Frequently Asked Questions
- How to Start
- Requirements for Training
- Training Methods
We are still offering dog training services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Thank you for being flexible during this time and we truly appreciate your trust and understanding.
1. How to start a training program?
1. How to start a training program?
Should my dog start in group or private training?
For Group Training: the Group Training Courses cover a set syllabus to give you the best foundation for the typical well-behaved family dog. We highly recommend going through the Group Courses with new puppies, as well as dogs needing the basics to get them started. These sessions meet on a set schedule, so make sure that you are able to commit to all 5 classes per course when choosing the Group Training program.
For Private Training: This program works well for owners with specific training needs. This may be that the dog has aggressive, fearful, reactive, or anxious behavior that would be better addressed in a private setting, or maybe that the owner only wants to focus the time on specific issues rather than on all the skills covered in a group course syllabus. Private Training also has a flexible schedule, so you can book sessions when they are convenient for you.
I got a new puppy, where do I start!?
Enroll in Puppy Pre-K right away! Classes fill up quickly so it's best to save your spot as soon as possible! Check out our Puppy Training page for more details about the ideal puppy training program.
When can my puppy start classes? Should I wait until they are vaccinated before starting classes?
It is highly recommended that puppies start in the Puppy Pre-K course as early as possible, ideally between 8-12 weeks old. Even if the puppy is not finished with vaccinations, they can (and should) start training. Waiting to start puppy classes until after the vaccinations are completed will result in puppies that are not properly socialized before 12 weeks of age, significantly increasing the likelihood of developing behavior issues as they mature.
Also, puppies can start with Private Training and Virtual Training at any age! You can even start in a training program before bringing your new puppy home! Check out our Puppy Info page for more tips for your puppy training program.
How do Virtual Training Sessions work?
Once you purchase Virtual Training Sessions, you will receive detailed directions via email for how to set up your video conference calls.
-For Virtual Training, click this link to learn how to prepare for sessions and how the to train your dog through a virtual platform.
-For Online Self-Study Courses, click this link to enroll directly in the course of your choice and get started at your convenience.
Requirements for training?
Requirements for training?
What vaccinations are required for training?
Vaccinations are only required for In-Person services, however, you will be prompted to enter vaccine information when you create your Client Portal.
Puppies should have their first set of vaccinations prior to the start date of In-Person Training to give them some immunological protection. At 16 weeks of age, puppies should receive their final DHPP vaccine, and by 6 months of age, they should receive their Rabies vaccine. Adult dogs (over 6 months) are required to be current on vaccines or present titer results excusing the dog from receiving the DHPP or Rabies vaccine.
Is my dog too old to start training?
No dog is too old to be trained. The earlier the dog starts a training program, the better, but any age is still acceptable. The only services with age restrictions are the Puppy Pre-K class (up to 4 months old) and the AfterSchool Program (up to 5 months old). The other group courses have age suggestions, and private training is available for any age.
What should I bring to classes?
Please bring a collared and leashed dog to class. Retractable leashes, prong collars, choke chains, and/or E-collars (shock collars) are not appropriate for class. Instead, please bring the dog on a 4-6ft leash and standard buckle collar. Body harnesses and/or head halters (Gentle Leader) are preferred. Also, please bring many high value treats to class sessions. Treat pouches are recommended, but a sandwich sized or quart sized ziplock full of treats will also work. Additionally, bringing a high value chewie, like a bully stick or stuffed Kong, will help keep dogs busy during the lecture portion of class. Check out our Recommended Products. If you are enrolled in Virtual Training read through our Prepare for Virtual info page.
Can I bring other family members/children to training?
Yes! We highly recommend bringing all of the adults who work with the dog regularly to the training sessions. This allows for everyone to receive the information and be on the same page when working with the dog. It is up to the parents discretion as to whether or not bringing the kids to class will be beneficial. The hour class session is about 70% lecture and 30% hands on practice. Adults should always do most of the hands on training while the dog is learning, then the children can practice with the dog for a few minutes per exercise. Some parents feel that the kids may be a distraction for them and/or the dog, others prefer that the children are involved in the sessions.
Social Distancing Protocol: please contact us for permission to bring more than 2 people to any in-person training session or Monthly Social. In order to maintain appropriate social distance for the session location, there may limits on the number of people attending a session.
Where are classes held?
In-Person Training will be held at the Pawsitively Trained Studio (20345 SW Pacific HWY #106, Sherwood, OR 97140). The Studio is in between Progressive Fitness and Paws for Elegance. On occasion, sessions will be held in new locations, but owners will always receive notice via text or email prior to class time in these scenarios.
Training Walks require the trainer to take the dog without the owner. The doggie handoff is generally at the Pawsitively Trained Studio, but may be at the client's home or in public, if the trainer approves those locations.
Private Training may be held in the virtually or in the Studio, depending on the type of private session purchased.
Virtual Training is held via ZOOM video conferencing. Check out our Prepare for Virtual info page!
How do I schedule sessions?
To schedule Group Training: create or login to your Client Portal, click "Book Now", click "New Group Training Reservation" (this includes Group Courses and supplemental group programs, like the AfterSchool Program, Monthly Socials, and Pet Parent Support Group). Select the desired Group Training option, select the dates, and progress through the enrollment prompts. If the schedule is full, the system will not allow more enrollments on those days. If booking a Group Course, be sure to enroll in 5 consecutive sessions.
To schedule Private Training: create or login to your Client Portal, click "Book Now", click "New Private Training Reservation" or "New Training Walk Reservation" (depending on desired service), then choose dates and times through the scheduler. Private training is held in the Studio, or virtually.
Once you submit your training request: our team will review the request and upon approval, email you a confirmation with "Details" for your upcoming session. Your payment will be processed once your request is confirmed.
When do group courses start?
Since Group Courses are on a rotating schedule, there is no Week #1. Group Courses can be started anytime there is availability. Once started, be sure to enroll in 5 consecutive weeks to receive all 5 topics.
Topics always are held in the same rotation: Positions, Out & About, Impulse Control, Come & Calm, Social Skills. If your first session lands on Impulse Control, for example, then Impulse would be Week #1 and Out & About would be Week #5.
What if I can't make it to a class or private session?
For Group Courses: it is important to attend all 5 class sessions in a row. Always notify us via text or email if you are unable to make it to a scheduled class session. There are no makeup sessions for missed Group classes, but the included Self-Study material thoroughly covers every class lecture. If Kelsey needs to cancel a class for any reason, you will be rescheduled to another time.
For Private Sessions: please notify us via text or email if the session needs to be cancelled. Keep in mind that the schedule fills up in advance, so it may take time to reschedule a session.
Review the Cancellation, No Show, and Return policies in the Agreements section of your Client Portal.
Can I attend group classes on different days of the week if it's the same class level?
Unfortunately, the topic schedules are different in the different class offerings throughout the week. The best way to receive the 5 topics is to take the classes at the same time and weekday for 5 consecutive weeks.
How often should I book private training?
Ideally, sessions are on a recurring schedule every two-three weeks. This provides enough time in between sessions to practice but still keeps up with a consistent schedule. Since every situation is different, weekly sessions or monthly sessions may be more appropriate. The flexibility of private training allows for many different options to best fit the needs of each client.
How long will it take to train my dog?
It depends! It depends on the training goals for the dog. It depends on the training foundation the dog starts out with and the training foundation the owner starts out with. It depends on how often the training exercises are practiced in between sessions. Etc.
Example: For dogs that are appropriate for group classes, we recommend starting in Puppy Pre-K and continuing through the 300 level courses - this would take around 6 months to a year to complete.
How do I access the online courses?
Check out the Course Catalog to view online course options. If you have purchased a Group Course, you have free included access to the corresponding Online Self-Study course (you will receive an access link). To enroll in a Self-Study Course, create or login to your Client Portal, click "Book Now", click "Membership & Self-Study Courses", choose the desired option, quantity 1, and "Add to Cart". You will receive access to the Pawsitively Trained Online platform shortly after purchase.
I am trying to "Book Now" but it is not working?
Often, if your pet and owner information is not updated, you will not be able to enroll in new services. Make sure to double check if there are any to-do items listed on your "Home" page in your client portal.
Do you use prong collars, chains, or shock collars for training?
No. These tools are not needed to create behavior change and have a successful training program. Because these tools are not necessary, Kelsey feels that it would be unethical to promote the use of these products.
Do you use clickers for training?
Clickers are allowed and even encouraged, though Kelsey does not typically use a clicker in training sessions. Kelsey uses a verbal marker ("yes") instead of a click, so the clicker training method is the same, but the clicker itself is not needed in class.
What style of training do you do?
Kelsey is a rewards-based, science-based Certified Trainer and Family Dog Mediator. This means that positive reinforcement (usually with food reinforcers) is typically the chosen method when teaching animals new behaviors. Though occasionally there are negative consequences, like withholding good things, adding punishment is avoided. The main focus will be to set the animal and human team up for success, and teach the animal how to make good choices. This is preferred over methods that set the animal up to make mistakes in order to apply a "correction". We want the animal to learn what to do not what not to do.
My dog does (_____________), is that something you work on?
Kelsey has worked with hundreds of dogs and a plethora of behavior challenges over the years. Dogs who are fearful, reactive, aggressive, anxious, over excited, hard to control, etc. are all welcome to sign up for training. Kelsey highly recommends having a thorough vet check before starting a training program to rule out any potential health factors. Things like allergies, intestinal issues, endocrine issues, pain issues, etc. can all effect behavior and should be addressed prior to starting a training program.
Please contact us with any questions, comments, or concerns! Congratulations on helping your pup become Pawsitively Trained!