Frequently Asked Questions

Pet Training Services at OHS Information

OUR TRAINING SPACE:  In-person group training classes and puppy romps will be held in Manners Hall, a 2,600 square foot arena. Private training sessions may be held in Manners Hall (divided in half, or full hall) or in Ehmann Classroom, a 369 square foot space.

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, the dog tends to respond best if only the people who will be actively training the dog attend class. We can have up to two people attend with their dog. Please have one person work with the dog, and one observe. If you need other arrangements please contact us.

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. 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.

PARKING: When you arrive for a group class, puppy romp, or private training 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 private training 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: Depending on the class, we may offer clients extra treats, toys, puzzle toys/kongs, mat, or a water bowl to use. You are welcome to bring your own supplies, including a water bowl if you want your dog to have their own. Please check your email for more specific information on your class.  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 virtual private training sessions using Zoom Meetings. Please consider our virtual services if you are unable to visit OHS in person.

You said you would send me information in an email. Why haven't I received it?

If you are expecting an email from us, it's possible our message was sent but ended up your inbox's junk/spam or promotional folder. Emails from your instructor, behavior helpline expert, or other staff will have an @oregonhumane.org address. Automated emails about your registration or schedule will be sent through an @mindbodyonline.com address. If you cannot find an email you're looking for, feel free to email your instructor directly, send us a message or call (503) 285-7722 to follow up.

For virtual group classes, your automated confirmation email from Mindbody should include a link to your class. Please contact us prior to your class start date if you did not receive your confirmation email with a link. You do need to "opt in" to emails on Mindbody to receive this link email.

For virtual private training sessions, your trainer will email you a zoom link shortly before your scheduled appointment time.

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 private training appointment?

While we encourage everyone in the home to be involved in their dog’s training, the dog tends to responds best if only the people who will be actively training the dog attend class. We recommend the same person attend class with their dog each week. Two people can attend, with one working with the dog in class and the other observing.

Please contact us if you need to make an exception or bring your children to a class or join us for a virtual training class instead!

Can you tell me more about the Levels classes?

Instead of a series of classes, you attend when you would like to. If you need to miss a week, no problem, just continue when you can. Want to work on a skill some more before moving to the next level, no problem, sign up for the same level again. Each level has certain skills they work on, you decide when you are ready to go to the next level or you can ask your trainer for advice. When you attend the Intro to Levels class, we will explain more and answer all of your questions, or you can call (503) 802-6729

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. You can create a second account using your second handler's contact information. If you need help setting up an online account for your second dog, contact us. You’re welcome to bring two dogs to your private training session without paying an extra fee, 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 on-site 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 on-site at OHS classes , 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 sessions 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 or text you.

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 a class or appointment due to inclement weather, we will send you any relevant information and homework and see you at the next class date.

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

Unfortunately we are unable to offer discounts on 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.

For virtual group classes, your confirmation email should include a link to your Zoom Class. Please contact us prior to your class start date if you did not receive your confirmation email with Zoom link.

For virtual private training sessions, your trainer will send you a zoom link shortly before your scheduled appointment time.

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

For recurring classes, 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 a month in advance, so we 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 contact the trainer to arrange to watch a video before you will be admitted back into class. Please call us at (503) 802-6729.

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 or credit 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 private training session, or Levels class, you will only be given a refund or credit if we received notification at least 48 hours prior to the appointment date. All refunds given are subject to a $20 handling fee. There is not a fee if we apply the credit to your account. 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 or Levels class, 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) 802-6729 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. Private training sessions would be perfect for these dogs.  If your dog is reactive on-leash towards other dogs, please start their training with Reactive Rover class (in person or virtual), private 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, private training consultations, and can provide help over the phone. Book an appointment online, call (503) 802-6729 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.

Do you offer training or evaluation for therapy animals?

The Oregon Humane Society does not offer Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) training, team evaluations, Canine Good Citizen Prep Course or any service dog training. Our Levels training does contain the training needed for the Canine Good Citizen Test and completion of all 4 levels can be followed by the Canine Good Citizen Test. Please talk to the trainer in your Levels class for more information.

To learn more about Pet Partners and to find another in-person training/evaluating opportunity, visit petpartners.org. To find a certified Canine Good Citizen Evaluator in your area, visit akc.org. For more about service dogs visit https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/training/service-dog-training-101/

Contact Us

Can’t find what you’re looking for? Call (503) 802-6729 or send us a message.