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COVID-19 Updates – May 2021

Much has changed since our last COVID-related blog post! Here is an updated summary of our services and what safety measures we currently have in place at Crossbones.

Mask & Social Distancing Policy

Everyone is required to wear masks inside Crossbones through May 31st, 2021. This will give our team members an opportunity to get vaccinated and develop immunity. As of June 1st, team members and clients may go maskless inside Crossbones in accordance with state and CDC guidelines. At this time, this means that if you are unvaccinated, you must continue wear a mask inside Crossbones even after June 1st. We will continue to socially distance during training classes and appointments. If you are in a private lesson and would prefer that your trainer wear a mask, just ask! We recognize that not everyone can be vaccinated, and that some of our clients are at higher risk for COVID, and we are happy to take this step if it makes you more comfortable.

Private Dog Training

Private dog training lessons are available for all dogs, regardless of age or behavior problem. We are currently offering private lessons at our facility, both indoors and outdoors, as well as remotely, via FaceTime or Zoom video conferencing. Due to increased demand for our services, we are no longer traveling to clients’ homes for dog training appointments. Not only does this keep our team members safer, it allows us to help more dogs each day.

Flex Classes

All classes take place inside of our 8000 square foot training facility. Wednesday night manners […]

By |2021-05-26T18:15:28+00:00May 26, 2021|Uncategorized|Comments Off on COVID-19 Updates – May 2021

What to Expect at Your Dog’s Educational Daycare Evaluation

Curious about what to expect when you sign your dog up for an Educational Daycare evaluation at Crossbones? Here is what you can expect, and what our team members are looking for from you and your dog.

Getting Started

The evaluation starts as soon as you and your dog arrive at Crossbones. Educational Daycare attendees must be under their owner’s control in the parking lot and lobby. A member of our staff will come out to meet you in the lobby* and briefly outline the evaluation process. We’ll take your dog into one of our play courts and begin the assessment.

*=At this time, we are still using an outdoor pen for pick-up & drop-off procedures as part of our COVID-19 plan. You can view a video of this process here. At the conclusion of your dog’s evaluation, you may come inside to speak with the evaluator.

You will need to wait outside during the evaluation. For many dogs, it is distracting or upsetting to them if they can hear you and smell you, but not see you. For this reason, we no longer allow clients to wait in the lobby during their dog’s evaluation.

The Evaluation

The first element of the evaluation is your dog’s opportunity to check out our indoor play space. Your dog can walk around and sniff the room, check out our toys, have a sip of water, etc. The evaluator […]

By |2020-10-23T18:46:25+00:00October 23, 2020|Uncategorized|Comments Off on What to Expect at Your Dog’s Educational Daycare Evaluation

Flex Class Program Updates

Our instructor team has been hard at work over the past week making changes to our Flex Class program. Our goal is to teach classes that are fun, informative, and build your’s dog manners. We want you and your dog to leave each class with a smile on your faces and a clear idea of what you need to practice going forward.

Part of achieving that is making sure the difficulty level of each class reflects the listed prerequisites, if any. That way, more experienced teams are continuing to be challenged while new students are getting the foundation they need. Most of the changes we’re making are to advanced classes, but we’ve got other tweaks to announce, too.

These changes go into effect immediately for all new registrations. If you’ve already registered for one of these classes prior to today, we recommend, but do not require, that you switch into a class you are eligible for.

Core Manners & Elective Dog Training Classes

Polite in Public, one of our four Core Manners classes, will no longer include matwork as part of the curriculum. We already address matwork in Settle & Stay Put and Self-Control. This change gives us more time to work on loose leash walking and polite greetings. Those behaviors are high priority for a lot of you, so we think you’ll like this change!

Intro to Dog Tricks, an elective class, now has a prerequisite of four Core Manners classes. We want to […]

By |2020-07-23T18:58:55+00:00July 23, 2020|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Flex Class Program Updates

COVID-19 Flex Class Guidelines – Updated December 20th, 2020

UPDATE DECEMBER 20th, 2020: Effective immediately, one guest may accompany you to most Flex Classes. Please check the Group Class Calendar for details. At this time, guests are not allowed at Wednesday night Flex Classes. This is subject to change in the future. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding!

As of June 9th, 2020, we are allowed to resume indoor dog training classes in Rhode Island. A few weeks ago we published a blog post outlining class rules & procedures for outdoor classes. Now that the majority of classes are moving inside, here’s what you need to know.

Indoor classes: unless clearly marked on the class calendar, all classes will be taking place indoors, in our 80×45′ training hall. When agility classes resume later in June, Wednesday evening manners classes will be held outdoors. Those outdoor classes will be marked as such on the class calendar.

Click here to learn more about our Flex Class program!

Face masks must be worn and social distancing guidelines must be followed at all times. If you are not able to wear a face mask during class, please email us to discuss accommodations before registering for any classes. 

We have hand sanitizer available for all students, and the sinks in the bathrooms have soap and hot water for hand washing. We encourage you to sanitize before and after class.

You are allowed to bring 1 guest with you to most classes. (See the Group Class Calendar for details on classes […]

By |2020-12-20T22:34:53+00:00June 10, 2020|Uncategorized|Comments Off on COVID-19 Flex Class Guidelines – Updated December 20th, 2020

COVID-19 Flex Class Guidelines – May 2020

NOTE: We have new guidelines effective June 10th! Please read the latest COVID-19 Flex Class Guidelines here.


Our Flex Class program is resuming Monday, May 18th. Some changes to the way we hold classes are necessary in order to follow the dog trainer regulations published by the Department of Business Regulation.

All classes must be held outdoors, weather permitting. If the forecast suggests a greater than 50% chance of heavy rain or lightning, we will cancel classes. We will still train in light rain, so please dress accordingly. Our instructors will make the decision to cancel weekday classes at approximately 3:30PM and weekend classes at approximately 7:30AM. Check your e-mail before departing for class. 

Each class is strictly limited to 4 dog & handler teams and the instructor.

No guests are allowed to accompany you in class. Spouses and family members may watch class from your vehicle, which may be parked facing the training space. Vehicles must be turned off – no idling.

Face masks must be worn and social distancing guidelines must be followed at all times. If you are not able to wear a face mask during class, please email us to discuss accommodations before registering for any classes. 

If you or your dog are not feeling well, you must stay home. Please email or call us as soon as you perceive symptoms so we may work to fill your spot with someone from the wait list. We will be slightly […]

By |2020-06-10T18:23:50+00:00May 17, 2020|Uncategorized|Comments Off on COVID-19 Flex Class Guidelines – May 2020

We are OPEN During COVID-19!

We are getting lots of phone calls and e-mails asking if we are open or accepting new customers during the COVID-19 situation. The answer is YES! We are open for select services and are ready to help you with your dog. Group classes are temporarily suspended, but all other services are available and accepting new clients. (Update 5/17/2020: Group classes resume Monday, May 18th!)

At our facility, we are abiding by all state and federal guidelines for social distancing, disinfecting, and sanitization. Our team members are staying at least 6′ apart, washing their hands regularly, and are constantly disinfecting frequently-touched surfaces (door handles, countertops, tech devices, etc.) using a disinfectant proven to work on the novel coronavirus.

At this time, there is no evidence that animals play a significant role in spreading the virus that causes COVID-19.

At this time, there is no evidence that the virus that causes COVID-19 can spread to people from the skin or fur of companion animals.

–The United States Center for Disease Control & Prevention (Source)

Private Dog Training

Private dog training lessons are available for all dogs, regardless of age or behavior problem. We are currently offering private lessons remotely, via FaceTime or Zoom video conferencing, as well as at our facility both indoors & out. We are not traveling to clients’ homes at this time. (Updated Sept. 2020)

All of our private dog training programs can take place remotely. We have curbside pickup available for all included equipment […]

By |2020-09-10T01:44:37+00:00April 13, 2020|Uncategorized|Comments Off on We are OPEN During COVID-19!

Summer Dog Training Challenge!

We’re kicking off a fun new dog training challenge to inspire you to work hard and train your dog this summer. We know it can be tempting to kick back and relax. But just because school is out for the human kiddos doesn’t mean it’s out for your dog!

Here’s how this works: participate in classes and activities to earn stars. The more stars you earn, the more goodies you’ll receive!

This challenge runs from June 1st through August 31st. If you’ve already done cool stuff with us this month, don’t panic – we’re going to award stars retroactively!

How to Earn Stars

In a calendar week (Sunday through Saturday):

  • 1 star for the first class you attend, 2 stars for the second class, 3 stars for the third class, 4 stars for the fourth class, 5 stars for the fifth class… & 1 star for posting about the challenge on social media & tagging us! (@xbonesdog on Facebook & Instagram)
  • 2 stars for attending any Workshop.
  • 1 star for passing any AKC test:
    STAR Puppy, Canine Good Citizen, Community Canine (CGCA), CGC Urban (CGC), and each level of AKC Trick Dog!
  • 1 bonus star for taking an advanced level class for the first time:
    Recall Mastery, Power Walking, CGC Prep, Performance Fundamentals, Agility Skill Building, Agility Competition Prep, Trick Skill Building.
    (You get a star for attending the class AND an extra star for taking something new for the first time!)
  • 1 star for earning an agility title in any organization.
    (Had to […]
By |2019-06-18T03:20:52+00:00June 18, 2019|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Summer Dog Training Challenge!

Now Enrolling: Educational Dog Daycare in Providence, RI

Educational Dog Daycare at Crossbones Dog Academy in Providence, RI

After four years of offering Puppy Day School for puppies in Providence, we’re thrilled to announce we now offer daycare for all dogs! Our Educational Daycare program launched April 1st and our team is having a blast working with the dogs each day.

What is Educational Daycare?

What does Educational Daycare mean? Each dog in our program is expected to demonstrate basic manners every day, like sitting for attention and to go through gates, and sitting or hand-targeting for rewards. As a result, dogs don’t practice undesirable behavior, like jumping on gates or people or excessive barking. (If your dog struggles with these skills, refresh them first. For example, you could practice around other dogs in Flex Classes. Or, have us do the training for you in an Intensive Training Program.)

Educational Dog Daycare at Crossbones Dog Academy in Providence, RI

We maintain a low dog-to-handler ratio (10-to-1) so your dog gets plenty of one-on-one attention. Our handlers use positive reinforcement with the dogs they supervise. No spray bottles or rattle paddles here! Dogs in Educational Daycare rotate between different activities. They include crated nap time, exploring a fenced-in outdoor space, indoor play time, and small group fetch or recalls in our training hall.

Is Educational Daycare right for me?

This program is not for everyone. Educational Daycare is for owners who are committing to having us provide social time, mental stimulation, […]

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