We are OPEN During COVID-19!

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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.

moosie

Summer Dog Training Challenge!

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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 throw in a little something for my sport dog peeps!)

Prizes

Here’s what you and your dog can earn!

  • 5 stars = poop bag roll
  • 10 stars = clicker
  • 20 stars = one ear chew (lamb ear, pig ear, or cow ear)
  • 30 stars = Earth Animal No Hide chew of your choice
  • 40 stars = bag of treats of your choice
  • 50 stars = Benebone OR Happy Howie’s roll of your choice

A special prize will be awarded to the dog & handler team who earn the MOST stars by the end of the challenge.

Registration Raffles

We want to encourage you to sign up early & get started earning stars. So, each dog & handler team will have one raffle ticket toward each of the following raffles as long as they have earned at least one star!

Sign up before 6/22: A food-dispensing toy of your choice!
Sign up before 6/29: A bonus Single Class Pass!

Summer Dog Training Challenge
A goodie basket from a previous challenge

Star Raffles

Each dog & handler team will have one raffle ticket per star toward the following raffles. The more stars you earn, the more chances you have to win!

  • 6/30: Goodie basket with $75 worth of retail items!
  • 7/31: Goodie basket with $75 worth of retail items!
  • 8/31: Goodie basket with $75 worth of retail items!

Ready to sign up?

There are three ways to do it. You can sign up in person at any class with us, via text at 401-330-5892 (yes, you can now text your dog trainers!), or by e-mailing the front desk team at woof@crossbonesdog.com. Whatever floats your boat!

Disclaimer: All prizes must be picked up by the end of the day on 9/13/2019. None will be mailed. Prizes limited to stock on hand in our retail store; no rainchecks or substitutions.

Now Enrolling: Educational Dog Daycare in Providence, RI

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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, exercise, and enrichment for their dogs on a regular basis. It’s a safe alternative to off-leash dog parks and more comprehensive than a stroll around the block with a dog walker.

Does your dog like people and other dogs? Dogs attending Educational Daycare should be social or neutral toward other dogs and friendly with people. If not, this program won’t be a good fit for your dog.

Educational Daycare is not a training program. Our staff maintains training you have already completed, but does not teach new skills. (However, that’s something we offer in Intensive Training Programs.) Also, all dogs need to be comfortable in a crate so they can rest up during nap time.

If you’re looking for a place to drop your dog off once or twice a month, that’s not something we offer. Educational Daycare is for owners who understand that dogs need consistent socialization and exercise. And if you’re looking for the cheapest place in the city to get your dog out of the house for the day, we aren’t it. We pride ourselves on paying our employees a living wage.

Get Started

Are you ready to try our refreshed approach to dog daycare? Come join us! To get started, book an evaluation online. Or, if you have any questions, contact us!

Spring Forth Dog Academy is now Crossbones Dog Academy!

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Crossbones Dog Academy Logo | Providence, RI

New year, new name. (Same shade of orange.) New for 2019: Spring Forth Dog Academy is now Crossbones Dog Academy!

So much has changed since Dan and I chose our business name “Spring Forth” in 2010. It was a play on words (think Springer Spaniel) accompanied by my pencil drawing of Tessie jumping. The logo was very personal.

Crossbones is a business name and logo combination I originally came up with in 2013. For a period of time, I used it as a brand while teaching agility classes in Rhode Island. (In fact, some of those students are still taking classes with me today!) I always loved the concept of Crossbones, but was afraid to take the leap and rebrand.

The biggest change in our business, one we never saw coming, is that it grew from two people to an entire team of trainers and support staff. As a result, we decided to update our brand to Crossbones. We wanted to reflect the spirit of how our organization has grown over the past eight years.

Our Evolution

People pursue careers in the dog industry because they want to make a difference for dogs. For example, a lot of people start out training dogs as a hobby, and then open a small business to teach lessons a couple nights each week. But in order to do that, they have to also devote time to marketing, administrative duties, and all the legal mumbo-jumbo that goes along with being a small business owner.

As we gained experience as dog professionals, we had an “a-ha moment.” The way to make the biggest impact was to assemble a group of talented, committed people who also understood that by teaming up with us, they could accomplish more. Our trainers can spend more time working with dogs and owners because our administrative team and facility assistants take care of everything else. In a nutshell: more time with dogs, less time in an office. As a result, we each help far more dogs and owners than we could if we all operated as one-man bands.

This summer, our team collaborated to put our ethos into words. We created a mission statement and list of core values that inspire us to show up each day and do our best. And in the spirit of new year’s resolutions, we’re sharing it in the hopes that it inspires you, too. 

MISSION STATEMENT: We provide exceptional care and a positive education for dogs and their owners.

Our Values

We model & encourage responsible dog ownership.

We provide enrichment & socialization opportunities for all dogs.

We teach effective, positive dog training techniques to strengthen dog & owner relationships.

We make an impact in our community by educating & supporting dog owners & team members.

We make a difference in the lives of dogs & their owners through education, empathy, & creative problem solving.

We work as a team, and believe that by supporting one another we can bring out the best in each individual.

We are a fiscally responsible company that provides a living wage to our team members.

We treat everyone with fairness, kindness, and respect and promote open communication.

We provide a clean & safe environment for clients, team members, & dogs to enjoy.