A blue merle dog with tan points runs through the field.

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 info@busydogtraining.com 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 info@busydogtraining.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. 

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.

In response to the new emergency order put forth by Dane County health officials, we will be requiring face masks for all clients ages 2 and up effective Thursday, August 19th until at least September 16. This does not currently affect our clients taking outdoor-only classes. 
We will have disposable face masks that you can have if you need them, please just let us know. 

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.




These policies are in place to help every student, canine and human, have the best possible experience. Thank you in advance for abiding by these guidelines and promoting a safe, welcoming, and enjoyable learning space for you and your fellow students. If you have questions about these policies or wish to discuss accommodation, please contact us by email (info@busydogtraining.com) or phone (608-423-5077) before registration.

                    COVID-19 Policies

Our COVID-19 policies are in place until further notice, though they are subject to change as additional rules or guidelines are established by government agencies.

  • Do not come to class if you, a family member, or a recent close contact is ill. We follow the recommendations of the Wisconsin Department of Health Services regarding quarantine and isolation dates and ask that you do the same.
  • Facemasks that cover the nose and mouth are required. 
  • Maintain 6 feet of distance from all participants, including the instructor.
  • Please minimize your contact with surfaces in the facility.

All Busy Dog employees are fully vaccinated and will wear face masks while instructing indoor classes. If you must cancel class attendance because of COVID-19 symptoms or exposure, please do so prior to the class meeting. Provided you cancel attendance in advance, we will credit you that enrollment.

Dogs Excused from Class

In the event that a group class proves an inappropriate learning environment for a dog/owner team, the team may be excused from class. If you and your dog are excused, you will be contacted by the office within 48 hours to discuss possible accommodations, arrangements, or recommendations. Inappropriate learning environments include but are not limited to those that require foundation skills the team cannot perform in the group class environment, or those that prompt uncontrolled, unpredictable, or potentially dangerous behaviors from the individual dog or owner. It is at the instructor’s discretion to determine whether the learning environment is not suitable.

Canceling Class Attendance

If you need to miss a class or two during the course of the session, 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. 

Online Classes

Enrollment in online classes may be canceled a maximum of 7 days after purchase; cancelations of online class enrollments received a maximum of 7 days after purchase will be refunded less a 4% processing fee. Cancelations received more than 7 days after purchase are not eligible for refunds.

Dogs in Heat

Dogs in heat may attend classes, though we do request as much notice as possible that your dog has gone into season. We ask that dogs in season wear sanitary pants in the building. We do recommend that dogs in standing heat not come to class, only because of the risk of an accidental breeding.

When we receive notice that a dog will be in heat, we will alert those enrolled in the class so they can prepare. It is important that we train our dogs to work through the distraction of a dog in season. “Boys will be boys” is not a useful mentality for humans or dogs.

Client or Client Dog Illness

Please do not attend class if you or your dog is ill. Please contact your veterinarian and do not attend class if your dog has vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, abnormal inappetence, fever, sneezing, coughing, unusual breathing (e.g. wheezing), discharge from eyes/nose/mouth, or any other unusual symptoms. Dogs diagnosed with kennel cough should wait at least 7 days after the last symptoms and receive written or verbal clearance from a veterinarian before returning to class.

Inclement Weather or External Factors

In the event of inclement weather or public health emergency, we will decide no later than 2 hours before the start of class whether we will cancel that meeting. Students will be notified by email/text and information will be posted to our social media accounts. A make-up date for the entire class will be set, to take place at the end of the session. 

Children in Class

Children are welcome to attend group classes under the supervision of an adult. Children under the age of 17 may not be the sole attendee and handler without prior approval.


Vaccinations must be current according to your veterinarian’s recommendations. Documentation of rabies and DHPP vaccinations or titers showing immunity are required.  We strongly recommend current bordetella and canine influenza vaccinations. You can upload these records as part of registration or bring documentation to class meetings.

Citizenship and Safety

Please clean up after your dog while on the premises. Dogs should be on 4–6′ non-retractable leashes in the parking lot and in the training space unless otherwise instructed.

For reasons related to safety and training, we recommend that dogs not greet on leash on the premises.

Training Tools and Methods

Dogs should attend class wearing flat (buckle) collars, martingale collars, standard harnesses, or gentle leaders. Choke or slip collars, prong collars, electric collars, or similar tools are not to be used in the parking lot, facility, or training space. Owners may be excused for failing to follow these guidelines or for employing forceful, aversive training methods while in the parking lot, facility, or training space.