the dOg within

(646) 240-2419

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How young is too young and how old is too old to start training my dog?

A: As long as your pet is with you they will always learn. You are their care giver, so whatever you do with them, your dog will always learn. They are truly aware of their environment and what they encounter. With that in mind, there is no age limit for training. Puppies do start to retain information right around their fifth week so training and socialization can begin once they arrive home. Older dogs can require more influence as they may be set in their ways, require new motivators and be limited physically depending on their age. Yet, even older dogs are still able to learn and benefit from training.

Q: Do I have to be part of the training?

A: Yes! There are trainers and companies that will "board and train". This involves training your dog away from their environment and then presenting you with a pet that will only respond to certain commands. I believe in teaching how to develop communication between dog and owner, in the environment you are both familiar with. For both of you that will require a journey together. My practice is to train you to be able to teach your dog throughout your day-to-day life and within their normal environment. This is a highly effective way to train, whether it's for puppy training, basic training, or behavior modification.

Q: Can all dogs be trained?

A: Yes. Working with and learning from all of the breeds of dogs and species of animals I've worked with, I've found that all dogs can be trained, conditioned, or patterned. Though, of course, not all dogs can be trained the same way. Though certain dogs have breed-specific needs, all dogs can be trained. Before getting a dog please consider researching and finding a pet fits comfortably within your lifestyle and daily schedule.

Q: How long does training take? What is your training technique?

A: Both puppy and basic behavior training can be achieved for a lifetime through six weeks of structured training sessions. Behavior modification is harder to gauge as it requires "cracking the code": discovering triggers and creating a plan of what will be needed and how to introduce the dog to the situation to create a different response. I am a positive-reinforcement trainer. My technique is something I call, "C.P.R.". Consistency, Patience, Repeat. This is something I will demonstrate and teach you during our time together. I know that it sounds a bit high-minded, but it is easily picked up with a bit of practice.

Q: What is "positive reinforcement" and will my dog become treat dependent?

A: The first part of this question is tricky to define without being too nerdy. Keep in mind that "positive" in this case is not to be thought of simply as an emotional state. Based on the four quadrants of learning theory and how dogs learn, positive reinforcement is the action of adding something to the training to indicate that the desired action has been achieved. The action is a reward: physical, emotional, touch, praise, play, or treat. So you can see it does not have to solely be food. For a dog, food is a great motivator and the better the treat, the greater the motivation. However, to avoid any dependence on treats/rewards, I will coach you on how to pace yourself and how to instill patience and impulse control in your pet. So no, if done correctly, your dog will not become treat dependent.

Q: What can I expect from you as my dog trainer?

A: Professionalism, structure, dedication and a no-quit attitude to ensure that you get what you want from each and every session. Will I give you any guarantees? Actually, yes. I guarantee that I will teach your dog to the best to my ability and offer you a wealth of resources to ensure that you obtain the best possible outcome for each and every given situation.

Q: What can I expect from your training session?

A: Each 60 to 90 minute session, expect to work! Each session includes a lesson plan we'll work from, review of previous material, troubleshooting things that aren't working quite right. Then we will cover what is to be expected for the next session and how to prepare for it. Lastly, I'll give you some exercises to do at home, to reinforce the learning in the sessions.

Q: Should I look for group or private training?

A: Remember, anytime you and your dog are together, they are learning from you. If you have the time and are truly motivated to develop a deeper bond with your dog, do both. However, if your dog has had previous issues around other dogs, please feel free to reach out to me and discuss your dog's training needs. For example, if your dog has a resource guard condition, you would not want to enroll in a group class right away. That would come with time and proper assessment.

Q: Does The Dog Within have group classes?

A: Primarily I am a remote trainer. I train with the human and canine client wherever they need the training to be. I offer group classes and rates but only to clients within my training base. I have discovered it to be a unique way to conduct a class as you are all part of the same initial process of evaluations. This way I can group or pair to achieve the best possible results. Group classes also potentially offer a huge discount to the client! Does your pet have a buddy or group? Ask me about special group rates.

Q: What does The Dog Within offer that other trainers don't?

A: As far as dog training goes? Nothing. Training is training. My methods of training are effective, but methods that many others use are effective as well. Where I differ is that what I offer is a knowledge and skill set I acquired from tens of thousands of hours of training with thousands of dogs and their owners, all across this country. I've trained dogs (and owners) in ranches, on movie sets, in homes, hospitals, vet practices, rescues, shelters and in the real "everyday" world. Each and every time, my end goal for the training is very simple - I want you and your pet to understand each other better, not just for our training sessions, but for a lifetime of companionship. Three of my clients adhered to my techniques so well that they now are practiced and successful dog trainers themselves. No kidding. References are available upon request.