Charlotte dog training experts give tips

Charlotte dog training experts give tips

Why should people hire an animal trainer?

Bruce Allen: "Generally because they have a severe problem that they can't figure out or that group classes can't address."

Luann Van Leer: "I feel a lot of people just get puppies on impulse. If they hire someone to show them the basics, they'll be a lot happier."

Karen Guignard: "We believe it's really important to have proper canine education."

What's your experience in the industry?

Bruce Allen: "I went overseas and apprenticed in Dusseldorf, Germany. I've been training professionally for 26 years.

Luann Van Leer: "I worked as a vet technician in animal hospitals, and I started doing my own training business in 1995."

Karen Guignard: "I'm in my fourth year with Bark Busters. I've trained with the franchise owners in Denver for a month before I opened this office."

What methods of training do you use?

Bruce Allen: "It depends on the severity. I use a whole gamut of techniques."

Luann Van Leer: "Positive reinforcement."

Karen Guignard: "We use body language and voice tones. It's completely nonphysical."

How do you charge, and what is the cost?

Bruce Allen: "The price can range anywhere from $400 to $4,000. It just depends on what's going on."

Luann Van Leer: "It depends on the breed and the age of the dog. I've done puppy classes where it'd be $120 per class."

Karen Guignard: "It really depends on the age and number of dogs. We give you a lifetime guarantee. We start with training as inexpensively as $195."

What's a common misconception about training?

Bruce Allen: "Probably that you can't teach an old dog new tricks."

Luann Van Leer: "People don't realize they have to be consistent and follow through with the training."

Karen Guignard: "That's difficult to say because the training really depends on the dog. Different trainers do it different ways."

What's one helpful training tip you can offer?

Bruce Allen: "To watch the inflexions when you say something. Say 'come' in a positive tone."

Luann Van Leer: "I'd have to say be positive, consistent and always praise when they do the right thing."

Karen Guignard: "Be consistent because dogs like consistency."

Do you own any pets?

Bruce Allen: "I've got four dogs, a rabbit, a parakeet and 12 cats. I've got two German Shepards and two mutts."

Luann Van Leer: "I have a border collie named Annie and a rat terrier named Ellie."

Karen Guignard: "I have four Shetland sheepdogs. I have Andy, Opie, a Barney and a  Bee."


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