Canine Coach Class Policies

General Requirements

Dogs must have no known aggressive behavior toward people or animals. Dogs must accept gentle handling by a friendly stranger and must be able to work safely around people and other dogs on leash. Please contact our Training Coordinator at
[email protected] to discuss any concerns or incidents related to dog aggression.

To attend class, all dogs and puppies should be free of any symptoms of illness: no coughing, sneezing, diarrhea, vomiting, etc.

Class Policies


Registration must be received in advance. Drop-ins and mid-session arrivals cannot be accommodated.


Payment is required at time of registration. Online registration and payment is preferred. Alternatives to online payment – including cash payments or payment in-person must be coordinated with class trainer.

Proof of Vaccinations

Proof of vaccination must be received on or before the first session. Dogs will not be allowed to participate without proof of vaccination from a licensed veterinarian. Required vaccines vary based on class and age of animal and are listed with class descriptions at

Proof of vaccination may be provided via email (attach an image file of proof of vaccination) to [email protected] or in-person on or before first scheduled class


Refunds or class transfers may be accommodated if notification is received at least four days before the class start date. If, within the first three classes of a series, a dog is unable to attend the remainder of the series due to a canine injury or illness documented by a licensed veterinarian, a 50% credit of class fee may be applied to a future HSSW training class.

Refunds will not be provided when class attendance is prohibited due to failure to provide proof of vaccinations. Proof of vaccinations must be provided at or before the first class. No credit or refund will be provided for any reason after the first three classes in a series.

Minimum Enrollment/Class Cancellation

If minimum enrollment for a class is not met prior to the first session, the class will be cancelled. Notifications of class cancellation will be provided at least one day prior to the scheduled class start date. Should cancellation occur, all registered participants may attend an alternate class, receive credit toward a future class, or receive a full refund.

Should a cancellation occur due to trainer illness, inclement weather or other unforeseen circumstances, one of the following may be observed: an alternate trainer may provide class instruction; make-up classes may be scheduled; the class schedule may be adjusted to accommodate the remainder of class sessions.


Attendance is mandatory for orientation (first class). In the event a registered participant misses a subsequent scheduled class, trainers will provide a copy of relevant class handouts. Make-up classes are not offered.

Children and Family

Family members are welcome to attend our classes. Due to space limitations, no more than 3 adults/children may accompany their registered dog during classes.

Please consider the following before bringing a child to class:

  • Children ages 8-16 must be accompanied by an adult for the duration of each class unless previously approved by the class instructor. Please, no children under age 8. At no time may children be allowed outside of the classroom unattended.
  • Children must be free of any emotional, behavioral, or medical conditions which may affect their ability to safely participate in the classroom environment.
  • Adult parent/guardians are responsible for the behavior of children in their care.
  • Children in attendance must be willing and able to quietly observe for the duration of the class. Any of the following may result in immediate or future removal from the classroom: running, yelling, loud voices, inappropriate or unwelcome greeting of a dog, misuse of classroom materials, or any other behavior deemed by class trainer to be unsafe or disruptive.

Training Equipment

HSSW training philosophy and techniques are science-based and void of force or coercion. Programs adhere to the principles of positive reinforcement and reward-based training proven to be effective and humane training practices. Flat collars, martingale collars, front-clip harnesses, Gentle-leaders, Halti’s, and similar styles and brands are acceptable class equipment. Class trainers will provide additional information on proper equipment and what to bring to class during the class orientation.

Equipment or methods that inflict harm on animals are actively discouraged and are not acceptable in the classroom. Prong collars, choke collars, and shock collars are not permitted in HSSW training classes. Participants utilizing inappropriate equipment or methods will be offered a suitable alternative along with advice and techniques for effective humane training. Retractable leashes are not suitable for training purposes and are not permitted in class.

Declines and Referrals

HSSW reserves the right to refuse registration or participation at any time. Grounds for refusal include, but are not limited to: dogs who present behavior issues that may be dangerous, disruptive, or may be exacerbated by participation in a group class; inability or unwillingness of class participants to adhere to recommended practices as demonstrated in class; unsafe or disruptive behavior by class participants.

In the event of refusal of participation, registrant will be provided with a qualified trainer referral and a partial refund may be provided.


Humane Society for Southwest Washington (HSSW) will endeavor to create as safe an environment as possible for the training of your dog and will endeavor to offer only sound, safe, and responsible training and instruction. All class participants acknowledge that dogs are unpredictable animals with their own wills and drives. Therefore, regardless of training, handling or environmental circumstance, HSSW cannot protect against every potential injury, risk or accident to class participants or their dogs. Attendance in dog training classes is not without risk of injury to registered participants, guests or guardians who may attend or to any participant’s dog.

Participants are responsible for their conduct and the conduct of their dog and guests all times. Participants agree to indemnify, defend, and hold harmless HSSW directors, officers, members, managers, employees, agents, instructors, and/or representatives, from any and all claims of injury, loss, cost, expenses, or damage to persons, dogs, or property caused by the acts or omissions of participants, their dog(s), and any other persons, including any minor children, during the course of training or related activities, as well as by the conduct of any dog under a participant’s care as a result of following training instructions. These provisions apply whether the claims are made by a class participant, members of his or her family, accompanying guests, or guardians.

In addition, participants will indemnify, defend and hold harmless HSSW from any injury, expense, costs or damages to any dog handlers or dogs of any third parties.

No Guaranty of Results

Participants acknowledge and agree there is no guaranty that dogs enrolled in HSSW training programs will achieve the desired level of training, despite the best efforts of HSSW and program trainers.

Savings Clause

Participants expressly agree that the foregoing assumption of risk, release, waiver, and indemnity provisions are intended to be as broad and inclusive as permitted by applicable law, and that, if any portion thereof is held invalid, participants agree that the remaining provisions will continue in full force and effect.

Knowing and Voluntary Execution

By attending any HSSW program, all participants acknowledge their understanding and agreement with the foregoing terms for participation in HSSW’s training and instruction classes and all class policies attached hereto, understand their contents, and agree to be bound by their terms.