FAQ

What is remote or "e" collar training, and why do you use it?

E collar offers the best off-leash reliability with your dog, neutralizes all family members by giving your dog the same exact prompt or correction from all parties regardless of their size, confidence, training proficiency, or verbal tone. Dogs of all shapes, sizes, temperaments, and training backgrounds can be trained and improved with remote collar work, building confidence, clarity and a desire to partner with you whether three feet from you, or three hundred. Modern remote collars, such as the Mini Educator brand we use from E Collar Technologies, are designed with the same technology as a TENS unit, and provide a soft, split second “tickle” to prompt your dog that you are communicating with them. The remote collar we use is not a shock collar, there is no shocking or zapping of dogs, the device has 100 levels to identify the lowest possible working level that your dog senses. Check out a video we made here, to introduce you to the Mini Educator and how it works.

Modern e collars, such as the E Collar Technologies Mini Educator we most commonly use, provide a localized stim just like a tens unit for pain management. These tools do NOT shock or zap your dog, nor are they intended to instill fear in your dog for obedience. We do not advocate applying this tool and beginning to correct your dog without a thorough education for both yourself and your dog about how to condition your dog to the collar, and how to work at the lowest possible level, teaching them how to process that cue in the most calm and positive way results in a calmer dog, and more reliable obedience. We use the Mini Educator collar most frequently because it has several awesome features such as a digital reading of the collar levels, an LED light for off-leash freedom at night, 1/2 miles transmitter range, is water proof, and has a nice small size. Through a Board and Train service you will learn all of the ins and outs of the Educator Mini Collar, and how to properly maintain your dog’s training with it.

What kind of dog behavior issues do you deal with?

Through both our one-on-one dog training sessions, and our Board & Train services, we tackle many different dog behavior issues. The following are among the most common behaviors we address, but do not represent the full scope of training we provide:

Leash Reactivity
Pulling on Leash
Separation Anxiety
Dog Aggression
Human Aggression
Fear and Anxiety
Recall
Jumping
Barking
Excessive Mouthing
Basic Obedience

Do you offer group training classes?

Home2K9 Dog Training holds seminars and group events throughout the year, but our most popular and consistent group training opportunity is our Hope4Hounds FREE Community Class, sponsored by Hope2K9 Rescue. If you’re interested in group training support, or are an established client interested in continuing to proof your dog’s skills, then definitely contact us about registering for H4H. Class takes place the third Sunday of every month – rain or shine, at Hollyhill Ranch!

Do you teach basic dog obedience?

Absolutely! We do teach basic obedience, and often with positive reinforcement methods such as clicker training/shaping, but certainly ALL board and train dogs are learning all basic commands, and one-on-one sessions involve basic commands learning if applicable. Depending on the dog and their temperament, we will recommend a method that best suits your situation. Basic obedience is built in to our training packages and remote collar layering is done after a dog has first learned their basic commands vocabulary.

Where is the training performed?

Board & Train services are provided at our home and training studio in Vista, CA. During a board and train stay, your dog will be living with us and experiencing immersion training, with 24/7 supervision and care. Once you book a board and train service, you are responsible for drop off and pick up of your dog at a pre-selected time.

One-on-one dog training sessions are occasionally begun in your home, but the majority of our training is done in our studio. We want to meet you where you’re at, address your dog’s behavior in his/her daily environment, around the usual triggers, and provide real world solutions for you to move forward with, we are able to simulate a home environment in our training studio layout. For multi-dog households, working in YOUR home can be a key in assessing the real trouble makers in your pack, areas of necessary training focus, and general support for management of ALL dogs.

Both indoor and outdoor training is conducted at our North County location unless determined otherwise. Depending on your dog’s issues and the reason for your training inquiry, our location or other outside spots are utilized to simulate/address leash reactivity, dog aggression towards other dogs or people, and to tackle many of the basics. For outside work, we often bring personal dogs to training sessions as needed, this creates controlled triggers/challenges that we can address with your dog.

Does my dog need One-on-One training, or should I sign him/her up for a Board & Train?

While we can solve many dog behavior issues in a one-on-one environment with you, there are definitely many more deeply rooted problems that require more intensive training for your dog. If you are unsure about which program if right for you and your dog, an initial session will allow us to advise you of your dog’s needs, and the best approach for your comfort level and success. One-on-one training is best suited for dog behavior problems such as:

Leash Pulling with no reactivity
Jumping
Crate Training
Potty Training
Basic Obedience
Recall
Some issues of excitement or barking
Destruction, not separation anxiety

If your dog is leash reactive, dog or human aggressive, or struggles with more than a couple of the above behavior issues, then you and your dog will achieve the most success through Board & Train. It has often taken many months or years to develop the behavioral problem that have you seeking training help, there will not be a quick or easy fix for unpacking deeply rooted issues and patterns. Board and Train allows us to do the heavy lifting for you, to take your dog out of their routine, familiar and habitual processes and hit the “reset” button. You wouldn’t rush drug rehab or a health camp, with dog training time and consistency, along with the right tools and guidance, are the keys to achieving big time change in a shorter period of time.

Sometimes the problem is so big, or the lifestyle so frustrating, that waiting out eight weeks of private dog training is just not going to cut it. Alternately, being pro-active and bringing in a young dog for basic obedience or e collar conditioning is a life saver when dealing with adolescent behaviors. Booking a Board & Train will expedite your solutions, make for solid patterning in your dog that lasts, and take a TON of stress off of you. Using a balanced approach and wonderfully effective tools such as prong and e collar, we can help your dog understand clear and consistent expectations when they’re back at home with you. You will still have work to do, you will still need to earn respect and trust from your dog by maintaining a consistent leadership, but we can give you the head start you need, the guidelines for successful relationship building, and the tools to maintain your new and improved dog.

Who is the Hope4Hounds FREE Training Class for?

The Hope4Hounds FREE training class takes place the third Sunday of every month, at Home2K9 Dog Training in Vista, CA. This free class is currently limited to ten dog/handler participants per class, chosen through a first come first served pre-approval application process. A limited number of audit spots are also available when our dog/handler max is reached.

Hope4Hounds training is designed to assist those with dogs whose behavior issues are causing significant stress, who have become (or may pose) a danger to themselves or others, and who are at risk of facing re-homing or euthanasia. Participant dogs should come from families who simply do not have the means to afford balanced training support, those whose dogs are risking their owner’s stable housing arrangements, or who have special needs issues such as deafness, blindness, or significant past trauma.

Hope2K9 Rescue is the not for profit dog rescue “arm” of Home2K9, and specializes in using balanced training methods to turn many unadoptable and differently-abled dogs into diamonds. In this class can help you understand, implement, and properly use the training tools and techniques that will greatly improve your relationship and life with your dog. If you are in need of free training support, please be sure you have reviewed all website FAQ’s, YouTube videos, and are following Home2K9 on Facebook for the numerous tips and tricks we give away for folks like you to be successful at home. ALL of our fundamental repair principles, and foundational training tool applications are made available online for FREE; they should be the first place you start your training journey, before attending a Hope4Hounds class.

To apply for the class, see the events page, and click “apply” under the Hope4Hounds Training Class section.

Can I change plans or cancel at any time?

Life happens and we understand that plans change. One-on-one and Board & Train sessions require advance payment via Paypal, but you are certainly welcome to contact us if you need to reschedule your booking. If the sky is falling, or you just need to prioritize something else, we will make every effort to accommodate your needs. Your prepayment does have an expiration date, see custom invoice for details.

What if I have problems maintaining my dogs behavior after you train him?

Our dog training services are comprehensive and customized to ensure your success when we step away. From the very first session we make ourselves available to you for troubleshooting questions and support, if your inquiry is too complex for email or phone assistance, you will be advised to book additional training. Board & Train services include follow up sessions to help ensure you are confident and equipped to continue your dog’s training at home, we won’t leave you hanging!

We intend for our website, blog, social media posts, client Facebook group page, and direct training to equip you with the knowledge and perspective needed to succeed, and that process begins BEFORE booking services with us. We are seeking committed, motivated clients, who are as excited to work with us as we are with them. Every dog is a little bit different and every handler learns in their own unique way, but taking a customized approach to training means we are focused on meeting you where you’re at, and seeing you through for the long haul.

Whether or not you are successful in maintaining your dog’s behavior comes down to YOU. Are you willing to put in the work? Are you committed to building a relationship with your dog, and not just a dictatorship? Will you embrace the tools that work, and take the steps we tell you? If the answer is yes to all of those questions, you will do AWESOME!

Are there additional costs?

There are no hidden fees. Your only potential cost add-ons for one-on-one dog training with us, or a Board & Train services, would be an e collar or prong collar if not included in your original package purchase, or the cost of extended stay for Board and Train programs determined to take longer than originally reserved for. E collars vary from $175 to $220 depending on size, Herm Sprenger prong collars are $30, both are included in the cost of our two, three, and four week Board and Train programs.

We also offer Ruffwear Backpacks, branded training vests, leashes, long lines, and E Collar Technologies accessories – special pricing on these items can be provided upon request.

What about Refunds?

If you’re already thinking about refunds, then we might not be the best match for each other. It’s super important to Home2K9 that you feel extra groovy about dropping your pup off for the best training of their life here. We encourage you to go back and browse our videos and social media posts so you can get to know us, and be sure if we are what you’re looking for.

Board & Train deposits are non-refundable, they provide a good faith payment for the significant amount of time reserved in our calendar for your dog. If you reschedule your B&T for within 60 days, your deposit will be credited toward the new date. Paid deposits for initial one-on-one sessions are non-refundable, but can be held as credit if rescheduling your session(s) within 30 days. It is of the utmost importance to us that you get what you need from training your dog with Home2K9. If for any reason you are unhappy with your training services, we will work with you to understand how to best resolve the situation.

Why do you use prong collars?

Because they work! All collar tools are about “volume.” Choosing the right tool for each dog means effectively speaking at a volume your dog can hear, through the varying degrees of mental noise your dog experiences every day. A prong collar allows a handler to offer directional pressure (go this way, move like this…), feedback (don’t do that), and general information to their dog (positive also!) with more gentle pressure, and most importantly the handler can release that pressure quickly unlike with harnesses or flat collars when a dog is straining. Many tools are actually more harmful to a dog structurally due to the constant pressure/tension they cause, a factor that only perpetuates more pulling and resistance from your dog as well.

A prong collar is designed to distribute pressure evenly around the dog’s neck, there is not one constant pressure point to harm your dog’s windpipe or dig into the skin. With a prong collar we can also effectively eliminate tension and regain a dog’s focus much more easily and clearly when a dog is in a heightened state. Much like a tap on the shoulder or someone whistling to grab your attention when your focus is elsewhere, a prong collar provides an effective and fair interruption to conduct conversation with our dogs and give them information. Check out our videos and social media posts to see how we use this tool gently, effectively, and the awesome results we achieve with dogs who are anxious, insecure, reactive, bratty, generally over-exuberant, and more.

Why do you train a prong foundation before moving on to using the remote collar?

The e collar provides a sensation, but not a directional pressure or guidance. We want to teach a foundation for the dogs, and a clear understanding of commands with leash/prong guidance, so that layering the non-directional e collar sensation makes sense to them. We don’t want to start using e collar without that clarity (and sometimes a few days of prong work is all that’s needed), because we want to be sure we can hold the dogs accountable to everything we ask once we graduate to off leash, remote collar communication only. It’s also not fair to “dial up” and give big corrections for some of that particularly nasty stuff you want to squash (reactivity, aggression, etc.) if we haven’t clarified the tool/commands connection first.  We will occasionally continue to use/prescribe the prong collar alongside the e collar for some dogs, to provide a “back up” piece of information and guidance to the dog depending on their behavior issues or background, or in certain environments where they may need the extra support and control.

Do you offer puppy training?

Yes! We do offer puppy training and our Puppy 101 Package is an 8 week series of 60 minute sessions which covers everything from potty training to basic obedience for puppies 8 weeks to 5 months. In our Puppy 101 Package we truly aim to educate owners about setting a training intention for the long term, creating the dog you want by guiding the puppy you have. See our Services and Rates page for more information on our Puppy 101 Package. Several topics of the Puppy 101 Package include, but are not limited to;

*Temperament evaluation and assessment of best training goals.
*Specific behavioral issue(s) already presented? Lets start there!
*Training Tools, sorting through the sea of products and saving you time and money on getting only what you need.
*Dog Psychology vs Human Psychology- the importance of applying the correct psychology in your dog raising/training process.
*Every moment is a training opportunity. Applying the NILIF (Nothing In Life Is Free) concept.
*Crates, Thresholds, and Food as productive training tools.
*Clicker use- the most wonderful positive reinforcement training tool.
*Basic obedience, Sit/Down/Come and “Place” command.
*Wait vs Stay, training impulse control and Calm on Command.
*Avoiding resource guarding, fears, possessiveness and separation anxiety.
*Correcting barking, jumping, chasing, biting.
*Healthy socialization, choosing good outlets for energy.
*Appropriate Intros, how to handle both people and dogs meeting your pup.
*Multipurpose commands of “Touch” and “Watch”
*Duration Work concept, giving your dog an off switch.
*Forming a structured walk. How to have a dog who walks nicely beside you.
*Building A Solid Recall

Should the entire family be present for training sessions?

Ideally, yes! This is not a requirement, but we do advocate for the whole team to be present and understanding training concepts consistently and fairly for your dog(s). If you are unable to arrange schedules for all members of your household to be present at trainings don’t fret, let us know ahead of time so we can be prepared to assist you differently during your session if needed.

What areas do you serve?

Home2K9 has relocated from the Pacific Northwest down to sunny North County San Diego!

We take pride in serving San Diego county, including Carlsbad, San Marcos, Escondido, Oceanside, Vista, Poway, Del Mar, Encinitas, and so much more! One-on-one sessions typically begin in your home and a travel/time surcharge is assessed for locations beyond 20 miles from our home base. If you have a question regarding service opportunities in your specific area, please don’t hesitate to contact us via our contact page. We will make every effort to connect with you regardless of your location.

Keep a look out: Training sessions are also occasionally offered in Oregon as well as our old stomping grounds throughout Washington.

What days/times do you schedule training?

One-on-one dog training sessions are scheduled Tuesday through Saturday, both days and evenings. Our goal is to have a time that works for you at the earliest possible opportunity, please don’t hesitate to let us know if you are feeling particularly desperate for help as we will make every effort to connect with you right away.

I thought you were located in Washington?!

We were! Home2K9 was based in Lynnwood, WA, we are now serving North County San Diego full time. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you are in either WA or CA, we will gladly advise of scheduling opportunities in both places as we will travel back and forth regularly to see Washington clients.

E Collar Workshops

Our remote collar workshops are for new or established clients, dog trainers, rescue personnel, and anyone else excited to learn about the amazing application of our first-choice training tool. During a remote collar workshop, the Home2K9 team walks you through the basics of teaching commands with a remote collar, how to handle common behavior issues, and how to effectively pair remote collar with other training tools. Workshops are held at Hollyhill Ranch in Vista, CA., run for two full days, lunch is provided for all attendees, and upon completion of our workshop you are elligible for access to our Training Client Group Page on Facebook where you can continue your training goals with the support of others who are working on the same tools and techniques.

Please see specific event posts on the events tab for details regarding our next remote collar workshop.

Will my dog have to be crated after training?

We receive “the crate question” often, and we understand the hang up for many owners. Crating often seems like confinement to dog owners, and confinement has a negative conotation (especially if you’re already carrying around guilt about not spending enough time with your dog). The reality is that crating your dog has numerous benefits, and is an essential part of our training and rehabilitation program. Crate use is about safety, structure, accountability, relaxation, calm, and respect – for BOTH species.

We think crating dogs is so essential, that we’ve written about it, or discussed it at length, in numerous blogs and social media posts over the years. Dogs are like children in that they need to EARN freedom, they need to DEVELOP into capable beings who are respectful and responsible with your home and personal items, and they’re naturally den animals who CRAVE a cozy and quiet space to relax and hang out in, stress-free. If your dog has behavioral issues of any kind and you’re not using a crate, we’re going to tell you that that’s the place you need to start. Absolutely. Whether your dog needs to have a change in attitude, a boost in confidence, a shift in energy, or basic clarity about manners and rules, you need to crate your dog.

After Board and Train, your dog will have had weeks of crate training experience with us, and it would be a waste if they returned home and were not given that continued structure and stability in your home. The crate use will continue the work that we’ve done, and support your shared growth with your dog into a relationship dynamic that is more in line with your original training goals, and ultimate lifestyle desires. Some dogs are able to graduate away from regimented crate use over time, others require it for life in order to be safe, successful, and happy. We cannot tell you which way your dog will go, but the work you put in to holding your dog accountable after training, will absolutely contribute to the result you experience in the long run.

Does being genetically predisposed to denning up, mean your dog won’t pitch a fit if you suddenly decide to change up the long standing freedom routine and implement a crate? Heck no. Does craving rules, boundaries, and structure mean your dog won’t push boundaries, pursue oportunistic and self-serving outcomes, or test your resolve and ask you to “prove it” when you step up and begin to establish a crate routine? Nope. They very likely will. But that’s the good news, because when you know the struggle is coming, you can plan for it and see it through. We even have free help for you to understand how to do that. Please take some time to review this blog post, our past Fix It Friday episodes (found on the YouTube channel or Facebook page), and the materials available to support your crating plan before  your dog completes his/her training.

I want to sign up for your Shadow and Mentorship Program, when is the best time to come?

How exciting to know that you may be reaching out to us for a shadow opportunity! We absolutely love what we do, and we love seeing other trainers develop through exposure to our unique business and programs. If you’re interested in shadowing with us at Hollyhill Ranch, here are a few extra things you might need to know.

Our business operates on a “three weeks on, one week off/flex” schedule. What that means is that we book board and trains to run for three weeks a month, then take one week to catch up and work on projects, rescue needs, or plain old recouperation. We currently only book ONE shadow student per month, and it is in your best interest to schedule your shadow stay at the start of our three week board and train series. By securing your spot for the first week of our three week round, you’ll experience the best arc of training development in a wide variety of dogs. When you contact us with a booking inquiry, Kate will let you know when the board and train weeks begin as they vary each month.

Starting the Winter of 2016, our Shadow Program rates have been lowered in the hopes of making our program available to a broader range of individuls. We have devised a creative way for you to access our program, by also contributing while you’re here. For on-site shadow students, you will spend all day learning and working with us, then be responsible for the “night shift” bedding down each of the dogs in that current program. This takes about an hour per night on average, and can be done any time after 9pm. You will be free to spend your evenings enjoying the surrounding San Diego areaYou’ll stay in the training studio (we have two different pull out bed accomodations, so plenty of room if you travel with a second colleague), and have private access to the kitchen, laundry, and 3/4 bath – all attached to the studio.

We want to see you succeed in your goals of helping dogs and people, living your dreams of financial freedom, and experiencing the personal rewards that come with owning your own business. If you’d like to book with us for a week of study, you can do so by contacting Kate on the business phone, 760.224.6556, or via email, kate@home2k9.com.

We cant wait to work with you!

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