Frequently Asked Questions
What Do I Need to Bring?
You will need to bring with you plenty of treat, preferably soft treats like mild cheese or sausage. Extra special treats that smell tasty too are ideal, that your dog does not usually get are better than regular food, like dog kibble.
Poo bags, a drink of water for your dog to have at the end of class (even during cold weather), a regular collar and lead (no chains, no extending leads) or a harness. We sell a lovely range of padded harnesses if you do not have one.
A selection of some of the harnesses and collars that are available to purchase at your classes
Wear warm clothing that will keep you dry also, especially if you are training outdoors with us. It can get windy at times, so a hat and scarf may be recommended. Wellies are useful too.
How Old Does My Puppy Have to be to Join?
Puppies joining socialisation training classes must have completed their vaccination programme, thereby having had their second vaccination and waited the required time recommended by your vet before being able to mix with other dogs. For some vaccines this period is ONE week following vaccination. For other vaccines it is TWO weeks following the second vaccination.
We usually recommend that if your puppy isn't yet old enough to mix, that you tell your vet the day of the week that the class falls which you wish to join with us, and then your vet can inform you of the earliest date that you can start training.
Where are the Classes Held?
We currently offer classes both indoors and outdoors, weekends and evenings. Our indoor venue are based at Chiverton Riding Centre, just off Chiverton Roundabout with easy access from the A30 (Hayle, St Ives, Redruth, Camborne, St Agnes, Perranporth, Newquay and Truro).
Our indoor training venue at Chiverton Riding Centre and 4.5 acre training field with enclosed arenas
We also offer outdoor training at our private 4.5 acre specialist training facility at Carn Arthen, between Redruth and Camborne (just 1 mile off the A30 and accessible from Falmouth, Penryn, Truro, Helston and The Lizard). We have four fully stock-fenced arenas to provide a secure training environment for your dogs.
We have new venues planned for 2014 in the Falmouth / Penryn area and also in Penzance.
When Do I Pay?
Once a place is reserved for you and your puppy, payment is required in advance of your course. We hold classes on several days during the week so you are welcome to pop along and meet us to make your payment or you can pay by BACS or Post.
How Long Does Each Block Last?
Each block of lessons within a course lasts for 8 weeks. We have found from experience over the years that we have been teaching dog training that 8 weeks is a realistic period for both dogs and owners to learn our basic curriculum. Dogs will learn some exercises quickly, and in which case we can show you how to make things more challenging for your dog. Sometimes dogs find other exercises more difficult. Either way, by the end of your 8 week course, you will be competent in teaching your dog all of the basic commands we cover.
What Continuation Courses Are Available?
At Puppy Pals we can offer you and your dog all the training you require. Once you have completed your Puppy Socialisation Course, you are welcome to progress on to our popular Puppy Foundation Agility classes. These classes continue to reinforce the basic obedience that you and your dog have learnt in your first course, but add the excitement and challenge of agility groundwork for your puppy or young dog.
If you feel you still require some assistance with your basic obedience then you are very welcome to progress on to our Young Dog Obedience course, where you will be given support in those areas that you feel you still need to focus on with your dog.
What if I Need 121 Help?
Sometimes people would like individual 121 tuition to assist them with a particular problem area that they are having with their puppy or young dog. We are always happy to accommodate you in providing a 121 session, in which you can bring other dogs from your household if they are linked to the problems you are experiencing. We can offer 121 sessions as one-off methods of support, or as a series of sessions to really address specific issues you may be having.
How Long is the Waiting List?
At Puppy Pals we recognise that when people get a puppy that their early socialisation and training is vital to your puppy growing up to be a happy, well adjusted and confident dog who can be let off the lead and you know they will come back, they will sit and wait until you ask them to move and that they can mix with other dogs without there being a problem. For these reasons we are unique in that we do not have waiting lists . . . you can start your training class within just 7 - 10 days of contacting us!!
Can I Register My Puppy in Advance?
Yes, we welcome advance bookings so that we can ensure your puppy begins their socialisation and training as soon as possible after their second vaccination has taken effect. Please contact us as soon as you know you will be getting a puppy and we will let you know what training options are available for when your puppy is old enough.
You Say You Use Clicker Training . . . What is Clicker Training?
Clicker training is a fantastic way of teaching dogs new behaviours and assisting them with their early learning. A clicker is a device which makes a distinctive sound which you teach your puppy to associate with tasty treats. When incorporated into your training, the sound of the click marks the exact moment that your puppy makes correct decisions. It feeds back to your dog that they have earned a reward for the behaviour they have just done. The sound of the click always guarantees a reward to your dog, so they start to learn very quickly that they need to try out new behaviours to make the click occur, to then earn them their reward.
It doesn't matter if you have never done clicker training before, our instructors will demonstrate to you how to introduce your puppy to the clicker in your first session.
What if I Don't Have a Clicker?
We always have clickers available at training sessions for you to borrow for the session, or you can purchase one from us at the very reasonable price of just £2.
How Many Puppies Will Be in a Class?
Our ratio for instructors to puppies is 8 puppies to one instructor. We find that handlers and puppies learn best when in smaller groups, unlike some classes we hear about which have up to 25 puppies in!! We often have assistant instructors available too within our puppy classes, so there is plenty of opportunity for you to receive all of the help and support you need in implementing your training exercises.
Are Classes Ever Cancelled?
It is very rare that we cancel our indoor training sessions, so these will always go ahead whatever the weather. Our outdoor training classes are weather dependent, but do proceed within light rain or drizzle, the same kind of weather that you would still take your dog out for a walk in. If we deem the weather to be too bad for classes to commence then we will text you one hour before your class is due to commence. If in any doubt, please check your mobile phone prior to leaving home.
What Happens if I Miss a Class?
If you miss a class and inform us that you are unable to attend a session, we will offer you a "catch up" lesson at a future date. Catch up lessons do not have a time limit on their validity, but must be taken "within" a block of lessons (current or future blocks) and unfortunately cannot be added on to the end of any blocks of lessons.
If, for the unusual reason that we must cancel one of your classes, then you will receive an additional lesson added on to the end of your current block.
When Is Payment Due for My Next Block?
Payment is due for continuation blocks of lessons at the final week of your existing block (i.e. week 8). This enables us to plan what instructors are required for our different classes, so please make sure you notify us in good time that you wish to continue so we can allocate you a place.
What is Your Refund Policy?
The fee that you pay for your course is non-refundable. The fee covers not only the lessons that you receive, but also our administration time in processing your enquiry, allocating instructors etc. If you find you are unable to make the class that you have been allocated, we are more than happy to find a class on a different day and time as an alternative so please let us know as soon as you can and we will be happy to assist you.
To book into a Puppy Pals class please contact us by phone, text message or email:
07739 40 58 38 firstname.lastname@example.org