“You make and take the time to provide individual instruction to each member of the class. You do not stand with others gathered around you in a circle, talking about the ‘way it should be.’ Instead, you take each dog (individually) and walk them through the paces so the owner/handler can see what they are supposed to do with their own dog!” –Kathleen W
Ready to register for a class?
Click link below to download a current schedule
Here is what you need to do to enroll in a class:
Just fill out the Contact Us page (or email us at info@PlayfulPupsTraining.com) and leave your name, phone number, email address, dog’s name, age, and breed and the class you are interested in. We will write you back, letting you know whether we’ve been able to save you a spot. NOTE: You can check the home page for a listing of upcoming classes with the number of spaces left in each. Then on the first night of class, you will bring your completed registration, proof that your dog is current on vaccinations, and your class fee (cash, check, or credit card). Typically, a session consists of six classes, for $130.00. Continuing Clients, however, pay $120.00. We hope you will continue to train with us!
How are our classes different?
Our group classes are kept very small–five or fewer–so every dog/handler team receives individual attention…sometimes including a video (on their own phone!) of what they are doing, complete with coaching narration from Deborah. Furthermore, class members receive a complete plan and description of what will be covered in class each week, as well as follow up emails which include detailed descriptions of what has been taught, which can be saved and referenced any time. And Deborah is available through email to address any specific issues a current or former student is having.
“…Also, I love the info sheets you provide in your emails! Who wouldn’t? They are a great resource!”–Daniel
Where will your dog be trained?
Our group classes are held evenings and weekends at 404 Investors Place, suite 103, in Virginia Beach (off Independence Boulevard, between Mt. Trashmore and Town Center). This large, climate-controlled facility has thick rubber flooring, which your dog will love to work (and play!) on. We stress safety for all the dogs in the class, so your dog must be able to handle a group setting without interfering with the learning of others. Often, we work with dogs that may seem to have difficulty initially but quickly learn to enjoy being with the other dogs. In fact, all the dogs will be receiving lots of one-on-one attention and instruction, since our group classes are kept to 5 or fewer dog/handler teams.
“Thanks again for being such an inspiration and a wonderful trainer. Lily and I both learned so much from you!”–Liz
How will your dog be trained?
Because we believe in choice/reward–based training, you will be bringing a variety of tiny, soft treats to use in class when we are introducing a new behavior. A misconception about using rewards for correct choices is that you have to continue to give treats for all trained behavior. In fact, you will be using a marker (first a “click,” but soon just a verbal click, “Yep”) before you give the reward. However, once the behavior is understood and fluent, you will no longer need to mark and reward it. Of course, you’ll still want to use occasional treats and real-life rewards (like praise, belly rubs, an opened door, etc.) to reinforce your dog’s good behavior. We’ll show you from the first class how to move toward this goal of having your dog work with you without having to reward him with treats!
“I just wanted to zip you a note to let you know how pleased I was with your training methods. I was astounded by my wonderful Chief’s learning abilities! : )”–Ellen
When are most classes held?
Classes begin at 6 pm on weekdays and last an hour. Typically, two classes are held Monday through Thursday, each lasting an hour. A series of Saturday classes begins at 10:30 in the morning, with some held in the afternoon as well. In general, class sessions are six weeks long, although we occasionally offer shorter “mini” classes and workshops.
Who should come to class?
We encourage family participation in training, so children who can sit calmly and quietly for the hour are welcome to come watch. Children twelve years and older may help handle the dog, as long as they are accompanied by a supervising adult. All handlers should wear proper footwear—no flip-flops—and comfortable clothing that they wouldn’t mind wearing while sitting on the floor.
“Hank is behaving wonderfully. I swear he has changed very positively since last week.. i.e. his behavior with other dogs, his playing habits, his calming down, and responding to his name. I cannot believe the difference! Thank you again for what you do!”–Margaret