Personalized Dog Training Programs

Personalized Dog Training Programs

Effective October 2, 2021 - I am not taking new private training students. For those who have lesson programs in progress, we will complete your package as usual. For new clients seeking private training, please contact our wonderful instructor Jill at www.happyhoundtraining.com  

I will be disabling the online scheduling calendar for private training- current clients, please email for a direct scheduling link if you need to schedule the rest of your lessons.

Individualized lesson programs meet your needs where group classes may not. We offer two types of private training: Lessons WITH you, where you are an active participant and learner, vs day training.

Day Training leaves the training to the trainer. While you are at work, we come in and work with the dog for you. Your dog gets "Trained, While You Work." Some benefits of day training: quick results, dog gets mental exercise to break up the day, there can be multiple sessions per week vs 1x per week with traditional private lessons at our facility, and you may save money on pet sitting (Part of the lesson is a potty break).

Due to the intensity of the program and multiple visits per week, we only take a few Day Training / Trained, While You Work clients at a time. Day training is appropriate for basic manners, general puppy training. Day training is NOT appropriate for dogs with human aggression issues, territorial aggression or protective tendencies.

Location for TWYW must be in Winchester / Stephens City / Stephenson, potentially Berryville - please contact us to check scheduling before purchasing the TWYW programs

Typically, these are the common reasons people prefer individualized training over group classes. 

  • 1 Your dog needs some extra attention, and help with behavior modification for "problem behaviors" that would make group training unsuitable. For example, dog to dog reactivity (barking, lunging at other dogs), reacting to new people or children, fearfulness or shyness in new situations, growling over resources like food or treats, dog gets very carsick, dogs in the home not getting along, or any number of similar situations.
  • 2 Your dog overall just needs some refinement of his household manners, but the group class schedule doesn’t fit your availability or is inconvenient.
  • 3 You are looking for specific type of skill training programs that would not be covered in a general group class.
    We have four traditional lesson programs and three day training to accommodate any of these situations.
  • 4 Please note: With the exception of "Trained, While You Work" program participants, we are no longer doing in-home lessons. Lessons take place at our location. (RARE exceptions may apply)

AS OF September 10, 2021 - We are suspending  Behavior Modification ConsuItations until our schedule clears.  We are still taking new basic manners private training clients. Please check back in a few weeks to see if we have availability.

All private training programs for behavior modification begin with an intake questionnaire followed by a consultation appointment. At the appointment we review the form, discuss possible causes of the problem behaviors, brainstorm managing the situation for safety and prevention, and preview of potential short and long term solutions.

Purchase a consultation separately, or include in a lesson program when program is pre-paid in full at time of meeting.

Consultations are typically 90-120 minutes.

Head of the Class Dog Training LLC

Request behavior intake form by emailing headoftheclassdogtrainingllc@gmail.com. The questionnaire will be in the form of a google document

Questionnaire must be completed a minimum of 48 hours before your appointment or your session will need to be rescheduled.

Perfect for your busy family that wants to learn the foundations of canine manners scheduled to fit your hectic schedule. You are actively involved in the training process as we work together to perform and perfect the exercises, communicate expectations effectively with your furry family member and set up the environment to eliminate the potential for error. You learn to confidently guide your dog towards choices YOU find desirable instead of typical nuisance behaviors, resulting in a well behaved and trusting family pet.

This package is best suited for families seeking basic manners help or for puppies.

Head of the Class Dog Training LLC

Topics covered: Focus, Sit, Down, Stay, LLW, Trade / Drop, Leave it, Come, (for puppies: puppy related topics such as house training tips)

Three private lessons of approx. 1 hour each. Sessions at WAPC

Choice of two: Polite Pooch,  Puppy Kindergarten, or Phy Ed for Fido Classes

Written instructions and follow up emailed after each lesson

Email availability for questions and support for the duration of the package

Basic manners training manual, treat apron, clicker

EXPIRATION DATES: Package expires after 8 weeks from date of sign up. All lessons must be completed, and group class must be started within that time or they are forfeited.

Offers a balance between basic manners and a more customized plan for individual behaviors to fit your needs. Are you looking for more advanced “Basics”, like proofing your dog’s behaviors and fine tuning for Therapy Dog work? Or maybe your dog has a specific trouble spot you are desperate for help with… like barking at school buses or wanting to chase birds…? You will learn to communicate clearly with your dog and also learn what he is trying to communicate to you for a more harmonious and trusting relationship.

Head of the Class Dog Training LLC

This option gives you the utmost in flexibility and support in helping you learn to manage, understand, treat, and improve your dog’s behaviors. You will learn how to communicate your expectations with your dog, and also to understand what his behaviors are trying to communicate to you. Basic Manners instruction is a component of this plan, but it is the most customizable to build upon the successes of each lesson to modify behaviors. This program is best for dogs who need some behavioral modification with a budding issue, and some basic manners refreshers.

Five private lesson of approx. 1 hour each,  at WAPC (or in some cases “field trip”* lessons as determined by the training plan)

A detailed behavioral assessment and review, with outline of proposed treatment plan

Three Polite Pooch,  Puppy Kindergarten or Phy Ed for Fido classes (if appropriate for your dog)

Customized written plan emailed to you after each session to guide you towards optimal progress

email availability for questions and support for the duration for the package

Basic Manners training manual, treat apron, clicker

Equipment for basic training – dependent on YOUR dog’s behavioral needs (i.e. long line or tether)

Supplementary reading materials/booklets specific to your dog’s behavioral concerns

 

EXPIRATION DATES: Package expires after 12 weeks from date of sign up. All lessons must be completed, and group class must be started within that time or they will be forfeited.

This option gives you the utmost in flexibility and support in helping you learn to manage, understand, treat, and improve your dog’s problematic behaviors. You will learn how to communicate your expectations with your dog, and also to understand what his behaviors are trying to communicate to you. Basic Manners instruction is a component of this plan, but it is the most customizable to build upon the successes of each lesson to modify more complex behaviors.

Eight private lesson of approx. 1 hour each  at WAPC (in some cases “field trip”* lessons as determined by the training plan)

A detailed behavioral assessment and review, with outline of proposed treatment plan

Head of the Class Dog Training LLC

Four Polite Pooch,  Puppy Kindergarten or three Phy Ed for Fido classes (if appropriate for your dog)

Customized written plan emailed to you after each session to guide you towards optimal progress

Email availability for questions and support for the duration for the package

Basic Manners training manual, treat apron, clicker, interactive training log

Equipment for basic training – dependent on YOUR dog’s behavioral needs (i.e. long line or tether)

Supplementary reading materials/booklets specific to your dog’s behavioral concerns

 

EXPIRATION DATES: Package expires 6 months after sign up date. All lessons must be completed, and group class must be started within that time or they are forfeited.

This is available for basic manners trouble shooting, not for more serious behavioral problems. Those require a more in depth consultation.

Behavioral goals form is required in advance. Request it by emailing headoftheclassdogtrainingllc@gmail.com The form will be a Google document that must be completed 48 hours prior to your appointment.

Please schedule your one hour session using the calendar.

Head of the Class Dog Training LLC

To schedule a consultation, or a lesson in your lesson package, use the calendar below to reserve your spot. Initial consultations take approximately 2 hours, so book accordingly. Remaining lessons are 1 hour time slots.

Please note: We do not take same day bookings.

Same day cancellations will count as a completed lesson, or deposit forfeiture as it is too late to fill the appointment with another client.

Head of the Class Dog Training LLC

A Service Dog is a dog that has had extensive training to behave appropriately in all types of public situations, AND has been specifically trained to perform a task for a disabled handler that the handler can’t do, or has great difficulty doing. In general, this is a minimum of 120 hours in the course of six months, but in realty a service dog is constantly “in training” as they are always encountering new challenges when performing work in public. Unlike a therapy dog, who is focused on many people, a service dog should blend into the background, ignore other people, and focus on the handler and his/her job. For more information on service dogs: ADA.gov service animal info

Head of the Class Dog Training LLC

Currently, the ADA allows owners to train their own service dogs. If you have a disability recognized by the ADA and are looking for help to train a service dog, we offer coaching to do so.

Due to the exacting needs of a person requiring help with service dog training, some of the task specific training will be done in private training sessions. The same lesson programs as detailed above can be used to train the behaviors you need for service dog assistance.

Before being acceptance as a “service dog” client, there are several steps.

Here is an overview of our Service Dog Coaching Program:

Human Requirements

Requirements for the Human Candidate:

Age requirement for the owner (18 and older) If candidate is under age 18, parent can attend all sessions

Able to attend regular training lessons for 1.5 years or longer

Able to commit daily time to practicing with your dog between appointments

Have a disability as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act

95799

Aware that you may end up with a dog that can only help at home or in places pets are allowed. Up to 50% of service dog candidates in programs are not able to complete training and work in places pets are not permitted.

Willing to wait until I evaluate your dog’s suitability and help you train your dog foundation skills before putting service dog identification on your dog and before taking your dog to places pets are not permitted.

Have support from your licensed healthcare provider for use of a service dog.

Agree to follow all Federal and State laws (which can differ from Federal Laws) regarding training and use of a service dog / service dog in training (SDIT).

Canine Requirements:

No history of aggression towards dogs, people or other animals

Easily trained. A breed or mix likely to have characteristics suitable for service work such as Labradors and Golden Retrievers. Each dog is assessed as an individual but some breeds are more likely to exhibit characteristics suitable for service work than others. (Food motivated dogs are easier to train)

No history of any serious behavior problems like fear or separation anxiety, noise sensitivity/anxiety

Under age 4, physically healthy. (Veterinarian / Orthopedic vet approval)

 

The Process: 

Most dogs will benefit from our Train Your Own Service Dog Program and should start there FIRST.

https://headoftheclassdogtrainingllc.com/polite-manners-program/

AFTER completing the class program or if a class program is not workable:

  • 1 We begin with a 15 minute phone appointment where we discuss your needs, identify tasks that would be helpful to train, review your dog’s behavioral history, educate you on reputable service dog informational resources and give you some training recommendations. FEE $0, if under 15 minutes. - $30 if 15 - 30 minutes (Please EMAIL first to schedule this) info@headoftheclassdogtrainingllc.com
  • 2 We conduct a 60 minute in-person evaluation of your dog. This is where we look at how your dog responds to some minor stressors and in a new situation to see if it is appropriate to begin training him or her for service work. FEE $110
  • 3 Training for service work if your dog is suitable. This process usually takes 1 – 2 years but can take longer. Process may include group classes, and private training. Private training may consist of in home lessons or field trip lessons to practice public access skills, and will take place weekly or bimonthly at least.
    The group classes in the sequence will include: Polite Pooch 1 – as many as needed to begin foundation manners, Polite Pooch 2/CGC, Public Polite Pooch 3 – possibly multiple times
  • 4 Private training for trouble areas or task specific training may occur concurrently or after the group class sequence is competed
  • 5 For follow up support, as well as Ongoing, brush up training throughout your service dog's working career, see our Private Training Program Fees / Class Fees

Many people enjoy training their dog and want to be part of the process.  Others want their dogs to be trained, yet they may just not be able to dedicate the time and consistency that doing the training requires. If this describes you, then the Trained, While You Work - Day Training program may be for you!

The Chihuahua consists of:

5 visits of approx. 50-60 minutes – First one - 1 intro / goal setting session – up to 60 minutes

Last lesson - Transfer lesson

2 Group classes – Polite Pooch or Puppy K

Video clips of exercises, written notes / handouts

Finish in approx. 2 - 3 weeks – approx. 2 sessions per week

$675

Many people enjoy training their dog and want to be part of the process.  Others want their dogs to be trained, yet they may just not be able to dedicate the time and consistency that doing the training requires. If this describes you, then the Trained, While You Work - Day Training program may be for you!

The Labrador consists of: 

Labrador:

10 visits of approx. 50-60 minutes- First session - Intro / Goal setting session – up to - 60 minutes 

Last lesson - transfer lesson

Video clips of exercises, written notes / instructions

Training booklets - to go with exercises as applicable

4 Group Classes – Polite Pooch 1 or Puppy K

(Finish in approx-6 weeks) (av. of 2 -3 visits per week)

$1200

Many people enjoy training their dog and want to be part of the process.  Others want their dogs to be trained, yet they may just not be able to dedicate the time and consistency that doing the training requires. If this describes you, then the Trained, While You Work - Day Training program may be for you!

The St. Bernard consists of:

15 visits of approx. 50-60 minutes – First lesson - Intro / Goal setting session – up to 60 minutes

Video clips of exercises, written notes / instructions

Last lesson – transfer lesson

Training booklets, as appropriate

6 Group classes – Polite Pooch 1 or Puppy K

(Finish in approx. – 8-10 weeks) (av of 2-3 visits per week)

$1750

Frequently Asked Questions about private lesson training

A: It depends. Each person’s needs and dog’s needs are highly individualized based on the human’s disability and existing abilities of the dog. In general, a service dog will need at least one and a half to two years of training in a combination of group classes and public manners type training and task specific training before being reliable enough to be of service. Lessons or classes or both will occur on a weekly basis for best results, and daily at home independent practice will be required.

A: It depends, but for most dogs, weekly supervised lessons for a year to two years, and daily practice on your own is necessary.

A: It depends. Everyone has a different idea of what a “trained” dog looks like. For best results, whatever your end goals, your dog will be trained faster if you and your family are consistent with following instructions, always preventing the undesirable behavior from happening with appropriate management, and practicing the skills you learn in class and in lessons several times a week between lessons. Doing your homework pays off.

A: No. We evaluate with Pet Partners, and follow their guidelines for therapy testing. Pet Partners prohibits evaluators from running “practice evaluations” using their testing materials. If you feel your dog is ready for the evaluation, visit www.petpartners.org and create a volunteer profile. Follow the requirements to become a volunteer, and sign up to take an evaluation. If you feel your dog likely needs more work on basic manners, our Polite Pooch 1 and Polite Pooch 2, Public Polite Pooch 3 class levels are designed to systematically guide you from beginner dog manners to Canine Good Citizen, Advanced Canine Good Citizen, Urban Canine Good Citizen, to be better able to pass a therapy dog test or provide public access manners practice for potential service dogs.

A: No. The best way to perpetuate bad behavior is to allow the dog to practice it. The best thing to do is fill out the behavioral questionnaire as completely and with as much detail as possible so we can discuss it. In some cases, allowing the dog to act how he usually does would be annoying at best, and at worst unsafe or even dangerous to people and the dog. Follow all instructions about confining dog, leashing dog, muzzling dog, etc. that you receive after you submit your behavioral questionnaire.

A: Since ESAs are not allowed public access as service dogs are, and are not specifically task oriented, there is no special requirement for training. You are free to train or not train your ESA as you would a family pet.