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Your Questions, Answered

Why are you more expensive than some other trainers in the area?

Our work is almost exclusively behavior consulting which requires us to have a significantly more extensive education along with experience in the practical application of behavior modification techniques using the science of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). This means we don't only help you change your dog's behavior, we also help change your dog's underlying emotions to a stimulus. We pride ourselves in having an in-depth understanding of how you and your pet think and learn. We also maintain memberships in multiple professional organizations, and are constantly attending conferences, classes, workshops and webinars to continue our education and stay up-to-date on the most modern, ethical and humane animal training practices.

What makes Courteous Canines different from other trainers in the area?

Aside from offering in-home visits, private virtual training sessions, behavior consulting and group classes? We also help you get rid of problem behavior without reverting to punishment so your relationship with your pet remains intact. We understand that dogs are our best friends and we treat them as such.

What is your training methodology?

We use Applied Behavior Analysis together with a LIMA (Least Intrusive, Minimally Aversive) approach to teaching and learning. (See the IAABC's Statement on LIMA here.)

The effectiveness of a training method is not always enough for us. The chosen training method must be ethical and humane in addition to being effective. We take great pride in creating effective behavior change while protecting the physical and emotional well-being of the animals in our care.

Why don't you have your phone number listed?

Our client load, other full-time jobs and spousal/maternal responsibilities prevent us from being available for phone calls. Scheduling and corresponding through email allows us to efficiently accommodate our busy lives and our clients needs throughout our day. It also provides our clients (and us) with a written record of what was discussed. Texting and phone calls are available to existing clients.

Which types of animals can you train?

The type of animal we see most is dogs, but we have also worked with cats, dolphins, sea lions and pigs. Yes, pigs. We're up for anything, though! The principles of behavior science apply to all living creatures so if you have a beloved pet you want to train, let us know and we'll be happy to work with you and your fish, gecko, chickens, snake, rabbit, rat, hamster, bird, horse, cow, goat, spouse, etc.

How many sessions will I need?

The successful resolution of an animal's unwanted behavior depends on so many different factors like the intensity of the behavior, how long it's been going on, past learning history including prior training, motivation and genetics, your pet's health, and much more.

Very few issues are resolved in just 1 session but our goal is to teach you what you need to know to teach and manage your dog on your own after working with us. We are available to you on an as-needed basis; if you're confident that you can take what we teach you and apply it to working with your dog, then you don't need to schedule repeat sessions with us. If you begin to falter in training, or new training issues pop up as your dog gets older, then you can always contact us and we can get together so we can teach you how to help your dog through this new issue or new life stage. We can provide our clients with customized programs built specifically to address the problem(s) they're having, but group classes are the perfect fit for most pet owners. 

How will I know if you can "fix" my pet?

Whether a behavior is learned through experience or genetically based, it can't be erased or "fixed" but it can always be modified. First, we have to repair your relationship with your dog if it's broken or at-risk. We do this by changing our own behavior to clearly communicate to your dog that he or she can trust you and that you will always help him or her if there's uncertainty or fear, not threaten or punish. We teach them that appropriate behavior choices will always be rewarded with good things, and inappropriate behaviors won't work to get what they want or need. Once you've proven yourself trustworthy, your pet's behavior will adjust accordingly. Whether or not your pet's behavior can be modified is completely within your control and depends on how willing and able you are to follow the treatment plan we provide.

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