{{ UPDATE 2018: This is an old blog post! For the most up-to-date details and unbroken links, please visit our Flex Class page for everything you need to know. }}

We’ve held group dog training classes here in Providence for over two years now. We have always been interested in feedback from our wonderful students. Some of the things we heard back about our group class program included:

“They’re too early.”
“They’re too late.”
“That day of the week doesn’t work for me.”
“I’m going on vacation and will miss a class… or two… or three.”
“What if I get sick and skip a week?”
“I want to try a dog sport like agility, but I don’t know if my dog will like it.”

At first, we weren’t sure it was possible to address these concerns in our group class program. The whole point of group classes is that they’re not customizable… they’re held at a time that is convenient for most (but not all) so multiple people can attend together which brings the overall cost down. Allowing excused absences, vacation days, etc. became a logistical nightmare, so we just didn’t allow it.

Group Dog Training Class Graduates | Spring Forth Dog AcademyBut, we’re always looking to shake things up at Spring Forth, like we did in 2014 when we launched our Puppy Day School program. Our goal was for it to be better than dog daycare and way more in-depth than a Puppy Kindergarten class. It worked – clients love it, and the dogs make incredible progress that is simply not achievable in weekly lessons or classes.

So I said to my instructor team, “How can we reinvent our dog training classes to be even more awesome?”

And here’s what we came up with.

Introducing Flex Classes: Flexible Attendance Group Training Classes

Flex Classes are so different from regular dog training classes that it’s difficult to know where to start. I hope you’ll stick with me and read the whole post. Here goes:

You purchase a Class Pass that allows you to attend classes on your schedule.

Classes are offered on a rotating basis on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday evenings, and we’ve got a handy-dandy calendar set up so you can see when each class is offered. (Flex Classes start in December, so skip ahead to next month on the calendar.) If you can only attend one specific time slot each week, that’s okay. The classes will rotate so you can learn about every topic. But if your schedule is a little more flexible, you can attend classes multiple times each week and train your dog even faster.

You have plenty of time to attend classes: 2 to 6 months depending on which program you purchase. So if you need to take a night or week or month off… no sweat! Just pick up where you left off.

Focus on Specific Skills and Behaviors

Classes are based on particular topics like coming when called (Come This Way), stay (Settle & Stay Put), loose leash walking (Polite in Public), etc. This is in contrast to classes based on skill level or a dog’s age. Whether you’re a first-time dog owner with a brand new puppy, or an experienced dog trainer polishing your competition dog’s skills, there will be lots of great information in each class for you.

The classes are designed for you to repeat until you have mastered a skill – or at least achieved a level of success you’re happy with. You also get to focus on only the skills that matter to you. If your dog’s recall is great, but loose leash walking needs work, then just keep attending our Polite in Public class. There’s no need to spend time working on topics that don’t interest you.

Our three different levels of certification – Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced Dog Manners – will make sure your dog is learning everything they need to become a well-rounded family pet. You can get tested after any class, and it only takes a few minutes.

Perfect for Puppies and Dog Sport Enthusiasts, Too!

Our Flex Classes are absolutely perfect for puppies. They’re only 45-minutes long, which is better for young attention spans. You can start right away instead of waiting for a particular start date. Our Super Puppy Flex Pass includes unlimited attendance at Puppy Playgroup, our drop-in socialization class. Plus, it comes at a discounted rate! We like to reward owners who are doing the right thing by getting started early.

If dog sports like noseworkagility, or rally are your thing, they’re offered in our Flex Class program as well. You can dabble in a new sport by attending class just once to see if you like it, or attend on a regular basis while still enjoying the flexibility that our new program allows.

Phew! I think that’s everything.

I really hope you’ll check out our Flex Classes. We have worked really hard on the program, and we want to know what you think. Now through Thursday, November 17th we’re offering 10% off all Class Passes. No promotion code necessary – it’s already discounted in our online store. (This offer can’t be combined with any other offers or promotions.)