What is our Training Philosophy?
Our goal is to help as many people and animals live better lives together as possible! That is why we use a Balanced Training, Real World approach that gives dogs, and their human guardians, a clear line of communication in all types of surroundings. We don’t just train dogs, we also train HUMANS. Our job is to teach the owners the skills they will need to maintain their dog’s good-behavior just as much as it is to train the dog. Everyone is an individual, so we adjust our action plans to fit each dog’s, and person’s, needs. We provide honest feedback and safe recommendations. Folks from all over the State are coming to us because we have built a reputation for providing the best training for dogs of all ages and behaviors. Our methods and experience allows us to succeed with even the toughest cases. We are proud to give people information and instructions that work to achieve long-lasting, real results. Dogs and humans will gain peace of mind, more freedom, confidence, and a healthier relationship with each other overall.
Do we use Positive Reinforcement?
Yes! Reward-based training makes up about 90% of what we do. This method is used to reinforce the dog’s desire to repeat the wanted behavior. Rewards include verbal praise, physical affection, daily kibble, toys, high-value treats, and “life rewards” such as getting to go outside.
What is a Prong Collar and why do we use them?
High quality Prong Collars are metal collars with evenly-spaced rounded tips and a stopper that are used to walk/train dogs on a leash. They are designed to evenly distribute pressure around the dog’s neck which protects their trachea and esophagus (no choking or wheezing like pulling on a flat collar). There are an array of sizes that allow the right fit on tiny to giant dogs. Prong Collars are among the most humane tools for optimum communication while walking on-leash because you can apply gentle pressure on and off that the dog understands. They are also more safe for the human at the other end of the leash. The dog feels no pressure when they are in the right position. You can apply and remove directional leash pressure as well as correct with a leash pop to quickly redirected your dog’s focus back onto whoever is at the end of the leash. This sensation is similar to a quick pinch that dogs naturally respond to because that’s how they correct each other. By having the ability to give your dog gentle guidance or a safe, clear correction (unlike flat collars, harnesses, gentle leaders, or face halters) handlers can effectively communicate with the dog in all kinds of situations. We have all clients feel the sensation themselves before it goes on their dog.
What is an E-Collar and why do we use them?
E-Collars are remote collars that use low to high levels of medical grade static (like a TENS unit) to mimic leash pressure on the dog or to deliver a safe, meaningful consequence for dangerous behavior. There is a slew of misconceptions about these amazing and versatile tools…usually from people that have never felt one or trained a dog with one before. Just like with any tools, brands and quality matter. High-quality E-Collars are the only way to get 100% off-leash recall in every situation. It does not involve slapping it on your dog and “shocking” them. The collars we use have levels from 1-100 and a minimum 1/2 mile range so you can communicate with your dog when they are relaxed or in high drive mode, whether they are right next to you or far away. The low-level “pressure on pressure off” technique is ideal for recall and other obedience commands for eventual off-leash training. Higher levels using a 1-3 second tap can be used to stop dangerous behaviors like jumping, mouthing, reactivity, or biting. We use these on dogs of various ages and sizes to get the most effective communication possible for all types of real world situations. Ecollars have literally saved lives. We have all clients feel the sensation themselves before it goes on their dog.
What other tools do we use?
In addition to food, toys, treats, leashes, prong collars, and ecollars – we also use: slip leads, transitional leads, crates, muzzles, dog beds, carabiners, treadmills, etc.
Each dog is an individual so we customize our approach and tools to fit their needs and your goals.
What Training Option is best for my dog/puppy?
There are certain variables you should consider when choosing one of our Training Options for you and your dog. These include: the amount of time you have available to commit to training, your financial resources, and location. You will want to consider your dog’s temperament, current behavior, age, and your goals for training. We offer free consultations to evaluate your dog and help you assess these variables to create the best plan of action, together.
What age should I start training my dog?
The day you become their guardian! Different ages require different levels of training. An 8 week old puppy will need different methods and short-term goals than a 6 month old dog. A full grown dog will need different methods and goals than a senior. Family dog’s live in a human society, giving them guidance and feedback as early in life as possible will allow them to navigate our world with the least stress and most inclusion as possible. We can help you start your puppy off on the right foot as well as teach your old dog new tricks.
Where will my dog be staying during a Board & Train?
We operate out of our home and feel it is important to train dogs in a home environment for a better transition back into YOUR home. That is why all of our board & train dogs stay in our personal home, with us. Dogs are also brought off-property for real-world training and proofing.
What is your cancellation policy?
We require a NON-REFUNDABLE deposit for all Board & Train reservations and Class enrollments. See our Training page for prices and deposit amounts. You can cancel your reservation/enrollment up to 3-days prior to the start date with no additional charges. 50% of your total will be required for reservations/enrollments canceled within 3-days of your dog’s start date.
Where are Classes and Private Sessions held?
All training Classes and Private Sessions are held at 591 Albion Rd Unity Maine 04988, except our Level II class that is taught at various locations. Private Sessions can be done at your home upon request (additional travel fee required).
How do I continue my dog’s progress at home?
One word: DEDICATION.
Dogs are not robots and no dog is ever “fixed”. They will adapt and adjust to their environment; some quicker than others. In order to maintain success you will need to do your homework, make any necessary changes (and stick to them), and keep working towards your goals! We are committed to providing all training clients with life-long support and resources to ensure continued success.