Dog Training FAQ – Answers to you questions about our Virginia Beach area dog trainer

This page is intended to answer many of the common questions that we receive about our dog training programs and our Virginia Beach area dog trainer. Please don’t hesitate to contact us though! We love to know about you and your dog and tell you how we can help! Call us anytime at 800.649.7297.

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

Do you train attack dogs?
How often will the trainer come to my home? How long will the training last?
How do I know that you can train my dog? Is he beyond help?
Some people say that my dog’s “moody behavior” is normal and that I should let him be when he doesn’t want his toys, food, ect. taken away. Is that a correct assumption?
Where are you located?
How will my dog be properly socialized if he isn’t in a group setting?
My dog is very nervous? Is this something you can help with?
I would like my dog to be certified for CGC, therapy and/or service dog purposes. Is this something that you offer?
Should the whole family be at the consultation?
How old should we start puppy training?
What training methods do you use? Do you train using treats? Do you train using shock collars?
What if I want to address just one behavior?

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Do you train attack dogs

No. At Hampton Roads Dog Training our goal is to create loving, obedient dogs that can be happy members of their “pack”. Dogs that have been trained specifically to be “attack dogs” or “guard dogs” are unstable and can pose as a safety threat when not handled properly. We want all of our clients to feel safe with their dogs, long after the training program is over. If you are looking to train your dog to attack on command, our program may not be the right fit for you and your dog.

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How often will the trainer come to my home? How long will the training last?

Our training programs are designed specifically to each client’s individual needs. For this reason, every program will vary depending on what the dog’s behavioral problems are and what the dog owner’s schedule can allow. Before we begin training, I always meet with my clients for an in-home behavioral consultation. This is where I can really give you specifics about what your program will entail after having seen your dog and assessed the situation.

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How do I know that you can train my dog? Is he beyond help?

Our training methods have been successfully helping dogs and their owners for over 26 years, with most of those clients being referred to us by their veterinarians. We are confident that with our time-tested approach we can resolve any dog behavioral problems. As long as your veterinarian has ruled out any medical reasons for behavioral change, there is no reason why you’re dog cannot be trained. We have a saying in the office that dog training is a lot like a fitness program. Any dog is capable of being a wonderful, happy part of the family, just as any person is capable of being fit and in shape. The determining factor will rely on YOU, the owner, to follow through with all of the behavior-improving routines and exercises once the training sessions have ended in order to create long lasting behavioral change.

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Some people say that my dog’s “moody behavior” is normal and that I should let him be when he doesn’t want his toys, food, ect. taken away from him. Is that a correct assumption?

This assumption is incorrect. When a dog starts to show signs of aggression (such as growling, showing teeth, snapping) in order to prevent humans and other dogs from taking a particular item away, this is called resource guarding. Dogs can guard anything from food, treats, toys, spaces and even people. Resource guarding is one of the most common causes for aggression in dogs and can pose as a risk to you and your family if your dog threatens to bite. This is especially dangerous to young children who are often unaware of dog behavior and proper greeting manners.

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Where are you located?

We do not have a brick and mortar location. What we offer is all private in-home training where we come to your home and work one-on-one with your dog. We will come to your home as long as you are no more than 45 minutes outside of Virginia Beach. If you are further than that, we may make some exceptions, but there may be an additional charge for gas. Call us today to ask about your specific area!

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How will my dog be properly socialized if he isn’t in a group setting?

Once a dog is older than 9 weeks of age, he has already passed the “socialization period” in puppies. From this point on, we will focus on teaching appropriate greeting behaviors and desensitizing your dog to stimuli (such as other dogs and people).

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My dog is very nervous? Is this something you can help with?

Absolutely! Anxiety is a common cause for behavioral problems amongst dogs and is something we deal with on a regular basis. One of my colleagues, a dog trainer from Tampa, Fl wrote a great article on the importance of training anxious dogs. Click here to read it. Victoria is also a member of Canine Trade Group and uses the same training techniques that have continued to successfully help dogs across the country.

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I would like my dog to be certified for CGC, therapy and/or service dog purposes. Is this something that you offer?

We do not offer a certification program at Hampton Roads Dog Training. We can absolutely help you and your dog master the advanced obedience required for most certification programs, but we do not certify dogs.

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Should the whole family be at the consultation?

Yes if possible. One thing that vital to training is consistency. The consultation is where our trainer will discuss the training methods, how the program works and the importance of following through with exercises and good habits outside of lessons. It is highly recommended that anyone handling the dog on a day-to-day basis is present at the consultation so that everyone can be on the same page.

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How old should we start puppy training?

It is best to establish good habits and boundaries for your puppy as soon as he enters the home. Our puppy-training program is fitting for dogs 16 weeks and under.

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What training methods do you use? Do you train using treats? Do you train using shock collars?

We believe that you should be a strong leader in your dog’s life. Our training programs are carefully designed to build a relationship with your dog that is based on mutual respect and trust. Treats are great for teaching your dog new behaviors and commands like sit, down and rollover, however we will work toward using positive praise for rewards over time. We do not expect you to be a treat dispenser for your dog and we also don’t expect you to use harsh force either. For this we do not use shock collars. It is a balance of clear “yes’s” and “no’s” that create long lasting behavioral change.

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What if I want to address just one behavior?

While one particular behavior or habit may be more troublesome to you than others, spot-checking dog behavior is not conducive to long lasting behavioral change. Please feel free to read this article on why spot-checking dog behavioral problems can be a dangerous line of thought.

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