Flex Class Program Updates

00Uncategorized

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 make sure all of the dogs attending have learned some basic training skills. Additionally, their owners need to be comfortable teaching new behaviors with the clicker and food rewards before joining us there.

Advanced Manners Classes

We’re increasing the prerequisite classes for all of our Advanced Manners classes. CGC Prep now requires 2 of each Core Manners class (Come This Way, Settle & Stay Put, Self-Control, and Polite in Public).

Recall Mastery now requires 4 Come This Way classes, 4 Settle & Stay Put classes, and 4 Self-Control classes. The exercises in this class really depend on your dog having solid foundation skills. The dog behavior requirements have not changed. To take this class, your dog must also have self-control around food on the floor and in containers, a 10’+ stay (either sit or down), solid name recognition, accept collar grabs, and take multiple steps for a hand target.

Power Walking now requires 6 Polite in Public classes. Your dog’s loose leash walking in low- to moderate-distraction level environments needs to be pretty darn solid before you move up to this class. In Power Walking, we focus on reducing treats, crisper turns without getting tangled up, and walking in close proximity to other dogs and people.

A New Class!

We’re thrilled to announce a brand new Flex Class: Distraction Action! In this class, you’ll learn how to use your dog’s distractions to make their manners training even stronger. All distraction types welcome… people, other dogs, critters, toys, skateboards, smells – you name it, and we’ll help you work through it. This prerequisites for this class are the same as for CGC Prep: each Core Manners class (Polite in Public, Come This Way, Settle & Stay Put, Self-Control) taken twice.

We look forward to seeing you and your dog in a Flex Class soon! View the calendar to see what is offered when, and then head to the class roster to make a selection.

COVID-19 Flex Class Guidelines – June 2020

10Uncategorized

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 now allowed to bring 1 guest with you to class. Your spouse, family member, or friend is welcome to join you. This limitation ensures we stay under the social gathering group size maximum, which is currently 15 people.

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 more flexible with excused absences during this time but you must let us know as soon as possible (prior to the start time of class). 

Just like we did before, we’ll be maintaining a wait list for classes that are full. Please e-mail us to get on the wait list for any class. 

If you need to purchase treats or other gear, our retail store is open for browsing. We do recommend placing an online order for pick-up if at all possible. That way, we can have your items ready for you when you arrive. If you realize you need something during class, we can still accommodate that, but it will interrupt your class experience.

Orientation classes will resume being held in-person. The last Remote Orientation will be held Wednesday, June 10th. Online registration for this class is now closed, but if you have a valid Flex Class Pass, contact us to enroll.

When signing up for classes, please review the list of equipment in the confirmation e-mail and be sure to bring it with you. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we cannot provide “loaner equipment” to students during classes. If you have forgotten a piece of equipment, you need to purchase it or sit out the exercise.

You will enter and exit class through the training hall door, not the main entrance. The instructor will prop this door open 5 minutes before class time. There is a 15 minute break between classes, but we need time to sanitize, so please do not try to enter the building before this time. If you are waiting outside of your car, please stay socially distant from other classmates as well as clients picking up their dogs from the Academy.

Puppy Playgroups will not resume just yet. We are working on a plan to be able to offer these while maintaining social distancing. Stay tuned!

COVID-19 Flex Class Guidelines – May 2020

00Uncategorized

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 more flexible with excused absences during this time but you must let us know as soon as possible (prior to the start time of class). 

Because class space is extremely limited, only enroll in classes you are certain you can attend. We will shut off online registration for anyone making excessive cancellations or rescheduling. 

Just like we did before, we’ll be maintaining a wait list for classes that are full. Please e-mail us to be added to the wait list for any class.

If you need to purchase treats or other gear, please place an online order for pick-up if at all possible. That way, we can have your items ready for you when you arrive. If you realize you need something during class, we can still accommodate that, but it will interrupt your class experience.

Please be sure to pack water and a bowl for your dog, and bring extra-high value treats that your dog is crazy about!

Current Flex Class Pass Holders

All Flex Class Passes with an expiration date after March 22nd were extended by 12 weeks. There will be no further extensions of Flex Class Passes. If you believe we made an error and your class pass was not extended, please e-mail us and we will look into it.

If your dog’s vaccinations have been updated since March 1st, or if you had a veterinarian appointment to update vaccinations which had to be cancelled due to COVID-19, please contact us to make sure your dog’s vaccinations are up-to-date before enrolling in class.

New Students

We are accepting new students, but they may not begin class until on or after June 1st.

The next Orientation class for new clients will be Monday, June 1st. Orientation classes will be held approximately once per week thereafter. You still must attend an Orientation class before attending any classes with your dog.

Puppy Day School Students

If you have not attended an Orientation before, we are offering a remote Zoom Orientation one just for current and previous PDS students on Saturday, May 23rd at 11AM. This will not be recorded, and you must attend live. Once you attend this Orientation, you can enroll in future classes.

If you cannot attend this Orientation, the next one will be available on Monday 6/1, and weekly thereafter on different days of the week. 

All currently enrolled PDS students will get an additional 2 weeks to attend Flex Classes if their dog’s attendance ends in May or June.

All previously enrolled PDS students who had Flex Class availability interrupted by COVID-19 have received a “COVID-19 Make Up Pass” that expires July 1st.

We are OPEN During COVID-19!

00Uncategorized

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 (see “Retail” section below).

Puppy Day School

With social distancing and the stay-at-home order in place, it can be extremely challenging for puppies to get positive socialization experiences with new people and other puppies at this time. Puppies have a critical socialization period, and it can’t be put on hold – not even during a pandemic. That’s why our Puppy Day School program for puppies under 6 months old is open to new students.

Puppy Day School evaluations and the included weekly Puppy Teacher Conferences (30-minute private appointments with one of our trainers) may take place in person outdoors at our facility or remotely via Zoom or FaceTime.

We have developed a contactless pick up & drop off procedure for dogs in our Puppy Day School program as our lobby is currently closed to the public per state guidelines. Here is a video of the process:

(Update Sept. 2020: In line with RI’s latest guidance for small businesses, and because our disinfectant has a 5-minute contact time, we are now sanitizing the gate intermittently during pick-up and drop-off rather than after every single client. Hand sanitizer is provided in a squeeze tube hooked to the drop-off pen if you would like to use it before returning to your vehicle or handling your belongings.)

Educational Daycare

With state parks, beaches, and Providence city recreational areas closed, we know your options for exercising your dog are more limited than ever. Educational Daycare, our daycare program for trained dogs over 6 months of age, is open and accepting new clients. We are using the contactless pick up and drop off procedure shown in the video above.

Keep in mind that Educational Daycare has a minimum attendance policy. Dogs must attend at least 2 days per week to ensure they mesh with our group dynamics. For more details, read our blog post about how Educational Daycare is different from many daycare programs.

Retail

Per state guidelines, our lobby is closed to the public for the time being. We are only allowed to have clients inside for scheduled private lessons.

As of August, our retail store is open to the public Monday through Friday from 3-6:30PM. But, we also built an online store for you to browse from the comfort of your home!

We have a wide variety of chews, food-dispensing toys, treats, and training gear to help keep your dog busy while you work from home. Need help choosing products? Text us at 401-330-5892 – we’re happy to chat with you about your dog and help you pick out some goodies!

Curbside pickup is available for all orders.

Get in Touch

Our receptionist availability is a bit limited, but we’re still eager to help you with your dog! You can schedule a phone call, text us at 401-330-5892, or e-mail us. All of our program details, including tuition prices, are on our website – no surprises here.