Do you have any unanswered questions? Want to get to know more about common questions we answer and what makes K9 Heights Different? Our goal is to educate our clients and be a resource for you. We enjoy working with owners who are eager to learn and expand their relationship with their dog. Please read some of the frequently asked questions below to get to know more about K9 Heights, our training philosophy, and our program structures.
What Us Your Training Philosophy?
We are balanced dog trainers, meaning we utilized training techniques and methods from the four quadrants of operant conditioning. We know that no two dogs are alike and we work with each one to address their individual needs. What we've found to be most successful is utilizing a combination of luring with treats, verbal & physical praise, teaching leash pressure, and collar corrections to help dogs succeed. We do like to fade out the use of treats over time so that they are not a requisite for the behavior for the rest of your dog's life. We also want to find the collar that allows us to give a meaningful correction at the lowest level possible. That way we can give a dog a correction and not have to be over the top, or simply just nagging them. For this reason we often utilize correction collars such as a prong collar and e-collar.
What is the Structure of Your Board and Train Program
The Board and Train For our board and train programs dogs are trained in a home environment. They actually live in the home of K9 Heights Owner and Head Trainer, Eric Allport. We have multiple trainers who come in throughout the day to work with the dogs. They learn obedience and behaviors in the home environment. They have structured playtime, structured walks and are worked in pet friendly places out in public. We provide training photos and weekly email updates.
Going Home When your dog is ready to come home you will have a go home lesson where K9 Heights Trainer will be bringing them home to your family. We go over the structure and obedience skills they learned, and teach you how to implement the structure within your own home.
Follow Up lessons Each board and train program include follow up lessons at your home, or in public, to work on areas that you need help with . We strive to help you and your dog work together.
Alumni Classes Alumni classes are classes held on a drop in basis two to three times a month on Sundays. They allow you to practice your skills with your dog, around other dogs and owners, with the help and support of a trainer. Our Class Trainer helps guide you through working on behavioral issues with your dog and working towards gaining your AKC Canine Good Citizenship Certificate.
Is my dog crated the whole time when they aren't training?
Once your dog is at K9 Heights, we work with them on crate training, place training and obedience skills. Once your dog has learned the place command, a down stay of a dog bed, they are out with us between training sessions while trainers are working with other dogs, and while conducting office work or household chores.
How Old Does My Dog Need To Be To Start Training?
We start working with dogs as young as 11 weeks, provided they are up to date on all their vaccinations. We generally wait to introduce the e-collar to a puppy until they are 5 months. We do work with them on the foundation obedience skills that we require first before introducing an e-collar to any dog.
My Dog is Aggressive, Will You Work With Them?
We work with dogs of all ages, breeds and temperaments. We are firm believers in giving dogs a second chance. Behavioral changes take time and commitment. We strive to give you and your dog a solid foundation for success and teach you how to mitigate these behavioral issues. It will require consistency and follow up on your part. Training occurs on both ends of the leash with any dogs we work with.
All of our trainers are bite trained, meaning they are taught to work with aggressive dogs safely. We are taught to monitor the dogs body language and build their confidence. We make sure no two dogs are introduced without intention, and we specifically work on redirecting the behavior and creating foundational skills before hand. No client dogs come into contact with one another, and all dogs are handled by a trainer when out of the crate and training. If your dog were to bite one of our trainers you will not be held liable for their behavior.
What are Correction Collars and How do they work?
Correction Collars are any collars that help deter a negative behavior and improve the communication between you and your dog. They make the dog feel uncomfortable and the dog is dissuaded from pulling on the leash or lunging.
The two types of corrective collars we utilize are Prong collars and E collars. These collars allow us to give the dog a meaningful correction without the risk of injury that a flat collar or halti could inflict. Any collar can get a bad reputation if used incorrectly. Prong collars and E collars should be used under supervision of a trainer to properly introduce you to using them in a safe manner.
Prong collars may look intimidating, but they are actually blunt on the prongs providing a tightening sensation overall around the dogs neck. They can be much safer than a flat collar, because it does not crush the dogs trachea. The collar provides feedback to the dog telling them to stop what they are doing. It's uncomfortable, but with leash pressure the dog learns if they back off and do not pull at the leash, the sensation goes away.
E-collars or electronic stimulation collars are is a low level stimulation, similar to that of a TENS unit at physical therapy. The collar is controlled by a handled remote and is paired with the dog's training program after the dog has started to learn basic obedience. The e-collar has become maligned and people often think of the stimulation like a taser, this is incorrect. This stimulation is not the same, it tenses the muscles and gives them a tingly sensation, breaking their train of thought, and redirect their focus to the handler for more guidance.
E collars can be used with big dogs, small dogs, fearful dogs, and aggressive dogs. It's a way of working with dogs who can’t physically handle a leash correction but are feisty enough to need something. For dogs who already have off leash reliability, it provides a safety net when they are off leash. For more information about our E-collar Training, check out our E-collar blogs to learn more!
Will Training Collars Hurt My Dog?
Training collars are actually a way of keeping your dog safe. When used properly, prong collars and e-collars are actually safer than flat collars, haltis and harnesses if they're being used incorrectly. Most people don't realize that they're using flat collars, halti's, and harnesses incorrectly. Their dogs are pulling at the leash, putting pressure on their trachea or neck (in the case of a halti), causing permanent damage.
E-collars are often used on small dogs who cannot handle the physical leash correction, but are feisty enough to need reinforcement. It helps to provide a meaningful correction without trachea injury. Harnesses often encourage pulling, exasperating the problem.
I've Heard E Collars can make behaviors worse, is this true?
Like any tool if used incorrectly or introduced at the wrong time, it can lead to behavior problems. What makes our approach different is that we teach obedience first, and then pair E-collar training to help re-enforce the behaviors. Many people think that trainers immediately put an e-collar on and provide corrections. That is not our approach. We want it to become a positive association, giving them the chance to make the right choices, resulting in more freedom over time. The taps of stimulation are a way of communicating with the dog and getting their attention, it isn't a punishment.
We strongly believe that E collar training is a crucial part of breaking the cycle of aggression and helping them learn better behaviors. We successfully use its gentle pressure with fearful dogs. Yes, Fearful dogs. It's helped with dogs who are so shut down that they don’t care about food, about people, about praise, or anything. These dogs try and crawl into a corner when anyone, including their owner is in the room. Some of these fearful dogs have come from bad situations, and have been adopted by owners who have struggled to get these dogs out of that hole.
Using low level stimulation, that is basically feels like an itch, they can learn that moving with leash pressure towards the human they were afraid of is actually a comfortable thing. They begin to be able to walk on leash, to be exposed to the world, and see it isn’t all bad. The dog can learn to stay on “place” instead of hiding in a corner, and they start realizing it’s not that bad out here by the humans. They can go out in the backyard to explore, and their owner doesn’t have to worry that they won’t come back inside again. The positive impact this tool has on the quality of these dog’s lives is astounding
How Will My Dog and I Benefit from Training with K9 Heights?
Will My Dog Hate Me for Adding Structure?
This is actually a common concern. The truth is that training will actually help to improve your relationship with your dog. Training allows you to improve your communication with your dog, giving them a better understanding of what you want from them. With the structure you gain from training, your dog learns that they will get rewards and love from you if they are behaving well!
If you have a dog who rules the roost, jumping on furniture when they want, begging for food when they want, counter surfing the don't understand that affection, and treats are rewards not a free-for-all. Want to improve your relationship with your pet, start working with them? Even after pets have come to stay with us for a Board and Train program, their relationship with with the owner increases upon coming home because of having a way to work with you and stay mentally engaged.
What is the K9 Heights Difference?
We are passionate about helping owners who see the need for change, and are willing to work to make it happen. We will be with you every step of the way. Our training programs include the actual board and train program, follow up lessons, and lifetime alumni classes. We also provide clients access to our online client resource page for you to reference at any time. Once you are part of the K9 Heights Family, you are part of the K9 Heights Family for life.