Affordable classes at every level

Our classes use positive reinforcement to teach dogs how to problem solve and make good decisions on their own.  They promote positive, trusting relationships and effective communication practices between you and your canine pal.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What training methods does HSHV use?

We only use methods that are recognized and supported by the top training experts in the field of behavior modification and learning theory. Our training classes are all progressive, science-based, positive reinforcement techniques that are proven effective and reinforce (versus damage) the canine-handler relationship and bond.

What training methods does HSHV not recommend?

Any kind of punishment-based, corrective training, such as training that involves choke chains, prong collars or leash corrections. These methods are not science-based, humane or effective. Do they work? In the moment, yes. But they are painful, unnecessary and damaging to your relationship with your dog. These techniques also fail to produce long-term results and require that you forever painfully correct your dog. They give the illusion of being effective because they work in the moment (through instilling fear) but in terms of long-term change and progress, they are completely ineffective.  Since these techniques aren’t humane, necessary or effective in creating long-term change, we don’t use them!  Our rule of thumb:  If it doesn’t feel good to do and your dog isn’t excited about it, we don’t do it! 

What sets HSHV dog training classes apart from other dog training?

Most dog training classes teach owners how to control their dog in class, and teach a few predetermined commands. However, owners often leave without the in-depth knowledge on how their dog thinks, learns, and feels, which is required for a successful, happy relationship.

Our classes actually teach owners to understand how their dog processes thought and learns from his environment so that guardians can continue their learnings after they leave the classroom. Our classes welcome the distractions that will help them apply the commands they learn to real-world experiences such as going to the vet, walking through the park, or having guests over.

Our classes simulate those real-world experiences so that owners leave feeling confident that they know how to control their dog during highly distracting and difficult times. Too often we hear people say “Sure, they did it in class but then guests came over and he couldn’t focus!”  Well, no more! Our classes focus on these type of difficult distracters so owners feel confident and excited about training in all situations!

What if a class is full or there are no classes open currently?

Sign up for our Dog Training email list to be notified when new classes open, or the waitlist for your particular class, and you’ll be the first to know if spaces open up or when new classes are starting.

We were told not to use treats when training. Do you use treats?

Yes! Gone are the days of training with the “Because I told you so” mentality. This was recommended by trainers back when we knew very little about canine learning and motivation. Using the “because I said so” mentality when training is like someone telling you to work without a paycheck “because they said so.” Does it work? Maybe – if you punish enough when they do not offer the behavior. But it’s not the best and most clear, humane training style. Dogs learn and are motivated in the same way we are. The way to get the most reliable, trusting and obedient dog is through a system of teaching them to earn what they want in life through being attentive, well behaved and offering a behavior when their owner asks. To do this, we use food, toys or praise as a motivator to encourage dogs to happily, and quickly, give us the behavior we’ve asked. Another benefit: this motivates dogs and reinforces our relationships with them.

Will my dog always needs treats to listen?

The opposite is actually true. We use a great system to help teach handlers how to use food when teaching a behavior but then slowly, and effectively, wean off using food. Using our system, behaviors will be more reliable and you won’t have a dog who only listens when you have food or when there are no distractions. Similar to how children in kindergarten classrooms get stickers for making good choices, doing good things and listening to the teacher, we use treats in the learning phase to increase motivation and create good behavioral habits. However, by 6th grade, our kids no longer need stickers for cleaning up their toys. We know now that dogs learn in very similar ways and by accommodating their learning style, we create more trusting, reliable dogs.

What if my dog is reactive in class?

All of our classes are designed with the safety and comfort of all dogs in mind. For everyone’s sake, dog-reactive dogs, must first take Reactive Rover course first, and then be approved by a trainer to take other classes offered at HSHV (including basic manners).  Reactive Rover includes dogs that growl, excessively bark or lunge at or in the presence of other dogs. Reactive Rover is for people-friendly dogs only. If your dog shows aggression toward people or has bitten or done damage to another dog, private instruction is encouraged.

If your dog must be removed from a class due to aggression or reactivity, you may forfeit your registration fee.  An attempt to fill your spot will be made and a partial refund will be issued when possible. We would encourage you to add your information to our Reactive Rover waitlist if your dog meets the class criteria.  If you have any question about which class you should be in, please first contact a trainer before you sign-up.

Dogs who are reactive towards other dogs are often in a heightened state of stress the entire time during a traditional training class. Those dogs cannot learn effectively in a class with up to 8 dogs while they are lunging, barking and growling at other dogs in the area. Reactive dogs can also make learning difficult for dogs near them who are being barked or lunged at. This is why we offer Reactive Rover classes which are small classes with no more than 4 dogs at a time. The small learning environment and state of the art, science-based training curriculum ensures that reactive dogs will get what they need and that the rest of our classes can remain calm, safe places for those dogs who do not struggle with reactivity. We thank you in advance for welcoming this great, low-stress model for running canine classrooms. Regardless of where your dog falls on the scale, he/she will thank you as well.

Can my spouse/partner/child/roommate/etc. attend class with my dog and me?

Yes, the more the merrier! We welcome, and encourage, any and all family members who will be working with your dog to come. Please, no small children. Training is an activity that should be fun for the entire household!

What if I need to miss a class or cancel my registration?

We encourage a commitment to attend all classes. In the event you may miss a class, please contact the trainer to let them know and to receive any missed material.

We are not able to refund missed classes. If you need to disenroll, please do so as soon as possible by writing development@hshv.org. We’re sorry; we cannot offer refunds if you cancel your registration fewer than 7 days prior to the start of the first session.

Classes Offered

Puppy Socialization

For age: 10 weeks to 6 months

Fee: $100 (4 weeks)
During this 4-week social hour, we will work on play time, body handling and basic skills like coming when called.  We’ll also help you problem solve!

Take this class while you are waiting for Puppy Preschool to begin or as an extra play outlet while you’re in class!

Puppy Preschool

For age: 10 weeks – 6 months

Fee: $149 (6-week class)

Discover how to provide outlets for normal puppy behavior, minimize potty accidents, and manage and control inappropriate behavior like jumping, chewing on shoes and other items, hard mouthing and nipping. Learn commands such as Sit, Down, Stay, Come, Go to Your Mat, Leave it and more!

Basic Manners

For age: 6 months+

Fee: $159 (6-week class)

Motivate your dog to work with you in all situations! Using safe, positive, on- and off-leash handling, we’ll help you maintain control even in distracting environments. It’s the difference between having a dog who only listens when you have a treat or force them, vs. a dog who can’t wait to hear what you want!

Reactive Rover

For age: 6 months+

Fee: $235 (6-week class)

Is your dog PEOPLE-FRIENDLY, but barks/lunges at other dogs?  Reactive Rover will help you understand and modify your dog’s reactivity, using positive methods and working at each dog’s individual level so that we can change the dog’s response to triggers. This class has a waitlist from which we pull registrants.

Meet our Trainers