FAQs

Am I the right trainer for you?

In order for our training together to be successful, you will need to be familiar with my philosophies, training tools & techniques.  I make this information readily available through our website & social media (Facebook, Instagram & YouTube).  I want you to be comfortable with the process & also ready to implement the same system of training with your dog.  Dog training is not a series of sessions, it is a LIFESTYLE.  You are always a parent, as you are always a dog owner.  We are teachers to our dogs; by providing rules, structure & boundaries we are able to better leverage a healthy, happy relationship between human & dog.  I am passionate about creating these relationships. 

·       If you are experiencing behavioral issues with your dog, I need you to recognize that there is an issue with the way you are currently living together.  There will be changes that will have to happen to your lifestyle & in the relationship you share with your dog.  In order to see change, we must change accordingly & I can help show you where those changes need to take place!  This may include; daily structured walks, crating your dog, having your dog in duration commands for long periods, your dog may have to be removed from your bed or furniture if it presents a problem, feeding routines may need to change, etc. 

·       You must be 100% comfortable with balanced training techniques.  We use tons of praise, food & play for positive reinforcement.  However, we must also correct bad & unwanted behavior.  Giving consistent & clear communication to your dog involves saying both “Yes” & “No”. 

·       You will have to follow the training program that we implement for you & your dog.  The training system that we create sets up you & your dog for success.  Applying the tools, techniques & philosophies of our programs is what will yield the best results. 

·       There WILL BE homework! Working together privately for an hour a week or sending your dog away for training will NOT work.  You must implement the training that we do together with your dog, long after our time together.  Follow through at home with the structure & routines we implement in our programs is what will ultimately train your dog, changing any bad behaviors.

·       The entire household must be on board with the training.  Dogs need clear & consistent rules to follow.  Training will not be successful if one member of the family enforces certain behaviors & other do not.  We are creating a new lifestyle for your family & your dog… it’s not just about changing ONE dog’s behavior, everyone in the home is involved.

There is also FUN involved with all these rules & regulations… praise, affection & play are all things we can share with our dogs!  But we have to shift them into a better state of mind before we can do so.  Putting in the hard work now, the tough love, the rules, boundaries & structure, will transform your dog into one that you can happily share your life.  The dog you have today, does not need to be the dog you have tomorrow- and YOU are ultimately in control of that fact 😊

What qualifies you to train my dog?

I have worked with hundreds of dogs over the past 20 years.  I have worked in every facet of the dog industry; dog training, dog grooming, veterinary technician, dog rescue & foster home, dog sitter & walker.  This experience throughout my life has given me a broader range of ability & techniques to help you & your dog. I have made my life & career all about these fantastic animals!  My passion however is helping humans & dogs live happier lives together. 

My education in dog behavior is vast & I am certified through a number of different groups that truly earn me that ability to say that I am a balanced trainer.  Please see our about page to learn even more!

·       Bachelors in Animal Science, Rutgers University

·       Karen Pryor Academy Graduate (KPA-CTP)

·       Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA)

·       Consistently attend workshops & seminars.  Continued education is important!

·       Shadowed & worked along side some of the best trainers in the industry.

·       Have trained various species of animals; wolves, fox, bison, birds, etc.

 

What tools do you use when training your dog?

I will use a wide variety of training tools when training your dog.  This includes your dog's daily meals, special treats, clickers, verbal praise, physical touch, prong and remote collars, place beds, long lines, and crates.  

Are prong collars safe?

The prong collar is perhaps the most misunderstood training device in the world. The confirmed 'ugly duckling' of training collars, it is sometimes feared by the average pet owner due largely to its resemblance to some type of medieval torture device. This fear is misguided however, since apprehension about the collar is typically rooted in misunderstanding of how it is to be properly used. Engineering, safety, and results are all on the side of this simple device. When used as part of a positive, balanced training program, it is one of the safest and most gentle training collars in use today.

Is a remote collar (E Collar) a shock collar?

Modern e collars are nothing like the collars of years past!   The stimulation used to communicate with your dog is similar to a medical device called a Muscle Stimulator used by Doctors to re-educate muscles, relieve muscle spasms, increase range of motion, prevent muscle atrophy, and treat conditions resulting from a stroke. It leaves no marks or residual pain and promotes compliance through muscle control of the dog's neck. Beware of imported shock collar systems that use high shocking circuitry and may cause your dog's neck to jerk excessively and scare your dog and damage his/her psyche.  

Stay & Learn Program vs private lessons?

Our Stay & Learn Program is designed to give you & your dog a "reboot".  As a professional trainer, I can provide faster results by working with your dog daily & providing your dog with feedback about their behavior in a very controlled, methodical way.  We are essentially doing the "heavy lifting" of the dog training when you leave your dog with us for training.  They return home knowing the behavior & routine that is expected of them.  As their owner, it is your job to now enforce this new routine & hold your dog accountable for their behavior.

Private Lessons are helpful for dog owners that have a good handle on the mechanics of dog training.  Your dog is well mannered & knows general obedience, but there is an area where you are struggling that needs professional guidance.  We will be able to work together in your home (or area where the problem behaviors persist) to focus & resolve the issue.  

Where will my dog stay during the stay & learn program?

Your dog will live with me in my home for the duration of the Stay & Learn Program.  This allows me to provide your dog with the 24/7 structure & routine, that you will continue in your home upon the completion of the program.  We expose your dog to real life scenarios & training situations in order to proof behaviors that we teach.  Your dog will be crated when not working or sleeping over night.  

Do you offer a guarantee?

Due to the many variables involved dog training (including owner commitment, consistency & follow through)  & because behavior is not static, it is unethical for us to offer a guarantee.  However, I DO guarantee my education, knowledge & commitment to you & your dog's success in any of our programs.  Once you hire Good Dogma, we become a team that will work together to give you & your dog the best possible results you can achieve!  Successful dog training is a collaboration of trainer & dog owner, this teamwork is a process that extends far beyond our physical time together.  We continue to see consistent results with dog owners that are committed & diligent with their dogs, yielding some amazing results!