Dog-Training Policies

Free Phone Call Policy

I offer potential new clients one free half-hour phone conversation. During this time, We have the opportunity to ask each other questions and assess whether we are a good match.

Because I am not always available, and I have appointments scattered throughout the day, I will only offer two opportunities for this free call. If after two efforts at scheduling an appointment we are not able to connect, we will more than likely have to try a different approach.

One option is to have potential clients place a deposit ($40) down for the time slot. If the meeting happens as scheduled, the deposit will be returned. If it is canceled by the potential client, the deposit will be forfeit.

The second option will be to have an initial in-home (paid) appointment to have our conversation face to face. This half-hour meeting is an opportunity for me to get to know you, your dog, and your situation. It is also to assess whether we are a good fit. It will not be a training session and no training advice should be expected. The fee for this face-to-face consultation is $40. It is non-refundable (unlike the phone appointment, it will not be refunded after the meeting, since it is the fee for my time and travel). It will need to be paid in advance.

Conditions of Payment, Assumption of Liability and Waiver, and Promotional Materials

Whenever a client signs up for my classes, by offering payment they accept the following.

Statement of Enrollment

I have enrolled in one or more private lessons or group classes with Puppy Tutor, which may take place within and/or outside of a partner host facility (the “Services”).

Conditions of Payment

I agree that I am obligated to make full payment to Puppy Tutor for the Services. I am aware that the deposit for the Services is non refundable. If I paid in full in advance and I cancel an order, then I am entitled to a refund (minus the n0n-refundable deposit) if and only if I cancel the order for the Services more than 48 hours prior to the scheduled delivery of the services. Such notice shall not be deemed effective unless made in writing via email to vmcguffee@gmail.com or text message, unless otherwise directed by Puppy Tutor in writing to me. All other payments to Puppy Tutor for Services are non-refundable.

Assumption of Liability and Waiver

I am aware that there are inherent and potential risks, dangers and hazards associated with the Services and that I am voluntarily participant in the Services. Specifically, I understand that dogs are unpredictable animals and may cause injury or damage to persons or property. I am aware that any dog, regardless of training, handling or environmental circumstances, is capable of biting and causing other personal and property damage and I expressly acknowledge the risks therein. I acknowledge that attendance and/or participation in the Services may pose risk to me and other people who I may invite to participate in or observe the Services (“My Guests”) as well as my personal property, and the personal property of My Guests. I acknowledge that Puppy Tutor has placed in safeguards for health and wellbeing related to the COVID-19 pandemic. In preparation for participating in Services, I acknowledge that I have been fully informed of the attendant risks, dangers, and hazards, and agree to assume all risks related to any such occurrence.

Therefore, I hereby waive any and all claims against, and agree to indemnify, defend, and hold harmless Puppy Tutor and its trainers, as well as the host facility (currently Atonement Lutheran Church of Beloit) and its staff, from and against all claims or actions that I, my guardians or representatives may have, for any and all illness or personal injury to myself, my dog, my family members, children in my charge, or any of My Guests, or harm to property or persons whether caused directly or indirectly, through action or inaction of myself or others, arising for the presence or performance of the Services. I expressly assume the risk of any such damage or injury or illness during training or while on the training grounds or the surrounding area thereto. I additionally accept full and sole legal responsibility for my own dog(s), and for any damage my dog(s) may cause to Puppy Tutor, its trainers, the host facility (currently Atonement Lutheran of Beloit) and its staff, other individuals, animals, or property.

Dog and Human Vaccinaions

For any face-to-face sessions, I will require proof up front of complete vaccinations for any dogs on the premises, as well as human vaccination for COVID-19. 

If humans do not offer proof of vaccination due to claimed health issues, we can continue to work together face-to-face with strict protocols in place. 

  • We will work outside. If the weather does not permit this, we will need to reschedule.
  • Everyone will need to wear a mask (I do not allow neck gators) appropriately (that means over mouth and nose).
  • We will work at appropriate social distance (more than 6′, probably closer to 10′). 
  • Dogs will be on-leash. I recommend picking up a training lead. This is to keep the dog away from me.
  • I will not be physically interacting with the dog. I will explain what to do, and the clients will perform the exercises.  

Promotional Materials

I grant full permission to Puppy Tutor to use any photographs or videotapes of the Services for any purpose, to include promotional purposes.

Booking, Cancellation, Make-up Policy, and Last-Minute Sign Ups

I only have so much time in the day, and every time slot is valuable to me. Therefore, I need to make sure that clients are committed to working with me when they schedule appointments. I believe this is fair, since I am committing my time to them. This has led me to institute the following policies for my business.

Booking Policy

If you are interested in working with me for private lessons, we will need to set up an appointment. Once we’ve agreed on a time slot, I will place a temporary hold on that slot for you until you confirm the appointment by paying for it. The temporary hold will last until 6:00 pm on the next calendar day. The payment for a class is non-refundable. I will send an invoice through email for the price of the session. Once the payment is made, the time slot is yours. If no confirmation is forthcoming in the allotted time, the appointment will be canceled.

If finances are tight, we can make arrangements for a deposit instead of the full price of the class. If a deposit is paid, rather than the full amount, the remainder of the class fee will need to be paid at a scheduled time. If the session is to be in a home or at Atonement Lutheran Church, check or cash will work upon arrival. If the session is to be over Skype, a second invoice will be sent for the remainder of the fee, which needs to be paid prior to starting class.

Cancellation and Make-Up Policy

I understand that certain circumstances may require a cancellation. Whenever a client cancels a class, we need to schedule a make-up class. Since I sell time slots, every cancellation costs my business income. Therefore, I have the following cancellation and make-up policy to accommodate client needs and protect my business.

Make-Up Sessions

If a client is unable to meet at the assigned time for a session, they have the option to cancel and reschedule with a make-up class. A client is allowed a limited number of make-up sessions that is determined by how many classes are purchased at once. 

  • Single sessions are allowed 1 make-up session before becoming automatically completed.
  • 4-sessions packages are allowed 2 make-up sessions before becoming automatically completed. 
  • 6-session packages are allowed 3 make-up sessions before becoming automatically completed.
  • 7-session packages are allowed 3 make-up sessions before becoming automatically completed. 
 
After that number is reached, the course (all purchased sessions) is considered “Complete” (unused classes are lost with no refund). 

As long as the cancellation happens more than 48-hours before the start time, no late-cancellation fee will be applied.

Late-Cancellations

A late-cancellation is any cancellation that happens within 48-hours of the start time. Furthermore, if the class is in-person, a late-cancellation within 2 hours of start time automatically “completes” the class. 

Late-Cancellation Fee: $40 for in-home session; $25 for Skype session.

Exceptions: I will always ask for the reason for the cancellation. If I deem it appropriate, I will waive the late-cancellation fee. If I do not receive a reason within 2 days, I will automatically consider the session “completed” unless arrangements are made for a make-up session with a late-cancellation fee. 

No calls/No Shows

Any cancellations that happen after class starts are automatically “completed” regardless of the reason. If the client wants to reschedule, the make-up will be the price of a regular class. 

In-Home: If I arrive at a residence and no one is there, I will wait 10 minutes before “completing” the session. If I do not receive notice before I depart to the class, the class is considered to be “started”. 

Skype: I will wait 15 minutes before “completing” the session. 

If I have two no calls/no shows back to back, I will assume that the client has cancelled all remaining sessions (unless I receive contact with an explanation), and the course will be considered “complete”.

Last-Minute Sign Up

The prices listed are for sign-ups that occur more than 48 hours in advance. “Last-minute” sign-ups that require services within 48-hours of the time-slot offering can require an additional fee of $20.

Client Selection

Part of what makes training work is a good rapport between the trainer and the clients. Sometimes, the pairing is simply not a good match. This could be a matter of conflicting expectations, personalities not resonating, differing desires when it comes to the use of aggressive punishment, or continually signing up and canceling services. I will certainly try to work with people as much as possible. However, sometimes I have reason to believe that the training relationship is simply not going to work out. Therefore, I reserve the right to refuse service to a client for any reason.