Q: What is your training process and methods?

A. We are very often the last stop for clients who have tried several unsuccessful trainers because most training approaches merely focus on developing rehearsed behaviors, bribing with treats, or just managing the problem. 

At Smart K9 Trainingwe are dog behaviorists. Our revolutionary method has evolved into an approach that addresses the human-canine relationship and the dog’s fundamental state of mind. By addressing your relationship with your dog and the state of mind, we breakthrough to open a clear line of communication that allows us to start cultivating new habits, mindful choices, and calmness instead of excitability. 

In addition, we use obedience to simulate a job for your dog because work builds confidence, instills a sense of purpose, creates engagement, and enhances focus. This is a comprehensive lifestyle approach with emphasis on setting a tone of leadership between you and your dog, setting a standard of expectation by requiring your dog to earn affection and privileges, and establishing a structured routine that makes life easier on you & your dog.

However, it's very important to understand the real secret to our success is the team effort of our clients. Dog training is a team sport. We need you to be committed to following a reasonable routine with your  dog that includes regular walks, daily obedience sessions, and enforcement of all the commands and behaviors we accomplish in training.  In this way, with dedicated clients, we are consistently successful with dogs that others are unable to help. This will be the last dog training you will ever need.

1st Step: Avoid conflict. 

Engagement and Relationship building through rewarding games that enhance communication under low to no distraction (Verbal Marker System). Also, implement structure that engenders believable leadership and certainty in the daily routine. Knowing what to expect relieves anxiety and also builds confidence.

2nd Step: Adding rules and criticism. 

As Confidence grows with the thrill of winning games, trust in our guidance grows as we repeatedly guide and direct our dog to the reward. When our dog is confident and trusting enough to accept criticism from us, we begin to add rules that make the games more challenging. The process of adding challenges teaches our dog that following rules is rewarding and taking direction from us helps them win the game. This creates a dog that willingly offers focus and engagement.

3rd Step: Communication tools for clear communication under any kind of distraction. When our dog is confidently and enthusiastically performing all their basic obedience commands through verbal marker system games, we then layer gentle prong collar pressure and low level e-collar stimulation over all the communication our dog has already learned through the games. In this way our dog understands prong and e-collar pressure as communication that helps them win the game. The communication tools allow us to cut through any distraction to communicate under any circumstances.

4th Step: The 3 D's of dog training. 

Once our dog is giving us plenty of engagement, the trust is strong, and communication is clear, we then add Duration, Distance, and Distraction to all the obedience our dog has learned through the games. During this process we routinely interrupt our dog's impulses while making it rewarding to focus on us. This creates a mindful dog who understands his choices matter, who is accustomed to having his impulses interrupted, and who recognizes direction from us as help to win the game. This is a dog who wants our input and is willing to accept guidance from his leader.

Q: Do I get to choose the training program for my dog?

A: The short answer? No. 

Our trainers are experts in reading and understanding dog behavior. They may see minor to major behavior issues that typically have never been seen/ brought to your attention by anyone else because they are not trained in behavior. 

In some cases, with "happy-go-lucky" dogs the doors are wide open as to which programs you would like to enroll your dog into.  In other cases the trainer may only accept your dog into one of our training programs. 

All of these things will be discussed at your evaluation.

Q: Why do you use prong collars?

A: Dogs primarily communicate with each other through touch and varying degrees of pressure on the neck. From the very beginning dogs learn canine manners and pack etiquette from mama dog gently cradling, to firmly biting the necks of her young.  This is not meant to cause injury, it's a canine conversation that effectively conveys a wide range of information to the puppy.  For dogs, Nature only chose the neck. It's what they innately understand. As such, we use prong collars because tools that emulate natural canine communication are the very best for connecting, communicating, and creating harmonious relationships with dogs.  Just like mama dog, we only use the least amount of pressure to convey our expectations. This translates to a stress free experience for dogs and their owners, because when used properly, prong collars have been proven to be the least physically taxing, most humane, and one of the safest tools available.  Most tools tend to mask or manage unwanted behavior, but the prong collar allows us to effortlessly communicate, creating a vastly different state of mind and a highly responsive dog.

Q: What are the graduation requirements for the dog training school your trainers attended?

A:  Not every "certified" dog trainer has the same level of experience and education! This is why our trainers attended The Tom Rose School, ranked one of the most elite dog training schools in the world.

Professionals: AKC Novice, AKC Open, IPH BH, AKC Agility, AKC CGC, AKC TDI, 2 Tricks, Retrieves, Sent Outs with Obedience, AKC Novice, IPO 1 Track, National Narcotic Detector Dog Association Certification.

Q: Will my dog go home with you?

A: No. Dogs sleep in individual kennels inside our climate controlled Training Center. We only work with a small number of dogs to give every dog the attention they need, and maintain a relaxed environment. In the summer time, all dogs are lead on a 45 minute structured pack walk early in the morning. After this their day proceeds with several hours of hands-on training, alternating between active commands, duration work, socialization with our balanced pack, and behavior modification exercises tailored to your dog's needs. They will also receive plenty of rest, down time, and personal one-on-one attention. Your dog’s well being is our primary concern.

Q: I am from out of town, do you HAVE TO meet my dog in person?

A: Yes. We can make accommodations for clients traveling from more then 4 hours away. We need to meet you and your dog in person before they can be accepted into a training program. This is for our staff's safety and making sure we are all on the same page in regards to the training process and expectations.  We have many clients from 1 - 12h away and we can be flexible with scheduling, please email us.

Q: Why do you use Remote Collars?

Q: We use them for the same reasons we use prong collars. However, Remote Collars are even better because the skill to use them is the most easily transferable to the owner. Not only are Remote Collars the most effective, most reliable, most humane, and transformational training tool available today, they empower owners to have a completely off-leash trained dog with remote communication up to 1/2 a mile away. This means more opportunity to include your dog in your life and more freedom for you and your dog.


When the remote collar is introduced properly it becomes an amazing communication and educational tool between you and your dog. 

The idea we have to get out of our head is that we are shocking or zapping the dog. It’s NOT like a static shock from a door knob or touching an electric cattle fence. The remote collar systems we utilize uses a medical grade stimulation exactly like a TENS unit that is used on human beings world wide for physical therapy. 

On top of that, most people can’t even feel the stimulation levels we use to effectively communicate with dogs. 

We also need to understand that the stimulation from the collar does not magically do anything itself. We still need to teach our dog what the tickle means, how we want our dog to respond to it, and reward our dog for making correct choices. The result is a level of connectivity and communication that utterly transforms the relationships of people and dogs so they can have their best lives together.

Our techniques empower you to include your dog in your life with ease and fun through proper use of the very best tools available today.

Q: Can I still give my dog affection? Can my dog still have couch time or sleep in my bed?

A: Depending on the problems you're having, affection is a powerful tool that can assist  or hinder your dog.  Dog owners unknowingly reward a lot of undesirable behavior by giving affection at the wrong times. If you have a dog that's being oblivious to your boundaries, disrespectful, insecure, or aggressive, then giving affection tends to reinforce that negative state of mind. To help your dog be more successful we recommend using affection very selectively to improve your dog's behavior.  As such we exclusively reserve affection for calmness or following commands.

When it comes to couch time or sharing your bed, if you have a dog that's challenging you in any way or being disrespectful, then access to furniture sends mixed messages about your relationship.  If your dog is growling at anyone , jumping on people, or resource guarding, then allowing couch time or sleeping in your bed instills a sense of entitlement and empowerment that leads to bad choices.

The goal in limiting affection is to make it as easy as possible for your dog to make mindful choices.  First let's get the behavior we're looking for, then we can reward that with affection.  If we start to notice bratty or entitled behavior again, then we must be more conscientious of the affection we're giving our dog. Your dog will NOT be a robot after training and is absolutely allowed to "be a dog" during designated free time.

Is there a guarantee I will get the results I want?

A: We've never met a dog we could not improve. However, dog training is a team effort.  No matter how severe the issues may be, dedicated and diligent owners consistently see amazing breakthroughs and transformations with Smart K9 Training. 

Once you hire us you are part of the Smart K9 Pack, your success is our top priority, but your dog can't achieve full potential without you, and there will be homework. Even though we can help any dog regardless of size, breed, or issue, we need owners to be 100% committed and consistent to make it work. 

As such, it would be unethical for us to offer a 100% guarantee due to the many variables involved to create a well-behaved and balanced dog.

Q: Other trainers have told me my dogs behavior can't be fixed & I should consider euthanasia. True?

A: We have dealt with many clients who have heard this from previous trainers. Please call and ask to speak with a trainer so we can get you in for an evaluation as soon as possible. There is a good chance we can help with the issues you are having when other trainers have not been able to. We firmly believe that 99% of dogs can be rehabilitated with the right guidance.

What is the minimum age requirement? Vaccinations?

We do not train dogs younger then 8 weeks old. Starting your puppy in training young is always ideal to prevent behavior issues and get to know your dog even better!

All dogs must be CURRENT on vaccination records for THEIR AGE! We REQUIRE rabies, bordetella, and distemper. 


The earliest age to vaccinate for Rabies is 12 weeks. If you have a 10 week old puppy, we do not require you to have rabies completed. If you have a 18 week old puppy, you must have rabies to enter our facility.

We do not specifically train potty training at out facility, so it is recommended your puppy / dog is potty trained before attending a board and train program. 

We do accept intact males and females into our facility because we are not a "free for all" facility and animals are NEVER left alone together. We HIGHLY encourage you NOT to spey/neuter your dog until speaking with one of our trainers. Veterinarians have not been doing their duty to educate owners about sexual maturity and the CONS to early spey/neuter.