Dog Training and PET Boarding FAQ
Dog Training FAQ:
Q: What tools will you use to train my dog?
A: I am a balanced dog trainer, which means I believe in saying both yes and no, in order to teach your dog how to behave. While saying yes, rewarding, I use what motivates your dog. This can be verbal praise, touch, treats, or toys, pretty much anything that will encourage your dog and keep them working, without making them so excited they break commands. When possible, I will use praise or touch over food, because it is easier for you when you have your dog back home, to give verbal praise then it is to always have treats handy. Most dogs will work just as eagerly for praise from you and often value it just as highly as they do treats!
Saying "no", or correcting a dog for doing an unwanted behavior, is an important piece of the training equation. You can easily teach a dog to sit, down, place, and come with treats alone but in order to get reliability and duration, where your dog will lay on place for hours, out of your commands and to stop things like jumping, counter surfing, and leash reactivity to other dogs you need to correct them. This doesn't have to be a harsh or scary thing for your pet, just a reminder that you don't want them doing that action or breaking a command.
During your dog's training program at Kennel Comfort Pet Motel and Dog Training I will be using either a prong collar or an E-Collar, depending on what program we decide your dog will need. These tools help me communicate effectively and efficiently with your pet and you will typically see amazing results within a few weeks!
Q: Why do you use prong collars? Won't they hurt my dog?
A: Prong collars are an amazing communication device from you to your dog. They can look scary but they allow me to train your dog with the least amount of force necessary due to their design. If you have ever walked a dog who loves to pull on their flat buckle collar you often will hear them wheezing as they strain against the collar. This action can actually collapse their trachea and is very dangerous for your dog! A harness is often thought to be a solution but those are actually designed to promote pulling. So your dog won't be in danger like they would from a flat buckle collar on a walk but the harness isn't going to help with the pulling problem. In sporting events, such as sled pulling, or in protection training they actually have you put a harness on your dog so that they will want to pull for the activities! Prong collars effectively end pulling and distributes pressure evenly from ear to ear, so their trachea is safe. Dogs won't want to pull on a prong collar because, through training, they learn that walking directly next to you is the most comfortable place to be. Using the prong collar in training allows me to create a new state of mind for your dog, a more relaxed mind, and gives them the power to make decisions while knowing what the rewards and consequences will be.
Q: What is an E-Collar? Do you mean a shock collar?
A: The higher end E-Collars of today are not actually shock collars. Today's technology allows for a safe and effective training tool that is like a tens machine that physical therapists use on our muscles to help heal them. E-Collars provide a stimulation to the dog's neck muscle, never a shock. There are a lot of cheap E-Collars that can be bought that are more harmful because they only have a few levels, providing too high of a stimulation for training, or that don't have a consistent stimulation which can be confusing and harmful for dogs, however; I use only the E-Collar Technologies brand. It is one of the top E-Collar brands on the market, so that you have a reliable and efficient tool. www.ecollar.com
The Mini Educator is the E-Collar I use the most often and it has 0-100 levels, this allows me to fine tune the dog's working level. While training basic obedience you always use the lowest level possible that still gets your dog's attention. Size of your dog doesn't affect this level, but coat length and muscle build can. For example, my German Shepherd works a level two with the E-Collar while my English Bulldog works at a nine. This level is going to be different with every dog and it will be different in every situation. Inside with no distractions, your dog will work at a lower number than they will outside with distractions. It is OK to adjust the collar as needed and it is really simple to do! Think of the E-Collar as an invisible leash that never gets tangled and is a back up in case your dog gets distracted or makes a mistake. This is a wonderful tool that can lead to off leash freedom!
Q: How long do I have to use the prong and E-Collars on my dog?
A: It really depends on your dog! After completing a Program you will definitely want to keep them on for a few weeks while your dog is transitioning all he has learned here to your home. It takes time for them to realize that all the new rules they learned will now apply at home with you, their owners. I would always suggest using either or both tools on walks. They are the best tool you can use for walks and will give you and your pet the best experience. I would suggest always using the tools even when in the house, I do in my home, but your pet can be transitioned off of them as well. Once they know the rules and boundaries you can try them without the collars and see how they do. Then, if they start some of their old behaviors you can bring the collars back out for some quick refresher training! Note: if you are going to leave your dog alone for an extended amount of time either free or crated you should never leave the prong collar on them. Also, if you have two dogs who wear prong collars and they are going to play you should always take one collar off so the collars don't catch and tangle with each other.
Q: Which program is better, the One on One or the Board and Train?
A: This one depends on you! The One on One Program is for those who want to be more active in their pet's training. We will meet and spend an hour for a few sessions while I show you how you can train your dog, then it is up to you to go home and put in the work to teach your dog! You will have a little head start since I will be working with both of you but it takes time and consistency to train a dog.
The Board and Train Program is the more popular program because owners are very busy and have a lot going on and just want their dog to behave so they can enjoy them when they get home from work! This program is where you drop your dog off with me for two-four weeks, depending on what training we are doing, and I will teach them their basic obedience commands. I focus on basic obedience, rather than trick training, because that is what most people want their dogs to know and need help with. I am a family dog trainer because I want you to be able to include your pup in your day to day life without them being destructive or a nuisance.
Q: Are your dog training programs/results guaranteed?
A: To be honest, no. I will never 100% guarantee that your dog will do everything you want them to or even what I want them to all of the time. This is because dogs are living beings with minds of their own and sometimes even have disabilities that could prevent them from learning, although that is rare. Also, you and your home life are a big factor in the training. Even though your dog will come home knowing basic commands you will need to continue a little training while the dog is transitioning and getting used to being at home again. Then, you will need to continue to reward and correct behaviors you like and dislike to keep your dog's training fresh. If they don't practice they will lose the abilities and it can happen very quickly! Training is a big commitment for the whole family and will be an ongoing part of your dog's life. This doesn't mean you have to spend hours of day actively training them but some time occasionally will be needed to help them be successful. However, training is one of the most rewarding things you can do with your dog and it will help you bond more than treats or cuddles can, so it will become something that turns into part of your everyday life!
Pet Boarding FAQ:
Q: What time do I need to pick my dog or cat up?
A: Checkout time is 10 AM. If you need to pick them up after that, that is OK, we are open until 6 PM on weekdays, Noon on Saturday and our Sunday hours are 7-10 AM and 3-6 PM. If you pick up after 10 AM however, you will be charged an extra day of boarding. The exception to this is if your pet is getting a bath or groom on their last day, then you can pick up anytime after Noon, or 10-11:30 AM on Saturdays, and you only pay for the price of the bath or groom.
Q: Can a friend or relative pick up my pet?
A: Yes, if you have made those arrangements with us prior to you dropping off or on drop off. We will need to know the name of the person who will be picking your animal up and when they arrive they will need to show us a valid driver's license.
Q: When do I pay for my pet's stay?
A: Typically full payment is required on the day you pick up your pet. We do this in case you need to add a day, if you get back early, or want to add additional services onto their stay. However, you are always welcome to pay when you drop off. Just let us know when you'd like to do that and we will happy to accommodate you! If you are having someone else pick up your pet it is recommended that you prepay so that they don't have to pay when they come to pick up.
Q: Does my dog get to go outside of their kennel during their stay?
A: Yes, most of the time your dog will get to go outside onto one of our two grass fields during their stay! This isn't a guarantee though and is dependent on weather, staffing, and occupancy of the kennel. Rainy days, days over 110 degrees, and holidays (when we are booked at capacity) are usually the only times your dog may not get to go out to the fields.
Q: Will my dog get to play with others?
A: No, we don't mix dogs that aren't of the same family at our facility. This ensures the safety of all guests staying with us. If your dogs are being kept in a run together they will go out onto the fields together, otherwise they only go out solo.
Q: What kind of stuff should I bring for my pet's stay?
A: You can bring a bed, if your dog is not a chewer, blankets, toys, bones, pretty much anything that would make your dog's stay with us more comfortable! We only ask that you leave water and food dishes at home as we have special bowls we use that are easy to disinfect. Note: if your dog is a chewer there can be times your dog may destroy a bed, blanket, or toy so don't bring anything may not want to lose.
Q: Should I bring my dog's food or use yours?
A: This is completely up to you! We don't charge you either way. If your pup has a special diet or a sensitive tummy it is recommended you bring the food they are currently on. Otherwise, you can use ours while they are here. We feed Victor's Beef and Rice. This food isn't grain free but it is a very high quality food. If you feed a raw diet we don't mind, but anything that isn't kibble needs to be individually sealed, in a baggie or container, for each daily portion. This makes it easier for us to give your pup the correct amount of food.
Q: My pet is on medicine, will you give it to them while they stay with you?
A: Absolutely, and we won't charge you to administer their medication or shots, including insulin. We only need to know the type of medication, what it is for, and how much to give them.
Q: Can I check in on my pet while they stay with you?
A: Yes! You can call the office to check in, email, or you can check our Facebook Page. Often, pictures of pets are put up on our Facebook Page to show owners how their pets are doing while they stay with us. We don't always get pictures of every animal, so if you would like to make sure your pet gets on the page you can either email us a request or ask our front desk to have a picture of them put up during their stay!