FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Do you come to my home?
Yes, if you are in the Denton, TX area I can coach you and your pets in the convenience of your own home. This is your pet's best learning environment. For Canine Good Citizen and Community Canine obedience, we will arrange to meet for some of your private sessions in places such as parks and pet-friendly stores as well. Training tracking and other sports may require us to meet at local parks or fields.
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 almost anything remotely, from puppy training and obedience to specialty and sports!
Do you charge extra for multiple pets?
Yes. 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, additional pets add extra time and resources to your training program, so additional fees will apply.
What type of behavior problems do you work with?
Many behaviors that are completely natural for dogs—like jumping, digging, chewing, guarding resources, escaping and running away—can prove to be challenging for pet parents, but may be completely normal for dogs. A dog that is behaviorally sound and emotionally stable but lacks basic manners related to walking on leash, coming when called, sitting, lying down, or staying in place fits into the category of a training problem. Training problems are common in young and adolescent dogs, and will benefit from a positive reinforcement training program from a qualified trainer to teach basic manners. This is my area of specialty: teaching manners and problem-solving common unwanted behaviors in pet dogs, as well as prevention of future behavior problems by laying a strong foundation of trust and and communication in puppies.
True behavioral disorders differ from training problems. A behavioral disorder is an emotional disorder relating to aggression, fear, or anxiety. I do work with some behavioral disorders on a case-by-case basis, however, serious behavioral disorders often need more than training to improve, and a dog trainer is not always the most qualified individual to address serious behavioral disorders. A Board Certified Veterinary Behaviorist or a Certified Behavior Consultant (CDBC or CBCC-KA) is most qualified to help you with behaviors stemming from fear, anxiety, or aggression. Be careful, anyone can call themselves a "dog behaviorist"- look for CDBC or CBCC-KA credentials!
For separation anxiety, I recommend consulting with a Certified Separation Anxiety Trainer (CSAT), which you can find here:
If you are unsure if your dog's issue falls into the realm of a "training problem" or a "behavioral disorder", please contact me and I will help determine the best route for you to take, and provide you with a list of referrals if needed.
Behavior problems in cats can be difficult to resolve as they often have an environmental or medical component, or both. I can act as a detective to help identify any potential environmental cause of your cat's behavior problems, however I also recommend making an appointment with a veterinarian member of the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) for a full medical exam prior or in addition to cat training and behavior modification sessions.
Is there any training equipment that you don't allow or use?
We do not use prong collars, choke chains, shock collars (e-collars), bark collars, squirt bottles, air cans, and any other collars or equipment designed to deliver a correction. We specialize in positive reinforcement and are dedicated to training pets without the use of aversives. We ask that you agree to use only recommended equipment while working with us.
We often recommend a body harness (standard is fine, front-clip for pullers) to avoid discomfort on your dog's neck and trachea. Cloth martingales (greyhound collars) are another great option, especially for dogs that slip out of regular collars and harnesses. Cats must always be walked on a harness to prevent severe injury to their delicate necks.
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 leash during your sessions.
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. I recommend one of my Private Obedience Training Programs to get your puppy started off on the right paw!
Socialization is extremely important to raising young puppies, and I 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. Socialization is something you should be working on daily with your puppy; a group class is not sufficient to meet all of your puppy's socialization needs.
Do you train service dogs?
Not at this time, please email us for referrals at firstname.lastname@example.org.