Frequently Asked Questions
Which of your services is right for me?
All puppies under 6 months of age are best suited for the Raise Them Right Program, barring any serious behavioral issues. We will focus on handling, proper socialization, foundation skills and survival tips.
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 outings with your dog more enjoyable.
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 financial restrictions or are outside of my service range. I will be there virtually or 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 (but make sure it's sturdy enough!), 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 like head halter or a front-clip harness. Most importantly, you need 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 or air dried dog food, or even string cheese and turkey dogs in dire cases.
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 by regulating their emotions. 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, aggression and much 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 steer away from compulsion. I want to see dogs enthusiastically performing obedience without conflict or stress. I try to keep my training creative and upbeat so the dogs want to keep up with what we are doing together. I don't implement physical corrections unless there is an immediate safety concern, however I'm happy to teach dog's what leash pressure means in terms of following me and walking on a loose leash. I am clear what I will do when it comes to teaching operant behaviors and teaching life skills that lead to safe dogs (i.e. I will yank on a dog trying to leap into the street, but I will not pop the collar for not sitting on cue, I want to know why the dog doesn't want to sit).
How often do we meet for 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.
For Day Training, I recommend two sessions a week for 2 hours each with me and the dog.
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 reply to non-emergency texts past 8pm.
Is my pet too old to be trained?
Never! My 11 year old is enjoying learning new sports and hobbies all the time.