for their main class, then do Drop-Ins when their schedule allows (and openings exist) for extra classes for extra practice.
I was sick last week and missed class. Did one of my Class Pack credits get used?
Yes, you are charged for each week that the class is held.
Class was cancelled because the instructor was out (or it was a holiday). Did one of my Class Pack credits get used?
No, you are only charged when the class is actually held.
I want to take the summer off, but please hold my spot in class for when I come back in fall. Will you do that?
No, we can’t hold a roster spot. The person wanting to immediately take a permanent spot on the roster gets priority. When you check back with us upon your return, we’ll be able to tell you which class rosters have a space available.
Note: Get the full list of Ongoing policies here.