Frequently Asked Questions
YOUNG PUPPY CLASSES:
OLDER PUPPY CLASSES:
ADULT DOG CLASSES:
GENERAL INFORMATION ON CLASSES:
YOUNG PUPPY CLASSES:
Is your young puppy less than 14 weeks?
If your puppy is between 9 and 14 weeks you can join Puppy Primer. If your puppy is less than 10 lbs or very shy with people and dogs he should attend Tiny Puppy Primer. All Puppy Primer classes are either set 5 week classes or rolling admission so please check carefully to see which class you are registered for. Your puppy will attend class for 5 consecutive weeks whichever you choose.
What shots does your puppy need to join the class?
One distemper/parvo shot, administered by a licensed vet, and one deworming at least 5 days before attendance at class. Puppies cannot be vaccinated for rabies until 3/1/2 months so the rabies shot is not required when you start Puppy Primer class. Also all puppies must be in their adoptive home for at least 10 days before coming to class. Puppies must be free of parasites and fleas.
Is it safe to bring your puppy to class without being fully vaccinated?
We follow the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior (AVSAB) recommendations on puppy class protocols.
What will your puppy learn?
Puppy Primer is an essential class. Your puppy will have a chance to socialize with other puppies and their families. How to socialize your puppy correctly will be emphasized. Early socialization is your best insurance against problem behaviors in your adult dog.
We will address house training, mouthing and handling.
Training exercises will include sit and pay attention, down, leave it, leash walking and come when called.
What if I cannot attend for 5 consecutive weeks?
We try and work with you so you can get your puppy to this essential class. If you let us know ahead of time we will try and figure out a make up class for you, as long as your puppy has not grown too old or too big for the class. If you miss a class without letting us know, you will lose that class. We also have monthly free make ups at Homestead Park, or you may arrange a private make up at Homestead Park. 30 mins for $40.
What do I do after Puppy Primer?
Tiny breed puppies will move onto Tiny Breed Play and Learn where they will continue to learn training skills as well as have the opportunity to play off leash with other small breed puppies. Puppies from Tiny Breed Puppy Primer can also attend Puppy Plus if this class fits your schedule better, but there is no off leash play in Puppy Plus. Puppies in regular Puppy Primer will move up to Puppy Plus.
OLDER PUPPY CLASSES:
Is your puppy between 4 and 7 months of age?
If your puppy is less than 7 months, 15 lbs or under and friendly with dogs you can attend Small Breed Play and Learn. If your older puppy is 15 lbs or over you can attend Puppy Plus. Puppy Plus runs for 5 consecutive weeks.
Please note: if you have a small breed puppy under 7 months who is very timid we sometimes offer a few sessions in Tiny Puppy Primer to build confidence.
What will your older puppy learn in Puppy Plus?
Through fun games and activities we will show you how to train your soon to be adolescent dog. As well as practicing a range of “impulse control” exercises (sit, wait, leave it) we will show you training games that will enrich your puppy’s life, as well as helping you gain control in a positive way. We will work on leash training exercises and coming when called. Off leash play with other dogs will be limited in this class, the emphasis will be on teaching your puppy how to focus on you with other puppies around. There will be off leash time while you work on games and obstacles courses with your own puppy. By week 5 most puppies are working off leash and staying with their own families.
Shall I do Puppy Plus or K9 Manners?
Puppies of 5 months and over can do Puppy Plus or K9 Manners. Puppy Plus is a good confidence builder for young dogs as we work with obstacle courses and games. K9 manners has the same curriculum without the obstacle course work. Choose the one that fits your schedule.
What class should you do after Puppy Plus?
Enrichment Games, Field Trip Class, Advanced K9 Manners or Practice in the Park would be good choices for your next class.
ADULT DOG CLASSES:
Do you have a dog 5 months and over?
Please see “Shall I do Puppy Plus or K9 manners?” above. K9 Manners is for any age dog 5 months and over. No upper limit, dogs can learn at any age. K9 manners is a 5 consecutive week training course. Dogs must be people and dog friendly. Please see “Is a group class the right choice for my dog” below.
What will you learn in K9 Manners?
Basic exercises such as sit, pay attention, down, leave it, beginners stay, come to your name, and leash walking will be covered in this class. We will train all these exercises in a very positive, upbeat way with food, toys, games, and real life rewards.
New dog owners will find answers to all house training, crate training, and general questions. We will address the pros and cons of dog parks and how to get your dog good exercise.
What will I do after K9 Manners?
Enrichment Games, Field Trip Class, Advanced K9 Manners, Practice in the Park and Canine Good Citizen are for graduates of K9 Manners.
GENERAL INFORMATION ON CLASSES:
Where are the classes held?
At Extraordinary Ventures, a climate controlled facility on Elliott Road. Address: 200 South Elliott Road, Chapel Hill NC. Drive into the car park, pass the main entrance and go round the back of the building to the left following the signs to the lower level.
Please note: Field Trip classes and Practice in the Park are held in outdoor situations.
What is your refund policy?
Because we are dedicated to providing small classes with lots of one-on-one interaction, we are not able to accomodate cancellations with less than a one-week notice. If you have started the class, the fee is also is non-refundable and non-transferable. If you cancel with more than a one-week notice, any refund will incur a $25 handling fee.
What if I sign up for a 5 week class and need to miss one session?
Free make up classes are held once a month at Homestead Park in Chapel Hill. See the calendar for your choices. You may also purchase a private make up lesson at Homestead Park. Half an hour for $40.
What if my dog barks and lunges at other dogs on leash?
A group class may not be suitable for you at this point. However, if you can get your dog’s attention by feeding him/her hotdogs and real meat as a dog passes you on the other side of the road, then we can probably make a group class work for you. If your dog is so distressed he/she cannot eat real meat treats with a dog across the road you may need to start off with a few private lessons. Please contact us for an evaluation if you are in any doubt. There will be a $40 fee for an evaluation which includes training tips.
Can all family members attend class with the family dog?
Yes anyone may come to class with you, in fact we encourage all family members to attend. Friends and neighbours may attend too. Our classes are upbeat and fun, and we like to spread the word about positive training.
Can children attend the classes?
Children over 6 may attend class but only children 10 and over can train their dogs in the class. We allow children under 6 to attend puppy class if there is an adult or babysitter with them as well as an adult for the puppy. Disruptive children will be asked to leave.
I just adopted my dog shall I wait till he/she settles before bringing him to class?
If your dog is able to take treats enthusiastically in an outdoor environment he/she can come to class. If not consider one of our low cost private lessons which we offer when you are signed up for class but have a wait.
How many dogs are in a class?
Puppy classes have 4-8 puppies. Puppy Plus, K9 Manners, and the Advanced classes have maximum 6 dogs. Practice in the Park has whoever turns up!
What method do you use to train dogs?
Positive reinforcement, reward based training.
What equipment do you recommend?
Regular collars or a body harness. The harnesses we like are the Easy Walk harness and the Freedom harness. Leashes must be 6 feet. We allow Gentle Leader head collars though with good training most dogs will not need these. We do not allow choke chains, prong collars, or Thunder leashes in our classes. We also strongly recommend you do not use any sort of electric shock collars for your dog.
What if I did a class at another facility?
Email us to discuss where you would fit into our program
Are group classes a good place to socialise an adult dog?
No. Group classes are for training socialised dogs. Group classes can be good for teaching dogs to pay attention to you around other dogs and distractions in the environment, but if your dog is not comfortable near other dogs you should consider private lessons. Please see “What if my dog barks and lunges at other dogs on leash?” above.
The class I signed up for is several weeks away but I need help now.
Private lessons can be arranged any time. The fee ranges from $80 to $110 an hour. If, however, you are signed up for a group class but need immediate help we can arrange a low cost private lesson for you for $40 for a half hour training session. These low cost private lessons are held at Homestead Park and address only the basic training which will prepare you for class. Any problem solving, or other issues that need addressing, or a visit to your home will require a whole consult.