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Frequently Asked Questions

Is my pet too old to be trained?

No matter the age we can still guide our dogs to better manners.  The only exception would be if a senior dog has cognitive impairment (dementia) and can not longer process new concepts. Then we look at environmental management options to create safe and enriched atmosphere for your dog and your household.

What is The P.E.T Impact approach to pet training?

PARTNERSHIP - Creating a partnership with our dogs means trust with more cooperation and less obedience.  In building a partnership with our dogs we create a better understanding, learn to influence behavior and build trust to a level of cooperation without commands or restrictions.  In a partnership we do not have to enforce leadership, control or following.  When we lead by example and connection, our dogs want to follow by choice.  

ENRICHMENT - Providing creative ways for dogs to find joy in life while learning, growing, and using their natural talents.  I enjoy finding ways to teach dogs new concepts using exercises or games we can incorporate easily into their daily routines, for more enjoyable learning for both the dog and the humans!  

Every dog needs daily physical and mental exercise!  Challenge their mind as well as their body and your dog will relax more, learn faster and develop more acceptable manners. 

TRAINING - I connect with dogs on a cognitive and emotional level honoring their needs to use their own minds, feel safety and a sense of security to grow with confidence and acceptance in their roles in our world to be well mannered family dogs. 

I utilize these methods to help create lasting partnerships between dogs and their humans.  Who wants to have tell our dogs all the time what to do and not be able to trust them?  not me. 

Positive Reinforcement - rewarding behavior we want more of - involves the addition of a reinforcing stimulus following a behavior that makes it more likely that the behavior will occur again in the future. When a favorable outcome, event, or reward occurs after an action, that particular response or behavior will be strengthened.  

Relationship-Based training is a method of training that uses the cooperative relationship between the trainer and the animal to achieve mutually beneficial results, while at the same time enhancing and strengthening their relationship.

Which of your services is right for me?

That depends on your needs and your goal.  
(1) private in home training where the dog with the family can receive personal attention and direction. 
(2) classes offer an environment with distractions and socialization.  They are more structured and focused on specific topics.
(3) playgroups are offered for younger dogs to practice socializing in a safely monitored environment while you learn about how to start and stop playtime, appropriate play, and behaviors to watch for to prevent unwanted future behaviors.  
(4) The adoption assessment session is for anyone considering a specific dog for adoption.  In your home I will assess interactions, behaviors and skills levels to help you determine if your home and a dog are a good match.  I will give pointers on where to go next to set your adopted dog up for success.

(5) 1st session after adoption - now that you have your new pup, schedule a training session to start them off on the right path. Rescue is my specialty!  Lets work together to make sure you and your pup are off to a great start and on your way to a partnership that you will enjoy for years.   This session is offered at a special one time reduced "rescue" rate within 3 months of your adoption date.

What tools do you use in your training? 

We will use what motivates your dog - whether it is food, treats, toys, play or praise.

I prefer using harnesses over collars as a more influential way to keep a pet safe without causing physical harm.  Especially for smaller dogs. 

I view leashes as a safety line instead of a control device.  Instead you will learn to use your partnership with your dog and rewards the dog values to teach them and guide them.   Your dog will thank you for not yanking the leash and allowing them to learn through choice and agency building a partnership where your dog wants to explore with you.

I do NOT recommend or use pinch/prong, choker/slip collars, or e-collars.


They interfere with their learning process.   They are damaging to a dog's emotional and mental state, a relationship between a dog and his person and can actually make their behaviors worsen.   Studies have disproven these tools effectiveness, that they actually cause more problems in the long run and that an appropriate training plan will be successful without them.   I have treated many dogs with trauma after having these aversive tools or methods used on them.  As an CPDT certificate I agreed to practice the “Least Intrusive, Minimally Aversive” (known as LIMA) strategy to meet training goals.   

I prefer a cognitive and emotional approach, in order to build a partnership with our dogs, to teach them to be smart independent and confident thinkers, to make good choices, to be well mannered instead of just obedient, and to create a loving respectful relationship.  We should honor the whole dog.  Physically, mentally and emotionally.   You will receive the same respect back from your dog. 

Are there any guarantees in training?

I guarantee your dog will receive my full attention during our sessions, commitment to fairly and accurately assess the situation and develop a realistic training plan with you.  Your dog's safety and wellness is my primary concern.   I can only guarantee your dog will learn something during our sessions. As a trainer I will teach, guide and support YOU on the changes that need to occur to help your dog achieve your training goals.  Your dog lives with you and I can not control your environment, your level of commitment, follow through or effort, accuracy or your time in training your dog.  Training needs to be a priority, especially when extreme behaviors are being addressed, to help your dog perform at the best of their abilities.  The best way to influence your dog's habits is to change yours.    

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