Frequently Asked Questions
1. What type of training do you use?
We use only positive reinforcement techniques and operant conditioning. We believe that training should be fun for everyone involved, both human and dog. Positive reinforcement techniques give us the tools we need to create a happy, healthy learning environment, which can create eager and motivated students that are excited to learn. Whether you’re looking for some basic manners or work with more serious issues, positive, reward based training is the best method.
2. What types of tools do you use?
Positive reinforcement training is all about rewarding the dog for good behaviors. Our primary tool is always the reward that your dog is most fond of, whether that’s food, praise, petting or a playtime. Other tools that we use are six foot non-retractable leashes, treat pouches, clickers and harnesses. Every tool we use is designed to be friendly and effective, which is why we cannot allow choke collars, pinch collars or shock collars on our premise or in conjunction with any of our classes. Why subject your dog to the pain of these tools if you’re able to teach him without using them? The use of pinch collars, choke collars and shock collars can have such serious negative side effects as fear and aggression.
3. Should I sign up for a group class or private training?
Group classes are a great way to work with many dogs on skills such as basic manners, tricks and loose leash walking. These classes, however, are not for every dog. Dogs with severe phobias of new environments, people or dogs may prefer private training, where the trainer can get to know the dog in the comfort of his or her own home. Additionally, dogs with severe aggression are not permitted in group class settings, for the safety of themselves and those around them, but can make great strides in the one-on-one setting that private training allows them. Check out our group training checklist to learn more.
4. What vaccinations and records does my dog need to attend class?
We require three vaccinations for our canine guests six months and older– rabies, DHPP and Bordetella. Puppies, 9-20, must have their first Bordetella and DHPP vaccines. We do accept titers. All vaccines must be administered at least 7 days prior to enrollment, for the protection and well being of your dog or puppy. We also ask that all puppies 9-20 weeks have a negative fecal within 2 weeks and dogs 21 weeks and older have a negative fecal within 30 days of entering our facility for the first time.
5. At what age should I begin training and socializing my dog?
You should begin training your dog (with realistic expectations in mind) the moment you bring him into your house. Additionally, early socialization is critical to the health and behavior of your dog and your relationship with him. We adhere to the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior’s position on puppy socialization, which recommends socializing your dog before he is fully vaccinated.
6. Can I bring a family member to training class with me?
Yes- Training is a family affair! If you’re working to stop your dog from begging for food while someone else in the family is feeding him chicken under the table, your training is not going to be effective. Inviting the family, even young children, to be involved in the training of your dog is a great way to get the whole family on the same page. Many times children can be the quickest learners when it comes to dog training. We do ask, though, that all children (18 and younger) be supervised by an adult, that way they are not disrupting another dog’s learning or putting themselves or a dog in harm’s way.
7. How do I choose a class for me and my dog?
We have several group training classes on different days and at different times. Read through a few class descriptions to find a couple that you’re interested in. Either visit our Getting Started page to fill out an application or call our admissions office at (859)-282-6504 to talk to one of our training team members. We’ll help guide you to a training program that best fits what you’re looking for.
8. What should I expect as a result of my time in group class?
We’ll give you the tools, skills and knowledge you need to continue working with your dog at home. A few short weeks of class can go a long way- they cannot, however, magically erase years of unwanted behavior. Expecting too much from a class can put too much pressure on you and your dog- and take the fun out of training. Instead, come to class with an open mind and absorb everything you can. Take the skills from class and continue to work with your dog. Any of our trainers will tell you that their dogs are not perfect and that training is an ongoing, never ending process.
More questions? Contact admissions. (859)-282-6504