Q. What qualifications does the trainer have?
A. Kris is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, Knowledge Assessed as granted by the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers. This organization, recognized world wide, tests applicants as to their knowledge in addition to requiring they complete at least 300 hours of hands-on teaching prior to even applying to write the exam. In addition the applicant must seek the referral of another CPDT trainer and a veterinarian before writing. The exam itself rivals any exams offered by university or technical college, taking up to 4 hours to complete the 250 multiple choice questions. To maintain a designation as a CPDT, trainers are required to continue their professional development by earning continuing eduction credits to keep information fresh and re-apply every 3 years. Credits are earned through approved workshops, conferences and webinars.
Q. What's included in the cost of the programs and classes?
A. Pricing for programs and classes includes information that is based on scientific principles, latest research, the formal education and professional experience of 11 years. In addition to training and coaching, you receive handouts to help you remember what you've learned, along with tips for living with your dog in general. A great deal of time is spent preparing documents, especially if a program is being modified to meet the needs of you and your dog. Also included are a number of considerations that go into a small dog training business: training supplies, resources, professional development, insurance, transportation, facility rentals, office supplies. You are welcome to contact Kris with questions while actively working with her, and even after scheduled sessions have been completed.
Q. What payment options are on offer?
A. Payments may be made using e-transfers, simply send to firstname.lastname@example.org. Create a question to which the answer will be "dogs." Cash and cheques are accepted, cheques being made to Ministik Hills Dog Training. Mailing address: 51072 Range Road 203, Sherwood Park, AB T8G 1E4. Payment for classes is required prior to the class to ensure your spot in class is held. You are not considered registered until payment is received.
Q. What do I need to bring to classes?
A. Bring along a healthy dog, a 6 ft. leash, flat buckle collar and treats. Please check the snugness of your dog's collar. It should be tight enough to just accommodate 2 fingers between your dog's neck and collar. Suggested treats may include commercially produced ones made in Canada or the US. They should be soft and cut small (the size of a pea) and ideally a variety to keep your dog's attention. You may also use hot dogs, left over BBQed meat, cheese or even vegetables if your dog is crazy about them. Dress for action: sturdy footwear and comfortable clothing as you may be on the floor for parts of a class. Proof of vaccinations are also needed for the first class. Bordatella is optional.
Q. Why do we use treats to train?
A. Treats are used to lure dogs into the positions we want - as opposed to manipulating them physically. The reward of the food is very effective in creating a dog that is very motivated to work with you and helps speed up the learning process by making it pleasurable. Scientifically speaking, the presence of the food also helps kick in a chemical reaction in your dog's brain that leaves him with feelings of pleasure that contributes to making associations between your words, hand signals and desired behaviours.
Q. Can other people come along to class?
A. Yes, quiet spectators are welcome and a second set of ears is a great idea! Children must be quiet and not interfere with the training process. Others can take turns working with the dog.