Dog Training FAQ

How do I know if my dog will be appropriate for a group class?

Is your dog quite shy, nervous, or anxious? Does your dog seem to be very vocal and over-the-top excited?  Does your dog growl, nip, or even bite? If you answered yes to any of these questions, we recommend that you contact us at train@paws4ever.org prior to registering for class. This will help us either ensure successful placement into a future group class or recommend that you achieve your training goals by scheduling a private manners lesson program. Instructors may remove any dogs from class who are exhibiting disruptive or dangerous behaviors for the safety and comfort of all attendees.

How do I know which group class is the best choice for my dog?

If you are looking to improve basic manners, communication, and bonding with your puppy or dog, group classes are probably right for you!
Our classes are based on the age of your pup and break down as follows:

  • If you have a puppy between 8 and 16 weeks, you should start with Puppy School
  • If you have a pup between 4 months and 18 months, they can be enrolled in Middle School
  • For dogs over 18 months, Adult Dog Manners Class is right for them. 

Check out the class descriptions here for more information on each class and which might be the best fit for you and your puppy or dog. Don’t think a group class is what you are looking for? Check the Private Lessons FAQ further down this page.

What kind of training philosophy can I expect?

You may have noticed that your dog does not speak human language or read minds. Wouldn’t that be easy? Positive reinforcement is the best way to build communication, cooperation, and trust between you and your dog. The best part about this type of positive training is that it not only works well, but it can be fun and confidence boosting for both of you!

Positive training isn’t just safe and humane–it’s proven effective. Dogs learn better when they are motivated and comfortable–don’t you?

Our trainers are happy to talk your ear off about the many benefits of using positive-reinforcement based training, so please feel free to ask further questions if you are curious about the hows and whys of dog behavior. 

Are there any training tools you do not allow in class?

Paws4ever does NOT allow the use of unlimited slip or choker style training collars, pinch or prong style collars metal or plastic, nor any electronic collars at any time on our campus. We believe science-based, positive reinforcement training is the best way to build communication, cooperation, and trust between you and your dog. Read more about the use of pet correction devices here.

How do I sign up for group classes?

You can see our schedule of available classes and sign up online here: Schedule & Registration Don’t see the class you were looking for? Check back regularly or send us an email as new classes are being added all the time.  

Once you have completed the registration process, you will receive an email with important information about your upcoming class. If you do NOT receive that email, please check your spam folder or let us know. 

How many dogs are in your group classes?

It varies by class.  Our Puppy School can have up to 8 puppies to enrich everyone’s social experiences. Adult Dog Manners classes typically have 4-6 students enrolled to ensure personalized attention, and activity class and workshop sizes are determined by the activity itself.

Is there a deadline for registration?

Enroll as early as possible to avoid disappointment, as class seats are filled in the order of registrations received. But we do keep registrations open until the day before class starts, if openings are still available. 

What vaccinations are required to attend?

Rabies vaccination is required for all dogs age 4 months old or older. Combo vaccination and boosters which include distemper, parvovirus, hepatitis (adenovirus) and parainfluenza, or proof of titer is required.

Puppy class may be started after the first combo vaccine series is given, and must be maintained per veterinarian recommended schedule. Fecal/Giardia/Parasite Negative test result required for puppy class only.

Please email vaccination records to train@pawsever.org.  You may also bring your vaccination records to the first class to be verified. 
Your name, your pet’s name, your veterinarian’s name and practice name, and the dates of vaccination and booster due dates must be clearly legible. 

Our family would like to attend. Is this possible?

Yes, we encourage families to attend together and participate as recommended by your instructor. We recommend that one person is designated the primary handler that attends every class in case all family members are not be able to attend every class.

Can our children attend and participate in class?

Of course! It is great to get the whole family involved. Our family-friendly program encourages interested children to attend with active adult supervision. Children under age 7 should be accompanied by an additional adult that is not handling and teaching the dog.

How long is each class, and is class held every week?

Most classes are 55 minutes. Group classes meet at the same time each week, consecutively for the number of weeks starting with the start date posted on the schedule.

Puppy School is a rolling class, so you may join as soon as space is available. During Puppy School you are expected to attend class for 5 consecutive weeks as the puppies grow so much at this age and we don’t want you to outgrow the class and be unable to participate in playtime. Classes are 45 minutes in length

Please read our class descriptions and prerequisites carefully and check your calendar prior to registering for your class.

When can we start Puppy Social Manners class?

Puppy School is a rolling class, so you may join as soon as space is available. During Puppy School you are expected to attend class for 5 consecutive weeks as the puppies grow so much at this age and we don’t want you to outgrow the class and be unable to participate in playtime. Classes are 45 minutes in length

You will need to provide proof of vaccinations and a clean bill of health from the veterinarian prior to starting class. You puppy must also have been in your home for 10 days prior to the first day of class.

How long is each Puppy Social class?

Puppies tire rapidly when playing with their new friends, so we typically meet for about 50 minutes.
You will need to provide proof of vaccinations and a clean bill of health from the veterinarian prior to starting class. You puppy must also have been in your home for 10 days prior to the first day of class.

What if we can’t attend class every week?

We understand that life is hectic and sometimes you may have to miss a class! Of course we want you to make it to as many as possible, but your instructor will do their best to work with you to keep you caught up. A written version of what was worked on in class will be emailed after each class, so you can still practice throughout the week. You are also welcome to schedule a private lesson to catch up if you miss too much material and would like a chance for some more individualized guidance to bring you up to speed.

What if I can’t make a regularly scheduled class?

In addition to our classes which meet each consecutive week, we may also offer some rolling enrollment or drop-in class options, as well as occasional one-time workshops, so check our calendar to see if we have something that may fit your schedule. For those with an irregular schedule, private lessons are also a good way to accommodate a custom-fit. 

What is your refund policy?

A full refund, transfer, or credit is given if Paws4ever cancels a class. A full refund minus a $25 processing fee will be offered if registration is cancelled by the student before the first day of group class or lesson. A prorated refund minus a $25 processing fee will be offered if refund is requested prior to the second session of a group class. Refunds will not be issued if the request for refund is made after 2nd meeting of group class or after a private lesson unless extenuating circumstances apply. All requests for a refund must be made in writing and emailed to train@paws4ever.org.

Do you offer a Canine Good Citizen (CGC) class or certify therapy and support dogs?

We offer a Canine Good Citizen prep class which. is designed to help you and your dog pass the American Kennel Club’s widely recognized certification – the Canine Good Citizen (CGC) test. This is also a great option if you feel like your dog needs a bit more training as you consider going beyond the basics; CGC also lays the foundation for therapy and service work as well as sports and performance events.

We do not offer therapy dog certifications since recognized therapy and support service organizations each have specific requirements which are aligned with current ADA laws.

What about Private Lessons?

If you have more specific questions or issues that won’t be addressed in a group class, we offer private lessons tailored to you and your dog’s particular needs. Private lessons are also a good option for families who are unable to attend a regularly scheduled group class, such as a dog who does not do well in the group setting or a person with an irregular schedule. See more about private lessons here: Private Lessons.

Where are your private lessons and group classes held?

Classes and lessons are held at our Paws4ever campus in our climate controlled and fully matted Learning Center classrooms. Occasionally, classes and workshops are held outdoors as indicated in our class descriptions.
You should receive more specific directions, including where to park, in your confirmation email after registering for a class or private lesson.

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