FAQ – Dog Training in Richmond VA

This page was intended to answer many of the common questions we receive about our dog training programs and our Richmond dog trainer. That said, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We love to talk about dogs! Call us anytime at 804.412.6003.

Click the links below to jump to a specific question, or simply scroll down to browse:

Do you train with treats?
Do work with all breeds?
What area do you cover?
Do you train puppies
What are your credentials?
Why don’t you charge lesson by lesson instead of upfront?
How do I know that you will have success training my dog?
What if my dog only has one behavioral issue? 
My last dog trainer was condescending and unsuccessful, is that what I can expect from you? 
Are you a franchise?
Are you a dog owner as well as a dog trainer?

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Do you train with treats? 

Treats can be very valuable training tools. They are great for helping guide dogs into learning new behaviors, especially young puppies. They can also be used to create positive associations with things that dogs may be initially unsure or nervous about. However, treats are not practical in every situation you will be in with your dog. It’s important to make sure that the dog will listen and be focused without treats as well.

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Do you work with all breeds? 

Of course! All dogs are trainable and equally capable of being successful members of a human family.

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What area do you cover? 

I cover Richmond and surrounding areas within an hour radius. For extreme cases of aggression or other behavior problems that put the dog in danger or surrender or worse, I will travel a bit further.

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Do you train puppies? 

Yes! Prevention training sets your dog up to be successful right from the beginning. I love getting to show people how to set up their dog’s environment so that behavior problems don’t have an opportunity to develop.

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What are your credentials? 

I had the wonderful experience of attending the Canine Trade Group Professional Trainer’s course taught by John Van Olden, a successful trainer of 25 years who developed the program that has allowed me to successfully train hundreds of dogs and humans. We fostered and trained multiple dogs during the course after spending months studying dog behavior theory. Putting the theory into practice was an invaluable learning experience that most of the training programs leave out. Canine Trade Group is network of trainers that extends all across the country. We support each other, discuss case studies, and get together for continuing education opportunities multiple times a year. Together, we have experienced every dog behavior problem in the book and have found solutions.

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Why don’t you charge lesson by lesson instead of upfront? 

When I take on a client, I want to do every thing in my power to make sure we see it through to the end together. Taking the money upfront is a commitment on both sides of the relationship. You commit to doing your part until we’re successful, and I commit to mine. Trainers that charge lesson to lesson have a much lower success rate because they don’t have that commitment and investment from their clients. To begin training a dog and not see it through is not only unfair to the dog, but can actually cause MORE behavior problems from the lack of consistency.

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How do I know you will have success training my dog? 

Because I commit to working with you until we have achieved your goals. If something isn’t working, we figure it out together. Every dog is trainable. Every problem has a solution. With commitment from both owner and trainer, success is inevitable.

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What if my dog only has one behavioral issue? 

I find that there are usually many factors that contribute to that one behavior problem. If a trainer tries to simply “spot-treat” the one problem without addressing the dog’s entire environment and experience, it will likely be an unreliable and unsuccessful quick fix. This is why I do an extensive in-home consultation with every client before we begin training to ensure that I have the whole picture before I make any recommendations.

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My last trainer was condescending and unsuccessful, is that what I can expect from you? 

Absolutely not. I respect every single one of my clients for recognizing that they need help and seeking it. It shows a deep love for their animal, which is what brought me to this profession. Our shared love for dogs is an amazing stepping off point for our professional relationship, commitment to the dog’s success and mutual respect.

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Are you a franchise? 

No, James River Dog Training is my company. I am part of Canine Trade Group, a network of trainers that I described above, but every trainer in the network owns and runs their own business.

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Are you a dog owner as well as a dog trainer? 

Yes! I have had dogs throughout my entire life, and I now have a 3 year old Mastiff named Safari. Since I adopted her, she has taught me so many important lessons as a trainer as well as a human being. Dogs are such a valuable part of our lives with many amazing gifts to share with us.

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