Each level of training includes 8 lessons.
Yes. If you would like to more than one class, you are welcome and encouraged to. You are only required to attend one class per week, though, and you do not have to attend the same day each week as long as the trainer believes you will be ready for the next lesson in time.
We train outside because that is where you will be using the training the most, and an outside environment provides the most distractions for your dog. The simplest thing such as the breeze shifting and carrying a different scent onto the training field can be very distracting for a dog but weather, wildlife, noises, other dogs and people all play a role too. If you want your dog to listen to you in the real world filled with people, food, kids playing and cars driving then that is where you need to train.
Yes. We do train in all weather. Classes are held rain or shine . . .hot or cold (or should I say VERY hot or VERY cold). We have not yet had class in the snow, but that is simply because it was not snowing when class was scheduled. When you sign up for classes you will be expected to attend during all of these conditions. (Please note we do not train in dangerous weather conditions including extreme amounts of lightening or hail. We do currently use an app to send a text to all students signed up if class is canceled.)
Simply put, the more distractions the better. We do not avoid distractions; we embrace them. I do not expect to ever limit the number of students in classes because it only betters everyone involved. The big classes are also the most fun and impressive and the ones most students walk away from feeling the most sense of accomplishment.
No. I do not require dogs to be altered to attend classes. Yes, dogs in heat are not only allowed on the field but encouraged to attend. This is simply another distraction for the other dogs.
Do you train any size dog?
Yes. Dogs in class have ranged from 5 lb Yorkshire Terriers to 100+ lb Great Danes, American Bull Dogs, Akitas, mastiffs and more. We do not have size, breed, or age restrictions besides the minimum age requirement.
Puppies must be at least 8 weeks old, and you must have had the puppy for a minimum of two weeks before beginning classes. This is very important to begin proper bonding.
Yes. All dogs are required to start with basic obedience so that it is certain that the dog has been taught the commands properly and the owner has learned the proper handling skills and techniques. Dogs have been advanced faster on a case by case basis, however, all dogs should be enrolled under the assumption that you will be required to go through Basic Obedience at the standard 8 lesson pace. It is always better to reinforce the basics than it is to push a dog too far too fast.
Obedience classes are geared toward real world utility, not the show or competition ring. This does not mean that if you are interested in competing you cannot get the instruction you need, it simply means that this goal will need to be clearly communicated at the beginning of enrollment so that certain aspects of obedience can be instructed accordingly. Sport or AKC agility is not offered at this time.
No. E-collars are not used during our classes. K9 Mastery is aware that the e-collar is a commonly used tool to take a dog off-leash, however, we believe the true test of any training system is how the dog performs without equipment of any kind. Our goal is real world reliability without the use of any equipment and therefore we do not use an e-collar.
Treats are not used for several reasons, but the overwhelming reason is that the use of treats does not produce the reliability of balanced training methods that do not use them. The methods used teach your dog to respond to your commands because you command the dog, not because you have a treat in your hand. Positive reinforcement is still amply provided in classes. It is simply not provided with food or even toys.
Yes. Aggression issues of any kind MUST be disclosed to the trainer at the time of enrollment because certain precautions must be taken with any aggressive dog. However, the goal of training is to obtain real world reliability, so that means your dog needs to be trained in the real world which includes dogs and people. Also, in order to correct an issue such as aggression, it is necessary for the dog to display the behavior, so having a dog that is exhibiting aggressive behavior in class with other dogs and people presents an opportunity for the trainer to witness the problem behavior and instruct on how to overcome the issue. **Please note that depending on the situation, clients with aggressive dogs may be required to attend the Bastrop classes ONLY until they have been cleared to join the classes in Pflugerville.**
A scenario class is real world training in action. These are classes that are held at dog friendly venues and locations around town. From restaurants, to bars, to stores, and malls, K9 Mastery holds scenario classes to advance your dogs and test their abilities out in the real world where there are distractions galore. These classes are always fun because, not only do we draw a crowd with a group of well behaved dogs, but it gives students a chance to see the rewards for their hard work and get to know each other a little better. These classes are held on an as available basis and at no extra charge to those students who have progressed their dogs far enough in the training to take part.
During basic obedience, it is allowed for handlers to attend one class with 2 dogs due to the short length of basic lessons in relation to the intermediate and advanced levels. It is required that the handler have adequate containment for one of the dogs at all times, such as a crate, since only one dog may be worked at a time. Otherwise, each dog must have a handler present. It is always preferred that each dog have it's own handler.
The equipment required to train will actually vary based on the dog. Everyone is required to start with a 6 ft. leather leash that is either stitched or riveted and a prong collar no matter the age, breed, or temperament of dog enrolled. Do not purchase a braided leash. The thinner the leash the better as well. (ex: purchase a 1/2 inch wide leash instead of a 3/4 wide if possible) An alternative to a leather leash is leather alternative leashs available for purchase online made out of biothane.
All aggressive dogs are required to also have a choke chain in the event that the prong collar does not provide adequate correction for the aggressive behavior. If you are not sure what size collar you will need, please feel free to contact us.
Once your dog has started training, the required equipment may be adjusted based on the trainer's recommendation, however, this is very rarely the case and because prong collars are the most humane and effective training tool available when used under proper instruction they are used on most dogs/puppies enrolled.
Do you require the bordatella vaccine for boarding/board and train?
No. We do not require the vaccine and we actually do not recommend getting it for your dog. The vaccine does not protect against all strains of bordatella, so your dog can still contract the virus, and once your dog has been given the vaccine it will shed the virus for at least 2 weeks exposing other dogs. For this reason we WILL NOT accept a dog into boarding or board and train within two weeks of a bordatella vaccine.
K9 Mastery accepts cash, check, credit card, and paypal payments.