How I Work
Please note that I offer client sessions Monday-Thursday in the mornings (approximately 10am) and afternoons (approximately 3pm).
I work in a very specific format that I have found to be the most efficient way to progress my clients towards their goals. This page is here to save you time and money by explaining how I work so that you can have a sense of whether or not we're a good fit before you move forward in my process.
To that end, here are four things you can expect
– things you can expect from me and things I will expect from you –
if we decide to work together.
My business is low volume by design. I operate this way because years of working in high volume facilities taught me that I serve clients best when I can devote myself to working with a few people intensely and thoroughly rather than splitting my attention across many simultaneous clients.
The downside of this is that you can expect an unspecified wait time before starting your Training Program. When one of my clients and I have reached our agreed-upon goals, and they’ve decided to take training into their own hands for now, then I open up their space to a new client.
Our process together will be a 2-way collaboration that requires focused attention from us all. I expect to receive reports, questions, training videos, behavior logs, and other communications from you on a frequent basis (every 1-3 days) for as long as your training program is active.
Slow First, Then Fast
Many trainers work by prescribing protocols for problems. If your dog is doing abc behavior, then the trainer recommends xyz procedure as a means of "treating" that problem. I take a different approach.
When I start with a new client, I take time to ask questions – both of you (via conversation) and your dog (via one or more behavior assessments). My goals are to determine:
What does success look like? What are your long-term goals?
Why is your dog performing a specific behavior in a specific setting (the same behavior can have many different functions).
Are there situations in which we are already seeing the behavior you want? Can we use them as starting places to build toward your goals?
I work this way because I have found that while most properly implemented protocols or procedures will have quick effects, those effects may be limited, or even a hindrance, when it comes to getting you where you ultimately want to go.
Conversely, knowing why your dog is engaging in unwanted behavior, plus all the other (desired) options we can give them to achieve that same thing, allows me to create an individualized program that leads directly to your goals.
Full Support with Boundaries
My clients consistently comment on how generous I am with my time and support. In order to assure that I am fully available for this, I do my best to put clean boundaries around my work (as much as is possible for a Dog Training Enthusiast with a day job in dog training).
This means that I provide sessions and support during weekday daytime hours. While I do occasionally schedule outside of those times in special circumstances, if that is something you require then we aren't a good fit.
It does not mean that you can only message me during those times. You can send me messages, videos, anything you want at anytime that works for you.
Have time for a spontaneous training session? Hit record, and send the video when you're done. I will review your video when I'm actually able to respond. While my policy is to respond to messages within 48 hours, you will almost always hear from me way sooner.
At the end of the day, your dog's needs for learning are what drives our whole process. Because of this there may be times that we need to reschedule and regroup. Sometimes, despite our best efforts, once we set up a training situation and get started, your dog might not be up for it.
Or sometimes life just happens. Perfect example – I just got a message from a client whose separation training appointment was due to start in 30 minutes. She said there were a bunch of firemen in her building hallway because of a false alarm. That was not going to set her dog up for success, so we were both relieved to have our schedules align so we could meet the following day.
The short story is that I do everything I can to accommodate what I believe is in the best interest of our progress, and my clients do the same in return.
Once I've reviewed your questionnaire, we'll decide on the best format for our first meeting (video conference, outdoors, or online) and get our first 4 sessions on the calendar. For most new clients I recommend that we schedule our first 3 sessions one week apart, and then put 2 weeks between sessions 3 and 4.
Once we've decided that we're a good match, I'll send you links to sign my client contract and complete my new client behavior questionnaire. When I've received both of those, I'll send you an invoice for the training service we agreed upon, which you'll be able to pay for online.
Matchmaking Video Call
This Google Meet call will last about 20-30 minutes and will help us both make sure that we're a good fit for working together. I'll ask you to fill out a brief questionnaire before you sign up so that I can have some basic information already captured.
At the end of the call, if we decide to move forward together, then I'll send you a coupon for $30 off your first training service.