What type of training do you use?
My approach is decidedly dog and people friendly. I place an emphasis on helping people learn how to manage their dog's, so as to best set them up for behavior success. In addition, I adhere to an approach to teaching behavior that encourages your dog to be motivated to want to learn. Creating a dog that is an enthusiastic student is the easiest and fastest route to helping them achieve success in terms of being a compliant and mannerly member of the family. With this goal in mind, positive, reward based training is the way to go!
What types of tools do you use?
I focus primarily on identifying rewards that each dog is most fond of and using those things to motivate the dog to comply with requests. The rewards can be praise, petting, toys, food, access to the environment (such as the couch), and life rewards (such as being taken for a walk, or being permitted to spend some extra time sniffing at a certain spot). Additional tools include plain buckle collars, front clip harnesses, leashes, treat pouches, clicker's, targeting objects (such as a target stick or container). I do not use electric shock collars (sometimes referred to as e-collars or stimulation collars) as there is no justification for using the pain of electrical stimulation. Additionally, the use of shock collars can result in very serious negative side effects such as fear and aggression.
What is a clicker, and do I have to use one to train my dog?
A clicker is a small, handheld device that makes a sharp ‘click’ sound when you press it. A clicker allows you to give specific, accurate and timely feedback to your dog in regards to their behavior. By pairing the ‘click’ sound with food rewards, it becomes a valuable tool for telling your dog what they did at the moment they heard the sound is what is earning them a reward. A verbal marker (a word like “yes!” or “good!”) can also be used as a marker.
Should I attend a group class, have private instruction, or have my dog stay with a trainer for board training?
For most dogs, especially puppies, I encourage owners to have one private session to get a good grasp of the basics.
For those people who want me to set a good foundation in their dog to make training easier for them, I suggest Board Training in conjunction with Private.
Does training cost more if I have more than one dog?
For my group classes, you will need to reserve a spot for each of your dogs. For private sessions, the fee is based on the time I spend with you (i.e. Per session) not the number of dogs present. However, in some cases I may advise that you plan to work with your dogs separately at first so that you and each canine student is better able to focus on the task at hand.
Where are your dog training classes located?
I hold classes all over depending on the demand. They can be at your home or some nearby park however I find most of the time I do my private lessons at my home. I have more distractions then your local mall! And did you ever hear someone tell there dog to sit 100 times then say oh well she does it at home I swear!!! Well I don't care about at home I care about the real world when coming when called or staying when told could save her life!
What shots does my puppy need to attend class?
Puppies must be up-to-date on their vaccines for their age. Because early socialization is so critical for a dog’s well-being throughout their lifetime, we generally do not recommend waiting to join a puppy class until they have completed a traditional course of shot's.
Can more than one person in my family attend the group training class?
I strongly encourage all family members to attend class together as this is a terrific way for everyone to be on the same page and to have fun with their dog. If you have small children, they may attend class, but must be supervised at all times by an adult and be able to remain calm in class so as not to scare the other dogs or otherwise disrupt the class.
What should I have for class?
A dog who has not eaten his or her meal at least two hours prior to the class start time. A hungry dog is a working dog!
Treats: soft, pea-sized treats are ideal. A good example of a treat most suitable for training is Natural Balance rolls which can be chopped into tiny pieces.
A 4-6 foot leash (no retractable leashes, please!)
A buckle collar, head halter or body harness.
How do I decide which class is right for my dog?
I offer so many options, at the convenient of your own home, that you are sure to pick a time that is best in regards to material covered as well as ease of attendance. Please take a look at our group dog training class description page or contact me by email if you have any questions that have not been answered there..
May I observe a class prior to registering?
I welcome you to come observe a class. Please let your pup rest at home when you do so and give me a call prior so I have a heads up. This way I can set aside a spot for you to sit.
I can’t make it to class. What should I do?
If your dog is unable to attend a class, but you can do so, I suggest you attend class without your dog. If you cannot attend class, I suggest you drop into one of the other classes at the same or a different location.
Please be considerate and understanding of my policies. I limit enrollment in my classes so students get the attention they deserve, So please try to pick a class you will be able to attend each week.
Is there a guarantee for your training?
I adhere to the Code of Professional Conduct and Responsibility set forth by the Association of Pet Dog Trainers: Members are to refrain from giving guarantees regarding the outcome of training, because there is no sure way to guarantee the cooperation and performance of all parties involved and because the knowledge of animal behavior is incomplete. This should not be confused with a desire to guarantee client satisfaction with professional services.
I want to get my dog evaluated for the AKC Canine Good Citizen (CGC) award and/or Delta Society Pet Partners (Therapy Dog) program. What is involved and how do I do this?
I can help you and your dog become certified as a CGC or Therapy Dog team. If you’d like to prepare your dog for either, My basic obedience and manners classes cover the necessary skills.