FAQ Atlanta Dog Training Lodging Grooming and Retail Frequently Asked Questions

K-9 Coach Smyrna Atlanta Training Boarding Lodging Daycare Grooming FAQK-9 Coach Smyrna Atlanta Training Boarding Lodging Daycare Grooming FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Scroll down to find answers


The following FAQ’s are provided to address the “typical” questions we receive about K-9 Coach, our services and policies. All policies and procedures are fully explained in the Services Agreement which is required of all customers. Please feel free to look here for answers to your questions and, if you can’t find what you’re looking for, please contact us:


“What vaccinations do you require?”
ALL dogs entering K-9 Coach are required to receive the following vaccinations: Rabies, Distemper, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza, Parvovirus, Canine Influenza (H3N2) and Bordatella. These shots are more commonly referred to as DHLPPC. Bordatella must be boostered every six months if applied via intranasal and annually if given via injection. If at all possible, vaccines should be done at least 48 hours prior to boarding or daycare services.

“My vet only requires bordatella / kennel cough annually. Why do you require it every six months?”
It is only required every six months when administered via intranasal. During their stay at K-9 Coach and Bed & Bark, your pup will interact and play with lots and lots of pups – many more than they do in their normal day-to-day activities or in traditional boarding settings. Kennel cough is extremely contagious so, by requiring it every six months, we’re able to better protect against kennel cough outbreaks.

“My dog has current vaccinations but got sick anyway. Why?”
Vaccine breaks occur for many reasons. Fever, steroids, disease, and maternal antibodies will block the patient’s ability to make antibodies. Improper storage and handling of the vaccines or incorrect administration will also lead to vaccine failure. If given too close together, vaccines can be blocked by earlier shots; given too far apart, the memory response of the immune system is not properly stimulated. Vaccines given to very young puppies (under six weeks of age) or to sick or immunocompromised patients may be ineffective. In the case of parvovirus, it has been demonstrated that Dobermans and Rottweilers are more susceptible to infection. Some veterinarians recommend extra vaccinations for these dogs or for dogs who are often in contact with other dogs.

“Do you require a minimum number of visits?”
For boarding on major holidays (defined as Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, New Year’s) customers are required to have boarded TWO separate times in the previous 12 months.

“Why can’t I simply bring a large container for food?”
We ask that clients divide their dog’s daily food portion into separate Zip-lock bags (per meal, per day) because…

  • It ensures that your dog receives the exact amount of food you want them to receive.
  • It makes it easy to monitor your dog’s eating habits while they board and report back to you.
  • It helps to prevent potential cross-contamination from scoops, spoons, etc… in the kennel area.
  • It helps us to maintain the high-quality cleanliness your pet deserves.

“What should the bags look like?”
Your bag should have your pups name clearly labeled with the amount of food.

“My dog is coming for an extended stay (over two weeks), do I have to pre-bag their food?”
We understand that pre-bagging 30 or so meals can be time consuming. If your dog is coming to board with us for an extended stay, defined as more than 2 weeks, you can simply bring their food in an air-tight container. Please remember to note exactly how much they are fed for each meal.

“I am leaving town in a hurry and do not have time to pre-bag their food, can you do it for me? “
Of course. We will pre-bag food, to your specifications (for example, one cup AM, one cup PM) for a total cost of $15.00 per dog.

Back To Top ^

“Why can’t I bring my own bedding and toys?”
We have no doubt that your bedding works well for you at home. But…

  • What if your dog digests the stuffing from the dog’s bed in the den next door?
  • What if the water dish gets spilled and soaks into your dog’s bedding?
  • What if your dog stays with us for an extended period and the bedding needs to be washed but is too large for our machines?
  • What if your dog destroys and ingests toy fragments?

As a result of questions like these, we decided to invest in Kuranda Dog Beds for all the dens in the facility.

“What do Kuranda dog beds look like?”

“What are the benefits / features of Kuranda?”
Kurandas provide a warm, dry comfortable resting area – even when the floor is wet. Also, because the surfaces are non-porous, the opportunity for disease transmission is significantly reduced. The cot design provides orthopedic comfort good for healthy hips and joints for dogs of all ages. And, unlike foam or filled beds that compress, clump and become uneven, our beds provide firm, even support for your pet. In simple terms, Kurandas result in calmer, safer, more comfortable sleeping conditions for your pup.

Back To Top ^

“How big are the dens?”
Our LODGING is broken down into: Large DENS (which are just over 5′ x 5′, so VERY large), Small dens (which are 2′ x 3′, each having a privacy cover), Medium dens (which are 4′ x 5′ Cabanas), Private / isolated dens (for dogs who need a quieter area, might be recovering from a surgery or illness, etc…)

“Do you require a behavioral evaluation or screening process?”
We do require an evaluation for both boarding and daycare services. These are done on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday by appointment.

“Can you describe the behavioral evaluation?”
The following details the general Evaluation Process (assuming your pup(s) success at each subsequent step).

  1. Arrive any time before 9 AM. Pick-up any time after 3 PM. We are open from 7 AM – 7 PM.
  2. One of our certified trainers conducts the evaluation.
  3. STEP 1 – Pup(s) settle in and get used to the sights and sounds of the building from one of our dens.
  4. STEP 2 – Pup(s) familiarize themselves with the facility by being walked around, sniffing whatever they want to sniff and basically developing a mental map of the facility
  5. STEP 3 – Pup(s) are introduced to one or two of our most trusted dogs
  6. STEP 4 – Pup(s) are introduced to a small play group of 6 or 7 dogs.
  7. STEP 5 – Pup(s) join the larger play groups and are observed as they settle in and get used to the pack over the next several hours.
  8. STEP 6 – Our trainer will call you with an update on how they did.
  9. STEP 7 – Our trainer writes a report card and it is provided to you at pick-up.

If your pup(s) pass their evaluation, they are eligible for our lodging and playcare programs.

“How do you handle illness while there?”
If it is an emergency situation, we will take your dog to the nearest vet. For more common issues and contagious illnesses, we will advise you of the situation, monitor and, if veterinary treatment is necessary, take your pup to your vet of record (if they are within 5 miles of facility) or one of our vet partners, e.g., Powers Ferry Animal Hospital, Treehouse Animal Hospital and Paces Ferry Animal Hospital. Payment for veterinary services rendered will be included in your K-9 Coach bill at due check-out.

“What is the minimum age for boarding?”
There is no “minimum” age per say although your dog must be current on all vaccines, including rabies. With most vets, this will be accomplished by 20 weeks or so.

“Can my pets stay together in the same suite?”
Yes. We will need to know if they should also eat together.

Back To Top ^

“How much time does my dog stay in the yard or in his den?”
Our Playcare members spend the vast majority of their day, playing and socializing in our yards. They may be put up for brief breaks to enjoy an R&R or lunch, or to rest if they are very young/old or simply need a chance to chill. The majority of our Lodging pack members spend the bulk of each day in the play yards also, though they will spend at least an hour relaxing after breakfast, lunch and dinner to allow for proper digestion and to ward off bloat. Other than for breaks, or other scheduled services, our pups are only in their dens overnight and for a short period after meals.

“What are your hours?”
We are open Mon. – Fri. from 7:00 AM until 7:00 PM Sat. from 8:00 AM until 5:00 PM and Sun. from 4:00 PM until 7:00 PM for lodging pick-up and drop-off only. Staff are here caring for dogs 365 days per year. However, K-9 Coach is currently closed to the public on the following days: Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, New Year’s Day.

“When do I have to pick-up from daycare?”
Pups need to be picked up by closing time. We do allow a 10 minute grace period but reserve the right to charge an additional $15.00 for pick-up up to 20 minutes after closing. If you are not here by 20 minutes after closing, we will assume that your dog is staying the night and will make the necessary arrangements. You will be charged for boarding for that night.

“When do I have to pick-up from boarding?”
If your dog was here for a boarding stay, pick-up must occur prior to 2:00 PM, unless you have a grooming service or it is a Sunday. If you pick-up after 2:00 PM, a daycare fee will be added for that day.

“Does someone stay overnight?”
No. In many facilities where a staff member stays overnight, it is because the dogs sleep in an open-plan environment. Since our pups all sleep in secured, private dens and cabanas, this is not necessary. Our building is security monitored, including fire, smoke and carbon monoxide, and hard-wired to the local fire and police station 24/7. Additionally, our owners live less than 10 minutes away.

“What is your Lodging cancellation policy?”
When a reservation is confirmed for Lodging, a 50% deposit is required and the den is considered booked and other potential customers are turned away. Therefore, in the event of a cancellation, the deposit is applied to future services at K-9 Coach. Services cancelled with less than 24 hours notice forfeit 50% deposit and a credit will not be applied.

“What is your Camp cancellation policy?”
Because we run small, enrichment groups, when a reservation is made for Camp, that space is considered booked and other potential customers are turned away. Therefore, Camp reservations which are not cancelled by 10:00 AM on the day of the reservation are charged for that service.

“Do you offer a multi-dog discount?”
Yes. We offer a 10% discount for each additional dog. This discount does not apply to special offers and promotions.

Back To Top ^

“Is there an additional charge for medications?”
No. However, bring only the appropriate number of medications required for your dogs stay. These should be brought in either a labeled pill box or in some other secure container. We will not take 50 pills for a stay that requires only 5. In this case, we will give you back 45 at check-in.

“Are you open on Sundays?”
Yes. We are open for pick-up and drop-off from 4:00 until 7:00 PM.

“My dog drinks a lot when they come home from a day of play. Do they have access to water while there?”
Yes – of course! ALL dogs have access to water 24/7 in the indoor and outdoor play yards and boarding guests have water in their individual dens. When here for a day of play, some dogs, much like children on a playground, will drink very little because they’re too busy playing.

“Do you have separate areas for different size dogs?”
Yes. However, our play groups are not based simply on size but, rather, our staff assess such factors as behavior, temperament, health, age, etc… in determining where to best place your pup.

“Does my dog have to be spayed or neutered?”
Dogs participating in The Club are required to be neutered or spayed at 8 months. In very limited circumstances, non-altered member dogs over 8 months of age may be allowed to participate in out alone lodging at a rate of $100 per night.

Back To Top ^


“What is positive training?”
Positive training means rewarding your dog for performing a behavior you desire. When your dog exhibits a behavior you like, you show your dog that you like that behavior by rewarding your dog. A reward is anything your dog enjoys. Positive training is based in the science of learning theory and it’s effectiveness is supported by countless research.

“What are your class rules?”

COVID Precautions – For onsite class offerings:

  • We follow all CDC guidelines for cleaning & disease prevention procedures.
  • Classes have no more than 6 people including the coach.
  • We require all participants to maintain a minimum of 6′ distance between each other.
  • Our facility is cleaned numerous times a day with hospital grade disinfectants.

Enrollment – Once your completed class registration and payment are received, you will be provided with a confirmation receipt. Full payment is required to reserve a space in class.

Vaccinations/Illness – You must present proof of required vaccinations in order to participate. For puppy classes, pups must be 10 days past their first DHPP vaccination. For all other classes, the following vaccinations are required: Rabies, Distemper, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza, Parvovirus, Canine Influenza (H3N2) and Bordatella. Any dog that shows signs of illness will be removed. Please do not bring your dog to class if they are vomiting, have diarrhea, are sneezy or coughing.

Cancellation – If the minimum enrollment for a class is not met 2 days prior to the first class session, the class may be rescheduled. You will be contacted via telephone or e-mail to see if you would like to enroll in the rescheduled class or receive credit toward a future service.

Refunds – Because registration is limited and spots fill up fast, we do not issue refunds for class withdrawals. If a dog is unable to complete class due to an injury or illness during enrollment, you will receive a 50% discount toward a future class. However, no discounts will be given after the third class session.

Special Note – For the protection of all participants in group classes, K-9 Coach reserves the right to decline entry to any dog who presents behavior issues deemed dangerous or disruptive to the class. If we determine that a dog is not able to participate in the group class, you will be referred to a private consultation with an appropriately qualified trainer and given a credit toward that service. This rule applies to illness, aggression, fear or other behavior related issues.

Attendance – Students enrolled in classes are required to attend the first class session. Students who miss the first class session, without making prior arrangements, may not be allowed to join the remaining sessions. If you miss any other session, please contact the trainer to discuss topics / homework. Because classes progress based on the students in them, drop-in/make-up classes are not possible. Students not pre-enrolled, or those wishing to join after the first session, may be able to join at the trainer’s discretion, if there is space available. Please be prompt. Late arrivals cause disruption as well as the flow of class. Students arriving more than 15 minutes late will not be allowed to enter class.

Children in Class – All family members are encouraged to attend group classes. To ensure the safety of everyone in class:

  • Children must be 7 years old or older. Children under 12 MUST have an adult supervisor, other than the active class participant, present. This adult’s role will be to supervise the child and ensure their safety.
  • Children must be under parental control at all times.
  • No running or yelling will be permitted.
  • Not all dogs are comfortable with children and it is important they never approach or pet any other dog in class.
  • We reserve the right to ask that any child be removed from the classroom at any time.

For the first class with dogs, please note:

  • For your pet’s safety, please bring your pet to class on leash and refrain from greeting other dogs.
  • A flat collar, martingale collar, head halter, or harness is required.
  • A non-retractable nylon or leather six-foot leash is required. No Flexi-Leads!
  • Please “empty-out” your canine before class, and please pick up after your pet in the class vicinity.
  • Please bring plenty of your pup’s favorite treats to class.

NOTE – ALL materials / supplies can be purchased at K-9 Coach.

Back To Top ^

“What if I miss a class?”
Students who miss the first class session, without making prior arrangements, may not be allowed to join the remaining sessions. If you miss any other session, please contact the trainer to discuss topics / homework. Because classes progress based on the students in them, drop-in/make-up classes are not possible.

“Do you offer private dog training?”
Yes. We offer private instruction at your home, our training facility and at local public areas such as parks, etc… You can do these individually, or as a package. NOTE – An adult, 18 years of age or older, must be on-site for the duration of the appointment. All packages expire after 6 months.

“Do you offer boarding training?”
Yes. Our most popular training program is our Learn for Life (link to learn for life page) boarding and train program. We also offer training as an add-on to our boarding services.

“Can I observe a training class?”
Yes. You will need to call the office at 404.603.9744 to make the necessary arrangements.

“What is your service area for in-home sessions?”
We will come to you regardless of location. Our standard service area is within a 12 mile radius of our 4870 South Atlanta Rd. location. For private lessons outside of that area, we charge .56 per mile payable direct to our trainer.


“Do I need to schedule an appointment to have my pet groomed?”
Yes. Appointments allow us to give each pet the special attention and time they deserve.

“Why do some dogs need grooming and others do not?”
All dogs will need some level of grooming at some point in their lives, whether it be simple brushing or occasional baths on up to full clipping and styling regularly. A quick and easy way to look at it is on average there are basically two types of dogs: those whose coat changes and grows continually and so requires trimming; and those whose coat changes by losing and replacing fur, or shedding. Also, the longer and/or thicker the fur, the more likely it will get tied in small knots (“matting”) or that foreign debris gets caught and tangled in it.

“What are the benefits of grooming?”
Regular grooming of your pet has two main benefits: aesthetic, and health. Aesthetic, or pleasing to the eyes, is the most obvious reason. They look better, they appear better cared for, they have fewer and less displeasing odors, etc. The health reasons are many as well. The skin and coat act to regulate the temperature of the body, act as a barrier to lessen or prevent trauma to the inner organs, and act as a barrier to infection. If the fur is matted, it can trap debris and infection underneath the mat, destroying the skin’s protective abilities. Matting can also cause pain if the mats are tightly woven enough and can result in trouble regulating temperature.

“How often do I need my pet groomed?”
On average, most pets need some level of grooming every 2-4 weeks or so, but variations due to size, breed, activity level, environment, nutrition, and health status may alter the interval between grooms. This is why we offer a maintenance discount program.

“When should my puppy have its first professional grooming?”
Grooming on your pup should start at 10 weeks of age (after second vaccination), to let the pup become acquainted with the sounds of the studio environment, noises such as dryers, blowers, and other dogs etc.

“Why does my dog itch after grooming?”
Some dogs itch as people would after they have shaved their legs or “other” areas. Another reason may be that the dog came into the studio severely pelted (matted to the skin solid) and the groomer had to use a very short blade to get under that matting to be able to lift it away from the skin. Finally, your pup may have sensitive skin which would result in our using an oatmeal or hypoallergenic shampoo for future grooms.

“What products or equipment should I have on hand at home, and what else should I know prior to having my dog groomed?”
All dog owners should have the proper brush(s) and comb for their type of breed as well as a quick spritz or waterless shampoo for sprucing up between grooms. You may also want a good quality nail clipper and “Kwik stop” to stop bleeding of a clipped nail (it happens – don’t worry – that’s why they make Kwik stop). Ask us and we will let you know the appropriate tools for your pup breed and cut.

“Why are your prices $(this much) and up?”
Many factors play a part in pricing. These include condition of coat, length of coat, temperament, Until we see your pup, we can only estimate the cost and “up”. Extra fees could be applied to the extra time taken to clip down a dog because of matting or behavior, or for a longer hand scissored style, if the dog is in excellent coat condition.

“Will you be using heat dryers on my dog?”
We DO NOT use any heat dryers. It is true that dogs left unattended in cages being dried with heat dryers have died because of negligent groomers or attendees. NOT at K-9 Coach! The latest dryers are all cool air based using only the room temperature air on the dog. In the summer, the studio is air conditioned, cooler than what you would have in your home.

“Is it too cold to have my dog groomed?”
Many pet owners neglect to have their pets groomed in the winter because they believe it’s too cold. It may be cold, but our pets still need professional grooming. Of course they can be left longer, even not trimmed at all during the cold months. But they always need a complete brush-out and bathing as well as nail trimming and ear cleaning. When clients let their pets go through the winter without professional grooming, their dog ends up coming in with their fur matted and then they need to be clipped very short. If you would like to keep your pets style, don’t skip those winter visits.

“Why do you charge a NO SHOW fee?”
We book dogs throughout the day according to their size and breed. Only so many dogs can be done in one day. At K-9 Coach, we only take a minimal amount of dogs for a less-stressed environment. We understand that there can be emergencies and we will work around that. If we are forewarned 48 hours in advance, we can book another dog in its place.

“Are groomers tipped? What is customary?”
Yes. Much like your own personal stylist, if you are pleased with the groom, then tipping is customary. This is generally in the 15 to 20 percent range.

Back To Top ^