Dog Trainer FAQ

Have a question about Beyond the Dog? Read our frequently asked questions to learn more about our services!

What makes Beyond the Dog different from other dog trainers?

The dog training industry is fairly unregulated. Although there are certifications you can obtain, anyone can call themself a “dog trainer.” This is why it is essential to do research before enrolling in a training program.

Beyond the Dog is a research-driven company following the latest science to develop training protocols. Our founder, Dr. Kristyn Echterling-Savage, is a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist (CAAB), one of only 50 in the country. In addition to following Dr. Echterling-Savage’s carefully curated training procedures, all of the trainers at Beyond the Dog have obtained their certification of Certified Behavior Consultant-Canine (CBCC) or Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT).

When should you contact a dog trainer?

Puppy training can start as soon as the puppy comes home (approximately 8 weeks). Common problems you’ll want to tackle right away probably include housebreaking, chewing, play-biting, and jumping. Once a puppy is 14-16 weeks old, they can begin a training program to cover all the obedience commands and manners in public. At this age, you can hold the puppy’s attention for an hour, which is about the length of time for most training classes.

For any behavioral concerns (guarding, avoidance, reactivity, aggression, etc), it is always best to contact a trainer right away. Otherwise, the behavior tends to get worse over time.

What programs do you offer?

  • The All-Inclusive Training Program is conducted four days each week (60-minute sessions) for five weeks with two follow-up sessions, totaling twenty-two hours of training. One session each week is a lesson with the owner to transfer what the dog is learning and how you can integrate the training into your daily life. This program is recommended if you are looking to address obedience training, behavioral issues, or other specific training goals.
  • Our Executive Training Program is conducted three days each week for three or four weeks, totaling nine or twelve total training hours. Like the All-Inclusive, one session each week is a lesson with the owner. This program allows you to choose three to four training goals for your trainer to prioritize.
  • A Board and Train Program is a great option for those wanting to address housebreaking, puppy training, obedience training, and certain behavioral issues. This is ideal for those with travel plans or owners who don’t have time to invest in teaching their dog new behaviors but can maintain the training once the dog is home again. During the Board and Train, the dogs live in a trainer’s home and are treated like part of the family!
  • The Private In-Home Consultations provide guidance and demonstration from a trainer and are designed to address 1 to 2 behaviors per consultation. These sessions fit best for young puppies under 16 weeks or for those seeking an assessment of larger behavioral issues.

What techniques do you use?

At Beyond the Dog, we stay up to date with the latest research and proven techniques in the field. We use a combination of both operant conditioning and classical conditioning. Operant conditioning is what most owners are familiar with. It rewards the dog for certain behaviors (e.g. if I ask the dog to sit and the dog sits, then I give them a cookie). Classical conditioning is an association-based training, also known as counter-conditioning. We find this works best when addressing behavioral concerns (e.g. a dog that barks at people on leash, starts getting treated every time they see a person, the dog then builds a positive association with people outside). Beyond the Dog has found that using a combination of these techniques brings about the best training results.