How do I start?
The first step is meeting with Patty in a private training session which will fall into one of the following sessions (see detailed descriptions farther down the page if you are not sure):
- Owner Training #101 is for most dogs needing basic training & manners and/or "typical" issues and usually lasts 1.5-2 hours
- New Puppy Starting Out Right is for puppies 16 weeks or younger, preferably 8 weeks or whenever you get your puppy; usually 2 hours, or more for larger families since children usually do the training
- Northwoods Training Packages - Combine Private session #1 or #2 above with 4 weeks of Group Class OR 2 additional private sessions MOST POPULAR
- Aggression Consultation is for dogs exhibiting aggressive behavior towards people or other dogs. usually 3 hours
- Hybrid Session is for the dog who is reactive ("mild" growling, lunging, etc.) or extremely fearful. For dogs "in-between" the Owner Training #101 and the Aggression Consult. usually 2-2.5 hours
- Separation Anxiety is for dogs who are very distressed at being left alone for various reasons; also other extreme anxiety issues 2-2.5 hours
- Other- Head halter fitting with mini-leash-walking lesson, Pre-puppy session, Breed selection, etc. Please contact trainer.
The single sessions above are so jam-packed that you *may* not need further sessions. However, most people go on to Group Classes or private training because training is a continuum of new skills for both people and dogs, plus adding the important distractions and duration.The Northwoods Training Packages are the most popular options by far combining the first private session with either a Group Class or 2 additional private sessions.
Online Booking Now Available!
If you know which session you want and are ready to book your appointment, please click above AND fill out the necessary registration form(s) on the Registration page.
The Single Session Model
Many professional trainers meet with you the first time to take a history and evaluate your dog, and maybe offer a few tips before selling a long-term training contract. (It reminds me of the dentist I went to, expecting him to fix my tooth, only to find that he never works on anyone the first time; I had to have all these discussions, exams, x-rays, fill out forms, pay $$$ etc., and left with a still aching tooth- grrrr! )
I believe you called a professional dog trainer because you want immediate help. Most people today don't have alot of time to commit to long-term training and want some instant gratification. The problems that most people call with are merely symptoms of a deeper problem, which usually stem from lack of understanding and communication between 2 species. You'll GET that after our session; this is a (fun) crash course on you and your dog. You'll only have to gather the household together once; if further training is needed, one person can come because the foundation has been set and everyone's on the same page.
This is so different than what most people expect that many ask why I do it this way. When I started, my intial sessions were an hour, then 90 minutes, and people were amazed at what their dog could do, they kept asking questions, they wanted me to keep teaching their dog new things: they wanted to keep going (It's been 2 hours?!"). And I kept talking, and my sessions always went over, messing up my scheduling. Then I read about a marriage counselor who switched to 6 hour therapy sessions from once a week ad infinitum, and noticed dramatic improvement. Just as they were getting into an issue, he'd be saying, "Our 50 minutes is up- see you next week!" He lost the momentum.
Does this mean that all the problems will be solved or your dog will be completely trained in 2 or 3 hours? Probably not; I'm not the Fairy Dogmother with a magic wand. BUT you should notice a big improvement, you and your dog will both learn ALOT, AND know how to continue with success instead of frustration. You'll have the tools to continue. It's up to YOU to keep training, and to come back for help taking the next step.
Does this mean you can never see me again? Most people DO continue follow-up training, either on what we started (adding distance, duration, distractions) or new issues that surface. Puppy owners usually continue into class or private instruction. Aggression and serious fear/anxiety issues are not resolved in one-session, though almost everyone notices dramatic improvement. But many people are delighted with just the one session.