FAQs

What type of training 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 couch), 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.

What is a clicker, and do I have to use one to train my dog?

A clicker is a small, hand held device that makes a sharp ‘click’ sound when you press it. A clicker allows you to give specific, accurate and timely feedback to your dog in regards to their behavior. By pairing the ‘click’ sound with food rewards, it becomes a valuable tool for telling your dog what they did at the moment they heard the sound is what is earning them a reward. A verbal marker (a word like “yes!” or “good!”) can also be used as a marker.

Should I attend a group class, have private instruction, or have my dog stay with a trainer for board 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 Board Training in conjunction with Private or Group instruction.

What neighborhoods do you serve for private lessons?

We offer private lessons at our 5 training locations in Manhattan & Brooklyn and also in your home. We offer in-home private lessons in Manhattan, Brooklyn and some areas of New Jersey and Queens.

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?

We offer group training classes, special seminars and private lessons in the following locations. We also offer private sessions in your home.

  • New York Dog Spa 32 West 25th Street (between 6th Avenue & Broadway) | Map
  • New York Dog Spa 415 East 91st Street (between 1st & York Avenues | Map
  • ECO DOG NYC 10 North 5th Street (Brooklyn) | Map
  • 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, which should include reading Dr. R.K. Anderson’s excellent letter on this topic.

    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. A good example of a treat most suitable for training are Natural Balance rolls which can be chopped into tiny pieces.
    • A 4-6 foot leash (no retractable leashes, please!)
    • A buckle collar, head halter or 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, at so many convenient locations, 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 212-414-9597 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 Delta Society’s Pet Partners (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.

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