FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions
At Discover K9 Dog Training we incorporate focus-based dog training, but we will explain the different methods so you will get a better understanding of what we do not do. Focus-based dog training is cutting-edge training for your dog and because of that, there is a good deal of misconceptions about what we do. We will explain it all so you will be able to make an informed decision. We understand that making the decision to have your dog professionally trained is an important investment and we don’t take that lightly.
More than likely your dog that you are considering for training is a valued member of your family that you will enjoy for the next 10 to 15 years. We appreciate your time and consideration. Our goal is to help your dog become a welcomed member of the family—not the family pest.
Over the years, we have used all of the traditional dog training methods (clicker/treats, treats and rewards, choke chains, pinch collars, easy leaders, harnesses etc), but we just weren’t satisfied with the outcomes. We were able to train each dog to a level of proficiency, but it was difficult for the owner to understand and maintain it because it was based on the skill of the handler. The honest truth about traditional dog training methods is that there is no guaranteed proficiency in off leash obedience.
What dog training options are available?
Traditional Training methods include an entire spectrum of training techniques from 100% Positive reinforcement with no corrections to 100% Negative conditioning with only harsh corrections. Most trainers probably fall some where in between, but still they can not produce the reliable results of focus-based dog training. Dog training methods vary from the trainers who never want to correct their dog to trainers that are so harsh that the dog is broken down.
We want to actually teach your dog how to respond – without harsh corrections – but we do want to correct negative behaviors. We do this in a way that is not only humane, but also beneficial to you and your dog.
What type of dog training method will be used?
We will use focus-based training with your dog. Focus-based dog training is simple technique that will allow you to communicate directly with your dog. We have found that if you can teach your dog to focus or pay attention, you can work with your dog in an amazingly efficient manner. Your dog will actually be able to understand what you want him to do without yelling and screaming and without jerking him/her around on a leash. You will not have to use physical strength to make your dog listen.
Tell me more about Focus-based training:
The concept is simple - A dog can not multi-task like humans. A dog can not focus on more than one thing at a time; this is why dogs that aren’t properly trained become so easily distracted by cars, bikes, kids or other pets. We use this knowledge to our advantage by directing our training methods to help each dog focus.
The training that we do is simple and easy for the dogs to understand, but we teach them to focus their attention on us instead of whatever bothers them or distracts them. Everything that we do adds to their ability to focus and pay attention. Our dog training system will teach your dog to focus because we believe that if you can maintain your dog’s focus you can communicate with him most effectively. We also try to be proactive in helping to prevent the bad behaviors and we will teach you how to do the same thing once they are with you.
What is “In-House” Dog Training?
IN-HOUSE training is basically "Boarding School" for dogs! Also called “Board and Train,” this type of dog training is our specialty and it allows us to do all the work for you. Once you pick up your dog, you will only have to be taught how to maintain and handle your dog.
Why do you only offer an In-House Dog Training Program?
Think about this: When someone wants a service dog – whether it be a police dog or a seeing-eye dog- they don’t train the dog themselves and they don’t take the dog to a class. They either purchased a dog that is already trained or they hire someone to train the dog for them. We bring this service to the general public for obedience dogs. When you attend a dog training class, you are basically being taught to train your own dog. You are then expected to work with your dog for an hour a day until the next training session. During this time, you really don’t know what you are supposed to be doing and by the next session, you haven’t made any real progress. Your dog will only progress to the level that YOU can teach him. When you allow a professional to train your dog for you, we do all the work. We train your dog to the highest level that we possibly can in a 30 day period. Once your dog has been trained, you only have to learn how to maintain the training which is easy because your dog already knows how to respond. It is just a matter of developing a few habits to help remind your dog to focus.
Will my dog still remember me when I pick him up?
Absolutely!!! Your dog will not forget you. We once had a dog that was brought to us by an owner that had rescued her a week before. She stayed with us for a month and as soon as she heard his voice, she started wiggling and whining for him. Dogs have an incredible ability to remember their owner’s voice and smell. They will recognize you without a doubt.
Will my dog miss me? Will it be traumatic for my dog?
Dogs don’t have the ability to keep up with time – days, or even months – they live in the moment. As long as they are being cared for, fed, exercised and played with, they will be happy. Our dog training program is fun for the dogs; we try to make training time and playtime fun for them.
What training tools do you use?
We incorporate several things to help your dog learn and focus on training. We work to make the training fun for your dog so it is something he/she will enjoy. If it is enjoyable for your dog, he/she is much more likely to learn quickly. We use positive reinforcement to help teach your dog commands along with focus-based training to help them learn more quickly. We play games and use lots of praise as well as using remote training collars. There are many misconceptions about remote dog training collars, but the way we use them is the most humane and stress-free way of conditioning that we have ever seen. Your dog will wear a specially designed collar that corresponds to a remote which we use to communicate with electrical pulses. This is where many people become afraid and hesitant, but I assure you we do not use these collars to hurt your dog. There are people who use these collars as harsh punishment, but we do not. There is an adjustable dial on each remote that controls the intensity level of the pulses. We turn it up just enough to get your dog’s attention. These collars are NOT even remotely similar to police tasers or electric fence units. They are more similar to a ‘TENS’ unit that is used in physical therapy but they are LESS intense. My wife and I have tried these collars on ourselves because we wanted to know how they felt before we ever put them on our pet or anyone else’s. Our kids have even insisted on trying them, so when I say they are humane and not dangerous, I stand behind that by personal experience. These collars have taken the stress out of your dog’s training and they allow us to communicate immediately and effectively without harsh physical punishment and without yelling and screaming.
The concept is simple if you are willing to keep an open mind. For example, if I were to tap you on the shoulder to get your attention, I would stop tapping when you turned and looked at me. Attention and focus is the key- when your dog is paying attention to you, he can’t focus on being disobedient or unruly. This doesn’t mean that he is going to be perfect and it doesn’t mean that he is going to be a robot. He is going to be your same fun-loving companion – the difference is he is going to understand what you want.
We look at the remote dog training collar as an invisible leash; in this case the leash can be up to a ½ mile long. These collars have improved dog training dramatically. We are to do more in 30 days than we could even do in 6 months of traditional training. We are also able to work with puppies as young as 4 months of age without the fear of making them fearful of jerking a leash or yelling. We can work with dogs that have extreme shyness and fearfulness and actually build up their confidence in lots of various environments. We are also able to work with aggressive dogs and help them to calm down because we are not matching aggressiveness with harsh physical corrections. And if you are lucky enough to have a dog that only needs to learn manners or obedience, then we can help them excel through that as well.
Why is Focus- based dog training method better than any other?
We DO NOT use choke chains or pinch collars. We do use rewards and remote dog training collars. I no longer believe in using choke chains and pinch collars because they can bring great harm to your dog. They are also very difficult for a normal owner to use. It is also impossible to have your dog working proficiently OFF LEASH by using these techniques in only 30 days of training – especially around distractions.
When we say that your dog will be working OFF LEASH in 30 days then we guarantee that. If a traditional dog trainer tells you that your dog will be reliable off leash in 30 days by only using treats, choke chains or pinch collars, then they are just not being honest. Trust me when I say that I trained that way for years in the military and you can not train a dog to be reliable off leash in 30 days with these methods. In the military, it took us years of daily practice to be able to make our dogs work the way they did. What these trainers will do is show you how consistent your dog is at his/her location without lots of distractions.
When your dog has only been trained with a clicker, a choke chain, a pinch collar or primarily treats, your dog will not have consistency of a dog that has been trained to use a remote collar. In these training cases, if your dog is away from you, and he decides that he doesn’t want to listen and respond to you then how will you fix the problem? Answer: You won’t.
If your dog had rather chase a cat than return to you for a treat, then the clicker won’t work. When your dog decides he won’t come to you and you have to chase him – then he thinks it is a game! Now your dog has learned that he doesn’t have to do everything you tell him to. When you catch him and give him a correction with his choke chain or pinch collar then you have just taught him that he doesn’t ever want to return to you because he will be scared of the correction. These are exactly the things that we don’t want to happen. These things will not happen if we train your dog.
The sad thing is these situations occur over and over when professional dog trainers use clickers & treats, choke chains or pinch collars or a combination. If you pay to have your dog trained with these methods then these are the results you can count on. You will pay your hard-earned money and your dog will still be doing the same things. I know because I have seen the training and the results. That is why I sought out remote collar training from some of the top experts in the dog training business – included Fred Hassen from Sit Means Sit in Las Vegas, NV. I became frustrated with the fact that I could get a dog to do just about anything, but even after 30 days of training the owners were still struggling. Our clients are no longer frustrated and will be happy to talk to you about their experience. (Contact us for a list of references)
Why have other trainers not embraced this new training method?
First, this training is revolutionary and many trainers do not know how to properly use a remote training collar. They have only seen them used negatively and they have not interest in changing their training. A lot of trainers are resistant to change and basically don’t want to spend time and money to learn a new way. We are always on the look out for ways to improve our training. We know that we are not perfect, so if there is something we can do to improve ourselves and our ability we will do it.
Second, some trainers want their training dogs to know where the correction (from a pinch collar or choke chain) comes from. They believe this method teaches the dog to respect them. I truly believe this idea is a myth that you do not have to yank a dog’s neck to teach him that he has made a mistake or to gain his attention or respect.
Third, some trainers do not think remote collar training is a humane way to teach a dog. Many of them will tell you that they only use positive training, but when you are not there they will jerk your dog with a choke chain or pinch collar. When you pick up your dog they will demonstrate how well the dog behaves, but without the tools. Many of these trainers think that this is the most humane method, but we do not agreed.
Lastly, there are actually some trainers that do not believe in corrections at all. This one is truly sad because you can’t help an unruly dog if he/she is never taught that he/she is making a mistake. Their idea of training goes something like this: Your dog is jumping and biting – distract them and give them a treat – continue to do this until they stop. Here is the harsh reality for most dogs – this dog is being taught that when he jumps up and bites if he waits long enough he will get a treat. We have seen these suggestions with private dog trainers, dog trainers from the Pet Stores and even from ‘dog behaviorists’. The dog will continue to do what ever it is receiving a reward for.
I had the opportunity to meet one of these ‘positive only’ trainers in Destin, Florida. She told me that she did not ‘believe in correcting a dog’. I asked her if she had children and if she corrected her children when they misbehaved or did something that was going to cause them to hurt themselves. She acknowledged that she did correct her children. I was really surprised that she thought she was doing a disservice to her dogs by not correcting them, but she understood that her children needed it. The funny thing is that if you watch a mother dog with her puppies – she will correct them and the pups understand exactly what the corrections are for.
We want to create the best possible environment for you and your dog. We want your dog to be happy and healthy, but we want it to listen to you and respond when you need it to. You dog will not be a robot, but he will be enjoyable to be around and you will be able to take him places and do things with him as a member of your family. Most importantly, you will be able to control your dog when you need to whether he is running to the road or chasing a kid on a bike. All dogs need to be trained and we think that our focus-based training is the best and most efficient training for all breeds and temperaments.
What is the Lifetime Guarantee?
We are so confident in our ability to train your dog that our training is guaranteed for the LIFE OF YOUR DOG. What that means is after 30 days of our focus-based dog training, we do not believe you should ever have to pay another trainer to work with your dog. If you ever have any problems with your dog, we encourage you to call us. Once your dog has been trained with us, we can help you solve almost all problems just by talking you through training tips on the phone. If that is not enough you can bring your dog to us and we will work with you in person. We want the best for you and your dog and are willing to prove it.