Questions & Answers

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  1. What if I am not a client but have questions about my puppy or dog’s behaviors?
Sometimes people seek accurate answers to a question or two, but don’t really need a full session. I can help. Contact me. I’m happy to share a few tips and suggestions with anyone. Contact me via website by clicking on the “contact us” link located at the bottom of every page. My goal is to answer your questions within 24 hours.

Another option for puppy owners is to attend my Puppy Parent Social. Every third Thursday at 6:15, I hold a 1.5 hour Q and A session for puppy owners. The Puppy Parent Social is for people only and is held at Collierville Pet Hospital on Byhalia Rd, Collierville, TN. Price is $10 per person or $15 per household.

If you’d like more information than can be delivered in 10-15 minutes, such as a detailed, remote house training consultation, consider purchasing HB Remote Support. The fee is $25 per 30 minutes of phone conversation or email correspondence. Allow one-hour for a remote housetraining consultation.
  2. What services do you offer and what are your fees?
I offer private training and behavior modification services for all species. Private service fees range from $81.00 to $95.00 per hour. A complete training program is $80.83 per hour. A single, 1-hour session is $95.00.

I hold group obedience courses for non-aggressive dogs. Group Obedience Mini Course fee is $90.00 per dog.

I also offer HB Remote Support, Custom Group Courses, Group Speaking Services and Veterinary, In Clinic Behavioral Health Services. Fees for these services are listed on their corresponding web pages.
  3. At what age should I start training my puppy? How about older dogs?
House Manners - Your puppy’s training starts the minute he comes into your family. Your most important first task is to start off right with housetraining. If your puppy is still in the Critical Period of Socialization (3-12 weeks), you’ll focus on exposing him or her to many new things every day. Play biting is another area of training for puppies.

Obedience Commands - You can introduce simple commands like sit, here, down – using gentle animal friendly methods – with puppies as young as 8 weeks.

Older Dogs - Older pups and dogs can learn new tricks! Older dogs often learn quicker than younger dogs. It’s never too late to start training your dog. If the behaviors relate to aggression, fear or anxiety, the amount of time to modify the behavior will be in proportion to the amount of time the behavior has been occurring.
  4. What hours / days are available for private appointments?
My schedule is flexible. If none of my usual appointment times are good for you, I’ll work around your schedule. I usually schedule private, in-home appointments:

10am (M-Tu-F)    12pm (W-Th)    2pm (M-Tu-F)    3:30 (W-Th)    6pm (M- Tu)    7:00 (W-Th)

Availability varies with the seasons. Saturday appointments are usually filled abut three weeks in advance, 6 PM appointments are filled about 1 week in advance, 10AM and 2PM appointments are usually available within the week.
  5. What geographic area do you serve? Are there any travel fees?
Geographic Area / Travel Fee - Many of my clients live in Memphis TN, Germantown TN, Collierville TN, Bartlett TN, Cordova TN, Olive Branch MS. These clients are within 16 miles of the Memphis Germantown border on Poplar Pike Ave. Clients within 16 miles from the border do not pay a travel fee.

Other clients are located farther than 16 miles from the Memphis Germantown border on Poplar Pike Ave. I routinely travel to clients in Shelby County TN, Fayette County TN, Tipton County TN, Desoto County MS, Tate County MS, and Craighead County AR. Occasionally I drive to Jackson TN, Oxford MS, Tupelo MS, Marion AR, West Memphis AR, Little Rock AR and other tri-state cities. Clients that live farther than 16 miles from the Memphis Germantown border on Poplar Pike Ave, pay a travel fee.

The Travel Fee is $1.00 per mile for each mile traveled above 32 miles per round trip from the Memphis-Germantown border on Poplar Pike Ave. I’ll drive up to 160 miles to reach your location for this rate. I’ll travel anywhere in the USA for a fee. If you live farther than 160 miles, please contact me for a long-distance travel fee quote.
  6. What should I consider when selecting Group or Private services?
Group class is a good choice if:
  • your pup is 16 weeks or older;
  • your pup or dog is relatively calm around other people, pups or dogs; (aggressive or fearful dogs cannot attend our group obedience courses);
  • you can commit to 5 consecutive Tuesday evenings;
  • you learn well in a group environment.

Private services are best if:
  • your pup or dog is likely to bark continuously in a group setting;
  • your pup or dog is likely to pull you across the room in a group setting;
  • your pup or dog is aggressive or fearful;
  • you have more than one pet you’d like to teach;
  • your schedule makes it difficult to attend 5 consecutive Tuesday evenings;
  • you want me to see how your pet behaves in his or her normal environment;
  • your goals are situation specific, i.e. dog chasing cat, separation anxiety, et cetera;
  • you want your pet to learn more than basic commands
  7. Where / when do you conduct Group Obedience Courses?
Regular group courses are held in the lobby of Collierville Pet Hospital, 18 S. Byhalia Rd, Collierville, TN on Tuesday evenings at 6:15. Some times I conduct an additional, second class at 7:30pm on Tuesday. Group Course participants pay a $25 non-refundable deposit to secure their spot in the next course.

Sometimes I hold group obedience courses in other locations near and in Memphis, Tennessee. Please contact me for information on other locations for Group Courses.

I also offer Custom Group Courses for any group of people who want to train together. You provide the location or I’ll arrange for the location.
  8. What behaviors do you teach in the Group Obedience Course?
The goal of my Group Course is to teach you to think like an animal trainer. I teach you how to teach your dog. The course is a combination of theoretical and practical exercises. Throughout the course, we’ll discuss normal behaviors such as barking, jumping up, play-biting and house training. Specific obedience behaviors taught are Attention, Here, Sit, Stay, Down, Go-to-Place and Leave-It. We’ll discuss loose lead walking, but do not have the space to actually practice this skill.
  9. May children participate?
Yes, everyone in the family is welcome to participate. Teenagers and all adults in the household are urged to attend every session. I have noticed that most young children become bored during the Group Obedience Course orientation, but all household members are welcome.
  10. Which private service should I select for puppy or dog training?
Choose either the HB Training Program or the Jump Start. The follow up sessions included with these two services are invaluable! In addition, the HB Training Program and the Jump Start include 1 year of free HB Support. With HB Support, you can call or email with questions about behavior and training.

The HB Training Program is a 6 hour, 5-session program to learn the basics of animal training, address puppy manners, and to teach and practice 5 to 8 obedience commands. If you have an older dog, I can usually teach you how to teach your dog 7 to 10 obedience commands. Price for the HB Training Program is $385 US Dollars.

The HB Training Program is the best choice to address multiple problems such as barking, digging, too excited to listen, heel, jumping up, etc.

The Jump Start is a 3 hour, 2-session service to learn the basics of animal training, address puppy manners, and to teach 2 to 4 commands. The Half Session follow-up gives us a chance to discuss your progress and to adjust for your success. Older dogs can usually learn 3 to 5 behaviors during a Jump Start. Price for the Jump Start is $200 US Dollars.

The Jump Start is a good choice if you only want to learn how to address 2 or 3 normal problems such as barking, digging, too excited to listen, heel, jumping up, etc..

The Full Session is a 2 hour, single session. It is a good choice for those who want to learn the basics of animal training, address puppy manners, and introduce 1 to 2 basic commands in a single session - without a follow-up. If you have an older dog, we can usually introduce 2 to 3 commands during a Full Session. Price for the Full Session is $150 US Dollars.

The Full Session is the best choice for an extensive, in-home, house training consultation. An extensive house training consultation will absorb the entire 2-hour, Full Session.

The Half Session is a 1 hour, single session. Half Sessions are best for follow-up sessions to adjust, practice and refine behaviors. Half sessions are not recommended for the initial meeting. Price for the Half Session is $80 US Dollars.

For more details about services for puppies and dogs, visit Quick Look Puppy and Dog Private Training Choices.
  11. Which private service should I select for my anxious, fearful or aggressive dog?
Initially select a Full Session so I can conduct a Behavior Consultation. During the consultation, we will discuss causes and treatment exercises. If you wish to pursue treatment, you can choose to apply the initial Full Session as part of the Jump Start or the HB Training Program. Expect to spend a total of $200-$600 to learn and to practice behavior modification exercises. Please visit the aggressive animals page under "Dogs & Cats" on the menu bar to learn more about treating fear and aggression.
  12. What if I have more than one animal that needs training?
I do not charge more for private services if you own more than one animal. If any neighbors, friends, co-workers or persons outside your household wish to bring their pet to your home and participate in private sessions, the additional pet can attend for ½ the normal fees.

My Group Obedience Course pricing is per dog.
  13. How much help will I need for my aggressive or fearful animal?
Aggression and fear are complex, life-threatening issues. There are volumes of books about these subjects and our counselors have attended hours of workshops to learn how to address these specific problems. Treating animals with these problems requires a very-high level of commitment from the owner.

It would be unreal and unethical for us to pretend to teach you all you’ll need to know in one session. Over the years, I’ve discovered that people rarely, successfully perform the exercises discussed during the initial Full Session. Most people can learn the basic concepts within 3-9 hours of private services. Expect to spend $200 - $600 US Dollars.

There are two methods to stop aggression. You can either control the animal through intimidation or change the animals’ perceptions. Treating aggression by controlling the animal may be successful for some animal-owner teams – but it is not the path I prefer.

Quick-cure methods involve controlling the animal’s behaviors with equipment, fear and intimidation. The success of this strategy is based on several assumptions. The initial assumption is that you have the motor skills and strength to physically control your animal. Next, assume your animal will always be wearing special equipment, assume you will always be nearby; assume you are constantly on-alert for subtle signals that the animal may become aggressive; and assume you are willing to accept the side-effects of controlling via threats. In addition, controlling behavior via intimidation requires that the animal always believes you to be a superior warrior. This path of assumptions is littered with failures.

Rather than constantly monitor the animals’ behaviors, I strive to change the animals’ perceptions of the events or triggers for aggression. This is not a concept I can convey in a couple of sessions.
  14. What are the steps for treating an fearful or aggressive animal?. . . success rates?. ...limitations?
I’m glad you asked! I have a detailed web page explaining the treatment of aggression. Please visit Problem Behavior Solutions. Thank you.

  15. How long have you been in the animal training field?
I started my training career as an assistant to a trainer who trained patrol and scent detection dogs for law enforcement in the early 80s. Over the years I trained my own family dogs as a hobby.

In the late 1990s I enrolled in several theoretical and practical courses to study animal behavior with an emphasis on canine behavior modification. In 2005, I expanded my services to include all species, since the methods used are applicable to all species. How’s Bentley was established in 2001. Please visit the About page for more information.
  16. What methods do you use?
The methods I teach foster an attitude of cooperation and contribute to partnerships between the animals and the humans. Although the trainers are the senior partners, the trainers work for the animals and the animals work for the trainers.

I do not use leash jerks or voice corrections to teach obedience commands. I use positive reinforcement and negative punishment as primary teaching tools. The animal receives a combination of food, play, praise, interaction or touch as rewards for performing. The rewards of food, play, praise, interaction or touch are removed or withheld for non compliance. Please visit the About The Trainer page for more information.
  17. What is HB Remote Support?
HB (How’s Bentley) Remote Support is email / phone consultations and support. 1 year unlimited HB Remote Support is free with every Jump Start!

I’m happy to share a few tips and suggestions with anyone (clients and non-clients). If you want a thorough house training consultation or need more than 10 – 15 minutes of information, fees are $25 for 30 minutes. Allow 1 hour for remote housetraining consultations.

My goal is to respond to all requests within 24 hours. Contact me with your questions or comments. I’ll do my best to help.
  18. How do I arrange for services?
Please visit the Scheduling and Instructions page for forms.

Download, print and complete the appropriate form and contact me to schedule your service. Group Course participants pay a $25.00 non-refundable deposit to secure their spot in the next course.

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