Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between a Single Membership and a Household Membership?

A Single Membership assumes only one human (and the same human each time) will always bring your dog to class.

A Household Membership assumes more than one human might take turns training and attending classes.

How does clicker training work?

Positive reinforcement “clicker training” relies on marking desirable behavior and rewarding it. Desirable behavior is marked by using a clicker, a mechanical device that makes a short “click” sound which tells the animal exactly when they’re doing the right thing. This clear form of communication, combined with positive reinforcement, is an effective, safe, and humane way to teach your dog any behavior. Learn more here.

Do I have to use a clicker?

No. You can use any sound – like a click of your tongue – to mark a desired behavior. TCOTC also offers “silent” clickers to use in lieu of a regular clicker if you find that your dog is very sensitive to the clicker sound. Your instructor can also offer tips to gently introduce the clicker to highly sensitive dogs.

What is the difference between Puppy Socialization and Tweener classes?

Puppy Socialization class is a four week course for dogs between the ages of 6 weeks and 12 weeks. It is the perfect time to socialize your pet to other humans (men, women, children, people in wheelchairs), new situations and experiences. There will be an off leash play period in which your puppy will be able to interact with other puppies of a similar age. The instructor will also give tips on common training issues such as housetraining, teething, mouthing hands and management of resources (feeding schedules, toys and play). Basic instruction on training the beginning of sit and down will be given. Your puppy will be ready for Basic Obedience classes when you graduate from this class.

Tweeners class is a four week course for dogs that are 13 weeks to 20 weeks old and have not had the opportunity to attend a puppy socialization class. The focus of this class is management of the dog and basic manners. Tweener dogs are neither a very young puppy or a young adult. The tweener dog is adventuresome and beginning to become an independent thinker. Class participants will learn how to get the dog to settle, not jump up on people and to accept strangers. Each week, some time will be used to teach the beginning of sit, down, and come. The tweener dogs will have short off leash play sessions. Dog handlers will learn how to safely release and collect the dog during play. Your puppy will be ready for Basic Obedience classes when you graduate from this class.

Should I take both Puppy Socialization and Tweeners classes?

It is rarely necessary for you to take both of these classes. Ask your puppy class instructor, but most of our dogs graduate puppy class after the first 4 weeks and do not need to go on to Tweeners.

How old does my puppy have to be to start Basic Training classes?

A puppy can start Basic Training as young as 12 weeks old. However, we highly recommend our Puppy Socialization class if your pet is under 12 weeks or our Tweeners class if your dog is between 12-20 weeks old.

What shots are required for Puppy Socialization, Tweener and Basic Training classes?

Your veterinarian will give you the proper protocol for the vaccinations your puppy requires. Your puppy may be too young to have received all the inoculations such as rabies, distemper, Parvo Virus and Kennel Cough (Infectious Tracheobronchitis- Bordetella inoculations).  Follow the recommended protocol for inoculations for the age of your dog by your veterinarian. Dogs 6 months and older are required to have a rabies vaccination.

What is TCOTC's refund policy?

Membership fees are nonrefundable.
Class registration fees may be fully refunded up to 48 hours prior to the start of class. After that, no refunds will be given. In some cases you may be able to transfer to another class.

Can my child be the handler in training classes?

Youths ages 16-17 may enroll as handlers in obedience classes with written parental approval. For children ages 12-15, please see our policy on children in class.

What if I have taken a class somewhere else? How do I know the class my dog and I should join?

For new students wishing to begin training at advanced levels: Obtain an obedience skills evaluation.

I'm having trouble enrolling online in an intermediate or advanced class. Can you help?

When  you enroll in Intermediate Obedience or another Tier Two or advanced class, be sure to enroll your dog, and not yourself. If you try to enroll yourself, you may get a message that says “Client has not met the required prerequisites for this class.” If you have any difficulties, contact us at

If I miss a Basic Training class session, can I make it up on another night with another instructor?

Unfortunately no. We try to offer at least one new class of Basic Training every month or less. That means, Monday night’s Basic Training class might be on week 2, Tuesday morning may be on week 4, Wednesday night might be on week 3 and Thursday night might be on week 5. Your class instructor will e-mail the homework sheet to you when you are gone. Or, you may request the next week’s homework sheet if you know in advance that you will be unable to attend.

How do I know if the class date/time I want is full?

If the class is full a message appears noting that online registration is closed for that class. In many cases, you may be able to add your dog to a waiting list for that class.  You can also call or stop in during class hours and the desk may be able to tell you the current enrollment status of a class you’re hoping to take.

Do you accept registrations via email or fax?

We require payment to be received with your registration and therefore do not accept registrations via fax or email.