Frequently-Asked Questions

  1. What training methods does OHS teach in classes?
  2. Where are training classes held?
  3. Do you offer discounts?
  4. How do I confirm that I’ve enrolled in class?
  5. I’m on the waitlist, what should I do next?
  6. I have to miss a class, can I make it up?
  7. How do I get a refund? Can I transfer to another class?
  8. What is your inclement weather policy?
  9. What are the medical requirements for dogs attending classes?
  10. Which dogs should not come to group training classes?
  11. Do you offer assistance with Service Dogs?
  12. Why do you require the spay and neuter of the pets in your training classes?
  13. Can I bring my family to my class or one-on-one appointment?
  14. I have two dogs. Can I bring both of them to class?

1. What training methods does OHS teach in classes?

Our training philosophy focuses on building a strong, healthy bond between a dog and his/her 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 canine behavior is the best way to promote a trusting and respectful relationship between individuals and their dogs. 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.

2. Where are training classes held?

Classes are held at the OHS Animal Medical Learning Center at 1067 NE Columbia Blvd., Portland, OR 97211. Get directions. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. I’ve been added to the waitlist for a class, what should I do next?

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. 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 transfer your registration fee).

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

We do not offer make up classes.  If you have to miss a class, please notify your instructor ahead of time. We are happy to email you homework from the class you’ve missed.

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.

7.  I signed up for a training class, but need to cancel. How do I get a refund?

In the event that you need to cancel your registration, 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 prior to the start date of the class you’ve originally enrolled in. Transfers will not be granted after the original class you’ve enrolled in begins. Please contact us at (503) 802-6744 if you would like to cancel your registration or transfer your enrollment to another class.

8. How will I be notified if my class or appointment is canceled due to inclement weather?

Occasionally, classes and private training appointments will be canceled due to snow, ice or other severe weather. 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.

9. What are the medical requirements for dogs attending classes?

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 if he or she is coughing, sneezing, fevered, or displaying any potential symptoms of illness. 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: Required for all dogs and puppies. Puppies should have at least one booster before attending classes.
  • Rabies: Required for all dogs over six months.
  • Bordetella: Recommended for all dogs over three months.
  • All dogs over six months must be spayed or neutered.

10. Which dogs shouldn’t come to group training classes?

Currently-enrolled pets should not attend class if they are showing signs of illness or infection (see Question 9).

Dogs that have a history of aggression (snarling, snapping, biting) towards people or other dogs are not appropriate for our group training classes. In addition, dogs that are reactive towards people (growl, barks, lunges) should not attend group training classes.  If your dog is reactive on-leash towards other dogs, please start their training with Reactive Rover class or one-on-one training sessions. Your Reactive Rover trainer can recommend next steps for training when you complete the class.

If your dog is inappropriate for group classes, we can still help. We offer 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.

11. Do you offer assistance with 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.

The OHS Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT) program trains people and their pets to become volunteer teams who visit others in hospitals, schools, libraries, etc. through the national organization, Pet Partners.

12. 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 pets must be spayed or neutered to attend group training classes, we do offer private training consultations for people who have unaltered animals. Book an appointment online.

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

We want the whole family to be involved with your dog’s training. Feel free to bring your partner, roommate, or a friend with you to your class/appointment.

We welcome kids in most of our classes as well. Please make sure your children are either interested in being involved in training or are able to sit quietly during your class/appointment while you focus on your dog. Due to the specialized nature of Reactive Rover, please check with your instructor before bringing children under 12 years to Reactive Rover or Sports and Shenanigans for Reactive Rovers.

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

Our class registration fees are per dog. If you would like to bring a second dog to 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.