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Frequently Asked Questions

The K9 Guy - Dog Trainer What specific advantages do you provide?
What are the advantages of in home services?
What are your fees?
How many visits are required?
Do you provide free evaluations?
Why don't you have a single fee that covers all visits?
What can I expect from your visits?
Can you demonstrate your training?
What about a guarantee?
What methods do you use to work with and train dogs?
What if I don't want to use any corrections on my dog?
Can you solve behavioral problems without training?
What about puppy classes and training?
What makes a good dog trainer/professional?
Do you provide references?
Are there any dogs you don't work with?
Are some breeds better than others? Is an AKC registered dog better?
Are some breeds dangerous?

What specific advantages do you provide?
There are many effective and skilled canine professionals in the Columbus, Ohio area, so I understand it can be a difficult decision when researching dog trainers or someone to work with your dog. My unique attributes include:

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What are the advantages of in home services?
Providing service in the home has many advantages. It allows working where you and your dog are more comfortable, and in the real-life setting where good behavior or obedience is desired. "In home" sessions allow me the opportunity to observe a wide variety of interactions between you and your pet, and to provide very specific ways for improving the life you share together. At most sessions I often spend 2/3 of my time working with the owners - so you'll receive more training, coaching, and information than group or residency programs typically offer. This unique level of attention can provide owners tremendous understanding when working with their dogs, with obvious benefits.

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What are your fees?
Because I provide longer sessions than many trainers, I can often help owners reach desired goals in fewer visits. This makes my fees extremely competitive with other area professionals. Please contact me directly for details regarding pricing. Individuals coordinating fund-raising for shelter or rescue organizations may inquire about donations and/or promotion of their events.

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How many visits are required?
That varies with each family and their pet. Because I am teaching owners how to work with their dogs, many clients reach goals very quickly. Many variables can affect individual progress, including owner abilities and a dog's aptitudes and personality. I work hard with every family to meet desired goals in a reasonable amount of time and at a reasonable cost. Following outlined recommendations and working regularly with your pet are important for optimizing progress.

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Do you provide free evaluations?
No. All of my visits focus on service rather than marketing or sales. When I come to your home for an initial visit I'll provide a thorough evaluation of your dog(s), but I'll also get to work immediately on whatever goals you define. This efficient use of everyone's time provides more convenient and economical services to owners.

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Why don't you have a single fee that covers all necessary visits?
Because every dog and family is unique, not all dogs need the same amount of work. My scheduling options provide owners flexibility in assessing progress, and maintaining control over goals and spending. I work hard to help owners get the best from their pet, while providing services that offer outstanding value.

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What can I expect from your visits?
You can expect that I'll work hard toward your desired goals, and toward improving communication between you and your pet. I'll typically spend time at each session working with your dog, time educating you, and time helping you work with your own dog. I'm honest regarding typical results and time lines, and leave homework assignments at the end of each visit to encourage continued progress.

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Can you demonstrate your services?
Yes! You can view my video page.

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What about a guarantee?
While some services guarantee a dog's behavior into the future, be sure to read the fine print. The fact of the matter is this - all living creatures are a product of their genetic make up AND environmental influences - nature and nurture. Since a dog's health, home, or environment may change in the future, so might its performance or behavior. While training your dog decreases the likelihood it will ever become problematic, no reasonable person can predict what tomorrow holds. I work very hard to keep each client satisfied, and have many who recommend me to their friends, family, and co-workers.

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What methods do you use to work with and train dogs?

I used a balanced teaching approach which includes praise, coaching, and some corrections. This "balance" is tailored to a dog's individual personality, as I work toward an owner's defined goals. All sessions are conducted in a clear and natural manner for every dog, while developing language, understanding, and mutual respect between owner and pet.

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What if I want to train my dog using only positive reinforcement?
The choice of training methods is ultimately up to you - the dog's owner. If you feel such training will meet your needs, then by all means feel free to give it a try. In my experience, dogs taught using ONLY positive reinforcement often view their owner's wishes as "optional". This generally leads to confusion and problems for both owner and dog, and is a frequent factor in many of the dog's I'm asked to help.

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Can you solve behavioral problems without training?
Because obedience training always improves communication between a dog and its family, my visits work on establishing an obedience foundation in conjunction with any desired behavioral assistance. Some dogs may require significant training before a severe problem behavior can be thoroughly or safely addressed.

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What about puppy classes and training?
The first 16 weeks of a puppy's life is a critical socialization period - one when they are learning all about their new world. A puppy's mother shoulders most of this responsibility for the first 8 weeks (hopefully), then it often falls on a new family. Properly introducing a puppy to new persons, places, and things during this 16 week period can positively influence its future personality and confidence.

I typically recommend a group "puppy pre-school" for dogs of this age, to broaden their exposure to the world. If a family cannot attend a group class or desires one-on-one assistance, I offer private puppy consultations which provide the same information (socialization, house breaking, play biting, etc.). Either path can provide a great start to a well adjusted life together.

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What makes a good dog trainer/professional?
They should be someone you're comfortable working with and who is effective in delivering the results you desire. Interview that person and ask questions. Be honest with them regarding any goals and/or problems. They should be willing to provide a live demonstration of a dog that they have worked with or trained, be certified by an approved agency or school, and maintain respected professional affiliations.

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Do you provide references?
The short answer is NO. In todays age, there are more reliable ways to research a potential service provider, and I do not share the personal information of existing clients with unknown callers on the phone.

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Are there any dogs you don't work with?
I do at times make referrals to other Columbus area professionals if I think it's in the best interest of the dog or its family. For example, a family who is unable to work with their dog may be better served by a residency training program. Also, serious cases of aggression (especially in large dogs), are better dealt with in a training facility than a home.

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Are some breeds better than others? Is an AKC registered dog better?
Certain breeds usually exhibit certain characteristics and aptitudes which may or may not be important to you. A dog's personality is also dependent on its experiences and handling, especially during the first 4 months of life. The "AKC" registration suggests similarity to others of its breed, but it does not assure a good pet or a proper match for you or your family.

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Are some breeds dangerous?
Certain breeds because of strength or size (or some other characteristic) may be chosen by irresponsible persons for illegal or ill-advised tasks. These breeds then develop a reputation. Eventually insurance companies or local authorities impose regulations making ownership of these breeds difficult. The irresponsible parties who gave the breed a bad reputation eventually move on to some other breed, and the cycle repeats.

Breeds with bad "reps" require a strong, responsible owner. One who will spend the time and energy necessary to make certain their dog is well mannered and a good citizen. Because of their size and strength, these breeds may be a poor match for some owners.

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