Frequently Asked Questions
How do I get started?
The best way to start is to check out the rest of this FAQ page, where your most burning questions are already answered. That way, we can spend our discovery call talking about what matters most.
Once you’ve got the basic info you need, click here to schedule a FREE discovery call. On the discovery call, I’ll learn more about your goals and will suggest a training package that suits you and your dog. If you’re ready to start right away, we’ll get you scheduled for your first session, too!
If you’re feeling ambitious, you can also complete my client questionnaire. I require all of my new clients to complete it so that I come into our first session with a thorough knowledge of you, your dog, and your goals.
Do you offer virtual training?
Yes. I offer virtual training for private sessions. I also have a virtual Intro to Nose Work course available for anyone who prefers to train at home.
What is your training philosophy?
I believe in using humane, force-free methods of training that promote a lasting bond between you and your dog that’s based on respect—not fear. This means I won’t use pain, fear, or intimidation to change your dog’s behavior. Force-free positive reinforcement training is proven to be effective for dogs and makes the process more fun for their people, too
Do you offer classes for reactive dogs?
Yes. I’ve had great success using force-free positive reinforcement training to build confidence and social skills in reactive dogs. In-person training works best, but depending on your dog, virtual options may be available.
I also offer a group class called Control Unleashed that allows you to train your dog to slowly adapt to the presence of other dogs, in a controlled, step-by-step manner that is both safe and fun. If you think this might be a good fit for your dog, click here to schedule a discovery call with me.
Do you offer a guarantee?
No. Dogs are individual beings with a personality and free will, much like people. Just like a school can’t guarantee that a student will get straight A’s and admission to an Ivy League college, there is no ethical way to guarantee a specific behavioral outcome for any dog.
Here’s what I do promise. I’ll give you the training, the tools, and the support you’ll need to be successful. At the end of the day, it’s the time you spend putting our lessons into practice that has the most impact.
What's your cancellation policy?
You can reschedule a session with 48 hours’ advance notice without penalty (and more notice is always better, if possible). Under 48 hours, I charge the full session fee, since I’m not able to offer your time slot to another client.
Let’s all stay safe!
If you’re feeling sick or think you may have been exposed to COVID-19, you can cancel at any time without penalty.
What's included in the discovery call?
The free discovery call is an opportunity for us to meet and see if we’d be a good fit. I’ll want to hear more about you, your dog, and your goals—but it isn’t a consulting call. The goal is to get your basic questions answered, and to suggest a training package that suits your needs.
If we’re a good fit, I’ll send over my client questionnaire and schedule our first session.
What can I expect from my first training session?
Since discovery calls are short, our first session is really an initial strategy session. We’ll focus mostly on education and knowledge-building, since those are the essential building blocks of an effective training plan.
After all, you wouldn’t set out on a major voyage without a map, right?
Once we know what we’re working toward, we’ll create a training plan that’s doable for both you and your pup. Most of the hands-on training will happen in future sessions, but we will do an exercise or two and—where needed—we’ll start right away on management strategies that will give you immediate relief.
The real “meat” of our training will come in future sessions, when we’ll build on the foundation from Day 1.
TL;DR: There’s a lot of talking in the first session, but it’s all important! I’ll leave you with a plan and clear next steps. And we’ll do some training, too.
How many sessions do I need?
That’s a tough question to answer without knowing more about you and your dog! We’ll chat about it in our discovery call. But I can tell you up front that you’ll need more than one. Training your dog is like sending them to school; they won’t learn it all on the first day. It takes time and practice for them (and for you) to pick up a new skill and adopt new behavior.
That said, simple obedience is easier than major behavior modification, so it will depend on your dog, your goals, and how much time you’re willing to spend between sessions.
How should I prepare for a session?
It’s best if your dog shows up to a session exercised and at least a little hungry.
Why exercised? We don’t want them exhausted, but uncontrollable energy doesn’t lend itself well to learning. You know your dog best.
Why hungry? They’ll be motivated to learn! We’ll use yummy food treats to encourage your dog in certain behaviors, and they’ll care a lot more if they’re hungry.
*Note: If your dog is wary of strangers, please tell me before I arrive for an in-home session. This will give us time to plan ahead for a positive first impression.
How do virtual sessions work?
We’ll use Zoom to have a live video call. Zoom is free to use, and you don’t need to sign up or create an account to join. Just click the link I’ll send you in the calendar invite for our meeting! You can join from your browser, or if you prefer to join from a mobile device, you can download the app.
These sessions are very similar to in-home training sessions. I’ll start by getting an update on your progress and goals, and will talk you through any new elements of the training plan.
If you want to, you’ll work with your dog on camera while I talk you through the process, and I’ll offer feedback as we go.
How should I prepare for a virtual session?
To maximize your virtual session time, it’s helpful if you can do a few things beforehand:
- Set up and test Zoom
- Send me any updates or questions
- Set up a good camera angle (if you’ll be working with your dog during the call)
Where are in-person training sessions held?
Private sessions can be done at your home or in different public settings like parks, depending on what we’re working on.
My service area includes: Thornton, Brighton, Northglenn, Ft. Lupton, Hudson, and Keenesburg, as well as select parts of Westminster, Broomfield, Erie, Arvada, and Denver for in-person sessions.
Virtual sessions are available everywhere!
Group classes are held at one of two training locations:
- Matrix Dog: 9975 Wadsworth Pkwy M4, Westminster, CO 80021
- Nose Work
- Team Spirit Agility: 8910 W 52nd Ave, Arvada, CO 80002
- Nose Work and Control Unleashed