FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Do you come to my home?
Yes, if you are in the Denton area I can coach you and your pets in the convenience of your own home. This is your pet's best learning environment, and is usually where behavior problems are occurring. If your issue happens while walking your dog, we will take a walk in your neighborhood together and address behavior problems as they occur. For Gold and Platinum level obedience, we will arrange to meet for some of your private sessions in places such as parks and pet-friendly stores as well.
If you are more than 20 miles outside of Denton, extra travel fees may apply for in-home training if I am able to come to you. I also offer virtual training sessions, which is a great option for those outside of my travel area. We can cover many issues remotely, from puppy training and obedience to behavior problems such as fear and separation anxiety.
Do you charge extra for multiple pets?
It depends. Your initial consultation fee covers me assessing your environment and all of your pets in the same household (owned by you and living under your roof) so that I can make the best training program recommendations to meet your goals. After the initial consultation, it depends on what we are working on. Obedience/manners training packages for dogs and puppies can include include up to 2 dogs in the same household, if they are working on the same material. More than 2 dogs adds more time to your session, so my hourly rate will apply to any additional time needed. Sessions working on vastly different material for each pet, and sessions for behavior problems are PER PET and my hourly rate will apply to additional time needed. If you have multiple pets with multiple issues, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will figure out the best training plan for you.
What training equipment do I need? Is there any equipment that I can't use?
There are many different methods and philosophies in dog training, and not all of them work well together. Some training methods and techniques can directly undermine your success when combined with others. Combining correction-based or dominance-based techniques with relationship-based positive reinforcement techniques can cause undue stress and confusion to your dog. Because of this, we ask that you agree to use only training equipment and methods approved by Stay Positive Animal Training during the period we are working with you and your dog.
Prong collars, choke chains, shock collars (e-collars), and other collars designed to deliver a correction are not allowed when training with Stay Positive Animal Training. They simply aren't needed! If you are currently using these training devices and would like to learn how to train without them, we allow you to trade them for great discounts on our services!
You will need your dog's regular nylon or leather collar (where the ID tags go). We also recommend a body harness (standard is fine, front-clip for pullers) to avoid discomfort on your dog's neck and trachea. Martingales and greyhound collars are also allowed. These types of collars are great for dogs that slip out of regular collars and harnesses.
Head halters are helpful in some circumstances but many dogs find them very aversive. We use head halters only on a case-by-case basis, and only with lots of positive conditioning first.
You will need a regular 4 to 6ft nylon or leather leash for your training sessions. Retractable leashes (Flexi leashes) are not useful during training and often encourage poor leash walking skills, so you will need a regular non-retractable leash during your sessions. For Gold and Platinum training packages, a training long line will be included for you to use when practicing recalls and stays outdoors.
You will also want a treat pouch and plenty of tasty treats that your dog loves. Treats should be SOFT (not crunchy) and small, about pea-size. A clicker will be included with your initial consultation.
Do I have to carry the clicker and treats around forever?
No! The clicker is a training tool used to communicate exactly what the animal did correct. Treats are used as fast primary reinforcers to build repetition and understanding of a behavior quickly. Once your dog has learned the behavior, and you have built a great positive relationship with your dog along the way, the clicker has done it's job. Treats are then varied with life rewards and other reinforcement types to keep your dog engaged. We work hard to ensure that treats are used as reinforcement, but not bribes, so that your dog will respond even when treats are not visible.
Do I have to use a clicker at all?
Nope! The clicker is only one type of behavior marker tool. A verbal marker can be used in it's place, and I often recommend them for clients with coordination issues or for pets sensitive to the click sound. Visual or tactile markers are used in place of auditory markers for blind or deaf animals. We can do all of your pet's training without you ever needing to use an actual clicker if you prefer.
Can I start my dog/puppy in group classes? What about socialization?
The majority of our training services, including puppy training and basic obedience, is conducted in one-on-one private sessions in your home. This has been our model for a decade, and unlocks your pet's greatest potential. In a private lesson I am able to give you the highest quality instruction possible and address your unique needs and issues. A group setting lacks the one-on-one attention and customized instruction that private sessions offer, so I don't usually teach a basic obedience group class. I recommend one of my Private Training Packages to get your puppy started off on the right paw!
I do, however, offer a group drills class that allows my private students to come together and practice what they've learned. Getting out around other dogs and new distractions helps solidify your dog's training, and it allows students to return and brush up on their dog's learned skills at any time in their dog's life.
Socialization is extremely important to raising young puppies, and I do address critical socialization periods during my private lessons with you and your puppy. Each week I give you socialization assignments as part of your homework, and by checking off your socialization checklist throughout the week, you will be meeting and exceeding your puppy's socialization needs.
Do you train service dogs?
At this time, we limit the service dog training we offer to only certain types of work, on a case-by-case basis. Training a service dog is very intensive for both the dog and the handler, with many hours of training and practice involved. This type of training includes in-home training, public training, and numerous evaluations to ensure both dog and handler are progressing appropriately. Training a service dog can take years with no guarantee that the dog is capable of such work for any certain extent of time. Your dog will need to be evaluated for suitability prior to being accepted in our service dog program, and you will need to show documentation from your physician to verify that you have a condition that qualifies you for a service dog. For more information on service dog training, please email us with your questions at email@example.com.
Do you offer payment plans?
Update 3/26/2020: Due to COVID-19, Square has temporarily suspended the Square Installments option for all businesses in order to protect consumers during this uncertain time, therefore installments are not currently available as a payment plan. You still have the option to choose Pay-As-You-Go sessions with us if you'd like.
Yes; in addition to the Pay-As-You-Go (pay per session) option, you can apply for financing through Square Installments. Square installments allows eligible customers to pay for purchases in 3, 6, or 12 monthly payments with rates from 0-30% APR. You can learn more about this new way to pay at https://squareinstallments.com/apply/spat