FAQ

Where are you located?

The Canine Training Center is located in central Howard County, just minutes outside of Columbia, MD.

We are a home based business, and our family lives on the premises.  For safety reasons, we made the decision long ago not to display our business address on our website.  If you call us or submit a contact form, we’ll be happy to give you this information.  We apologize for the inconvenience this causes, but my family thanks you for your understanding.

Please contact us directly for our address.

I have been told that programs like the board and train won’t work because the dog learns to listen to the trainer and not me. Is this true?

This is a great question and a valid concern.

Ask yourself this: “How are service dogs trained?”

The answer is that they are trained professionally first, and then the owners are brought in to learn how to work with their companion dog once the training is completed or nearly complete.

We use the same approach in our Board and Train program.

The Best Dog Training is a form of communication that creates reliable and consistent obedience, manners, and boundaries. First we train your dog and then we teach you how to communicate with them using our proven techniques.

While your dog stays in our kennel and trains with us, we are also teaching you with our online Dog eLearning video tutorials, and we also send you written homework to help keep you on track. The video tutorials are in depth and very descriptive giving you a great foundation before you even pick your dog up from training.

Next we have a one hour private lesson when you pick them up from training, so you have the opportunity to be coached on all of the things that they have learned with us.

Then there are two follow up group classes that are added onto the package for free, to make sure that we can continue to support you once you have your dog home again. Currently, the classes are held on Thursday nights at 7:00 PM (exact days and times may be subject to change).

The classes are free for you, but we will still offer a $25.00 credit ($50.00 maximum) for each class that you are not able to attend the group classes due to a scheduling conflict. You can use this towards a private lesson, or towards one of our full length group classes.

Our teaching style is one of the many things that sets us apart, and gives you the knowledge  you need to be successful.

Will my dog lose their personality when they attend the Board and Train Program?

This is one of the most common question we receive before a dog enters training, and if you are feeling this, we understand your concern.  We will not change your dog’s personality.  Instead we will make them more confident by establishing clear communication and boundaries, which will allow their personality to come out for you.   At the same time they’ll become more obedient, happy, and controllable.

Will my dog miss me while he is in the Board and Train Program?

Dogs that come here take generally need approximately one day to acclimate to a new environment; however, when your dog comes to us, we are going to treat them like family, and begin to build a bond with them right from the beginning.

In addition, they are going to be so busy with training that they really have to much to think about to miss home. It is their equivalent to a student entering Harvard and who only has two weeks to obtain their law degree. The training is very intense and will consume all of their time and energy. When they return to you they will immediately remember you and be ready to start their new lives with you happier and more balanced than before.

Do you require a deposit for the Board and Train program?

We require a deposit of $120.00 (this amount is subject to change, please contact us to obtain the current amount) to reserve the training start date for your dog.

Important: Training dates will not be reserved until the deposit has been received.

If you cancel or need to change the date of your Board and Train the following restrictions apply:

    • Deposits are non-refundable for any reason
    • Cancellations or date changes made more than 14 days prior to the start date will result in a credit in the amount of the deposit paid that can be used towards a future dog training service
    • Cancellations or date changes made less than 14 days prior to the start date will result in the forfeiture of the deposit. A new deposit will be required to reserve a new training start date.

What is your refund policy?

While we can’t offer a monetary refund, we stand 100% behind our training. Our Board and Train program forms a partnership between our client, their dog, and our team of dog trainers. The success of the programs depends on us performing our job correctly, and also on the owner following up on the homework and rules that we lay out for them.

Instead of offering a monetary refund we offer a Lifetime Guarantee.  This means that we will continue to work with owners who are working hard, and following my recommendations for as long as it takes.  In this way, those owners who are truly invested in their dog’s training and well being are assured that they will get everything they need out of our program.  Restrictions apply.  Please contact us for details.

Do you provide food for my dog while he is in the Board and Train Program?

We ask that each owner provide enough food for their dog during their stay with us.  We know from years of experience that dogs have a difficult time adjusting to a new food if it’s not done slowly over one to two weeks.  If we feed your dog our food while they’re here, an upset stomach is likely.  By the time they’re heading home they will have adjusted to the new diet, only to have to readjust to their old food when they return home to you.

It’s far better to just give them a consistent diet.

If your dog runs out of food while they are here, we’re happy to get more for you.  While we make every attempt to locate their exact brand and type of food, if it is not available, we will choose a high quality food that is derived of the same ingredients from a local pet store. In addition to the cost of the food, a service fee will apply for the time required to purchase the food.

What do I need to provide you with when I drop him off for the Board and Train (IKT)?

Medicine, food, a copy of your dog’s current shot records that we can keep, and the completed registration forms. We will supply everything else that they will need while they are here.

Am I required to attend an evaluation for a group class prior to signing up for it?

While the group evaluation is not mandatory it is highly recommended that you attended an evaluation before joining a group class. Due to time constraints this is not always possible; however, please understand that if your dog is overly disruptive, or jeopardizes the safety of the students or other dogs in the classroom we will recommend another solution.

If your dog is removed from the class due to issues of safety or a disruptive behavior, you will receive a prorated credit toward another service offered by The Canine Training Center.

What options do I have if I cannot attend one or both of the follow up group classes?

Once dogs return home from the Board and Train Program, we offer two follow up group classes at no additional charge, to help make sure that our clients can stay on track; however, we really believe in the powerful benefits that manifest when clients continuing to work with us, which is why we offer the classes at no additional charge. That being said, we do have some options designed to help people that aren’t able to attend their scheduled classes:

1. We offer a $25.00 credit ($50.00 total if you can’t make both classes) towards either a full length group class, or private lesson.
2. Reschedule for a future Board and Train Group class.  The class is held every Thursday night at 7:00 PM, and you are welcome to attend a different class than what is listed; however, we have limits for how many dogs can be in each class.  Owners that choose this option will need to confirm that we have space available after 12:00 PM on the day that you would like to attend.

How long will it take to drop off my dog for the board and train program?

Drop off times are scheduled in 15 minute intervals. While this process can take less than 15 minutes, we want to make sure that we can address any last minute questions you have. We also want to ensure that we fully understand your goals for the training, so we also review your dog specific needs at this time.

I‘m going to be on vacation so I won’t be able to attend the group lecture class. What options are available?

Great question. We have a lot of clients who were not able to attend the group lecture class because the distance is too great for them to travel, or they are going on vacation. To solve this problem, we have created an online version of this class.
This is a free option, and it’s available to anyone who has a dog enrolled in our board and train program.
Even if you are overseas, as long as you have an Internet connection, you won’t miss a thing.

What issues do you commonly address with your board and train program?

The board and train program is designed to help every dog of any age, and their owners achieve training goals or find solutions to any problem.

Here are just a few of the problems we have helped others with:

  • Aggression to dogs
  • Teaching good manners
  • Yard escaping
  • Aggression to humans
  • Improving Confidence
  • Crying in a crate
  • Not coming when called
  • Running out of doors
  • Pulling on lead
  • Puppy Training
  • Basic obedience
  • Excessive Barking
  • Stealing food
  • Jumping on people
  • Eating doors/ walls
  • Mounting
  • Nuisance chewing
  • Shyness / Nervousness
  • Aggression to other pets
  • Nuisance digging
  • Marking
  • Food / toy aggression
  • Separation anxiety

What is the minimum age for a dog to attend the board and train program?

We prefer that puppies are at least six months of age when they attend the board and train program; however, we do make exceptions on a case-by-case basis.

I’m planning a vacation and need to board my dog at the kennel. Is the board and train a good solution for my dog while I am away?

Absolutely! Individuals and families very frequently choose to use the board and train program while they go on vacation. They simply feel better knowing that their dog is having fun, improving manners and obedience, or getting help with a behavioral problem, rather than just sitting in a kennel at a regular boarding facility.

Who exactly will be working with my dog while he stays with you in the board and train program?

We currently have three certified dog trainer’s on staff, and everyone works with every dog. We have found that it helps the dogs while they are in training to receive instruction from multiple people. It all comes down to providing a consistent picture for each dog that we train. You want them to understand that the rules and boundaries apply in every situation, and this is a great way to help them achieve that goal.

Can I sign my dog up for the board and train without coming for the evaluation?

We highly recommend that you schedule an evaluation prior to your dog starting the Board and Train program; however, we understand that this may not be possible for everyone. Complications such as distance to our facility, and a busy work and family schedule can make this nearly impossible for some people.

The evaluation process is designed to ensure that you are comfortable working with us, to make sure that you understand our training methodology, and that we are able to fully understand what your goals are for your dog’s training.

If you are not able to attend an evaluation, we can schedule a phone consultation. When we do this it’s helpful to have videos that demonstrate the behaviors that you would like us to work on with your dog. If possible, please email the videos prior to the scheduled phone consultation so that we can better prepare to discuss how we can help you.

How do you calculate the additional cost if there is an extended stay beyond 14 days?

The cost of our Board and Train Program is $120/day. To calculate the total cost for any length of time that your dog stays with us, simply use the following formula:

Number of Total Days x 120 = ?

Both the day that your dog is dropped off for training, and the day that they are picked up from training are included in this calculation.

The exception to this rule is if your dog is coming staying with us for refresher training, and you don’t feel that you’ll need a private lesson when you pick them up, and they will be picked up prior to 12:00 PM, the last day is only charged at $59.99.

How many students are allowed per dog in the group training class?

In the interest of safety, and to provide a productive learning environment we allow two people to attend for each dog enrolled in the class.

What happens if I miss a group class? Can I make it up?

Please consider this to be a school environment, it is your responsibility to be on time and to make the class a priority.
However, we do realize that certain situations make it unavoidable to miss a class, so we do offer a couple of options:

1. We will schedule a 30-minute private lesson with you at a reduced rate. Please contact us to obtain the current pricing for this type of lesson.

2. We send out homework after every class, and most students will find that the homework is detailed enough to keep them on track. Especially if they are only missing a single class.

My puppy is currently enrolled in the Puppy Kindergarten class, and we are going on vacation. Can I make up that class later?

Puppy classes are meant to be attended for four consecutive weeks; however, due to the open enrollment format of the puppy kindergarten class, we can allow students one make up class when they are unable to attend. This class will be added onto the end of your regularly scheduled classes.

What is your cancellation policy for the group class?

Why in the world would you ever choose to not attend this group class? It’s amazing! Short answer… We require you to cancel a minimum of two weeks prior to the class start date; otherwise,  you are responsible for the full payment of the class.

If something really crazy happens, and I’ve already paid a deposit, can I use the deposit or full payment as a credit towards a future class or a different service?

Please see our Group Class Cancellation Policy below:

It is the responsibility of each student to be on time and present for each class. Make up classes are not available for missed classes; however, an abbreviated private lesson may be available at a reduced cost. Please contact us for details and current pricing information.

Rescheduling a start date for any group class must be completed no later than 14 calendar days prior to the class start date.

If a request to reschedule is received more than 14 days prior to the class, the deposit may be used as a credit to pay for any future service; however, this may not be used as a deposit. A new deposit will be required in order to place a reservation for another class, and both the original and second deposit will be used towards the balance of the class.

Requests to reschedule a class, received less than 14 calendar days prior to the class start date will result in the forfeiture of the deposit.

Requests to reschedule a class, received less than 24 hours prior to the class start date will require payment in full.

My dog is sick, and I don’t think I should start training now. Do I still have to pay for the class?

If your dog is unable to join us due to medical condition, simply have your vet send us the documentation, and we will waive the normal cancellation policy. You are also permitted to use what you have already paid as a credit towards a future class or another service.

Will a group class help me to potty train my dog?

That depends on a lot of things.
All group classes share one thing in common, and that is that they are designed to teach a specific curriculum to a large group of people at the same time. We simply cannot answer every individual question in a group class environment; however, our goal is to teach you how your dog thinks, learns, and how to create solutions.
If you’re able to transfer the information that you receive in a group class environment to the real world (i.e. your home) you will be able to create a training plan for any situation.

How long do I have to use all five lessons in the Private Lesson Package?

We have established an expiration date for the private lesson package of 8 weeks from the date of your first lesson. We do this to ensure that you’re not throwing your money away. Our experience has proven that setting a time limit provides you with a better result, goals that are achieved, and a happier more balanced dog.

Put simply, spacing out the lessons doesn’t work.

Dog training needs to be consistent, and we need to give you a great deal of information in a short period of time to ensure that you are successful. When the private lessons are spaced out over a time period that is too long, clients are not able to retain the information, and we end up covering the same information each time we meet. Nothing is more frustrating to someone dedicated to helping you, than to see a lack of progress. This is one way we can ensure that you are successful, and we are fulfilling our commitment to you.

What is the price for private lessons if we have more than one dog that we would like to train with you?

The price is the same when multiple dogs are involved in a private lesson, so long as it’s the same owner. We charge by the client not by the dog for private lessons.

Please Note: We may recommend working one dog at a time, or only having one dog attend a lesson at a time. This will depend on what we believe will help you to be successful. All recommendations will be fully discussed with each client prior to making a decision with them.

How old does my puppy need to be before we can schedule a private lesson?

We can start training your puppy the moment he comes home to you. In fact, many of our clients schedule a private lesson with us before they bring their puppy home. We are always taken back when we hear people state that you should wait until your puppy is older to begin training. The fact is, you begin training your puppy the instant that you take them home. Puppies are similar to children in that they are always learning. The question is: “What are they learning?”

Learning how to teach your new best friend how to communicate with you, as soon as possible allows them to be happier, and more confident for a lifetime with you.

My dog is aggressive towards other dogs while on leash. If we sign up for private lessons, would we be able to work around other dogs?

This is a great question, and the short answer is, yes, we can provide trained dogs for our private lessons; however, there is more to helping your aggressive dog overcome their fear than simply “teaching them not to be aggressive while on leash”.
When a client has a dog with aggression issues, there are multiple training goals that must be accomplished prior to introducing another dog into a training session. Think about it this way…
You are a student in a prestigious university, and you are attending your first Quantum Physics class. Which learning environment would you prefer, a calm safe environment, or a rock band blasting in speakers around the room and someone is aiming a gun at you. This is a bit extreme, but that is what it would feel like to your dog if we started them off on their first day by bringing another dog into the training session. They need to learn the basics in a calm environment before they can be expected to perform  well in a challenging environment. An environment that causes them to feel a great deal of stress and fear.
We start by teaching the client how to control their dog in a calm environment, to prevent a situation where they cannot control the dog, and the dog cannot control itself. The idea is to keep it easy/simple. We set this up so that the dog continues to get wins, which will enable the client and the dog to be successful toward their final goal… Eliminating the aggressive behavior.
The primary goals for any type of dog training are attention, and communication. Obedience is the foundation upon which attention, and communication are built. Without these elements in place, training cannot succeed.

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