Santa Cruz County
Dog Training & Puppy Classes
Helping people & dogs become better life partners.
Located in Santa Cruz County since 1999
8022 Soquel Dr
Aptos Village, CA, 95003
Feel free to ask questions during your classes. You can also contact us by email by using our Contact Form.
If your issue needs more attention than we can provide in the group class setting, you may need to consider booking an appointment for a private session with a trainer who provides private classes. Living with Dogs specializes and provides only group dog training classes.
Please look at the detailed description pages for each class on our website under Dog & Puppy Training or Dog Sports for prerequisite information.
Confirmation for Flex Plans
Your registration will be confirmed by automated email once your completed class registration is received. We manually will send you a "Getting Started " email during regular weekday office hours. The email will have your login and password for the flexible plan calendar. A complete registration includes an online registration form, payment and vaccination records. Please contact us if you have not received the confirmation email, we do our best to make sure you receive it, but email filters or technical issues may prevent the email from arriving in your inbox. Payment is required at time of registration.
Confirmation for Sport or Non Flex Classes
Six-week non-flexible classes (mostly dog sports classes) will not get a login and password email. A complete registration includes an online registration form, payment and vaccination records. Payment is required at time of registration. A confirmation email will be sent automatically when you complete the registration form.
All dogs need to provide proof of vaccines before attending classes.
All puppies attending puppy classes must provide proof of at least one Distemper/Parvo vaccine and proof of negative giardia test.
For the safety of your classmates please provide proof of vaccinations at your first class. An invoice or certificate of vaccination from your veterinarian will be sufficient. After receiving a vaccine, your dog will need about 48 to 72 hours to create an immune response. During this time your pet may be tired and have flu-like symptoms or have soreness. It is our policy that you should not attend class for at least 48 hours after vaccines unless cleared with a veterinarian's written permission.
Payment for classes shall be made before the first class. We devote class time to be training with handlers and dogs and not on paperwork in the class setting. Registration in advance means you benefit more from class time and get more for your money. We reserve the right to charge a premium for late registration at the door for classes and workshops. Group classes are held by the session, private one on one classes may be attended by the hour.
Make-Up Private Sessions
We will give you a referral if you want to book a private lesson. Living with Dogs provides group training classes.
Anyone wishing to attend class may observe one class (without your dog) prior to enrolling provided your request is made in advance to attend as an observer. Observers are limited to two people. Observers may ask questions after the class if the instructor is available and does not have back to back classes.
It is very important to commit to the class when you sign up. However, if you request a refund in writing 7 days before taking your first class, Living with Dogs will refund the class fee minus a $35.00 administrative fee. Cash refunds are not available once you start your classes, but we will offer you a transfer for another class if it is appropriate for your dog. Once your classes start or you are past your expiration date, refunds will no longer be available to you regardless of when you start attending classes. However a transfer may be available, please see our transfer policy below.
If you find you cannot take the class we will give you a partial class credit to be used within 60 days, provided the request is made in writing before the start of the second class in the series. We will deduct a $35 fee for any classes attended plus a $35 administration fee to help cover expenses incurred in your behalf to run the contracted series of classes. The balance may be applied to another class starting within 60 days. No credits toward transfers will be issued after the second class.
There is a $35 charge for all returned checks plus bank fees.
Private lessons: If you need to cancel or reschedule your lesson, please give us at least 48 hours advance notice to avoid forfeiting your lesson. Private Sessions need to be completed within 60 days of first class date to avoid forfeiting your lessons.
Flexible Classes: You may cancel Family Dog or Puppy group classes with 24 hours notice before taking your first class and your refund will include an administrative fee of $35.
Sequential, Non-Flexible Classes: including agility, Treibball, nose work, and reactive rover classes or any other non-flexible class, the cancellation fee is 50% of the class fee if cancellation is initiated at least 14 days prior to the start of the class. After 14 days, we will only refund if we can find a student to replace you before the class begins. After class begins, no refunds will be available.
Group Class Postponements & Cancellations by Living with Dogs
Classes may be postponed or cancelled by Living with Dogs if a minimum enrollment is not met. You will be notified prior to the first class session. If you were registered for that class, you will be notified two days before the class was scheduled to begin. At that time you can enroll in an alternative class (provided there is space available), receive credit toward a future class, or receive a full refund for sequential classes.
If we have a covered area for the class, the class will go on unless it is a torrential downpour at the class location. Please dress appropriately for the weather with non-slippery boots and rainwear. We will put the status of the class on the website at least 2 hours before class IF class is cancelled OR the location is moved. Sometimes we can move the class indoors on rainy days. We may also opt to show videos on canine body language or other critical dog owner skills. When we show a video, it is people only, no dogs, due to the lack of space and distractions.
Please note that rain in the Santa Cruz Mountains is often much harder than rain on the coast. Check the calendar for the most up to date information. You may want to bring an umbrella to walk your dog if your dog is sensitive to rain (a training opportunity!).
Choke Chains, Prong Collars and Flexi-Leads (retractable leads) are not permitted. Back-attach harnesses are discouraged in order for you and your dog to have a more successful experience. Easy-Walk (front attach) harnesses, flat collars, short 4' leads and on Gentle Leaders are encouraged.
We encourage you to attend every session in your class. Six weeks is not a very long time in a dog's lifetime, attendance and practice at home is key to learning. Our classes are designed to be taught as a series; therefore, attendance each week is important. Drop-ins are not permitted. Our handbook and handouts are available to our students online. If you miss a session please check the online area for the material for your class. Instructions for online access will be provided to you by email after the first class.
Children in Class
For safety and quality of instruction, please do NOT bring infants, children under 8 years old or people who are not focused on the training classes. You may bring children 8 years and older if they are focused on dog training and not in need of supervision. Household family members 8 years and older are welcome to attend classes if they are focused on the class material.
Upgrades to Your Plan
Consistent training makes better behaved dogs and fewer behavioral problems. Dogs continue to go through important development and learning stages for their first two years. continuing their education in a group setting meets an important part of their developmental needs. If you would like to upgrade to our 365 annual plan, you will have the option to do so for a special price for the first 14 days after you signed up. After 14 days the cost is $365 to upgrade. Contact us to let us know if you are interested in upgrading
You may extend your class by paying for an upgrade or for an additional subscription.
If your dog is aggressive to either people or dogs, please consult us before enrolling in a class, as it may be inappropriate for your dog to attend a group class. If we feel your dog does not belong in a group class, we may be able to help your dog in Reactive Rover classes, but we reserve the right to ask you and your dog not to attend future classes for any reason. There are options for dealing with aggression, and we can explore such options. Please answer the questions on the registration form as thoroughly and honestly as possible.
The training methods used in this class are based on reward-based methods. If you are considering using aversive or compulsive methods for training please consult with us prior to making your decision. Compulsive or aversive methods will not be allowed in the classroom, as they may be disturbing and/or disruptive to other attendees.
If you, your family members or your friends, are disruptive to the class, you will be asked to leave. If the disruptions are serious or on-going, you will be asked to stop attending classes and refunds will be given per the refund policy. If your dog is disruptive to the class, we will attempt to modify such behavior or refer you to Reactive Rover classes before taking the more steps outlined above.
We love helping you and your dog, however, please be considerate of the staff's scheduled break and preparation time between classes.
Transferring to Another Class
You may transfer to another Living with Dogs class of equal value should you decide that the class is not right for you. There will be a $35 administrative charge and you will need to pay the difference based on the pro-rated amount for each class you have already attended plus the administrative fee.
Transferring to Another Dog
You may transfer your credits to another dog if that dog's owner fills out the enrollment form and provides required vaccine information prior to your transfer request. You must be the registrant of record to make this change and you will need to fill out our contact form to officially document that you want to cancel your dog's enrollment and transfer the enrollment to another dog. You must provide us with the name of the owner of the new dog, the dog's name and the owner's email address so we can match the records. There will be a $50 administrative charge or you can use 5 credits to make the transfer.
Private Lessons or Transferring to Reactive Rover
In order to protect all participants in a class, we reserve the right to decline entry to any dog who presents safety or behavior issues that may be overly dangerous, disruptive, or that may be exacerbated by participation in a group class. If behavior issues are discovered during the class and the trainer determines that it is in everyone's best interest to seek private training, we will refer you to our one dog at a time Reactive Rover class or to an appropriate professional. If you decide to pursue private lessons your class fee may be pro-rated for another group class in the future, or will be forfeited.