+ What style of dog training do you practice?
We believe in positive training methods. This is a reward-based system, in which you encourage good behaviour and redirect away from unwanted ones.
+ What is your stance on muzzles?
We believe that muzzles can be a great training tool for rehabilitating dogs who have bitten, or who have shown attempts at biting other animals or humans.
The worst outcome for a dog who has bitten would be reduced exercise and socialization. Muzzling a dog allows the handler to have more confidence in their ability to keep everyone safe, while filling the dog's needs of exercise and mental stimulation.
When possible, we suggest using a Baskerville muzzle, as it allows the dog to breathe comfortably, as well as take treats and drink water.
+ Why do I need a front clip harness?
There are several reasons we require all Walking and Overnight Care clients to provide us with a front-clip harness: Our insurance requires it. Dogs can slip a harness when it is attached to the back. Collars put strain on a dog's neck. Extended use of a collar on a dog who pulls can cause lasting damage. Leading a dog by the front encourage it to follow your body, resulting in less pulling and a more engaged dog in general. When there is tension on the back, their instinct is to pull against the pressure.
+ Do you walk dogs off leash?
We only work on off-leash with dogs that we have built a strong bond with and who we know will recall dependably.
We start this process slowly using an attached long line and then once we feel they are responsive and controllable we move to dropping the long line so they are not attached, but we still have the ability to step on the leash if they are not responsive. The only dogs that are allowed fully off-leash in the company are those whose recall is 100%.
As we are responsible for your dogs when they are in our care it is vital that we can control them in any situation. This whole process can take months of work to get up to off-leash play for the pups, and is of course dependant on each dog’s abilities.
+ Can I come on a walk with the dog walker?
Walking services (Training, Buddy, or Quick Break) provide exercise and training for the dog, but unfortunately not for the owner. It takes a great deal of skill and practice to manage both the dog and clients needs simultaneously. Luckily for those who want to see what we do in action, we do offer Coaching!
+ Are we covered by insurance?
Yes! We have coverage for our clients' pets in what we believe to be all scenarios: in the walkers' car, in the pet sitters' home, and out on the walk. Coverage has been extended to cover the animals vet bills, third party injury, staff injury, and any damage done to property.
+ How are dogs transported in your care?
All dogs in our care are required to wear a front-clipping harness. One of the reasons for this is safety in the car. Each dog is secured by a shortened leash to a climbing carabiner secured in their Walker's car. The dogs may share seats if the Walker deems that they will be comfortable together.
+ What is your policy on vaccines?
Puppies in our classes or services require both 8 and 12 week coverage for distemper and parvovirus.
After 1 year of age (or the third booster shot), we prefer a titre test to confirm whether sufficient antibodies are present.
For new services clients, we will contact your vet to confirm that you're up to date, no need for you to bring in any paperwork!
Rabies, bordetella, giardia, lyme disease vaccines are not required.
+ What is a titre test?
A laboratory test measuring the existence and level of antibodies to disease in blood. Antibodies are produced when an antigen (like a virus or bacteria) provokes a response from the immune system. This response can come from natural exposure or from vaccination.
+ Are Walks included in Overnight Care?
Yes! Your dog will receive 1 hour minimum of exercise per day, unless their health or age prevents this, as well as regular bathroom breaks as needed. Their exercise may be completed by the sitter or by one of our Walkers. They will only be included in a Buddy Walk if they have been cleared for group walks in their Private Assessment.
+ My dog is reactive to other dogs, will Jake bring a dog to the Coaching session?
In training, it is important not to start with a challenge level 10. Your dog will likely not learn anything, you will end up frustrated, and possibly even reinforcing those unwanted behaviours.
+ How long will it take for this issue to be resolved?
Jake likes to say that altering any behaviour takes around 200 hours. This may sound like a scary number, but the thing to remember is that practice makes perfect, and dog training is all about consistency.
+ How many sessions do you suggest / how often?
Most of our clients do at least three Coaching sessions, one-two weeks apart. Of course the timing depends on your lifestyle, and the problem at hand. For the best experience, you want to make sure you have time to practice between sessions. That way, you'll have new questions for Jake, and he can help you along your training journey.
+ Why do you use treats? Doesn't that encourage the bad behaviour?
The basic idea with treats is that they up the value of us, the human. As a positive, treat based training company we use treats as one of many ways to reward a dog for the right behaviour. But we also use the two other widely accepted ways of rewards: praise and access to things. We find, generally, that these three things (praise, treats and access to things/stuff) can be used in low challenge situations, we find that in high challenge situations the dog will often tune out praise where treats may work. The treats are also used to redirect away from unwanted behaviour preemptively to that we can avoid the use of force.