News and Updates
What you should look for in a Dog Trainer
1. Does the trainer have real-world, quality training experience and do they have the education to back it up?
* Has he/she engage in continuing education?
* Has he/she trained and worked under some of the prominent dog trainers in America?
* How long has he/she been training dogs?
2. Classes Vs In House Training
Many people enroll in group classes because they think it offers improved socialization and interaction with other dogs.
It IS important to socialize your dog with other dogs as a distraction, but only after the learning phase of training has taken place.
3. Does the trainer have experience with puppies as well as difficult-to-train problem dogs? We have trained puppies from 4 months and up as well as dogs of all breeds and temperaments including dogs that other trainers have turned away.
4. How much should you expect to pay?
There are times in life when you don't want to make your decision based on price and hiring a dog trainer is one of these times. Our dog training programs offer customized education for you and your dog. Our advanced training program is designed to work for the life of your dog. We don't want you to have to redo the training in a year. We offer free refresher training so that you can come back to us as often as you want to work through any new problems that might come up. This is a one time investment that will help your dog become a valued and welcomed part of your family for many years to come.
5. What is the trainers guarantee policy?
We guarantee that when your dog completes his/her training, he will know the commands discussed, he have the ability to focus on you and fit in with your family. Once you take him/her home, it is your responsibility to keep practicing to help he become better and better. But dont worry, because we will teach you how to do all of those things. If for some reason when you get your dog home he/she is not responding the way he should, we want you to call, email or meet with us as soon as possible to get you on the right track. We want you to be satisfied with our services - we depend on it! For the life of your dog, you can continue to return for refresher training at no cost to you.
6. Does the trainer understand the different phases of learning.
There are 4 phases of Dog Training:
a. The Learning Phase - This is when your dog actually learns the desired behavior and what you expect from him.
b. The Reinforcement Phase - This is when your dog learns that you expect him to do the desired behavior in a variety of different places.
c. The Proofing Phase: This is when your dog learns that you expect him to respond to commands around any and all distractions.
d. The Maintenance Phase - This phase continues for the life of your dog. Your dog can always improve and get better and the more you practice and make training a part of daily life, the better he/she will respond to you and your family. But dont worry because we will show you how to do that.
7. Does the trainer understand the use and importance of both positive and negative motivation training techniques?
There is a trend in the dog training world that tells people they should only use "positive training techniques". And although that sounds very nice, it doesn't really make sense in a dog's world. What "only positive training" means is that you never give a dog a correction. Imagine I am giving you directions to get from Florida to New York, but I only tell you when you are going in the right direction and I never tell you when you are going the wrong way. You will either get lost or it will take you a very long time to get there.
This is the same with dog training. We have often asked "positive only" trainers what they do when a dog makes a mistake, they always change the subject or they say they will use a choke chain (which is negative motivation training). Last year, we had the opportunity to work with an awesome Great Dane. He jumped and lunged at the front door of his home and dogs across the street. He was difficult to walk because he became agitated when runners or bikers went by. He was 3 or 4 years old and had recently been taken to a pet store training class. After a few sessions, the trainer asked the owner not to come back and recommended that they put him on PUPPY PROZAC until they could find someone else to help them. Well when I went to their house to meet them and pick him up, I was expecting a monster. But what I found was a big sweetheart that just didn't understand what he was doing wrong. The petstore trainer had advised the owner to distract the dog when he started jumping and GIVE HIM A TREAT! Well guess what happened, he thought he was being rewarded for jumping at the door. Fortunately, I brought him to our house and the first night he was acting like an angel - without the sedative. After a month of training, we were able to take him to a dog park off leash with dogs running everywhere. He loved it. To this day, he is still one of my favorites.
8. Does the trainer offer customized training programs based on your needs and the needs of your dog?
We do. We will discuss this with you prior to the beginning of training. We will always work on obedience, socialization and manners, but we can also work on specific problems such as aggressiveness, shyness or timidness, excessive barking, jumping, mouthing, biting, jerking on the leash and more.
9. Does the trainer charge for Results? or number of sessions?
What happens if you pay for 6 sessions at a pet store approved class and your dog doesn't learn what you hoped it would? You have to sign up for more sessions, RIGHT? We dont do that. If have 2 weeks or 30 days we dont think your dog is where it should be, we will offer to keep the dog. Recently we had a very sweet, but immature Mastiff, he just didnt progress at the rate most dogs do. After 30 days of training, he was not at the point we expected him to be, so we kept him until he was ready. After we spent the extra time with him, he was excellent. It just took him longer than most; but we didn't charge double the training fees.
10. Does the trainer offer free refresher training for the life of your dog with advanced training programs?
We do and we encourage you to return at least once a year for a refresher session with you and your dog.
11. What areas do you service and where do your dogs come from?
People bring their dogs from these Florida Areas Pensacola, Fort Walton Beach, Destin, Sandestin, Tallahassee, Jacksonville, Tampa, Orlando, Ocala, Naples, West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Gulf Breeze, Navarre, Santa Rosa Beach, Blue Mountain Beach, Lake City, Gainesville, Lakeland, St. Petersburg, Fort Meyers.
-In Alabama dogs come from Mobile, Birmingham, Montgomery, Huntsville, Andalusia, Opp, Hoover, Orange Beach, Muscle Shoals, Florence, Decatur, Tuscaloosa, Gadsen, Anniston, Auburn, Columbus, Dothan.
-In Mississippi dogs come from Jackson, Hattisburg, Meridian, Tupelo, Southaven, Corinth, Natchez, Brandon, Olive Branch, Oxford, Gulf Shores, Vicksburg, Biloxi, Gulf Port, Horn Lake, Starkville.
-In Georgia dogs come from Atlanta, Valdosta, Savannah, Athens, Augusta, Macon, Albany, Brunswick, and Waycross.
-In Louisiana dogs come from New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Lake Charles, Shreveport, Monroe, Alexandra, and Lafayette.
-In Tennesssee dogs come from Memphis, Nashville, Chattanooga, Knoxville, Jackson, Kingsport, Johnson City.
-In South Carolina dogs come from Columbia, Charleston, Myrtle Beach, Florence, Spartenburg, and Greenville.