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  • What do your certifications mean?
    Dog training as an unregulated industry. This means that anyone can charge for training or behavior consulting services. It's a buyer beware industry, and it's up to pet owners to research and carefully select a trainer. Make sure that the dog trainer you hire uses positive reinforcement methods and matches your personality and learning style so that you can get the most out of your dog training sessions. Dog training should be a fun and positive experience for all involved. Michelle Wieser and Jenn Stellbrink have both obtained a Professional Dog Trainer Certification from the Karen Pryor Academy of Animal Training and Behaviour. This allows us to use letters KPA-CTP (Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner) behind our names. The Karen Pryor Academy is widely acknowledged as one of the most outstanding and rigorous training programs available to serious professional dog trainers. Founded by world-renound trainer an author Karen Pryor, this intensive program focuses on modern, force-free training methods, backed by science - setting its graduates apart in an industry without professional standards. Michelle Wieser is also a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (CDBC) through the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. The goals of the IAABC are to standardize and support the practice of animal behavior consulting. IAABC certifications are the most rigorous in the field, and assess people working in multiple species, with private clients and in shelters. Sue Richards is a Certified Pro Dog Trainer and Certified Pro Dog Trainer Geek through Absolute Dogs based in the UK. Absolute Dogs is lead by Tom Mitchell, a trainer, author, veterinarian and behaviorist, and Lauren Langman is a world-renowned dog trainer and world-class agility handler. This article may be helpful for interpreting letters after a trainer's name.
  • What questions should I ask when hiring a dog trainer?
    Dog training is an unregulated industry. This means that anyone can sell training services with no minimum education requirements, no license requirements, and no standard of care. Choosing a dog trainer can be one of the most important decisions that you make in your dog’s life. The techniques that a trainer uses can strongly affect how you interact with your dog for years to come. Therefore, it is very important to choose your trainer wisely. Here are some general questions to help you find the most qualified trainer: When and where did you obtain your certification? Are you required to continue or upgrade your education to maintain your certification? What equipment do you use when training a dog or do you recommend I use? What will happen to my dog when he gets it right? What will happen to my dog when he gets it wrong? Are there any less invasive alternatives to what you propose? Additional Resources: How to Choose a Trainer (American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior) Transparency in Dog Training (Jean Donaldson, Director, SF/SPCA Academy for Dog Trainers)
  • What does science-based, ethical, positive or force-free training mean?
    Our Trainers use only positive, ethical training methods supported by the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) and the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior (AVSAB). Our goal is to help you achieve your training goals, while building a positive, trusting relationship with your dog. We use cues to signal (request) required behaviors, a clicker or verbal marker to mark the behavior, and toys, treats, play, or other appropriate reinforcers to reward desirable behavior. We also use capturing, shaping, and luring in our training. ​Use of reward-based methods does not mean dogs are allowed to do anything they want. All animals learn best when given appropriate structure, routine, and guidelines. However, it is imperative that these boundaries be taught without the use of fear, intimidation, or pain. As recommended by the AVSAB, we do not use tools that involve pain (choke chains, prong collars, electric shock collars), intimidation (squirt bottles, shaker noise cans, compressed air cans, shouting, staring, forceful manipulation such as "alpha rolls" or "dominance downs"), physical correction techniques (leash jerking, physical force), or flooding ("over exposure causing the dog to shut down"). Learn more about Our Ethics and Training Methods.
  • Do you offer clicker training?
    Yes. Clicker or marker training is the fastest way to communicate with your dog and teach new skills. We're happy to work with you using a marker word 'yes' if if works well with your situation and training goals. Learn more about clicker training and the benefits of this method in the video below:
  • Do you offer private lessons?
    Yes. We private private coaching at your home within Whitehorse city limits, or in our training space at 95 Lewes Boulevard in Riverdale. Please see the Private Coaching Page for details.
  • Will you travel to country residential neighborhoods outside of Whitehorse for private lessons?
    Unfortunately, due to the high cost of fuel and travel time involved, we are unable to travel outside of the Whitehorse City limits for private lessons at this time. We may able to meet up in Whitehorse.
  • Do you offer group classes?
    Yes, we offer small group classes (up to 6 dogs) for puppies, manners, recalls, loose leash walking, nosework and reactive behavior. See the Group Classes Page for details or email to inquire about future offerings.
  • How long will it take to train my dog?
    It depends. Training basic manners can go very quickly if you're dedicated to practicing with your dog. Behavioral problems can be more complex and you may take longer to see improvement.
  • How early can I start training my puppy?
    Immediately. Puppies training and socialization can be started as soon as you bring your puppy home. Infact, it's critical to your puppies development that you start during this critical stage. Learn more about Puppy Socialization.
  • Do you offer a guarantee?
    We believe it's unethical to provide guarantees for training outcomes. Dogs and their owners are individuals who learn in different ways and at different paces. We can guarantee that I will work hard to ensure that the training process is a positive one for both you and your dog.
  • How much do you charge?
    You'll find my rates on the following pages: Group Classes Private Coaching Day Training
  • It seems expensive, what am I getting for my money?"
    For your investment you get our education and experience, personalized attention in small classes (maximum of 6 students for most classes), private coaching, or day training, training to meet your goals, and email support throughout the training process. The rate covers the time our trainers will spend helping you train your dog, traveling to your home (for day training and private coaching), planning our training sessions, and preparing and sending email homework.
  • Do I need to buy equipment for training?
    Usually all you'll need is a flat collar or anti-pull harness, a 6 or 8 foot leash, high value treats, a toy your dog loves, and treat pouch. If we recommend using a clicker, we will provide one. Here is a list of recommended equipment and where to buy it.
  • What type of payments do you accept?
    We accept credit card payments using a client management system and email money transfer. We also accept cash and cheques upon request. Day Training package payments can be split up into multiple payments upon request.
  • What are your service policies?
    Please familiarize yourself with our policies as shown below. When you book a class, private coaching or day training, you are agreeing to follow these Terms & Conditions.
  • What if I have questions not answered here?
    Contact me and I'll be happy to answer your questions.
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frequently asked questions

Wise Canine Training & Behavior is owned and operated by Michelle Wieser, KPA CTP

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