This FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page features a myriad of facts and information. Some address the questions I am asked daily, and others address a variety of topics relevant specifically to K-9 TRAINING, dog training, behavior problems, and other dog-related topics.
In addition, I have tried to break these down into specific sections to make it easier to find the information you need.
The FAQ Section
Q: How old should the puppy be before we start training?
A: You should start training the pup the first day you get it. The training coupled with the raising element is crucial from the start. It helps in the primary bonding (as opposed to secondary and tertiary bonding), channeling, and imprinting, the respect aspect, and control of the pup from day one. It also establishes routines, expectations and even a work ethic right from the start. Waiting to train and raise the pup just generates real behavior problems which manifest in mutiple forms/dynamics. The earlier you get a handle on the dog the more freedom you can allow it. The longer you wait to train and control the dog, the more the dog generates their own reality and the situation then becomes contentious between you and the dog. I find that 90% of the behavior problems I deal with are generated by the owner. Once the dog dominates you, this dynamic reifies itself the longer it progresses over time.
These little puppies at 5-12 weeks of age are little sponges and can learn so much and they stick to you like glue. That is peak optimization time for learning, bonding, and guiding. Most ‘less than knowledgeable’ trainers and Veterinarians who are not trainers or behaviorists say wait until the pup is 6 months old or a year old – but that is so far off base. By then people are ready to give their dog away or shoot it!
Q: What is the cost of the training?
A: The price varies depending on the type of training desired, the needs of the dog, the training program, the behavioral problems, and the aggression level of the dog. There are many factors which must be dealt with when formulating a price. All pricing is extremely fair! Generally, the total investment is a tiny part of the overall expense of a dog – medicines, shots, wormings (a fecal sample test for parasites now costs $30.00 which is ridiculous for less than 2 minutes of time), monthly flea/tick medicines, monthly heartguard medicines, food and bones, and miscellaneous stuff, in addition to serious medical bills which do occur. If divided up over the lifetime of your dog, you will find that training is the least expensive of all of the bills.
Q: Why private training versus class training?
A: Private training can take one much farther in the hands of a knowledgeable trainer and behaviorist such as myself, and the success rate can increase dramatically due to customized training of the individual dog and owner. Classes do not cut it for the Quality of training that I do. Other classes give people minimal time and contact and also treats all owners and dogs the same. No serious training or behavioral issues can be done within such a context. It is a farce.
Q: Why do I have to be part of the training? Why can’t I just drop the pup or dog off and let you do it all?
A: The main reason is that it is your dog and you must learn to handle it. If it is a pup, then you need to be bonding with it and raising it and teaching it within the new environment in which it will be living. It is also much cheaper than if I board a dog for training. You need to learn to communicate correctly with it, teach it to respect you, and also learn to treat it like a dog and not your kid or lost companion. I have seen many people not knowing what they are doing detrain a dog in a week. I do train some dogs on a short term boarding where they come an hour or two a few times a week for additional training by me alone as an adjunct to the owner already coming for training. In addition, there are too many incompetent trainers that send dogs back afraid of men or injured and some that I have known come back with stitches in the head or other body parts. People that offer short term weekly training cannot possibly get what I get done and to the level and standard that I do here over a period of time, so they increase the tensity in the training and force the dog to learn stuff and at a very basic level in a week. The dog comes back with issues! I train in front of people and with people to teach you about your dog and to learn how to work with your dog and to also develop the bond at a much higher level; hence the lack of food needed for training. The dogs are working for you! I cannot be accused of doing something to your dog when you are not around and no assumptions can be made. Everything is very upfront here with my training. There are no hidden agendas!
Q: How long are the sessions?
A: The sessions are about 1 hour long and there is some flexibility in this situation depending on the context. The first day I do 2 sessions back-to-back which takes about 2 – 2 1/2 hours.
Q: How often are the training sessions?
A: That varies depending on numerous factors. We can train daily in rare training packages, or may even train 2-3 times a week. It depends on the age of the pup or dog, your work schedule, and the kind of training package you are working on. It also depends on the actual pup alone. All pups are different. Normally 1 time a week for a busy working person is the norm. I do not want you to just complete the sessions without the success and the standards that I expect. That is taking your money! I do not do that! I work hard and earn it and I want to make sure that you have completed the training to my level of expectations.
Q: What days do you train?
A: I train 7 days a week. I normally take off Thanksgiving and X-mas.
Q: What kind of equipment do I need?
A: Everyone is required to have a 6 foot heavy duty lead in good condition, a training collar (choke collar) that fits the dog appropriately and is strong enough, and in most cases a heavy duty 33 foot long line. In some cases the dog or the owner or both graduate to a pinch collar if needed. A small tab is also sometimes used for more advanced training. Regarding the 6 foot lead – if the breed is a smaller breed than the heavy duty strength of it can vary to a lighter strength as long is it is appropriate for the size and strength of the dog and also easy for you to handle correctly. Purchasing the heavy duty lead even for a puppy is the best way for you and the pup. Within months he will be getting larger and stronger and you will end up having to get the correct one anyway, so do it right the first time. It will also be easier for you to handle. Many people buy a little ribbon lead for a Rottweiler or Great Dane puppy only to find out 1 month later that was a big mistake. Flimsy leads are a real pain to handle!
Cheap equipment does not last! I have seen many cheap collars break the first day out here with their dogs.
Cheap long lines with shabby snaps do not work, they break and depending on the size of the dog are not strong enough. Also the cheaper long lines are hard on the hands.
Good sturdy harness leather leads will last a very long time with proper care (i.e. not leaving them outside getting rained on and allowed to rot). The harness leads (and long lines) I use come with strong brass snaps and not pressed aluminum or steel snaps which break.
Buy good equipment and take care of it and it will last you a long time.
Q: Why do you do training when fixing behavioral problems?
A: I sincerely believe that just fixing the behavioral problems are very cosmetic, extremely limited, and uni-dimensional. In reality, behavioral problems are very complex and also inter-twined with the obedience, or in this case – the lack of obedience. By doing both, the obedience and the behavioral, it is a holistic resolution to the problem(s). If you supposedly fix the problem and not work on the obedience you still end up with a lack of control of the dog. That is not good. By working on the obedience, you get control of the dog, you teach the dog proper respect, you develop a work ethic, and you develop or repair the relationship and bond between you and the dog. You teach the dog right from wrong, manners, and also responsiveness to you and the commands. In addition, you learn how to communicate correctly with your dog. This then aids dramatically in the rectification of behavioral issues and is ingrained at a much deeper level. More solid success can occur through this myriad of training and behavioral methods. I have proven this over 46 years of training and behavioral work and the incredible successes that I have had with many issues including brain damaged dogs.
Additional Information On Our Training
At K-9 TRAINING we present everything in a systematic logical order and also give you the logic and reasoning behind what we do. We do not just give you minimal information and send you on your way. We have broken everything down in detail to help you to fully understand the various mechanical elements within the specific training exercise and methodology being used. Consistency of these training methods during training is the key to success. We also do not string you along like some other trainers do. We are upfront on everything we do. Our primary concern is for your success in getting a trained dog.
We are success oriented! By that I mean that we not only want success at the end of training but that the methodologies that we use in training from day one is success oriented. We focus on a binary dynamic to training – right and wrong. No third element/dimension or what I call ‘gray areas’ or ‘question marks’ that create an opt-out factor for the dog and also confuses the dog and lets the dog choose whichever aspect they want to choose. We do not allow the method or the owner or the dog to create other contradictory options. Through successful methods and actuation of commands, the dog learns the right way all of the time and therefore makes the training much more clear and efficient and quicker than letting the dog pick and choose what they want to do. This concept is extremely cogent in terms of efficient training and clear and rapid understanding for the dog.
Regarding a Behavior Problem – the ‘Myth’ of lack of proper socialization: The worst thing you can do with dogs that have socialization problems whether it be dogs or humans is to take them to dog park where all of the other dogs are wild and full of their own issues and are lacking in any control, or take the dog to the mall or park and have every Tom, Dick, and Harry, and every Mary, Beth, and Jean get in the dogs face. This over-socialization to make up for what it may have lacked (which is not really true or the case! – hence the ‘myth’) tends to overstimulate and cause an autistic environment for this poor dog! When I work on these problems we work in a very prescribed manner to gently build the dog up and work into a more complex environment. This is the opposite of what everyone else does and recommends. And it is very successful. Most of these socialization issues go back to lack of control and training early on in the pup and the lack of a proper relationship between the person and the dog.
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