One Smart Dog: Frequently Asked Questions

If you have any questions that we have not answered below please contact our help desk at:
We strive to respond to all enquiries within 24hrs Monday – Friday, and any weekend enquiries by the following Monday.

Q: Why should I choose One Smart Dog?

When you train at One Smart Dog you have a team of professionals to support you and your dog. We keep up with the latest research in behavior and training. Our instructors attend continuing education seminars, events, and trails in their chosen sport to further develop their knowledge and skills and to pass that on to you. Our team has a number of credentials and competes at the highest levels, and we do this through positive reinforcement because our goals are to build healthy relationships with you and your dogs!

Q: Can I observe a class?

Yes! We love showing our work and would be happy to arrange a time when you can observe a class. Please contact our help desk to set this up.

Q: I have children, can they attend class with me?

We love children! We recommend you only bring children 7yrs of age or older who can occupy themselves while you are in class. If you would like to bring a child under that age or multiple children please speak to the instructor prior to registration. We also offer classes for children ages 7 and up, if you’d like to know more about our Junior Handlers Program contact our help desk.

Q: How many dogs are in a class?

The exact number can vary based on the class but on average you can expect 3-6 dog and handler teams. We keep the number of participants low so that everyone receives personalized instruction and has a chance to practice the skills you’re working on in that class, whether that’s running an agility course or learning to calmly walk by another dog on leash.

Q: I don’t have the recommended equipment for class, can I still attend?

Yes! Please arrive a few minutes early and we can assist you. We have leashes, collars, clickers, and treats for sale in our office. You may also borrow a leash for that day’s class.

Q: I don’t want to use a clicker, is that okay?

Yes! Just let your instructor know and they can suggest a number of options so we can find what works best for you and your dog.

Q: My dog barks a lot, can we still attend group classes?

This is at the instructor’s discretion. We understand that some barking is normal and to be expected, however, excessive barking may be a sign of stress and disruptive to your classmates and our neighbors. The instructor may recommend one of our Essentials classes if your dog needs a little help learning to settle in a group class. If your dog is not yet ready for a group class we offer one-on-one behavior services which can be a wonderful alternative for many dogs and their people.

Q: My dog is reactive. Do you have a class for that?

Reactive can mean different things to different people. Our Essentials program is designed for dogs that need a little help feeling safe and comfortable meeting new people and dogs, or navigating their environment. Dogs that have a history of aggression, are a bite risk to a person or animal, or are unable to engage with and focus on their handler when around other dogs may need a quieter environment to start. For these dogs, we recommend one on one behavior services to start. If you are at all unsure if your dog is suited to classes we recommend you schedule an assessment with one of our qualified trainers, they can help you set your dog up for success!

Q: My dog is in heat, can she attend class?

We allow dogs in heat to attend class as long as they wear girl pants and are comfortable resting in a crate when not working.

Q: How do I register for a class?

All of our upcoming classes can be found through our booking portal. If you are unsure which class you should sign up for send an email to our help desk and they’ll be able to answer your questions.

Q: What forms of payment do you accept?

Booking online you can pay with a credit card via Stripe. In-person payments can be made at One Smart Dog with a credit card, cash, or check.

Q: When is payment due?

Payment is due at time of booking. If you require assistance booking and a staff member has added you to a class or service we will issue an invoice, payment is due within 48hrs of issuance. Payment guarantees your space in the class, late payments mean we cannot guarantee space will still be available.

Q: What if I need to miss a class?

While we do not offer refunds or make-up classes the instructors will provide the curriculum for the class you missed and you may discuss any questions you have with them.

Q: How do you handle weather cancellations?

In the event of inclement weather or dangerous driving situations, the instructor will contact the class via email as soon as the decision is made to cancel the class. If you have a question as to whether the class is being held, contact your instructor. We decide most weather cancellations based on school closings and shifting dangerous road conditions in our general area. We do not recommend that you drive to class when you feel the roads are not safe for you, whether we have class or not. In the event that One Smart Dog cancels a class, we will do our best to make up the class or will offer a refund when a make-up class cannot be arranged.

Q: What are behavior services?

Behavior services is a blanket term for anything outside of the dog sports ring that you need personalized help with. Common issues that we address are pulling on the leash, excessive barking, barking or pacing between the windows, paws on countertops, jumping on houseguests, an inability to settle down, or any behavior that you would like help with.

We also offer what we term “Complex Behavior” which is for dogs that are exhibiting aggression towards people or other animals, dogs that lunge and growl at people or other animals, dogs that hide, run away or otherwise exhibit signs of severe stress or fear, and dogs with separation anxiety.

Q: How do I know if my dog’s behavior is “complex”?

Don’t worry, we are here to help with that! When you contact us to set up an assessment we will have you fill out a behavior history intake form. Based on the information you provide we will assign it to the behavior consultant that is best suited to assist you. It is important that you provide a complete behavior history and fill in as much as possible, this allows us to prepare for your session and ensure that we can maximize your time together.

Q: Where will our sessions be held?

Sessions may be in your home, at our facility, at parks or in public spaces, it really depends on the behavior you require help with. We strive to make this as convenient for you and your family and meet you at your preferred location, however that may not be possible. We will make our recommendations after we have reviewed your behavior history intake form.

Q: What if I need to reschedule?

Contact your behavior consultant as soon as you are aware of the schedule conflict. Appointments may be rescheduled with a min of 72hrs notice (3 days) notice without being billed.

Q: When will the problem behavior be fixed?

We wish we could answer this definitively, but it is dependent on the dog, the dog’s history, how much you are able to maintain the homework and training schedule at home, and how frequently you are able to schedule sessions. Your behavior consultant will help you develop reasonable expectations for your dog.

Q: When can we start puppy classes?

Puppies of any breed may start class at 8 weeks of age.

Q: What vaccines do you require to start puppy class?

The first set of Puppy vaccines as determined by your veterinarian at least 4 days prior to the start of class. 

Q: When should my puppy start in sports?

Puppies 12 weeks of age may start in our Scent: Foundation 1 class provided they are comfortable on a leash, and have a recall, sit, and down cue. Other sports depend more on the breed and mental maturity of the puppy rather than age. Our Puppy: Sports program takes into account age and physical/mental maturity and is a great place to start.

Q. Why do you recommend puppy classes?

What we learn first, we learn best! It is important to give your puppy the best start for a well-loved, well-lived life. Puppy classes can help set your dog up for success by providing age-appropriate, safe enjoyable interactions with a variety of people, environments, and novel objects. Whether your dog is going to be a well-loved companion or a pro-athlete building confidence and optimism early in life is the best gift you can give a dog.

Q: What are Canine Essentials?

Our essentials program is designed to help every dog navigate their environment, the classes in this program will cover loose leash walking, recalls, safe and polite greetings of other dogs and people, and cues such as sit, down, stay. Our flagship course Canine Essentials is 5 weeks packed with an overview of all of these skills and more. It’s suitable for new-to-you rescues or long time family members that need a solid foundation or a refresher class. We also offer a variety of focus classes for dogs that need a bit of extra help on one specific skill.

Q: When can my dog start Canine Essentials?

We recommend dogs be 8 months or older. Dogs under 8 months may sign up for Puppy: Foundations.

Q: Can I sign up for just a focus class?

We recommend Canine Essentials as a starting point as it provides many of the skills that dogs need to work in a group setting. However if your dog has already attended group classes at One Smart Dog or another facility they may be a good candidate for a focus class. Our Essentials instructors would be happy to discuss your goals and how we can help you meet them.

Q: How old should my dog be to start sport classes?

Most of our sport classes are recommended for dogs 10 months and up. However we do offer several puppy classes that can help your younger dog prepare for our adult sports programs.

Q: Do you offer private training?

Yes!  All of our instructors offer private sessions at our facility. These sessions can be anywhere from 30-60min in length, pricing can vary. Private sessions are an excellent way to focus on a specific skill or handling issue that you and your dog are struggling with, or just to get an edge on the competition. To arrange a private session speak to your instructor or reach out to our help desk.

Q: I don’t have the space or equipment to practice my sport at home, what do you recommend?

Our instructors will provide ‘homework’ that is tailored to you and your dog, if you require a few suggestions or modifications we encourage you to ask during your class time. We want you to succeed! If you are training in a sport such as agility that requires specialized (and expensive!) equipment we offer ring rentals as well. Pricing for our matted area starts at just $15 for 30 min., and a 30 min rental of our agility turf starts at just $30. You can see a list of available equipment and pricing information on our Ring Rentals page.