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Frequently Asked Questions
Will I get to see my dog during a board and train?
Yes. All board and train programs include Private coaching sessions with the owner during the dog’s stay with us, not including the Go-Home session.
Our 60-90 Day Puppy Raising Packages include weekend sleepovers to help our clients bond with and make the puppy’s transition into their new home as smooth as possible.
Will training “solve” my dog’s behavioral problems?
For us to expect a change in our dog’s behavior, we must first change ours.
So the answer to that is: It depends on how well you apply and implement the skills, boundaries, and rules we’ve taught and established during training. Relationship dynamics play a huge role in behavioral history, so expect to undergo a relationship overhaul.
What’s that saying?
Don’t complain about the results you didn’t get from the work you didn’t do.
This is a team effort. We are here to teach, coach, and guide. It’s up to you to follow through and be consistent.
Almost all behavioral issues we’ve encountered over the years has been due to: (1) lack of clear and effective communication, (2) lack of structure, (3) lack of valuable and believable consequences for good and poor choices.
Training creates a language, builds good habits and gives you a boost in the right direction. It’s the owner’s job to communicate clearly, effectively, and with intention. We brought the dog(s) into our lives, it’s our job to teach them right from wrong and how to safely navigate this thing we call Life.
Dogs know who to push and who not to push – quite simply because he/she/they allow it.
Just like Addiction – when the Addict leaves a program and goes back to the same environment surrounded by the same people performing the same old habits that landed them in Rehab to begin with, the chances of relapse increases dramatically. Poor habits and poor behaviors – and the adrenaline, thrill, and self-rewarding aspects of them – are the dog’s choice of “drug”.
How early should I start training?
Training starts the day you bring your new dog/puppy home. Things to work on: crate training, food luring, clicker training, establishing boundaries, proper household management, engagement, there are so much you can teach a brand new dog.
As long as the puppy has its first set of shots, we can accept them into our training programs – however, keep in mind that we don’t push much obedience with puppies until about 15-weeks. We focus solely on Engagement, Imprinting behaviors, potty training, crate training, and relationship-building with puppies younger than 15-weeks.
Is my 12-year-old dog too old for training?
You’d be surprised at how many senior dogs we’ve seen enjoy it. Our oldest student is a 12-year old pug mix.
If the senior dog has any health limitations, we will require a physical examination from a veterinarian clearing the dog for training. We ask that everyone disclose any medical/health issues so that we may modify our programs to accommodate the senior dog.
Do you do in-home training?
Yes. Our board and train programs have private coaching sessions built into them, and all board and train graduates will be eligible for Private In-Home Coaching as part of their continued education.
What is balanced training?
You’ve probably heard about “positive only” training.
Balanced training utilizes all 4 quadrants of operant conditioning to effectively communicate with and provide clarity to the dog about what we want/don’t want.
Positive Reinforcement, Positive Punishment, Negative Reinforcement, Negative Punishment.
You can read more about the 4 Quadrants of Operant Conditioning by clicking here.
What training tools do you use and how long should I use it for?
We use them all – harnesses (for anything that involves pulling), head halters, retractable leashes, slip leads, slip collars, prong collars, e-collars, we don’t limit ourselves to just one tool, we use them all when appropriate.
The biggest ones that most prospects are concerned about are the prong and e-collars.
The prong collar is one of the most effective communication tools out there. Where most flat buckle and martingale collars isolate and concentrate pressure on the trachea, the prong collar (when placed and sized correctly) applies the pressure evenly all around the dog’s neck, reducing risk of tracheal injuries.
Most dogs who arrive have been completely desensitize to collar pressure (when dogs are pulling so hard they’re choking on the collar). The prong collar allows us to reintroduce and counter-condition the dog’s response to collar pressure, by teaching them to back off the pressure instead of leaning into it. Make no mistake: there is teaching and lots of Reinforcement involved.
Remote collars are one of the best inventions ever. It feels like a TENS unit we use at physical therapy, or even the ab belts that have been gaining in popularity. It isn’t a “shock” collar, rather it utilizes electro-muscular stimulation at various levels. Remote collars (or e-collars) are used for remote and off-leash communication and should be introduced and conditioned the same way we condition leash pressure.
Click here to view how we introduce and condition a dog to the prong collar,
Click here to view how we introduce and condition a dog to the e-collar.
Do you use treats?
Absolutely! We use food, toys, affection, excitement, anything that the dog finds valuable to reinforce behavior. We love food-driven dogs, they’re super fun to work with. In fact, we encourage owners to utilize food if they have a food-driven dog.
Our goal is to encourage and motivate dogs to LOVE working and engaging with us, while also teaching dog owners to LOVE working with and engaging with their dog(s). We also understand that dogs shouldn’t only perform a behavior when a treat is present, we call this the “proofing” stage of training, but we also need to motivate the dog when learning new things.
Everything we teach is taught with the 3 D’s – Distance, Distraction, and Duration.