What does your dog need?
Needs Obedience training
Obedience training is comprised of walking on a loose leash, sitting, lying down, staying, and coming when called. These five behaviors are the core knowledge which every dog should possess. When I teach them, I strive to make sure every dog fully understands what it is that I am asking, so that the end result is a companion who is truly attentive and responds enthusiastically to direction. While this is typically taught to puppies, dogs of any age can learn obedience commands. (On average, these skills can be taught in 3-5 lessons).
Fear can take many forms, and it is often difficult to know the root cause of a dog's deep-seated phobia. However, it is possible to reverse the effects of that fear and teach your dog to remain calm in uncertain situations. Whether your dog's fear involves grooming, vehicles, people, or anything else, I can help you rehabilitate your dog, building trust and confidence along the way.
One of the biggest elements missing from most dog training programs is self-control. While many dogs go through obedience training and earn a nice certificate, often they maintain terrible habits at home. I will work with you to decide upon and enforce behaviors which make living with your dog easy. From furniture rules to answering doors, from resisting human food to jumping, a dog that knows limits is happy to make you happy.
Often overlapping with fear, aggression can be the most detrimental behavior to your relationship with your dog. I have taught numerous dogs to cope with their uncertainty, looking to people for guidance in stressful situations. Regardless of your dog's trigger - people, animals, possessiveness, etc. - there is a way to turn things around. While it is best to intervene the first time you witness aggression from your dog, even a dog with multiple bites on its record can be saved.
Rates & Services
Connell's Dog Training currently serves the entire shaded area, above.
One-on-one dog training lesson, at your home - $90
Individual lessons may be used for any training issue (obedience, bad habits, aggressive or fearful behavior, etc.) Training sessions will vary based on the needs of your particular dog, however you can expect to receive:
- A short walk (which also serves to burn off energy and establish good habits)
- Obedience and behavior training, based on you and your dog's needs
- Reinforcement of beneficial behavior patterns and reduction of unwanted behaviors
- Demonstrations of safe and effective dog handling and equipment use
- A lesson plan for reinforcing new skills and diminishing bad habits
- An analysis of your dog's behavior, overall temperament, and my training strategy based on what you want to accomplish
Off-Leash Basics - $475 (includes equipment prices and tax)
Do you want to be able to walk your dog off-leash at the park, beach, or in the woods? For dog owners who want to have true off-leash control, this three-lesson program will introduce your dog to long-line and e-collar work. By the end of these lessons you will be able to trust your dog to come when called regardless of distractions, and maintain a safe distance around you when allowed freedom to roam. Each of the three lessons will run for an hour.
Off-leash basics is not suitable for dogs that have shown aggression toward humans or other dogs.
Dog Reactivity clinics - $70 per dog
Reactivity and aggression towards other dogs is by far the most common complaint I am called to address. This is a group program designed to give you the knowledge and tools you need to manage your dog's behavior and decrease its severity and frequency.
- In groups of 8 dogs or less, we will meet in a public space to practice with your reactive dogs.
- This is not intended to be a social gathering for the dogs; they will learn to tune out their triggers and focus on you.
- Each dog's learning pace is unique, but our goal for the lesson is to stop the barking and lunging, while walking the dogs within handshake distance of other owners and their dogs.
- This lesson will run between 1 and 2 hours long.
- You and your dog must have had at least one prior individual lesson
- You will use the leash and collar recommended in your previous lesson
- Dogs must remain leashed and muzzled at all times. I recommend purchasing a Baskerville Muzzle, which allows your dog to pant, receive treats, and drink water.
Half-Hour Skype Consultation - $45
Ask questions about training and behavior issues via a Skype video-conference. This is useful if distance is an issue but you want answers specific to your dog and situation. I can answer questions related to behavior problems, help troubleshoot obedience issues, walk you through training tool use, techniques, etc.
Bite-prevention seminar - Contact for prices
I can provide presentations for your organization to reduce the number and severity of dog-bite incidents experienced. These seminars are useful for:
- Businesses that work with dogs, like veterinary clinics and shelters
- Staff who visit people's homes, such as delivery drivers, contractors, visiting nurses, and other specialists
- Schools - 50% of children will be bitten by dogs by the age of 12, usually by a dog the child knows
about Connell's Dog Training
I live in Shrewsbury, MA, and have two dogs of my own. Before starting this business, I volunteered my time walking dogs at a nearby animal shelter. There I worked with dogs of all breeds, temperaments, and backgrounds. My focus was getting them enough exercise, reinforcing their training, and preparing them for meeting new people. While rewarding, it was tough to see good dogs surrendered for solvable problems. Often those dogs had been there before. With that in mind, I decided I wanted to help dogs adjust to the home environment and reduce the number of dogs surrendered to shelters.
I am an Associate Member of the International Association of Canine Professionals and am professionally insured through the Business Insurers of the Carolinas.
This lovable guy is a Hound mix rescued from Kentucky. Despite some rudimentary training, he had several big-ticket behavior issues which became apparent rather quickly after his adoption: dog-focused reactivity and extreme separation anxiety. Through repetitive and patient training these problems began to diminish. Like any dog (or person) he has his good days and his bad ones, but he has learned to behave in the presence of other dogs by focusing on what he wants - human attention. Food doesn't hurt either. He is an ongoing student, but I believe I learn as much from Murphy as he does from me. He was largely my inspiration for getting involved working with dogs professionally.
The younger of my two dogs is probably a Dachshund/Jack Russell mix. Like many little dogs, he is paradoxically the more dominant of the two. He was found as a stray, also in Kentucky, and came to me with zero training. Within a week he understood the basic obedience commands. Like Murphy, he liked to challenge other dogs and small animals, but had none of the other anxieties. I attribute his confidence to formerly living the life of a stray.
All dogs are welcome!
I will not exclude any dog from training based on breed or bite history. I understand that many dog trainers and dog walkers choose to exclude certain dogs based on past experiences or the terms of their insurance contracts. I however disagree with common stereotypes of dog breeds, and I have no such limitations. Refusing to provide training to any specific breed only serves to reinforce those stereotypes, and giving up on a dog who has bitten in the past is effectively a death sentence. Giving a dog adequate training will provide it with the best opportunity to succeed going forward.
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