Frequently Asked Questions
What is Savvy Dog Training's methodology?
We believe that dogs are extremely intelligent and learn better and faster without harsh corrections or force. Science has proven that by utilizing motivators that the dog enjoys and will work for, you can reinforce desired behaviors while redirecting and reducing unwanted behaviors.
Which types of animals does Savvy Dog Training train?
Mostly dogs! We do have some knowledge of cat, horse, rabbit, and bird body language from Savannah's therapy work experience, but we just love dogs and their loyalty and love for us! We usually train family pets, but have experience training service and therapy dogs as well.
How much training will my dog need to be completely trained?
Great question, and the answer is: it depends. (Sorry!) We want to help you lift your dog to their best potential, but only they can decide what that is. Everyone (and every dog) has their mountain to climb. Focus on what behaviors you WANT to see your dog doing, instead of what you DON'T want them to do, and that will help!
What tools will I need to help train my dog?
We will be working with motivators- so you'll need whatever your dog likes! Treats, play, praise, toys, are all encouraged! We don't prefer to use shock, prong, or choke collars as they are outdated tools and science has proven that dogs learn quicker without them!
My dog barks, lunges, or growls at other dogs. Can you help?
Sure can! Reactivity is extremely prevalent in today's dogs. Our specialty in overall dog body language helps us examine why your dog is reacting like that and by using Pavlovian classical conditioning, counter-conditioning and desensitization, we can help your dog become more comfortable around other dogs!
Do you travel to train our dog in our own home?
Yes! Private lessons can be held in a location of your choice! Group classes are not a good fit for many dogs, and some issues simply can't be addressed in a group class. We are happy to come to your home and help you work on your dog's behavior!
We serve primarily Saint Johns County, but can accept clients in South Jacksonville, Hastings, or Palatka!
(Note: Locations outside of St. Johns County will incur a $10.00 per lesson fee).
I don't have time to train my dog. Can you train him for me?
Sure! We offer day training specifically for that reason! While you're away during the day, we can come to your home and work on specific behaviors with your dog. We always require a "transfer session" at the beginning and the end, because its important that everyone interacting with your dog stays consistent! We have also done day training for clients who have limited mobility.
Savvy Dog Training does not offer Board and Train services, but highly recommends Mango's Dog Boarding or The Canine's Voice for this!
I have an older dog who needs training. Can you help?
The saying "You can't teach an old dog new tricks" is completely false! Although they may not have as much energy and spunk as their younger selves, by using reinforcers and rewards that they enjoy, we can teach new tricks or break old habits!
I want to adopt a dog. Can you help me pick the right dog for my lifestyle?
Of course! Picking a dog that is compatible with your lifestyle is paramount to success! Genetics, puppy socialization, resilience, tolerance for handling, and overall sociability is extremely important! We can do temperament tests on prospective dogs that you are looking to adopt, or test a litter of puppies to figure out which might best best suited for you!
Can you train my dog to be a service animal?
Great question! First things first, a service dog is defined as a dog that does tasks for an individual with a disability. It must do work that the handler is unable to do themselves. So first, do you have a significant disability that impedes your ability to perform certain tasks? The first part of training a service dog is the task training, but the hard part begins when we examine the public access criteria that service dogs are expected to meet and maintain. Neutral around other dogs, people, loud noises or other stimuli, and always calm and collected. If you think you would benefit from a service dog, contact us and we can discuss options. Just a note- "emotional support animals" are not the same as service dogs and are not allowed public access.