Below we've answered some of our most frequently asked questions. Don't see your question here? Feel free to contact us.
What can we expect from you as trainers?
Our mission is to help you see what's possible for your dog. We know what it's like to feel embarrassed or discouraged by a dog's behavior or someone's response to it. Dog Possible is about letting all of that go. When we say we're naughty dog groupies, we mean it! We love your dog already and helping you celebrate all their wonderful attributes while working through challenges is why we started this business. We understand the necessity of serving both our human and canine clients and try to do so with humor, compassion, and a sense of fun. You can expect practical solutions tailored to the individual needs of your dog and the life you share together. We want you and your dog to feel good about each other, to understand one another better, and to find that sweet spot where you can achieve harmony, teamwork, and connection.
We're committed to giving you an honest, high quality experience in which dogs are allowed to be dogs and humans can build a clear picture of what that looks like. We are Ethics in Animal Care pledge partners and Pet Professional Guild members and as such, will never intentionally hurt or frighten your dog under the guise of training.
What do you expect from us as clients?
We expect you to love your dog and be invested in their quality of life. We are here to support you in your goals and help you achieve them but we also want to make sure the goals we set together are fair to your dog and take their perspective into account. When we agree on a plan together, we expect that you'll follow it and touch base with us with questions or requests for changes. We want to have fun and positive sessions with you and as such, request that your communication with us always be respectful and honest. To best help you and your dog, we also need you to fully and accurately disclose behavior histories. In a nutshell, we want clients who want to work with us and with their dogs.
I think my dog is aggressive. Can you help us?
Most likely, yes! The word aggressive is used to explain a category of behaviors, not an overall state of being or disposition of a dog. Aggressive behaviors are almost always modifiable and/or manageable. What we'll determine together are the situations in which your dog is exhibiting aggressive behaviors, whether or not this behavior is appropriate or proportional for the situation, and what we can do to help modify and/or safely manage this behavior and the situation(s) causing it.
Why won't you use physical punishment or corrective collars?
The simplest answer is we do not believe it is ethical or necessary to hurt or frighten dogs. Ever. The founders of Dog Possible have worked very successfully with so-called "at-risk" dogs in shelters and homes for years without the need to resort to violence. The notion that it saves lives is a fallacy and often, quite the opposite is true. Even if an ever growing body of research and expert consensus did not provide ample evidence of the reasons training through pain and fear are a bad idea (it does), we'd fall on the side of training and caring for animals without them. They are not necessary to change behavior nor productive for long-term reliable results, well-adjusted dogs, or healthy human/canine relationships.
You can read in-depth about the risks of training with fear and pain, including their established role in creating and escalating aggressive behaviors, suppressing the warning signs dogs as a social species rely on to avoid resorting to violent behavior, and creating an unhealthy lack of behavior through trauma and learned helplessness here. You can also read the pledges we've taken to you and your dog through Ethics in Animal Care here and through The Pet Professional Guild here.
What area of Austin do you serve?
All of it! However, due to the additional time investment and mileage costs, a travel fee may apply for distances further than 15 miles round trip from your trainer's location. And while we do our best to serve the surrounding Central Texas area, there is a possibility that when our schedule is especially full, travel times will preclude certain services outside of city limits.
Do you offer rescue rates?
Our rescue rates for various services are listed under our Shelter/Rescue services page. Additionally, we accept training vouchers for dogs adopted through Austin Animal Center and we have partnered with Ethics in Animal Care's "Pay What You Can" program to make high-quality training services available to everyone.
I don't see a phone number on your website. What's your communication policy?
As a wise colleague once said, dog training is not an office job. We are out with pups and their people most of the day, and the dogs and the humans we're working with deserve our full and undivided attention. We also have days off and off hours just like any other profession. Email is typically the best way to get a hold of us and correspondence of all kinds is typically checked before and after the day's appointments. We will accommodate a phone call if it's necessary (typically for ongoing coaching with existing clients) but scheduling can be done via email and behavior questions are best answered after we've seen your dog's behavior in person.
I don't see the service I need listed. Can you recommend another trainer?
Absolutely! We love the idea of Austin's training community, particularly those of us who share similar philosophies, working as a team to best serve our city's dogs and the people who love them. If we are all booked up, don't offer the service you need, or perhaps just know of a trainer who'd be a better fit for your personal situation, we are more than happy to make recommendations! Contact us for information.