• Avoid sugar-heavy, chemical-laden, grain-filled dog treats. No articial sweeteners (especially Xylitol which is toxic to dogs).
  • Soft high-value treats cut into tiny bits (from diameter of puffed rice to frozen pea size) or in chunks that can be easily ripped apart during class
  • 2-3 cups per session for medium to big dogs, 1-2 cups for small to medium dogs
  • In treat pouch, treat bag, carpenter/kitchen apron with pockets. Leave the plastic bags for treats at home or in car.
  • Place treats directly into dog treat bag or carpenter’s apron. Leaving treats in plastic baggies is inefficient & slows down your response time because they are slippery.​​

​Do not feed your dog before class. Full dog tummies make it hard for dogs to concentrate in class.

Morning or midday class: no breakfast
Evening class: light breakfast before 9 a.m.; no other food until after class.
Shy or nervous dog: No food for 24 hours before first session.

Provide fresh water at all times. No need to withhold water before any classes, nor at other times.

​​Equipment for Basic Manners, PuppyLove, private sessions:

  • Safe equipment required at all sessions.
  • Secure leash & snug-fitting collar for private or orientation class
  • Best leash for all ages, all owners: 4’ to 6' latigo leather, no wider than 5/8 of an inch” for larger dogs or 1/2" for smaller dogs. We have some wonderful, easy-to-hold handmade latigo  leashes at great prices ($22 for 5/8" by 4 feet), but you may get a leather leash in the sizes mentioned elsewhere if you prefer. If you order one online elsewhere, make sure you have it by your 2nd class or you must then buy one of ours.

Leash corrections rarely used nor needed.  
No harnesses, retractable/extension leashes nor chain/partial chain choke collars for any beginner or agility class.

Gentle Leader or Snoot Loop head collars, fitted with our help, are a great choice for a dog or puppy that is pulling hard. Your dog will likely need a few days to get used to you having such easy control of his head & body. 

PuppyLove (8-18 weeks old at orientation/first class):

  • Buckle or snap collars
  • Fabric or leather leash.
  • If a larger pup is pulling very hard on leash, we recommend you move to a Gentle Leader or Snoot Loop and leather leash.
  • No harnesses in class, please. They are a safety issue in puppy play times.

Basic Manners (older pups & adult dogs)

  • Snug-fitting thin all-nylon slip collars or all-nylon limited slip collars OR
  • Gentle Leader or Snoop Loop head collar (purchase the size your pup will grow into), or nylon slip collar (no chain sections)
  • Leather leash, 4’ best, latigo leather, 5/8: for larger dogs, 1/2" for smaller dogs. (See details above)
  • No nylon leashes allowed in Basic Manners after orientation.

 We require these collars and leashes for the safety of dogs new to our program, to ensure that the dogs cannot slip away. When wearing the Gentle Leader or Snoot Loop, your dog should also wear his regular buckle or snap collar - the two work well together. Leash corrections are rarely needed nor used.

Getting ready for orientation or private class​

​Advance registration & orientation class required for all PuppyLove & Basic Manners sessions.

Orientation is at a different time and/or day than the rest of your series, and is the first session of those series. Orientation offered Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays most weeks - other suggested times listed on class schedule page.

​     Complete on-line class registration form on this web page, or come early to complete a form at class (discounts included only with advance on-line registration).


  • Your dog

  • Vaccination records

  • At least 3 kinds of super-yummy protein-based whole foods such as

  1. Boneless chicken

  2. Cheese

  3. Low-fat hot dogs

  4. Drained lean ground beef

  5. Fresh liver

Pick foods your dog does not usually get at home, so it is novel and exciting to your pet. He will want to work even harder!

Best Paw Forward Inc. 

Gentle, effective dog training based on trust & respect. Small group & private classes in Central Florida 

Copyright ©​ Best Paw Forward Inc..

Contact bestpaw@bestpaw
to sign up right now. 

Recommended for dogs older than 16 weeks: Rabies, Bordetella, Canine influenza vaccinations
Leptospira especially recommended for dogs living in Florida

 We are glad to provide in-home private sessions for friendly older dogs or dogs with compromised immune systems. 

If your dog has serious social or noise issues, please register for Best Paw Forward private classes.

What should you wear in class?

  • Comfortable clothing, especially casual active wear
  • Non-skid shoes such as tennis or athletic shoes.
  • No sandals nor flip flops allowed, please.
  • Pockets are a big plus!
  • An easy-open treat bag or carpenter apron.

Cell phones and pagers must be turned off during class unless you are shooting pictures or video to share with us (and earn credit toward future classes for any images we use!). If you have an emergency situation that requires a communication device to be turned on during a session, please leave the group to answer to avoid disrupting the class.

​Schedule small group & private classes: bestpaw@bestpaw.com    407-321-1006rm.