Frequently Asked Questions

COVID-19 Safety | Pet Training Services at OHS

To prevent the spread of COVID-19, OHS will be making changes to our in-person training services to help keep everyone safe. 

OUR TRAINING SPACE:  In-person group training classes and puppy romps will be held in Manners Hall, a 2,600 square foot arena. One-on-one sessions may be held in Manners Hall (divided in half, or full hall) or in Ehmann Classroom, a 369 square foot space.  We will limit group classes to ensure each client has enough space to work with their dog. In Manners Hall, you and your dog should have a large bubble of space (at least 20 ft x 15 ft) to practice the skills you learn. We will visually define each person’s space so boundaries are clear to everyone. In Ehmann Classroom, you will have at least 14 ft x 18 ft area of space to work with your dog.

CLEANING: We use Rescue (a hydrogen-peroxide based cleaner) to clean and disinfectant chairs and other high-touch areas, and mop the floor before every class, romp, and one-on-one session.

WHO CAN ATTEND? While we encourage everyone in the home to be involved in their dog’s training, we must limit the number of people attending in-person group classes, romps, and one-on-one sessions in order to operate in accordance with Oregon requirements and CDC recommendations. Please choose one adult in your household to attend your group class, romp or one-on-one session with your dog. We recommend the same person attend class with their dog each week.  Please contact us if you would like to request an exception or need to bring children with you.

HEALTH:  We ask that you only come to OHS if everyone in your household is healthy. You will need to stay home if you or anyone in your household has been sick in the last two weeks. We may ask you some health screening questions when you arrive to class. Please contact us if you will miss class or need to reschedule an appointment due to illness. We can hold your credit until you’re able to return to in person services (up to one year), transfer you to one of our virtual options, or offer an over-the-phone make up session(s). For animal medical requirements, see below. Please refer to individual class requirements for more information about bringing your dog to a group class at OHS.

WHILE YOU ARE AT OHS: Our instructors will be wearing masks and all clients are required to wear a mask or another face covering as well. During your visit to OHS, please practice physical distancing and leave at least 6 feet of space between you and other people you may encounter – indoors or out. We ask that you remain in your classroom for the duration of your visit and exit outside following the instructor’s directions. You will not have access to a water fountain. Restrooms are available upon request and we ask that you respect occupancy limits.

PARKING: When you arrive for a group class, puppy romp, or one-on-one session, please park on the west side of the Animal Medical Learning Center (AMLC) and wait in your car. There will be signs in our parking lot indicating where you can park. If all reserved spots are full, feel free to park in any available spot. When it’s time for your class to begin, we will open a side door that leads directly into Manners Hall and your instructor will direct you individually into class. If you are here for a one-on-one session, your instructor will meet you at a side door and direct you to your classroom. Private training clients may receive specific directions via email and/or text.

SUPPLIES TO BRING: To help keep everyone safe, we will no longer be able to offer clients extra treats to use, toys, puzzle toys/kongs, mat, or a water bowl and ask that your bring everything you need for your class or appointment with you. Please check your email for more specific information.  If you are not opted-in to our automated email reminders and aren’t sure what to bring with you, please contact us if you have questions about what to bring.

DOG SOCIALIZATION: Puppies in Puppy Manners and Puppy Romps will have the opportunity to interact with other puppies following our instructors directions.

VIRTUAL OPTIONS: We are continuing to offer virtual classes, webinars and one-on-one sessions using Zoom Meetings. Please consider our virtual services if you are unable to visit OHS in person.

What training methods does OHS teach in classes?

Our training philosophy focuses on building a strong, healthy bond between a pet and their owner through positive reinforcement. We do not like to use fear or intimidation-based tactics in our training. OHS trainers believe that reward-based techniques and educating pet owners on animal behavior is the best way to promote a trusting and respectful relationship between individuals and their pets. Our trainers are Certified Professional Dog Trainers (CPDT) or working towards their certification. Learn more about the CPDT certification.

For more about why we choose to use reward-based training methods, read the Dominance Position Statement from the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior.

Can I bring my family to my class or one-on-one appointment?

While we encourage everyone in the home to be involved in their dog’s training, we must limit the number of people attending in-person group classes, romps, and one-on-one sessions in order to operate in accordance with Oregon requirements and CDC recommendations. Please choose one adult in your household to attend your group class, romp or one-on-one session with your dog. We recommend the same person attend class with their dog each week.  

Please contact us if you would like to request an exception or need to bring children with you. If you need to bring children with you to class, please make sure they are either interested in being involved in training or are able to sit quietly during your class/appointment while you focus on your pet. Alternatively, check out our virtual options. Due to its specialized nature, we do not recommend bringing children under 12 to Reactive Rover at OHS.

I have two dogs. Can I bring both of them to class?

For in person classes, our registration fees are per dog. If you would like to bring a second dog to an in-person class, you must have a handler for each dog and pay for two spots in the class. If you need help setting up an online account for your second dog, contact us at (503) 802-6744. You’re welcome to bring two dogs to your one-on-one training session, but please bring a handler for each dog. When you schedule your appointment, please make a note that you plan to bring more than one dog with you.

For virtual classes, registration fees are per household; however, we still recommend having a handler for each animal attending class with you.

Where are training classes held?

Classes will be held either virtually or at the OHS Animal Medical Learning Center at 1067 NE Columbia Blvd., Portland, OR 97211. Get directions.  Please note the class location when you sign up online.

For classes at OHS, our large training arena, Manners Hall, is designed to foster a comfortable training environment with natural light and fresh air. The Animal Medical Learning Center is handicap-accessible. Watch this video for a view of Manners Hall.

How will I be notified if my class or appointment has been canceled?

Occasionally, classes and private training appointments will be canceled due to snow, ice, other severe weather, or for low enrollment numbers. If this is the case, we will notify you via email. While we try to give as much notice as possible, sometimes weather conditions can change quickly. If the decision to cancel is made two hours or less from your scheduled class/appointment start time, we will call you. Also, please note that if the Oregon Humane Society is closed due to inclement weather, all scheduled classes and appointments will be canceled. Should we have to cancel class or appointments due to inclement weather, we will do our best to offer a make-up session at no additional cost.

I’m an OHS volunteer or adopter. Can I get a discount on a group class?

Unfortunately we are unable to offer discounts on group classes. The registration fee goes towards helping the shelter animals and programs at OHS, so we hope you still consider signing up for a class.

Does someone call me to confirm my enrollment in a class?

No. We ask that all clients register and pay for classes and appointments through our online registration system, MINDBODY. Prepayment is required to register for a class or appointment. When you create an account, be sure to “opt-in” to receive email notifications and reminders. This will ensure you get confirmation emails, receipts, and reminders about your upcoming classes/appointments. You can also log in to your account to view your schedule.

I’ve been added to the waitlist for a class. What happens now?

We will contact you via email if a spot opens up in the class that you are on the waitlist for. If there is a last minute opening (less than 48 hours), we will contact you via phone/text as well as email. Our classes can fill up to six weeks in advance, so we also recommend registering for another session with space and then adding yourself to the waitlist for your preferred session. We can easily transfer your registration fee should a spot in your preferred session open up.

I have to miss a class. Can I make it up?

We are unable to offer in-person make up classes. We ask that you only sign up for class if you know that you can attend. If you have to miss a class, please notify your instructor at least 48 hours in advance. We are happy to email you homework from the class you will miss. If you are registered for Reactive Rover class, please note that the first class is mandatory for all students. If you miss the first class, you will not be allowed to attend the rest of the course. The first class covers important safety precautions and vital course material necessary for your successful completion of the course. If you miss this lecture, you will be required to meet with the instructor for a half-hour private consultation at an additional expense of $35 before you will be admitted back into class.

We ask that you only come to OHS if both you and your dog are healthy. You will need to stay home if you or anyone in your household has been sick in the last two weeks. If you need to miss class or reschedule an appointment due to illness, please let us know. We can hold your credit until you’re able to return to in person services (up to one year), transfer you to one of our virtual options, or offer an over-the-phone make up session(s). Learn more about animal health requirements below.

I need to cancel my enrollment or appointment. How do I get a refund?

In the event that you need to cancel your registration for a group class, you will only be given a refund if we receive notification seven days prior to the class start date. All refunds given are subject to a $20 handling fee. No refunds will be given for classes or workshops costing $25 or less. Last minute cancellations (less than seven days) or no-shows will not be granted a refund. If you decide that you would like to switch classes, you will be allowed one transfer. You must make arrangements to transfer seven days prior to the start date of the class you’ve originally enrolled in. In the event that you need to cancel your one-on-one training session, you will only be given a refund if we received notification at least 48 hours prior to the appointment date. All refunds given are subject to a $20 handling fee. No refunds will be given for sessions costing $25 or less. Last minute cancellations (less than 48 hours’ notice) or no-shows will not be granted a refund. To reschedule a private training appointment, please notify us at least 48 hours in advance. You may request to reschedule an appointment up to three times. Excessive (more than three) or last minute (less than 48 hours) requests to reschedule may be denied and no refunds given.

If you've purchased a "class pass" for our Manners Training program, or a "three pack" of private training sessions,  your purchase is nonrefundable once your training has begun. Sessions must be scheduled within six months of purchase.

Please contact us at (503) 802-6744 to request a refund.

What are the medical requirements for dogs attending classes at OHS?

Your dog must be free of signs of communicable diseases in order to attend classes. Even if all vaccinations are current, please do not bring your dog to class at OHS if they are coughing, sneezing, fevered, vomiting, have diarrhea, or display any other potential symptoms of illness within 24 hours of class. If you have to miss class because your dog has a communicable disease, please let us know. In order to return to class, we may ask for a note from your veterinarian stating that your dog is no longer contagious. In addition, we require the following:

  • Distemper/Parvo Combination Vaccine: Required for all dogs and puppies. Puppies must have received at least one round of a distemper/parvo combination vaccine at least seven days prior to starting class or attending Puppy Romp.
  • Rabies Vaccine: Required for all dogs over six months.
  • Bordetella Vaccine: Recommended for all dogs.

All dogs over six months must be spayed or neutered to attend group training classes. We offer private training consultations and virtual services for people who have unaltered dogs.

Which dogs shouldn’t come to training classes at OHS?

Dogs should not attend class if they are showing signs of illness or infection (see medical requirements above). Dogs that have a history of aggression (snarling, snapping, biting) towards people or other dogs are not appropriate for our in-person group training classes. In addition, dogs that are reactive towards people (growl, barks, lunges) should not attend in-person group training classes. If your dog is reactive on-leash towards other dogs, please start their training with Reactive Rover class (in person or virtual), one-on-one training sessions. Your trainer can recommend next steps for training when you complete the class. If your dog is inappropriate for in-person group classes, we can still help. We offer virtual services, one-on-one training consultations, and can provide help over the phone. Book an appointment online, call (503) 416-2983 or send us a message.

Why do you require the spay and neuter of pets in your training classes?

Because we are an animal shelter existing to care for homeless pets, reducing pet overpopulation is one of our primary goals. While dogs must be spayed or neutered to attend group training classes at OHS, we do offer private training consultations and virtual training classes for people who have unaltered animals. Book an appointment online or sign up for a virtual class.

Do you train service dogs?

The Oregon Humane Society does not offer service dog training or provide funding for individuals who want to acquire service dogs. Service Dogs are trained to be a companion to one person who often has a specific disability. You can find more information through Canine Companions for Independence or Assistance Dogs International.

Contact Us

Can’t find what you’re looking for? Call (503) 416-2983 or send us a message.