Our Saturday morning training classes at Wag ‘N Paddle are unique in design and offer a variety of options for any dog! Please read the blog post below written by Allie Bender (https://petharmonytraining.wordpress.com) to understand how to sign up and take advantage of these great classes and improve the relationship between you and your furry family member!
Pet Harmony Group Classes: Your Questions Answered
Pet Harmony is thrilled to be offering group classes at Wag ‘N Paddle! We’ve been getting a lot of questions about the unique format of these classes so let’s address them.
What are rolling admission, drop-in classes?
All Pet Harmony group classes are rolling admission, drop-in classes. “Rolling admission” means that you can start whenever; you do not need to wait for the next class session to start like in most locations. The only orientation is a video provided when you register. The orientation and “what to bring” videos can also be found on the Pet Harmony YouTube channel. “Drop-in” means that you only attend and pay for the dates you register for; you do not need to register for multiple consecutive dates at once. Our 24-hour cancellation policy allows you to save your money if you end up signing up for a date that ends up not working later on.
What’s the benefit of this format?
Our classes are designed with both you and your dog in mind. It’s difficult for the average dog parent to commit to a 6-week course and be able to attend each class. Each skipped class loses you money. Drop-in classes allow you to attend when you’re able and only pay for the classes you register for. The rolling admissions format means that you don’t have to wait to start attending a group class with your dog. Start as soon as you’re ready!
I like the 6-week format of other locations.
So do we. It takes a lot more than one class to learn how to work with a dog. Our Puppy Socialization, Impulse Control, and Skills 101 classes all have a 6-week curriculum. Dogs who complete all six weeks in one of those classes even earn a certificate of completion and get to graduate! Our Confidence & Relationship Building and Brain Busters classes are specialty classes that vary depending on the participants and do not have a 6-week curriculum.
Will I be lost if I skip a week and come back the following?
Nope! Our curricula are specifically designed around our rolling admission, drop-in format. Each week’s lesson is built on only the skills we learn that day. One week does not rely upon another unless the instructor knows what all participating dogs are capable of.
How do I know what we’re learning that week? I don’t want to attend a session that only teaches skills my dog knows.
The week-by-week curriculum can be found under each class description (if applicable) and both Wag ‘N Paddle and Pet Harmony staff have a copy of what week corresponds to which date. That said, learning requires more repetition than we expect so don’t let the lack of novelty discourage you! Speak with the instructor when you arrive and ask them to give you more advanced exercises based around the skills that are being taught that day.
I want to learn something not covered in one of these classes.
Group classes are designed for the needs of the majority and thus cover only basic skills and topics. If you’re looking for help with something specific to your dog and situation, we recommend scheduling a private in-home session. Aggression, fear, and reactivity (barking, lunging, growling) are not appropriate to work on in our group classes unless you have previous approval of a Pet Harmony instructor based on progress with your dog’s personal training plan. Pet Harmony is capable and competent at addressing aggression, fear, anxiety, and reactivity in private sessions.
How do I know if my dog is a group class candidate?
Group classes should not be stressful for you, your dog, or for the other participants. As such, there are a variety of canine issues that are not suited for a group class setting. Dogs who are group class candidates are those who are comfortable or tolerant of people and other dogs within 2-3 feet of them. Fearful and avoidance behaviors do not constitute comfort or tolerance. Dogs who are reactive (barking, lunging, growling) towards the majority of dogs and people are rarely group class candidates unless you have previous approval of a Pet Harmony instructor based on progress with your dog’s personal training plan. Dogs with pervasive fear issues are rarely group class candidates. Dogs who are fearful, reactive, or aggressive during class may be asked to leave early without a refund. Speak with a Pet Harmony staff member if you’re unsure if your dog is a candidate.
I’m still confused about the format.
That’s okay. Sometimes the best way to wrap your head around something new is to try it out and experience it for yourself. You’ll find that our classes feel a lot like the regularly-formatted classes but without the added pressure of needing to block out six weeks to attend.