Where can I sign up for group classes?
We no longer offer group classes to the public. Instead, we start training in your home, where we can focus on the skills your dog needs the most. Once you and your dog have gained proficiency in basic manners, you can then integrate into our group lessons held at local parks, dog-friendly businesses and coffee shops for practice in real-world environments.
Can you help me with my dog's aggression?
Yes. Lisa specializes in behavior problems, including aggression. This means that in addition to over a decade of experience working with dogs with aggressive behaviors, Lisa has attended over 300 hours of continuing education courses that focus on aggressive behavior in dogs, taught by world leaders in dog behavior and training.
Whether your dog barks at other dogs on walks, isn't getting along with another dog in your home, or has bitten a person, Lisa can help.
Do you guarantee results?
The success of any training program involves three factors: The trainer, the dog owner and the dog. No trainer can provide guarantees based on factors outside of their control, including your compliance.
However, we guarantee that our training program will be customized to your dog's needs and based on current practices that fall within the guildelines of humane training set forth by the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior, the Certification Council For Professional Dog Trainers and the Association of Pet Dog Trainers. As a member in good standing of the CCPDT and APDT, we are prohibited from offering guarantees on the outcome of any training program, as that is widely considered to be unethical.
What trainers have influenced your approach?
Lisa regularly attends conferences and workshops taught by the top animal trainer in the industry. CLICK HERE to see a full list of the trainers that have influenced Lisa's training approach.
Why don’t you give discounts for rescue dogs?
I personally own a rescue dog. I donate my time and expertise to local breed rescue groups and shelters, providing training and behavior support that saves the lives of dogs slated for euthanasia. I transport dogs from shelters to rescues and foster homes at my own expense. I have fostered rescue dogs in my home, at my personal expense. I donate my time to rescue to help volunteers learn how to train the dogs they foster so they are more adoptable.
Rather than give discounts for classes, limiting my ability to provide these life-saving services, I instead focus on saving those dogs that are still at risk of euthanasia.
Will you train my dog to be a service dog?
We do not offer training for service dogs.
Keep in mind that not all dogs have the temperament necessary for such demanding work and the training necessary can take up to a year or more for experienced dog handlers. However, if you think you're up for the challenge, we recommend the book Teamwork, which is a guide for owners looking to train their own dogs.
Our unique programs focus on positive reinforcement -- not force, pain or intimidation. We want your dog to respond to YOU, not to special training collars or equipment. Our methods are based in the science of how dogs learn (classical and operant conditioning), how dogs behave in their natural environment (ethology), how the brain affects behavior (neuropsychology), and the behavioral characteristics of individual breeds.
Do you use treats in your training?
Yes. 4Paws University educates dog owners how to use food as a reward, not as a bribe, how to prevent dependence on treats, and how to integrate other types of rewards into every day situations. We encourage the use of the dog's meals as training rewards, rather than simply giving it away for free twice a day. For more, read Training with Food
Do you tailor your methods to each dog?
Yes. We use a wide variety of reward-based methods and adapt our approach to each dog. We have studied the methods of dozens of different trainers from a wide variety of studies including protection, agility and more.
After years of experience with punishment-based methods, we have found reward-based methods to be the most effective for the most dogs, regardless of breed or behavior.
Will you suggest I just ignore bad behavior?
We would never instruct owners to ignore behaviors that will cause harm to dogs, property or people. Instead, we outsmart the dog, using strategies that prevent bad behaviors from happening.
When dogs exhibit attention-seeking behavior, those behaviors which are rewarded by attention (even when the owner believes they are using punishment), we will teach dog owners how to withdraw or withhold the kinds of attention that might inadvertently reward the dog's whining, barking, nipping or other unwanted behavior. This, however, is not the same as simply ignoring bad behavior.
Do you use shock collars?
No. Our training methods focus on teaching your dog to respond to you, not special equipment. Reliance on aversive collars often creates dogs who are only responsive when wearing this equipment.
Further, aversive training methods and equipment have repeatedly been shown to increase stress and anxiety in dogs, which is the leading cause of problem behaviors, including fear and aggression.
Do you specialize in stubborn or dominant breeds?
We specialize in dog behavior. We understand how dogs learn, what causes problem behaviors and how to teach new behaviors. All breeds of dogs have their individual challenges, but they all learn the same, from Pit Bulls to Poodles and Dachshunds to Dobermans. Our experience in working with a wide variety of breeds allows us to tailor training programs to suit the individual.