Contact Us at Wag'N'Train
The best way to reach the Wag'N'Train office is by e-mail:
but for an even faster answer to your questions, please see the list below!
sent in a registration. Am I in the class?
I come observe classes?
you train with a clicker, do you always need one to make your dog obey
Current students' questions
The office's mailing address is:
Please note that there are no classes at this location.
We currently do not have a working fax system, sorry.
The best way to reach the office is by e-mail: email@example.com. The office is often only staffed at odd hours. Current clients are given Stacy's personal cell phone number.
Registration is complete with a registration form AND a payment. You will receive a confirmation letter (via e-mail in most cases) once your registration is complete and processed. For more information, see the Registration page here.
You need to fill out a registration form and send in a payment for your place in class to be guaranteed. Before your dog or puppy attends class, we need to see proof that your dog has been vaccinated against canine parvovirus (positive blood titer tests are welcomed).
The prices are listed on the class page here. You can pay with a check or with a credit card through Paypal. You do not need to register with Paypal in order to use their service. More information on payment is found on the Registration page.
The prices are listed on the class page here. You can pay with a check or cash at our first meeting - you do not need to pre-pay for Private Lessons. At the initial evaluation you will be asked to sign a waiver/contract, which includes the following: There will be no refund of monies after the first private consultation. Appointments that are canceled with less than 72 hours notice will be counted as a session that has been paid for, and a new session will be rescheduled with a full additional fee so that the entire training program can be followed. it is important that the sessions be scheduled on a consistent basis and in a timely manner. Repeated cancellations by the dog's owner which result in failure to complete program within three months from date of initial consultation may be construed as a termination. If during this period two (2) months pass with no contact from client, Stacys WagNTrain is relieved from any further obligation and any fees paid shall remain non-refundable.
We're sorry to say that we do not have a working fax system at this time.
The records we need to see is the one showing your dog has been vaccinated against canine parvovirus. This is often given in a cocktail of vaccines and is usually abbreviated on your vet's records as "DHLPP" or "5-in-1" (although some researchers recommend against against giving your dog multiple vaccinations at once). We do not need a separate sheet showing proof of rabies vaccination. Puppies do NOT need to have completed their vaccinations, but they need to be current on them. By the time they start Puppy Kindergarten class, they should have had at least two of their series of shots. Adult dogs do not need to repeat shots except as required by law - we will be happy to accept a blood titer test showing that your dog is carrying the immunity to Parvo. You may choose to also get your dog or puppy vaccinated against bordetella or "kennel cough", which is a highly communicable minor disease similar to the common cold which human children often get from daycare or school, but this vaccination is not required for class.
Frankly, puppy owners are in a bind. Some vets will advise you to keep your puppy away from all other dogs until their shot series is complete - they are worried about the dog's physical health. In particular, they are worried about the disease canine parvovirus, which can be fatal in small dogs or young puppies. Dog trainers and behaviorists, on the other hand, are worried about the dog's behavioral health. In particular, we are worried about fear aggression, in which dogs who do not get comfortable with meeting new dogs (or people) can develop a type of fear towards them that can result in aggression. And recently the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior (AVSAB) came out with a Position Paper which states that "puppies can start [socialization and training class] as early as 7-8 weeks of age. Puppies should receive a minimum of one set of vaccines at least 7 days prior to the first class and a first de-worming, and should be kept up-to-date on vaccines throughout the class" (see here).
This fear or aggression from lack of socialization can be severe enough to keep the dog from enjoying a normal doggy life, and can even be severe enough to be fatal - more dogs are put to sleep in our country due to behavior issues than to health issues. So you puppy owners, you need to make a decision - should you risk exposing your puppy to a disease he may not have sufficient immunity towards yet, or should you risk missing your puppy's critical periods of socialization while relying on his inborn friendly temperament?
Another concern is that your puppy might be learning bad habits now that will only get harder for you to change the longer you wait to be advised on it. Either way, puppy training class can help you set the best foundation for happy, comfortable, mentally-healthy dog who is welcomed around your "pack".
We of course recommend that you take your puppy to class to get the socialization, but if you have concerns, you may wish to discuss with your vet how prevalent parvo is in our area right now, and how much risk your particular dog or breed generally has. If you got your dog from a breeder, you may want to discuss the breedline's temperament and risk of fear and fear-aggression.
Please note that since our business started, we have never had a puppy or dog contract parvo from our classes. Our classes are in spaces that are kept clean, and all of our students are screened for disease.
See the Whole Dog Journal's article on preventing Parvo for more information on how to keep your pup healthy and safe during their early weeks, an article from the Association of Pet Dog Trainers here, letters from Veterinarian Dr. Anderson here and from Veterinarian Dr. Yin here, "Myth #1" from the Journal of Veterinary Medicine here, and a roundtable-style discussion of the benefits of puppy class from the journal Veterinary Medicine here.
Please check the Classes page: look at the "updated" date to see if it's the last day or so (you may need to click on "refresh" or "reload" on your browser in order to see the most updated page). If there is no note after the class you want that says there are only a few spaces left, or that it is full, then there is probably space available. If it says there are only a few spaces available, I urge you to submit your registration and pay via Paypal - because if you don't, someone else might do so and get that spot! I will be happy to refund your payment if the class does fill up before your payment is received.
Absolutely, we highly encourage you to! Usually there is a class running in the same time slot as the one you are interested in, but e-mail us to confirm the time and location of our current classes. Please arrive on time and introduce yourself to the instructor, and please do not bring your dog with you to observe class.
You come to class with your dog. Class time is the opportunity for you to learn how to train your dog. Our job is to teach you the skills you need to train your dog to behave the way you want him or her to. We may (with your permission) "borrow" your dog for demonstrations or to try to figure out a problem you're having, but we believe it's important for the dog to learn from you.
Absolutely, we encourage the entire family to attend classes. All family members are welcome to come to class. Young children must be accompanied by an adult in addition to the adult who is handling the dog. Children eight years and under should not be handling the dog in class. Please be responsible for your children's behavior, and do not allow them to distract other students. Bring something quiet for them to do if you think they may become bored during an hour-long class.
Our basic manners class covers "Sit", "Down", "Come", "Stay", and "Leave it" ("off") as well as teaching the dogs to walk on a loose leash, wait at doors without dashing out, greet people and other dogs politely, and allow physical handling. We also address housetraining, biting, chewing, digging, barking, jumping up, and problem solving. We answer all your questions about dog behavior, and the dogs will get some chances to socialize — one of the most important factors for a well-behaved, happy dog. Complete class descriptions are found here.
Puppy Socials (offered by some other schools, daycares or other facilities) are a puppy playtime session, with some supervision, but little or no formal instruction. There is usually no "training" involved. In contrast, the Puppy Kindergarten class is a 6-week series of sessions that progress through a basic training program. Kindergarten starts with an orientation and then each week's training exercises build on the previous weeks. You must pre-register for the Kindergarten class and you should expect to attend all six weeks.
Puppies and their owners are encouraged to attend both - Kindergarten for training of commands, some socialization, and some discussion of problem solving, and Play Socials for additional socialization. See the Events Page for ongoing "Puppy Social" or "Puppy Playgroup" opportunities.
Yes, we describe how to deal with these common puppy issues in our Puppy class, and if requested, in the older dog Level 1 class as well. We cannot actually practice most of them in class but we give you the tools for solving them. We start discussing problem-solving in Level 1 and continue it in the other levels. (For advice right now on how to deal with these issues, see the Training Tips page.)
For Companion Dog: Level 1 and Puppy Kindergarten, the first class is an orientation with lecture, discussion, and demonstration, without your dog attending. The remaining sessions are with your dogs, as you learn to become your dog's trainer and you both learn to become dependable companions to each other. Most of the other classes start with the dogs present for all classes.
We have some of the smallest class sizes around! There is usually 4-6 dogs per class, and often there is an assistant or two in each class.
Absolutely - dogs learn hand signals more easily than they do voice commands, so we teach both in our basic classes - even though hand signals are often described as "advanced training"! We will teach the "standard" commands commonly used, but we encourage students to use whatever commands they are most comfortable with, whether it is in a language other than English or your own special hand signal.
Clicker Training Questions
No. The clicker is a tool to used to "install" the training; it is not something you need throughout the dog's life to "make" the dog listen. The clicker tells the dog what he has done correctly, and that he is getting a reward. The clicker tells the dog why he's getting the reward. It does not tell the dog what to do.
While in training we pair a clicker with a reward (usually a food treat), you also do not need to have a treat in order for the dog to obey you. In fact, we will teach you ways to train your dog to not rely on knowing you have a treat first!
Absolutely. The clicker tells the dog what he has done correctly, and that he is getting a reward. The clicker tells the dog why he's getting the reward. It does not tell the dog what to do. The thing that tells the dog what to do is the cue that you give, such as the command "sit" or a "sit" hand-signal (or a whistle, or any other cue you might choose). (This question is kind of like asking if the dog will respond to regular commands if you use a leash in training!)
Most pet stores carry them - you may have to ask, they're small. If you want to order on online, try SitStay.com.
Please see our Clicker Training page.
Current students' questions
Absolutely. Contact your me and I will send you a new copy. (And I won't laugh if you tell me your dog ate it. Well, not too hard!)
The first week of class, orientation, is the most important! If you know ahead of time that you will be unable to attend the orientation, please notify us as soon as possible to make other arrangements, or notify us one week before the first class session to receive a refund. Students who miss their scheduled orientation (without making prior arrangements) are assumed to have dropped out of the class, and will forfeit their class fee. The space will be given to a student on the waiting list. If you miss a session (other than orientation) please contact the trainer to discuss what was covered. Our classes are designed to be taught as a series; therefore, drop-ins are not permitted. There will be no refund of monies or rescheduling of classes after the first night of class.
Copyright 2002 Stacy's Wag'N'Train