Raleigh Dog Training FAQs

What classes do you offer?

Pedogogy no longer offers group classes due to their ineffectiveness. 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 work in your neighborhood.

Whether your 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?

I teach in-home lessons for basic obedience, problem solving, and behavioral modification. I focus on improving the dog-human relationship so that you and your dog can coexist peacefully. Therefore, I don’t help resolve dog-cat or dog-dog relations. I specialize in helping dogs overcome resource guarding involving people. I don’t teach tricks because I don’t see a practical purpose in doing so, and I don’t believe dogs should be used for entertainment value. I don’t teach agility since there is too much risk of injury, and I don’t teach 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, because they are a flight risk. As a dog lover and responsible pet owner, I would never risk losing a dog or having one get hit by a car. Raleigh, as well as the entire Wake County, has a leash law, so teaching off-leash work is against the law. These laws are meant to protect dogs and other people. Unfortunately, I have 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, especially those who are afraid of dogs, appreciates a loose dog. I also do not train dogs to be emotional support animals (ESAs), therapy dogs (they are born, not made), or service dogs.

How much do lessons cost?

Consultations are $125 and are nonrefundable. At-home one-on-one lessons for Raleigh residents only are $125 per lesson after the initial  consultation. Rates for a second dog in the same household are 50% off ($62.50) if multiple dogs are noted during the consultation. Packages of 5 lessons are available at a discounted rate: $575 for the first dog (a savings of $50), $287.50 for one additional dog if purchased at the same time. Financial assistance is available for those experiencing economic hardship.

How long is a one-on-one training lesson?

During the first lesson, I review your goals and provide a primer about dogs and being a responsible dog owner during the first hour; we begin training during the second hour of the lesson. The second and subsequent lessons typically run 1 hour; during these lessons, I focus on training. I work with your dog first until I get the desired response, and then I have you demonstrate timing and technique before giving you your weekly homework assignment.

What forms of payment do you accept?

I accept cash (exact payment), checks made payable to Pedogogy, Venmo, and ApplePay .

What hours do you work?

I am available for consultations and lessons Monday through Friday: mornings, afternoons, and evenings (last consultation scheduled at 6:00 p.m.). Saturdays are reserved as makeup days for clients whose dogs were scheduled to be trained outside (ex. loose-leash walking) but experienced inclement weather, such as rain or extreme temperatures, during their scheduled lesson.

How do you feel about dog parks and dog daycare?

While I fully believe in properly socializing dogs, dog parks and dog daycare are NOT 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. I have 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.

I have 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? I’m not.

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, I have 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, I have 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.