Frequently Asked Questions

Training Method

1. What training methods do you use?

We are a positive reinforcement training facility and require our students practice reward based training which includes operant conditioning training, clicker training, and how to apply classical conditioning. We do not allow or support any training methods that use pain, intimidation, or fear. Our code of humane animal ethics can be viewed at https://www.petprofessionalguild.com/PPGs-Guiding-Principles and http://www.ccpdt.org/about-us/code-of-ethics/

2. What defines positive reinforcement training?

Positive Reinforcement means that reward is used to gain a behavior you want. The more a behavior is rewarded, the more frequently the behavior will be offered. Reward increases behavior.

3. What is clicker training and why is it beneficial as opposed to other training methods?

The clicker is training tool that makes a CLICK sound which is paired with a small food reward. The click lets your dog know that they choose the correct behavior and the food reinforces the behavior. Clicker training accelerates your dogs’ learning potential. Clicker training uses operant conditioning which means we pair a behavior with a reward system. This is the same training technique that is commonly used in marine mammal training, and can be used with any animal species. Clicker training allows dogs to try new behaviors and learn through problem solving instead of punishment. By allowing our dogs creativity in their learning process, it not only creates a positive learning experience, but also helps our dogs grasp new concepts at a faster rate.

4. Do I have to use a clicker forever?

No. The clicker is just intended to teach a new behavior. Once your dog learns the behavior on a verbal cue or hand signal, you will not have to use the clicker.

5. What equipment do you use?

Our students can use any one of the following tools which includes flat collars, martigale collars, Easy Walk Harnesses, head harnesses, solid 4 -6 foot leashes, clickers, and food rewards. We do not use chokers, prongs, shock collars, spray bottles, or sound aversion.

What to Expect In Class

1. If I have multiple dogs, can I bring more than one to class?

Yes. If you’d like to enroll 2 dogs from the same household, we can accommodate. Each dog requires one person to accompany them.

2. If I miss a class can I make it up?

Of course. We want for each student to get the most out of their classes. If you miss a class, you can make up the week you missed in another session, or schedule a make- up private lesson for a reduced rate of $25.

3. What if my dog interrupts class with barking or being out of control?

No worries. Attending a new group class can be exciting for most dogs. If needed, we use visual barriers to help dogs to learn to work around distractions, and we provide chews to keep dogs occupied during discussion.

4. Can my family and kids come to class?

Of course! We love to involve the family with training and strongly support all family members to be involved with training their dog.

5. How do I know if there are weather cancellations?

We are lucky to have an indoor training space, so we rarely have weather cancellations. But if weather impedes safe travel, or our agility classes are rained out, we contact our students by phone and email. Students can also contact us directly at 443-481-7612, or the front desk at Happy Tails Pet Resort 410-923-1131, to inquire about weather cancellations.

6. If my dog has food allergies, or is not food motivated, what other rewards can I use?

Not a problem. Let us know what your dogs’ limitations are and we can discuss.

7. Are there any breed restrictions?

No. All dog breeds are welcome.

8. If my dog has an accident in class will I fail?

Ha ha, not at all. Accidents will happen and we have easy to clean floors and outside potty area. No worries about potty fails in class.

9. Are reactive dogs or aggressive dogs allowed in group classes?

We do not have a reactive dog group class. If your dog is experiencing reactivity or aggression on leash with people or dogs, we will set you up with a behavior consultation and help you navigate what your next steps will be. Our private lesson program is great for dogs that need extra help and can offer a better learning environment.

10. How do I make a payment?

You can make credit card payments through our website, and we also accept checks or cash on site.

11. Can I attend a class before I sign up?

Of course! Just let us know which class you are interested in, and we’d love to have you sit in as our guest. We offer this service just for humans and are open to friends and family attending as well.

12. Are the classes handicap accessible?

We have stairs leading up to our classroom with hand rails, but are not wheelchair accessible at this time. If you do have special needs please let us know and we will aim to accommodate.

13. How do I know if my dog needs private lessons or group classes?

Just give us a call. We are happy to help you decide which program will best fit you and your dog.