Frequently Asked Questions

Q?WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A “CERTIFIED TRAINER”?
A.
EliDid you know that in the State of New York, there are no requirements that a person needs to meet in order to call themselves a Dog Trainer?  That means that YOU could read some books, watch a few videos, work with your own dog, make a business card and call yourself a Dog Trainer.
I currently have earned two Professional Certifications.  The first is from the National K9 School for Dog Trainers.  I attended their 6 week program in Ohio and completed the Master Level course.  I have also earned the title of Certified Dog Trainer from the International Association of Canine Professionals.
What my certifications mean, is that I went to school to learn from experienced, well known dog professionals how to best teach you and your dog. My schooling included not only theoretical learning but also hands on experience that cannot be duplicated in an online course. It means that I am qualified to do much more than teach you to walk your dog in a circle with other dogs.  I have earned the skills necessary to help you teach your family dog to be a family member.
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Q?I WAS TOLD BY MY VET, BREEDER, RESCUE GROUP, SHELTER ETC. TO USE “POSITIVE ONLY” METHODS OF TRAINING. WHY DON’T YOU?
A.
Lily & ZeekDogs are social animals who like us, are motivated by social pressures.   These pressures dictate different reactions to behavior we consider to be “desirable” or “undesirable”.  Both dogs and humans are more likely to repeat behaviors that get us something positive socially or at the very least, do not cost us anything.  (Attention, affection, inclusion, recognition, ect) On the flip side, we are less likely to repeat behaviors that carry a less desirable outcome.   Realistically, there is not a social being on this planet who has not at some point been told “NO”.  It’s how adults teach their young how to be a good member of society.   In fact, the absence of “NO” is very often interpreted as a passive “YES”.   Knowing this, it’s important for us to provide a wealth of information to our dogs so we can encourage them to repeat behaviors we love, and extinguish those we do not.
Q?IF I CHOOSE A RESIDENCY PROGRAM, WILL MY DOG FOLLOW MY COMMANDS WHEN SHE COMES HOME?
A.
YES!!!! Before any dog goes home, I spend about an hour and a half with owners teaching them how to handle their dogs properly.  Owners leave only after all of their questions are answered and they feel confident in their ability to work with their dog.  Ultimately, success is determined by the owner’s ability to follow the go-home plan set forth during the pick-up lesson and completion of the additional lessons.
Q?WHICH OPTION WORKS BETTER, PRIVATE LESSONS OR RESIDENTIAL PROGRAMS?
A.
They both work great.  My recommendation is based on the issues you want to focus on and the personality of your dog.

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Q?WHAT IF MY DOG HAS BEHAVIORAL ISSUES?
A.
I regularly work with dog’s and their owners on a variety of behavioral issues including housebreaking, separation anxiety and much more.  Programs are designed for each individual family.
Q?WHY DON’T YOU OFFER ANY GROUP CLASSES?
A.
In my experience, group classes are a difficult place for you and your dog to learn new skills.  There are frequently many dogs and even more people making it very hard for most to really focus.  In addition, due to the sheer numbers, trainers generally rely on “cookie cutter” methods of  teaching. Very little is done to personalize training for each dog/handler team  Most importantly however, is the fact that many owners have a difficult time transferring the information that they have learned in a circle back into their daily lives where it really counts