Gentle Spirit Dog Training

Creating Lifelong Friendships Through Mutual Understanding and Respect

Policies and Terms of Service

The policies below are intended to provide you with information about working with Gentle Spirit Dog Training LLC, and to properly set expectations in order to ensure clarity and simplicity.  Please contact me with any questions.

Service Policy

Gentle Spirit Dog Training LLC will endeavor to create a safe and enjoyable environment for the training of your dog and will endeavor to offer only sound, safe, and responsible training and training instructions. Gentle Spirit Dog Training LLC uses reward-based methods, adhering to the LIMA (Least Intrusive Minimally Aversive) strategy out of a set of humane and effective tactics likely to succeed in achieving a training or behavior change objective. LIMA guidelines require that dog trainers and behavior consultants always offer the dog as much control and choice as possible. Trainers and consultants must treat each individual - dog and human - with respect and awareness of their individual nature, preferences, abilities and needs. This includes gaining consent from the individual before each training or behavior change interaction.


In the event that it is impossible, illegal, or inadvisable to complete services due to Coronavirus, Gentle Spirit Dog Training LLC may postpone the completion of services without penalty or liability of any kind.

Gentle Spirit Dog Training LLC reserves the right to transfer in-person dog training services to online training services when deemed necessary by Gentle Spirit Dog Training LLC for purposes of compliance with government regulations or considerations of client or trainer safety.  Such changes in the delivery of services is not ground for postponement.

Payment Policy

Virtual (online sessions):  Full payment is required to reserve your training session.  Mail in payments must be received at least five days prior to the session date and online payments should be completed at the time your session is scheduled. 

In-person sessions:  Payment is required by the end of the session.  Please bring your method of payment with you.

Cancellation Policy

It is understood that training sessions occasionally need to be rescheduled or cancelled.  Every effort will be made to accommodate changes, and special consideration will be made for weather-related* changes and emergencies. Changes or cancellations made sooner than 72 hours before a scheduled session may be subject to a fee equal to the cancelled session's fee. Please understand that once you've scheduled a training session, that time and date is held for you, and is therefore unavailable to other clients and their dogs.  If the cancelled session is one of the prepaid package sessions, that session may be forfeited.

* Extreme weather policy for outdoor training sessions:

Hot weather - if it's excessively hot or humid (85 degrees or hotter) and outdoor sessions cannot be practiced indoors, we will reschedule to the next available cooler day.  Hot, humid weather is uncomfortable for people, and downright dangerous for dogs.

Cold weather - if it's excessively cold or windy (25 degrees or colder) and outdoor sessions cannot be practiced indoors, we will reschedule to the next available warmer day.  Training is supposed to be fun and comfortable!

All training session packages will expire after twelve months from the time of purchase.  If all package sessions have not been used within twelve months from the time of purchase, there will be no refunds for unused sessions.

Changes in service due to the Coronavirus are not grounds for cancellation. Gentle Spirit Dog Training LLC reserves the right to postpone services, or to change the mode of service delivery (for example, from in-person to online) as deemed necessary and responsible by Gentle Spirit Dog Training LLC.

Safety Policy

Gentle Spirit Dog Training LLC will endeavor to create as safe an environment as possible for the training of your dog and will endeavor to offer only sound, safe, and responsible training and training instructions.

Gentle Spirit Dog Training LLC remains aware of and abides by local law and public guidance on reducing COVID-19 exposure, and follows best practices regarding social distancing, sanitation and the wearing of face coverings.  It is expected that clients, as well as everyone else attending the training sessions (other family members, for example), also follow these guidelines.  Clients may be asked to confirm their health, and the health of all members of their household, including awareness of any fevers or other symptoms, before each in-person training session.  

Vaccinations: your dog must be current with Parvovirus/Distemper (titers are acceptable) and Rabies vaccinations as appropriate for the dog’s age.

Appropriate and comfortable footwear is required for humans at all times. For your safety, closed toe shoes are recommended. Please don't wear sandals or backless shoes, slippers, dress shoes, high heels, etc.

Gentle Spirit Dog Training LLC encourages families to participate in dog training.  All family members are welcome as long as they can follow directions either from parents or the trainer.  Minor children are encouraged to join in on the training. However, adults should assume primary responsibility of the training for the duration of the training session and invite their children to join in where and when appropriate.

If the training session is at your home, please make sure that your dog is crated, behind a baby gate, or tethered away from the door when Kate arrives. Gentle Spirit Dog Training LLC reserves the right to cancel your appointment on the spot, without refund, if this precaution is not met.


Gentle Spirit Dog Training LLC reserves the right to terminate any training session and/or excuse a client from further training sessions for any reason, including but not limited to: failure to follow the safety policies, consistent unsafe handling, not following direction, disorderly conduct, animal or people abuse, extreme aggression or an uncontrollable dog.

Recommended equipment

Collar: Please have your dog wear a flat collar (quick-release or Martingale style).

Harness: You may prefer a harness versus a collar. Any properly fitted, comfortable harness is fine.  We can discuss the use of a front clip style harness or head halter, if necessary.

Leash: Please use a leather or nylon six-foot leash, making sure that it isn't too wide for you to be able to comfortably close your hand around it.

Treats: Please prepare a large supply (30-40 pieces) of soft, tiny, quick-to-swallow delicious treats. Crunchy treats aren't very tasty, and take too long to eat. Think of your dog's rewards as his/her paycheck. How much work would you do for a dry biscuit?  Good treat choices are chicken, turkey, beef, cheese, hot dogs, freeze-dried liver (ok, those are dry, but tasty!).  Have a variety to keep things interesting.  Make sure that your dog LOVES them!

Toys: Have several of your dog's favorite toys and chews available to use as rewards and to help with the training skills.

Treat bag: Please wear a treat pouch/bait bag/walking pack so you can keep both hands free for the leash.  

Please understand that the recommendation of any product or service is not a guarantee of your satisfaction with that product or service.

Thank you very much for reading through my policies.  Get ready to have fun!

Contact Kate by phone or email


Service Area:

Gentle Spirit Dog Training services Bernards Township in New Jersery.  Telephone consultations are also available.