Frequently Asked Questions

The following information answers some of the basic questions you might have about training your dog. If you need more information, please email Dog Coach directly.

Are treats or food part of your training?

While treats for training will work for some dogs to attain better behavior, not all dogs respond in a positive way to learning in this manner. Our feeling is if treats have worked for you and your dog in promoting best behaviors, that’s great!

We use treats in a limited way for a variety of reasons. In our experience, consistent treats become a distraction for most dogs rather than an actual training tool, energizing the dog instead of settling him down for learning. To have a dog’s full attention we prefer him to be calm and focused. It is important to understand we do use food as part of a training strategy. A schedule of mealtime feeding offers a powerful training opportunity. Establishing a state of mind at mealtime that is calm and unexcited can have a remarkable amount of influence on your success.


What is the service area where you see clients?

We are located north of Boston and see clients in their homes on the North Shore. We have clients in Swampscott, Marblehead, Salem, Peabody, Topsfield, Danvers, Beverly, Manchester-By-­The-­Sea, Rockport, Gloucester, Essex, Ipswich and Hamilton­-Wenham. Out of area training requests may require an additional travel charge.


Do you work in multi-dog households?

We do work with multi-dog situations. At times it’s appropriate to focus training on one dog so that later you can apply the lessons to both dogs. If you need us to simultaneously work with your other dog we offer some programs at 1/2 price for your second dog.


My neighbor’s dog barks all day and makes it really hard for my dog to behave. Can you help me?

Our unique methods are designed to help dogs overcome recurring high level distractions. Although this takes consistent work and a strong commitment, dogs can be taught to ignore the things we want them to ignore.  At the heart of our approach is the mastery of basic obedience and the value of duration work and the “place” command, which trains your dog to remain disinterested in the excitable events that may have set him off in the past.


Is there a guarantee with your training? If I have problems or questions in a year from now will you be there to help me?

When you commit to transforming your dog with Dog Coach training we join your family team and make your success our utmost priority. Since we share the commitment to see your dog make major improvement we are in constant discussion with you about your progress. As all outcomes are dependent on many variables, like consistent practice and full family support of your objectives, it is unethical for us to offer a 100% guarantee. Our clients regularly see excellent results in transforming their dogs’ behavior with our training.

Dog Coach will remain on your team to help you manage your dog with follow ­through advice, professional referrals and additional resource recommendations for the life of your dog.


Why do you use prong collars?

A prong collar is a highly effective tool for communicating with your dog. Your dog wants to obey you in all circumstances but it is practically impossible for him to “hear” you if he is not focused on what you are asking him to do. The light pressure and release technique we teach with a prong collar allows you to tap into a flow of communication with the dog that clearly defines your expectations. It is typical to see a near ­immediate attention shift because the dog can now understand your requests.

Proper use of a prong collar is also an efficient and humane way to train a dog to move through stressful anxious behaviors, which can be any out of control situation like pulling on a leash, jumping on guests or running down the mailman. Gentle leash work with a prong collar reminds the dog of the boundaries you set in place so your dog remains calm and learns to choose better behaviors.


Tell me about low level e­collars?
Using a remote collar or e­-collar is all about strengthening the communication bond you have with your dog. A remote collar is a training tool that offers safe low ­level stimulation­ precisely like muscle stimulation used in physical therapy­ that acts as a reminder for the boundaries you set through training. Remote collars are also an excellent way to promote an all­ important calm and stable state of mind. Dogs want us to set parameters in the clearest and unconfusing manner so they know the expectations we hold for them.

 We use remote collars made by E-Collar Technologies exclusively, which can be set and locked for the lowest possible working level. Dogs can sense and respond positively to very low levels, levels that humans can not even detect. This is a key reason we offer remote collar training: it is the fastest, most effective way to teach your dog your expectations.


Do you work with aggressive dogs?

We work on a case by case basis with moderately aggressive dogs who may have a bite history with a person or another dog. In some cases aggressive dogs require more than can be accomplished in the home visits that we offer. We encourage you to contact us to discuss your issues and available training options.


My dog is difficult to walk, pulling, lunging, barking and growling at other dogs. Is it possible to ever have a pleasant walk with him?

Our training techniques demonstrate how to have a better relationship all around with your dog, so going for a walk becomes a pleasant part of your day. Before leaving the house you should be able to keep your dog  in a stable state of mind. If a dog is unable to be calm and relaxed in your home it will be very difficult for you to establish calmness and good manners out on the walk where there are many more distractions. Learning to recognize and stop over­-excitement whenever it happens is crucial for pleasant dog walking.


I have tried other trainers before and didn’t get the results I desired. What makes your program and approach different and more effective?

Since we are thoroughly familiar with your desires prior to working with you, we are committed partners in creating a well­-behaved family dog. Every issue you identify is addressed in training, with follow ­through exercises outlined in detail to expand your knowledge and improve your leadership in dog handling. The multiple­ sessions of our personal instruction programs allow a one-­on-­one focus that has excellent results in achieving our clients’ objectives. Nurturing your dog is an ongoing process based on consistently applying our training strategies to promote guidance and best behaviors.

yellow lab mix sitting on cement floor on leash looking at camera

Foundation Training

Covers the basics of good dog behavior as well as some behavior modification.

Remote Collar Training

Foundation Training with e-collar for total off-leash freedom and behavior modification.

Advanced Training

Continue your training that you've already started with Dog Coach.