Twin Cities animal trainers give expert tips
Who we talked to
What services do you offer?
Maureen Haggerty: "Pet dog training, group obedience classes, agility and tricks, in-home behavior training, aggression training and household manners."
Debra Schneider: "We offer all levels of obedience training, from puppy to competitive. We also offer specialty classes including therapy dog training, dog acting classes, Rally obedience and freestyle. We also offer private training and behavioral consultations."
Carin Offerman: "We offer training classes with no more than five dogs per class. We also offer private training."
Why should people hire an animal trainer?
Maureen Haggerty: "A well-trained dog is one that you'll like and want to keep. It's so easy to do when you first get them."
Debra Schneider: "Like any training, it's helpful to have a knowledgeable pair of eyes working with you to help you see what you don't. Most folks will make mistakes that, in the long run, will have to be undone by a trainer."
Carin Offerman: "I think a lot of people don't have the time to read and do the research necessary to train a dog on their own. We can give them a quick start."
What methods of training do you use?
Maureen Haggerty: "We use motivational training."
Debra Schneider: "My training mantra is 'train with your brain, not your brawn.'"
Carin Offerman: "Our training is mostly reward based. We ignore the behaviors we want to stop."
How much does training cost?
Maureen Haggerty: "One-hour group classes are $105 for a six-week course. In-home is $65 to $85 per hour."
Debra Schneider: "I charge $85 for a six-week puppy kindergarten class; $115 for an eight-week Level 1 class; $85 for a six-week Level 2 or 3 class; and specialty classes can cost up to $125. Private sessions at the school are $60 an hour."
Carin Offerman: "Group lessons are six weeks for $120. The cost of private lessons varies."
Can you teach an old pet new tricks?
Maureen Haggerty: "Absolutely."
Debra Schneider: "Absolutely. The oldest I had was an 11-year-old cocker who had a great time!"
Carin Offerman: "All dogs are trainable at any age. It's people that are questionable."