How Our Group Dog Training Lessons Work

Dog training becomes extra fun when you qualify to come to the group lessons!

You will know you are “qualified” to come to group after you and your dog have graduated the private portion of your Ultimate lessons, or when your dog comes back home from the Jumpstart Program! At this point, you and your dog are ready to integrate your training around other dogs and high level of distractions.

If you find yourself thinking “my dog is doing so well except when he’s SUPER distracted,” then group lessons are for you!

(By participating on your first Group Lesson You are acknowledging to have read and understood this post)

The Basics:

The Group:  The power of group lessons is “The Group.” If there are less than 3 clients who have submitted and RSVP 48 hours prior to the Group Lessons/ Meet-Ups, we will cancel that session. It’s always a good idea to check out the group event on Facebook the day of to be aware of any last minute changes. 

RSVP:  You can RSVP via our  Facebook Clients Only Group or email  our Off Leash Dog Training Office no more than 48 hours before the class to reserve your place in the group session.  If you attend without registering, you might miss out on important last minute updates. 

Maximum of 14 Dogs Allowed:  By limiting the number of dogs in Group Lessons/ Meet-Ups everyone’s experience, as well as safety, is improved.  At this time Facebook is not capable of limiting the number of attendees. So we ask our clients to use the HONOR system to self-regulate. REMEMBER: If you attend without registering, you may be asked to observe (rather than participate in) the session.

Dog Training Safety:

One Dog Per Handler: This ensures safety, and that you and your pup get the very most out of the lesson.

Be Prepared: Make sure you’re ready for dog training. Make sure your dog understands commands, and is able to perform the commands taught during the “First Phase” of the training. If you are unprepared, you’re welcome to observe, but may not participate.

Leash / Muzzle: All dogs must be on-leash, BEFORE the training. Retractable leashes are not allowed. The red/blue leash you received with your “kit” is preferred. If your dog is people or dog-aggressive, he must be wearing a well-fitted muzzle. Mesh muzzles are not acceptable.

Arriving Late:  New dogs and owners will be methodically integrated into the group.  Do not allow your dog to approach newcomers either on or off-leash until the trainer has indicated that it is safe to do so. This can be intimidating and dangerous so please alert the trainer that you are there and he/she will welcome you in when safe.  

Don’t be “That Person”: Playing is the best part of dog training but PLEASE watch your dog.  Have all hands free (no cell phone, coffee, etc.). Keep your dog away from bystanders, dogs that are new to the group, or uncomfortable dogs. You are responsible for your dog at all times, so please monitor your dog’s behavior.

The Family: For safety reasons, children, dogs, and other adults who are not participating directly in the class are not allowed in the exercises. Children must NEVER approach any dog without permission of the trainer or the owner. All children under ten years of age must be directly supervised by an adult not participating in the session.  Please note that this does not apply to a child over the age of ten who is directly handling a dog, or couples alternating sessions.

 There are no limits to the amount of unusual circumstances that we will face while training with our dogs. Please be flexible with us if “rules” change. Group lessons are extremely valuable for your dog and family, but keeping things safe is very important to us, so please respect these guidelines.

We’re looking forward to seeing you at our group lessons!

The Off Leash Dog Training Team

Charlotte Dog Trainers Talk: How to Protect Your Pet from Heat

Summer is on its way, which means that long, hot days filled with sunbathing at the pool and trips to the beach are among us. While summer days can be carefree and fun, there are still precautions that you must take in order to ensure that you’re happy and healthy. Does reapplying your sunscreen and remembering to stay hydrated ring any bells? Just like you, your dog loves to play outside and bask in the sunlight; however, there are dangers that come with warm weather. Curious on how to protect your pet from the heat? We’ve got you covered! We sat down with our Charlotte dog trainers to find out the best ways to protect your pup from the summer sun.

Q: When are the best hours during the summer to take your dog(s) on walks or let them play outside?

A: In the mornings before 11 am or in the evenings after 6 pm. The biggest thing you want to watch out for is the humidity level. High levels of humidity will cause dogs to overheat way before high temperatures will. So be mindful if it’s very humid or muggy…your dog will not last as long being outside.  

Q: Signs your dog might be overheated?

A: Pay attention to the tongue. The dog’s tongue will become dry, then start to swell, and eventually start to curl back or hang out of the side. These are all signs that your dog needs water or to get out of the heat. It’s also always best to make sure your dog has water available at all times when outside in the heat.

Q: Best activities for keeping your dog cool, but still active, during the hotter days of the year?

A: It’s good to play at parks with lots of shade. If your pup likes to swim, look for slow moving creeks, ponds, or lakes. You can also take a walk through a pet-friendly store. Try a trip to the pet store or Lowe’s and Home Depot, which are both very dog friendly. Not only will you get your shopping done, but your pup will get some good exercise in a safe, air conditioned space without risking burned paws or overheating.


The next time you try to take your dog for a walk, or let him or her outside to play, make sure that the weather conditions are safe. Another tip is to ensure that there is a place for your dog to relax in the shade with a big bowl of water. And always remember…if it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for your dog.