Frequently Asked Questions

Do you train any breed of dog?

We sure do! We have trained thousands of dogs over the years and have experience in working with just about every breed and breed mix.

How old does my dog have to be to begin training?

In nature, puppies are constantly being taught, reinforced, and nurtured by their mother from birth; therefore we begin teaching puppies from the first day they come home. When a puppy learns ‘how to learn,’ they quickly gain confidence, focus and a more cooperative dynamic with their family.

How much does it cost to have my dog trained?

The price varies – we find that an assessment of your dog and you gives us the best idea of which training avenue to suggest. Ready to schedule an assessment? Give us a call at 618/964-1000.

Who does the training?

This depends on your goals, abilities and preferences. Some people wish to do the training on their own and we agree! Occasionally, the needs of your dog dictate a different approach because sometimes it is easier to maintain the training of your dog than it is to instill it. A thorough discussion of your goals, a professional assessment of your dog and the opportunity to observe what is really possible with your dog will help you choose the right avenue of training.

Where is the training done?

Your lessons may begin here at our facility, but as your dog’s skill increases, you will need to expand the areas in which you train in order to find distractions strong enough to tempt your dog. Before long, you will be able to take your dog everywhere you go because he will remain attentive under any level of distraction.

When is my dog too old to train?

Never. The old saying “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” only applies to your ‘ex’. Your dog is much more adaptable and willing to learn how to have a more peaceful, cooperative life with you.

How many people are allowed in a group class?

We keep our group classes small in order to provide more effective coaching to our students. Typically 15 or less.

What is residency training?

Residency training (also known as “Big Momma’s House”) is a training option in which you leave your dog with us for personal training for a period of 1 to 3 weeks. We work with your dog, instill the training and then teach you how to work with your dog at the end of it.

Will my dog listen to me after coming home from residency training, and will I learn how to work with him afterwards?

Absolutely! We will have helped your dog learn self-control, obedience to command, and to accept and cooperate with calm leadership. Our aftercare program (which is extensive and included in the residency tuition) provide a rich environment for you to learn to maintain your dog’s training – and enhance it!

Will my dog lose his personality or become ‘robotic’ as a result of obedience training?

Absolutely NOT! By using our “Whole Dog Approach” to training, your dog will become a more confident, cooperative version of himself.

Once my dog is trained, why would I need to continue any further training?

Dog training is not a ‘once-and-done’ kind of thing. Just as a person who chooses to adopt a healthy lifestyle must maintain it, so too, you will need to maintain your dog’s focus and obedience each day.

How long and how often should I train with my dog?

We believe that every minute of every day that you spend interacting with your dog is ‘training’. By simply meaning what you say and following through to ensure that your commands are immediately followed at any given time – you will be effectively ‘training’. No time clock or schedule is needed.

Do I have to train my dog in English, or may I use any language?

Some people choose to use a foreign language when training their dog. Occasionally it is because the ‘foreign’ commands are unlike anything the dog may hear in normal daily life, but often it is just a personal preference. The choice is yours.

How do I know which class is right for my dog?

Glad you asked! Most people are unsure how to deal with their dog’s problems or reach their training goals. Many veterinarians suggest ‘obedience training’ when faced with behavioral questions from their clients. We prefer to start with a personal assessment of your dog to gain insight into his temperament, drive, natural strengths, and areas of difficulty. The guidance of a dog behavior specialist can help you get the most value for your training dollar and greatly enhance the quality of life of both you AND your dog!

Do you work with aggressive dogs?

Most definitely – actually rehabilitating unwanted aggression in dogs is one of our subspecialties. We have rehabilitated hundreds of aggressive dogs over the years. This experience has made us a vital resource for other professional trainers and has made us a nationally recognized leader in dog behavior, education and rehabilitation.

Have you ever met a dog you couldn’t train?

No. We have met dogs that were challenging to train. And we have met dog owners who wouldn’t be trained. Dogs naturally crave structure and clarity regardless of their temperaments, issues or past experiences – they are typically much more willing to learn new ways of being than many people we know!

Can any dog be a search and rescue or police dog?

No. Dogs that are suited best for police work, detection and searching have a distinctive drive, intensity and temperament that make them want to work. These dogs are relatively uncommon, extremely busy, and, as a result, do not always make the best house pets.

Are some dogs just too fearful to train?

No. Dogs that are fearful generally have two things going against them. 1) A lack of skill sets to cope with their anxieties and fears. 2) Owners who nurture their dogs’ fears without realizing they are doing so. Through training of both dog and owner, we can effect change in these two areas and unlock the prison that holds the fearful dog captive.

My dog is aggressive with… men/children/dogs/animals… is there anything that can be done to help with this?

Yes. We are frequently quoted as saying “aggression is a symptom, not the problem” and we stand by it. It is important to determine the origin of your dog’s aggression. We strongly recommend a thorough temperament assessment. From there, we can direct you to a solution or means of management that can bring peace back into the life of you and your dog.