What classes do you offer?
Pedogogy no longer offers group classes due to an increased demand for private at-home lessons. Private one-on-one lessons are the most effective way to train your dog since they are tailored to your and your pup’s needs and since they take place in your home environment, where behavior issues occur and where training matters most.
Clients whose needs include socialization, loose-leash walking, and non-reactivity on walks also benefit more from private lessons than group classes since we can meet at various locations that you and your dog visit and where you would likely encounter other dogs: your neighborhood, dog-friendly stores, lakes, and parks.
Whether your dog is fence-fighting with a neighbor’s dog, is barking at the doorbell and jumping on guests, or is counter surfing while you are cooking, private at-home lessons make more sense since no class can simulate those situations as adequately or as effectively.
What services does Pedogogy provide?
Jen teaches at-home one-on-one lessons for basic obedience, problem solving, and behavior modification. She specializes in helping dogs overcome resource guarding. She does not teach tricks, agility, or off-leash work. Off-leash work can be risky and is often an unrealistic goal of owners. A dog’s instincts, especially in a dog genetically bred to hunt, will usually override any training and, therefore, make compliance unreliable. A dog with a high prey drive can easily run off and get lost while pursuing a rabbit or a squirrel. Dogs who are easily distracted or skittish do not benefit from off-leash work, either. As a dog lover and responsible pet owner, Jen would never risk losing a dog or having one get hit by a car. Many cities enforce leash laws as well. These laws are meant to protect dogs and other people. Unfortunately, Jen has known some dogs and people who were bitten by a loose dog. Even if owners think their dogs are safe and friendly off leash, those dogs may encounter another dog who isn’t. And while it may be difficult for dog lovers to understand, not everyone appreciates a loose dog, especially those who are afraid of dogs. Jen also does not train dogs to be emotional support animals (ESAs), therapy dogs (they are born, not made), or service dogs.
How much do lessons cost?
- At-home one-on-one lessons for Raleigh residents only are $90 per lesson after the initial consultation. Consultations are $90 and are nonrefundable. Rates for each additional dog in the same household are 50% off ($45) if multiple dogs are noted during the consultation. Packages of 5 lessons are available at a discounted rate: $400 for the first dog (a savings of $50), $200 for an additional dog if purchased at the same time.
How long is a one-on-one training lesson?
During the first lesson, Jen reviews your goals and provides important information about dogs and being a dog owner; some training begins during the first lesson, which typically runs 2 hours. The second and subsequent lessons typically run 1 hour; during these lessons, Jen focuses on training. She will work with your dog first until she gets the desired response, and then she will have you demonstrate timing and technique before giving you your weekly homework assignment.
I’d like to have dog training at my home. How far do you travel?
Jen travels to your home within the Raleigh city limits.
Do you sell pet food or specialty pet products or offer other services like grooming or boarding?
No. Pedogogy focuses solely on at-home training.
How is Pedogogy different than other dog trainers?
Jen’s experience sets her apart from most trainers. Before she became a trainer, she taught English for ten years. As a teacher, she had to be able to reach a variety of learners: reading/writing, auditory, visual, and kinesthetic. As a trainer, she understands that owners learn the same way. Some need to read information, some learn better by listening to explanations of their dogs’ behavior and the cues used to modify their behavior, others learn while observing Jen work with their dogs, and others learn best by doing. Jen provides all types of learning to every client because she knows that effective training requires good teaching.
Jen not only provides training in a way that teaches a variety of learners but also has training experience in a variety of settings. After Jen became a certified trainer, she gained experience as a trainer in a shelter setting, in a dog daycare setting, in a group-class setting, and in the private settings of clients’ homes.
Jen’s methods are also different. She uses only positive, humane, reward-based training. (That means lots of treats and praise.) She doesn’t allow the use of choke chains, prong/pinch collars, or shock/”training” collars. She also doesn’t use the aversive training methods of several local trainers who believe in tethering dogs to their “place.” Additionally, she does not subscribe to a particular TV celebrity’s methods or his belief in dominance, pack theory, or being the alpha leader.
How do you feel about dog parks and dog daycare?
While Jen fully believes in properly socializing dogs, she does not believe that dog parks and dog daycare are the way to do it. Socialization means exposure; it does not mean forced interactions with dogs, which can be stressful for dogs. (Imagine how you’d feel if someone made you interact with every human you encountered at the grocery store.) Dogs were bred to be our companions, not to be in unnatural environments with dozens of other dogs. The best way to achieve socialization is through walks, during which dogs are exposed to a variety of people, other dogs, sights, sounds, and smells. Dog playdates with one other dog can be good, provided that the two dogs are healthy, vaccinated, engage in role reversals, and are a good match. Not all dogs like every dog they encounter, and not all dogs are ideal playmates.
While dog parks and dog daycare are great in theory, too often they are disasters in practice. Jen has known a few dogs who have done well and actually enjoyed being at a dog park or a daycare, but these dogs are few. Too many dogs at these facilities do not belong there because they lack the training (for example, they will not come when called) or, more often than not, they lack the right temperament. Attendees are typically the dogs who are let loose there to run off their energy because they are too unruly to walk, their owners do not provide enough physical or mental exercise and stimulation, their owners work too many hours, or their homes simply lack yards.
Jen has seen too much bullying going on at local dog parks and too little attention being paid to these dogs. The dogs are stressed, being bullied, getting too amped up, engaging in unhealthy play, roaming the fence line, or trying to interact with the humans rather than the dogs while the majority of the owners present are none the wiser and are glued to their cell phones or chatting with other owners. Going to the dog park has become the trendy thing to do, and it has become more of a social event for the humans rather than fun for the dogs. Lack of supervision and lack of knowledge (of dog body language) is how injury happens. It is dangerous to allow dogs to “work it out” themselves should they become involved in a fight. It is dangerous and irresponsible to have your dog around other dogs who are questionable: Do you know if these dogs are healthy? Are they fully vaccinated? Have they been spayed or neutered? Have they ever bitten another dog or person? Do they play too roughly? Do they have the same play style as your dog? Do they know how to read other dogs’ body language and heed their warnings? Will any of the dogs guard, or become possessive of, any tennis balls or other toys that may be lying around? Do you feel comfortable having your dog around feces that isn’t cleaned up or drinking out of a bowl of dirty communal water? Do you mind if your dog picks up bad habits from other dogs? Do you know what to do if a dog fight occurs? Do you know the signs, both visual and auditory, of when play is escalating or getting out of hand? Are you aware that one bad encounter with another dog can affect your dog long term? Are you willing to take the risk? Jen isn’t.
The same can be said for daycare. Having worked as a trainer at a doggie daycare for a year and working with many clients’ dogs who previously attended daycare, Jen has seen the ill effects of daycare on many dogs. While many owners express satisfaction at how tired their dogs are when they pick them up and report how happy their dogs seem, too often these owners are unaware that their dogs’ exhaustion stems from stress, from being overwhelmed, and from excessive play time. Even if there is “nap time,” there is little rest. Furthermore, Jen has worked with several dogs whose “report cards” at daycare were exceptional, yet these are the same dogs who have been involved in fights, often as the aggressor, and who have developed on-leash dog reactivity as a result. No one knows your dog like you do, and you weren’t with your dog, so how do you really know that your dog “had a great time” at daycare? Can you trust the staff’s knowledge and experience? Does the daycare limit the number of dogs in attendance per day? Is there a good dog-staff ratio? Are the dogs divided into groups, according to age, size, and play style? What qualifications, especially when assessing dogs, does the staff have beyond being dog lovers?
In short, dogs are happier and safer at home. If you don’t want your dog at home alone for long stretches of the day, hire a reputable dog walker or a dog sitter. And here’s a novel idea: play with your dog! Your dog will thank you.
How do I schedule a consultation and sign up for lessons?
- Lessons are by appointment only.
- Call, text, or email Jen using the contact link.