Frequently Asked Questions
Are you unsure what is the right training method for you and your dog? Hopefully these frequently asked questions will give you the information that you need to better understand my philosophy and training methods.
What makes you different from other dog trainers?
Well, I was the first dog trainer in the world who was concurrently certified by the
National Association of Dog Obedience Instructors
Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers
AKC as a Canine Good Citizen Evaluator
International Association of Dog Behavior Consultants
Association of Animal Behavior Professionals
Dog training is my full-time profession. I take classes and seminars as well as read, read, read, and read some more to expand my knowledge. Check out my Dog Training Resume' and Caryl's Story for my background and experience.
How does that help you? I’ve learned many methods of training and tricks of the trade and can choose what best suits you and your dog. I learn from every person and every dog I work with and then use that knowledge to help my next client.
Our sessions together are fun and enjoyable for both you and your dog — we laugh a lot, but we work on what’s important to you. I want you to both look forward to training and see positive results. I care about you and your dog and want you to have the best possible relationship.
How do you work with dogs who have behavior problems?
Many behavior problems simply disappear when you find out how he thinks and then train him to do what you want. Other problems (for example, housetraining, barking, and aggression) may take longer and need a commitment on your part. Before our first meeting, you fill out a behavior, training, and health history to help discover the cause of the problem. Then we sit down together to formulate a plan that you are comfortable with. Then you receive practical, clear-cut solutions to help both you and your dog. Here’s a headstart so you can read my approach about Dog Behavior Problems.
Every dog trainer has his or her own approach to training. All dog training is NOT the same. I have had several clients who have had previous trainers who have come out for one lesson and said that they can “fix” aggression or separation anxiety in one lesson! Please understand there are no quick fixes. It is changing habits and making adjustments, and the time it takes depends on many factors — the environment, how long the behavior has been occurring, your interactions with your dog, learning new behaviors, etc. And patience.
Having said that, a large percentage of my clients — generally about 70-80% — report an improvement in their dog’s behavior after just a few days of training! No kidding. Read what they say through their Testimonials.
I use a reward-based training system. As your dog is learning, I reward him (and you!) for doing something correctly. The “old” method of training was punishment based, and the handler jerked the choke chain to punish the dog as he was learning. No one ever taught the poor dog what was right, but he found out quickly what was wrong. I was never comfortable with that punishment-based system, but that’s the only way of training that was around at that time. Some trainers still use that system even today. That’s unfortunate because there is a better way. It's not fair to punish a dog for doing the wrong thing when he has never been taught the right thing – he’s not a mind reader.
Let's show your dog what to do in baby steps, rewarding him when he does that step correctly, then making the next step a little more difficult, rewarding him again, and repeating that process until he learns the desired behavior. This method lays a good foundation both for teaching what you want your dog to do and also for bonding with your dog.
We actually teach your dog not only to learn but to enjoy learning. Once your dog knows how to learn, training becomes a fun game, and you can teach him to do anything that he is physically capable of doing. It’s building a good relationship with your dog. When the training session finishes, your dog is usually VERY disappointed because he wants to continue!
What is your philosophy or method of dog training?
Is my dog too old to learn?
Probably not. Many people think that because their dog is past the puppy stage, that he cannot learn. That is absolutely not true. You are learning every day, and so can your dog.
One woman came to me because she had an 11-year-old Cocker Spaniel who was dog aggressive and needed an obedience refresher course. She had gone to other trainers in the past, and it had not helped her dog’s behavior. After about the third lesson, her dog stopped aggressing. She learned what to do, and her dog learned how to handle himself appropriately — and, by the way, we never had to address the aggression issue because it simply disappeared with training the owner! Does this happen all the time? No. But it happens a lot. When you know how to act, then your dog knows how to react. So that’s what we work on — training you to train your dog.
Dogs do, however, get the equivalent of “Doggie Alzheimer’s.” It’s called Canine Cognitive Dysfunction, and it happens when they are in the later stages of being a senior citizen. There also may be some dogs who have physical problems that may affect their ability to perform or when it may be just too stressful for them. But that applies to very few dogs.
Let's get started with you and your dog. Call or text (310) 804-2392 or email caryl@DoggieManners.com. I'm looking forward to working with you!