Get Answers To Some of Our Most Commonly Asked Questions:
How much does your training cost?
Our training programs vary considerably from dog to dog and location to location. The vary both in the structure and layout of our programs as well as in the cost and duration of the training. Each of our training programs is custom tailored to the specific situation. There are a number of factors that we evaluate prior to building a training package for you such as your dog’s age, temperament, previous training, as well as the desired goals of the owner. What will work for one dog and owner, won’t necessarily fit well with another. Because of these factors, we offer a free demonstration & consultation as an opportunity to meet with your family as well as your dog to gain insight into the unique circumstances that affect your dog’s training. During the demonstration we will evaluate the factors and develop a training plan for your dog and family. From the training plan we will be able to give you an accurate idea of cost to accomplish your goals. There is no cost or obligation associated with the free demonstration.
What type of training methods do you use?
Sit Means Sit uses a cutting edge approach to dog training and behavioral modifcation. Our training approach encompasses a number of different training tools and approaches depending on the unique circumstances presented by our clients and their animals. At the core of the Sit Means Sit method is Attention-Based Training. This broad approach to training allows Sit Means Sit trainers to use a variety of attention based tools (leashes, collars, food, toys and notably our Sit Means Sit Collar) to achieve the goal of attention to command around distractions to suit the situation.
The Sit Means Sit mission statement states:
Our Mission is to provide dog training programs that result in a happy, confident, and obedient dog, as well as a happy, confident and satisfied owner.
With this mission in-mind, we customize our training approach to meet with our customer’s personality as well as what will result in the best possible training experience for both dog and owner. As you view our portfolio of dog training videos, we hope that you will pay close attention to the attitude of all the dogs trained by Sit Means Sit. We pride ourselves on being able to maintain a happy and relaxed attitude in our dogs.
We firmly believe that dogs should be trained using a safe, and politically correct approach to training. This is why we are happy to showcase our training via the Internet and show the world what Sit Means Sit can do. We’re also happy to showcase our training in person through any of our Sit Means Sit Locations worldwide.
What type of training classes do you offer?
Each Sit Means Sit location offers different training programs and training options. We recommend contacting a Sit Means Sit trainer in your area to speak with them regarding the training options they offer.
Some examples of training programs offered are:
- Private Lessons
- Group Lessons
- Board & Train Programs
- Puppy Training Programs
- Lifetime Training
- Combination Packages are available at certain locations
Certain Sit Means Sit locations may offer specialty training in areas such as agility, AKC (American Kennel Club) competition, CGC (Canine Good Citizen) Certification, hunting retrieval, or protection training to name a few.
Do you train the dog or do we learn how to train our dog?
We offer both styles of training. With programs such as a Board & Train package, Sit Means Sit trainers will jump-start your dog’s training for you through a residency program at our kennel. Some Sit Means Sit locations offer in-the-trainer’s-home Board & Training. With either of these programs, it is necessary for the owners to go through follow-up training with their dog to learn how to problem solve and maintain their dog’s training for his lifetime.
There is a common misconception that many people hold that once a dog is trained he will robotically go through the motions every-time he is commanded to do so. Reality is that situations are unpredictable and reinforcement of commands periodically is necessary to create a lasting relationship with your dog and his new training.
This is not unlike learning to drive a car and obtaining your driver’s license. The license does not guarantee that you will never speed or ever make a mistake while driving, it simply states that you understand the rules of the road and are capable of driving safely. The police are still out everyday enforcing the rules of the road. This is why education for the owner is critical to the success of ANY dog training program.
Do you offer housebreaking?
Sit Means Sit can help with every aspect of your dog’s training, including puppy management and housebreaking. We train dogs of every age (including teaching those old dogs some new tricks), small dogs as well as big dogs. You can contact us today to set up a free demonstration and consultation with your dog.
Do you only train with the Sit Means Sit Collar?
Sit Means Sit specializes in a diversified approach to dog training. We use an attention-based dog training system developed by Founder and CEO, Fred Hassen. This approach utilizes a variety of training tools to enable our trainers to gain the dog’s attention even in distracting situations. For more information on this training approach, please view the FAQ above. One of the tools that we use often in our training program is our customized Sit Means Sit Collar (remote electronic dog training collar). The reason we choose to utilize technology in our training is obvious when you understand the advantages that technology allows us.
Firstly, Sit Means Sit firmly believes in safe dog training. The technology we employ is 100% safe for dogs and humans (download our free report on the facts about modern electronic dog training devices. The Sit Means Sit Collar uses state of the art digital technology to control the output from the collar to prevent it from harming your dog. The technology that is utilized in the construction of our collar is similar technology to “electronic muscle stimulators” and “TENS” units. You may be familiar with the use of these devices in the medical field (they are very common in the Chiropractic and Physical Therapy fields) or perhaps you’ve seen devices advertised on TV as “electronic muscle massagers”. These devices essentially use low-level, adjustable electronic stimulation to creating muscle contractions. In the medical field, they are used as tools to help alleviate pain, promote blood circulation and encourage healing.
In the dog training field, specifically Sit Means Sit, remote dog training collars are used as a tool to provide a remote controlled cue. The cue is designed to neither cause pain nor to disrupt the dog’s emotional state, but rather to function as an adjustable “tap”. The approach used by Sit Means Sit trainers is to treat the “tap” from the collar as a cue for the dog to pay attention. This is no different than tapping a person on the shoulder to gain their attention. The goal of tapping them on the shoulder is not to hurt them or cause emotional distress, but rather to let them know that you want to communicate something to them.
The “tap” delivered from the Sit Means Sit Collar is a highly adjustable sensation that can be set to levels that are often imperceptible to people. Obviously this adjustability is necessary because some dogs are sensitive, while others are quite tough. There is no way to determine what levels your dog will respond to until you begin to train them with a collar. Another reason why the collars are so adjustable is because distractions from the environment are never consistent. Relate this to training with a treat. How many times will that treat work perfectly indoors, but fails to maintain your dog’s attention when a cat is running by. Sit Means Sit has found that dogs can be taught to pay attention around extreme distractions very effectively. Just check out our video portfolio to see for yourself. We also recommend downloading our free report on the facts about modern electronic dog training devices.
During the fundamental Sit Means Sit training, the dogs and handlers are taught how to condition their dog to the collar in a constructive and positive manner. By adjusting the level of the collar appropriately for the dog and the situation, as well as linking the tap from the collar with an item of high value, we can effectively teach the dog that the “tap” from the collar is related to something of value. This approach to fundamentals allows for a smooth transition into distraction training and off leash control through attention to command. Read our article “The Art of Attention” by Sit Means Sit CEO Fred Hassen and Sit Means Sit Trainer Toni Drugmand for more information.
You can relate the advantages that a Sit Means Sit Collar can provide you in dog training with the advantages that a state-of-the-art smartphone provides you. Cell phones these days are no longer just phones, but mini-computers with built-in cameras, internet access and applications. These tools enhance our communication with others, allow for a diversified means of gathering and sharing information as well it’s just flat out cool what can be done with them, provided you have the knowledge. You can still choose to use you old-fashioned wall-mount telephone in your kitchen if you like, but now you’re restricted to the the length of the cord, and it’s not exactly easy to send photos to your in-laws using that wall-mount phone. Effectively limiting what you can do while you’re talking on the phone. There’s nothing wrong with doing things that way, it’s just limiting. This same relationship can also be said of using a leash to train your dog. It’s just limiting. With a smartphone you can do it all from the convenience of wherever you want.
Building on the premise of safety, the use of a remote controlled cue allows for greater freedom of communication, and in turn more efficient training through the enhancement of near-instantaneous timing. Being able to re-direct your dog’s energy or attention while he is at a distance from you greatly enhances the reliability you can achieve in a short period of time. It also allows for you to communicate with your dog without confrontation from yelling. Also, the uniqueness of the Sit Means Sit approach stands head and shoulders above other technology-based dog training systems because of our ability to establish a neutral communication system allowing for unprecedented problem solving abilities, and through our enhanced communication skills a truly politically correct training approach. We invite you to view our training first-hand by contacting us for a free demonstration with a local trainer, check out our events listing for a public demonstration in your area, or have a look at our video portfolio.
Is the Sit Means Sit Collar safe?
Yes, it is 100% safe. The digital technology built into the design of the collar prevents any harm from coming to your dog. The collar does not generate heat and it cannot burn a dog or person, even with misuse.
Refer to the question above for more information on the technology behind the Sit Means Sit Collar. You can also download our free report on the facts about modern electronic dog training devices
Can you give me a ballpark cost of what your training runs?
It can be very difficult for us to accurately quote training prices without actually seeing your dog and performing an evaluation of the situation and personality we are dealing with. We understand that this sounds vague, however we are dealing with unique situations every day with each client and their dog. If you can relate to contacting a mechanic over the phone and asking them how much it will cost to fix your car, we hope you can understand the situation we are in. It’s impossible to accurately diagnose a problem with a vehicle over the phone. The costs could vary dramatically. If your car goes clunk-clunk-clunk, it could be a very small and inexpensive part that needs to be fixed, or it could be something costly that needs an entire overhaul.
We feel that to be completely fair to you our customers, we offer a free no-obligation demonstration and consultation where we can get a clearer picture of exactly what we are dealing with and also to custom-build a training program to suit your family’s needs and unique situation. You can contact us for your free demonstration here.
Does this training work for small dogs?
Absolutely. Sit Means Sit has succesfully trained thousands of small dogs across the nation. Small dogs are large dogs learn in very much the same capacity. The only difference is the owner’s tendency to tolerate more extreme behaviors from their small dogs such as aggression, excessive barking and even housebreaking or marking problems. Our customized approach to training dogs of all sizes and temperaments allows us to fine tune our training system to suit even small dogs. We have a number of great videos showing how well trained a small dog can become with the correct approach. Check out this dog training video of a Veterinarian training his Chihuahua. We also have a number of other great small dog training videos available here.
I have a sensitive and fearful dog. How can your training help me?
Dogs that are sensitive or fearful (they may or may not display submissiveness or fear-based aggression) have unique circumstances that need to be addressed through clear and non-confrontational dog obedience training. Dog’s that display either introverted or extroverted behavior that is based on fear can be challenging to train without the proper guidance and coaching. The main goal in training dogs of this temperament type is to build confidence in the dog through obedience exercises and other learned behavior. The first step is gaining trust from the dog through communication using the Sit Means Sit dog training system. The second step in training is to rehabilitate the dog to create new default behavior. In cases of fear-aggression, confidence is key to teaching the dog how to become trustworthy. In cases of submissive or sensitive dogs, clarity and confidence is key.
The real advantage that Sit Means Sit offers is firstly a free demonstration with your dog to show you the effectiveness of our training and how the Sit Means Sit dog training collar and proper training can be utilized to build your dog’s confidence. Secondly, when dealing with high emotion dogs such as these, it is important to maintain clear communication, but without bringing confrontation into the mix. Confrontational training can only push a dog further into their protective ‘shell’. By teaching the dog how to focus their energy and attention on their obedience commands, it takes their mind off of the distractions that cause them to become fearful.
With a sensitive dog, we are able to combine physical touch to bring in the element of attention that is required to learn, but on a much more effective level than you could normally achieve with a leash. The adjustable nature of the Sit Means Sit dog training collar allows for the trainer to adjust the collar to a lower level than is even perceptible by most humans. This simply allows us to compensate for physically and emotionally sensitive dogs.
Seeing is believing. We have a variety of dog training videos showing the effectiveness of our dog training system with sensitive and fearful dogs. We also offer a free demonstration with your dog before you decide if our training is right for you. Check our this great dog training video with a fearful Australian Shepherd.
Does the dog always have to wear the Sit Means Sit dog collar?
Training with a remote dog training collar like the Sit Means Sit dog training collar is really no different than training your dog with a leash or with treats. Reinforcement in any form is a required and necessary part of your dog’s life. Even after they are trained, it will still be necessary to maintain your rules and boundaries. This is really no different than we encounter with people learning to drive a car. Obtaining your driver’s license only shows that you understand the rules of the road, and have demonstrated your ability to operate a car safely. It does not guarantee that you will stop at every stop sign, and drive the speed limit all the time. Obviously there are a lot of factors that change as you drive, and some drivers are more honest than others. The bottom line however is that there are police officers responsible for maintaining the law and enforcing the rules that we have agreed to.
When looking at dog training from this standpoint, it easy to see how reinforcement of rules will be inevitable at some point. Every dog is different though, and some dogs require more or less reinforcement than others.
The good news is that proper and thorough training will result in your dog being more reliable even without training equipment or training ‘aids’ as we call them. Training your dog to be reliable without a Sit Means Sit dog training collar on is a matter of transferring attention through conditioning. There are three broad phases of training that you will encounter as you train your dog. Sticking with the your training and reinforcing your rules consistently over a long enough period of time will get your dog as reliable as they can be. The phases of training are as follows:
Phase 1: The Teaching/Control Phase ~ 6-12+ weeks
During phase one, the goal is to achieve control over your dog, teach them the rules, boundaries and desired behaviors you want. It also the time to teach the dog to pay attention and perform these commands around distractions. This phase lasts between 6-12 weeks on average, however in certain situations it may take longer to gain the reliability needed before moving on to phase number two. Once your dog is capable of performing commands quickly and reliably around a variety of distractions with minimal problem solving required, then your dog and you are ready to move on to phase number two.
Phase 2: The Reinforcement Phase ~ 6-12+ weeks
During phase number two, the goal is to begin phasing out your training aid (remote dog training collar). In phase number 1, we use the dog training collar on a regular basis to regain attention and maintain our rules. Now in phase two we begin to reduce our dependence on the dog training collar and introduce consistency via variable reinforcement. You may or may not need your dog training collar, but we want to teach the dog that you are still in control even if the perception of the dog is that you are not. This phase will last between 6 – 12 weeks on average, and again some situations will require you to stick with phase number two for longer than average. It’s also not uncommon as dogs mature and age to have to revert back into phase one training again for several weeks depending on how your dog’s performance and behavior is. When your dog is capable of performing commands without the need for reinforcement for approximately 6 weeks, then your dog is very likely to be reliable without their training aid present. We are ultimately looking to have your dog learn how to filter our distractions entirely. When this is achieved, your dog is much less likely to act out in an unwanted manner because of distractions.
Phase 3: The Maintenance Phase ~ Ongoing
The third and final phase of training a dog is the maintenance phase. During this phase, you will likely be using your dog training collar or other dog training aid very little as your dog is capable of ignoring distraction. The catch however is that they are still capable of distraction (they are not robots). A smart trainer recognizes this and is ready to maintain their rules, commands and boundaries at anytime. It is not uncommon to have a dog who sense the lack of maintenance and begins to revert back in their behavior. The benefit of having done your dog training properly to begin with is that regression is easily minimized and dealt with by simply jumping back into training for a short time to remind the dog of the expectations.
We have a number dog training videos that showcase dogs trained by Sit Means Sit working in environments event without a dog training collar on. Remember the goal is to have the dog’s learn to perform through constant reinforcement to condition them. By creating habit, you will have a dog that is capable of performing for an AKC Canine Good Citizen test, performing in a dog obedience trial, and perhaps even taking first place like this dog, or maybe even achieving a perfect score like this dog. Some people are not competitive with their dogs and just want to have fun in the park like this dog does.
Does your training work with aggressive dogs?
The short answer is yes. Our training system works better with aggressive dogs than any other training system out there. We have successfully trained hundreds of aggressive dogs. We’d recommend checking out some of our dog training videos that feature aggressive dogs being trained by our Sit Means Sit dog trainers. This particular dog training video features a VERY aggressive pitbull that was being trained by dog trainers at our Atlanta Sit Means Sit location. Due to the nature of aggression, it’s highly recommended that you work with a dog trainer that is experienced with dealing with aggression successfully. You can find a Sit Means Sit dog trainer here.