Frequently Asked Questions
Will you come to my house for a training session?
Yes. All appointments will take place where you are likely experiencing the most problems: in your own home. If you have somewhere else you would like to meet all you have to do is let me know. I am very flexible.
Do you offer group classes?
No, I do not. Since 2006, I have only offered private lessons. The benefits include:
- my undivided attention.
- convenient and flexible scheduling.
- I teach what you want to learn, rather than having to follow a predetermined curriculum.
- no need to feel ashamed or embarrassed by your dog’s poor behavior.
How long will it take to see results?
Pardon the cliche, but it depends:
- How long has the dog been showing poor behavior? Is this a new behavior or something the dog has practiced for years?
- Is your dog an adult, with lots of life experience and stuck in its ways, or a puppy, with less life experience and fewer bad habits?
- How how many people will train the dog? Do you live alone? Do you have a large family? Do you have relatives/friends who stop by to give the dog a mid-day bathroom break?
- How many bad habits does your dog have and how severe are they? Are we talking a simple SIT or a dog who bites?
- What kind of student are you? Some dog owners like me to “hold-their-hand” and never want me to leave. Other owners just need some tips & tricks and want to try it on their own.
On average, I will say that I meet with clients for three sessions.
How much do you charge?
I will be honest and upfront with you. If you are looking for the least expensive trainer/training method, you may want to consider a group class at a training facility.
However, I believe the benefits you will receive, as a result of my one-on-one training, is worth your investment. You will give your dog a greater opportunity to transform its behavior, in less time, and with greater convenience to your schedule.
The initial visit (usually 90 minutes long) is $125.
All follow-up visits are at a rate of $60 per hour.
Please see my Services page for further explanation and other options that I may have available.
Do you charge extra for more than one dog (or family members)?
No, I do not. You are paying for my knowledge, experience, and time spent with you – not the number of dogs you have. If you have 2, 3, 4, or 5 dogs, your investment is still the same.
However, please realize that we may need additional training sessions to address all the issues that are important. In this way, your total investment cost, over a period of time, will be a little more.
In addition, if you want your parents, brothers, sisters, or neighbors to sit-in and observe a session, I do not have a problem with that. But, my priority will be to answer your questions and focus on your needs.
If after observing my approach, a visitor would like to set an appointment with me, I will be more than happy to do so.
How far do you travel?
I live in the southeast corner of Connecticut in the small town of Ledyard.
Depending on the needs of a client, I will travel to most of eastern Connecticut.
In the past, I have gone to western CT, Staten Island, New Jersey, and east of Providence, RI, However, those appointments were extreme cases where either the dog was in jeopardy of being euthanized or the owners were in danger of getting severely injured.
While I am willing to travel, please review my Services pages for my fee structure outside of a 25 mile radius of my home in Ledyard, CT.
Do you use positive reinforcement?
The short answer is: Yes, absolutely!
My strongest belief in training dogs is to use a language that the dog understands. I will say with a balance of pride and humility that “I speak dog.”
Dogs, by nature, are not heavy-handed, malicious, threatening, intimidating, or revengeful. By instinct, they are calm and gentle creatures.
I treat dogs with respect, kindness, and patience. I want the dog to respect me as a leader and not fear me as a tyrant.
In addition, I do not want the dog to see me as a food source, and therefore, I rarely, if ever, use treats in my training. I prefer to use my tone of voice, affection, play, and body language as effective and motivating rewards.