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"Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.”
– Roger Caras
No matter how little money and how few possesions you own, having a dog makes you rich.
Professional Level Member
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
"There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face."
- Ben Williams
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"If you think dogs can't count, try putting three dog biscuits in your pocket and then give him only two of them."
Why should I hire you?
When you call us you're dealing with issues with your dog that you don't know how to fix. Or maybe you have a new puppy or adult dog and you want to make sure you get them on the right track. It's our goal to help you fix those issues and get on that right track. We go the extra mile to ensure your success and we take that responsibility seriously. We strive to give you all the tools and information you need to achieve that success. We offer full support by phone, text and email between sessions and even after the training is done.
We have the experience to deal with virtually every type of dog training problem, but we're also honest enough tell you if something is out of our league and refer you to another trainer more suited to your needs. In other words, your success is more important than our egos.
At Love Your K9 we truly do care about our customers, both two-legged and four-legged. We want your relationship with your dog to be the best it can be and monetary issues should not stand in your way. If special financial consideration is needed due to budget constraints we're happy to work with you. At the end of the day, helping you and your dog is our top priority.
Do you use treats and positive training methods?
Absolutely!! The vast majority of our training is positive based. We love telling our dogs 'yes" and using treats to reinforce the right behavior. It's very important to let our dogs know when they've done something right. Training should be fun for your dog. Are there times we'll tell them 'no'? Sure, but we'll always be fair and humane about it. It's doesn't make any sense to tell a dog 'no' if they don't understand what they DO need to do. This balanced method of training helps dogs understand quickly what's the right behavior while enforcing boundaries and rules.
Do you guarantee your work?
While we all like having a guarantee it's just not realistic. There are too many factors involved in dog training that are beyond the control of the trainer. Did the owner do their homework? Did they do it correctly? Is the owner committed to putting the time into their dog's training? Add in the variability of each dog's learning ability and the day to day demands on our time and you can see how a guarantee is not realistic.
We also cannot guarantee that your dog will respond to your commands 100% of the time. Dogs are living, breathing animals who tend to have minds of their own. But we do the very best that we can to 'proof' them against common distractions that they might encounter in their daily lives. We work very hard to get consistent obedience.
Will I have homework?
Yes, in order to further your training in between sessions we'll sit down at the end of each training session to write your homework assignments down. This will help you remember in detail what you need to work on.
What type of support is available after the training is done?
We offer support by phone, email and text on issues that we are currently working on. If we can help you by phone we will. That being said, sometimes owners or dogs need a refresher session or new issues arise. In that case, follow up sessions are available for purchase individually. See Services & Pricing page for FOLLOW UP sessions
Do you work with aggressive, shy or fearful dogs?
Yes. Fearful and shy dogs benefit immensely from training. That being said, there are cases that require trainers that specialize in aggression rehabilitation. If we feel this is your case then we will refer you to one of these specialists.
The techniques we use are geared towards building your dog's confidence, not only in themselves but in their owner. They learn that they don't have to save themselves and their owners from the world. They learn that their owners will advocate for them. This reduces anxiety and stress. We take away the need for them to make critical decisions which teaches them that their owners " have their back". Your dog can then just relax and enjoy life.
There are instances where a dog requires medication to help them during this time and a consult with your veterinarian will be recommended.
Is my dog too old or too young to train?
No dog is too old to learn. Any dog can be trained regardless of how old it is. As for puppies, we want them to be at least 8 weeks of age. Puppies learn the fastest that they ever will in their life so delaying training can result in unwanted behaviors becoming habits so the sooner you start training the better!
How long should I train with my dog each day?
Each dog is different but a good rule of thumb is 15 minutes, 2-3 times a day. Depending on what you're working on this can be modified to longer sessions but you don't want to train so long that your dog or puppy is getting tired and losing interest. Most training is actually done while you go about your day to day activities.
Is there a breed you won't work with?
No, we work with all breeds.
Do you use shock collars?
We absolutely do NOT use shock collars. We use e collars -- short for electronic collars. They're also called remote collars. Modern e collars are actually based on the same technology as the TENS devices used by medical professionals to get your muscles to relax. It's more like a tingling sensation. While not painful, it prompts our dog to respond to our commands--like a tap on the shoulder from a distance.
We use e collars from E-Collar Technologies (www.ecollar.com). Their collars use the latest technology to make sure you receive a collar that is consistent, reliable and safe. These collars can be adjusted down to a level of stimulation that is mild yet gets your dog's attention without causing pain.
We require that all owners first put the collar on themselves so they fully understand what their dog is feeling. Most owners cannot even feel the stimulation at the low levels that we use on dogs. Used properly, the e collar is a very humane, safe and effective training tool.
Do you use electric collars on all the dogs you train?
No, the vast majority of the training we do is not with e collars. If we feel that your dog would benefit from e collar training we'll discuss those benefits with you and you'll have the final say. E collars are not for all dogs, and while they do not cause pain at the levels that we use them, not all owners feel comfortable with them. We want to train your dog in the way that's best suited to your dog and that you are comfortable with. Owners always have the final say in their dog's training method and tools.
Can I just buy my own e collar or use the one I have?
Many of our clients see the less expensive e collars at local big box stores and think "I'll just get one of these and train my own dog". While that is an option, we highly discourage it. Almost every client we work with thinks the e collar is used as punishment--as in "Fido ignored me when I told him to sit so I'll use the collar to zap him as punishment". This is ABSOLUTELY the wrong way to use the e collar!
The vast majority of the time the e collar is used to 'tap your dog on the shoulder', so to speak, and communicate with them. Most of our dogs work at levels that cannot be felt by their owners or can be felt as a buzzing sensation. A lot of dogs actually get excited at the sight of their collar because it means they're getting to do something fun like a long run or playing ball. We've spent a large amount of time understanding all the nuances of e collar training and have your dog's best interest at heart.
We use one of the best collar systems on the market. The Mini Educator and other collars in the E Collar Technologies line are manufactured with the latest technology in order to ensure that when you set your collar at a low level stimulation it consistently works at that level every time. The Mini Educator is build so that it can be adjusted in very tiny increments so you can find the perfect level for even the most sensitive dog. This ability to adjust it so finely makes it the perfect collar for nearly 100% of dogs. It's also user friendly and can easily be set to custom settings that make it a cinch for almost anyone to learn how to use. Cheap brands do not perform as well as the Mini Educator.
Lastly, our e collars are manufactured in the USA and come with a full 2 year warranty and limited lifetime warranty backed up by the best customer service found in the industry. It's truly second to none.
Do you use prong collars?
Yes, but we also use many different training tools including the Halti, Easy Walk and Sporn harness. We have found the prong to be an extremely effective training tool. When used properly it doesn't hurt your dog. The prong collar is designed to displace pressure evenly around the dog's neck in order to avoid putting pressure on the trachea. Choke chains and regular buckle collars can actually cause more damage when a dog pulls (we've all heard that dog coughing while dragging it's owner down the street). For the vast majority of the dogs we work with the dog "self correct"--meaning they decide not to pull against it themselves.
When we put a prong collar on a dog for the first time we go thru a very specific protocol to make sure that we allow them plenty of time to get used to the feel of it. We always want our dogs to have an adjustment period with any new training tool. We only use the Herm Sprenger brand of prongs.
Do you recommend dog parks?
As a rule no, but on a case by case basis we have no problem with a dog with proven track record of being friendly at the dog park. It's always a risk, even with the most social dog, because you can't control the other dogs and owners. You don't know the temperament of the other dogs plus disease is always a risk factor.
Do you recommend doggie daycares?
Yes! We love doggie daycare! They're a great place for your dog to interact with safe dogs while learning the critical social skills needed to thrive in the presence of other dogs. It's also a great way for your dog to burn off some of the excess energy that can drive an owner crazy. Please see our Local Business Directory page for recommendations on some of the local daycares that we have visited and toured and have a proven track record for safety, cleanliness and professionalism.
A good daycare always temperament tests any prospective dog, has clean spaces, separates dogs according to size or temperament and has well trained staff.
Is there a specific dog food you recommend ?
We do not recommend any one brand of dog food. What we do recommend is raw feeding or a high quality brand of dry dog food or a combination of both. Our dog's health is too important. We need to feed them dog food that is meat based and at least has no soy, wheat or corn. These ingredients are not suited for a carnivore. We recommend that all our clients go HERE to look up their current dog food and see how it rates. If it doesn't rate at least 4 stars we recommend that you look for one that does, while still fitting your budget.