Thank you everyone for your support during this difficult time. For the last two months we have primarily been interacting with you via Virtual classes on Zoom, although in the last week and a bit we’ve had fun running Puppy Parties and seeing you all briefly during dropoff and pickup.
Our team met shortly after the province released guidance that during Phase One, our service is allowed to resume. Some of us live in multi-generational households with elderly, vulnerable persons. Some of us have partners with pre-existing medical conditions also putting them at risk. We have to balance our wish to reconnect in-person and meet the community’s needs with safety – not just of us, our loved ones, but also our community at large.
Starting Saturday, May 30th, we will slowly be resuming in-person classes. They will feel familiar, but they will also be different. We are also forced to mandate very specific requirements of our students to protect both you and us.
Please be patient if we are at capacity and you are unable to get in right away. We are testing demand and operational procedures, and navigating uncharted territory.
Rule One: Symptomatic or Vulnerable? Stay Home
Our instructors all have digital thermometers and will be self assessing for symptoms. If we’re symptomatic, we’re staying home. Do the same for us. Also, please, if you are a vulnerable person, please stay at home! Virtual classes are still going to run and you can still do Dropoffs for Puppy Parties. We care about your well-being.
Rule Two: Dog OK for Group Class?
Virtual classes allowed fearful, anxious, or even aggressive dogs to learn key foundation skills. In-Person group classes are not the right place for them and are not permitted – we reserve the right to make the decision to remove them from class. Home school them and they’ll be happier too.
Rule Three: One Adult Accompanies One Dog
We believe training should be a family affair, but following guidance regarding sizes of gatherings, 5 total people is responsible. So, all class sizes will be 4 Dogs, 4 Adult Trainers, 1 Instructor.
Each class, select one family member per class to be the in-school trainer, and schedule time as a family that week to catch the equivalent module in our Virtual class – Virtual classes are free to audit (camera off, no interaction, just observing and listening).
Rule Four: Three Hour Booking Window / No Makeups
Registration for a specific class and timeslot only opens 3 hours before the start of the class. This is to prevent the issue of someone booking early, and then falling ill, and feeling pressured to attend even if they are sick. Or, it prevents people from booking and forgetting about their reservation, wasting a precious spot. This also lets us cancel classes on short notice if one of us is suddenly symptomatic, protecting you. Because of this short booking window, please book carefully. Absolutely no makeup or return of credits will be permitted, zero exceptions.
Rule Five: Be Punctual
Please wait curbside and at the start of your scheduled class, your instructor will come outside and cue everyone to enter one at a time. Shortly after the commencement of class, we will be locking our doors to prevent walk-ins and others that may enter the building and cause congestion in the entrance or waiting area. Please be on time as if you are late and the door is locked, you will not be permitted in your class, nor will you be given a makeup credit.
Rule Six: Wear Facemasks At All Times
Although our classrooms are relatively large, from time to time, physical distancing will be breached. We are also staying indoors in a confined space (although we will maximize ventilation from outdoors as much as possible) for a duration of close to an hour, while talking. To mitigate the risks of droplets projecting while speaking in an enclosed space, where physical distance recommendations may be breached from time to time, we are mandating the wearing of a facemask (medical or non-medical is fine) at all times by all participants. Without a facemask, you will not be permitted in your class, nor will you be given a makeup credit.
Rule Seven: Sit and Stay (Physical Distancing)
Students will be given a station to work in and we ask that unless otherwise instructed, please remain in your station and refrain from visiting other students, or coming up directly to the instructor.
Rule Eight: Use Positive Reinforcement
Rude or inconsiderate behaviour affects the classroom experience for other students and the instructor, and won’t be tolerated!
We believe that the best way to teach and reinforce desired behaviour is through positive reinforcement – for people, that’s about expressing your needs clearly, and also being considerate, gracious, and patient.
Founder, When Hounds Fly