Frequently Asked Questions

Paying & Cancelling

  • How do I pay for your services?

    I currently accept payment by e-Transfer or cash. Payment is required before the session begins.

    e-Transfers can be sent to backtobasicsk9@gmail.com

    If paying by cash, please have exact change (you will be provided with a total before the session).

  • What is your service area?

    I currently offer my dog training services to the following communities on Vancouver Island, BC:

    • Lantzville
    • Nanoose Bay
    • Parksville/Oceanside
    • Errington
    • Coombs
    • French Creek
    • Qualicum Beach
  • What is your cancellation policy?

    I require at least 24 hours notice to cancel a training session once your time has been reserved.

    If less than 24 hours notice is given, a fee of $20 per reserved hour with be charged (minimum 1 hour charge).

About My Services

  • Where are training sessions held?

    Please note: all training sessions are currently being held outdoors for safety reasons. This is subject to change as the COVID-19 situation develops. Please contact me if you have questions.

    Training sessions are held at your home, unless another location is required for specific needs.

    Walk-focused training can be done in your neighbourhood. We can also meet somewhere specific, again depending on your personal needs.

    We’ll work out an arrangement that’s good for both of us before your session is scheduled.

  • How do I know what type of session/training my dog needs?

    You don’t need to.

    Just start off by getting in touch so we can schedule a chat (you can use this contact form). From there I can help determine what’s best for your needs.

  • Is there anything specific I need to bring to our session?

    Not usually – just bring the collar and leash you regularly use.

    Some training tasks do require specific equipment. Or you may have a dog with an aversion to collars (from a previous bad experience, for example).

    If anything specific is needed, I will let you know in advance.

  • Do you offer group classes?

    No. Due to the COVID-19 situation all group classes are currently on hold.

  • Do I take part in the training sessions?

    Yes. Effective training relies on you learning how to manage your dog as well. Together I will help you build those skills and become confident in dog handling.

  • Can you work with LARGE dogs?

    Absolutely.

    Sometimes I’m asked if I am too small to help with larger dogs, but that isn’t a concern. In fact I have years of prior experience working with large animals, and in particular with horses.

General Questions

  • When is it a good time to start training my dog?

    Training should start the day you bring your dog home.

    Remember, training isn't just about ‘sit, stay, come’. It’s about developing a relationship with your new dog. It takes deliberate effort to grow your relationship into a friendship where your dog wants to be with you – and listen to you.

  • Can puppies be trained?

    Yes. Training can – and should – start the day you bring your puppy home.

    Everything is new to them, and it’s up to you to make them feel comfortable.

  • Is my dog too old to train?

    No. Any dog can learn at any age.

    Training older dogs requires breaking old habits and forming new ones. This is more than possible, but it can take a bit more time and patience on your part.

    In other words, they're willing if you are!

Bad Behaviours

  • Will neutering/spaying solve my dogs behaviour problems?

    Generally, no. It does depend on the dog’s age.

    Removing the sex hormones too early can actually cause behaviour issues. On the other hand, it can help calm adult dogs down. Broadly speaking, neutering/spaying is most effective between the ages of three and seven.

  • My dog is a ‘stubborn’ breed. Can I still train it?

    Yes. Training is about finding out what motivates your dog – and even the most ‘stubborn’ dog is motivated by something.

  • I rescued my dog from a bad situation and it lives in fear. Can I help it?

    Yes. With the right type of gentle training – and a lot of patience – dogs can get over past trauma.

  • My dog had a bad experience and now attacks other dogs. Can I change this?

    Yes. Most aggressive behaviour is fear-based, and this can be worked on.

    By gently showing your dog that you wont let anything bad happen to it again, it will begin to trust you. The goal is to may your dog no longer feel the need to defend itself. (This process can take time.)

  • My dog chases everything! Can I ever let it off leash?

    Yes. It will involve a few different steps, however – and a lot of practice.

    But with perseverance you will be able to achieve a reliable recall around distractions.

  • Why does my dog only listen to my partner and not me?

    Dogs naturally follow the one who fulfills their needs.

    If only one person is primarily walking, playing with, or feeding the dog, they will be the one the dog gravitates towards.

Purchasing a Dog

  • Is it better to purchase a dog through a breeder or rescue?

    That's a very personal decision, and not one I can answer lightly.

    As long as the breeder or rescue is reputable, they're both excellent options.

  • How do I know if a breeder or rescue is reputable?

    A reputable breeder will participate in dog shows, sports, and/or breed-specific activities. They will perform genetic health testing on their breeding dogs, and provide you with support before and during your dog’s life.

    A reputable rescue will have dogs in foster care for a minimum of 30 days before they can be adopted. This allows any behavioural issues to be seen (and dealt with). Reputable rescues also work with trainers to provide support for adopters, and take their dogs back if the new home isn’t working.

Can I Clarify Anything?

No problem! Just get in touch with your questions and I’ll be happy to help.