Frequently Asked Questions
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How is the FetchMasters School of Dog Training different from other training schools and venues?
- From an academic perspective, we focus on an unwaivering insistence that theory must be backed up by results. We also believe in being transparent and honest about our practices and abilities. We feel that, if it is to have a vibrant future, positive dog training must stand apart as honest and capable. Everything we do and say is built around this notion.
- From a hands-on perspective, we focus on building real-world skillfulness with our students. Dog training knowledge with minimal practice is not enough. Being able to actually do it is the hallmark of a true expert. Additionally, skillfulness is important for the reputation of our industry, the fair treatment of clients, and the welfare of dogs.
What is the FetchMasters School of Dog Training official training philosophy?
- We purposely do not claim any of the catchy code-words and phrases that many in the positive dog training world ascribe to themselves: positive only, force free, progressive reinforcement. We feel that most of these terms are either unclear, non-comprehensive, poorly defined or not positive enough (like LIMA).
- In today’s dog training circles, many aversive trainers are hijacking some of these terms to tap into the mind-share and marketing power of positive dog training. So, the terms are becoming less distinguising.
- We feel that the most appropriate method of describing what we do is … describing what we do. We have laid that out here … https://fetchmasters.com/about-fetchmasters/
Do you teach clicker training?
We are marker trainers, and clickers are a form of marker. We do introduce out students to the proper use of the clicker, but we primarily use verbal markers. Ultimately, we want our trainers to be versatile, knowledgeable, skillful and unhindered by myopic, limited or overly judgemental views of positive training.
Will the FetchMasters School of Dog Training prepare me to train professionally?
- We focus 100% of our effort into teaching people to train at a skilled, professional level. As such, we spend 1/3 to 1/2 of our time pursuing topics academically, and 1/2 to 2/3 of our time teaching hands-on skills with a variety of dogs. We also assign hands-on learning projects that will push you to grow in ability.
- But in the end, your attention, effort and aptitudes will be the defining factor in your success. But if you can’t learn to train professionally at FetchMasters, you likely cannot learn to train professsionally anywhere that has a less skills-focused approach.
Do you offer financing?
- We offer financing through PayPal. When we send your invoice, you will be able select PayPal financing. They will be able to finance all or part of your payment.
When is payment due?
- Payment must be completed in full prior to the first day of class (if you are enrolling in individual classes) or by the program start date (if you are enrolling in a certificate program).
Where do I stay when attending classes?
There are a number of hotels and RV parks in the area. We will provide you with a list of options.
Where is training located?
At the FetchMasters Ranch just outside of Denver. Exact location details will be released soon.
Can my past experience and education be credited to FetchMasters School of Dog Training programs?
- If you have previously graduated from another dog trainer academy or have significant verifiable experience or provable capability (we may require video for this), then some of our courses are optional. For more information on what is optional, please review our course catalog and our program descriptions.
Who teaches the classes?
- Classes are taught by FetchMasters owners, Thomas and Linda Aaron. Both are CPDT-KA certified and have a combined 16 years of experience in the dog training industry.
- We also bring in dog training specialists to speak on certain topics (this varies from session to session).
- Hands-on sections of the curriculum are taught by Tom and Linda, as well as by highly skilled FetchMasters lead trainers. We don’t use anyone without a proven skill-set to teach our students how to perform skillfully.
Who can attend?
- Our goal is to populate the positive dog training niche with skilled dog trainers. Because of this we reserve most of our seats for serious, aspiring trainers. This includes people who have attended other dog trainer academies and have attained an academic understanding of dog training but need to increase their skillfulness and high-distraction training abilities.
- Dog owners who wish to attend specific courses are also welcome to attend, and we reserve a few seats in each course with them in mind.
What is the minimum and maximum number of attendees for each class?
- The minimum class size is two people.
- The maximum class size is 10 people.
What is the class schedule?
- Classes are held Monday through Friday from 8 AM to 4 PM.
- 4 PM to 6 PM on some weekdays is allocated to private one-on-one training with instructors.
- There is a daily 1 hour lunch break.
- While there is no formal training on weekends, Saturday mornings from 8-12 can be used for independent work on extra class assignments.
Can I bring my dog?
- You can bring your dog as long as it is capable of being housed separately away from class and training environments when its presence is not needed or desirable. Your dog must also be fully vaccinated.
- Your must care for your dog during class days and arrange for your dog’s care on weekends and after class hours.
- You will be expected to work with a variety of other dogs during for successful completion of your class or certificate program. This includes the dogs of other students and dogs in various FetchMasters training programs.
- Personal dogs are not required for the completion of courses or programs. If you have a completely untrained dog, that may be more useful to you than a partially or fully trained dog.
Can I record the classes via audio and video?
- You may not. We will be in the process of creating videos to be available via subscription in the future.
- You will have ample opportunity to take written notes during the course. We also provide many important notes.
How much hands on experience will I get?
- The short answer: a lot.
- The long answer: Most (but not all) of our courses are 1/2 to 2/3 hands-on practice unter the tutelage of skilled dog trainers who will encourage and critique your skills to help you make leaps in your skill level.
Can I take part of a course now and part of the course at a later date?
- No, you cannot. Please do not sign up for a class you cannot complete during its scheduled timeframe.
Can I make up a course if it is part of a certificate program and I cannot attend it?
- No, you cannot. You can, however, attend the c0urse as an individual course the next time it is offered for the full price of the course.
- If you do not think you will be able to attend all the courses in the program, then you should consider enrolling in individual classes; please pay attention to course prerequisites.
How do you determine if I pass or fail the course or a program?
- Failing: There are two ways to fail. The first is to not complete your course material or participate fully. The second is to posess a poor, confrontational attitude or personality that is not conducive to learning new things or professionally training dogs.
- Passing: There is one way to pass: Complete your course material and participate fully. If you do that, we’re going to give you 200% of our effort and make sure you learn everything you need to learn.
Why do you need a deposit, and I get my deposit back if I need to cancel?
- Your deposit is your commitment to fill a spot in a course. It results in our commitment to hold a seat for you.
- All deposits are non-refundable.