FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions on what class to choose

  • Puppy Socializing and Manners class is for healthy PUPPIES over 12 weeks. 
  • No it is not enough socializing if you pup has met your other dog, your friends dog and extended family.
  • Those under 11 weeks should do a private session for potty training, biting nipping and chewing issues.
  • Healthy puppies from 11 weeks to 5 months with at least 2 sets of vaccines, has no parasites, should join a Puppy Socializing and Manners class.
  • If your under 5 months pup has already been socialized with 25 different people and dogs (varied colors, ages, sizes, smells... and not just the ones you live with) you may be ok without a puppy class, now keep it up and continue exposure until at least 2 years old.
  • Remember socializing is super important, if your pup left the litter and mom early, under 8 weeks.
  • If you don't need help with biting, nipping, chewing, socializing and potty training... it is ok to skip puppy class and start with Beginner Obedience.
  • For Beginner Obedience Your pup should be at least 3 months and have 3 sets of shots. Sometimes financial reasons prevent students from doing both courses, if you need to choose between these levels, Beginner obedience is the most crucial
  •  If you have already dealt with the above puppy issues, including socializing, do Beginner obedience.
  • If you have an older pup, or are still having biting, nipping, chewing and potty training issues, schedule a private session;  AND enroll in a beginner group!
  • Start with Beginner if you have an adult dog, or pup that is friendly with people and dogs, and you haven't done a class yet, but are past the puppy issues.  Puppy class doesn't replace beginner, it is a supplement.
  • Pick beginner level, even if you have a little training already!  You and your dog will need to learn how we train in general to do our classes and be able to keep up.
  • Choose a private session if:
    • your dog has a socializing, training or behavior problem not covered in the classes
    • you only need help in a specific area
    • you just need to get up to speed on our techniques to participate in class
    • your dog is not friendly to other dogs or people
  • Dogs in group class must not show any aggression toward dogs or people, even in Growly group.
    • Reactive dogs (barking and lunging on leash at dogs, but not necessarily aggressive) must do private first.
    • If you were referred to us by a known trainer who has recommended our classes as part of your ongoing training (potentially a Growly class) then we may consider your enrollment without a private session.
  • You are sure your dog is intermediate level or higher, even though you haven't taken our classes:
    • You may register for the appropriate levelBUT you must understand how to train using an event marker/clicker and fade rewards.  If you need to get that part first you may opt for a private session to fill in the 'holes'... We hope this will help you decide how to choose!
  • Tricks Levels - the levels are designed to do in order but if your dog already knows most of the tricks in level one there is no reason not to do level 2!  If you want to do a different level, feel free to join the one you like
  • Nosework Levels - These classes are progressive.  Once they begin students often continue with the group for months unless we dont have enough continuing on to have a group, Then, those students move to the next logical place to complete their training and we add a group.  We only do two classes a week, so if you miss one starting, it is worth it to do some private to catch up with the group, if it just began and there is room.  If not, get on the mailing list for updates!
  • We have a business address in Tarzana and Port Hueneme but both are only for mailing... we dont have a store front that you can drop in on... but we are happy to have you come watch a class without your dog if we know in advance you are coming or do an over the phone or in person evaluation if one is needed for determining if your dog is aggressive with dogs or if we need to determine training abilities.

MORE General Frequently Asked Questions:

  • Group classes are weekly (4 or 6 weeks) same day and time and location each week, except our traveling class for Advanced Lifeskills!
  • Pay for class or private session,or purchase a gift certificate, by credit card directly thru this website by clicking pay for class and it will instruct you what to do.
  • Private sessions can be anywhere in our service area that you like.
  • We are the difficult dog specialist but your dog doesn't have to be aggressive to train with us!
  • You do not have to do a group, we are happy to do private training for anything, group class is not required.
  • Outdoor groups are very distracting, especially at the parks! pick the class that fits your dog's personality best.
  • If you have a nervous dog, best choose an indoor option UNLESS your dog is more fearful indoors, then pick the outdoor class.
  • It is NOT a good idea to socialize your aggressive dog in a group class, we need to do private training first to help you get control of your reactive dog.  Dogs that actually bite people or dogs don't belong in a group, we work with them privately all the time to help them get some skills in public and help you with safety and prevention.
  • Exposing your dog to something he/she finds super scary or overwhelming is NOT a good idea.  It is never good to put them in a position that will overwhelm them to "get them used to it".  Usually a slow, gradual approach is best.
  • Adult dogs can be trained, it is not too late.
  • We can help you with your Puppy before 11 weeks, or he gets enrolled in a group, set up a private session.
  • All the areas where we work have leash laws.  Dogs must be on leash at all times except in designated off leash areas, or designated dog parks.  We want to help you have reliable training if you dog accidentally gets off leash, but we don't condone dogs being off leash except in proper areas.
  • You are responsible for your dogs behavior, even on leash.  If it bites, jumps up on, or paws at someone, you are responsible.  Even if you dog gets to close to someone who is afraid of dogs and the panic and fall, you can be held responsible.
  • We do not condone "fake" service dog training, so you can take your dog with you everywhere you go!  Service dogs provide a valuable service to those who require them. PLEASE, DON'T RUIN IT!  Dogs who work in public must be friendly with people and dogs, but should not socialize with them at all when working.  Should never chase other animals, bicycles, skateboards, etc. Service dogs don't pee and poop in public while they are working, but wait to be taken to a designated area to relieve themselves on a schedule.  They dont eat stuff off the ground, pull on the leash, jump up on people, bark or aggressively protect their owners. Service dogs are impeccably trained in obedience skills and will not listen to strangers. Service dogs are kept on the ground and never on a chair at a table in a restaurant,  or in a basket at the market.  Some businesses request you put your dog in a shopping cart, that is OK when requested.  You must have a doctor prescribe you a service dog, in most cases.  You can get vests on line just about anywhere ... YES, everyone knows it, including the businesses you frequent.  Now days, most people are not usually questioned if your dog follows the rules above, and it is not a business that serves food or posts no pets.
  • We help students with legitimate service dog training and emotional support dog training, for appropriate candidates.  A service dog must provide a service for the owner.  An emotional support dog is a dog that provides comfort for the owner, and is not considered a "service dog."  In other words, businesses are not "required" to allow you in with them.  The actual rules are a bit fuzzy on this one. A doctors note suffice in most cases for either dog. But, if you dog DOESNT ACT LIKE A SERVICE DOG, people will question.  We can help.
  • Therapy dogs are dogs that visit the elderly, ill, or infirm and help cheer them up!  We train LOTS of Therapy dogs and, once your dog is trained, we can refer you some places to get on a "team".  It is such an important way to volunteer and enjoy others and your dog!
  • We do quarterly AKC CGC testing all levels, and it is open to the public or as a culmination of our groups.  We also offer and test for AKC Tricks levels and certifications.