Is my dog appropriate for group dog training classes?
Lots of dogs do well in group training classes. If your dog is fearful or shows aggression in new situations or around new people/dogs, classes MAY not be a good fit for you. If your dog is reactive, group classes may not be a good fit. We have a wide variety of classes, so we may be able to find a good fit for you and your dog!
If you come to class and it's not a good match, we will let you know. This DOES NOT mean we think your dog is bad (or that you are!) We'll recommend either another class or private training to make sure you get the best possible support.
My dog is aggressive/ anxious/ nervous. Will class help them?
For the majority of dogs working through behavior challenges, group classes are NOT the best place to start. For issues like resource guarding, reactivity, aggression toward people/dogs, separation anxiety, etc, we will recommend starting with private training to focus specifically on those needs.
Are dog training classes affordable?
Group dog training classes are a very affordable way to work on tons of skills. Group classes are great for everything from puppy socialization to basic manners to things like coming when called, leash manners, or polite greetings. And because you’re in a group environment, the cost is less than a private training session. Group classes may range from $20-40 per hour (per session) and usually go for 4-6 weeks.
What if I can't afford dog training classes?
Every Dog has highly qualified trainers, and our training services are priced appropriately. However, as a 501c3 nonprofit we are dedicated to ensuring that everyone has access to the affordable dog training they need. Anyone can use financial assistance discounts to book classes or private training, using whatever discount level they need. Those discounts are typically 20-50% off, but we offer deeper discounts for those in need.
We do not require any invasive questionnaires or specific income levels in order to use financial aid: we offer affordable dog training in Austin to anyone who needs it.
All of our training is paid on a session-to-session basis or for individual classes, so there are no giant lump sum payments required. You only pay for the training you need. Have questions? Let us know!
Do you use prong collars, shock collars, or choke collars?
No. We don't find that they're useful, and they can negatively impact our training plans. But if you've been using one, don't panic- you're not alone, and we're still happy to help you find solutions that work.
My dog knows how to do lots of tricks at home. Can I skip to intermediate or advanced classes?
We recommend that all dogs start with a basic manners (or similar) class unless you've already taken a basic class elsewhere. Lots of dogs can sit, down, place, leave it, drop it, etc at home, but get super distracted in a group environment! (We can always bump you into a different class if it seems like you're ready for something harder!)
How do your classes WORK? When can I sign up?
We have 3 main types of classes: Series, Rolling, and Drop-In.
Series classes start on a specific date over a specific number of weeks. These are meant for you to learn skills over time with your whole group. Confidence Building is an example of this!
Rolling classes (or "open enrollment" classes) go for a set number of weeks, but you can start when you're ready. For example, you can join Puppy Kindergarten as soon as you're ready, and will attend for 6 weeks.
Drop-In classes are single-session classes, like our Intro classes! You can join these just one time to see how you like it.
Do you allow makeup sessions?
For our rolling classes, we offer makeup sessions as long as we have more than 24hours notice. Our Series classes have a set program and we can't offer makeups.
What vaccinations are required for classes?
All dogs must have vaccinations commensurate with their age in order to attend class, and not show signs of coughing, sneezing, vomiting, etc before class. (Note: puppies must be at least 7 days past their first round of vaccinations. This is according to recommendations from the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behaviorists, AVSAB.)
Are the trainers certified?
Most of Every Dog's trainers are already certified or working toward certification through nationally-recognized organizations.
Certified dog trainers have undergone formal training and education in canine behavior, obedience training (what we call manners training), and other related areas. They have also passed certification exams to demonstrate their understanding and competence in these areas. In many cases, trainers also need a number of hours of direct experience even just to take the certification exam.
Certified trainers typically have access to the latest training techniques and methods, ensuring that your dog receives the best possible training. Because most certifications require continuing education, you can expect that certified trainers will always be learning new skills to help you and your pup.
Do dog obedience classes really work?
The short answer is yes, they can be effective in improving your dog's behavior (giving your dog the skills to help them adapt to human life). Obedience training classes (what we call manners classes) are designed to teach your dog basic behaviors, such as sit, down, coming when called, and walking nicely on leash.
One of the main benefits of obedience training classes (manners classes) is that they provide a structured environment for both you and your dog. As a pet owner, it can be challenging to know where to start when it comes to training your furry friend. Group classes offer a clear curriculum and professional guidance to help you and your dog succeed.
While traditional “obedience training classes” use harsh corrections and punishment, our manners classes use positive reinforcement techniques, which have been proven to be effective in teaching dogs new behaviors. Positive reinforcement involves rewarding desirable behaviors with treats, praise, or playtime, rather than using punishment-based methods. This not only helps your dog learn faster but also strengthens the bond between you and your dog.
Are group dog training classes really worth it
Group dog training classes have become increasingly popular among dog owners. These classes provide an opportunity for dogs and people to learn basic skills (or advanced ones, depending on the class!) Are group classes worth the time and money? Let’s explore the benefits of group dog training classes and why they can be a valuable investment for both you and your furry friend.
A major advantage of group classes is that they provide a setting with distractions. When training your dog at home, it can be challenging to replicate real-world distractions such as other dogs, people, and noises. In group classes for “obedience” or manners, your dog will learn to listen and follow cues despite these distractions.
This type of training is crucial for developing good behavior in public spaces. By learning how to focus on you and keep their cool in a group setting, your dog will be better prepared for various situations in everyday life.
Group dog training classes are also often more cost-effective than private training sessions, especially if you’re looking to work on a variety of basic skills. While private training is excellent for focusing on specific issues, it’s expensive because of the 1-on-1 time with the trainer. Group classes offer an affordable option while still providing professional guidance from trained instructors. *Reminder- Every Dog offers financial assistance for anyone who needs it!
Socialization for Owners
Not only do group dog training classes provide opportunities for dogs, but they also provide a chance for owners to connect with other like-minded individuals. Dog owners can share tips and experiences, creating a supportive community that can be beneficial for both dogs and their owners.
Fun and Bonding
Finally, group dog training classes can be a fun and bonding experience for you and your furry friend. Learning together in a group setting can strengthen the bond between you and your dog as you work towards common goals. Plus, seeing other dogs succeed in their training can be motivating and inspiring for both of you.
If you’ve got a new puppy, there’s an additional benefit to group classes: puppy socialization! Puppy classes provide a structured environment for socialization. Trained instructors can monitor the play between puppies and intervene if necessary to help puppies learn how to communicate and play appropriately. During the Critical Socialization Period for puppies, a kindergarten class is one of the best and safest ways to give your puppy socialization time!
More Than Manners
Group dog training classes can be about so much more than just manners training! For dogs that tend to be afraid of new people, dogs, or environments, a Fearful Dogs Class can be a great fit. For dogs that need something to do with their brains or for exercise, there are classes like Agility, Nosework, or Trick training. You can also work toward your Canine Good Citizen certification!
In conclusion, group dog training classes offer numerous benefits for both dogs and their owners. From socialization to distraction training and cost-effectiveness, these classes are a valuable investment for anyone looking to improve their dog's behavior. So if you're considering enrolling your dog in a group training class, the answer is yes – they are definitely worth it!
Are Group Classes Ever NOT Worth It?
So glad you asked! Group dog training classes with skilled and certified positive reinforcement trainers are a great fit for many dogs. However, they’re not a good option for dogs that struggle with strong reactivity to other dogs or people, or for dogs who are extremely fearful in new environments. These dogs will generally benefit from private training instead of group dog training classes.
Additionally, group classes are designed to teach a certain set of skills to a group of people and dogs: which means they may not be helpful if you’re looking to work on a particular issue. We do offer classes like Leash Walking, Polite Greetings, and Recalls- but if you’re hoping to work on potty training, aggression, separation anxiety, or another specific behavior, private training is a better fit.