Frequently Asked Questions
Dog training is currently an unregulated industry. Literally anyone can call themselves a dog trainer. Our credentials set up apart: All of Bravo!Pup’s trainers are graduates, or are current students of, The Academy of Dog Trainers, the undisputed world leader in advanced education in dog training and behavior, commonly referred to as “The Harvard of Dog Training.”
You can rest assured we use only modern, science-based humane training methods for an unrivaled training experience.
Click on the class name for a link to more information!
- PUP1: For puppies 8-18 weeks of age. The cut off age of 18 weeks is at the FIRST class.
- DOG1: For puppies and dogs 18 weeks and older. While your 18+ week old pup still has lots of puppy energy, they are entering their teenage years with adult teeth and jaw strength; it is unsafe to train the teenagers with the toddlers. The curriculum is very similar to PUP1.
- PUP2/DOG2: For dogs that have completed PUP1, DOG1 or equivalent.
- FROLIC OR FIGHT? This is an essential class for all dog owners. Learn to identify dog body language and play styles.
- LIFE SKILLS FOR SHY/FEARFUL: If your dog is anxious, fearful and/or shy, this online class will teach them how to build their confidence and feel safe in the world.
Mask wearing in our classes is now optional for all students and instructors.
If you are feeling unwell or may have been exposed to covid, we ask that you stay home.
Nope. We agree with the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior’s (AVSAB) Position Statement on this topic: “In general, puppies can start puppy socialization classes as early as 7-8 weeks of age. Puppies should receive a minimum of one set of distemper/parvo vaccines at least 7 days prior to the first class and a first de-worming. They should be kept up to date throughout the class.”
So, there you go! We sanitize the training area and have every student step on a viricide mat. We are diligent about cleaning up the inevitable puppy piddles. If your pup is not fully vaccinated, we suggest carrying them into the sanitized training area. The safety of our puppy students is our #1 priority.
We are strongly recommending to vaccinate against Canine Flu for all dogs: Canine Influenza Virus H3N2/H3N8 (CIV).
We’ll ask you to bring copies of your vaccination records to your first class or social.
Because of the limits to our classroom sizes, in-person make-up sessions are not possible. We will send you the detailed homework along with a video of a comparable class so you won’t be left behind! Make sure to email email@example.com and let us know which class you are in and what session you will be missing.
Adult Dogs are defined as those who are 5 months and older. Your dog will need a rabies vaccine, and a DHPP (distemper-parvo) vaccine. We are recommending that all dogs receive the Canine Influenza (H3N2 & H3N8) series before participating in class.
We require that you bring the vaccination records to the first class to that we can check them before you begin training with us. Please check with your veterinarian to be sure your dog is current on all shots.
On the contrary, your pup needs to begin puppy class right away in order to receive careful, gentle socialization with safe people, other pups, and a variety of objects and environments. Your pup is still young and impressionable, which means there is a lot we can do to develop his confidence and prepare him for the Big World.
While it’s totally natural to want to safeguard your shy pup, did you know that shyness can later develop into behavior problems? Problems like fear-based aggression, attachment disorders, submissive urination, and the inability to cope in stressful situations. Pups with reserved or cautious natures can seem like they are “calm”, “submissive”, or “obedient” when they’re actually experiencing fear and stress. If not addressed, their responses and behavior tend to get worse as they mature.
You can avoid these issues by making the most of your pup’s critical development period which lasts from 8 weeks to 16 weeks of age. After this time, pups can still learn to be less afraid of things, but progress tends to be much slower than when they are younger.
For extra help, we highly recommend taking our live, remote “Shy/Fearful” concurrently with your PUP1 class.
As long as your pup has had at least one DHPP (distemper – parvo) vaccine and 7 days have passed since the shot was given, you are welcome to start Bravo’s puppy socials.
BravoPup socials are held indoors in safe locations that are sanitized before, during and after each class. We recommend that you carry your pup from your car into the classroom.
We feel that our socials are the safest, cleanest, healthiest, and best managed socialization events in town. Every social is supervised by two or more professional trainers who are skilled at directing dog play and making sure that all pups are having a positive social experience.
We are relentless advocates for early socialization because it’s clear to us, as well as to the top behavior experts in our field, that a lack of proper socialization is the chief reason that adult dogs develop serious behavior issues including fear and aggression. We often refer to socialization as “anti-aggression training”.
We agree with the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior’s (AVSAB) Position Statement on this topic: “In general, puppies can start puppy socialization classes as early as 7-8 weeks of age. Puppies should receive a minimum of one set of vaccines at least 7 days prior to the first class and a first de-worming. They should be kept up to date throughout the class.”
No. If your puppy is not well, we recommend that you call your veterinarian immediately so that you can discuss his/her symptoms and address your concerns. Follow your veterinarian’s advice.
Please do not bring a sick dog to class or puppy social.
We encourage you to come to class without your pup-dog and observe the lessons. We are unable to offer a refund or transfer in these situations and want to ensure you are able to continue with the training. There is much to be learned by observing the behavior of other dogs/pups. This way, you will be able to work with your dog during the week once he/she is feeling better.
We care deeply about the health and well-being of your dog. Please keep us informed of his or her health status.
We are proud and enthusiastic practitioners of what’s commonly called “positive reinforcement training”. It’s also referred to as reward-based training, force-free training.
Positive reinforcement is the presentation of something rewarding to the dog that immediately follows a behavior that we approve of and like. The reward makes that behavior more likely to occur again in the future, and it is one of the most powerful tools for shaping or changing your pup’s behavior.
We do not recommend, endorse, or use any training techniques that are aversive to your dog, or that rely on pain, force, startle, or coercion to change your dog’s behaviors. As science-based trainers, we know there’s a far more powerful and humane way to help your dog learn and support the incredible relationship that the two of you can have together.
That’s why we Keep It Positive.
First, it helps to remember that food isn’t the only reward available. Anything your dog values can be used as a reward, whether it’s food, play, attention, or access to a desired place or object. These are all important and useful training tools. Our aim is to deliver the appropriate reward to your pup whenever he does something right.
But here’s why we use Food treats so often while training in class: for many dogs, the fastest way to their brains is through their stomachs. So food treats are a quick and and highly effective way to reward behaviors as they are being taught. Tiny food treats can be delivered repeatedly while we train in class. Plus, they are often the single best tool we have to help your dog train successfully around the normal distraction levels in class.
Ideally, food should not be the only reward used to train your dog. Once your dog has learned to perform a behavior really well in a variety of conditions, food can often be swapped out for other rewards to help keep a behavior strongly reinforced. It takes loads of time and considerable skill to get to this point, and many owners try to take away the rewards too soon.
Ideally, you can aim for two or more 5 minute training ‘session-ettes’ each day. This may sound like a lot, but it’s not. That said, it’s usually more realistic to sprinkle your pup’s lessons throughout the day and evening: two minutes here, two minutes there.
Most puppies have very short attention spans, which is why training sessions have to be short and frequent. Can you imagine sitting a pre-schooler at a desk and giving him/her an hour long exam? It would never work. So don’t overload your pup. Go for quality, not quantity. You’ll both have more fun.
Certainly. We love training with kids and we encourage all family members who will be participating in training your dog to attend class.
However, some of our locations have restricted the number of attendees. Please inquire regarding the site location.
Children can become very fine trainers, but they do require special consideration in an hour-long class situation. There are times when your child will have to sit quietly in class while the instructor is talking. Please consider if this will be easy or difficult for your child, and how it may affect your ability to concentrate as well.
For safety reasons we do not allow a single handler to bring more than one dog to a class. If you have registered multiple dogs for a class, please ensure that you have a separate handler for each dog, plus loads of treats.
The following criteria must be met for us to consider a partial refund, as all refunds are subject to a $35 non-refundable processing fee.
- We are unable to provide a refund if you cancel your enrollment within five business days (Mon-Fri: 9am-5pm) of class start date.
- Even if you cancel enrollment within 5 business days, a refund is issued IF AND ONLY IF we can fill your spot. We put forth our best effort but cannot guarantee a refund.
- If you cancel with ample time to fill your spot, we will refund, minus a $35 processing fee.
- Once class has started, we regret that a refund or direct transfer is not available if you decide to cancel or transfer to a different class.
- If your dog is feeling unwell, we encourage you to attend class without your dog and then practice at home during the week. We will provide a comparable training video for your review.
- Class fees are non-transferrable to private lessons.
- A refund will not be issued if your dog is removed from class due to behavioral issues. If you are uncertain if your dog is appropriate for class, please send us an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org with your concerns.
Please be considerate and understanding of our policies. We limit enrollment in order to provide quality instruction and to maintain safety in our classrooms. We appreciate your understanding that once you have reserved a spot we agree to hold this spot for you in which case it is made unavailable to other students.
For these reasons, PLEASE THINK SERIOUSLY ABOUT YOUR SCHEDULE and commitment to training and your dog’s suitability for group classes before enrolling.