St. Louis animal trainers give tips on dog training
Who we talked to
What services do you offer?
Shane Wisdom: "I do all in-home private lessons. I do behavior counseling for issues ranging from potty training to aggression."
Judy Luther: "I offer dog training classes and mostly private in-home training. I also train Frisbee dogs."
Casey Ray: "I'm a full-service, dog-training solution. I do anything from problem solving to basic obedience."
Why should people hire an animal trainer?
Shane Wisdom: "I come in there and help them. I help people understand that you have to train dogs in a certain way."
Judy Luther: "The same reason why you would hire a doctor. It's someone with an education and background in animal training and behavior."
Casey Ray: "Generally what I see from people trying to do it themselves is they don't achieve the goal they have in mind, usually because of frustration. We've been doing this for years and know what approaches to take."
What methods of training do you use?
Shane Wisdom: "My style is leadership training. I teach them skills, so they learn to see me as the leader."
Judy Luther: "I exclusively use clicker training."
Casey Ray: "I use remote collars. But if somebody wants another type of training, I'll do it."
Do you train both the pet and owner?
Shane Wisdom: "I train the owner, then the pet. The owner is where the issues come from."
Judy Luther: Yes. It's imperative that the owner be trained, as well as the pet. I give people the skills to train their pet."
Casey Ray: "Most definitely. It's about 50-50. I can train a fantastic dog, but if the owner doesn't move themselves to 'pack leader' status, the dog will revert."
How much does training cost?
Shane Wisdom: "I give a two-hour visit followed by a one-hour visit two weeks later. That's $190."
Judy Luther: "My fee is between $100 and $120 for an hour. I also offer packages that brings that price down."
Casey Ray: "I have private-lesson packages and boarding packages, where the dog comes to me. It's roughly $70 an hour for a lesson."
Can you teach an old pet new tricks?
Shane Wisdom: "Very much so. I do a lot of older dogs. I had a to teach an eight-year-old dog how to be potty trained."
Judy Luther: "Absolutely. I've got a 14-year-old dog that I recently taught all kinds of things."
Casey Ray: "Most definitely. I've had dogs come in up to 10 years old and leave completely trained."