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Frequently Asked dog Training Questions

Find more training info at tips on the Louisiana SPCA Blog!

LOUISIANA SPCA BLOG

What training methods does the Louisiana SPCA use?

What if my dog isn't food motivated?

What supplies do I need for class?

Where are training classes held?

What are the qualifications of Louisiana SPCA trainers?

How do I qualify for a training class discount?

If I took a Basic Obedience Class somewhere else, will that count as the prerequsite for MII, CGC, or Agility for Fun?

Do you provide special accommodations for reactive or shy dogs?

What are the vaccination requirements to participate in classes or private training?

Do you offer classes for aggressive dogs?

How do I register for a class?

I can no longer attend the class that I registered for.  What should I do?

Do you offer make-ups for missed classes?

How do I schedule private training?

Are there discounts available for private training?

 

What training methods does the Louisiana SPCA use?

At the Louisiana SPCA, it is part of our mission to foster the human-animal bond, especially in our training classes.  Our classes are designed to teach you how to motivate your dog to do what you would like him to do and how to humanely decrease unwanted behaviors, all while having fun with your dog.  Our classes do not use force, fear, or pain to accomplish this and all training is based on the science of how animals learn.  We will teach you how to effectively increase the behaviors that you do like with positive reinforcement and decrease those that you do not like by reward removal.  Food is the most powerful motivator for dogs, so that is the primary reward used in classes.  Once behaviors are learned, we will teach you to maintain them through the use of life rewards.

What if my dog isn't food motivated?

This can be a concern for some students, but our instructors will be able to work with you to find the right reward for your dog.  Some dogs will need higher value rewards, and some may need special accommodations made with their feeding schedule.  All living beings must be motivated by food to live, so we will help you find a way to increase this motivation for training.  Some training can be accomplished with toys or attention, but training with food will provide faster results.  Our dogs have to eat, so we might as well make use of that and have them work for their food!

What supplies do I need for class?

Supplies will depend on the class that you registered for and a supply list will be included in your email class confirmation.  For all classes, if your dog pulls strongly on leash, you will want to arrive to class in a front-attaching harness or head halter.  Both can be found online and at most pet stores.  You will also need small, pea-sized pieces of high value food rewards to last a full hour, water, and a water bowl for your pet.  Some classes may require mats or clickers, but you will be notified ahead of time about any special gear that is needed.

Where are training classes held?

We currently have three training locations in the Greater New Orleans area: the Louisiana SPCA, Canine Connection, and Jefferson Feed Pet and Garden Center.  All locations offer Manners I training.  Puppy Manners, Reactive Rover, Loose Leash Walking, and Come When Called are only offered at the Louisiana SPCA.  On our class registration form, you can view a list of class locations and start dates.

What are the qualifications of Louisiana SPCA trainers?

Dog training is an unregulated industry.  That means that anyone can call themselves a dog trainer without ever completing a certification course or having any formal knowledge about animal behavior.  Since we are dedicated to offering quality classes to our students, all Louisiana SPCA trainers have completed a certification course or are working towards obtaining a certification.  In addition to that, our trainers continue to develop professionally by attending webinars, training workshops, and seminars to maintain up to date in advances in the sciences of animal learning.

How do I qualify for a training class discount?

A discount on Manners I can be obtained by attending our Intro to Dog Training workshop, held quarterly.  In addition, Manners I is offered in Large Group format for a reduced fee, and we offer discounts for dogs adopted from our facility within the past 3 months. 

If I took a Basic Obedience Class somewhere else, will that count as the prerequisite for Manners II, CGC, or Agility for Fun?

Yes - completion of a comparable entry level training class is sufficient for enrollment in Manners II, Canine Good Citizen, and Agility for Fun.  You may be asked to submit video footage of required skills before enrolling in the class.

Do you provide special accommodations for reactive or shy dogs?

We strive to make class a positive experience for all involved, which means sometimes making special accommodations for shy or stressed dogs.  Visual barriers are sometimes used for dogs that feel overwhelmed by the group setting with the goal of having them gain confidence each week and eventually participate outside of the barrier.  If your dog is reactive on leash to other dogs, you will be excused from class and asked to enroll in Reactive Rover before joining in a Manners I class.

What are the vaccination requirements to participate in classes or private training?

All dogs must be up to date with age appropriate Rabies and DHPP vaccinations prior to participating in a group training class.  Puppy Manners is the exception and puppies must have at least 2 DHPP vaccinations before joining the class.  Our Canine Connection classes also require an up-to-date Lepto and Bordetella vaccine.

Do you offer classes for aggressive dogs?

Dog that are aggressive to people or other dogs are not appropriate for our group classes.  Please check out our private training offerings for help with aggression.

How do I register for a class?

You can find our training class registration form HERE.  Select a location and a list of classes available at that location will show.  Select a class and upcoming class dates and times will appear.  Select the class that you wish to enroll in and complete the rest of the form.  A non-refundable $25 deposit will be charged at the end of the form.  This deposit will apply to your class balance, due on the first day of class.

I can no longer attend the class that I registered for.  What should I do?

Please email us at training@la-spca.org.  Class deposits are non-refundable, but can be transferred to another class.  Class fees are not refunded should you choose to drop from a class for any reason.  If you have questions or concerns, please email training@la-spca.org before dropping from a class.

Do you offer make-ups for missed classes?

We do not currently offer make-up classes.  If you must miss a class, please email your instructor and they will send you the homework for that night so that you can be caught up for the following week.  Instructors are available via email for support in between classes.

How do I schedule private training?

Please visit our Private Training Page and complete the Private Training Request Form.  For in-home training, a trainer will be in contact with you within 72 hours to help you schedule your initial consult.  For in-shelter training, you may choose an appointment date and time on the form and you will receive further instructions within 72 hours of filling out the registration form.  You will be charged a non-refundable deposit for in-shelter private training, and the remaining balance will be due at the time of your appointment.

Are there discounts available for private training?

You can schedule in-shelter private training for a steep discount on our private training fees.  In-shelter sessions are on set days and times throughout the month and can be scheduled HERE.  We also offer our group classes in a private format in-shelter for $250 for the 4 or 5 week session.

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