Frequently Asked Questions

What makes your approach different & more effective?

Our approach to dog training is more successful because we focus on changing a dog’s state of mind. Our methods actually resolve problem behaviours and teach dogs to be calmer so they make better choices overall. If you’ve tried training methods that didn’t work and you’re ready to learn how to be an amazing advocate and leader who holds your dog accountable for their best behaviour, then we are the dog trainers for you! Our methods don’t increase excitability, instead we teach dogs to be calm on command through duration work while developing impulse control. We’re here to provide real solutions and results and we’re committed to your success!

Can you help me with my difficult dog?

Yes! Whether your dog is uncontrollable on walks – pulling, barking, growling, lunging, an extremely prey-driven dog, or has serious leash reactivity (aggressive towards dogs, cars, bikes, skateboards, etc.), we have developed approaches to solve even the most challenging dog walking issues. If your dog jumps up, steals food from counters, has been in dog fights, barks incessantly, destroys furniture, gets into the garbage, is shy, or has separation anxiety – the answer is YES! we can help you.

We work with dogs with all kinds of behaviour problems and our proven methods work with any breed, age, size, background, behavioural issue, or level of training. Whether your dog is pushy, bratty, entitled, has selective hearing, is fearful, anxious, or is simply a puppy who needs to learn right from wrong, we’re here for you!

Our passion is teaching humans & dogs how to communicate so they can enjoy an awesome life together. We're here to help you create a better relationship with your dog. Offering a real life approach to dog training — working for real solutions in real world settings with real distractions. We empower dog owners with a wide range of dog behaviour problems and specialize in behaviour modification for dogs with fear, anxiety and leash reactivity. We also provide basic obedience training and show owners how to cultivate a calm, balanced state of mind with their dogs.

We’re all about comprehensive, integrated care. When we’re contacted about a behavioural concern, we assess your dog’s lifestyle. Like us, dogs need a certain amount of mental stimulation and physical activity in order to be healthy and fulfilled. If these areas are lacking, discontent and frustration can result in a wide range of behaviour problems. We assess your dog’s basic needs based on their breed tendencies, energy level and individual temperament, then work with you to design a lifestyle that promotes overall wellness. Helping people with dog problems requires overall lifestyle changes. By creating a structured routine at home, we can stop a wide range of difficult behaviours. Ask us how.

What training methods do you use? Do you use corrections?

A completely well-rounded approach to dog training and behaviour modification emphasizes positive reinforcement, while providing tools and education to help you understand when and how to appropriately correct or discipline your dog.

One key to our success is that we strive to understand the world from a dog’s perspective and put their needs ahead of our own preferences. Our approach to training is based in the science of animal learning and cognition and honours the instinctual nature of dogs.

As balanced dog trainers, we have access to the complete range of strategies and methods, tools and techniques, so we can be most effective to help in each specific situation.

We use nature and the complete science of learning and behaviour modification (not just the easy, fun, or nice-sounding bits) as our guiding principles to help people and their dogs. We use positive reinforcement to teach dogs to do things that we WANT (95% of the time), but when it comes to stopping behaviours that we DON’T WANT, it’s completely okay (and necessary) to say ‘no’ to your dog and to provide clear consequences to give the word ‘no’ meaning. Once a dog fully and fairly has learned a command, but then makes a clear choice to refuse to listen, then you must correct it. This is a good thing. By showing our dogs exactly what both yes AND no mean, we are being much more clear and fair with our dogs. The concept of rewards and corrections is so important so the dog fully understands what is acceptable and what is not. Saying no is making the situation clear for dogs, rather than leaving them guessing what to do or what’s allowed.

Ignoring bad behaviour is not the solution. Positive reinforcement is ineffective at eliminating unwanted behaviours. That’s where corrections are needed. Is it humane to allow dogs to remain stuck in fear, anxiety and stress, and for owners to continue to struggle and worry? Clearly, it’s more humane to quickly and decisively put a stop to bad behaviour so you and your dog can move on to enjoy a good life. For the safety and love of dogs, we are as soft as can be, and firm when we need to be.

How are corrections done? Calmly. It’s simple and matter of fact - never emotional, angry or upset. This is crucial to any dog’s successful learning. We say “yes” do more of that, and also “no” don’t do that. Our methods are clear, simple, fair, rational, scientific, natural and effective. By carefully and systematically using corrections, we maintain the benefits of reliability and eliminate problem behaviours without causing undue stress or discomfort to the dog. Using corrections appropriately does NOT lead to long-term aggression or to your dog not liking you. Instead, it leads to your dog clearly understanding what is acceptable and what isn’t, as well as trusting you because you’re straightforward, and looking to you for permission and guidance because you’re in charge of the situation.

What happens during a day of Dogology Board & Train?

Each morning the dogs are taken outside to use the washroom, for a long structured walk, eat breakfast in their crates, then take a rest to digest. We train throughout the day and the dogs sleep indoors at night. Every moment of the day is training, including during feeding, potty breaks, at each threshold, crate training, during walks, duration place work, etc., plus each dog gets intensive personal training focusing on obedience training and/or rehabilitating the specific behaviour issues they came to resolve. The most effective way for dogs to learn best and achieve consistent progress is to keep active training sessions short and focused, then give dogs time to process the information. Duration exercises (which seem like doing nothing, but are very challenging for dogs) produce a calm doggy meditation while teaching impulse control. When beneficial, your dog will also be treadmill trained. Working with only a few dogs at a time allows us to maintain a calm, relaxed, quiet environment while giving each dog the personal attention they need. To prevent risk for injury, we don’t allow dogs to mingle or roam freely. A highly structured environment is extremely beneficial and therapeutic to dogs in training. The difference a consistent, structured routine makes in improving behaviour is profound and wide-ranging. This is a huge part of our training process and why we’re so successful in developing calm, well-behaved dogs.

Can I visit my dog during the Board & Train Program?

There are no visits allowed during the board & train program. The dogs need to maintain focus to accomplish significant behavioural improvements in a very short time frame. We understand it may be difficult being away from your dog, but the owner’s presence significantly slows the progress of the program and can actually move the process backward.

Strangers visiting would be very stressful and distracting for many dogs, which could cause injury to us, the other dogs, or a training setback, and would definitely disrupt the training day. For the safety and security of our training team, you, and the other dogs in our care, we don’t allow visits. It’s also an insurance issue.

You will get to see your dog’s progress on social media, we provide updates, plus your dog will be back home soon! While your dog is in training, this is your opportunity to become a more educated dog owner. Watch our videos, read our blog, and start to learn about what you’ve been struggling with and why, make a list of questions for your dog’s “wrap up” sessions, so when your dog comes home, you’re ready to take charge.

Will I have homework while my dog is in the Board & Train Program?

Yes, we provide learning materials so that you understand how the tools work, how to implement the commands, and how to continue your dog’s structured learning environment at home for 90 days after your dog trains with us. The instructions we have prepared for you guide you step by step through the process to help your dog succeed and to start changing your relationship. Having a super clear plan with a structured routine to follow will set you and your dog up for a lifetime of success. While your dog is in training you have time to prepare your new home routine, so you’re ready to maintain your dog’s progress long-term! Dog training is a partnership. We do a ton of the hard work while your dog trains with us, but that’s only a few weeks out of your dog’s life. To keep their good habits long term you need to maintain your dog’s training. Just like going to the gym for a month won’t keep you in shape forever unless you continue to train & eat right.

This way we can utilize our time with you during the wrap-up sessions to work out any details you have questions about, which makes a huge difference in being more successful with your dog. Your dog will already know what to do, now you learn what to do to keep up your dog’s new great habits. We want you to get the most out of our 4.5 hours together as possible. It’s our mission to help you and your dog succeed! We’re here to coach and guide you. Doing your part is essential to long-term success. You need to be just as excited and dedicated about training your dog as we are! The more effort you put in to training your dog - with our help, and with tools and strategies that are proven to work - the greater your success will be.

What dog training tools do you use?

The greatest tool we have is patience and it’s the one we reach for most often. Some of the other tools we use include affection, attention, gestures and spatial pressure, verbal cues, treadmill, dog cots/mats, and crates. We also use the dog’s daily food, clickers, slip leads, regular leashes, long lines, regular flat collars, remote collars, prong collars, muzzles, physical touch, verbal praise, slow feed bowls, (doorbells, skateboards, shopping carts, umbrellas and other real-world distractions), toys, play, activities, and socialization around new environments and situations with dogs and people. We also make use of anything that motivates your dog (e.g. desire to go outside, natural curiosity, etc.)

Keep in mind that tools don’t train dogs. Each dog training tools is like a new language that we can teach a dog. Great tools simply allow us to communicate more effectively with dogs while training them. We carefully choose tools that help us to do that clearly and safely. The two types of training collars that we most commonly recommend are prong collars, and remote training collars because of their versatility, efficiency and effectiveness of communication, the safety of the equipment, and the ease of use for the owner. In other words, they are the best option for most dogs and in the most situations.

Why do you use E-Collars?

We use e-collars because we know that they are absolutely the BEST dog training tools available. Period. We were once uninformed & based our opinions of this tool on false rumours. We now know the truth. The truth is that high quality e-collars are amazing! With the e-collars we use, dogs in training feel a mild sensation that is not harmful to them mentally or physically. Most dogs learn at levels that people often can’t even feel. It’s a way to signal dogs, like the urging sound your car makes to remind you to buckle up. This is positive reinforcement: adding a stimulus to produce a behaviour and to encourage this behaviour to occur more in the future.

If you want your dog come every time you call, and have a great state of mind; if you want a dog you can be really proud of, who doesn’t stress you out, if you want an invisible leash to reach your dog indoors & outside, so your dog behaves well and can be allowed more freedom, then an e-collar is simply the best tool for your dog. What dog owner doesn’t want all of those things? We all do.

Modern e-collar training involves very little mechanical mastery, so it’s also ideal for transferring skills from trainers to dog owners. There is no better way to communicate more effectively with your dog. E-collars provide the only way to enjoy absolutely complete off-leash reliability, even at great distances. Plus, e-collars enable many very challenging behaviours to be resolved quickly and easily. E-collars enable better control than any other tool and they empower owners more than any other tool. We love them and our clients do too!

How do you train with an E-Collar?

We begin by finding your dog's lowest perception level and layer this new sensation to already known commands to teach your dog that this new feeling is an alternate way to guide your dog through each behaviour, which eventually replaces leash guidance. We gradually build your dog’s understanding in small progressive steps. Ultimately, once the desired behaviours have been completely patterned, we begin to hold your dog accountable to ensure dependability. Using fairness while helping your dog to succeed is our highest priority.

Why do you use prong collars?

Although prong collars look barbaric, they are actually one of the most gentle tools to connect and communicate with dogs. Don’t let appearances, or the misinformed opinions of well-meaning people mislead you. Prong collars are one of the most effective, safe and humane ways to calmly and easily guide and communicate with dogs using the least amount of pressure.

Does Dogology use treats or food to train dogs?

We very rarely use treats in our training program, instead it's best to reward good behaviour using the dog's normal food. Working to earn meals is a normal part of our initial training process. Using food can be beneficial while rehabilitating human-aggressive dogs, with dogs who resource guard, or with extremely unmotivated dogs, but we do not allow dogs to become reliant on working for food! Food is phased out of the training process before the dog returns home, so your dog learns to respond to people, out of respect and habit, rather than due to being bribed with something tasty. We want dogs to look to us for direction, rather than look to our hands (and what is in them) to decide if a task is worth doing. For example, your dog must come when called whether you have food or not, whether they are hungry or not, or distracted or not, so you cannot rely on treats. Since our approach is based on creating calmer dogs who are able to make better decisions, we avoid relying too much on food, as it often builds frenzied excitement, fixation and anxiety. Our work is about building calm, respectful, trusting relationships with dogs with super clear communication. Food can seriously get in the way of that process.

Are the dog training results guaranteed?

Due to the many varying factors involved in maintaining a well-behaved dog, such as owner commitment, consistency and follow-through, as well as environmental changes outside of our control (e.g. moving, marriage, adding new pets or family members, illness, etc.), it is unreasonable to expect a guarantee. However, since we carefully accept only the most committed and determined owners (which is particularly crucial in situations with serious behaviour problems) we consistently cultivate breakthrough transformations and inspiring results. When you hire us, we consider you part of the Dogology family and your long-term success is our ultimate priority.

Low funds for dog training?

If you’re struggling with your dog but don’t have the budget for training, most clients qualify for PayPal’s credit program which allows for easy loans with zero interest if paid within 6 months.

For the Do It Yourselfers, you can make some amazing progress with your dog simply by using our free content and seeing the work we do. We give away plenty of valuable, free dog training advice. Read the Training Tips in our blog posts. Watch for upcoming videos on YouTube & Instagram. Follow our social media platforms to get motivated, get great ideas and helpful tips.

If you need more specific help, we also offer Virtual Training consultation sessions by phone or Skype to help with your particular situation.

Does my dog need to be vaccinated or fixed before boarding/training?

For the safety of every dog in our care, your dog needs to be vaccinated for bordetella, rabies, and distemper. We also require a fecal float to test for parasites. Your dog doesn’t need to be spayed/neutered, but we need to schedule carefully to avoid having females in heat during boarding or board & train programs as it would distract the other dogs in training. We have several vets in our area including an emergency vet hospital that is always open if a medical situation arises.