POLICIES AND TERMS OF SERVICE
ON TIME START
We strive to start and end our classes on time. If you arrive early for your scheduled class, please wait patiently, without entering the facility, for your class to begin. If you arrive late, please ensure your dog is under control prior to entering the building so that you aren’t disrupting the dogs who are already working in class.
REGISTRATION, PAYMENT AND CANCELLATION
Full payment is required prior to or on the first day of class.
If you will be unable to complete a session (will miss more than one or two classes) you may request a credit for another class at Heavenly Hounds. There are, no refunds after the start of a given class session, only credits.
Heavenly Hounds Dog Training reserves the right to change pricing structure on any and all curriculums without obligation to refund existing registrants of those classes.
This payment policy is effective for both group and private class registrations.
Unless otherwise indicated, class will meet for 60 minutes.
Dogs must be current on Parvo/Distemper and Rabies vaccination as appropriate for the dog’s age. See our FAQ page for details.
We suggest that appropriate gear on the human should be worn at all times. We recommend closed toe shoes. For your safety, please no sandals or backless shoes, slippers, dress shoes, pumps, heels, etc.
Female dogs in heat may be allowed in certain classes at the discretion of the trainer. The dog will be required to wear sanitary pants during class. Please contact us if this is a concern.
We ask that both in the parking lot and inside of the Heavenly Hounds Training facility that you keep your dog(s) a generous distance from all other dogs, as we do not encourage on-leash greetings/interactions. The primary reasons are that 1) We don’t want dogs to practice dragging their owners over to greet other dogs (bad manners!) and 2) On-Leash greetings can be very stressful for dogs and can very quickly escalate into a bad situation even with the most seemingly friendly of dogs! For a more in depth explanation of this policy, please see our Leash Greeting Policy below.
Please toilet your dog before entering the training facility. Please allow time to toilet your dog before class so that you and your dog are ready to enter the training facility for an on-time start. Please be prepared to clean up after your dog outdoors and indoors.
Heavenly Hounds Dog Training encourages families to participate in dog training. We welcome all family members as long as they can remain seated and follow directions either from parents or the training instructor. We recommend brining a silent activity for your child to do. Persons under the age of 18 years old must be accompanied by an adult. Minor children are encouraged to join in on the training; However, adults should assume primary responsibility of the training for the duration of the class and invite their children to join in where and when appropriate. Only one handler should be working with the dog at any given time and the remaining family members should remain seated.
For each class you will need to have the following. Many of these items can be found in our STORE.
- Flat Collar: (buckle or Martingale style) and, if you prefer, a well-fitted traditional style harness can be added. Easy walk or other harnesses/head collars can be discussed on an as-needed basis.
- Leash: A 6-foot light-weight leather, nylon or biothane leash (no chain or retractable). All dangling items, rings, charms, poop bag holders should be removed so as not to distract the dog if they become an issue.
- Toys and/or treats: HIGH VALUE ($50-$100/hour level) toys and treats (see chart below)! Bring a few things in case what you thought was going to work doesn’t. Please avoid crumbly/crunchy cookie-type treats. For nose work classes: Sometimes, your usual food reward for other activities is not high enough value for nose work. We’ve found some of the following to be very motivating: Tuna, sardines, salmon, bleu cheese, ham hocks, sausages, mackerel, meatballs, liverwurst, and hot dogs.
- Treat pouch/bait bag: Please bring a wearable pouch (fanny pack can work in a pinch) or bait bag in which to put the food for easy access during training (no plastic baggies).
- Mat or blanket for your dog: Some dogs prefer to lay on a soft surface over the floor and may avoid settling down if they don’t have something to lay on.
- Hungry & Motivated Dog: Please either don’t feed your dog before the class, or feed a reduced meal so that your dog is hungry and motivated. Also, if you have a high energy dog, please don’t burn them out with a long hike or play session before the class.
Puppy classes only:
- Mat to Sit on: This one is for you, not your dog. Owners will be sitting on the floor (so long as they are physically able to do so) with their puppies and you may prefer something more comfortable than the floor.
- Brush: There will be time between exercises where you may want to practice getting your dog used to being brushed and groomed.
Make-up classes are not guaranteed. For our obedience classes we encourage you to email us with the following information: your name, your dog’s name, the class that you are enrolled in, and the week or class date that you missed/will miss. We will do our best to find a make-up class for you to attend but please understand we cannot guarantee a make-up and your make-up session may not be in sequence with the rest of your class (you may make up week 3 after you have already participated in your regularly scheduled week 4).
Make-up classes are limited to ONE per 6 week course.
Make-up classes are not available for all classes. Examples include, but are not limited to, our clinic classes and specialty classes like Agility Basics, Rally, Tricks, Therapy Dog, and Nose Work.
VIDEO AND PHOTO RELEASE
From time to time Heavenly Hounds Dog Training, will take photos and videos of our classes, events, and training sessions. I acknowledge that I, my dog, and my family may be included in class photos and videos which I authorize Heavenly Hounds Dog Training to use for any lawful purpose, such as advertising, publicity, illustration and web content. All photos and video will be the property of Heavenly Hounds Dog Training, LLC and subject to copyright.
Registrant understands that he/she may be excused from training classes/seminars/workshops at the discretion of the instructor for any reason, including but not limited to: failure to follow the facility rules, consistent unsafe handling, not following direction, disorderly conduct, animal or people abuse, extreme aggression or an uncontrollable dog. Should the Trainer or Owner terminate the training contract at any time prior to completion, all fees are non-refundable and non-transferable.
LEASH GREETING POLICY
We ask that both in the parking lot and inside of the Heavenly Hounds Training facility that you keep your dog(s) a generous distance from all other dogs. There are a variety of reasons why this has become our policy:
Leash work = teamwork
While the dogs in our classes are here for a variety of training goals, one of the most common complaints is that dogs pull on leash. If our human students allow their dogs to pull them towards the other dogs inside and outside of class, they are actually reinforcing the pulling behavior! The dog pulled and got rewarded with getting to visit the dog. This is counterproductive to our student’s training goals!
While we do think having doggie friends and off leash romps can be great, and we are not trying to discourage dogs from bonding with members of their own species; However, we want to make sure that our dogs are bonding to people during the critical socialization periods of their development to avoid potential behavior problems down the road. This is far more important with the world that we live in than having canine friends. At the end of the day, we want dogs to be our friends, and not drop us like hot potatoes every time they see another dog.
We encourage you to think of the leash as the signal to your dog that you are now working together. We want the leash to be the symbol of a strong bond and foundation with our dog which will result in eye contact and a loose leash. We want you to be the most interesting and fun aspect of your dog’s life so that they will always choose you over any canine they come across.
Not all dogs want to meet new dogs!
While some dogs would probably be ok meeting new dogs on leash, it doesn’t mean the dog they want to go visit will be receptive of that approach. Just as not all humans are interested in making new friends while in line at the grocery store, many dogs are simply not interested in greeting every dog they come across. Similarly, some dogs will be flat out irritated or stressed with a dog coming towards them and often those signs of stress are easy to miss. While the initial greeting may seem ok, it can very quickly escalate into a fight if one dog feels trapped (common since they are on leash and have nowhere to go) or frustrated that the other dog didn’t hear or see their signals that they didn’t want to be greeted (often indicated by posture, lip licking, looking away and other body language which may or may not include growling or barking).
At Heavenly Hounds we are proud to offer and entire class, called Peace Walks, for dogs that are reactive to other dogs on leash. This is an incredibly common issue and can be directly caused, in some cases, by on leash greetings. Some of our students who have graduated from our Peace Walks class go on to attend other regular group classes (a testament to their hard work and dedication to their dogs!) but their dogs will always be more sensitive to dogs running up to them. We ask that all of our students be respectful of their hard work.
What if my dog is friendly and loves to meet new dogs?
“Friendly” dogs that love to greet on leash may not be perceived as such by the other dog on the receiving end. While you see an excited dog pulling to get to a possible new friend for an impromptu play date, the other dog might be seeing a stranger aggressively approaching (because they are straining forward on the leash)! In going back to the grocery store example: you might be willing to say a casual hello to someone in line with you at the store, but you are WAY LESS likely to be receptive to someone running down the aisle yelling “HELLO NEW FRIEND! I WANT TO COME TO YOUR HOUSE FOR DINNER TONIGHT!” Keep that in mind when you are out for walks with your dog. Even the most patient and friendly dogs in the world don’t want to meet every overly excited dog they come across. At some point it won’t be fun anymore and that can lead to some serious behavior problems, including leash reactivity. We strive for all our canine students to be social (capable of being in the same environment, if not actually playing) with other dogs but we do not want them to be dependent on them! We want you to always be #1 in your dog’s mind.