Welcome to the Canine Academy FAQ page! Here, we’ve compiled a collection of commonly asked questions to provide you with valuable insights into our training programs and approach. As a premier dog training facility dedicated to creating well-behaved and happy companion dogs, we believe in transparency and open communication. In this section, you’ll find answers to key inquiries about our training methods, facility, trainers, and more. Whether you’re a new dog owner seeking guidance or a prospective client interested in our services, we’re here to address your concerns and provide you with the information you need to make informed decisions. Browse through our FAQ section to gain a deeper understanding of how Canine Academy can support you and your beloved furry friend on the journey toward a harmonious and fulfilling relationship.
A Day in The Life of a Canine Academy Dog
Core to Canine Academy’s values is that your dog’s board and train experience is about far more than the time they spend in the classroom. Proper exercise and affection are also critical components of your dog’s learning, well-being, and overall success. We work around the clock to ensure the safety of your dog, and our Care Team has a passion for making every dog’s day fulfilling and fun!
Will my dog by supervised all day?
Yes! Canine Academy has an onsite employee 24/7 to ensure your dog is never left alone at the farm. We also have video monitoring in each kennel so we can make sure your pup is always safe, happy, and well-rested.
When does my dog get breakfast?
Breakfast starts at 7:30am. Our dedicated care team arrives bright and early to feed each dog his or her preferred food, dispense any required medications, and start everyone's day right with a consistent morning routine!
What does my dog do when not in training?
When not in training, your dog will be hitting the trails or socializing our in our play field.
Each dog on our campus gets an individual morning walk through our private nature trails. Hot sniffs and doggy curiosity abound when our Care Team is at the other end of the leash.
For dogs that can't wait to see their doggy friends, a nice long opportunity to run free and chase toys is as fun as any day at the dog park. For dogs that have a more solo style, individual enrichment and extra ear scratches are on the menu.
How much time does my dog spend with their trainer?
Every day, your dog will spend about 2.5-3 hours with their trainer, broken into two separate sessions with time to rest in between.
Does my dog get to rest during the day?
Yes! All of that mental work is exhausting. Your dog will get nap time opportunities in between training. Our kennels provide a nice, quiet place to get some R&R, let their new skills marinate, and get their brain and body ready for more play and training.
How often is my dog's kennel cleaned?
Daily! While your dog works hard, so do our Care Team members. Each kennel is fully cleaned each day and dogs are provided with fresh water and food bowls at every meal.
When does my dog get dinner?
Dinner is served at 6:00pm, along with any required medications or supplements and plenty of time for a potty break.
Will my dog get an evening walk?
Yes! Evening enrichment time entails either another walk or a second chance to hang out with friends in the play field. After a full day of play and work, evening enrichment usually has our dogs doing more sniffing and exploring than running and chasing!
When does my dog go to sleep?
At 10pm, each dog gets his or her final potty break before getting tucked in for the night. Bedtime routines include getting plenty of belly rubs before our Care Team leaves our sleeping dogs in the hand of our on-site manager each night.
Positive Experience E-Collar Training
Positive experience e-collar training at Canine Academy offers an effective approach to teaching dogs essential obedience skills. With a focus on clear communication and reinforcement, our trainers utilize e-collars as a tool to enhance training outcomes. This method promotes confidence, builds trust, and fosters a positive bond between dogs and their owners.
Do you use e-collars in your training?
Yes! Many people are surprised to hear that positive experience training can also be enhanced by e-collars. The most critical differences between how we incorporate e-collars and how other trainers use them are in the meaning associated with the stimulus, and the experience dogs have while wearing the training equipment.
Rather than using the stimulus to communicate to your dog that he or she has done something wrong, we pair a low-level stimulus with command AND praise, so that the tapping sensation they feel means "mom or dad are talking to me" and NOT "I'm in trouble." Further, we'll make sure that your dog has plenty of fun, bonding experiences with their trainer while wearing the collar; not grueling workout sessions. Much like when he or she sees their leash now, the e-collar should indicate that they are spending quality time with you, not that it's time to do chores.
View our training methods page to learn more.
What is the difference between a shock collar and an e-collar?
The modern e-collar has come a long way from the shock collar training of yesteryear. Old shock collars used electrical pulses to send shock waves to your dogs. E collars of modern times use electronic stimulation (instead of static shock) to stimulate the nerves in a dog’s neck muscles. At low intensities, the dog feels the collar as if it’s being tapped repeatedly on the shoulder.
Traditionally trainers use the shock collar in negative reinforcement. Here, the trainers apply the collar at a higher intensity. This causes the dog a negative reaction: fear, pain, or annoyance. The dog seeks to avoid behaviors in an effort to reduce negative consequences. This is not the Canine Academy way!
What is positive experience dog training?
Positive experience dog training uses high-value rewards to encourage high-value behaviors. Anything your dog finds desirable is a reward: treats, playtime, affection or words of encouragement. When you apply these rewards to the process of learning basic obedience skills, the skills themselves become more likely to be repeated.
Positive experience training doesn’t ignore undesirable behaviors. Instead, we use basic obedience commands to redirect away from those behaviors and reward successful redirection with praise. For example, if your dog is barking out the front door, you may call your dog to a come; here they cannot see out the front door or be tempted to bark and have earned praise for successfully executing a command under distraction.
Ultimately, enough practice will embed them into the dog’s muscle memory for a lifetime.
What is the purpose of an e-collar?
Canine Academy customers are often surprised to learn that positive reinforcement and e collar training can be complimentary. Our happy customers will attest that you can train a dog for obedience without causing the dog any pain through the e collar. In our Positive E Collar system, you’ll use the collar as a neutral communication tool. And because the collar is a communication tool — and not the reinforcement itself — we use just as much collar pressure as it takes to get the dog’s attention.
At Canine Academy our training enhances the trust and communication between the dog and their handler. In turn, this improves training outcomes. The e-collar enables the handler to communicate at a distance that other stimuli (voice, leash pressure) cannot. Using the e-collar as another tool in your toolbox, along with your leash, your voice, and your nonverbal cues, you can translate your dog’s obedience skills to a distance. This freedom unlocks an even better quality of life for you and your dog.
Can e-collars really be used in positive training?
Yes! But it depends on how you use them. An intense static shock is obviously an unpleasant experience for any dog. However, our positive e-collar training method relies on a very low level stimulus. Because the level is just enough for the dog to notice the new stimulus, the dog feels no pain. Our dog obedience training teaches the dog that the stimulus means good things – not bad. Like Pavlov’s bell, an e-collar paired with a treat can have a pup’s mouth watering in a few days.
Obedience Training Packages and Pricing
How much does your training cost?
We have several paths to choose from for basic obedience training. The most cost-effective route is small group classes, which cost $650. This price includes the cost of 7 lessons, as well as lifetime access to our no-cost graduate group classes.
Our board and train programs accelerate your results, and allow you to focus your mental energy on applying new skills, rather than teaching your dog the mechanics of basic obedience. Our board and train programs range in price from $2600-$3100, and each program guarantees your results on- and off-campus. The tuition includes your dog's stay and training on campus, 90-days of proactive follow-up training for the humans in your pack, and a lifetime commitment to support your dog's success via no-cost group classes, trainer office hours, and extensive online resources to help you troubleshoot at any time of day.
What do you teach my dog?
We are basic obedience and public access specialists. That means that we use seven basic obedience commands as a framework for helping dogs master impulse-control, patience, and attention to handler through distraction. "Sitting" for a treat is a very cute trick, but a dog who can maintain a sit while a stranger comes through a door, a bowl of food spills on the floor, or a small animal runs by on their walk has a useful life skill.
Once your dog has mastered sit, down, place, come, heel, off, and release and demonstrated their ability to work through distractions, we can focus on your learning. Your trainer will work with you over a series of lessons and follow-up appointments to ensure that you're able to apply their basic obedience skills to help you have a well-mannered pet that compliments your unique family.
The same skills that sharpen manners can also be used to redirect anxious or reactive dogs. Basic obedience boosts confidence, and helps dogs learn to look to their handler when they feel unsure. A simple command (and lots of praise for succeeding!) can replace reactivity and serves as great mental exercise to diminish feelings of anxiety.
Visit our dog training results page to learn more.
What if I need help later?
We enjoy lifelong relationships with all of our canine graduates. Whichever program you graduate from, you're welcome back to weekly group classes at no cost. These are a fun way to build your bond with your dog or sharpen rusty skills. Graduates of our board and train programs have access to one on one coaching from their trainer at any time - whether you graduated last month, last year, or a decade ago.
Does my dog have to stay on campus?
No! If your preference is to learn via lessons, our semi-private lessons may be the right choice for you. In this program, you'll meet with your trainer weekly, and then take your dog home for homework each week. After 6 lessons, you'll be a graduate of our basic obedience program.
If you're interested in 1:1 learning but can't stand the idea of parting with your dog for their stay, we also offer day-train options. Here, you'll drop your dog off each morning and pick them up each evening, returning for your first lesson together on the final scheduled day.
There are a lot of benefits to a board and train program, including opportunity for safe socialization with friendly humans and dogs. Even dogs who suffer from separation anxiety can benefit from a boarding program, where they learn that fun and exciting things can happen even when their owners aren't with them.
How long is your board and train program?
Our board and train program is planned for between 8 and 10 days on-campus, with 90 days of follow-up training after you take your dog home. Our programs are performance-based; that means we don't send your dog home to you until they have passed their graduation test, demonstrating that they can execute all of their commands through distraction, at a distance from their handler, and for a duration of time. If it takes us more time than planned to achieve this performance milestone, we will never charge you more.
Learn more about our Board & Train program here.
How many lessons are in a semi-private lesson package?
The semi-private lessons include 7 on-campus meeting with your trainer and lesson group. The first six happen at the same day and time for consecutive weeks. The seventh lesson is help approximately 3 months after the start of the program. Students that pass their graduation test are invited to join Canine Academy's no-cost weekly group class at any time.
Visit our semi-private lessons page to learn more.
Which program is right for my dog?
First, consider whether you have the time and energy to dedicate to giving your dog the new skills they need to be your best canine companion. If so, our group learning environment might be right for you. If you prefer to have one of our professional trainers work hands-on with your dog and coach your family through successful habit building, our board and train programs can accelerate your success.
Finally, consider your dog’s current behavior. Do you have a puppy? Are you struggling with symptoms of reactivity or separation anxiety? Or do you just want the reliable canine companion of your dreams? Our programs are specifically designed to support you in creating the canine companion you want, no matter your current state.
Visit our services page for help selecting the best program for you and your pack.
How do you match my dog with a trainer?
All of our trainers are talented, patient, empathetic professionals who share the same time-tested positive experience training methods. But each of our trainers has a unique set of talents in service of their customers - human and canine. Your trainer is your partner for life, so it's critical that you and your dog both connect with and trust them. We consider what motivates your dog, what you value most in a trainer, and what makes your dog unique.
If you'd like to be matched with a trainer, try out our Trainer Matchmaker.
How do you ensure my dog's safety while on campus?
The most important part of your dog's physical and emotional safety is our team's dedication to following your care instructions to the letter. Our campus is video and sound monitored, equipped with fire and CO2 detectors, and staffed 24 hours a day.
Environmental: Double gates, kennel flags
Procedural: leashing, dog fight de-escalation training, supervised play
Do you offer potty training?
Potty training your pup can be stressful; we get the appeal of bringing in an expert! However, potty training is most successful when you train right in their home environment.
Do you need to meet my dog in person before recommending a program?
It's not always necessary that we meet your dog prior to accepting them into a training program. We spend a lot of time getting to know our prospective clients' dogs before we recommend a program. If your dog is a candidate for our basic obedience program we can confidently recommend a program trainer, duration and cost without meeting him or her.
On the other hand, if your primary struggles are with anxiety or reactivity, we might invite you to campus for a consult with a trainer, so we can get to know you and your dog better and feel more confident recommending a training approach to meet your goals.
Am I able to come out to tour the farm in advance of our training? During my dog's training?
We love to show visitors around the farm! We know how important it is to you to trust your training provider. We work to build and maintain your trust by being transparent and dependable. We have no secrets here, and welcome guests for tours!
Distance makes a tour difficult for some prospective clients, navigate here for a virtual tour of our farm.
Short answer, we can try! There are a lot of factors at play when we talk about your dog's desire to interact with or to be calm in the presence of other dogs, such as age, breed, early life experiences and trust/communication with his or her person. If your dog has had little opportunity to interact with other dogs and people, a board and train program could get them some vital exposure and coaching around these unknown factors.
If your potential dog training partner won't make socialization attempts with your dog, it's because they don't dedicate enough staff time and expertise towards these efforts, and therefore socialization of your dog is not safe and might not be a positive process.
Many of our clients have goals around being able to take their dogs out in public or invite loved ones into their homes. While we can't guarantee that we can "make" your dog feel happy to be around other dogs or people, we are happy to try. We've got plenty of expert staff available to ensure this is a safe and positive process for your dog.