Columbus-area dog training experts offer advice
Sit and stay awhile as a few highly rated Columbus-area dog trainers speak about the ins and outs of training your furry friend.
What types of training do you offer?
Sarah Keegans: We offer puppy, manners, walking, leash reactive, confidence, scent detection, competition, agility and obedience classes.
Walter Doran: We do obedience training for dogs. We teach them to heel, sit, stay, come, lay down and no. It’s a two-week class and we keep the dogs overnight.
Guy Kantak: I do all in-home training. I do puppy training, obedience training and help with correcting problem behaviors.
How do you choose which classes are best for your pet?
Keegans: Some classes have prerequisites. For behavior classes, we like to see the pet first and determine if group or individual classes are better. Agility training has no prerequisites.
Doran: Every dog is different, just like people. We use three trainers that allow the dogs to go at a pace that’s right for them. Almost all complete training in the two weeks.
Kantak: Every dog benefits from training. Because I’m in the home with the owner, I can focus and cater to the dog’s specific needs. Start training puppies early at 8-10 weeks.
What should you look for in a trainer?
Keegans: Dog training is completely unregulated. Look for the trainer’s education and ask about their training method. We only use positive reinforcement, not choke or shock collars.
Doran: Always ask for referrals from someone who’s had their dog trained by that person. We use positive reinforcement methods because we want the dog to enjoy their training with lots of encouragement.
Kantak: It’s important to talk to the person who will work with your dog. You want to have a conversation about their methods and what’s best for your pet. I use encouragement and correction training as needed.
How much does training cost?
Keegans: Puppy classes are $129 for eight 90- minute sessions. Other classes start at $20 a session; specialty classes like scent detection start at $30 a class and have more trainers.
Doran: The two-week course — which includes the training, boarding, food and expenses — is $700. The owners come the last three days for short training sessions.
Kantak: Group training is the least expensive training option, but you don’t get as individualized as I do. I price individually based upon what’s needed. Recent pricing has started around $115 per two-hour session.
PosiDog Canine Learning Center
Sarah Keegans, Puppy trainer and program coordinator
Doran’s Canine College
Walter Doran, owner
The K9 Guy
Guy Kantak, owner