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Common Questions

What should I look for in a trainer?

Finding the right trainer can be hard. Even a qualified trainer may not be the right fit for you. Finding someone you trust and mesh with is vital.

Other things you want to look for are their experience, what success stories they have, and what techniques they use. I encourage all prospective clients to ask as many questions as they have. I want to make 100% sure I am the right trainer for you.

 

What are your certifications/qualifications?

Dog training is a tricky business when it comes to certifications. The industry does not have any set rules, which is why it is flooded with underqualified trainers. 

I have my bachelor's degree in psychology, much of dog training is based out of human psychology. I am currently earning my second bachelor's in animal health and behavior. I am constantly expanding my knowledge through books/videos/seminars. As well as having years from working with dogs since I was very young (~7 years old). I am also an evaluator for Canine Good Citizen and trick titles through AKC. 

See Meet the Trainer for more information.

 

What is your approach to training?

I am a balanced trainer. What this means to me is, I use a combination of positive reinforcement and correction. I always start as soft and gentle as possible, but not all dogs respond to this. I let the dog tell me what motivates them (for both positive and negative). I walk clients through step by step why I do what I do and why it works. HOWEVER, I respect the owner's wishes and will not use any methods/tools they are not comfortable with.

See Tools and Methods for more information.

 

What is your service area?

My primary service are is Salem/Keizer city limits. I do offer training outside this area, however, there are additional fees and subject to availability.

 

How does training work?

Typically, I meet with clients once a week for an hour. Each week we build on the previous. I move at you and your dog's pace. Meaning, if you make a lot of progress I will jump ahead, if it's a rough week I will slow things down and do refreshers/review. I cater to each dog.

 

Where do we meet?

Location can vary depending on your needs. I offer in-home training as well as meeting at Lowe's (or other pet friendly stores) and public parks. Mileage fees may apply.

 

Do you offer group classes?

I do not. I will use my own dogs for distractions and socializing. I prefer to work with dogs one on one. This allows for a more customized training plan. I will work with multiple dogs that are from the same household. Contact me for more information.

 

Do you take my dog and keep it for training?

I work with you and your dog side-by-side. At the present time I do not offer board and train or day training. I am hoping to expand my services soon. Keep checking back.

 

How long will training take?

There is no easy answer to this question. It varies greatly from dog to dog. Time also largely depends on how much you work with your dog and what your goals are. Basic obedience can go fairly quickly, whereas behavior modification takes more time.

 

What is the difference between obedience training and behavior modification?

Obedience training includes teaching the dog: sit, down, recall, heel, etc.


Behavior modification is for problem behaviors such as: resource guarding, reactivity and separation anxiety. Part of behavior modification is obedience training, but it goes beyond that. Behavior modification works on retraining the dog's brain to respond appropriately in triggering situations. Think of it has rehab for your dog.

 

What payment methods do you accept?

I accept cash, checks, or Zelle. I do not take Cashapp or Venmo.

 

What breeds do you work with?

I have no breed or age restrictions for the dogs I work with.

 

What age should my puppy start training?

Training starts the day you bring them home. They are constantly learning and figuring out what the rules and expectations are. Being a young puppy, their brains are sponges and they accept everything as normal. 

For formal training, if they are not fully vaccinated they should not be going out to places where other unknown dogs have been. However, because I offer in-home training, we can start right away. 

 

Is my dog too old to be trained?

NOPE! The saying you can't teach an old dog new tricks is not true. It can take a little longer to train an older dog, especially for behavior modification. They tend to be more set in their ways, harder to break old habits, but it absolutely can be done.