What Vaccinations Are Required for My Pet's Training stay?
For all training programs & consultations we require proof that the dog is up to date on the Rabies (if 12 weeks or older), Distemper (DAPP),Leptospirosis, Bordetella, and Canine Influenza vaccines. Proof is required prior to the program /reservation start date.
What Should I Bring for My Dog's Board & Train Stay?
At drop-off the first morning of training, you should bring enough food for your dog’s entire stay. You can also bring blankets, beds, & toys that they can have in the kennel with them (as long as they don’t have destructive or chewing tendencies).
You can also bring treats or any special food for them that you’d like. If your dog is currently on any medication, you will want to bring enough of their medication for the entire duration of their stay so we can make sure that remains consistent.
What is Expected From Me?
Throughout your program, our trainers will coach you on the training needed for your dog & the skills that they have been learning with us. With that in mind, consistency, owner commitment, and follow-through will be required from you. We will teach both you & your pup a variety of things depending on your individual goals, but the key is keeping up with the training & continuing to maintain the skills they’ve learned with us. Continued practice & reinforcement of boundaries at home will help your dog avoid regression (and keep them sharp!)
Whether you’re doing private lessons, a board & train program, or a day training program, your trainer will make sure that you have all the information needed to keep up with training while at home. Private lessons clients will be expected to keep up with their homework in between their lessons in order to build on the training they learn while working with the trainer. Other programs will be expected to maintain and follow directions. They also must ask for help if there are any issues or confusion that arise. Your follow-through & consistency during and after the program is imperative to the success of your dog’s training.
What is The Purpose of A Prong Collar?
A prong collar is an effective training tool to communicate with your pup on-leash. The collar’s design is made so pressure is evenly distributed around the neck, rather than targeting one specific area. Some people may be skeptical of prongs, but with the correct use and the right quality, the prong collar is a safe & harmless tool that will actually help build engagement between you & your pup. A prong collar is only meant for quick, short corrections in order to regain a dog’s attention and help them understand the difference between what behaviors they should & shouldn’t engage in. We carry only the highest quality prong collars and all of our trainers are skilled in properly fitting & using the tool. They will teach you how to properly use and put on the prong collar before sending you home with one.
Before trying out a prong collar as a training tool for your dog, we typically try various other training tools first
(regular (flat) collar, slip collar, slip lead, starmark collar). If those don’t seem to be a good fit for your pup, we will then try out a prong collar instead. If you choose to purchase one from somewhere else, we only recommend high quality prong collars (Herm Sprenger) as their design is the most reliable in safely regaining a dog’s attention as well as keeping the integrity of the product.
What Does An E-Collar Feel Like?
An e-collar—short for electronic collar—is a wonderful communication tool for advancing and building on obedience as well as off leash reliability. High quality e-collars use TENS units, which in effect is a muscle stimulator. At a low to mid working level, it can feel like a pulsing or tingling sensation. A dog’s working level is found by slowly introducing the collar by having them wear it until they are comfortable with it and then introducing low level stims until we find that the dog has a response to it. We are looking for them to notice the stimulation but not be worried about it or have any adverse reaction to it. These “working levels” can vary around lower and higher distractions, but can ultimately remain around the same.
Using this method is a great way to introduce the e-collar in a positive association and will not hurt your dog. This tool can easily be misused if not under the guidance of a professional dog trainer or can be introduced improperly. Our trainers will only use high quality e-collars under our specific list of brands (E-Collar Tech, Dogtra, Garmin). If interested in adding e collar training to your program, one of our trainers will go over their use in more detail during the consultation and have you wear the e-collar on your hand so you can feel the sensation for yourself and learn more about this versatile tool.
Which Kind of Training Tools Do You Use?
Training tool choice will vary per dog & owner based on their individual training goals & the dog’s personality. Every dog is different with unique needs and there is no “one size fits all” tool. We want to make sure whatever tool we use is going to be the best fit for your dog.
We carry & use martingales, slip collars, harnesses, high quality e-collars, Starmark collars, prong collars, muzzles, and more. We will typically try out multiple of these training tools with your dog before deciding which one works best for them.
What is Your Method of Training?
We utilize what is called “balanced training”, which involves the use of both positive reward-based training (using food lures and praise to help teach and reinforce behaviors) and the use of redirection and corrections for behaviors we don’t want. The word “corrections” can be off-putting to some people, as it isn’t always clear what is meant by it. When we use the word “correction”, we are simply describing a simple lead away from problem behaviors or a quick pop and release of the leash followed by immediate guidance from the human to a better choice for the dog. Clear boundaries through use of positive and negative consequences create a well-balanced dog that understands the rules.
Before we begin introducing these corrections to commands and behaviors, we start by positively shaping an obedience foundation and introducing the dog to leash pressure. We show them how to earn physical rewards and how to turn pressure on and off by yielding to leash pressure. This allows the dog to have the motivation to work for the rewards and perform the behaviors we want more consistently. We start by rewarding all of the good choices your dog makes, but over time we move to a more variable reinforcement schedule. Once the dog has an understanding of what is expected of him/her, we apply a correction for choosing to do the wrong behavior. All of this helps to create a well balanced dog.