Hartford area experts discuss pet training
Who we talked to
Matt Fisher, kennel manager
A-1 Dog Training
406 Oakland St.
Matt Fisher: "We do dog training and boarding."
Mike Kitchen: "We provide training for anything from obedience to police, patrol, narcotics and sports."
Stoddard Lane-Reticker: "We do just exclusively private instruction dog obedience training."
What's your experience in the industry?
Matt Fisher: "I've been training dogs for about 13 years."
Mike Kitchen: "I started when I was 11 years old. I trained hunting dogs, and I moved to training police dogs when I was 18."
Stoddard Lane-Reticker: "I got involved in it about 18 years ago through nationally known dog trainer. I've had this business 17 years."
How do you charge, and what is the cost?
Matt Fisher: "It depends on which program you do. For the 15-lesson program it's usually $200. The lessons are about 30 to 45 minutes. You met roughly once a week."
Mike Kitchen: "We do a lot of in-home training because people are more successful in their comfort zone. You could spend anything from $50 all the way up to $150 for one session."
Stoddard Lane-Reticker: "It's done by the session, which cost $70 each. Each session lasts about an hour. We also sell blocks of sessions - five for $325, seven for $399 and 15 for $795."
What's a common misconception about training?
Matt Fisher: "Probably that it doesn't work is the biggest thing. You have to get people to be consistent. You don't practice, you don't get results."
Mike Kitchen: "A lot of people tend to think, 'I'm the alpha [leader of the pack].' Working with dogs is a partnership - you don't have to kick their butts."
Stoddard Lane-Reticker: "One of the most common misconceptions is that a normal person and a normal dog can't accomplish that much."
What's one helpful training tip you can offer?
Matt Fisher: "Get the dog socialized and expose it to as many people and good dogs as possible."
Mike Kitchen: "Be patient. People tend to not be as patient with their dogs."
Stoddard Lane-Reticker: "If you're planning a family, have whatever rules you're going to want in place when your first child arrives."
Do you own any pets?
Matt Fisher: "I have four Chesapeake Bay retrievers, four Golden retrievers and three German shepherds."
Mike Kitchen: "I have an English pointer, named Bella, that I hunt with. She's probably been my biggest challenge because all she wants to do is run."
Stoddard Lane-Reticker: "I have just one Airedale terrier named Dazz. He's 5 years old."