Hearts and Paws
Together for Life
Class Success Guidelines
If your class is scheduled within 3 hours of your dog's meal time, feed 1/3 to 1/2 of her regular meal; bring the rest to class mixed with pea-sized soft treats. Things that have a strong scent are the most effective. Having a tool apron or fanny pack to hold your treats frees your hands for training.

In class 5, we will be integrating toys as rewards. In the fourth class, we will discuss how to condition a "game" with your dog at home.

For new Puppy Start classes, we require proof of your puppy's vaccinations. You can bring a paper copy to the first class or you can email a copy to mail.heartsandpaws@gmail.com prior to your first class.

We generally work the dogs on buckle collars that they wear at home. A leash that is cotton-web or leather is more comfortable than nylon. No flexi-leads please. For dogs that are strong pullers, we recommend Easy Walkers or Gentle Leaders. These will be demonstrated at the first class.

Wear clothes that are comfortable and closed-toe shoes. Sandals, shoes with heels, and boots tend to inhibit the movement needed.

The first 4 weeks of training are the most critical for developing habits in the dog and the trainer. Commit 20-30 minutes a day to practice the exercises taught in class. This time can be divided into 2-3 mini-sessions in the beginning. To insure success later, you will need to take your dog on field trips in order to generalize and perfect your commands. Much of your training happens in the way you relate to your dog in daily life. Respect for your leadership and success in training will follow consistent reinforcement.

CHILDREN under 6 years need to have an additional adult for supervision during the class. Children 6 years and older may participate in puppy classes. For Basic classes, we ask that the children be 8 years and older. Children under 14 years need to be accompanied by an adult. Family members unable to attend classes are not to command or train the dog at home until the commands are mastered.

Make-ups are required for any missed session. If you know that you are going to miss a session, we suggest you stay after class the week before missing and learn the missed material. If you miss a lesson for other reasons, we ask that you call and schedule a make-up to review the missed material. Generally, these make-ups are held 30 minutes prior to your next class. We need to know if you are coming in order to prepare for someone to review with you. We offer boarding and training services if you are going out of town, which is another great way to stay on-track. 

Classes are effective for most dogs and owners. If you are struggling with a problem, please call and we will help you as soon as possible. Some problems are better served in a private lesson format. When you call, please leave your name and phone number so we can schedule a session with you.

Training can be a chore or an adventure in discovery with another living being. We hope to be a part of enhancing your relational success with your four-legged friend. Please call us at 249-7255 for any questions or assistance.

If classes are to be postponed for any reason, we will contact you via phone or e-mail by 6 p.m. the day your class is scheduled.