Dog Training FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions About Our Dog Training

Many people choose the training facility closest to their home or the most convenient to their schedule. While location and schedule are certainly important, it should NOT be your only means of choosing a training facility. There is such a wide variety available in training today, it pays to do some research first.

First, find out what training methods are used. Make sure you know and are comfortable with those methods before you sign up. At Love My Dog Training, we use only dog-friendly and people-friendly positive-reinforcement-based training. We believe in teaching our dogs what we want them to do. Dogs don’t know “right” from “wrong” only what works and what doesn’t. Focus should be on reinforcing the behaviors you want, not on punishing the behaviors you don’t want. Consider how you would want to be taught something new and give your dog the same consideration.

If something feels wrong to you or seems abusive toward your dog, do not allow it to happen. Just because someone is a “professional” does not mean they are using appropriate training methods. Trust your instincts!

Who will your instructor be? See the section below on “How do I choose a trainer?” for more information about choosing the right trainer for you. Some training locations have one trainer, others have several. Choose not only the right location, but the right trainer for you.

Is this an experienced person who can help you with problem-solving if your dog is not as easily trained as other dogs? Does this person truly understand dogs, how they learn, and how to read their body language? Does this person have any credentials? Does this person keep up with the latest scientific information to understand the most effective and humane ways to train dogs?

The Love My Dog Training instructor is a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant and Certified Professional Dog Trainer. Both Certifications are earned through independent organizations, not schools that give a “certificate of completion”. Ask about the trainer’s credentials and experience. Ask what any titles really mean and whether they were earned through independent certifications or simply created titles to sound impressive.

Does it feel like a good fit? Even if a training facility has been recommended to you, it might not be the best fit for you. Make sure you feel comfortable with the instructor. You should find someone who is not only good with your dog, but good with you! Some people are great at training dogs, but not very good at working with people. Some are very good at working with people, but not very good at training dogs. Find someone who is a good fit for both you and your dog!

There are different methods of training used today. The training based on the most current information we have about how dogs learn and backed by scientific studies is positive reinforcement methods. You will find trainers who still rely on punishment-based methods (choke chains, prong collars, leash corrections, shock collars, throw chains, etc.) but they are not using the methods that are the safest, most humane and most effective for LONG-TERM results. Their methods rely on gaining compliance from the dog based on fear and pain. You should look for trainers who use humane positive-reinforcement methods to help your dog learn most effectively and to build a trusting relationship with your dog.

Now that you’ve decided to ensure the trainer you choose uses positive reinforcement methods (and make sure they truly are positive methods and not just saying so!) you can look at all the different possibilities you have with training. There are many things you can train your dog to do – the key is to find something that fits your needs and that you and your dog will have fun doing. No matter what you want to do, some basic training is the foundation for all activities.

We offer private training to work on anything we do in our group classes as well as dealing with specific behavior problems.

Puppy Preschool Class or Basic Training Class are the classes that build the foundation behaviors, such as sit, down, come, leash manners, leave it, and wait/stay. In many other classes, these foundation classes are simply focused on teaching sit, down, etc. In the Love My Dog Training Classes, our focus is on teaching you how to most effectively train your dog and to help you learn to use these basic cues to resolve problem issues. What good is it if your dog can sit for a treat, but you can’t get him to stop jumping on visitors and darting out the door when it’s opened? We help you teach your dog to be the dog you dreamed of when you brought him or her home!

Next, you can take classes like Juvenile Delinquents and others that focus on gaining better reliability of the basic cues with distractions. From there, you can work on better behavior in public settings with our Polite Pooches in Public or Canine Good Citizen Test Preparation Classes. Or, you might decide to do something fun like Tricks for Treats or Fun & Games! If you have a dog who is very easily distracted, you might want to try our Distracted Dogs Class.

From there, you can go on to a variety of dog sports, such as Agility, Rally Obedience, Flyball, Tracking, Freestyle (dancing with your dog) or a variety of other options depending on the interests of you and your dog. Passing the Canine Good Citizen Test is often the next step for those who want to train their dog to be a therapy dog. Find something that you and your dog will both enjoy whether it’s for a specific need, a love to compete, or simply an opportunity to spend more time with your dog and have fun!

For a listing of the classes we offer, click here.