Q: Is all your training private, or do you offer group classes?
A: Every dog is an individual, with different maturation rates, levels of attention, concentration, and with significantly different degrees of reaction to distraction and stimulation, making it virtually impossible to maintain a productive learning environment in a group setting. Equally, every individual and family is different, and the goal is to harmonize the rapport between these two dynamics -- the dog and the owners. This is best achieved with personal instruction for the dog and owner. Working privately, appropriate socialization and distraction can be introduced in the right degree, and at the most opportune time.
That being said, I do have a few group classes for those dogs that have been trained by Euro Training Kennels. These classes are designed for maintenance training and for those that may be interested in competitive work.
Q: Who needs to come to the initial consultation/training session?
A: It is essential that the primary handler attend the session. If there is more that one adult in the home, and this person is interested and has the time, it would be beneficial for both to attend. This consultation covers a huge amount of the philosophy behind the training and raising of the dog; and I'm sure, regardless of their future involvement in the training, the other adult members of the household would find it enormously helpful and enlightening.
Q: Can I bring my child/children to the initial consultation/training session?
A: While I fully understand why you may want to bring your child or children, this initial session entails a lot of conversation (perhaps even more discussion than hands-on work), and, depending on the dog and the issues to be addressed, some very frank assessments. My very considerable experience tells me that it's best for the adult/s to attend this session. Then, if further training is needed and decided upon, it may be helpful to bring the children into the process. I find that even teenage children have a hard time staying focused for what could be a couple of hours.
Q: Will training "break" the spirit of my dog?
A: Definitely not! Unfortunately, there is still a somewhat prevalent myth that training will adversely affect the dog's temperament. Nothing could be further from the truth; training and education, properly performed and instructed, never "broke" the spirit of a dog -- or a person, for that matter. Training enhances the dog's self confidence and eliminates any confusion about who is really leading the pack. The dog that fully understands his place in the pack (which in our case is the family) is a fundamentally happier and more confident dog.
Q: What should I bring to the consultation/training session?
A: First and foremost, your dog! Also, a list of all your questions, along with a history, in as far as you know it, of you dog's background. If you have any pedigree papers, I would be very interested in studying them. Bring, too, any training equipment you have been using up to now. Don't buy anything additional before coming; I'll look at what you've got, and, once I've worked with your dog, I'll be able to advise you on, and demonstrate with, the correct training equipment needed.
Q: What can I expect to accomplish at this session?
A: First, I'll consult with you and compile a case history for your dog. Next, we'll address all your questions regarding any behavior problems and other issues affecting your dog. As soon as we've done this, I'll now work with your dog to get an idea of his/her temperament, disposition, and knowledge of commands. I'll also assess the severity and degree of any problem behavior, e.g. difficult and unruly behavior, attitude to other dogs and people, etc. Finally, once we've done all of the above, I'll give you my frank assessment of your dog, and, if I further training is needed, I'll give you my best estimate as to how many sessions will be required. I will also outline a daily routine and management plan for you to follow.
Q: What's next after this initial consultation and training session?
A: That depends. Sometimes this initial session is sufficient to address a specific need or concern. With the work we do on the day, and by following the daily routine and management plan I will outline, you may have all you need. More difficult dogs, or those with more serious issues, will benefit from a follow up session or sessions. For those owners who want a fully voice-trained dog, even in the most distracting of environments, I'll outline a series of session that will achieve this result.
Q: How much do you charge?
A: The fee for my private work is $200 per hour for my private work. This includes all follow up email and phone advice for as long as needed -- even if you have only come to see me once for an hour, since I make a detailed report after every meeting.
Q: How many sessions or hours will it take to get my dog trained:
A: For adult dogs that have had some previous training, a couple of hours intensive work with me here frequently gets good functional control for the owner. For those who want a fully voice-controlled dog: after the initial training session I'll give you a good estimate of how may hours/sessions I believe it will take. This can vary considerably depending on breed, temperament, behavior issues, etc. For pups, a typical course would consits of periodic private sessions until the dog reaches one year old -- by which time we will have a fully voice controlled dog.
Q: Do you do any in-home training?
A: I like to do the initial training here at my facility. Afterwards -- though it's rarely necessary -- if I find it useful to follow up with some in-home training, then I am happy to do so. When I travel to the home I charge a two hour minimum. In certain situations I will do the initial trainig at the owners home.
Q: Do you offer a free phone consultation?
A: Yes. In fact I encourage all potential clients to give me a call so that we can spend some time discussing your particular dog and covering any concerns and expectations you have with respect to training. I am more than happy to chat with you so that we can get to know each other a little, and so that I can answer your questions and give you what advice and guidance I can. Regardless of whether you make an appointment to come and see me, if the advice I can render by phone deals adequately with your issues, I will have been more than happy to have been of help.
Q: Do you offer training consultations?
A: Yes. Although it's always optimal to see and evaluated the dog, sometimes people are unable to get to me for training. In such cases I'll be happy to arrange training consultations by phone. This can work well for knowledgeable owners who need solutions to specific issues. It requires quite a bit of phone time to get all the information I need before being able to confidently offer the correct advise. My fee for these consultations is $50 per 30 minutes.