What to bring

  • Yourself and anyone else who will be involved in training or living with your dog (spouse, significant other, well-behaved children, roommates, etc.).
  • Your dog, wearing a standard leash and properly fitted collar. Choke chains, correction collars, and retractable leashes are not allowed or advised. Body harnesses (such as a Freedom Harness or Balance Harness; Freedom Harnesses are sold at the class locations) are allowed and often recommended, but not required. Harnesses can be a great way to keep your dog’s neck safe from pressure if s/he gets excited and pulls on the leash, and they can also help curb pulling for those who have already started to pull on walks.
    • Note: If your dog pulls when walking on leash, a front-clip harness is recommended. A combination of front-clipping harness and teaching your dog to focus on you among distractions can be a great way to help your dog learn how to walk politely on a leash.
  • Treats: preferably something soft and stinky. Hot dogs, pieces of string cheese, packets of cream cheese from Costco, baby food in a travel lotion bottle, roast beef, or pieces of rotisserie chicken can all be great, high-value reinforcement for your dog as well. A few of my favorites are: freeze dried treats, such as Sojo’s lamb, turkey, or beef, Meadow Farms’ duck or bison jerky treats (the soft ones that are already cut into tiny pieces), Natural Balance food rolls, PetKind tripe treats, and several brands of lickable treats. Some other common training treats include Zuke’s Mini Naturals, Ziwi Peak, Buddy Biscuit Natural Soft & Chewy, though I’ve seen these work best at home or in easier environments with less distractions. In general, find a treat or other food item your dog goes crazy for, even when there is a lot going on!
    • If your class or lesson will take place close to meal time, be careful not to feed your dog right before class. If he’s full, he may have less motivation to work.
  • Treat pouch: This is optional, but it’s highly recommended you bring some kind of bait bag to make it easy to carry and hold your treats. You may feel frustrated if you are trying to juggle a plastic baggie or a bag of treats that’s not meant for carrying with you. I recommend a treat pouch that has a hinge, such as the Terry Ryan pouch. Outward Hound and other companies also make a nice drawstring pouch, and a version of this is sold at the pet store (if you’re taking group class). Some students also use rock climbing pouches, such as the ones sold at REI.
  • Toys, bones, or chews to help you keep your dog occupied during talk time or to use as additional motivators or fun-builders during lessons. A Kong that’s stuffed with some delicious peanut butter or canned dog food (or whatever your dog likes) and frozen to make it longer lasting is a great option. Some sort of bone or chew, like a bully stick, can also be a great idea.
  • Accept the waiver. When you register for a class or private training online, you’ll be prompted to sign the waiver. Please make sure you do this before your first class or lesson. Woof! Dog Training Waiver
  • Poop bags for group classes
    • Also, if your puppy has not been cleared to be out in public and isn’t currently taking walks outside, you may want to bring a potty pad to create a potty area if you’re taking a group class.
  • Water (There will also be a water bowl in class, but it’s good to get into the habit of ensuring your dog has water when you are bringing him out and about)
  • ** If you are attending a group class, you must also provide a copy of your dog’s vaccination records from your veterinarian. Please email or text a scanned copy or photo to Erin before your class starts.
  • Optional: A small mat, towel, or blanket that your dog might like to lay on during class. Eventually, we’ll use a mat in class. I will provide mats for class time use, but if you want to get one in advance, I’d recommend a bath mat, a yoga mat (possibly cut to size), or a dog mat such as a Mutt Mat.

If you like to read, you may also want to pick up a copy of Don’t Shoot The Dog or The Culture Clash. See the Dog Training Resources page for more reading and links to books.

Location-specific notes

Pet Me Please

  • For 7pm classes at Pet Me Please: note that the pet store only sells products until 7pm, so if you would like to purchase things they sell, such as treats, dog food, toys, etc., please arrive a little early so you may take care of those things while they still have the register open.
  • For Saturday morning classes, the store is closed when you arrive. Knock on the door, and I’ll let you in, if I’m not sitting outside waiting.
  • There’s a parking lot you can park in when you arrive.

Hairy & Merry

  • Hairy & Merry doesn’t have a specific parking lot, so you’ll be looking for street parking. It’s a good idea to arrive a little early on your first day of class to make sure you can find the location and find parking. The shop is located next to the Harley Davidson store.
  • The store is open during class, if you need to buy treats or other supplies.

Email Erin