Frequently Asked Questions

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Where are your classes located?

At your house. At your favourite dog park. Wherever you need us to be. We believe that dogs learn best in familiar places, and we believe in fixing behaviour issues where they happen – with you, in your daily life.

That’s why we come to you.

We currently serve the Vancouver Tri City and Chilliwack/Aggasiz areas.

Do you offer group classes?

We do not offer group classes at this time.

What are the differences between group classes and private sessions?

There are pros and cons to both kinds of classes.

Group classes split a trainer’s attention many different ways at once. The curriculum delivered is one-size fits all, and you get less personal, one-on-one attention from the trainer. On top of that, the dogs are in a strange place, distracted by each other, and distracting the owner. Anyone who has tried to control their dog and listen to a lecture at the same time can tell you that it’s not easy.

That being said, group classes are cheaper, and if your goal is to work on socialization or distraction around other dogs, well, you need other dogs to do that! In fact, we recommend socialization classes for all puppies, with or without private instruction in the home.

Private classes cost more, but quite frankly, we can do more, in less time, with one-on-one classes than with group classes. Also, since you get 100% of the trainer’s attention, much more can be accomplished in an hour of one-on-one trainer time than in several sessions in a group. When you factor that in, our private instruction is competitive with many group classes out there. Furthermore, when your goal is to work on a specific problem you are encountering at home, it makes sense to work on it there, not in a strange place.

What are your rates?

Our rates vary depending on the age of the dog and whether you buy sessions singly or in packages. We prefer to give quotes in person, or through phone or email, because we like to identify the family’s needs.

Some people think they need a lot of classes, when they actually just need a single session to set them on the right track. Others think they need a single session when we see a deeper issue that will take longer to fix.

To get a quote, please call us at 604.781.8448 or email team@wagthedog.ca.

We also offer free in-person consultations.

We will come to your home, work with you and your dog, tell you what we think you need, and give you a quote, all at no charge and no obligation.

What are your qualifications?

We’re always happy to hear this question, because not enough people ask it. Anyone can call themselves a dog trainer!

Our trainers possess practical experience training dogs professionally for service dog work, as well as higher education in animal behaviour, learning, and psychology.

We are members of the Canadian Association of Professional Pet Dog Trainers, certified by DogSafe, and fully insured.

You can learn more about our education and experience here.

What is your training philosophy?

Dog training is full of arguments and contradictions. Some people are devotees of Cesar Millan’s heavy-handed techniques, while others embrace exclusively positive approaches.

We believe that training should be fun and exciting for both the dog and the owner. Our methods are extremely positive, putting an emphasis on reinforcing desired behaviours and motivating the dog to earn those reinforcements.

We also believe that dogs need firm boundaries and clear expectations from their owners, and that some forms of correction are needed to put an end to undesirable behaviours, especially once they become deeply entrenched.

However, we think that forms of “correction” which cause pain or discomfort to the animal are rarely, if ever, necessary. We prefer to use effective handling, appropriate use of motivation, and prompt redirection over infliction of pain.

Finally, we know that all dogs and all situations are different, and that a training style will never work unless the owner feels comfortable using it.

Our trainers are not “one-trick ponies” – we are familiar with a wide variety of techniques, and will adapt their styles as necessary to match what you and your dog need to meet success.

Can you train my dog to be an assistance dog?

Yes, and no.

Yes, we can help you train your dog to do assistance dog skills – turn on lights, open doors, fetch the phone, alert you to the smoke alarm and so on.

BUT!

We are not an assistance dog school. We are private dog trainers. In order for your dog to be granted public access, your dog must be certified by a recognized school.

Even if we could certify your dog, we probably wouldn’t. Most dogs don’t have the socialization history necessary for them to feel comfortable and remain calm in public settings. Imagine your dog lying quietly at your feet through a booming action movie at the theatre, calmly walking through a busy mall at Christmas, and ignoring the french fries on the floor while you eat at McDonald’s.

That doesn’t mean your dog can’t help! We can teach your dog to pick up your keys, help you around the house, and be useful anywhere dogs are normally allowed.

We just can’t turn your home-helper into a certified assistance dog. For a dog that you can take everywhere with you,  please contact one of the many fine assistance dog charities.

If you have more questions, please call, text, or email us to learn more!

Phone: 604.781.8448

Email: team@wagthedog.ca

Meet the Wag The Dog Team

Find Out What We Do

Find Out Why We’re Different

Check Out Our Dog Tricks On YouTube!

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