We have the answers to your more frequently asked questions.
From general inquiries, to questions about boarding, training, and even our services.
What methods do you use to train dogs?
For obedience training, we use a ton of positive reinforcement techniques such as food, treats, play, and enrichment exercises to teach dogs what we want them to do. Then we introduce minor corrections and interrupters in order to set boundaries and say "no". We define our training as the Commonsense Method. When it comes to behavior modification training, it’s important to emphasize that Behavior Modification training requires a very different knowledge base, experience, and training methods than obedience. We utilize techniques such as counter conditioning, desensitization, relaxation protocols, confidence boosting techniques, and stress management techniques to help dogs’ self soothe and regulate your dog's emotions.
What do you mean by "customized training" for each dog?
We mean that we look at each individual dog (and their owner!) and create a training plan based on their unique medical history, genetics, environment, stress levels, family dynamics, past experiences, and individual personalities. We come up with the strategies that will help you and your dog be the most successful in your lives!
Can you train dogs of all ages or just puppies?
We train dogs of all ages. Old dogs CAN learn new tricks!
What type of dogs (and behaviors) do you train?
We work with a wide range of puppies and dogs, from those in need of basic obedience training to those requiring more specialized behavior modification. Our expertise lies in helping dogs facing anxiety, PTSD, separation anxiety, reactivity, aggression, resource guarding, and more. We have experience working with a variety of breeds and temperaments and are committed to tailoring our training approach to meet the unique needs of each dog and owner.
Will training change my dog's personality?
Yes, and no! The purpose of training is to improve the positive aspects of your dog's personality while modifying the undesirable ones. While your dog's charming and unique personality traits will remain, training will promote respect, confidence, and better manners in your dog.
How long will it take for my dog to be fully trained?
The training of your dog should be an ongoing process. Like humans, dogs should never stop learning. Although the frequency of active training sessions may decrease over time, incorporating daily maintenance training into your daily routine will yield the best results. We typically can stop unwanted behaviors within a couple of weeks, however, since your dog has most likely been practicing these behaviors for a while, so it will take consistency and time for them to fully stop at home.
What is your success rate with previous clients?
Our success with previous clients has been remarkable, especially those who have consistently put in the effort and work required to achieve their desired results. We have received numerous positive reviews from satisfied clients who have seen a significant improvement in their dog's behavior after working with us. We encourage you to check out our reviews and hear directly from our clients about their experience and the success they achieved. We believe that our track record speaks for itself, and we are confident that we can help you and your dog achieve your training goals.
How much time and commitment are required for training?
The training we provide is designed to fit into your daily routine with your dog. We understand that everyone has a different schedule, and we try to be as flexible as possible with your training plan. Most of the training can happen in passive moments throughout the day, such as during walks or mealtimes. For active lessons, we recommend that each owner in a lesson program work on their homework for at least 30 minutes every day to achieve the best results. In the case of board and train programs, we recommend owners work with their dog immediately following the board and train for 20 minutes each day for the first two weeks. We believe that consistent practice and commitment are key to achieving the desired results. Our clients with the best results are those who are willing to work with their dogs more and make training a regular part of their routine.
How do you communicate with me as the owner and ensure I understand everything?
Every step of our process is designed for clear communication and to help you understand the big picture. We start with our expert evaluation - this is where you'll communicate with our Behavior Specialist to custom build the right plan. You will then have an easy sign up and billing process that directs you to your online client portal. This is where you will see your dog's training plan, track their process, receive communications, videos, and pictures of your dog. If you are doing a board and train, you will receive guided homework assignments and our proprietary training booklet with over 50 pages of information as well as a 1.5 hour Go Home lesson where we teach you all the skills your dog has learned, as well as follow up visits to ensure your needs are fully met.
What is your availability for training sessions?
We work on a first come, first serve basis, and try to get clients booked within a couple of weeks for a lesson program and within a month or two for a board and train program. It's best to book as soon as possible, as we tend to fill up quickly!
What if I have tried training before and it has failed?
Many of our clients have tried training before, (either by themselves or with another trainer) and have been unsuccessful. This is a common issue, and we believe that it is often due to the lack of compassion and understanding of different training techniques, as well as a lack of support and encouragement for owners. However, we have the experience and understanding to work with dogs of all personalities and temperaments. Our trainers have successfully trained dogs that other trainers have deemed "untrainable". We also provide ongoing support and guidance to help you stay on track and see continued progress.
How long will it take for my dog's anxiety and fear to get better?
It all depends on multiple factors, including, but not limited to your consistency, how long the behavior has taken place, how severe the behavior is, your dog's genetics, etc. However, a reasonable expectation is that you will see significant improvements within a few months and should be prepared to work on it for 6 months.
What is your policy on refunds or guarantees for your training services?
Your dog's behavior is extremely complex and guaranteeing results is unethical. If a trainer guarantees results, they are most likely coercing your dog into complying or addressing symptoms of behaviors versus addressing underlying needs and emotions. We also can't control how often owners will practice and how closely they will follow our training plans.
• Treat you and your dog as individuals and guide you along the best path for your success. • Give you the tools and guidance to build better habits, confidence, and manners • Give you the tools and guidance to correct and prevent problem behaviors • Do our best to help you achieve your goals with your dog
We DO guarantee that we will...
Board & Train FAQs
Will my dog think I abandoned them if I do a board and train program?
Your dog will miss you initially for the first day or so, but the separation will most likely be tougher for you than your dog! Your dog will be having a ton of fun and learning a lot. After the board and train, dogs are always psyched to see their owners and enthusiastically show off their new skills.
Clients are welcome to see their dog at any time, however, we encourage owners to wait until the board and train is finished to see their dogs. Dogs are pattern-oriented, so seeing their owners again may throw them off their routine. This may set our training progress back a few days. You will be getting plenty of pictures, videos, and message updates via our Client Portal and can follow along with your dog’s progress every day.
Can I see my dog while they're at the board and train?
Will my dog listen to me when they come home?
Training you is just as important as training your dog! Most likely, your dog will not BELIEVE you are serious about the change and will try to test you for the first couple of days. Your dog will need some practice to sync up to working for you as well as they do for us. They will not be a brand-new dog without you putting in the work and staying consistent with training. Don't worry though! We will set you up for success and make sure you know how to implement the new rules.
Where will my dog be staying?
Your dog will stay in the trainer's home, in a loving environment, similar to your own. It is incredibly important to us that YOU and your dog are comfortable while in our care. Our trainers only take 1-2 dogs at a time, which ensures your dog has plenty of time to learn, play, cuddle, and relax with their trainer 24/7. Your dog will have their own blankets, beds, toys, and anything else that will make them feel comfortable.
How do you ensure the safety of the dog during training?
Your dog's safety is extremely important to us. Our trainers adhere to an 88-point checklist that adheres to and far surpasses the NC Welfare Act. Our protocols were developed by our leadership team, which has vast experience developing, implementing, and managing protocols for surgical procedures in hospitals. • All trainers are Dog CPR and First-Aid Certified • Daily safety procedures followed by all trainers • Tracking devices are placed on all dogs under our care • Cameras for trainers to monitor dogs at all times • Temperature monitors • CO2 monitors and much more
Will my dog receive socialization and learn to interact with other dogs?
Yes, we have the resources to properly socialize your dog throughout your training. However, we understand that not all dogs enjoy socializing with other dogs, and we will work with you to determine the best approach for your dog's personality. If socialization is part of your training plan, we will ensure that your dog has the opportunity to interact with other dogs in a controlled and safe environment to help them learn proper social skills. If socialization is not a part of your training plan, your dog will still have the opportunity for structured playtime during their board and train program, if applicable.
Will you teach me how to continue training my dog after our sessions are over?
Absolutely! Client support is a top priority for us, and we understand that ongoing training and support are essential for your continued success with your dog. We will provide you with the knowledge and tools necessary to continue training your dog after our sessions are over. Our goal is to empower you to continue to improve your dog's behavior, and we are committed to being available for any questions or concerns you may have throughout the training process and beyond. We also offer group classes, pack walks, and refresher board and trains for our current and former clients.
Lessons & Services FAQs
How often will I need to attend training sessions with my dog?
It is important for you to be present at each training session with your dog. We train you to train your dogs, so you are equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to continue training at home. We encourage all family members to be present during training sessions, as this can help with consistency and reinforce the training for the dog. However, if certain family members may pose as a distraction for you while working with your dog, we recommend they not be present during the training sessions.
What is the scheduling flexibility?
We understand that our clients lead busy lives, which is why we are flexible with scheduling training sessions to accommodate your needs. Our trainers work most days of the week, and we can work with you to find a time that fits your schedule. However, we do recommend that clients try to be flexible with their schedules, as evenings and weekends tend to be in high demand and get booked up quickly. We want to ensure that you are able to get the most out of your training program, so we encourage you to communicate your scheduling needs with us so we can find a suitable time that works for you.
How far do I need to travel to attend training sessions, and is it feasible for me and my dog?
Our trainers are committed to providing personalized training sessions that are convenient for our clients. Typically, our trainers travel up to a 30-minute distance from their personal homes for each lesson. If you are located outside of our region, we may be able to arrange a meeting place closer to us, such as a park, if it is feasible for your dog's skills. Alternatively, we offer board and train programs where your dog can stay with us for a period of time to receive intensive training. We want to ensure that your training experience is feasible for both you and your dog, so we encourage you to communicate with us about any travel concerns or limitations you may have. If we don't have a trainer in your area yet, we hopefully will soon!
What if my dog needs to work around other dogs, strangers, or distractions?
We have a variety of resources to help your dog work around other dogs, strangers, and distractions. We use our own personal dogs, as well as other client's dogs to use as helpers during lessons. Our team of trainers are also available to help as "strangers" during lessons. If we need to work under distractions, we often go to parks, greenways, and pet-friendly stores like Lowes. We also gradually increase the level of distractions as your dog becomes more comfortable and confident.
Will I get homework to work on in between each lesson?
Absolutely! We believe that consistent and ongoing practice is key to success when it comes to dog training. Your trainer will provide you with homework after each lesson tailored to your dog's specific needs and areas for improvement. Additionally, we can provide you with a homework checklist to help keep you on track and accountable in between lessons. We understand that everyone learns differently, which is why we also have video tutorials and worksheets available to supplement your training and guide you in between lessons.
Can I contact my trainer in between lessons if I have questions?
Of course! We understand that training can be challenging, and we want to be there for you every step of the way. We strongly encourage you to reach out to your trainer at any time in between lessons if you have any questions or concerns. And don't forget, if you have good news to share about your dog's progress, we would be thrilled to hear about it and celebrate with you!
What is your cancelation or late policy?
We understand life happens. We will try to be flexible with you if you try to communicate as best as possible with us. If you need to cancel or reschedule a lesson, please do so as soon as possible. Any "no call, no show” will result in a $35 fee. A "no call, no show” means that: (i) you failed to inform Command Canine that the lesson needed to be cancelled, (ii) you failed to reschedule the lesson within 4 hours of the scheduled appointment, or (iii) you and/or the dog did not appear for the scheduled appointment. Our trainers have a full schedule, so being late for a lesson unfortunately cuts into your lesson time, as they will need to leave at the scheduled time. Special considerations will be made at the discretion of Command Canine for emergencies.