Frequently Asked Questions 

Why choose a Certified Pet Dog Trainer?
(www.ccpdt.com) - You care about your dog. You want a positive experience for both you and your four-footed friend. Whether you are looking for a training class or private training, you are looking for a high quality, safe, and effective training experience.  

When you choose a Certified Pet Dog Trainer, you can be confident that you are working with a professional who has the knowledge and experience to make your investment in dog training safe, effective, and even fun! Certified Pet Dog Trainers have dog training skills as well as instructor skills to enhance the experience and success for you and your pet dog.  

Certified Pet Dog Trainers have earned this credential by demonstrating their knowledge and experience in dog training. A Certified Pet Dog Trainer stays informed of current knowledge in the field and is familiar with the latest, most effective training techniques and equipment. A Certified Pet Dog Trainer adheres to a strict Code of Ethics.  

The Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers is committed to maintaining rigorous testing and re-certification systems to provide dog owners with information to help them make an informed choice when selecting a dog trainer.  

So the next time you need a dog trainer, look for a professional with the Certified Pet Dog Trainer credential. Your dog will thank you!  

What is the best age to enroll my new puppy in a class?
The earlier the better! The socialization window begins to close at around 16 weeks of age. The absolute best time to get the pup into class is between 8-12 weeks of age but training is always a good idea no matter what the age.  

I've lived with and trained dogs in the past. Should I still enroll in a group class?
YES! A well-run class with a knowledgeable trainer is a great way to polish your doggie skills and proper, safe socialization for your new family member is crucial. As a certified pet dog trainer I, too, enroll my new dogs in class so they have the chance to interact with other dogs in an appropriate setting.  

How many dogs do you allow per class?
I limit my class size to a maximum of seven dogs per training hour.  

What should I use as treats for training class?
During class we will use a lot of treats to help the dogs learn new behaviors. I recommend whole foods such as little bits of: cheese, steak, pork, chicken, turkey, scrambled egg, etc. The key to training using treats is to use small pieces, about the size of a pencil eraser.   

I do not recommend the use of commercially produced treats during training class. At home for occasional treating they are fine. Due to the high salt, sugar, and dye content in most (not all) commercially produced treats they can make your dog very thirsty especially if given in large quantities.  

Do I need a special collar for training?
No, you do not need a special collar for training class. Whatever collar and leash combination you are using at home is what you will be using during class. If what you are currently using is not working well for you, we can discuss other options. I DO NOT recommend (or allow in my class) the use of choke/strangle collars or prong/pinch collars or electronic shock collars – NO exceptions.  

How long is each training session?
My Puppy/Beginner Basics, Beyond the Basics and Pet Dog Excellent classes are each six-week courses. CGC Prep is also six weeks however, the last night of class is a scheduled time slot for your CGC test. Tricks and Giggles is a four week class. 

My dog is not feeling well but I’m scheduled for class. Should I bring him/her anyway?
If your pup is not feeling well, I recommend that you call your veterinarian immediately so that you can discuss his/her symptoms and address your concerns. Follow your veterinarian’s advice. Please do not bring a sick dog to class. If you or a family member is able to attend class to observe the new behaviors, you will be able to work with your dog during the week once he/she is feeling better.  

We are scheduled for vacation during the course of the training schedule. Will I be too far behind if I have to miss a week of class?
My training class builds on each previous weeks behaviors so missing one week will not put you too far behind.  

Can my child train our new dog during class?
Children 12 years of age and older are welcome to train during class as long as they have parental supervision. All members of the family are encouraged to participate in training at home, however, during the actual class time it may be a bit overwhelming to a younger child.  

May I bring my young children to training class to observe?
Children are welcome to observe class as long as they are able to remain seated and do not distract the other dogs and their families during class.  

I have just adopted an older dog. Should I bring him/her to a group class?
A group class is a good idea for any new dog if the dog gets along well with other dogs and people. If your newly adopted dog is uncomfortable in the presence of other dogs or people a group class may not be the best choice to begin with. I would recommend in home, issue specific training, before group class in a situation like this.  

My dog PULLS us down the sidewalk when we take walks. Is there a training tool that I can use to make walks more enjoyable for both of us?
Yes, there is a product that I recommend regularly to help with dogs that pull. I recommend the SENSE-ation or SENSE-ible harness, manufactured by SofTouch Concepts. The SENSE-ation harness is the original front hook harness and is available only through SofTouch Concepts or professional trainers.  

I carry a variety of SENSE-ible harnesses in sizes that will fit a dog of 12 pounds up to a dog of 200 pounds. A SENSE-ation harness differs from any harness that hooks in the back. Back hook harness can actually help your dog pull harder.  

Should I bring my new puppy to the dog park to socialize?
Dog parks are fine for older, well-adjusted dogs but probably not the best choice for a new puppy. You want the early socialization of your puppy to be made up of positive experiences and the dog park can be a pretty scary place at times. Please keep in mind that not every family will keep as close an eye on their pet, as they should. You want your new puppy’s early experiences to be positive and unfortunately, some dog park “bully” may choose your new pet as a target. This would definitely not be a positive experience for the new pup.  

My dog doesn't like other dogs but he/she still needs exercise. Should I bring him/her to the dog park so that he/she learns to like other dogs?
NO! I would definitely not recommend that you bring your dog to the dog park if he or she does not get along with other dogs. A dog will not learn to “get along with” other dogs just because he is near them. Not only would it be dangerous to you and your dog, it would also put other pets and their families in danger. Managed leash walks would be a better choice for a dog that does not care for other dogs.