Does my dog have to stay while it trains?
Generally, yes. But I do offer a train-with-the-trainer program, where you may work with me to train your own dog. Contact me for details.
I am a "board and train" facility, so all of the dogs in my program live on site full time while they are training. I find this to be extremely beneficial to dogs and their owners. Many people who take their dogs to obedience classes find that their dog might behave well and respond nicely in class, but during the week when it’s time to reinforce the training at home, many dogs respond differently. Because you are not a professional dog trainer, owners often don’t know how to effectively correct and address the behaviors and come back to training having not made progress on the previous week’s concepts.
When the class moves on to the next concept, the dog and owner are left behind, unable to effectively establish obedience. Living on site ensures that your dog is being trained efficiently at least 5 days a week and because, I am a professional trainer, I can effectively communicate with your dog and provide appropriate corrections at the ideal times. You receive more complete and usable training.
Will My Dog Remember Me?
Yes! I have never had a dog forget its owner! Consider that soldiers go off for 12-14 months on deployment, return home, and their dogs still remember them. A 2-4 month stay is minimal in comparison--your dog will absolutely know who you are at visits and pick up. I guarantee it!
Can I visit my dog while it trains?
Yes. I like to have your dog for about 3 weeks before your first visit just so that we can allow your dog to become accustomed to the routine, build a bond with me, get to know the other dogs, and begin to feel successful in training. After your dog's first 3 weeks I welcome you to visit as much as you’d like. Most people like to visit their dogs once a month. Because my programs are established on a month by month basis, you can see a whole new level of training established each month. I provide a family-friendly atmosphere and encourage you to bring your children and to visit your 4-legged family members.
Do you compete in hunt tests?
Yes, I do. I see hunt tests as a way to demonstrate your dog’s abilities on a pedigree before breeding as well as a fun sport for you and your family to participate in. Kids love watching their dogs perform at tests, getting to accept the dog's ribbons and some of my clients children have handled their own dogs as AKC Junior Handlers!
I am also quite happy to help you learn how to handle your own dog, but I do handle a fair size group of test dogs.
My monthly training fees are designed to reward hunt test participation with a tiered fee schedule. The higher level your dog achieves, the greater the discount!
Do you teach me how to use the training?
Yes. at the pickup I like to have you take the leash to work your dog in basic obedience, then send you home with transition homework and an ecollar. I provide you with a handler's course upon your dog’s graduation from training. You should plan to spend about an hour with me when you pick up your dog, depending upon the program your dog completed. In addition, I send you home with a handler’s course form that is a nice reminder of the commands corrections and body movements. I see my training programs as a lifelong insurance policy for good behavior. That’s because once your dog trains with me I provide continuing behavior and training support for the life of your dog through free telephone and email training consultations. I also provide free one-on-one training sessions with you and your dog at my home for the life of the dog. So if you arrive home and find that you need help with a certain training concept, or even 2 years after training a new behavior develops that you don’t know how to address, just contact me! I am here for you!
Do I provide my own food?
Food is included in the price of training; I feed VIctor High Protein Puppy. If you would like to provide your own food, please provide it in an airtight plastic container with your dog’s name on it.
Are there any additional fees?
Live birds are included in the price of training. The only additional fees that your dog could incur would be for us to provide vaccinations, or if your dog were to require medication or medical treatment.
What if my dog doesn’t respond in retriever training like we had hoped?
Not every dog is born to be a hunting retriever. During your dog’s first 2 months of training I work with your dog using a retriever drive-building drill designed to help your dog succeed in later retriever training. If I don’t think that your dog has the retriever desire to continue into the second half of retriever training, I will send your dog home, off lead obedient. I don’t want to waste your time or money on training that your dog will be unable to complete.
My timelines for retriever training are designed to accommodate a field bred Lab. If your dog is non-traditional breed for retrieving, I work at your dog's individual pace. I will only accept non-traditional breeds for retriever training with the understanding that the dog may or may not be able to complete the training and that I cannot effectively estimate a graduation time frame.
Do you have particular breeds that you do and do not accept?
I specialize in training Labrador Retrievers but I accept any breed for all training programs with the exception of aggressive dogs. With a small child in my home and interacting with the dogs, no dog showing any kind of human aggression whatsoever or true dog aggression will be accepted. If your dog is reactive--posturing to other dogs--it may be accepted into training after an evaluation. If you are not sure if your dog will qualify for my program, please contact me for an evaluation. *** I do have two particular breeds that I generally do not accept for training because their natural instincts are not in line with retriever work. Call me to find out if your dog's breed is on that list. If your dog breed is on the list, there is a chance I would accept the dog for training after an evaluation at an increased cost****
Does my dog need to be neutered or spayed to come to training?
No. Most of the dogs in my training programs are not spayed or neutered. We are equipped to safely address heat cycles in females and often board females in heat so that their owners don’t have to deal with the mess. I feel that dogs should be allowed to mature sexually before spay and neuter surgery in order to fully behaviorally mature, in addition to several health benefits. For this reason, many customers find my boarding facilities an excellent solution for allowing their dogs to fully mature.