Frequently Asked Questions

People sometimes ask…

Do you guarantee your training?
Dogs aren’t toasters.  We respect dogs (and their owners!) enough as individual, living creatures with their own free will, to NOT guarantee their future behavior. What we WILL guarantee, however, is our support, for the life of your dog.  If, at any point, you have questions or problems with behaviors we covered in our program, we encourage you to reach out!  We’ll either talk you through solutions on the phone or via email, or, if necessary, schedule a refresher lesson. From day 1, our goal is for you to not need us, but we’ll be there to answer questions and provide guidance as long as you do.
What tools/methods do you use?

With over 15 years’ experience training dogs and a strong commitment to ongoing education, I’ve learned effective and proper use of a wide range of tools and approaches.  This allows us to choose the best tool and approach for you and your dog. 

Depending on the  individual dog’s needs at a given moment, we might use: martingale collar, chain collar, prong collar, slip lead, standard leash, long line or check cord, head halter, remote training collar, clickers, food, toys, praise, and petting. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, and I will take the time to explain and teach you before putting any tool in your hands.

Even with this wide variety of tools, my training programs take a consistent path to success of 1) build relationship first 2) teach the dog a skill set 3) practice that skill set until the dog proves to us s/he understands 4) create reliability of that skill set in a variety of settings and situations, by providing fair consequences, guidance where needed, more teaching if necessary 5) ensure owners know how to integrate and maintain training in their daily lives with their canine companion.


What if I want to buy individual lessons, not a whole training program?

We believe dog owners come to us because they’re looking for RESULTS, not 60, 90, or 120 minutes of training time.  We want you to reach your goals as much as you do, and we believe the best way to get there is to plan for that success right from the beginning. Students who achieve their training goals are happier with their dogs, and, therefore, their dogs live richer, happier lives. We love our students, and we love their dogs, so this makes us happy too!

Why do you talk about obedience standards? My dog is just a pet/I need help with manners and behavior problems, not getting my dog to "stand for examination"/I don't want to compete with my dog.

You may have no intention of ever stepping into an obedience ring with your dog–that’s totally FINE! But you DO deserve training that meets an objective, verifiable standard.  We believe AKC standards provide for a reasonable degree of performance and reliability, to ensure you and your dog will be able to navigate life’s situations.

During the PROCESS of training to these standards, you and your dog develop communication, respect, and a great relationship. 

In our experience, most “problem” behaviors are, at root, due to flawed relationship, communication, and respect.  When we spend time working on those things, even indirectly, most problems improve greatly, if not disappear. If your dog should be one of the few with persistent problem behaviors, never fear; we have specific solutions!  But those solutions are always most effective when grounded in a foundation of obedience.

Can I buy a gift certificate for my son/sister/annoying neighbor whose dog needs training?

Unfortunately, despite the best of intentions by the friend/relative/neighbor, without the owner’s motivation and buy-in, training doesn’t have much chance of working. Any training, even immersion training (where the dog is trained by a professional), requires commitment, follow-through, and maintenance by the dog’s owner(s) to “stick”. Therefore, we don’t offer gift certificates. If you would like to pay for a program that someone else is signing up for, please send us an email–we can make that happen!

Ready to tell us about your dog?