Questions? Contact us at [email protected] or (425) 373-5385.
Your dog must meet the age requirements and prerequisites for the class—please read the class descriptions carefully for these details. The entire family/household is encouraged to attend classes—see our “children in class” policy, below. We highly recommend that, for consistency, the same person/people attend each week of class with the dog.
If you have to miss a class, please contact your instructor for homework. Upon request, your instructor will try to accommodate you to find a make-up session but this will be dependent upon space and schedule availability and may not always be possible. We are unable to accommodate more than one make-up session per six-week class. Please carefully check the schedule for skip dates and other details. Please note that we do occasionally have classes on holidays or holiday weekends.
Refunds or Cancellations
For series classes: Refunds or credits will be granted only for students who withdraw or transfer classes at least one week prior to the first day of class (less a $10 administration fee). No refunds or credits will be granted after that time. Demand for classes is very high and spaces fill quickly. Please let us know if you are no longer able to attend class so that we may offer your place to another student.
For Puppy Play Skills and other single-session classes (virtual or in person): Refunds or credits (less a $2 administration fee) will be granted only for students who cancel their puppy play session 72 hours prior to the session. No refunds or credits will be granted after that time. Please let us know if you are no longer able to attend a session so that another puppy can join the group.
To join class, we require proof in advance of core* vaccinations.
For all dogs and puppies: Distemper, Parvovirus, Adenovirus-2, Parainfluenza, DHPP/DA2PP/DHLPP vaccine at least 7 days before the start of class.
Additionally, for dogs and puppies 16 weeks and older: rabies vaccination or, a statement from your licensed veterinarian recommending a specific exception.
If your puppy (entering Puppy Play Skills, Puppy Head Start, or Puppy Manners 1) was adopted from Seattle Humane within the last four weeks, it is not necessary to send us the vaccination records unless rabies has come due. If your adult dog was adopted from Seattle Humane within the past year, it is not necessary to send us the vaccination records.
Bordatella is a non-core vaccination but is highly recommended due to the fact that Seattle Humane is an animal shelter. Please discuss this with your veterinarian. All Seattle Humane puppies and dogs are vaccinated for bordatella.
Group classes may not be suitable for all dogs. With the exception of Shy Dog Manners, our classes are designed for dogs and puppies who are friendly and not overly reactive to other dogs and people. Owners of dogs who have shown aggressive or very intense reactions toward people or other dogs are encouraged to enroll in a specialized class or take private lessons. If your dog shows aggression toward people or other dogs, or is disruptive to the class, they may be dismissed from class and no refund will be granted. If you have questions about whether the behavior you are trying to improve will be addressed in a group class, please read our guide below and email [email protected] or call us at (425) 373-5385 if you have further questions.
Is a Group Class Appropriate for My Dog?
Our classes address a wide variety of training and socialization goals for you and your dog; however, certain behavior issues are not effectively addressed in a group setting, and therefore will not be addressed in our group classes. Some dogs need one-on-one training to alleviate behaviors such as aggression toward people, separation anxiety, or to prepare them for group classes. If you need assistance finding additional behavioral or training resources our Dog Training Referral List can be a good guide. In some cases, such as when a dog has separation anxiety, a manners class will help support the work you are doing at home but will not directly address the underlying anxiety issues.
The self-evaluation below may help you determine if a group class is appropriate for your dog. If you answer “yes” to any of the questions below, please contact [email protected] before signing up for class.
Does your dog...
- Bark excessively when he/she sees people?
- Lunge at people?
- Bark excessively when he/she sees other dogs?
If you answer “yes” to any of the questions below, please see our recommendation and contact us if you have questions. Does your dog...
- Growl at people? *
- Show aggression toward people? *
- Bark when he or she sees other dogs? *
- Lunge at other dogs? *
- Growl at other dogs? *
- Show aggression towards other dogs? *
- Shy/back away when people pet him/her? **
- Resist allowing strangers to pet him or her? **
- Shy/back away from other dogs? **
* It is likely that private lessons will be the most appropriate for you and your dog at this time.
** Shy Dog Manners may be the right class for your dog; please read the class description for more information.
If you don’t know how your dog reacts around other dogs, we suggest you take him/her to a safe on-leash area where they will see other dogs, and observe their reaction. Take some really tasty treats with you and see if you can get and keep their attention in the presence of other dogs.
Please read the class description carefully for information about prerequisites. Course prerequisites must have been taken at Seattle Humane or instructor permission is required before enrolling. You will not be able to join a class (and may not be eligible for a refund or credit) unless you have first taken* the required prerequisite or have obtained instructor permission in advance.
Please contact [email protected] to inquire about instructor permission.
*in the case of our Behavior Basics seminar: as long as you have registered for this seminar it is okay to register for the group class of your choice as long as you attend before the group class commences.
Your dog should skip class if they have been vomiting, coughing, have diarrhea, is listless, lethargic, is not eating, if they have yellow or greenish discharge from their eyes or nose, or if you have any other reason to believe they may be ill. Please see your veterinarian for these conditions and bring your dog back to class only when your veterinarian has treated and resolved the issue. Do not bring your female dog to class if she is in heat. If you have a dog who is not spayed or neutered, please schedule the surgery so that it does not cause your dog to miss a class. If your dog must miss a class, we encourage you to attend without your dog.
Children in Class
Children who can participate in the training are welcome to attend class. Children under six years of age must have adult supervision beyond the primary person handling the dog. All children under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Qualified instructors will show you how to teach your dog to respond to voice cues (commands) and hand signals using a clicker or a marker word to let your dog know when he has done the correct behavior.
Clicker training is a science-based method for teaching new behaviors with positive reinforcement. Students learn to use a consistent signal (the “click”) to mark a desired behavior right as the behavior happens and then follow that signal with a motivating reward, such as the dog’s favorite food, toy, or game. Because dogs understand precisely which action earned the click and their reward, they learn new behaviors quickly, easily, and enthusiastically. A word may be used as an alternative to the clicker. Will your dog respond to clicker training?
Clicker training works with all breeds, all ages, and all types of dogs. Even dogs who have been trained using “traditional” correction-based methods can rapidly learn clicker training and have fun in the process! Many owners are amazed when their previously shy and hesitant dog becomes an enthusiastic and creative learner once the clicker is introduced. No dog is too young or old to learn using this method—and old dogs really can learn new tricks!
Clicker training is a fast, humane, and enriching way of teaching dogs to be great companions. And because clicker training does not rely on punishment, force, aversion, sprays, or choke collars to get results, it is safely and effectively used with puppies.
If you want to lay the foundation for a strong, lifelong relationship between you and your dog, then join the fun in our training classes!
In the case of snow or other weather emergencies, please check our website to find out if Seattle Humane will be open that day. For evening classes please look for an update by 4 p.m., as Seattle Humane may close early.