Training FAQs

There are a variety of trainers and classes available in our community, and many that we recommend.  Training should be enjoyable for both you and your dog, so listen to your instincts when choosing a class or trainer.  You should always feel comfortable with the methods and equipment used with your dog, and pain should never be inflicted for any reason.  Classes should be small enough to allow for individual attention and good trainers will be able to tailor lessons to meet you and your dog’s needs.  Go to www.apdt.com to search for a trainer in your area.

We do not recommend metal collars of any kind.  For dogs that pull and are difficult to walk we recommend a variety of walking equipment including regular harnesses, no-pull harnesses, head halters and other humane training tools.  Humane training tools can help manage your dog while you work on training your dog to walk politely on a loose leash.

Dog training shows on television are greatly edited for time and content.  While some common behavior issues can be modified quickly with good technique and skills, most issues take more than one hour to see improvement.  Remember that training takes time, and that many “quick fix” methods do not last and may actually hurt your relationship with your dog.  If you enjoy watching training shows, we like Victoria Stilwell's It's Me or the Dog on the Animal Planet channel.

Dogs who enjoy attention from people often jump up because they are excited and like to get as close as possible.  While this behavior can be cute when a dog is a small puppy, nobody likes a large or muddy dog jumping up at them!  This can also be scary for many people including small children or elderly people.  To teach a dog to stop jumping up, try quickly turning or walking away from them, and then ask them to sit instead.  When your dog stops getting attention for jumping up, they will start offering another behavior that earns them a reward- like sitting politely for petting!

Yes!  Puppies develop so quickly that we recommend starting training and socialization as soon as you get your puppy.  For dogs without vaccinations, we recommend our Day Training puppy package where your pup receives training at home.  Puppies attending classes are required to have all vaccinations that are age appropriate, and at least one distemper vaccination before coming to their first class.  Visit your veterinarian to get started on a vaccination schedule and then chat with one of our trainers to sign up for a class.

Just like people, it’s best if ill puppies and dogs stay home from class.  Let your trainer know your dog will not be coming to class and we can send you your homework or re-schedule your lesson.  You are also welcome to come to class without your dog- people often learn a lot from watching others train their dogs.

Please call our on-staff behaviorist immediately.  She can do a free phone consultation with you to help figure out why your pets are having issues, and make recommendations to help them get along.  Call our free behavior helpline at 549-9295 to help with any pet related questions or problems you may have.

No.  Many dogs love having a place of their own and a comfortable, dark crate is often an ideal place for a nap while you are away from home.  It is also a great way to ensure your puppy does not have an accident on your new rug or use your kitchen table as a chew toy.  However, it is important to properly introduce your dog to the crate and make sure you are not leaving your dog alone for too long.  Talk to a trainer or our on-staff behaviorist to learn the proper steps to crate train your dog or puppy.

No.  Dogs like to make good things happen in their lives, and many good things happen on the other side of doors.  They could be interested in getting to the car, the park, or their crate, or they could just be excited about starting their daily walk.  If you want your dog to wait for you to go through the door first, ask a trainer how to teach your dog to “wait”.

No.  Please do not use force when attempting to change your dog’s behavior.  Force often makes your dog feel threatened, and a dog may resort to fighting back or biting when put in a compromised position.  If you are concerned about any behavior your dog is exhibiting, call our free behavior helpline at 549-9295, sign up for a class or private lesson, or talk to one of our trainers.  We can show you how to best deal with problem behaviors in an effective, safe and humane manner.