FAQs

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 a certified Canine Life and Social Skills evaluator through the Association of Professional Dog Trainers and 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 trainer through the International Avian Trainers Certification Board.

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 behavior consultant do?

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

A 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 “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 consultant going to your house. We do not have physical facilities in any state for you to bring your pet to.

Only a few of our consultants offer in-home services; the rest of us – and the rest of our services – are only offered remotely. More information can be found in our availability document.

We recognize that many people have questions and concerns about remote 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 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 behavior 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.