Training

Our Training Philosophy

The term “Dog Training” can have hundreds of definitions and not everyone would agree that a specific dog was well trained. This is the number one reason why we do not believe in selling a client a package of “Dog Training Lesson” You may be perfectly happy with your dog being competent learning the commands Sit, Stay, Down, Off, and Come. Learning to walk on leash properly, social etiquette, and proper behavior when meeting a strange dog or person may encompass everything you want. Learning these behaviors shouldn’t require buying a lot of sessions you do not need. The one catch is that the owner and the family be involved in the learning process because training is not a one way street.

I have trained hundreds of dogs and no two dogs or owners are exactly the same. Not all King Charles are lazy, not all Shepards like to herd etc.. Not everyone wants a dog that can catch a frisbee or run an obstacle course. That is why we began offering dog training - so that a dog owner has someone who can work with them and develop the proper course of action specific to their dog’s development and their needs.

A number of our clients have sent their dogs to the “Board and Train” system. This training involves the dog going to camp for two or more weeks. This type of training has its limitations and can be very expensive. More Importantly, when the dog returns, the owners haven’t been trained on maintaining their dogs new set of skills. Typically this newly trained dog forgets what they just learned and after a few months, you have a dog that has a retention level at 20% of what it once was. The owner paid someone 80% too much to teach their dog things they didn’t need and have long sense forgotten.

Prior to starting any training we work with the owner to decide what level of training their pet receives. In addition to working one on one with your dog I spend time with you on what to do after I leave. Imagine if teachers taught school for one hour a week to your kids and no homework was done in between? The learning process would be severely compromised.

At the end of my training sessions, I give the owner a list of items to work on until the next meeting. I can say with 100% certainty that if you work with the dog between visits you won’t need my help very long. I will work with you as long as needed. We never sell “dog training packages”. Most dog owners do not require a “package” of lessons to satisfy what their owners would be happy with.  I do not feel it is appropriate for someone to keep working with a dog just because they have been paid for it.

We can help your dog learn all of the basic commands: "sit," "stay," "down," "off," and name recall. We also teach essentials like potty training, leash walking, counter surfing, dog etiquette., etc. Once your dog meets your expectations, you do not need my help anymore.

Puppies

Lately I have been focusing on puppies because I can correct a number of behavioral issues before they become problematic. The big one for puppies is potty training. No one wants their puppy soiling the carpet and chewing everything in sight. We even offer a 1 hour puppy specific session that covers number of different subjects including diet, accident cleanup, toys, treats, dog proofing house, playing, etiquette, etc.. If you have a puppy this class is invaluable. During this puppy class I can show you what to but and where to but it. The internet allows you to save hundreds of dollars and get items specific to your needs. I can also recommend wonderful vets and local dog groomers. Pet insurance is extremely important and this subject can also be addressed. The younger your pup the less expensive the insurance.

Socialization

One of the topics that is seldom discussed in dog training is “Socialization”.  Socialization is one of the most important skills for a dog to have. It includes getting along with others, playing with others, car etiquette, proper approach when meeting other dogs, etc. Socialization is most overlooked with the smaller breed dogs. It is unfortunate. These pampered pets are wonderful at home, but the same cannot be said when they encounter strange dogs or people on the street! I think most of us have experienced small dogs going a bit crazy when taken out of their comfort zones. Unfortunately, this reaction can go from bad to worse as a dog ages.

Many unwanted behaviors in one dog can be corrected by spending time with dogs! that exhibit good behavior. I know this comes as a big surprise. Dogs like people learn by observing the actions and behaviors of other dogs. Our daily group outings focus on this principal. Not only does your dog get great exercise and fresh air you do not pay for an individual train lesson. Because we take different dogs out each day, your dog will have the opportunity to be exposed to a wide variety of breeds and day to day situations. Having this skill is vital to you and your dogs well being. I have worked with the most vicious 5 lb. Maltese and helped redirect their behavior into the sweet cuddly dog their owner desired. You might be smiling but the little guys can be very difficult! In order to meet each dogs specific needs we offer several different groups each day.

I am often asked when is the best time to socialize my dog? The answer is the sooner the better! Once the dog has completed all of their shots they are ready to experience the big world. The older a dog gets the more difficult it can be to correct unwanted behaviors. Ideally, puppies are the easiest to work with. However, dogs of any age can learn to modify their behavior.

CONSULTING

Who doesn’t love a puppy! If you just came home with a new four-legged friend and it just occurred that you do not know what your next step is, you're not alone. Getting a new pet can sometimes be an impulse purchase with reality setting in later. No worries! Now may be the perfect time to get caught up on Puppy Training 101. We can help you get your house set up in order to make it puppy friendly including, potty training, supplies, crate training, treats, sleeping requirements, scheduling, toys, etc. This 101 meeting takes about an hour and it will set you up for success in getting past all of the unwanted behaviors associated with puppies.

Earlier I said that “Board and Train” is generally not the best option They can however, be very effective given the right circumstances. If you do not have the time or you would prefer not to be hands on I can recommend several very good facilities that have the best results depending upon your needs. I can also work with the dog once he comes back to fine tune any behavioral issues.

DOG PROOFING

If you have already decided on a particular pup and they haven’t yet arrived home, now would be the perfect time to contact us and set up a pre-arrival meeting. We have met clients at the local pet store to get stocked up on essentials as well as their homes in order to prepare for the new member of the family.  Getting ready before the new dog arrives will save you a lot of grief and more importantly, money. New dogs have a way of damaging the yard, walls, or furniture, and they can eat unwanted items that may require a trip to the vet. Such stomach related vet bills are typically in the 4-digit range.

Dog Proofing

If you have already decided on a particular pup and they haven’t arrived now would be the perfect time to contact us and set up a pre-arrival meeting. We have met clients at the local pet store to get stoked up on essentials as well as their homes in order to prepare for the member of the family.  Getting ready before the new dog arrives will save you a lot of grief and more importantly money. New dogs have a way of damaging the yard, walls, furniture, and they can eat unwanted items that may require a trip to the vet. Such stomach related vet bills are typically in the 4-digit range.

SELECTING A DOG

If you're unsure of the type of dog best suited for you and your lifestyle, we can help. The internet is great and there is a lot of information available, but it can become overwhelming. Who do you trust to make this important decision? Anne and I have worked with thousands of different dogs and while they are all different, we can assist in narrowing down your search and get you more focused. I have seen wonderful dogs in sad situations where neither the owner or the dog is happy. The fit between the two isn’t good and it can reach a point where the dog needs to be re-homed. This is tough on the prior owner and it can be even more so for the dog. Nobody wants to see this happen so we suggest you contact us for some FREE ADVICE!