Portland dog training experts talk about pet training
Who we talked to
What services do you offer?
Jessica Blake: "We offer group training classes, private lessons and board trains, where a dog would stay with us for training."
Susie Osborn: "We board dogs and cats, and I do dog-training classes."
Lisa Plymale: "We offer group classes as well as private lessons for owners and their dogs."
Why should people hire an animal trainer?
Jessica Blake: "If you get a new dog, it's much easier to get started on the right foot. Some people have a dog that already has a problem, in which case they need to address that."
Susie Osborn: "Most of the time, people need somebody guiding them during training because of the frustration that comes with it."
Lisa Plymale: "It helps strengthen the bond between the owner and the dog, and with training, you have a better-behaved dog."
How do you charge, and what is the cost?
Jessica Blake: "We have an hourly rate for one lesson and a bundle rate for packages. Our hourly charge is $100 an hour in your home. A four-pack of private lessons in your home is $300."
Susie Osborn: "It's $85 for six weeks, which includes a one-hour class a week. Private lessons are $85 for one hour."
Lisa Plymale: "Private trainings are $75 an hour. The six-week beginning obedience group class is $135."
Can you teach an old pet new tricks?
Jessica Blake: "Most people coming in to a basic class probably have a dog that's less than two years old, but we don't have age restrictions. We work with dogs of all ages."
Susie Osborn: "They usually have to be five months and older. Sometimes I'll have a 6-month-old puppy and dogs that are three and four. I've had an older dog on occasion. I don't think they're ever too old to learn."
Lisa Plymale: "There's a wide range of ages in dogs that attend our classes. A good percentage are less than two years of age, but we recently graduated a dog that was 12 from a beginning class."
What's one helpful training tip you can offer?
Jessica Blake: "People use commands over and over again. If your dog isn't listening, add in a hand signal, or move in closer if you're away from the dog."
Susie Osborn: "Be consistent. Follow through. Never give a command you won't reinforce."
Lisa Plymale: "First and foremost, find a trainer that uses positive reward-based training techniques."