COVID & WEATHER FAQs

Do you require masks at your facility?

Short answer: Yes.

Longer answer: Due to the sheer number of people our instructors are exposed to and the close quarters, we ask people to wear masks at all times while indoors. Additionally, some of us are immunocompromised.

We know folks are sick of masking and we are too! We really appreciate your cooperation and understanding in this matter.

Inclement Weather Policy

Winter: when the roads are snowy, icy, or otherwise unsafe, we will cancel classes. Our instructors come from all over the place and often from rural areas, and often cannot safely make it to class in these situations. 

Summer: when it’s in the 90’s and higher, dogs are prone to heat exhaustion and the facility (as well as the pavement) is too hot to hold class. If the temperature is forecasted to be in the low 90s, we will relocate class to a local park. If it’s over 95 degrees, we will cancel and arrange a makeup date.

In either inclement weather scenario, if we cancel or relocate class, we will do so via email and arrange a makeup date. Please diligently check your email during inclement weather before coming to class.

How do I secure my spot in class?

Payment is required to secure your spot in class. You can register online via this link, or contact us if you would prefer to register over the phone or via email (we’ll either take a credit card number over the phone or email you an invoice, payable online). Our classes fill up quickly, so we highly recommend signing up ASAP.

General Class FAQs

Open Enrollment Class Specifics:

If you are attending an “open enrollment” class, please be aware that we are saving a spot in class just for you and your dog. Once you have registered, paid and picked a start date, your spot is secured in class for CONSECUTIVE weeks. If you miss a class, it will still count towards one of your sessions. This is so that we can ensure small class sizes for all of our clients.

Pandemic Policy & Procedures

All in-person classes that are scheduled in 2020 and beyond are subject to safety, governmental orders and client compliance. Please be respectful of social distancing protocols and of our policies we have in place just for these purposes.

Please click here to review our policies and additional procedures BEFORE signing up for class. Thank you!

How many dogs are in a class?

We limit our group classes to 6-7 dogs.

What if I miss a class?

In order to keep our classes small, which is really important to us, Happy Dog Institute is unable to offer refunds or makeup classes. Please plan carefully when scheduling. Missed classes can be made up on a private basis for our regular private session fee.

What if I need extra help?

We’re here for you! You are welcome to purchase a Puppy Package for some additional support, or schedule a consultation.

Why all the treats?

We use a lot of treats in class. Food is a primary reinforcement! People often worry that too many treats at first will make the dog only work for treats in the future – when in fact it’s the other way around. Associating behaviors with high-value reinforcement is essential to properly train behaviors – and maintain them. As they get better and better at their behaviors, we decrease the frequency of the reinforcers. They’ll still work hard because they never know when they’re going to get a treat now!

Ever stop to wonder why slot machines can be so addicting?

We also use other reinforcers like environment, toys and play as you progress through the Puppy Series.

Puppy Class FAQs

General Puppy Class FAQs

Do I bring my puppy to every class?

Puppy 1 and Puppy 2: Yes, bring your puppy EVERY Puppy 1 or Puppy 2 class – including your first session. The video orientation you’ll receive after registering for class has all the information you need to join on your selected start date – with your puppy in tow.

Puppy 3: Don’t bring your puppy to the first class. This class has an in-person orientation held without dogs as the first class.

Please verify which class you are in to determine whether your puppy should come to class on the first day or not. Also, check your class confirmation email or reach out to us well before class starts with questions. Thanks!

What if I miss a class?

Please be aware that we are saving a spot in class just for you and your dog. Once you have registered, paid and picked a start date, your spot is secured in class for four CONSECUTIVE weeks (excluding any planned skip dates due to holidays, etc). If you miss a class, it will still count towards one of your sessions. This is so that we can ensure small class sizes for all of our clients. You are welcome to make up a session for our regular private training fee!

How do I know what to bring to class, etc.?

When you register for class, you’ll get an emailed link to our video orientation which outlines class materials, rules and goes over concepts like house training and play biting.

You’ll also receive the link to the PDF class handbook in the same email, which has a printed materials list.

I’ve been told to wait to join puppy class until my puppy has had all their shots, around 16 weeks old. What should I do?

This is such a hard topic! While the risk of Parvo and other diseases is very real, the risk of under-socializing a dog while they are under 16 weeks old is ALSO very real.  Read this article on Puppy Socialization from the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior. It explains why puppy owners should be more concerned about behavior problems from a lack of socialization than a small risk of infection.

As a precaution, we ask you to carry your puppy into class until they have had one rounds of shots, administered AFTER 7-8 weeks old and at least 5 days before their first class.

Puppy 1 FAQs

Do I bring my puppy to every class?

Puppy 1: Yes, bring your puppy EVERY class – including your first session. The video orientation you’ll receive after registering for class has all the information you need to join on your selected start date – with your puppy in tow.

Please verify which class you are in to determine whether your puppy should come to class on the first day or not. Also, check your class confirmation email or reach out to us well before class starts with questions. Thanks!

Is there a prerequisite for Puppy 1 Class?

No, but your puppy must be between 8-9 weeks of age on their first day of class and have had one round of shots after turning 7-8 weeks old. See above for specifics.

What is open enrollment?

We want you to be able to join class with your puppy as soon as possible. With “open-enrollment”, there’s no waiting for a class to start – you can join as soon as you get your puppy as long as there’s room and you’ve met the vaccination requirements below.

Only Puppy 1 and Puppy 2 are open-enrollment – Puppy 3 has a set start and finish date.

What are the vaccination requirements for Puppy class?

For Puppy 1, we require the first round of DHLPP or DHPP (specifically Distemper and Parvo), administered around 7-8 weeks of age (and a week before their class start date) in order to join class.

It is essential that your dog stay up to date on vaccinations throughout class so they remain protected. NO DOG PARKS while you are taking our puppy classes, formal or informal, please!

Puppy 2

Do I bring my puppy to every class?

Puppy 2: Yes, bring your puppy EVERY class – including your first session. The video orientation you’ll receive after registering for class has all the information you need to join on your selected start date – with your puppy in tow.

Please verify which class you are in to determine whether your puppy should come to class on the first day or not. Also, check your class confirmation email or reach out to us well before class starts with questions. Thanks!

Is there a prerequisite for Puppy Class?

No, but your puppy must be between 8-18  weeks of age on their first day of class for Puppy 1 and 18-22 weeks for Puppy 2 – the younger the better.

What are the vaccination requirements for Puppy 1 or 2?

For Puppy 1 and 2, we require the one round of DHLLP or DHPP, administered AFTER 7-8 weeks of age in order to join class and at least 5 days before your first class.

It is essential that your dog stay up to date on vaccinations throughout class so they remain protected. NO DOG PARKS while you are taking our puppy classes, formal or informal, please!

What is open enrollment?

We want you to be able to join class with your puppy as soon as possible. With “open-enrollment”, there’s no waiting for a class to start – you can join as soon as you get your puppy as long as there’s room and you’ve met the vaccination requirements below.

Only Puppy 1 and Puppy 2 are open-enrollment – Puppy 3 has a set start and finish date.

Puppy 3 FAQs

Is there a prerequisite for Puppy 3 Class?

No, but your dog needs to be under 9 months old on the first day of class and up to date on all vaccinations.

Do I bring my puppy to every class?

Puppy 3: No. Don’t bring your dog to the first class, as it’s an in-person orientation held without dogs. Just bring a notebook and something to write with!

Please verify which class you are in to determine whether your puppy should come to class on the first day or not. Also, check your class confirmation email or reach out to us well before class starts with questions. Thanks!

What? There isn’t room to start Puppy 1 or 2 class as soon as I’d like?

Sometimes, this is unavailable because class is full for a while. We’re sorry! We recommend registering for the next available start date so that you can get access to the PDF handbook and video orientation to support you before starting class. We also offer an online puppy class you can join right away.

Adult Dog Class FAQs

Is there a prerequisite for this class?

As long as your dog is up to date on vaccinations, you’re welcome to join! (See below for vaccination requirements.). One exception is if they have a hard time on-leash around other dogs at fairly close proximity (4-6 feet at times). If that’s the case, another training solution would be a better it. Contact us for other options.

My dog gets nervous in public or around other dogs. Is this the right class for him?

We want your pup to be successful as possible! So if your dog has fear, reactivity, anxiety or barks on leash around other dogs, please contact us before signing up for Fun Foundation to make sure it’s the best fit. Often times, another service is a better fit!

Do I bring my dog to the first class? What else do I need to bring?

Puppy 3 and Fun Foundation 1 Class: No, don’t bring your dog to the first class. Bring a notebook and something to write with (see above for Puppy 1 and Puppy 2 details).

About Town Class: Yes, bring your dog and all the materials you brought to your previous classes. Additional l details are outlined in homework portal and/or confirmation email, if applicable.

Agility Fundamentals 1 and 2: Yes, bring your dog and all the materials you brought to your previous classes. Additional l details are outlined in homework portal and/or confirmation email, if applicable.

Sports Sampler: Yes, bring your dog and all the materials you brought to your previous classes. Additional l details are outlined in homework portal and/or confirmation email, if applicable.

What if I miss a class?

In order to keep our classes small, Happy Dog Institute is unable to offer refunds or makeup classes, so please plan carefully when scheduling. Missed classes can be made up on a private basis for our regular private session fee.

Open-enrollment classes:

Please be aware that we are saving a spot in class just for you and your dog. Once you have registered, paid and picked a start date, your spot is secured in class for six CONSECUTIVE weeks. If you miss a class, it will still count towards one of your sessions. This is so that we can ensure small class sizes for all of our clients. You are welcome to make up a session for our regular private training fee!

What are the vaccination requirements?

All vaccinations must be current. Check with your veterinarian if you’re unsure. You will have the opportunity to list vaccination records when you register for class.

Do I need to bring my dog to every class?

No, the first class of Fun Foundation is an orientation and is held without the dog. All you’ll need for class the first week is something to write with! After that, your dog will need to be at every class.

How do I secure my spot in class?

Payment is required to secure your spot in class. You can register online via this link, or contact us if you would prefer to register over the phone or via email (we’ll either take a credit card number over the phone or email you an invoice, payable online).

Why all the treats?

We use a lot of treats in class. Food is a primary reinforcer! People often worry that too many treats at first will make the dog only work for treats in the future – when in fact it’s the other way around. Associating behaviors with high-value reinforcement is essential to properly train behaviors – and maintain them. As they get better and better at their behaviors, we decrease the frequency of the reinforcers. They’ll still work hard because they never know when they’re going to get a treat now!

Ever stop to wonder why slot machines can be so addicting?

We also use other reinforcers like environment, toys and play as you progress through the Fun Foundation and About Town series.

Private Training & Behavior Help FAQs

In-Person Training

What type of behavior issues require in-person training?

Click here to read about behavior issues that require in-person training.

Where are consultations held?

At our facility, Happy Dog Headquarters, in Tumwater. The address is 7924 Sweet Iron Ct SE, Suite 109, Olympia WA. We are open by appointment only, and will email you directions once your consultation is scheduled, as the date approaches.

I read that I need to submit some paperwork before my consultation. What sort of paperwork and how do I get it to you?

Don’t fret! We have a single page of paperwork, plus a page with some policies and contractual stuff on it that we have you electronically sign and send our way at least two days before your scheduled consultation. It’s easy to fill out and submit online, and we’ll email it to you with plenty of time to complete it after your consultation is scheduled.

What should I bring with me to my consultation?

When you scheduled your consultation we emailed you a Consultation Letter with a list of what to bring. Let us know if you need it sent again before you arrive!

Why aren’t consultations held at my house?

Consultations are held in a neutral territory so that we can assess your dog without their territory being an issue. This will give us a better “baseline” and a more accurate read of your dog’s behavior and temperament.

Do you need to see the behavior?

You’d would think so, wouldn’t you? In short, no. We don’t need to see the behavior, for a number of reasons:

  • A consultation is the first step in helping your dog heal and de-stress. Recreating the behavior adds undue stress for you and your dog that just isn’t necessary, and sets us off on the wrong foot.
  • We’ve see it a gazillion times before!
  • If we need more information, and if you’d like to share what’s going on with visual aids, feel free to bring some video of the behavior with you to your consultation.
  • In rare cases we may need to see the behavior in order to assess it – but this is hardly ever the case. We can discuss this more at the consultation!
Virtual & Online Training

Do you need to physically demonstrate what I should be doing with my dog?

In some cases, yes! But this is typically the case with behavior issues that aren’t suited for remote training. Click here to read about behavior issues that require in-person training.

What is virtual training anyway?

Good question! This training is conducted via video chat, email and video sharing. How we approach remote training depends on the behavior issues we’re dealing with. We really like virtual training because we can support you frequently all week long, which drastically improves your training success.

Click here to learn more about virtual training, and click here to read about private training, behavior packages and consulting.

What kind of technology do I need to do virtual training? Do I need to be a techno-wiz?

No! For a phone consultation, all you need is a an internet connection and a device with a webcam like a computer, tablet or smartphone. It’s great if you have two devices, but one will do. If you can turn on your phone, computer or tablet, you are in good shape. These days, most of our clients have the necessary equipment to do this type of training and do just fine! Plus, they love it!

We also offer a free tech support session with our virtual training packages to get you setup, if you need it.

Do you need to physically demonstrate what I should be doing with my dog?

In some cases, yes! But this is typically the case with behavior issues that aren’t suited for virtual training. Click here to read about behavior issues that require in-person training.

What if I want you to see my dog’s behavior even if we are doing virtual training?

Oh, the joys of modern technology. These days, we can accomplish pretty much anything via email, video chat and file sharing. You are welcome to share video of your dog’s behavior – and we often request it! – when you are doing remote training. Typically, people will share video with us via Google Drive.

Don’t you need to meet my dog and see the behavior?

We have three answers to this question:

  1. Sometimes we need to meet your dog, yes. If this is the case, we won’t recommend remote training and we will schedule an in-person consultation.
  2. Other times, we don’t need to meet your dog initially to get the ball rolling, but we will as we progress. Often a virtual consultation is a great way to get you some help quickly (like when your dog just bit your family member, or they are peeing all over your house, or two of your dogs are fighting and it seems to be escalating quickly – you get the idea). We really like virtual training because we can help you throughout the week instead of once every so often. Plus, we can see what’s going on in realtime, in your environment.If necessary, we will transition to in-person training after an initial remote consultation. Click here to learn about remote training.
  3. Some behaviors – like dog-dog aggression in the household, house training and separation anxiety – should be conducted exclusively via virtual training for optimum success and maximum support. Click here to learn more.

I read that I need to submit some paperwork before my initial assessment. What sort of paperwork and how do I get it to you?

Don’t fret! We have a single page of paperwork, plus a page with some policies and contractual stuff on it that we have you electronically sign and send our way at least two days before your scheduled assessment. It’s easy to fill out and submit online, and we’ll email it to you with plenty of time to complete it after your consultation is scheduled.

Seminar & Webinar FAQs

What are the system requirements for attending a webinar?

Windows

  • 1.4 GHz Intel Pentium 4 or faster processor (or equivalent)
  • Windows 10, 8.1 (32-bit/64-bit), Windows 7 (32-bit/64-bit)
  • 512 MB of RAM (1 GB recommended)
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 11 or later, Windows Edge browser, Mozilla Firefox, and Google Chrome

 

Mac OS

  • 1.83 GHz Intel Core Duo or faster processor
  • 512 MB RAM (1 GB recommended)
  • Mac OS X 10.11, 10.12 and 10.13
  • Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, Google Chrome

 

Linux

  • Ubuntu 14.04 and 16.04; Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6
  • No application support is available for Linux. Users on Linux can attend meetings in a browser.
  • Google Chrome
  • Adobe Flash Player 23.0

 

Virtual Environment

  • Citrix XenApp 7.5 and 7.11
  • Horizon version 6.2

 

Mobile

  • The Adobe Connect app for iOS and Android requires Adobe Connect Server version 8.2 or later
  • Some features may not be enabled in all Adobe Connect meetings if one is using an Adobe Connect Server older than version 9.4.2 (required for Custom pods)
  • Google Android 4.4 or later
  • Apple iOS: iOS 8.1.2 or later

 

Additional requirements

Bandwidth: 512 Kbps for participants and meeting attendees.

What is your makeup and cancelation policy?

We are holding a slot in this webinar just for you, and while we don’t offer refunds, we are happy to work with you should something unexpected and unavoidable arise. You have a couple options:

  1. For in-person seminars, we’re happy to move your seminar to another date given at least two weeks’ notice. If we aren’t planning to offer the seminar again, we’ll give you access to a live or recorded version of similar content.
  2. For webinars, if you’re not able to attend live, then we can provide you with access to a recorded version of the seminar once it’s been uploaded.

Human & Stranger Fear (Stranger Danger) Training Questions

Does my dog have to wear a muzzle?

If your dog has a bite history or a tendency to lunge, then yes. If you’re not sure, then yes. Better safe than sorry! We’ll spend some time desensitizing to a muzzle if your dog has never worn one before. We don’t want it to be an added stressor!

Where can I buy the Baskerville muzzle?

Fluffy & Floyd’s Pet Supplies in Tumwater has them (there are probably other places around town that do also), and you can buy them online.

How do I desensitize my dog to a muzzle? Why is it important to do so?

It’s so important to desensitize your dog to a muzzle so it’s not yet ANOTHER stressor for them in the environment. If they only wear a muzzle when they’re doing something out of their comfort zone, they’re going to have a negative association. Plus, it’ll be harder to work with them if they are too stressed to relax (at least a little) and eat.

Chirag Patel has some great videos on muzzle desensitization.
Video 1
Video 2

It’s NEVER too early to get started on this, we even practice with muzzles in our puppy class!

My dog isn’t aggressive, they’re just afraid of people.

Okay, so, we kind of hate the term “aggression”. Behavior is information, and an “aggressive” dog is usually a very fearful dog. They’ve just learned to use aggression to get their needs met. So, if your dog isn’t aggressive that’s totally fine! This is still the perfect program for them.

I already have a muzzle. Do I have to buy the Baskerville brand?

No, but we really like this brand because – while it’s not perfect – it’s designed to be fed through. If you can find a different basket muzzle that can be fed through and worn for longer periods of time, go for it.

In certain circumstances (like if you have an English Bulldog), you might not be able to use a Baskerville Muzzle. We can discuss this.