Q & A

Why don’t you use electric collars, choke chains or prong collars in your training?

At My Best Buddy we use science based, force free, positive reinforcement training. This means that we teach you to consistently reward the behaviors that you want from your dog, and manage or ignore (when possible) the behaviors that you don’t want. Because dogs will repeat behaviors that are rewarding to them, by using positive reinforcement, you can get your dog to voluntarily give you the behaviors you want, rather than forcing them. We don’t want you to risk damaging your relationship with your dog through the use of force and punishment, and we do not want to risk the physical harm that can occur with the use of punishment-based tools. Training is about relationship – our way of being with our dogs. Choke chains, e-collars and prong collars rely on pain to force compliance. You don’t have to hurt your dog to train him/her, so why use tools that, by definition, cause pain?

What should I bring to class?

  • Proof of vaccinations. My Best Buddy Dog Training requires all dogs be current on vaccinations according to age for DHPP, Rabies and Bordatella. Vet records will need to be presented on the first day of class. We are aware of varying opinions regarding canine vaccinations. Certain exceptions will be made with written documentation from your veterinarian.
  • Hungry dog. Feed your dog a smaller meal the night of class.
  • Treats.  We have treats, but you are welcome to bring your dog’s favorites, specifically, soft, pea-sized treats or ones that can be broken into small pieces.
  • A standard (non-flexi) leash and a body harness. We recommend front hooking harnesses such as the Easy Walk Harness and  the Halti harness.

Do you offer private dog training? Can you come to my house?

Yes!  Behaviors addressed include: house-training, jumping, digging, chewing, destructiveness in general, fear, separation anxiety, and aggression. We rely primarily on reward-based methods instead of punishment for behavior modification and work to minimize the use of aversive stimuli. Private training is scheduled in one hour sessions in your home. See Private Instruction

What is your refund policy?

Refunds are not given after classes begin. Missing more than two classes will be considered dropping out. There are no refunds for missed classes. See Policies

What exactly is a “positive dog trainer?”

Positive reinforcement dog training works by using praise and positive actions or rewards instead of punishment to teach a dog right from wrong. The key with this type of training is to determine what motivates your dog, and use that motivator as a reward upon correct performance. In positive reinforcement dog training you can use treats, toys, physical affection, verbal praise or a combination of any of those, to reward your dog for correct behavior.  Read more here:  http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/dogs/tips/dog_training_positive_reinforcement.html

What areas of Atlanta do you serve?

We serve Fayette, Coweta and South Fulton Counties.  Other counties require a travel charge.

How can I contact you?

You can call Robin at 678-292-8960 or email her via our contact us form. See Contact

How early should a puppy start training?

The best time to start your puppy in training is around 9 weeks of age. They retain experiences really well at this age—a GREAT time for them to start learning! See Puppy Classes

My dog is an older dog, can an old dog really be taught new tricks?

Absolutely! Older dogs may require a bit more patience and persistence to teach them new behaviors, but they certainly can learn! Finding what motivates your older dog is the key! When your older dog feels he is being rewarded for new behaviors, he will become keen to learn them. Rescue dogs are certainly a prime example of how you really can teach an old dog new tricks!

How do I decide whether to take group or private training?

Group classes are naturally very distracting for your dog and yourself, which is a disadvantage if your dog is hard to handle and easily distracted. Group classes are designed for dog and people friendly dogs. Group classes are a huge advantage for puppies who desperately need socialization at their early age. In a group class setting, you are responsible for the outcome, as the owner is the student in group, and the dog is the student of the owner. Good students who work hard and do all of their homework, will have success in a group dog training class. Private training is scheduled in one hour sessions in your home. Behaviors addressed include: house-training, jumping, digging, chewing, destructiveness in general, fear, separation anxiety, and aggression.