Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is my 8-week-old puppy too young to train?
Your puppy is learning right now from every single interaction with you, whether you are consciously teaching her or not. This is the time to begin fostering the behavior you would like to see in your adult dog. What your puppy learns first she learns best!
2. Is my 4-year-old dog too old to train?
It's never too late to change undesirable habits or improve behavior. In an older dog, bad habits are probably more deeply ingrained, but on the plus side, older dogs often have a longer attention span, are calmer, and have a deeper bond with you. We'll help you use these pluses to greatest advantage.
3. What are your dog training methods?
We use positive, reward-based training to teach you how to motivate your dog. Dogs learn best when they are taught slowly, with each new challenge supported by a prior success. Learning based on building success after success is the most durable, and dramatically increases your dog's desire to do what you want.
4. What is positive reinforcement?
Positive reinforcement motivates your dog with things she likes so she wants to listen to you. A dog
trained with positive reinforcement has a happy attitude toward learning, which will make her a much better companion.
5. Do you use food?
We use many types of rewards, limited only by your dog's definition of "a good thing." Food is usually included in most dogs' "top-ten" list of favorites, along with toys, games, attention from you, and off-leash play time. But every dog is an individual, with it own special favorites. We ask you to observe your dog closely to determine what rewards will work best for him! We encourage you to get training mileage out of anything your dog really likes.
6. How much time do I have to set aside for practice?
Dogs learn best if you practice in very short, upbeat sessions, 2-5 minutes each, several times a day. In addition to these dedicated training sessions, the most powerful teaching tool you have is your willingness to incorporate training into real life. We'll show you how to integrate real-life rewards into routine interactions with your dog, such as feeding, walking, and playing.
7. I know my dog knows what I'm saying. Why won't he listen?
If you spoke only English, and your boss kept giving you instructions in French, he might think you were being uncooperative, when the fact is you didn't understand what he expected. We'll teach you how to communicate in a way your dog will really understand.
8. Is there homework?
Practice makes perfect! To help you remember what to practice, at the end of every class we give you a handout summarizing what we covered. We also offer written training tips on a variety of topics, including housebreaking.
9. What happens if I miss a class?
We strongly encourage you to make up a missed class by "dropping in" on another dog training class or by attending a class in the next session.
10. How big are your classes?
We allow 6-10 dogs, with two trainers in each dog training class.