Frequently Asked Questions
Please see below for answers to some of our most frequently asked questions.
When should I start training my dog?
Immediately. Training can happen and should happen as soon as a dog enters your life. Your dog is always learning (whether you're intentionally teaching your dog or they're figuring it out for themselves). It's best that we start to teach them what we'd like them to learn. There's no need to delay your training, whether you have a brand new puppy or an adult dog. In fact, it is recommended you research and contact a trainer BEFORE you bring home your new dog whenever possible.
What should I consider when I'm choosing a dog trainer?
Although cost, location and availability are factors to be considered, there are many additional considerations to choosing a dog trainer for your family pet. Wisconsin laws do not require dog trainers to have any special licenses or certifications to offer services, so it's important to screen any dog trainer to know they are qualified to help you. Here are a few resources that give you some pointers on what to look for when seeking help from a dog trainer:
How to Choose a Dog Trainer - Position Statement by the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior
How to Choose a Dog Trainer - Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers
Dog Training & Consumer Protection: What You Should Know - The Academy for Dog Trainers
What type of training/dog/owner is a good fit for custom dog training?
Most any training concern, dog or owner can benefit from custom dog training. Topics are completely personalized so whether you're looking for basic obedience or a more specific training goal, your training needs can be met through our programs. Dogs and owners who do not focus well in highly distracting environments, have very specific dog training needs or who are not comfortable around other dogs or people may benefit the most from individual dog training.
What should I expect for the consultation?
The goal of the consultation is for both parties - the trainer and the owner(s) - to gather information. We will be gathering information on your background with dogs, your dog's background, training history and daily life. Each training goal or concern will be discussed so that the most complete training program can be recommended. You will also learn more about the variety of training options offered so you can decide what fits your needs. Owners can ask questions regarding the training process and get to know your trainer.
How long do training sessions last?
An hour is allowed for the initial consultation. Orientation sessions last approximately 90 minutes. Training sessions last 45-60 minutes. Training session lengths allow time for discussion, hands-on training and questions specific to your training goals. Clients receive an email summary and resources following each coaching session.
What is your availability? When can sessions be scheduled?
Training sessions can be scheduled throughout the day, evenings and some Saturdays for your convenience. Due to high demand for this personalized & professional experience, we are frequently booked out 2-4 weeks in advance but will work with you to get started as soon as possible.
Isn't a group class better for socializing my dog with other people and dogs?
Dogs who are confident, relaxed and not easily distracted can do well in group classes. Other dogs need more careful socialization so they are not overwhelmed. Practical Obedience offers socialization assistance and can create a plan that is appropriate for your individual dog. If your dog is showing signs of being shy, fearful or anxious then a group class may not be the best fit to help your dog build confidence in new situations with new people and animals.
Do you train service dogs and/or therapy dogs?
Practical Obedience LLC does not offer any special training or certifications for service or therapy dog work. However, we can assist with basic skills and foundation behaviors to start you on this journey.