The following are our most frequently asked questions. Click on the question to view the answer.
We (K and Rj) are a husband and wife team who will be personally training you and your dog through the entire process. We look forward to connecting with you during our first contact and customizing a program to fit your goals. We enjoy working hands on with each dog every step of the way. Can't wait to meet you.
In the early stages of training we use food extensively to build the relationship, get focus, create engagement, teach the meaning of commands, reinforce behaviors, and shape body mechanics. Training dogs work for all their meals through games we play to charge verbal markers and establish the foundation of our canine communication system. In the beginning we reward desired behaviors continuously. As dogs progress in the training we reward variably, then randomly. We can ultimately fade the food reward in the advanced stages of the training.
Dogs primarily communicate with each other through touch and varying degrees of pressure on the neck. From the very beginning dogs learn canine manners and pack etiquette from mama dog gently cradling, to firmly biting the necks of her young. This is not meant to cause injury, it's a canine conversation that effectively conveys a wide range of information to the puppy. For dogs, Nature only chose the neck. It's what they innately understand. As such, we use prong collars because tools that emulate natural canine communication are the very best for connecting, communicating, and creating harmonious relationships with dogs. Just like mama dog, we only use the least amount of pressure to convey our expectations. This translates to a stress free experience for dogs and their owners, because when used properly, prong collars have been proven to be the least physically taxing, most humane, and one of the safest tools available. Most tools tend to mask or manage unwanted behavior, but the prong collar allows us to effortlessly communicate, creating a vastly different state of mind and a highly responsive dog.
We use them for the same reasons we use prong collars. However, E-Collars are even better because the skill to use them is the most easily transferable to the owner. Not only are E-Collars the most effective, most reliable, most humane, and transformational training tool available today, they empower owners to have a completely off-leash trained dog with remote communication up to 1/2 a mile away. This means more opportunity to include your dog in your life and more freedom for you and your dog.
When the E-collar is introduced properly it becomes an amazing communication and educational tool between you and your dog. The idea we have to get out of our head is that we are shocking or zapping the dog. It’s not like a static shock from a door knob or touching an electric cattle fence. That's not at all the sensation you feel from the E-Collar we use. The Educator E-collar uses localized medical grade stimulation exactly like a TENS unit that is used on human beings world wide for physical therapy. On top of that, most people can’t even feel the stimulation levels we use to effectively communicate with dogs.
We also need to understand that the stimulation from the collar does not magically do anything itself. We still need to teach our dog what the tickle means, how we want our dog to respond to it, and reward our dog for making correct choices. The result is a level of connectivity and communication that utterly transforms the relationships of people and dogs so they can have their best lives together. Our techniques empower you to include your dog in your life with ease and fun through proper use of the very best tools available today.
The more relevant you are to your dog, the more in sync your dog will be with you. We achieve this relevancy by meeting our dog's primal needs through clear communication, structure, obedience, exercise, and rewards. Over time, by implementing the right balance of these relationship building ingredients, your dog most likely will not need the E-collar in the home or under low distraction situations.
However, think of the tools you use on a daily basis to stay connected with your family, friends, and other people; Phone, Email, Text, FaceBook, Instagram, etc... These are state-of-the-art, modern ways for people to stay in touch and communicate. An Educator E-collar by E-collar Technologies is the state-of-the-art way for people to communicate with their dog.
We need to start understanding the leash and the invisible e-collar leash as communication tools, not restraint or punishment devices. So if you can have effective, reliable, and convenient, I/2 mile range remote communication with your dog, why wouldn't you use the e-collar forever?
On another note, regardless of how "in sync" your dog is with you without tools, among the countless distractions the world has to offer a dog, if you can imagine just one that might interrupt your dog's focus on you; why take the risk? Any one of those distractions can lure your dog into a dangerous situation. Why not just have the most effective, most reliable, and most humane canine communication available today?
Our cutting edge E-Collar method is actually the best training for dogs with these kinds of issues. Dogs need leadership. They need direction and we're just not giving it to them in a way they understand. That's where most behavioral issues come from. Dogs are generally fearful and anxious because they're unsure about our leadership and they don't know what's expected of them. This causes them to feel vulnerable and uncertain.
Leadership is protection and direction. The E-Collar enables us to assuage the dog's uncertainty by effortlessly giving direction at the precise moment it's needed with poised calm. This persuades the dog that you're a strong decisive leader who protects and guides them. With the weight of decision making off their shoulders dogs become more confident, comfortable, and relaxed in your presence.
Dogs sleep in individual kennels inside our climate controlled Zen Den. We only work with a small number of dogs to give every dog the attention they need, and maintain a relaxed environment. At sun rise, all dogs are lead on a 45 minute structured pack walk. After this their day proceeds with several hours of hands-on training, alternating between active commands, duration work, socialization with our balanced pack, and behavior modification exercises tailored to your dog's needs. They will also receive plenty of rest, down time, and personal one-on-one attention. Your dog’s well being is our primary concern.
Our methods go far beyond merely teaching rehearsed obedience commands. We use obedience to simulate a job for your dog, but that's only part of our whole approach. In bootcamp we literally show your dog how to have a different kind of relationship with their human. A complete state of mind shift.
We can achieve this shift in less time and with less objection from your dog than you can because your dog has no preconceived ideas about their relationship with us. By the same token, when a dog is placed into an unfamiliar environment, they are much more receptive to leadership than they are in a familiar environment in which they feel more autonomy. With Zenergy, the empty feelings of uncertainty and vulnerability experienced by the dog in a new environment are immediately filled with guidance, structure, and purpose. This almost instantly replaces insecurity with confidence, certainty, and the happy calm that accompanies it.
When your dog graduates our bootcamp they are eager for the guidance of a balanced leader. That's when we show you how to love your dog through leadership. All of this seamlessly transfers to you because we have shown your dog a new kind of relationship that takes the weight off their shoulders. All that's left for you to do is to step up as the leader your dog needs by reinforcing what your dog already knows.
This works because we're not just treating symptoms. We have a comprehensive system that changes the psychology of the dog.
Private lessons are for people who have the dedication and time to do the repetitive work of hands on training. We will show you our principles, methods, and techniques, but there will be a lot of homework for you between lessons.
At any time during Bootcamp we may determine that owner participation is appropriate or helpful. However, in most cases owner involvement during Bootcamp is counterproductive to the rehabilitation and training process.
We are very often the last stop for clients who have tried several unsuccessful trainers because most training approaches merely focus on developing rehearsed behaviors, bribing with treats, or just managing the problem. At Zenergy we are dog behaviorists. Our revolutionary method has evolved into an approach that addresses the human-canine relationship and the dog’s fundamental state of mind. By addressing your relationship with your dog and the state of mind, we breakthrough to open a clear line of communication that allows us to start cultivating new habits, mindful choices, and calmness instead of excitability. In addition, we use obedience to simulate a job for your dog because work builds confidence, instills a sense of purpose, creates engagement, and enhances focus.
This is a comprehensive lifestyle approach with emphasis on setting a tone of leadership between you and your dog, setting a standard of expectation by requiring your dog to earn affection and privileges, and establishing a structured routine that makes life easier on you & your dog.
However, it's very important to understand the real secret to our success is the team effort of our clients. Dog training is a team sport. We need you to be committed to following a reasonable routine with your dog that includes regular walks, daily obedience sessions, and enforcement of all the commands and behaviors we accomplish in training. In this way, with dedicated clients, we are consistently successful with dogs that others are unable to help. This will be the last dog training you will ever need.
We've never met a dog we could not improve. However, dog training is a team effort. No matter how severe the issues may be, dedicated and diligent owners consistently see amazing breakthroughs and transformations with the Zenergy Dog Training and Home Management System. The key to that system is a process of collaboration and teamwork that begins before we meet your dog, continues through the training process, and long after your dog has gone home. Once you hire us you are part of the Zenergy pack, and your success is our top priority, but your dog can't achieve full potential without you, and there will be homework. Even though we can help any dog regardless of size, breed, or issue, we need owners to be 100% committed and consistent to make it work. As such, it would be unethical for us to offer a 100% guarantee due to the many variables involved to create a well-behaved and balanced dog.
No. However, it will create a dog that wants to work and follow your leadership. The training will show your dog a new way of being that's not impulsive, but mindful, and polite. We're merely enhancing the dormant traits inherent in your dog that are conducive to living in human society and calm cohabitation with your family.
Depending on the problems you're having, affection is a powerful tool that can assist or hinder your dog. Dog owners unknowingly reward a lot of undesirable behavior by giving affection at the wrong times. If you have a dog that's being oblivious to your boundaries, disrespectful, insecure, or aggressive, then giving affection tends to reinforce that negative state of mind. To help your dog be more successful we recommend using affection very selectively to improve your dog's behavior. As such we exclusively reserve affection for calmness or following commands.
When it comes to couch time or sharing your bed, if you have a dog that's challenging you in any way or being disrespectful, then access to furniture sends mixed messages about your relationship. If your dog is growling at anyone , jumping on people, or resource guarding, then allowing couch time or sleeping in your bed instills a sense of entitlement and empowerment that leads to bad choices.
The goal in limiting affection is to make it as easy as possible for your dog to make mindful choices. First let's get the behavior we're looking for, then we can reward that with affection. If we start to notice bratty or entitled behavior again, then we must be more conscientious of the affection we're giving our dog.
Avoid conflict. Engagement and Relationship building through rewarding games that enhance communication under low to no distraction (Verbal Marker System). Also, implement structure that engenders believable leadership and certainty in the daily routine. Knowing what to expect relieves anxiety and also builds confidence.
Adding rules and criticism. As Confidence grows with the thrill of winning games, trust in our guidance grows as we repeatedly guide and direct our dog to the reward. When our dog is confident and trusting enough to accept criticism from us, we begin to add rules that make the games more challenging. The process of adding challenges teaches our dog that following rules is rewarding and taking direction from us helps them win the game. This creates a dog that willingly offers focus and engagement.
Communication tools for clear communication under any kind of distraction. When our dog is confidently and enthusiastically performing all their basic obedience commands through verbal marker system games, we then layer gentle prong collar pressure and low level e-collar stimulation over all the communication our dog has already learned through the games. In this way our dog understands prong and e-collar pressure as communication that helps them win the game. The communication tools allow us to cut through any distraction to communicate under any circumstances.
The 3 D's of dog training. Once our dog is giving us plenty of engagement, the trust is strong, and communication is clear, we then add Duration, Distance, and Distraction to all the obedience our dog has learned through the games. During this process we routinely interrupt our dog's impulses while making it rewarding to focus on us. This creates a mindful dog who understands his choices matter, who is accustomed to having his impulses interrupted, and who recognizes direction from us as help to win the game. This is a dog who wants our input and is willing to accept guidance from his leader.