Frequently Asked Questions
- How to Start
- Requirements for Training
- Training Methods
We are still offering dog training services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Notes are added throughout the website for additional information. Thank you for being flexible during this time and we truly appreciate your trust and understanding.
How to start a training program?
How to start a training program?
Should my dog start in group or private training?
Check out the Pick Your Program Guides on our Start Training page!
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 In-Person Group Training: The dog must be able to focus on the handler and take food in the presence of new dogs and new people in order to attend In-Person Group Classes. If the dog is reactive, excessively barky, fearful, or aggressive around dogs or people, they should start in a Virtual or Private Training program before working in a group setting.
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.
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 and Pick Your Program Guides on the Start Training page.
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, as long as they have had their first set of shots, they can come to classes in the Studio. Because the Studio is a controlled environment with small class sizes, the disease risk is very low. However, 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.
If you cannot complete all 5 weeks of Pre-K class before your puppy reaches 16 weeks old, still enroll in as many weeks as you can before they reach the age cap. This ensures that your puppy gets as much of a training foundation possible during their critical socialization window. All lectures are covered in the included online course, so you will still receive all course material even if your puppy ages out of the course.
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.
-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?
Puppies should have their first set of vaccinations prior to the start date of group classes 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. It is required that all clients update their vaccination information on their online account profile.
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 class with age restrictions is the Puppy Pre-K class (maximum age of 16 weeks). The other group classes have age suggestions, and private training is available for any dogs.
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 pea sized, high value treats to class. Treat pouches are recommended, but a sandwich 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. Who comes to class is up to the preferences of the client.
Where are classes held?
In-Person Group 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, group classes will be held in new locations, but owners will always receive notice via text or email prior to class time in these scenarios.
Private Training may be held in the Studio, virtually, or in the client's home, 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 and Puppy Parent Support Group), find the appropriate class level, and enroll in 5 consecutive weeks of class. If the schedule is full, the system will not allow more enrollments on those days.
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 home, in 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 purchase will go through 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 about 4-6 weeks 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. It depends on how often the training exercises are practiced in between sessions. Etc. 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 and password). To book & buy a Self-Study Course, create or login to your Client Portal, click "Book Now", click "New Self-Study Course", choose the desired course, quantity 1, and "Add to Cart". You will receive access to your course in your "Messages" 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 positive, rewards-based, science-based trainer. This means that positive reinforcement (typically with food reinforcers) is always the preferred method when teaching any type of animals new behaviors. Though occasionally there are negative consequences, like withholding good things, adding punishment is avoided. The main focus for positive trainers is teaching the animals how to make good choices, as opposed to being afraid of making mistakes.
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!