Is your dog the King of the castle? Make everyone happier, including your dog, by wearing the crown yourself.
Aggression, Anxiety, Obedience
Private Lessons $150/session
Address the problems where they're happening with the added ease of never leaving your home.
We come to you!
One on one instruction.
Each session lasts 2+ hours.
Customized training to address your issues.
Written Training Guide containing all instructions (provided after consultation).
FREE follow up phone/text support.
Immersion Training $2200
Whether you don't have time to train or you've tried your best, but still haven't achieved the desired results, we can still help. Your dog can come stay with us while learning new habits.
We pick up and drop off your dog at your home.
Training includes basic obedience, leash manners, and socialization.
Custom elements can be added to address your needs, living situation, and/or preferences.
Problem behaviors such as aggression, anxiety, barking, biting, jumping, etc.
Average training time is 3 weeks.
Customized User Guide written for your dog.
FREE follow up phone/text support.
Puppy Foundation Training $1200
Start your puppy off on the right paw by having him/her learn the basics with us.
Crate training and potty training
Foundation exercises to make later training more successful and easier.
Average training time is 2 weeks.
Puppy Training Guide provides instructions to help you and your puppy succeed.
Once upon a time we adopted his and her border collies for our first wedding anniversary. We loved the breed and wanted dogs we could have adventures with. Emma came to us missing half her fur, was recently recovered from Parvo, and had a severe case of anxiety. It was two years before Steve could take off his belt facing her due to the severe abuse she had endured. Blue Bear had been neglected so he mostly ignored commands, and had serious dental issues from chewing rocks. These dogs had difficult pasts so we followed the recommendations of the rescue from which we had adopted them, and we signed up for positive only training.
After four classes and years of training we had two fat, reactive dogs who nearly ripped our arms off during walks. But we had done everything right! We did everything we were supposed to do! Obviously something wasn't working so we started exploring other training methodologies. We watched Cesar. We tried dominance. We thought about medication. A funny thing happened along the way. We were introduced to leadership methodology, and learned how to work our dogs. Emma and Blue were now so busy following commands and looking to us for direction, they didn't have time to react to other dogs. When we got them home, our dogs were tired and no longer seemed anxious. Why wasn't everyone teaching this? Why didn't the rescue or the trainers tell us about this instead of having us "distract" our dogs with chicken breast pieces?
Eventually Paula started a pet sitting business and got a lot more practice with a lot more dogs. She started to realize just how many reactive dogs there are. Steve got drafted to help, and had to learn training techniques as a means of survival in his own home. That and all small dogs adore him with unending devotion. Don't tell anyone, but it's mutual.
Where We Are Now
We want to let you know that if you have a reactive dog, you're not alone. We've been there and we can help. If your dog is anxious, neither of you has to suffer any longer. If your dog has bitten someone, it doesn't mean they're tainted for life and have to immediately be put down. If you've scoured the internet trying to find the secret to making your dog behave, and followed every step multiple trainers have given you, but your dog still barks and lunges like they have rabies, there's still hope.
Imagine Dog Training has been created to help people and dogs in the same situation in which we found ourselves. We want to spread the word about leadership training so people know there are other methodologies than positive training. No one methodology applies to every dog and every situation, however, leadership training is severely underutilized.
Why Choose Us?
LOTS of satisfied customers.
Practical solutions spoken in your language. We don't ask you to do something because it's traditional. We focus on your situation, limitations, and goals then add in safety and effective handling techniques.
We work with all breeds and problems using a variety of techniques. No one technique works for every dog and situation so we customize the training for your dog and your situation.
We mainly serve the Greater Triangle area, but are willing to serve clients as far an hour away from our home base. We don't think you should have to live in a certain place to get the help you need. Not sure if you're in our service area? Contact us and we'll check for you.
References available upon request.
What We Believe In
Simply put, we believe in leadership training:
Working dogs instead of just walking them
Being responsible pet parents instead of enabling bad behavior.
Giving treats when they're earned.
Using the right tools (leashes, collars, treats) to maximize results.
NOT using pain to train.
NO shock collars ever.
Rewarding relationships between dogs and owners.
Good parenting means the dog equivalent of broccoli and homework not toys and candy.
I've heard from several clients lately that their dogs have been diagnosed with whipworms. After quickly doing a frantic mental scan to see if any of them had visited my yard, and then an internet scan to see what I had to do if any of then had visited, I then started researching to see how whipworms were cured. Just an FYI whipworm eggs can last in extreme weather conditions for up to 5 years and one of the treatments involves removing 6 inches of topsoil from your back yard and giving your dog drugs for 5 years. I had to resort to several minutes of deep breathing after reading that. Thankfully my calculations indicate my yard was not exposed. I keep looking at the soil and Benny's poop suspiciously anyway.
While researching whipworm drug treatments, I found a really interesting article about how effective current heartworm formulations are. I spend a lot of money every month to protect my dog from heartworms, and apparently it's not protecting him as well as it should be. The only commercially available product which tested 100% effective at preventing heartworms, and which also incidentally protects against whipworms, is Bayer Advantage Multi for dogs. Sadly this is not the product my dog has been using. Guess who's getting switched as soon as his current prescription runs out?
The only chemical combination which is proven 100% effective is imidacloprid + moxidectin. Get out your package of heartworm medication and check out the ingredients. If it contains anything but these two ingredients, talk to your veterinarian about changing. I'm sure no one wants their dogs to have heartworms or whipworms. Did I mention the eggs which last 5 years? Gah!
As I travel around the area visiting all different kinds of people and their dogs, sometimes trends become apparent. Recently I've seen a lot of dog spoiling. Now in the interest of full disclosure, my own dog is a little spoiled. Benny gets to go on bar/restaurant/store outings multiple times a week, always has visiting dogs to play with, and gets to sleep on the bed. So if I spoil my own dog, what's wrong with you spoiling your dog?
Firstly, I don't give Benny treats for every little thing. There are certain behaviors which are simply expected from him as part of his living here. He doesn't get a cookie every time he sits. Positive training has it's place when working with dogs, but as with many treatments there can be undesirable side effects. One of the main ones is pet obesity. It's such a problem Royal Canin started a Pet Obesity Month in 2014 in conjunction with local veterinarians to address the problem. I love this chart which equates some common pet snacks to human donuts. How many of you eat 3 donuts a day? When you look at it that way, do you really feel good about giving your dog treats which amount to that many donuts?
Secondly, I spoil him with activities which are good for him and teach him something. Sure, laying around watching television can be fun, but getting off our butts and going outside in the fresh air for a game of ball is better. Both of us get some exercise, and Benny has a glorious time chasing the ball around. We also go out to breweries and restaurants so Benny can practice his people/dog greeting skills. He loves experiencing new places, and the more places/people he meets the less likely to be reactive he is.
Lastly, I make Benny pay tolls throughout the day so he feels he's earned his spoiling. For instance, he doesn't get to jump on the bed until he sits, waits, and is given permission. That way getting on the bed becomes a treat he has earned instead of a demanding behavior. Ask any lottery winner, does getting something for free make them happy? We all love the idea of winning it big, but the reality is quite different.
"But demanding behavior is so cute!" you say. "I love it when they sit on my foot, lean on me, or put their head in my lap." All of those things are how a dog shows you love right? NO! That's how they work you like a vending machine. To a dog, it's like you're wearing a sign which says "Smack paw here to get your ear scratched." Why is demanding behavior a bad thing? It frequently makes your dog think they're in charge, and that can lead to things like biting, resource guarding, and attacking visitors. It's not guaranteed that one will lead to the other, however, you're significantly increasing the risk. It's like driving your car during rush hour instead of mid-afternoon. You're not guaranteed you'll be in an accident but you're increasing the chances you will be if you drive during heavier traffic.
So go ahead and spoil your dog, but do it in a way which benefits them not a way which leads them to bad behavior. Cut back on the treats. Get off the couch. Go do something with your dog. Give them a real treat and not a sugar/fat bomb. Then give yourself the treat of a well behaved, enjoyable pet.
Welcome to the new Imagine Dog Training web site and blog. I'm always finding out new things about dogs and wonderful places to take them. I share these things with the people I talk to, but sadly I don't talk to you every day.
Firstly I'd like to introduce Bran, today's dog model. I keep telling his mother he could go pro and make Grumpy Cat pack his bags. All she needs to do is have some headshots taken and get him an agent. Bran is a supermodel at heart!
In notable news, today Burger King has introduced the Doggper which is the canine version of the Whopper. This is available for delivery customers who order via DoorDash from Burger King. So don't forget Fido the next time you order dinner and give your dog some flame broiled goodness.
Christmas is coming
This year don't buy your dog another toy they'll destroy in 5 minutes. Don't buy them a big frosted cookie which will result in your dog having to have a dental cleaning this summer. Don't buy them a cute outfit which while adorable in your eyes, makes them grumpy for the big holiday. See above picture.
If you really want to get your dog something they will enjoy and really appreciate, take them on an adventure. When I tell folks to take their dog somewhere, they immediately think of pet stores, but there are so many more places you can take your dog even if the weather is cold and rainy. On a nice night you and your pup can go out to the Brier Creek Beer Garden where they have outdoor heaters for you and a special dog menu for your furry friend. When it's really cold out like today, I go to Bull City Ciderworks to see what's on tap. Dogs are allowed inside anywhere that doesn't serve food so most of your local breweries, meaderies, distilleries, and cideries are dog friendly. Most Home Depots and Lowes Home Improvements are also dog friendly so Fido can help you pick out new Christmas yard decorations as well. There are lots of places to go and your dog will be delighted to get a car ride and check out the sounds and smells of a new place.
Your Next Netflix binge - 6 Puppies and us
Recently added to Netflix is the BBC series 6 Puppies and Us which you should add to your viewing list ASAP. The next time you have a day off or maybe after you have all the Christmas presents purchased, wrapped, and then opened. sit down for a puppy binge.
Disclaimer: I don't agree with all of their information or solutions. For instance I don't always agree with their timelines. They also claim it makes no behavioral difference if your dog is neutered or not. They show one woman using an air horn corrective spray. However, there is still a lot of good information in the series.
You'll quickly notice several recurring themes among the owners. They're not really prepared for the reality of bringing a puppy home. The owners create the problem behaviors they hate especially by falling victim to the cuteness and being too permissive. They're also not usually communicating what they think they are to their dogs.
For people with well behaved dogs, it's fun to watch all the antics. If your dog misbehaves, you may realize some of the things you're doing which contribute to the problem. Regardless of your situation, this series is a huge helping of adorable canine cuteness!