Class Etiquette

To get as much training time in as possible, here are things we can all do to help keep class running efficiently and smoothly:

Before Class. . .

  • Arrive in plenty of time to be ready to start at the scheduled class time.
  • When you arrive, please bring your gear in first, and then bring your dog in so you can keep an eye on him.  If you feel your dog needs to potty right away, by all means attend to his needs first and then please crate or stake him while you return to your vehicle to get the rest of your things for class.
  • If your dog is allowed to roam & play off-leash before or after class, keep an eye on him so you can clean up after him.
  • Please be aware of other dogs’ “space”.  This is especially true if the other dog is on leash or crated – perhaps this dog needs additional space to feel safe and secure.  Even if your dog is friendly, please respect the space of others.
  • Sign in on the attendance sheet in the training shed and put class fees in the money box.
  • Use the crates or stakes provided to confine your dog instead of tethering on the agility equipment or chairs or the chain link fence to prevent accidents from happening.  When startled or frightened, even the smallest of dogs can pull a weave pole off or move a chair.  (Tying dogs to the fence pulls the chainlink out of shape.)

During Class. . .

  • Help set jump bars when a height change is necessary.
  • When it’s close to being your turn to run, please be near the start line.
  • Be ready to start when it’s your turn (i.e., have your dog’s leash off and have your treats and clicker ready).  Valuable training time is lost when the class has to wait for a handler to retrieve her dog from its crate/stake, get to the start line, take the leash off, get treats ready, etc.
  • When you finish a run, get your dog back on leash (or away from the equipment) as quickly as possible so the next dog in line can get started.
  • Dogs that run off the course or out of the training area during their run may lose their turn or perhaps be given a time out.
  • If your dog is having difficulty with a specific skill, take a step back and evaluate the situation.  For instance, if your dog is struggling with the start-line stay, then set him up to succeed by just taking a step or two away before releasing him to start his sequence.  Drilling can result in frustration for both the dog and handler.
  • One dog’s strength might be another dog’s weakness in any given class or exercise.  Please therefore understand that we need to keep things progressing at the level of the majority of those in the class.  So, if the majority of the dogs are doing a good down on the table but your dog still needs more practice, then realize that you need to work on this skill at home to become successful.  Private lessons and the PAWS Practice Program are additional ways to help your dog improve a skill he may need help with.

After Class. . .

  • Close any crate doors that may be left open (this helps the crates last longer).
  • Please re-stack your chair with the others.  (Strong winds wreak havoc on and break the chairs.)
  • If you’ve used a water bowl that belongs to PAWS, please empty the water from it (to prevent mosquito issues).
  • If you do some training on the equipment before or after class (or take advantage of the PAWS Practice Program), please pick up dropped jump bars, straighten the tunnels back to their original position, and push in loosened weave pole stakes.  It’s also appreciated when jump bars that are knocked down during doggie playtime before or after class are replaced.  Although some bars will inevitably end up on the ground, we try to keep them picked up as much as possible to help them last longer.

We appreciate all your efforts to help PAWS classes be the best they can be.