Frequently Asked Questions
Does “rewards-based training” mean I will always have to use treats with my dog?
Not at all! The rewards create the motivation to keep performing new behaviors your dog learns; that means they develop a strong foundation much more quickly. Part of the process of using rewards-based training is to “fade” or use less of the reward as your dog becomes better at performing the behavior. Using frequent rewards at the beginning of the training process means your dog has great feelings about new behaviors from the start, making them happier to learn and happier about doing that specific behavior later on when you don’t have any treats with you.
Moreover, most dogs benefit from a variety of rewards or reinforcers: toys, play, and opportunity to sniff are also very popular among our canine friends. We are very happy to help you figure out what works best for your dog in different contexts!
Can my children come to class?
Yes , children are very welcome to attend group classes! Having kids participate in learning, training, and relationship-building with your canine companion is an excellent way to make sure your household stays on the same page. If you bring one or more children under the age of 10, we ask that a second supervising adult come to promote a positive and safe learning environment for everyone; please contact us in advance if you need to borrow a supervising adult and we will try to help! See our policies below for more information about children and minors at class.
My dog is nervous around people or other dogs, but I really want to socialize them. Can we come to class?
That depends a bit on your individual dog. Group classes can be stressful for some dogs and may not be the most appropriate venue for changing their feelings about that pressure. Some dogs thrive in the structured environment and develop excellent focus on their people. If you are at all unsure, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 608-423-5077 to discuss your dog’s behavior prior to registering. Please see our policies below for more information about dogs who are uncomfortable in class.
Do you require vaccinations?
In the interest of dog health and wellness, dogs attending group classes must be current on DHPP and rabies vaccines or provide titers showing immunity. We provide instructions for sharing documentation before you begin class. We strongly recommend your dog be current on bordetella and canine influenza vaccines to mitigate the risks associated with groups of dogs sharing space. Puppies under the age of 6 months must be on schedule with their veterinarian’s protocol; puppies over 6 months must be fully vaccinated.
My dog is not spayed or neutered; can we come to class?
Yes, provided you can ensure that no unwanted interaction occurs between intact dogs. Female dogs in season may attend with some limitations (see policies below), though we do recommend they stay home during standing heat. Dogs in season are an excellent training opportunity for other dogs in the class (talk about distraction!), but standing heat is risky. Please email email@example.com for more information.
My dog is sick or I am sick. Can we come to class?
Please do not come to class in the event of canine or human illness. If you, one of your family members, or one of your recent close contacts is a probable or confirmed COVID-19 case, we ask that you abide by the Dane County Health Department’s quarantine and isolation guidelines.
If you need to miss a class or two during the course of the session (due to illness or otherwise), we’ve got your back! Our instructors will email weekly class summaries with ideas for how to advance the topics covered during the week at home. When you’re able to come back to class, we will make sure to get you caught up.
At this time, we cannot offer reimbursement or make-up classes for cancellations not due to COVID-19.
What are you doing to stay safe from COVID-19?
All Busy Dog staff are fully vaccinated and will be masked while teaching indoor classes.
Shared surfaces will be cleaned thoroughly and regularly. As above, if you are or have been in close contact with a probable or confirmed COVID-19 case, please stay home.
Our instructors will wear masks for the duration of their work with your dog and practice good hand sanitation.
To succeed in class, my dog and I require accommodations. Can you help?
We want class to be accessible. Our intake forms have space for accommodation requests, and we more than welcome questions before you register or attend class. Please do be in touch.