Frequently Asked Questions
Which of your services is right for me?
All puppies under 9 months of age are best suited for the Raise Them Right Program barring any serious behavioral issues. Virtual lessons are to give personalized puppy tips and more detailed instructions or demos. The in-person lessons at Roadrunner Park are to guide you on socializing the puppy. If puppies do not have their shots yet, I can supply strollers, blankets, and puppy pads to keep them off the ground.
The Lifelong Learner Program is best suited for the adult dog with no reactivity, may be distractible or energetic though. A dog who goes to the end of the leash, barks a couple times and can re-engage is an excitable dog. Common goals for this program would be teaching come around distractions, teaching loose leash walking, teaching fetch or ways to make your park visits more enjoyable with your dog.
Dogs with behavioral issues are suited for the Problem Solver Program. The in-home setting will be safer and easier for a dog to handle, plus many behavioral problems start in the home. From within the home I can create a training plan from meal routines to door manners and set the dog and your family up for success. This is best for dogs with reactivity. Reactivity is a group of behaviors that happen when a dog is overstimulated; these may be lunging on leash, barking uncontrollably, tunnel vision, trembling, whining, growling and fleeing.
The Virtual Pup Program is perfect for those dealing with any behavioral problems but either have Covid concerns or are outside of my service range. I will be there virtually and over the phone to support your training, send instructional videos and critique your training videos you send to me.
What do I need to train my dog?
You need a treat pouch, those things that clip to your waistband or clip around your waist. You need a 6ft leash, lighter the better, and possibly longer leashes like 30ft-50ft if you want to work on coming when called. You will also need properly fitted equipment on your dog, my preference is a quick-snap buckle martingale collar that is fitted snugly, but if that is not the right thing for your dog I may recommend something else. And most importantly lots of good food. If your dog goes crazy for kibble that's perfect, but if they expect a little more I like freeze dried meal toppers or even string cheese!
Depending on your dog's needs I may suggest certain toys for play or enrichment, a mat, a raised dog bed, a crate, gates or pens.
What is your approach to pet training?
I take a holistic approach to dog training to help dogs with behavioral issues from the inside out. This means implementing enrichment, teaching conflict-free behaviors, and helping dogs relax. With many behavioral problems I want to make sure any physical ailment has been ruled out; physical health can affect potty training, non-compliance in obedience, reactivity and aggression (and more...). We will take a look at your dog's routine and environment, and your relationship with the dog.
When it comes to teaching obedience or preparing for a dog sport, I use positive reinforcement to teach behaviors and do not want to use compulsion, I want to set the dog and handler up for success and teach how to shape behaviors into refined and voluntary actions.
I will use tools as no-pull equipment like prong collars, head halters and front clip harnesses, but my gear of choice for most dogs is a quick-buckle martingale collar and a 6ft leash.
How long do I have to use my lessons?
We want to schedule lessons ahead of time, and the length of time will depend on the needs of the dog. For puppies who are developing quickly, once a week is often best. For a dog with a long-term behavior goal like fear or separation anxiety may do better with every two weeks, and a dog with a more acute behavioral problem with a lot of factors, like reactivity or family dynamic issues may need multiple lessons a week.
Text support lasts from the first lesson to two weeks after the last lesson. After that we will consider more lesson programs or scheduling a refresher lesson, contact for pricing.
Can I text you any time if I have unlimited support?
You are welcome to send a text any time so I can read it when I'm able, but being human I won't be able to be looking at my phone 24/7. I can estimate that response times during my business hours (posted below) should be the same day if you text in the morning or afternoon. If you test later in the day I may not have a chance to respond because I won't replyto non-emergency texts past 8pm.
Is my pet too old to be trained?
Never! My 10 year old is enjoying learning new sports and hobbies all the time.