Orlando area experts give tips about dog training
Who we talked to
P.J. Lacette, owner
Best Paw Forward
2544 S. Park Drive
Dan Downs, owner
The Ruff Life
Lorena B. Patti, owner
Waggers Doggie Daycare & Training
What services do you offer?
P.J. Lacette: "We have a full- service training center. We offer help to beginners in competition. We teach both small group and private."
Dan Downs: "We offer in-home dog training services for basic obedience and undesirable behaviors. We also have a new program training specialty behaviors."
Lorena B. Patti: "I offer in-home obedience training. It's a little bit of obedience and a lot of manners. And I offer behavior modification sessions."
What methods of training do you use?
P.J. Lacette: "We've moved away from the punishment mode toward positive reinforcement. The basic idea is to prevent mistakes."
Dan Downs: "I use positive reinforcement techniques and also focus on teaching the client to use their body language to help the canine understand."
Lorena B. Patti: "Mainly positive reinforcement. You can use treats or toys."
How do you charge, and what is the cost?
P.J. Lacette: "Our prices range from private lessons at $65 per hour-long class, in-home is $100, group training is $95 to $175 for six-week training. The whole family attends."
Dan Downs: "Four sessions cost $300 and six sessions cost $400. A session consists of one hour per week with a flexible schedule based off of your needs."
Lorena B. Patti: "I'm charging $350 for an eight-week program. Sessions are an hour long. And I have a puppy program that is four-weeks for $200. Behavior modification is $60 an hour."
Can you teach an old pet new tricks?
P.J. Lacette: "Dogs are incredibly resilient. It may take longer to change them, but we do it every day."
Dan Downs: "You can train an old dog new tricks. The animal brain needs to be stimulated no matter what age."
Lorena B. Patti: "You can teach any dog new things. It's all in the way you teach them. It'll take a little longer, but it's absolutely doable."
What's one helpful training tip you can offer?
P.J. Lacette: "If you're going to make a mistake, it's much better your dog get an extra cookie than an extra punishment. Reward the good behavior."
Dan Downs: "Know the proper order of communication. Ask for the behavior. If the dog did the desired response, the consequence is some type of reinforcement. If not, use body language to let the dog know to try again."
Lorena B. Patti: "Remember that your dog is a dog. It's not a little person in a furry suit. It keeps your expectations at a realistic level."