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Indianapolis Dog Training

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Training Rambles

Sports & Tricks

Sport & Trick training is one of the best ways to improve a dog's quality of life, especially pertaining to working breeds. If your dog was bred to have a job, it's unlikely that your dog will be highly successful in your home if you do not find a way to scratch that instinctual itch. 

Manners training is great and all, but your dog needs a way to let loose, too. Even if your activity of choice isn't exactly what the dog was bred for, simply doing team sports with your dog will deepen the communication you share.

Sports training is achievable in a variety of ways. Private lessons are typically ideal. Chris and Alyssa will meet with you for an hour at a time and you will be given games and activities to practice with your dog until your next lesson. 

Board & Train programs are fun for sport dogs, we always have a good time with it. It's great for busy owners who might want to throw a frisbee at the park or participate in a frisbee toss & fetch league, but are frustrated trying to get their dog to retrieve. Some dogs struggle to come when called, therefore rendering their otherwise promising sports career obsolete. These are the kinds of sports cases that typically flourish in board & train environments.

Virtual lessons are fantastic for sport dog training. We own sport dogs ourselves, so we can actually demonstrate live what the end result behavior will look like. We can give you identical feedback as if we were in a private lesson, but for a fraction of the cost. Speaking of cost, tricks and sports behaviors can be expected to progress at.... their own rate. Some dogs take a long time to become comfortable with a certain trick, so you may spend a few extra weeks working on it. For that reason, all of our virtual lessons are scheduled "as you go." We are proud to bring trick and disc classes to the Indianapolis Dog Training community.

Behavior Modification

In today's world, most dog trainers are pretty much defined by the methodology they use to address behavior modification training.

 

Behavior modification training refers to purposely changing behaviors that are typically caused by fear, stress, anxiety, or aggression.

 

Dogs who are undergoing behavior modification therapy could be closely compared to a person with a mental health issue. Mental health issues are not uncommon in humans or dogs nowadays, and as a result, we've had the ability to gather immense amounts of mental health data and research.

 

Mental health issues can be expressed in a number of ways. Some animals may go "internal," shutting down and giving up. Others may lash outward, showing aggressive and dangerous behaviors. Dogs are no exception.

Over the years, science has shown that animals use behaviors to show us how they are feeling, and how they are feeling influences the behaviors they show. To appropriately address (not just suppress) problem behaviors, we need to get to the underlying cause of the emotion. The dog is barking loudly and baring her teeth at other dogs on leash. Okay, more information is needed. Is the dog comfortable with other dogs in most situations? What can be done to teach this dog to feel safe around other dogs? In this example, simply stopping the barking would not do very much to make this dog more comfortable around other dogs, it would simply suppress the outward expression of the behavior. 

Behavior modification with We Speak Dog is more like therapy than grade school. Your dog isn't coming here to learn how to sit, down, and stay. Your dog is going to be facing some potentially difficult situations, that get increasingly more complex over time. They'll be exposed to their trigger in controlled settings, where they can escape if they need to.

To appropriately address behavior modification training, a board & train program is typically necessary. Separation anxiety is the only exception. If your dog has separation anxiety, bad separation anxiety, your dog will need to start a separation anxiety protocol with us, which is entirely virtual. This is typically the only circumstance in which virtual lessons will be recommended for behavior modification training.

Obedience & Manners

Obedience & Manners training is crucial for any dog to successfully thrive in the human world. Puppies can begin learning obedience foundations as soon as they come home with you, and older dogs can learn their manners at any time; it's never too late.

General obedience training can be achieved through private lessons, virtual lessons, or board & train.

Working on manners & obedience in private lessons will involve several educational lessons from either Chris or Alyssa, live training demonstrations, guided practice, and assigned homework. 

Working on manners & obedience through a board & train looks a little bit different. Here both Chris and Alyssa will be working with your dog multiple times per day, with an errorless learning format. Then, private lessons commence and either Chris, Alyssa, or both will teach you how to maintain and continue your dog's training.

Working on manners & obedience through virtual training is very similar to working with a trainer in person, except the trainer cannot demonstrate techniques on your dog right in front of you. However, we typically have one of our own dogs present in the lesson to demonstrate behaviors.

We frequently meet with other Indianapolis dog trainers to help our dogs and client dogs improve their obedience skills. If you're a dog trainer in Indianapolis and would like to meet and train together, send us a message! 

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The Process, Outlined

1

Send us a Message

Tell us a little bit about your dog, and what you've been going through. Give us any relevant information regarding your dog's behavior, and include some of the goals you may have for your dog.

4

Choose a Program

We will decide on a program together based on a combination of our evaluation of your dog's behavior, your goals for the dog, your schedule, our schedule, and your budget. Once you've chosen a program (or we've designed one for you), we will send you a link via e-mail to sign up.

7

Schedule a Go-Home Date

Toward the end of your dog's program, we will correspond through either text or phone call about the progress your dog has made thus far. We will decide together whether the dog is ready to go home, and we will set a date to drop your dog off at home. We will come to your house and conduct a private lesson (2-3 hours), where we will teach you everything your dog learned.

2

Schedule a Phone Consultation

We will correspond with you via email to determine a good time to hold a 30-60 minute free phone consultation. Chris will ask you some questions about your dog's behavior, and answer any questions you may have about our programs.

5

Set a Start Date

If we are doing private lessons, the start date is the date of your first lesson. We will strive to meet roughly the same day & time each week for the duration of your program. If you have selected a board & train program, the start date will be the day you drop your dog off at our house. This will count as "day zero," and no training will occur this day, just acclimation and trust building.

8

Follow-Up Private Lessons

Each program comes with a specific number of private lessons. The Go-Home lesson counts as private lesson number one, and the remaining lessons can be scheduled at your leisure. Some of our clients save their lessons for months, when they need advice for a problem behavior in the future. If you take full advantage of your private lessons and would like to schedule more, we offer additional lessons at a 50% discount.

3

Meet in Person

If we feel we need to see your dog's behavior in your home, we will schedule a free meeting at your house to further evaluate your dog. Some people prefer to take this time to come see our house, where we host board & train programs and private lessons. We encourage you to come see where your dog will be staying before committing to a program.

6

Training Time

Your dog will receive daily training (except day zero) specifically tailored to the goals you have for your dog. The amount of training varies from dog to dog, with some dogs being able to handle significantly more than others. We are happy to send pet parents photos and updates upon request throughout the duration of the program.

9

Choose a Program

We like to describe our Lifetime Support as "having a dog trainer in your back pocket." Like we mentioned before, we are not corporate, we are just regular people who took a lot of time to learn about dogs. You can text us, call us, or message us anytime with questions about your current dog, or any dog you add to your family in the future.

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Feeling Unsure?

Hey, don't sweat it! Many folks we work with have never hired a dog trainer before. Some have tried before but didn't get the results they wanted. Maybe you've trained your previous dog yourself, but your new furry friend is giving you a run for your money. Whatever your situation, we've seen it all! And whether you're a seasoned dog owner or a total newbie, we're here to make things fun and deepen your bond with your dog. Whether we are your first dog trainers in Indianapolis or your 100th, we are committed to being your last! ​

A quality relationship with your dog trainer starts with realistic expectations and an appropriate program recommendation. This is why we do consultations! A consultation allows us to meet your family, evaluate your dog, and examine your lifestyle. From there, we can make a program recommendation that suits you and your dog best. Our recommendation is based on years of education, trial & error, and colleague consulting. Our suggestion will include everything we believe will set your dog and your family up for success, and to ensure you have all the appropriate tools moving forward to solve any future problems your dog may encounter.

Consultations Include:

  • 30-45 minutes long

  • Talk to Chris personally

  • Behavior questionnaire

  • Review programs & prices

  • Ask questions

  • Set a start date (if you're ready)

The cost of the consultation is typically free. If you live more than ~45 minutes away from our house, we may ask for a nominal gas fee. 

If you choose to sign up for one of our programs during the consultation, you can expect that Chris may give you some preliminary dog training advice to prepare your dog for their first lesson and/or first day of board & train.

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