What Methods Do you Use?
At the Regina Humane Society, we train using positive reinforcement techniques, but more importantly, we train playfully. We reward good behaviour with a variety of toys, games, food, play and praise. As a pain-free, force-free learning environment, we strive to connect owner and dog in their learning experience through mutual respect and understanding.
This means that although there are times in a dog’s life where a correction may be needed to ensure safety, we do not believe correction has a place in our classroom.
Instead, we carefully manage our learning environment, give lots of smaller breaks throughout the hour and allow each dog a safe, quieter space amid the sometimes boisterous nature of the group class environment.
Our promise to you is a physically and mentally safe, humane and fun education environment for both your dog and for you.
What is the cost of class?
Most classes with the Regina Humane Society are $140 + GST. Our specialized Leash Reactivity class is $195. To encourage adopters to join classes, dogs or puppies that have been adopted from a shelter or rescue group in the last year receive a $10 discount on their first Puppy Play to Learn or Foundation Fun 101 course.
How many dogs are in each class?
Most of our classes have room for up to six students. Outdoor classes, or classes with multiple instructors may accommodate more. We keep a small number of students to ensure ample time and focus to each and every student that attends.
How long do classes run?
All classes are either five or six weeks in length. When enrolling, you can see how many weeks the class lasts. The exact dates of each class are posted before enrollment.
When do new classes begin?
New classes begin every other month. If we have no current openings, you are welcome to join our wait-list. You may join the waitlist on an already full class by clicking on the class you would like to waitlist for. Alternatively you may send us and e-mail at [email protected]
What is required to attend class?
Dogs and puppies must be up-to-date with their core vaccinations including Parvovirus and Distemper. Bordetella and Rabies are recommended, but not required. Proof of vaccinations or acceptable alternative, such as titre testing, is required before or at the first class.
For medical and behavior safety, all adopted dogs and puppies must have lived with their caregivers for a minimum of two weeks. This ensures recently adopted dogs are free of disease and potential behaviour concerns that would impact class.
All participants must sign a waiver at the time of sign-up.
Where are classes located?
As of July 2020, the RHS has its own training building, located at 2640E Victoria Ave. For agility and Reactivity classes, we utilize The Playground just east of the city. In the warmer months, we also offer classes outside, most typically in the Uplands. From time to time, we offer classes some advanced class at VIP on Dewdney.
What days do you offer classes?
Classes are held almost every day of the week.
How do I enroll?
Students can enroll online through the website, in person at the Regina Humane Society or, if needed assistance, can call the shelter for help with enrollment.
To ensure accurate class numbers, all registrations must take place through the website, but an instructor or Humane Society administrative member can help you through the process. We accept Master Card, Visa, American Express and Debit cards with online functionality.
Please note that registration can only be accepted during registration periods. Should registration not be open or classes be full, you may join our wait-list by e-mailing [email protected].
Wait-listed students are contacted before opening class registration to the public for advance registration.
Do I have to pay to hold my spot?
Classes are filled on a first paid, first registered basis. No spots will be held without payment. Registration and payment for class can be made online, by phone or in person at the Regina Humane Society.
I did not adopt my dog from the shelter. Can I still come to class?
Of course! Everyone is welcome in our classes. No matter how your dog came to you, they are welcome to join us for a fun, upbeat learning experience.
Do you offer private lessons?
At this time the Regina Humane Society only offers group classes. There are many qualified trainers in the city that are available to work with you one-on-one.
Do you guarantee your training?
Unfortunately, there is no way any trainer can guarantee the outcome of any training program. Just as you cannot learn a new language without practice, you cannot train a dog without putting in the effort. Variables such as time, interest, technique, rate of improvement and practice can fundamentally change outcomes. However, with an active commitment to homework, learning to play and a good sense of humor, by the end of the class you should find yourself with a more focused, playful, well-behaved dog. How well focused, playful or well-behaved depends on how much work (and play) you put in.
My dog does not do well with other dogs/people. Can he still come to class?
Reactivity, defined as barking, lunging, snarling, cowering and/or humping towards dogs and/or people can be a problem in the classroom setting. These behaviors indicate your dog is having a hard time handling the environment. In these situations an indoor group class is rarely the right place for a reactive dog to succeed.
However, it is perfectly normal for your untrained dog to occasionally bark at others, to pull on lead towards others, give a warning by growling should someone invade his space or at times feel a little overwhelmed. We in no way need your dog (or you!) to be perfect, but it is important that your dog feel comfortable to a point where he can learn. Many dogs with minor issues do quite well in our structured group classes, but it is not the right place for every dog.
Luckily the RHS has our ever-in-demand Leash Reactivity class, especially designed for the dogs who have been kicked out of class or who are not suitable for a general group environment. With the exception of the Leash Reactivity class should any dog (or person) be found to be an excessive disruptor or display behaviour that would impact the safety of the class, they will be asked to leave without a refund.
If you have questions about your specific case, please contact us at [email protected].
What equipment do you use?
For our training classes, owners have the option of using the following equipment:
- Flat Collar and Leash
- Front-Clip Harness and Leash
- Back-Clip Harness and Leash
- Fabric Martingale Collar and Leash
- Head Halter and Leash (please note that the head halter should be trained and desensitized prior to active use)
Leashes should be 4-6 feet in length.
We do not allow the use of choke chain, pinch or electronic collars in our classes. We also do not allow flexi-leashes.
If you have a question as to whether a particular product is allowed in class, please e-mail [email protected]. We would also be happy to point you in the right direction as to what harnesses or collars may be a great fit for you and your dog.
I have taken classes somewhere else. Can I enroll at a more advanced level?
It depends on the class! Even if you have mastered a sit, down, stay and come, our games-based curriculum is a very different approach than most schools or clubs. For our sport elective such as Intro to Dog Sports, It’s All Tricks and Nosework, while it’s ideal to have some classroom experience, dogs brand new to training can often succeed. If you have any questions on your dog’s suitability for any given class, please contact us at [email protected] and we’ll more than happy to point you in the right direction.
What if I can’t come to class? Can I receive a refund or have a make-up lesson?
The only time a refund is offered is if a class is cancelled due to low enrollment. Refunds due to absence, time conflict, sickness, behaviour or any other circumstance do not apply. We do not offer make-up classes, but you can certainly e-mail your instructor for homework.
What are your office hours?
Head Instructor Emily Garland is now working from home. You can reach her through [email protected] We strive to get all e-mails responded to within 48 hours.