If your children are very young, usually under 3 or 4 years, you should discuss this with me. It may be hard to watch the children while focusing on your dog. Also, sometimes dogs that have not been exposed to little ones, may become fearful if they get near them or move to fast. If you have older children, they are always welcome. This is something you should discuss with me before hand.
How many people should come to class with the dog?
Much of this will depend on the dog. I recommend as many family members come to class as possible. If the dog is adjusting to the group and distractions, it is a good idea to take turns in the class training. That way, everyone is doing things the same way, which is very important for your dog. If one person goes home and tries to explain everything to the rest of the family, it is certain some things will be left out or will be taught in a different way. At class, the instructor can help each person and make sure the dog doesn't get confussed. Family participation is highly recommended in almost all classes. If you have a situation you are not sure about, please contact Diann.
Is there anything special I need to wear?
At times the class will be outdoors. Please dress according to weather. Be comfortable and casual. Generally, tennis shoes or hiking type shoes are the best. You will be doing leash walking, so wearing good walking shoes is important.
My dog isn't very social to other dogs. Do you let them off leash to play at any time?
In the basic manners, off leash play is not a part of class. Puppy Manners the off leash play is a large part of learning social skills. It is rare that a puppy in puppy class is aggressive, but if that is the case, then that puppy will be kept on leash and we will work on teaching proper play.
Do I bring the water for my dog, poop pick up bags or a chair for myself?
No, all of the above will be supplied at class. You do need to bring your dog a "Place" This can be a rug, blanket, towel or a small bed. You want it to be something you can carry easily and be washable.
What if my dog doesn't listen in class and is too distracted by the other dogs?
That is very normal during the first class. By the second class the dogs will figure out why they are there and begin to settle down. Distractions are a way of life, and your dog and you will learn how to work with the distractions given. That is a part of class and part of the learning. If you feel your dog is overly aroused, aggressive or not suited to a class situation, you may want to check into private lessons.
What type of training treats should I bring to class?
Small, bite size. Something your dog really loves. It is best to not feed your dog an hour or two before you get to class. This helps in motivating the dog. If your dog is full from just eating a meal, he may just want to take a nap at class. Training treats can consist of: Small bites of cooked hotdogs: Cheese cubes: Cooked chicken bites: Liver treats. Check your pet store for some good treats that are easy to handle or use some lean meat you already have. Freeze dried liver treats are a favorite of dogs.
Where are the classes held?
Classes are held at safe, secure facilities in La Pine, at differing locations depending on the class and the season. Locations for any given class are provided upon receipt of registration materials, or you may Contact Diann for more information.
What kind of collar should my dog have for class?
Always have a secure buckle collar on your dog. This should always have his name and address. On the first night of class, we will go over collar choices and which one is best for your dog. If you have a puppy, in general all that may be needed is the buckle collar. Gentle Leader head collars will be available for purchase at class.
It is best to have your trainer fit this and guide you in the use. Choke chains and prong collars are generally not advised.
What kind of leash do I need for class?
Usually a 4 to 6 foot leash is the best. Leather is the most comfortable to work, easy on the hands and they last a very long time. Nylon leashes are hard to hold onto and can slip through your hands as well as burn if your dog decides to make a sudden dash elsewhere. These leashes are allowed as long as you comfortable with it. Chain leashes can be a benefit for a puppy that loves to chew on the leash. The draw back is they are heavy and sometimes hard to work with. If you use a chain leash, please make sure the handle is either leather or a soft material. Cotton leashes are light weight and easy to handle. They come in many different lengths.
RETRACTABLE LEADS ARE NEVER ALLOWED IN ANY OF DIANN'S CLASS. This will be taken at the start of class and you will be given a loaner. There is usually a selection of leashes to purchase if you wish. Your retractable will be given back at the end of the class.