We often get questions about our training, on what tools we use, and what's different about us from other trainers. We took the most common questions clients have asked us, and answered them for you below.
I'm not like a lot of other trainers. What I offer is something truly unique -- unique because I break down the walls that are keeping you from living the best life with your dog, and then we rebuild from the ground up together. My training is intense and life changing. Working with me means you have to bring as much to the table as I do (and I bring a lot!). I don't accept just any client. You have to be willing to work hard and be committed to make the changes in your life that need to be made. If you think you're ready to go the distance with your dog, then we might be a good match.
As far as deciding on which training program would suit you and your dog better, I can't really decide for you. Although what I can say is that that the key to successful dog training and behavior modification is repetition, consistency, and application. Deciding if your dog would benefit from private lessons or a board and train comes down to two main factors: your dog's behavioral issues, and/or the lifestyle and availability of your family.
Our board and train programs are incredible for achieving outstanding obedience (on leash and off-leash), behavior modification, and solid results with your dog in a short period of a few weeks. During your dog's stay I do a lot of the "heavy lifting" by working with your dog multiple times per day, teaching basic obedience, off-leash e-collar training, socialization with other dogs/people/animals, and in most cases behavior modification. Your dog is challenged daily around distractions (like other dogs, public places, and new people) which is a huge part of the "real world success" of this program. This is what I do for a living, and your dog's behavior, obedience, and improvement is top priority everyday! When your dog goes home, they will already have their obedience training foundation and a new, calmer, tuned in, obedient, and more polite state of mind -- as an owner, all you have to do is apply the training and follow through (they already know their stuff, you just keep up with it! I supply you with thorough after training protocols and am always available to you with any questions or follow ups if needed). Severe behavior modification cases are strictly board and train only. If you have questions about this program, please feel free to contact me!
On the other hand, private session programs are an opportunity for you and your dog to learn together at the same time! In a sense YOU are really the dog trainer (not me), because once a week (for 4 weeks), we work together for about an hour and a half, but you become the teacher at home. After our sessions, you become the dog trainer as you teach, proof, and apply the things we've covered with your dog during the week. The success of your dog's training lies in your ability to practice training, setting boundaries, and following the rules I give you multiple times daily. Ultimately you have the opportunity to have a dog with precision behaviors and obedience (close to what they would achieve in a board and train at my facility) in a matter of 4-8 weeks as long as you put in the work! The more time and challenges you dedicate to your dog's training, the better your results will be! Remember, it's your effort that makes or breaks your dog's success. Because many people work full time jobs, long hours, and have very busy lifestyles that don't lend themselves to dog training an hour or so per day, our board and train becomes a great (and highly recommended) option. That said, if you're willing to put in the work and have the time, private lessons may be right for you!
We primarily focus on results, not by the lesson. All our programs can be personalized to fit your needs. Since every dog is an individual and every owner has different goals, the pricing and program will vary to match what you are looking for.
Due to the many variables involved to create a well-behaved, balanced dog, including owner commitment, consistency, and follow-through, it would be unethical for us to offer a 100% guarantee. However, we only choose the most dedicated and diligent owners so, in our experience, no matter how severe the issues, we consistently see breakthrough results and amazing transformations. We have never come across a dog we could not help. We work hand in hand as a team in your dog’s rehabilitation. This process of teamwork and collaboration begins before we even meet your dog, moves through the training process, and continues long after your dog has gone home. Once you hire us, we consider you part of the Canine Behavior Solutions family, and your success is our utmost priority.
I find it is important to have a large "tool box" when it comes to training dogs, because there is no "one-size fits all" approach to dog training. Some tools that I use include: prong collars, slip leads, e-collars, the Pet Convincer (compressed air for interrupting behavior), treats/food, my own balanced dogs, long lines, dressage whip (to create space and interrupt behaviors), bark collars, the treadmill. The goal of this training is to achieve the result of a calm, relaxed, tuned-in, confident, happy, and obedient dog! Together we will use a variety of techniques and approaches to get there!
An e-collar, or electronic collar, is a remote device used for dog training. Essentially, when you push a button on your remote, a pulse/stimulation or "stim" goes to the collar. The brand we use and sell goes from 1-100 in levels. This way we can find a "working level," which is a level that the dog acknowledges and responds to, but is not so high that it would make the dog uncomfortable. What we have found in working with these collars for years, is that dogs are typically at a lower "working level" than what we can perceive on our own hand. There are so many benefits to e-collar training, and so many dogs whose lives have been saved through training. Some of the dogs we have saved from euthanasia were in training for chasing and harassing livestock, running away off leash, aggression, and problem behaviors like fence aggression or digging.
A collar is an inanimate object, it's use is subject to the user's skill and judgement, just like any tool. Used properly, it will not hurt your dog, and is a safe and humane tool with many benefits to learning. Even a regular old leash and collar can be inhumane if one gets angry and yanks the leash hard. In all honesty, if you were to turn it up to 100, it can be painful for some dogs. I have never personally used a collar that high. However, I did test it out on the palm of my hand at all levels, including 100. It was not a pleasant sensation, but it was only momentary. The vast majority of dogs will be trained to respond to a low level. Remember: Whenever you hear anyone saying a particular training tool is cruel, they are usually just ignorant of the proper use, or have seen bad examples of how a tool is used. If someone is being unfair to a dog, good trainers know: It's the fool, not the tool.
NO! E-collars produce a finely tuned stimulation that feels like pulsing, they produce no heat. There are negative propaganda from groups passing around photos online of "burns" that are, in fact, pressure necrosis, from not rotating the collar or taking it off for days at a time. It's similar to ingrown collars you see on abused dogs, where it has grown into their skin and made a sore. Used properly, according to instruction, e-collars are completely safe and useful training devices. Because the 2 points of the collar make contact with the skin, it creates a small area of pressure, like leaving a snug rubber band around your wrist. Simply rotate the collar every 2-3 hours on the neck, to avoid any skin irritation. You take it off, and you move it over a couple inches or so, very simple.
I want to make everything easy for you. You're coming to me because your dog is doing something undesirable and you don't understand how to fix it. I do. I keep everything really simple and easy to understand, and I base my techniques in fostering a more balanced relationship between you and your dog. Because of this approach, you will see immediate and more effective results. I'm here for your dog, but more importantly, I am here for you.