ABC Obedience Training and Supplies
2458 Boston Post Road | Guilford, CT  06437 | 203-458-2223 (ABCD)
Office/retail hours: Mon 3-6 • Th 12-6 • Sun 11-1 | Training hours by appointment or class schedule.

Should I do private sessions or group classes?

It depends on what you need to work on with your dog or puppy.  Groups are a great economical way to get basic skills and commands with distractions (no more than 8 dogs in our beginner classes).  There are always opportunities to ask your questions in groups, but individual issues don't get addresses as well as if we are sitting in your kitchen and watching you in real life.  Also, some humans are not as comfortable in groups - it works best if you can focus on your dog and not worry about social graces.  Puppies under 18 weeks almost always benefit from our carefully designed Puppy Kindergarten group class.  The socialization and free play which is added to the puppy basic skills is important.  

Private sessions are best if you have issues such as manners, dominance, guarding or want to include your children at a pace that can be adapted.  Private sessions can be conducted at your home (often with invited guests for practice), or in the real world, where we can help you navigate control of your dog at places such as the town green, the veterinarian or groomer, etc.

Many times, the "mix and match" approach is best.  By combining groups and private sessions, the rate for training is reduced and you get the best of both worlds, with your individual needs being met and knowing your dog can perform in a class environment with distractions and structured exercises.

My puppy is really smart, do I need Puppy Kindergarten?

Our Puppy Kindergarten is designed for the developmental stages of dogs under 18 weeks at start date.  Puppies learn differently than adolescent dogs (usually about 6 months) and we introduce a variety of learning that will set the foundation for a lifetime of attention and communication.  Preventing problems is also key at a young age.  Puppy Kindergarten includes a few minutes of supervised free-play socializing each time, which is invaluable.

If I have other dogs, isn't my dog socialized enough?

That is like saying that if a child has siblings at home, he/she doesn't need to learn how to interact with the other kids at school.  Meeting a variety of dogs in a safe controlled environment when young can make your dog better able to deal with new dog encounters for the rest of their lives.

Why can't my child work the dog in Beginner group or hold the leash?

The entire family is welcome to work in Puppy Kindergarten.  In Beginner groups, the class is designed for adults and children are welcome to attend if they can remain seated (especially as all the dogs are heeling, reversing directions, etc).  AN ADULT MUST HOLD THE DOG'S LEASH AT ALL TIMES AT ABC OBEDIENCE - for obvious safety reasons.

My dog barks at other dogs, can he/she come to groups?

If the dog is friendly, barking is something we can address.   Many dogs are just frustrated when on the leash.  However, if you have any doubt that your dog may behave aggressively, we can discuss it by phone and may suggest a quick evaluation. 

What vaccinations do you require?

In Beginner group, dogs must be up to date on all vaccines and show proof of rabies certificate.  In Puppy Kindergarten, puppies must be on schedule with the vaccines recommended by your veterinarian (most are fine by age 12 weeks).  Taking your puppy to a group class with other responsible owners is much safer than taking him/her for a walk in a public place or dog park, although there are always risks.  Please check with your vet prior to enrollment.  You will certify that your dog is properly vaccinated for any enrollment.

Can I just "hold" a spot in classes for now?

No, sorry.  Group classes are limited in size to ensure more effective training.  Classes are first-come, first serve and class fees are pre-paid and non-refundable (refunds given if class is full or in extenuating circumstances - not just a change in baseball or work schedules, sorry).  Just check your schedule carefully first and register as soon as you can.