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DubDubDog Animal Behavior Services

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I sign up for Class?

For all classes, please send in the Class Sign-up Form to pre-register. 

The first class of each series is an orientation, for the human end of the leash, only! Please attend that class without your dog, unless you have specifically been told otherwise  You will be taking notes about class, so please bring writing materials, electronic or otherwise.

If you are attending a Laguna Beach Class

  • Complete the City's Registration Form, and make payment to the City of Laguna Beach.  Payment may be made by check or credit card. 

  • You can Register and pay online; you can pay (with a credit card - Visa, Mastercard and Discover) at a Pay Station in the lobby of the Susi Q; you can pay with a check at the Recreation Department, 515 Forest Avenue, Laguna Beach, or at the Susi Q, 380 3rd St. Laguna Beach

  • The Registration Form is also available in the Recreation Catalogue that Laguna Beach Community Services mailed to all Laguna Beach households. 

  • You can access a PDF of the catalog here: http://lagunabeachcity.net/cityhall/community/recreation/default.htm

  • You can also register and pay in person at the Recreation Department at 515 Forest Avenue, Laguna Beach, or at the Susi Q at 380 3rd St, Laguna Beach. 

  • If you have questions, please email penny @ whatagoodpuppy.com   (Note: please remove the spaces in the email address.  To defeat spammers, the address is not clickable.) or call  949 497-7050, or call the City of Laguna Beach Recreation Department at 949 497-0716, ext. 6.

If you are attending an Irvine Class

  • You will need to complete a Woodbridge Village Association Registration Form, and make payment to the Woodbridge Village Association.  

  • The Registration Form is available in "Reflections", mailed to Woodbridge households every month. 

  • The form is also available at the Woodbridge Village Association Community Center, at 31 Creek Rd, Irvine.

  • Or ONLINE here

  • I will have the form available for you at class orientation.

  • Payment, by check made out to WVA, may be delivered to 31 Creek Rd. along with the Registration Form, or turned in at class orientation.

If you are attending an Aliso Viejo or San Clemente Class

  • Please use the Class Sign Up Form to register.

  • Payment can be made by check or credit card before class or at class orientation, or in cash at class orientation.

  • Please call 949 497-7050 if you would like to pay by credit card over the phone.

  • Please call 949 497-7050 or email penny @ whatagoodpuppy.com if you have any questions. (Note: please remove the spaces in the email address.  To defeat spammers, the address is not clickable.)

What do I need to bring to class?

  • Intelligence, energy and enthusiasm. 

  • Also, yummy snackies, a 4 or 6 foot nylon or leather leash, a poop scoop and your DubDubDog clicker.

  • A fanny pack to hold some of your stuff would be a great idea, too.

  • For a dog who pulls strongly you may wish to have a Gentle Leader Headcollar an Easy Walk front clip harness. (See Useful links page for examples and videos.)

  • In summer, you may wish to bring water for your dog.

  • Please dress appropriately for class: comfortable clothes suitable to the weather, solid shoes that do not slip (no flip-flops, etc.), and a fanny pack.

Won't I spoil my dog with food treats?

  • No.  We won't let you! 

  • To spoil your dog you would need to reward him when he was demanding.  When we train with positive reinforcement (using rewards such as treats, toys, play, freedom to explore...) we deliver the reinforcer after a behavior we want to see more of (a "sit", a "down", a "come"...).  So, our dogs get less and less "spoiled" as we train them!

  • You will learn "impulse control" exercises where you will see your dog use his drive ("I want that!" to fuel his self control ("I want that sooo much I am going to be very careful and wait patiently..." )

  • Seriously, I'm not sure that the description "spoiled" can be correctly applied to a dog. 

Why does DubDubDog not use choke chains, pinch collars, etc.?

  • Positive reinforcement is faster, easier and safer for dog and owner.

  • Punishment and negative reinforcement have a nasty side-effect profile (stress, fear, avoidance, aggression)

How much time should I spend training my dog?

  • Several short sessions a day are best.

  • Try for 5 - 10 minutes twice a day.  More is better, of course.

  • Also work tiny training sessions into daily activities:  Have your dog "Sit" for breakfast; "Sit" and "Wait" before he jumps into the car;  Do a "Watch Me" before he gets to go play at the Dog Park, and so on.

  • Notice his good behavior, and praise it.  If you pay most attention to only his irritating behaviors, you will get more irritating behaviors!

At what age can my puppy start class?

  • Puppies must be at least 9 weeks old, be in good health, and have had two sets of vaccinations prior to attending class.

  • While your puppy will not finish his vaccinations 'til he is 16 - 20 weeks old  (depending on the protocol established by your veterinarian) the Sensitive Period for Socialization is over by about 16 weeks, so it is vital to the puppy's Behavioral Health that he have both volume and variety of socialization before that window closes. 

  • Read the position statement from the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior on Puppy Socialization Puppy Socialization.

  • Read a letter from Dr. Robert Anderson on the reasons "Puppy Vaccination and Socialization Should Go Together".

  • Do consult with your veterinarian for his or her recommendation for your puppy. 

What vaccinations should my dog have to attend class?

  • As above, consult with your veterinarian, who knows your puppy's specific needs. 

  • However, DubDubDog suggests your dog have : Distemper Combo; Parvo: Bordetella (intra-nasal, preferably); Rabies (required by law for dogs over 16 weeks of age.)

My Puppy already knows how to Sit and Come.  Can he go to Dog School?

  • I encourage you to bring your puppy to Puppy Kindergarten Class, even if he is talented!

  • From about 3 to 16 weeks of age puppies pass through a developmental window called the Sensitive Period for Socialization .  During this short period (and after, but with diminishing return for effort put in) the actions we take or fail to take will have a dramatic influence on the dog's temperament as an adult.  Every puppy, even those who already respond to some basic commands, should have the advantage of the Socialization and temperament training that takes place in Puppy Kindergarten!

  • Also, the Problem Solving and Problem Prevention topics in Puppy Kindergarten are targeted to puppy issues, such as mouthiness, housetraining, chewing, and so on.  

Can children attend class?

  • Children of any age can attend Puppy Class, provided that they are accompanied by a supervising adult. 

  • Children can attend Dog School, with the instructor's permission, and adult supervision.

  • Children under the age of 14 are not permitted to attend class solo.

Can I bring family members to class?

  • Sure! We welcome visitors. 

Do I need a Behavior Consultation or a Group Class?

  • Often, you need not make an either/or choice.  Group class is a great place to work on understanding your dog's behavior, learning how to be your dog's teacher as we work on basic control. At-home issues, like house-soiling, or barking, we can work on most effectively in the home environment.  Note:  You get a 10% discount on the second service!

  • Dogs who demonstrate fear or aggression should have a behavior consultation. 

  • For some fearful or aggressive dogs, class will be a good option after we have done some work one-on-one.

  • While we do discuss basic problem-solving and problem-prevention techniques in class, if your dog has multiple or serious behavior issues, a behavior consultation is the correct choice.

What about In-Home Training?

  • In-Home Training is specifically designed around your needs, and those of your pet.  

  • Private lessons take place at the time and location of your convenience.  We can work with your dog on Come right on the beach where he has evaded you so often, work on Sit-Stay at the very door he escapes from, and so on.

  • We work on basic command response (using, as always, the completely gentle, highly effective techniques in which we specialize), individualizing the lessons, making them specific to your goals and  your dog's temperament and learning rate.

  • Private lessons are ideal when you want your younger children to be able to participate in and absorb the work we will do.  

  • Private lessons are also the best choice for those with busy and/or unpredictable schedules. 

  • We offer convenient packages. 

  • Call or e-mail Penelope penny @ whatagoodpuppy.com to discuss your goals. (Note: please type the email address into the "To" box of your outgoing email.  To defeat spammers, the address is not clickable.)


  • I understand that sometimes life is unpredictable, but, unfortunately, we do not offer refunds on classes.  I cannot resell your space in class. In some cases, you may be able to transfer to another class.

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