Q. How can I hire you to train my dog?
A. Please read through all of our F.A.Q.’s first, go to our Training – Services and Rates tab, and videos tab for up to date pricing and info, and email or Facebook us if you have further questions. I want to provide the most amount of information, coaching, training, and best services that I can to you, your family members and your dog. Feel comfortable with me, my philosophy, my tools and my approach first, before trusting your dog with me. A good place to start that journey is here, on my website or on my Facebook page.
Q. Where is your training center located?
A. We have a new training center in Sharon Springs NY. We are conveniently located about 5 minutes off of Rt 20.
Q. What tools do you use?
A. First understand, tools wont train a dog. People train dogs! But we utilize tools to communicate to the dog what we need them to learn. We understand the way dogs learn, their processes, their psychology. So, what tools? Food, remote collars, slip leashes, flat buckle collars, clickers, dominate collars, prong collars, treats, toys, play, other dogs, and human contact such as presence or touch.
We will absolutely offer you (maybe insist!) a prong collar and/ or remote (ecollar) for dogs who exhibit disengagement, aggression, guarding, anxiety, nervousness, insecurities, reliable off leash work, etc. We only use Ecollar Technologies or Dogtra Remote collars and only use Sprenger brand prong collars for quality, safety, and reliability for any training program. We do not advocate the use of older style correction type collars and off brand prong collars. Please research these collars prior to signing up for training with us to help us move our conversations along!
Q. Do you use corrections in your training approach?
A. Great question! Yes, we do! Run By Dogs is a balanced training program utilizing yes and no communication. 90% of the time we are working with a dog we are using YES! 10% of the time we are using NO! – creating a balanced training method. The concept of balanced training using reward and correction with any dog and any training approach is important so the dog fairly understands what is acceptable and unacceptable. Corrections are simple, unemotional and fairly given after a dog fully understands the training and expectations. Rewards reinforce a wanted behavior, but does not reinforce unwanted behaviors. Think of yourself receiving a traffic ticket. If you are speeding at 90 mph on the highway and receive a ticket- should the traffic ticket make you smile, feel happy and content in your actions if you are fully trained on driving, rules of the road and safety? We use praise when appropriate and corrections when appropriate.
Q. What happens during a board and train?
A. First, understand that our facility is not a shelter or boarding facility. Training is happening 24/7 while the dog is with us. Even while sleeping in their crates, the dog is taught calmness- no barking, whining, pacing, growling. They are there to rest. The training is often fun for dogs, but we are not “summer camp”. From 9pm-7am they are resting in a crate. Then from 7am to 9pm they are doing training programs. Training programs can range from any thing- treadmill running, structured walks, social time, etc. For a typical three week board and train, expect to drop off your dog. We will spend little time with you, the owners at this time, because, guess what!, Kate will want to get right to work! Kate will contact you daily with texts, emails or phone calls with your dogs progress. You can see your dog at the two week mark into training for what we call our Mini Session. We will start establishing your new relationship with your dog, coach you on technique, commands, praise, and corrections. At the end of the board and training, you will pick the dog up, and we will spend two hours with you coaching and training. One week later we will have a follow up session that is two hours long.
We can help any dog feel better and make safer choices. But that does not mean will take every dog or family as a client. In fact, most dogs with major behavioral issues have found themselves in a living environment that has contributed to their dangerous behavior. When Run By Dogs decide to accept an aggressive or unbalanced dog into a training program, we are extensively interviewing the home and family to assess if dog and owner are a good fit for each other. In addition, we are very candid with owners about realistic expectations, lifestyle changes and the tools needed to create a dramatic shift in a troubled dog.
Q. I have watched other dogs during Board and Training with Run By Dogs, and they seem to have lost weight during the weeks. Should I expect my dog to lose weight? What if my dog doesn’t have enough weight on him to lose?
Yes, most dogs lose weight during a board and train. Sometimes even more than 10% of their initial starting weight. Think of the dogs daily lifestyle before training- most family dogs are active and have their heart rate up for an hour a day 4 days a week. Our board and train dogs are active, having mental and physical stimulation 6 days a week and 4-6 hours a day. And even while on “off work time” dogs are still continually trained to be calm, still and not bark. That’s a lot of calorie burning! Make sure your dog is on an active dog food, and even “fatten” up the dog before enrolling him into training, so he isn’t under weight at then end. Don’t bring your dog in on Diet food, unless specifically prescribed by a licensed vet.
Q.Why use a remote/ or ecollar?
After doing training for a number of years, Kate has constantly found that all dogs, any behavior and any human can effectively use a remote collar. We use a low level approach, with the most sensitive brand available on the market today. Most people do not have the leash skills that are necessary to teach dogs who are living in an anxious state of mind, acting aggressive or simply out of control. We have had high success with people who have MS, with a gentleman recovering from heart surgery with 11% heart working, with quadriplegic people and with young children walking large dogs with these collars. We find the dogs exact working level that we mimic the physical leash with. Owners are able to communicate with their dog from hundreds of yards away or just across the room. Run By Dogs whole goal is getting the best results and then transferring those results back to the owner 100%. Over and over again we have found the remote collar is the very best tool for that. We want to empower owners and dogs, mend relationships, and give you lasting and reliable results. The remote collar will do that!
Q. My dog is aggressive. Can you work with him still?
A. Yes. Kate and Amy work in aggression rehab, and they are one of the few places in the local area providing successful rehabilitation solutions for problem dogs. Kate has built a reputation by successfully rehabbing some severe cases where dogs were ready to be euthanized, brought back to the shelter or turned down by other area trainers.
Q. Do I have homework with any training program?
A. Absolutely!! Kate is a coach, tutor, and teacher but she simply cant reiterate every small detail that is available. There is so much hands on work, philosophy, psychology, and and structure that we need owners on board and to fully understand the process. Kate will provide you with written blogs by two of the best trainers in the country, and ask you to daily follow their social media pages and videos as she expands her personal video collection and social media. Those trainers are Sean O’Shea with The Good Dog and Jeff Gellman with Solid K9 Training. Kate wants you to become a more educated dog owner, to reach out, and become informed! We will also supply you with a Training Passport to help guide you along the training path. After you are done, an individual Exit Plan is given to each handler so they know how to keep up the training for their unique dogs struggles. After training, Kate absolutely wants you to stay in touch with her. Keep us up to date with behavior, ask questions, share your story!
Q. What about continuing education?
A. Available to all graduates from Run By Dogs, we offer Work the Walk. This is offered because we want you to continue to get out there, be with your dog in the community, work with your dog, and meet other dogs and owners. It is a structured setting, either located in Johnstown on Main Street at the band stand park or at Aqueduct Boat Launch in Amsterdam for added swimming lessons during the summer. We work on confidence skills, recall, socialization, walking, head on passing on sidewalks, etc. Each class is 1 hour, held out doors. Dress for the weather. Kate will post on her Run By Dogs Facebook page each week if it is cancelled or not. The first Work the Walk class is free for graduates and people are highly encouraged to attend the group.
Q. What insurance do you carry?
A. Run By Dogs has two different insurances. Pet Sitters Associates, LLC is for dog training. Outdoors Insurance is for our dog sled educational programs and excursions.
Q. What vaccines does my dog need for a board and train?
A. With a background as a veterinary technician, Kate values dog health extremely. We require every dog to have vaccinations records and receive flea and tick medicine application directly before boarding with us for any reason. If we see signs of fleas, we reserve the right to return your dog immediately with out refund. Your dog needs to be up to date on the following vaccinations: Rabies, Bordetella, Distemper and a fecal float. Please have these records at the time of drop off.
Q. What is your cancellation policy?
A. Please cancel within 24 hours to not be invoiced. Any cancellation after 24 hours will be invoiced for 50% of service.