What type of training method do you use?
Our approach is decidedly dog and people friendly. We place an emphasis on helping people learn how to manage their dog’s time so as to best set them up for behavior success. In addition, we adhere to an approach to teaching behaviors that encourages your dog to be motivated to want to learn. Creating a dog that is an enthusiastic student is the easiest and fastest route to helping them achieve success in terms of being a compliant and mannerly member of the family. With this goal in mind, positive, reward based training is the way to go!
What types of tools do you use?
We focus primarily on identifying rewards that each dog is most fond of and using those things to motivate the dog to comply with requests. Rewards can be praise, petting, toys, food, access to the environment (such as the backyard), and life rewards (such as being taken for a walk, or being permitted to spend some extra time sniffing at a certain spot). Additional tools include plain buckle collars, front clip harnesses, leashes, treat pouches, clickers, targeting objects (such as a target stick or container). We do not use electric shock collars (sometimes referred to as e-collars or stimulation collars) as there is no justification for using the pain of electrical stimulation. Additionally, the use of shock collars can result in very serious negative side effects such as fear and aggression.
Should I attend a Group Class, have Private Instruction, or have my dog stay with a trainer for Lodge Training?
For most dogs, especially puppies, we encourage owners to have one private session to get a good grasp of the basics and then attend a group class. In this environment we are best able to provide controlled distractions for the purpose of training and socialization in the real world.
For those people who want us to set a good foundation in their dog to make training easier for them, we suggest Lodge Training in conjunction with Private or Group instruction.
What areas do you serve for private lessons?
We offer private lessons in Southern Wisconsin and Northerin Illinios. We may charge a trip fee, call or email our office if you have any questions.
Does training cost more if I have more than one dog?
For our group classes, you will need to reserve a spot for each of your dogs. For private sessions the fee is based on the time the trainer spends with you (i.e. per session) not the number of dogs present. However, in some cases the trainer may advise that you plan to work with your dogs separately at first so that you and each canine student is best able to focus on the task at hand.
Where are your dog training classes located?
What shots does my puppy need to attend class?
Puppies must be up-to-date on their vaccines for their age. Because early socialization is so critical for a dog’s well being throughout their lifetime, we generally do not recommend waiting to join a puppy class until they have completed a traditional course of shots. You should chat with your veterinarian and do some research on the topic. If you are unsure of a good vet in your area, feel free to contact our office and we can give you some trusted recommendations.
Can more than one person in my family attend the group training class?
We strongly encourage family members to attend class together as this is a terrific way for everyone to be on the same page and to have fun with their dog. If you have small children, they may attend class, but must be supervised at all times by an adult and be able to remain calm in class so as not to scare the other dogs or otherwise disrupt the class.
What should I bring to class?
- A dog who has not eaten his or her meal at least two hours prior to the class start time.
- Treats: soft, pea-sized treats are ideal. We like to use cut up cheese, hot dogs, chicken and steak!
- A 6 foot leash (no retractable leashes, please!)
- A buckle collar, head halter or front-clip body harness.
- A hollow toy which can be stuffed with food so your dog is kept busy while you listen to your instructor
How do I decide which class is right for my dog?
We offer so many options that you are sure to find the class that is best in regards to material covered as well as ease of attendance. Please take a look at our group dog training class description page or contact us by email or telephone at 608-712-4424 if you have any questions that have not been answered there...
May I observe a class prior to registering?
We welcome you to come observe a class. Please let your pup rest at home when you do so and give us a call prior so we can give the instructor a heads up. This way he or she can set aside a spot for you to sit.
I can’t make it to class. What should I do?
If your dog is unable to attend a class, but you can do so, we suggest you attend class without your dog. If you cannot attend class, we suggest you drop in to one of the other classes at the same or a different location. However, you must do so without your pup. We do not allow make-ups for missed sessions with your dog since classes might then be overcrowded with drop-ins. Also, unfamiliar people and dogs entering a class midstream might be disruptive to the dogs in that class and/or to their families.
Please be considerate and understanding of our policies. We limit enrollment in our classes so students get the attention they deserve and once you have purchased a spot, we cannot offer a make up class, transfer or refund because unlike a piece of clothing purchased at a store, a spot in a class cannot be resold once ‘returned.’
Is there a guarantee for your training?
We adhere to the Code of Professional Conduct and Responsibility set forth by the Association of Pet Dog Trainers: Members are to refrain from giving guarantees regarding the outcome of training, because there is no sure way to guarantee the cooperation and performance of all parties involved and because the knowledge of animal behavior is incomplete. This should not be confused with a desire to guarantee client satisfaction with professional services.
I want to get my dog evaluated for the AKC Canine Good Citizen (CGC) award and/or a therapy dog program. What is involved and how do I do this?
Our trainers can help you and your dog become certified as a CGC or Therapy Dog team. If you’d like to prepare your dog for either, our basic obedience and manners classes cover the necessary skills. Once you have completed the course you can schedule a time for us to test your dog for the CGC and/or Pet Partners evaluation.