Your Questions, Answered
Why are you more expensive than some other trainers in the area?
My work is almost exclusively behavior consulting, not training. This means I don't only help you change your dog's behavior, I also help change your dog's underlying emotions to a stimulus. All services include a Bachelor's Degree, (human) teaching certification, 15+ years' professional experience, multiple animal training certifications, and an in-depth understanding of how you and your pet think and learn. I also maintain memberships in multiple professional organizations, and am constantly attending conferences, classes, workshops and webinars to continue my 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 behavior science together with LIMA (Least Intrusive, Minimally Aversive) training practices. (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?
I am a mother of young children which often prevents me from being mentally available for phone calls with clients or potential clients. My client load also prevents me from being available for phone calls. Scheduling and corresponding through email allows me to efficiently accommodate my children and my clients throughout my day. It also provides me and my clients with a written record of what was discussed. Texting and phone calls are available to existing clients.
Which types of animals does Courteous Canines train?
The type of animal we see most is dogs, but we also work with cats and pigs. (Yes, pigs.)
How many sessions will I need?
The successful resolution of an animal's problem 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 my goal is to teach you what you need to know to teach and manage your dog on your own after working with me. I'm available to you on an as-needed basis; if you're confident that you can take what I teach you and apply it to working with your dog, then you don't need to schedule repeat sessions with me. If you begin to falter in training, or new training issues pop up as your dog gets older, then you can always contact me and we can get together so I can teach you how to help your dog through this new issue or new life stage. I can provide my 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 (not punish) if there's uncertainty or fear. We teach them that appropriate behavior choices will always be rewarded with good things, and inappropriate behaviors won't work to get the good things in life. 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.
If you still need an answer, don’t hesitate to contact me.