Desensitization and Socialization Hour

Socialization is a critical part of raising a confident, well adjusted canine. It is more than getting along with other dogs; socialization includes things like bikes, skateboards, noises, vehicles, men, women, children, walking on different surfaces, hats, sunglasses, foreign objects and so much more. However, it is also a part of training that is overlooked because of it’s difficulty, time constraints or lack of know how.

 

Desensitization and socialization hour at Barkers gives owners the opportunity to help each other and their dogs. We are all coming here with the same goal: to help our four legged friends feel confident in their environment, no matter what they encounter. We seek to offer a controlled, safe space filled with like‐minded individuals. It is open to all ages (dogs and people) but children 16 and under must be accompanied by an adult. Young children must be able to abide by the rules; this is for everyone’s safety.

 

Socialization hour is best suited to dogs that are timid, unsure, fearful, or mildly reactive to certain things. It is also good for dogs who are easily overwhelmed or who may not have had proper socialization as puppies, or rescue dogs with uncertain backgrounds. It is also appropriate for owners who want an educational activity with their dog but without the obligation of a full course. Dogs who are very reactive must sign up for a private consult and be approved before being allowed at socialization hour.

 

Our trainers will set up and supervise stations/activities for dogs to work through at their own pace. These will vary each class. Owners may be asked to work with other dogs and have others work with their dog; if you are uncomfortable with this, there is absolutely no obligation to participate. Keep in mind, however, everyone here has agreed to the rules and is here to help the dogs. Our trainers can offer advice or modify an activity as necessary.

 

This is a drop‐in class which means you can come to as many as you like. However, there is a limited number of spots available so be sure to sign up in advance for each class you want to attend. Payment must be made when you sign up. Let us know as soon as you can if you have to reschedule. We are unable to offer refunds on classes, but if cancellations are made before 24 hours in advance we will credit for the next class. Please keep in mind this is an outdoor class and is weather dependent; we will not run the class in extreme weather. In the event of cancellations due to weather, we will offer a make up class at no extra charge.

 

 

Cost: $20/dog per drop in. Unlimited handlers- feel free to bring the whole family!

 

Rules are in place to keep owners and dogs safe. We want to make this a positive experience for everyone. We ask that you abide by the rules and share them with anyone who may accompany you and your dog. Owners and dogs who are not following the rules and are being disruptive to other families will be asked to leave and will receive no refund. We are here as a community to help one another!

 

Rules:

 

  • All dogs must provide proof of up to date vaccinations including bordetella; if your dog is feeling under the weather, wait until they are healthy before bringing them to our facility.

  • Never approach or pet a dog without asking the owner first.

  • Refrain from staring or making eye contact with strange dogs unless asked to do so. Some dogs are working on socialization with people and may be intimidated.

  • Never scold or punish a dog for barking or growling; they are letting you know that they are uncomfortable and we are here to help them.

  • Support each other! We are all here for the same reason.

  • Don’t compare your dog to others. Each dog is an individual; they may react to different things in different ways and this is perfectly ok! Give them time to work at their own pace.

  • Keep your dog on a leash at all times and maintain a good distance from other dogs and owners.

  • NO FLEXILEASHES, CHOKE CHAINS OR PRONG COLLARS ALLOWED.

  • Please clean up after your pet and don’t let them pee on the equipment provided.

  • Don’t push your dog past their limit. If they are uncomfortable with something, help them work through it. This is why we’re here! There’s no rush, take the time to make every experience a positive one.

  • Relax and have fun! We are all in this together!

 

 

Class is an hour long so to get the most out of it, be sure to show up a few minutes early. Come prepared. This includes:

 

  • a solid, 6 foot leash (no flexileashes or chains)

  • a buckle or martingale collar (or harness); no choke chains or prong collars

  • a clicker (if using)

  • lots of high value treats (bring more than you think you’ll need)

  • tug toy for toy‐orientated dogs