Pet Training FAQs

Explore our pet training FAQs to learn more about our training methods, our philosophy and what it’s like to work with us.

Are you a certified trainer?

Yes, Allie is a certified trainer through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers and is a certified behavior consultant and Shelter Behavior Affiliate with the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. Additionally, she is Level 1 certified through TAGTeach International.

Emily is a certified behavior consultant and a Shelter Behavior Affiliate with the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, and is Level 1 certified through TAGTeach International.

MaryKaye is a certified trainer and a Shelter Behavior Affiliate through the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. She is also a Family Paws Parent Educator through Family Paws.

Ellen is a certified training professional through Karen Pryor Academy and is a Certified SA Pro Trainer.

Nelia is a certified trainer through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers.

Tracy is a certified trainer through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers, a Certified Canine Fitness Trainer, and a Fitpaws Master Trainer. 

Currently, animal trainers are not required to hold any certification to practice in the United States. However, we have chosen to go through these extra steps to better supply you with the best service possible.

 

Are you a behavior consultant? What does a pet behavior consultant do?

Yes, all of us have been consulting on serious pet behavior issues for several years, and both Allie and Emily are Certified Dog Behavior Consultants through the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants.

A pet behavior consultant specializes in addressing maladaptive behaviors such as fear, anxiety, and aggression, whereas trainers focus on basic manners, nuisance behaviors, dog sports, trick training, or specialized fields such as service dog training, search and rescue, and detection work. Being able to ethically, effectively, and compassionately address maladaptive behaviors requires several years of additional education beyond the scope of regular training. A behavior consultant should look at a myriad of components like history, health, and environment and not just the behavior as if it occurs in a vacuum.

We are not behaviorists. In the United States a behaviorist is defined as someone who holds a PhD in one of the behavior science fields ~or~ who holds both a Master’s degree and a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist certification through Animal Behavior Society. While the term behaviorist is often used incorrectly, we label ourselves as pet “Behavior Consultants” to respect the additional work and schooling Behaviorists have obtained.

 

What’s your service area? Do in-home consultations mean you come to my house or do I go to you?

Our in-home services, when and where we offer them, involve a pet behavior consultant going to your house. We do not have physical facilities in any state for you to bring your pet for training. Click here to see our Illinois pet training travel radius. Click here to see our New Mexico pet training travel radius. 

Only a few of our consultants offer in-home services; the rest of us – and the rest of our services – are only offered as virtual pet training services.

We recognize that many people have questions and concerns about remote pet behavior consulting and whether it can work for them and their situation, so we wrote this blog article to answer and address those questions and concerns.

 

Do you see animals other than dogs?

Yes! We work with all companion animal species.

 

What pet behavior training methods do you use?

We adhere to Least Intrusive, Minimally Aversive (LIMA) principles. We also fall under the “positive reinforcement-based” and “force-free” training categories and believe in using the same methods for humans as well as animals.

 

Does training method matter?

Yes. The difference in training methodology is the difference between the behavior getting better or worse, being resolved or suppressed to manifest itself later, and the difference in the relationship your pet has with you. The methods we use are scientifically found to yield the most desirable results: saving you time, money, and hassle. Additionally, these methods also bring you and your pet closer together. It’s a win-win!

 

Do you guarantee results?

No, it is impossible and unethical to provide a 100% guarantee on future behavior. There are several factors affecting pet behavior modification that are beyond the scope of our control including but not limited to: prenatal environment, age, health, and genetics. A competent, ethical, and knowledgeable behavior professional should never guarantee results.

But while we cannot guarantee results, we do have years of success helping pets and their humans live more harmoniously. Our team of pet behavior consultants will work with you to have the best possible results.