Which class for my dog?
Please see this page.
Is your dog 14 weeks to 6 months of age? If
so, you should probably consider a
Has your dog already taken a puppy class?
Puppy Confidence & Agility
Class. Is your dog over 6
months of age and just needs some manners training?
Canine Good Citizen Class.
Does your dog have all of the basic Canine Good
Citizen skills, but needs to practice them around
distractions? Take a look at our
Distraction Proofing Class.
Has your dog already passed the Canine Good Citizen
test? You are eligible to take
flyball classes, or
Therapy Dog class.
I just got a
dog -- shouldn't I enroll in a class immediately?
Actually, that's the most
common thought of new dog owners -- and the desire
to get started off on the right foot is certainly to
be commended! However, it is much more
beneficial to wait at least one month
to give the dog time to adjust to his
new home environment before coming to class.
During this time you and the dog will get to know
each other...and the dog will come to see you as his
"pack". This way, when he comes to the new and
exciting environment of class for the first time, he
has a familiar face to look to for guidance...you.
As it turns out, the CGC class usually fills
up at least one to two months ahead of time.
So, if you enroll now, you'll be ready to take the
class in a month or so.
do I have to show
proof of vaccinations for my dog?
There are several diseases for
which all dogs should be protected against. Rabies
is a zoonotic disease (meaning it can be passed from
animals to people) and can be fatal to both.
Parvo virus is an extremely tough virus that can
live almost anywhere in the environment for years.
When contracted by a dog, it destroys the dog's
intestines, often leading to death. Since
there are so many dogs coming through our building,
we must make sure that every one of them is
protected against the most dangerous, but
preventable, canine diseases -- Rabies, Distemper,
Hepatitis, Parainfluenza, and Parvo virus.
Any type of print out or
statement indicating the dog's vaccination record is
acceptable. Please send us a photocopy, though, so
we can keep it on file. Once you've sent in
one copy, you only need to send us updates.
Please note: if you are registering for the
Puppy class, you may bring your most recent copy of
vaccinations to the first class. Please send us a
copy of what your puppy currently has with your
registration. We MUST have proof of rabies
vaccination due to insurance regulations.
What if my female
dog comes into heat while we're enrolled in class?
Females in heat will get the
attention of every dog in class - male and female.
Generally, all dogs behave very differently around
females in heat and will be extremely distracted by
her. Moreover, females in heat can leave
scents behind that will distract dogs for many days
forward. We ask that you leave dogs in
heat at home. Under these circumstances,
we'd be happy to reschedule you to another class at
no additional charge.
Are antibody titers
Antibody titers (the amount of antibody to a
particular virus that a dog has in its "immune
system memory") can be done instead of vaccinations
at your veterinarian's office. The
veterinarian will draw blood and send it off for
testing. The results will show whether your
dog has enough "antibody" (which is what is produced
when we vaccinate dogs) to protect against disease.
You should send in the titer report in liu of
What is clicker training?
Clicker training is a type of precise positive
reinforcement training that can allow you to train
specific behaviors at a distance from your dog.
Our Puppy and Canine Good Citizen classes offer
instruction in clicker training, but clicker
training is not required. Clicker training is very
useful in agility training, flyball training,
What kind of
training methods are used?
Excellent question! As a dog owner, you
should be concerned about the training methods
that are used in class. We use
positive reinforcement training in this
class. We start off by rewarding the dog
for figuring out itself what it should be doing
-- not by punishing the dog.
While most people say "I don't want my dog to pull
on a leash", they might not know what to say when
you ask "Well, exactly what do you want your
dog to do instead?" The key is to define, in
black and white, the exact behavior the dog should
be doing and to associate that behavior with lots of
rewards. The dog figures it out, the tail
wags, and an understanding between the dog and the
handler happens. With increased communication and
humane leadership techniques, the relationship
between the dog and the handler strengthens.
We don't use fear,
intimidation or inhumane physical force methods
because these methods cause aggression to increase
and the relationship between the dog and handler to
break down. While we do use
toys and treats, we also teach you how to wean the
dog off of receiving treats for every behavior.
We also adopt a "work-to-eat/work-to-play"
philosophy that lets the dog understand
that it can earn its rewards in life by being
is there a Canine Good Citizen test requirement for
We have a Canine Good Citizen test
requirement for some of our classes, like the
agility, tracking, retrieving, and therapy dog
classes. The Canine Good Citizen test is a
standardized test that is consistent across the
country. Canine Good Citizens are able to
demonstrate obedience basics - sit/stay, down/stay,
come when called, walk on a loose leash around mild
distractions, sit politely for petting, pass a
neutral dog calmly. These are the basic
skills needed before entering the more advanced
classes at Teamworks.
AT TEAMWORKS DOG TRAINING, YOUR DOG MAY TAKE THE
CANINE GOOD CITIZEN TEST WEARING A HEAD HALTER (GENTLE
WHILE YOUR DOG CANNOT RECEIVE AN OFFICIAL CANINE
GOOD CITIZEN CERTIFICATE WEARING THE HEAD HALTER,
TEAMWORKS WILL ACCEPT A PASSING SCORE WITH THE HEAD
HALTER ON FOR OUR CLASS REQUIREMENTS, SINCE THE HEAD
HALTER IS ALLOWED IN THE Carolina Canines for
Therapy THERAPY DOG EVALUATION. DOGS WHO PASS
THE CANINE GOOD CITIZEN EVALUATION WITH THE HEAD
HALTER ON WILL BE REQUIRED TO WEAR THE HEAD HALTER
TO THE NEXT CLASS. PRONG COLLARS AND CHOKE
CHAINS WILL NOT BE ALLOWED, AS THEY ARE NOT
ACCEPTABLE COLLARS FOR THERAPY WORK, AGILITY, OR
the other family members come to class?
Sure! Guests are always welcome to come watch
our group classes*.
However, for the sake of consistency for the dog, we
ask that you choose one "primary" handler
to actually work with the dog in every class (a
spouse or a child between the age of 8-18 may sign
up as the "assistant" and also attend class
to help the primary handler). For best
results in the first class a dog takes, choose the
person the dog already "looks up to" the most to be
the primary handler in class. With this person
there, the dog will best be able to focus on the
tasks and be less worried about distractions.
Then, that person can help other members of the
family train the dog at home (where there will
be less distractions). Especially during
the period of time when the dog is learning, it is
very important that the person training the dog be
very consistent with commands and training; this is
the reason for having a primary adult handler.
(There is also a legal requirement for a parent to
accompany anyone under the age of 18. Please note
that children under the age of 8 must be accompanied
by another adult in class so that the
primary handler can focus on training the dog.)
* Please note that only adult
handlers are allowed in our Fearful Fidos and
Dominant Dogs class due to the nature of the
behavior of the dogs in the class.
Why is there an
for some classes?
Class is designed for dogs that
are still in the formative stages of life.
During this stage of development, puppies need lots
of socialization and exposure to many different
people, places, and things. It is very helpful
for them to also learn beginning obedience and to
bond with their owners. These elements are
designed into the Puppy class. There is an age
minimum of 3 months so that all the dogs in the
class can be fully vaccinated at the time of class.
will focus on training dogs in
Teaching a puppy younger than 6 months is very
different and usually much more straight-forward
than teaching an adolescent dog. Puppies
normally follow humans readily and are very
dependent on them. Many time new dog owners marvel
at what a great puppy they have and then all of a
sudden one day, there's a different dog at the end
of the leash. Dogs in adolescence are usually
experimenting with rebellion and leadership
challenge. They seem to care more about
impressing other dogs than they care about following
their owners around anymore. Not
surprisingly, most dogs in animal shelters are
surrendered during this period -- between 6 months
and 2 years of age. Having dogs at two very
different developmental stages in class would
decrease the benefit derived from this class for
all. For this reason, we have designed the
Puppy Class and the CGC class to cater to the
dogs' developmental stage. The age minimum of the
CGC class is 6 months because its designed for
distraction training and builds on the level of
confidence gained from the Beginner basics.
The class involves lots of noises and movement
and having other dogs nearby. For this type of
training, the dog should be mature enough to handle
distractions. There is also a developmental
fear period in dogs at around 10 months that can
cause some dogs to react oddly to common
distractions, like a mechanical toy. For this
reason, it is important that dog owners be aware of
this stage and be willing to work through this
period with their dogs. Distraction Proofing
class will provide the format to help owners work
through the fear period, as well as the other common
issues of adolescence.
there are also age minimums. Most dogs have bones,
joints, and tendons in their legs that are still
growing and forming until they are 18 months of age.
For this reason, there are organizations in which
dogs can't even compete in agility until they are 18
months. Injuries that occur while the
dog's growth plates are still forming can cause
serious and irreparable damage. It is highly
recommended that dogs do not jump their full
shoulder height until they are 18 months of age.
Thus, we ask that dogs be 7 months of age to take
the Pre-Agility class (where we do no more than half
height jumping) and 1 year of age to take the Novice
level class (where dogs jump full height).
Is there a
maximum age for any of the classes?
As long as
your dog is in good health, there isn't any reason
an old dog can't learn new tricks. In fact,
many times the older dogs do quite well because they
are more self-confident. For this reason there
is no age maximum for the Canine Good Citizen
classes. However, the maximum age to participate in
agility depends on a dog's health and state of
being, particularly as far as the limbs, back and
joints are concerned. If your dog is over the
age of 7 years old or has health problems, you
should seek approval from your veterinarian before
starting agility classes.