Why Will Our Curriculum Work For You?
Five students or less in your 90 minute class and you get the balance of individual attention with group distraction. We found out that “training in the real world prepares you for living in the real world”. And we found that teaching you how to teach your dog resulted in a far superior foundation, blueprint, planning, and execution when it comes to building the dog of your dreams and making repairs to that wonderful building down the road…because all things fall apart over time and all things need to be fixed, from your wallpaper to your “Recall”. It’s important that you have the tools, and know how to use those tools, when that time comes.
We specialize in “after training”. We don’t train because training is fun, we train because living with a trained dog is fun. Our process is short, it’s sweet, and it works.
How we compare:
We think our curriculum is the best of all worlds. We emphasize reliable training in reliable situations with proven methods. Check out the features listed here to see how we stack up to the competition.
The benefit of Group Class is the distraction it provides. Many different people and many different dogs allow your dog to get used to the various stimuli that your training must hold up in front of. The typical group class is comprised of 10 or more individuals. With so many dogs, some are GOING to get left out. It’s not the fault of the trainer, they don’t necessarily mean to short change some, but there just isn’t enough time to confer one-on-one with every student in a way that keeps everyone on the same page.
Our take: We limit classes to 5 dogs. 90 minutes. 5 dogs. There is AMPLE time for us to cover the lesson and handle each dog individually. We can provide individual instruction to each handler, then critique those crucial first attempts of everyone’s handling of each exercise. There’s time to use the other members of class as distractions.
The benefit of a private lesson is time to work solely on your handling and your problems. The drawback is the lack of interaction with distractions. You also are limited to your trainers memory and your questions; larger groups provide opportunities for “brainstorming” the issues everyone is facing and often those questions affect everyone in ways you hadn’t thought before.
Our take: our class size provides a forum in which everyone can ask questions and share their experiences. This gives many opportunities for us as trainers to go “off-script” and speak to individual issues. Whether that issue helps no one but yourself, or applies in some way to everyone, we spend a good portion of class talking about individual circumstances.
Training facilities provide shelter from the elements and a fixed location to find class every week. They have a TERRIBLE drawback, however. Because dogs are bad at generalizing (giving a sit command when they’re next to you seems to be a completely different concept than if you give it while they’re at the top of your stairs) your dog learns via specific patterns. They will learn that when you’re at the training facility they are held to the standard more consistently than normal. When class ends and the instructor says, “Ok, now go do your homework at PetSmart!” everyone is left to their own devices to deal with the dog who fails to understand the rules haven’t change based on where you are. Handling that bout of resistance often dissuades you from “public lessons”. But when do you need this training to be reliable? IN PUBLIC.
Our take: we train in public. We train at parks and stores that allow us. We train near railroads, playgrounds, dog parks, bicycles, ducks, geese, and squirrels. You will have me holding your hand every step of the way while you battle the real world distractions you’ll actually have to deal with. Your dog won’t have a pattern to put together: he’ll learn that obedience is a lifestyle, not a series of tricks.
Training a dog doesn’t happen overnight. It is a process that requires consistency and time. You’ll find curriculums that range from 6 weeks to 12 weeks. You’ll also find that most courses offer multiple “levels” of obedience and that if you want a seriously good dog, it’ll cost you to come to 3 or more multi-month classes.
Our take: one curriculum, one sign-up, and in exchange you get every tool you’ll need to develop a Rosie Dane dog. You’ll learn an off-leash Heel, off-leash Recall, Sit and Down EVERY time, the FIRST time you ask, you’ll learn a Stay that lasts for 20 minutes even when you’re out of the room.
We’ve found it takes 4 to 6 months of holding YOURSELF to standard before the handling becomes second nature to you (remember: the dog is easy, it’s hard to change people’s habits). But it doesn’t make sense to withhold information just because I can charge you to keep coming back. So we teach it at a rate that works to get you results quickly and fairly, and then we put the ball in your court and say “if you want it, use if for 4 more months..” And if you just can’t bring yourself to keep working, we have an affordable graduate program.
Every trainer offers various ways to continue your training. If you don’t use it, you WILL lose it. It’s the responsible thing to offer help throughout the life of your dog, in one way or another. Most other programs offer class after class after class, charging for each additional course. Others offer follow-up calls when you need them.
Our take: As noted, you’ll have all the tools you’ll need in 8 weeks. There is nothing more you’d ever need to create a stable, calm, reliable companion, even when off-leash. But we recognize that your training doesn’t end at 8 weeks. It requires an additional two to four months before everything becomes rock solid for you and for your dog. For those that want to a class format to keep them structured throughout those months and beyond, we offer a Graduate Shadowing Program. For one payment equal to the cost of a single class, you’re welcome to come shadow as many classes as you would like, whether that’s one or one hundred. Graduates use the option in 2 ways: to review the material, shadowing along as I instruct the current month’s class, or to use future classes as an excuse to get the dog out and work. Classes provide natural distraction and motivation. I dedicate 15 minutes before and after every “shadow-eligible” session to discuss problems, issues, or successes participating Graduates are having.
Behavior Modification/Private Lessons:
Some do it. Some don’t. Most are inadequate.
Our take: Whether it’s trauma, timidity, a feral dog, house breaking, or aggression, we work with it all. No one is ever “failed”. The only way we don’t solve your issues is if you quit. No matter how bad your dog is, we’ve seen worse and fixed it. Our behavior modification is based on the way dogs naturally communicate with each other and gets to the core of the issue. Our goal is to get everyone into a group setting. We’ll work for 4 – 8 weeks on your particular issue, and then transition you to a group setting to put everything to the test, and then teaching the second-half of the curriculum in that group setting. 90% of the students that require muzzling end up working off the muzzle before we’re done with them.