Q: Will basic obedience help with my dog’s destructive behavior issues?

A: It definitely can and often will do so. Commonly those behaviors are the result of the dog not understanding who is in charge and lacking structure. Those issues can also be addressed directly one by one.

Q: Will teaching my dog to be obedient dampen her outgoing personality?

A: Quite the opposite. Again, structure is essential for a dog to live a happy life. Knowing that you are in charge and that she can count on you to be the leader will put her at ease and increase her joy of life.

Q: Should I go with Board and Train or private lessons when it comes to training my dog?

I no longer offer Board and Train and only do private lessons and the reason is that owners often mistake Board and Train as a stand alone process to train your dog. The dog goes away for two or three weeks and comes back and the owner believes they will never have to do anything themselves. That is not the case.

Board and Train can give you a good head start to training but, if you don’t continue the training on your own, your dog will probably soon regress back to where you started. That is why I do private lessons where I am training you to train your dog. That means that when the lessons have been completed, you will have all the tools you need to continue training. Dog training is a journey, not a destination.

Q: Is it important that my trainer be bonded and insured?

A: Well, you do need to be able to completely trust anyone who is going to be spending time with your dog. Requiring that your trainer be bonded and insured is one way to help insure that trust.

Q: What are things I should consider before adopting a dog?

A: There are many different things to consider to make sure you find the best match. What is your daily schedule like? If you are very busy then a breed that needs a lot of exercise would not be a great fit. Do you, or are you planning to have small children in the household? If so, a working dog may not be the best fit. A professional trainer can work with you to find the best match for your particular needs.

Q: I have a cat and I want to get a dog. Is there anyway to prevent that from causing an issue?

A: Yes, there is a method to slowly introducing a dog into a household that already contains a cat or cats. That is something that a professional trainer can help you with to avoid harm to either animal.

Q: Does my dog need to be crate trained?

A: Even if you don’t plan to ever have your dog crated at home, it is a good idea to crate train your dog. This is because emergencies happen and you don’t want to have suddenly crate your dog when he has never been crated. It can also be of great help when it comes to traveling or going to the groomer or vet.

Q: Are all pit bulls vicious?

A: No. While pit bulls may have stronger prey drive than some other breeds, properly trained, a pit bull, like any other dog, can be a wonderful companion. They are very loyal dogs. You just need to keep in mind that, due to the public perception of them, fair or unfair, pit bull owners have an extra level of responsibility concerning their dog’s behavior.

Q: Is there a difference between separation anxiety and isolation anxiety?

A: Yes, isolation anxiety can often be resolved by just making sure the dog is not alone. Another person, dog or even cat can help resolve that issue. Separation anxiety on the other hand, is usually the result of the dog’s owner leaving him behind, no matter who else remains in the household. Separation anxiety ranges from mild to severe and, if not treated, can be very harmful to your dog

Helpful Links

Online Veterinarians

7 Tips for Driving with Your Dog

The Association of Professional Dog Trainers: https://apdt.com/

Austin Pets Alive: http://www.austinpetsalive.org/

Southpaws Playschool: http://www.southpawsplayschool.com/