Frequently Asked Questions
1. How long does it take to train my dog?
Training a dog is really more about training the owner: It depends on how long it will take to train you! If you are frequent and consistent in working the techniques and homework I leave for them, dog training becomes very easy. So, to answer your question with a question: How frequent and consistent are you willing to be?
2. Why do you train owners, not dogs?
You want your dog to listen and pay attention to you, not me. My job is to teach you DASL, or “Dog as A Second Language”.
3. Why do you charge a $50.00 Non-Refundable Deposit to schedule sessions or classes?
It takes the time and resources of both the trainer and office staff to call, discuss, answer questions and to get folks set up in the calendar or to reserve spots on class rosters. This non-refundable deposit will cover that time in the case of cancellations. So, it is critical that if you chose to work with Kiss Dog Training that you are as committed as we are to follow through with the training. If you have any questions please call the office before scheduling your appointments. Payment is still due at the time of our first session but will be reduced by the amount of the 50.00 non-refundable deposit.
We will hold your spot(s) for the next 48-hours until your non-refundable payment is received. After that, your scheduled session(s) will be re-opened and made available to our other clients.
Please note: If you fail to respond with your electronic agreement to our Fine Print & FAQs, your deposit payment will signify that you have read them in their entirety and agree to all the terms and conditions contained within.
4. Why do you charge a “Rescheduling” and a “Day of Appointment Cancellation”? What happens if you choose not to pay them?
If cancellations become an issue we will require prepayment for services.
Life does sometimes get in the way and we understand that. However, they also create havoc on our calendar and our ability to provide timely and effective service for others…
So, our policy for cancellations is simple: Any rescheduling will be charged a $20.00 fee to move their appointment and any cancellation on the day of an appointment will be assessed a $40.00 fee to reschedule.
If you choose to not pay the fees you simply forfeit that particular session (it will not affect any of your other/future sessions).
5. Why do you charge more for Aggressive Dogs?
Aggression is a more complicated case than your average problem behavior, and thus more expensive. My techniques with aggression are similar to my other ideas on dog training: It has more to do with training the owner than the dog. In my opinion, aggression cannot be fixed but rather it can be managed, modified or improved. You are the most important key to living with and understanding a dog with aggression issues.
If you should choose to train a dog that falls into this category, or one that has bitten, you accept all responsibility for the actions of this dog. Be sure you are willing to put in the time, attention and practice with the dog, not to mention the civil and legal responsibility. (See more info on Fine Print Page)
6. Why do you charge more for Private Sessions on Saturdays or Evenings?
Being a single dad is my other job, and next to dog training, the job I love most!
7. Why do sometimes choose to split hours session into half hour sessions?
In cases of aggression, anxiety, fear or shyness, some dogs will not be able to handle a full hour of training (same goes for the owners). In some cases we might make sessions 30 minutes vs. 1 hour. We will simply increase the visits to make sure the agreed upon training time is met… So three 1 hours sessions might become 6 half hour sessions. There will be a $20.00 fee per additional session. The above example would have an additional $60.00 fee for the time and travel of the extra three visits… This actually gives the dogs additional time to practice smaller amounts of work, which with dogs like this is extremely helpful! This decision will be made with the client and only done if client agrees.
8. Why don’t you allow choke chains or prong collars?
I’m a positive reinforcement trainer, and my job is to teach you these skills without having to resort to punitive techniques!
9. Why is it you feel that aggression cannot be truly fixed?
In almost all cases, aggression is based on fear, and is a defense mechanism to make the scary or anxiety-producing thing go away. As with most defense mechanisms, they never truly go away. We can improve, modify and/or manage behavior, but we can never say it is 100% fixed. If the dog is pushed past the newly created threshold it can and may resort back to what has worked in the past. In a sense, we can put aggression in remission but never truly say it is gone. I believe that clients knowing and understanding this is critical to learning to live with a dog who has learned to deal with stress, anxiety and/or fear with aggression. There are those with other ideas and techniques; you must pick the ones that fit best for you.
If you should choose to train a dog that falls into this category, or one that has bitten, you accept all responsibility for the actions of this dog. Be sure you are willing to put in the time, attention and practice with the dog, not to mention the civil and legal responsibility.
10. Are you a certified dog trainer?
Yes. I am certified through the Certification Council of Professional Dog Trainers, and my credentials are “CPDT-KA” (“Certified Professional Dog Trainer, Knowledge Assessed”). Right now, there are no restrictions on folks becoming dog trainers or what they need to do beforehand. I feel strongly that if you are going to hire a trainer, that person should have taken the time and pride to educate themselves, certify themselves with a governing body, and be required to get yearly continuing education.
11. Are you insured?
Yes. I carry full dog training insurance for myself and my company through The Hartford Group. This is not only to protect myself and my company, but you and your dog(s) as well. Again, if you are going to hire a dog trainer they should be professional enough to protect not only themselves but their clients with insurance.
12. Are there cheaper options out there for my dog and me?
Yes. In many cases, you get what you pay for. Are they full-time or part-time? Do they come highly recommended? What is their experience? A suggestion, call and talk to at least three trainers and interview each one before deciding… Pick the trainer you jive with both philosophically and personally. After all, they will be training you, not the dog. 🙂
13. What is the most important thing in picking a dog trainer?
You and the trainer must connect not only on a personal basis but also on a technique/philosophy basis. I will not be the right trainer for every person out there. In the end, you want a trainer that can help you and your furry friend get back on speaking terms. Here is an article that I wrote several years ago on picking the right trainer for you.
Good luck and please call us with any questions!
Mike Deathe CPDT-KA