Frequently Asked Questions
- How do the private lessons work?
It largely depends on the goals of the client. By and large, the one-hour lessons will be divided into two thirty-minute halves. During the first half, the trainer will work with the dog directly. During the second half, the owner will be trained on the communication system. It is also possible to devote the full lesson to showing the owner how to train from scratch. While this is a significantly longer process, some clients prefer it. Onsite training occurs first in a low distraction environment, and is then moved to more disruptive environments.
- What are your training methods?
We use a modern cognitive behavioral approach with roots in operant and classical conditioning that is respectful of the emotional and mental wellbeing of the dog. Clear and consistent communication, as well as motivating the dog with things it wants is key to effective training. That said, we do not shy away from tools such as e-collars and prong collars. However, we use these tools tactfully and ethically. Taking the nature of the animal into account is also key. Most problems and their solutions do not occur in a vacuum. Proper solutions often require more holistic approaches.
- What are the benefits of working with a trainer?
Training advice and practices given by real dog experts are invaluable for anyone attempting to live successfully with their dog. This is absolutely essential if the dog is already having issues. The goal of the owner is to learn how dogs learn, determine how to change and guide their future behavior, as well as control problematic behavior.
- Can you accommodate dogs with special needs?
Yes. Considerations can be made based on age and disability (blindness, deafness, etc.) We have experience teaching deaf and blind dogs.
- How long does it take to train a dog?
It is difficult to answer this question with an exact timeframe, as several factors influence the training speed of a dog, including motivation, intelligence, and your specific training goals. However, after 7-10 lessons, the vast majority of dogs are capable of learning basic obedience behaviors (come, sit, down, stay, place) as well as the language and expectations of a trainer or handler to a high degree. Owners taking charge of the training process between lessons yields surprising results. While there are occasionally clients that have unrealistic expectations for their canine friends, the vast majority of clients will be incredibly surprised by the true learning capabilities of their canine companion.
- What is the best age to train a dog? Can a dog of any age be trained?
The best age to train a dog is now. Any dog can be trained at any age. Starting young while their brains are developing and learning methods to head off problematic behaviors before they become bad habits will often result in better outcomes. The old adage that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is very true here. Training older dogs is very possible and happens all the time.