Getting Started | Alpha Dog Club

Getting Started …

What to expect, and do…

1. Call us with ANY questions or concerns. A lot of your questions can be answered here on the website, but we are always happy to talk to you. Just call (804) 754-DOGS (3647) For the safety of our staff and other dogs, and to meet insurance and regulatory requirements, ALL dogs have to do the Intro Swim and Ramp Training.  This protects your dog.  Other dogs that your dog meets in the hallway or swims with at ADC have ALL been required to have up to date rabies inoculations and have been evaluated by our staff.

2. Appointments. Call to make your first appointment after you submit the Registration form in Getting Started. Registration and up-to-date Rabies Certificate (not the medallion) are required for all dogs. Arrive no more than 10 minutes early, and for your dog’s safety, please wait in waiting room, not at the reception desk. You can bring family members and other dogs to watch lessons, but you will be busy coaching your dog during the lesson. Too many distractions can create problems. Gratuities are not required, but are appreciated. The pool is reserved solely for your dog, when you cancel with less than 24 hour notice….other dogs are turned away and cannot swim, our staff cannot work, and the pool goes empty. Late cancellation fee of either 1 swim package or prepaid for Intro appointments, late cancel fee of 1 swim package or $25 fee for Alpha and Beta appointments, and $50 fee for Super appointments.

3. The great singer, Pearl Bailey, once said, “What this world needs, is more love, and less paperwork!” With that in mind, we urge you to download the Registration Form or fill it out online before your first visit.  And email, fax, or bring, your dog’s current Rabies Certificate (not the medallion) that has their birthday (so they get their free birthday swim).

4. Bring your dog (see the ADC Rules below for what to do, and not do, before coming) on a leash, your dog’s records, comfortable clothes that can get wet, sensible shoes, a camera, any water toys that your dog likes, and reasonable expectations for your dog becoming comfortable with swimming and learning vital safety behavior in the water. Your dog should be healthy and should not have eaten for 3 hours prior to a swim.

5. We supply the towels, and we will rinse and dry your canine friend. But you might want to cover your car seat for the ride home afterwards or bring ear drops.

6. Remember to bring you dog in at least twice to make sure they “imprint” ramp training (and get more familiar with our pool) in their memory and monthly to maintain skills (more for fitness). Bringing your dog in once to “see how they like it” does your dog a disservice. Many dogs are more comfortable and enjoy swimming on their second visit. Teaching your dog to exit using steps or a ramp in a pool is critical. Dogs who love water and jump in a pool, or fall in, will drown if they are not exit trained- they can’t get out the side of a pool like a river or lake or the beach.

7.  The earlier a dog is introduced to water, the better- generally older than 2 months.  This may differ based on breed or personality, and for young dogs float coats are a big help- based on anatomy (dog’s with big chests, smooched noses).

8.  For some dogs, this is such a new experience and new place, there is a lot of information for your dog to remember.  If the only time you bring your dog to Alpha Dog Club is for their Introductory Swim you do a disservice to your dog.  The first lesson evaluates the dog and introduces them to the water and to the ramps.  For some dogs, this is such a new experience and new place, there is a lot of information for your dog to remember.  We strongly urge you to bring your dog back for at least one additional swim within 10 days after their Introductory Swim to reinforce the lesson they were taught.

9.  Please ask your instructor about removing a float coat, for their next swim or during a swim before taking matters yourself.  This is a new environment and float coats and alternative methods are tools for teaching your dog and keeping them safe.  Don’t get macho about float coats or demand that we over-swim your dog because you know he can “do more.”  Although a dog may be a strong enough swimmer, the coat also provides a sense of security.  We want your dog to be safe, properly ramp trained, and to be happy – so they enjoy swimming.

10.  If you are stressed, extremely nervous about your dog during their lesson, your dog will sense it.  Alert our instructors to any special situations or needs for your dog, but allow our instructors to use their training and experience for your dog’s benefit.  If one method is not working, be patient and let us try another way.

11. After your dog’s lesson, you may pay with cash, debit, or credit card. Gratuities for your dog’s instructor are not required, but greatly appreciated. Before you leave obtain written instructions to book future swims online. There are also discount EZ pass 5 packs to save you money and time.

12. Remember to bring you dog in at least twice to make sure they “imprint” ramp training (and get more familiar with our pool) in their memory and monthly to maintain skills (more for fitness). After your dog is ramp trained, and you feel comfortable, you can bring your dog for an Alpha Dog 30 minute, private, unassisted swims, for Super Dog 60 minute, private, unassisted swims, or a Pool Buddies Pool Party. It’s your choice- based on your dog’s preferences, your schedule, and budget. “Just keep swimming!” You must immediately report any health, safety, or behavioral problems or security issues you observe to our staff.

 

ADC Registration Form

After you have submitted your form, call to set up an appointment.
To save time, you can fill in the ADC Registration Form and bring it in when you arrive or fill it out online. CLICK HERE to download a copy.

CLICK HERE TO FILL OUT FORM ONLINE

 

ADC Rules

Download of ADC Rules in PDF format. CLICK HERE.

Alpha Dog Club Rules

1. For the safety of all dogs visiting ADC, ADC requires all our canine visitors to be vaccinated or titered for rabies. BRING your records to the initial appointment. If your dog is not in good health, consult with your veterinarian before you bring them to ADC.  Veterinarians may, it is not required, fax the “ADC Vet Referral Form” to us, if they believe it will be helpful. A copy is in For Veterinarians on this website. Female dogs that are in season will not be allowed to swim until their season has finished.

2. You are responsible for your dog and its behavior while in the clinic, including your dog’s interaction with other dogs. Please attend to your dogs at all times, especially while your dog is in the Swimming Pool.  You agree to immediately report to an ADC staff member any unsafe, unsanitary, accident, misuse or unauthorized use of ADC equipment or supplies; whether created by you, your dog, or others.  You agree that ADC may notify you of changes in policy, rules, terms, scheduling, and other matters by using mail, fax, email, text, telephone, or other methods selected by ADC.

3. All dogs MUST BE ON LEASH while in ADC or on ADC property outside the pool area.
Not all dogs are friendly, so do not allow your dog to approach another dog without the other dog’s owner’s permission. If your dog is cranky or has a lot of doggy personality, please ask for assistance from an ADC representative when you check in at the Registration Desk.

4. See Quick Facts for additional information on current services, pricing, and terms.  We offer EZ Pass/ 5 Packs to make our services more affordable and check-in/out easier.  These are nonrefundable, not to be combined or used with other discounts, not transferable, or for resale. Unless agreed to by both parties in writing, EZ Packs shall expire on January 12, 2018.  Other promotional programs may have shorter expiration dates. A client can purchase an EZ Pack for use by multiple dogs they own.  EZ Packs will not have a mix of services.  Late cancellations or no shows may be counted as services used for EZ Packs.  Alpha Dog Club will keep a record of the EZ Packs and services used in each client’s file that can be viewed by the client at any time during standard business hours.

5. Children must be under parental control at all times and neither owners, nor children may get into the pool with a dog.

6. ADC personnel will ask overly aggressive dogs owners to either take a time-out or to leave the premises.

7. No food, drinks, or glass in the pool area.

8. No running by humans on the pool deck or around pools. Remember that wearing sensible shoes avoids slipping so you don’t fall in the pool or hurt yourself.

9. Please feed your dog three or more hours before swimming and wait at least one hour after swimming before feeding them.

10. Incontinent dogs are not permitted in ADC’s pools for health reasons. It is very important that you either walk your dog and/or take him/her out to our back area prior to entering the pool. You must take your dog out to the “restroom” before entering the pool, and every 15-20 minutes while swimming. We recommend that dogs not be fed approximately 3 hours prior to swimming.  A surcharge of $100 will be charged for dogs that defecate or vomit in the pool or the pool area, as we have to clear the pool, clean and sanitize the pool. Repeated droppings in the pool may result in a pool ban for your dog and a $25 surcharge for dogs that defecate or vomit on the pool deck.  Please do not attempt to clean up an accidental fecal release (AFR) or vomit yourself, or to help others do so, report incidents immediately to our staff, so they can take appropriate action to meet safety and sanitary procedures.

11. Although we provide towels, please do not take them off the premises. 

12. Do not disrupt ADC staff or engage them in conversation while they are conducting training or an assisted swim with another owner’s dog.

13. You must sign-in at Registration Desk before swimming your dog.

14. Brush your dog before swims. Please allow 2 days to elapse after you place topical flea treatments on your dog and do not place lotions or oils on your dog prior to swimming. Other dogs and our staff may have allergies. Trim and smooth dog nails are greatly appreciated and minimize the risk of injury to our staff. In the event that a dog’s nails pose a hazard we reserve the right to require corrective action by the owner.

15. ADC reserves the right to use video footage and photographs taken on the premises. ADC reserves the right to cancel any session in the case of unavoidable circumstances.

16. Please make sure we have current contact information for you and up to date medical and inoculation records for your dog.

17. If you are late, we regret that in fairness to other dogs and our staff, that we will have to end the session at the scheduled time. Call to make your first appointment after you submit the Registration form (click here). Registration and up-to-date Rabies Certificate (not the medallion) are required for all dogs. Arrive no more than 10 minutes early, and for your dog’s safety, please wait in waiting room, not at the reception desk. You can bring family members and other dogs to watch lessons, but you will be busy coaching your dog during the lesson. Too many distractions can create problems. Gratuities are not required, but are appreciated. The pool is reserved solely for your dog, when you cancel with less than 24 hour notice….other dogs are turned away and cannot swim, our staff cannot work, and the pool goes empty. “Late cancellation or “no show” charge equivalent to the scheduled appointment.

18. You are totally and completely responsible for the care, conduct, and actions of your dog at ADC.

19. Notices, changes, and news will be sent out via email.  It is important that you make sure they do not get caught in your spam folder and keep up to date by reading them.