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Frequently Asked Questions

Another trainer said my dog is beyond help. Why do you believe differently?

We believe no dog is beyond help, and we go through more intensive training than most trainers to allow us to come to this conclusion. As long as your vet has ruled out any medical reasons for your dog’s behavioral problems, we can put our knowledge of canine history, canine psychology, training theory, and training methods to work for you. Your dog’s breed, age, temperament, training history, and history of ownership don’t matter. We will commit ourselves to getting your dog’s training back on track, and as long as you’re willing to do that same, we will never suggest surrendering or euthanizing your pet.

Where is your business located?

All of our private training starts in the comfort of your own home, so we don’t have a brick and mortar location. Instead, we offer the convenience of traveling to your location, if you’re within one-hour of Asheville, NC. If you’re unsure of if we’ll be willing to travel to your location, please give us a call. 

Aren’t group classes more beneficial? I want my dog to be socialized.

If your dog has severe behavioral issues like anxiety, leash reactivity, aggression, etc. it is best to establish the training within the home, away from distractions, before encouraging your dog to interact with other dogs. Our in-home programs provide all the benefits of group training classes, while also providing less opportunity for the behavior to relapse.

Do you certify therapy dogs or service dogs?

While our advanced training programs do provide the training needed for most certification programs, we are not currently certifying therapy or service dogs ourselves. We do offer Canine Good Citizen testing and certification throughout the year for our clients who are interested. 

Do you train attack dogs?

No. Attack dogs can be unstable. Our goal is simply to mold the perfect family companion.

How much will all this cost?

Not as much as you think. We charge one flat fee that encompasses all of the training goals. This means that you pay one fee up front, and that’s it until our job is done. No matter how many house calls we make, phone calls we take, or e-mails we answer, we won’t charge you extra fees.

How are the training goals decided?

We will sit down during the in-home consultation and come up with a training program that will work for both you and your dog. Your commitment to the program is essential for your dog’s success.

Is the training “force free?”

We do not self-classify as "force-free" training. While I certainly believe all training should be "force free", I have some issues with the idea of labeling the training that Blue Ridge Dog Training offers as "force free." 


First: it says nothing about what we actually do. Focusing on negatives like this is one of the biggest advertising gimmicks of all time and is meant to make you think poorly of competitor's products or services. What the focus on negatives doesn't tell you is what the trainer actually does. Can I solve the behavioral issues you're experiencing with your pet? How quickly and effectively will I do so? These are probably the bigger questions on your mind, and knowing what tools I do or don't use isn't going to tell you much about how effective I am. There are good and bad trainers of all training methodologies, and more has to do with the trainer's experience than with the methods they use.


Second: the dog decides what "force" means, and we can't always know that until we try a given training intervention. Is it considered forceful to hold a dog's leash so that he has enough leash to comfortably sit, stand, or lie down, but not enough to jump on a stranger? Is it forceful to use body blocks to keep my dog from lunging at a passing bike? Is it forceful to fit a dog with gentle leader or front-attach harness so that when he pulls on his leash he ends up facing his handler? I can't tell you, and neither can anyone else. Each of these techniques produces different results for different dogs. For some dogs, these methods might be considered forceful, but we can't know until we look at the dog's response.

What is more important is that the dog feel comfortable with the interaction, enjoy the training, and build a good relationship with the handler. The mark of a good trainer has a lot less to do with what tools are in their repertoire as it does with how they modify their techniques based on the animal in front of them. This is the basis of cynopraxic training, which is our approach.

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