Frequently Asked Questions
My dog barks at other dogs on walks, will group classes fix that?
No.Group classes are not an appropriate learning environment to address this behavior, regardless of whether the barking is caused by excitement, fear or aggression.
My dog acts aggressively toward other dogs or people, should I take him to class?
No. Group classes are not an appropriate learning environment to address this behavior. Aggressive behavior in dogs can have many different causes and the right program varies considerably for each dog. For this reason, aggressive behavior must be addressed in private sessions.
Should I sign up for a Group Class, Elect Session, or In-Home Private Session?
All Group Classes with TGDA, are best for generally friendly dogs who are reasonably comfortable in new places, around strange dogs and people. If your dog does not fit that description, or you are having trouble with reactive, fearful or aggressive behaviors, or feel it difficult to keep your dog under control, Elect or Private Sessions are the right choice for you and your dog.
How do I sign up for a class or workshop?
Easy! Just Click Here!
How do I schedule an In-home or Elect Session?
Easy! Just email or call 903-235-0383 to schedule your initial free phone evaluation.
Do you guarantee results?
The Good Dog Academy’s professional trainers work diligently to assist pet owners in their effort to achieve the desired behaviors for each pet. We can only train, coach and assist in this endeavor and are unable to guarantee a specific behavior or consistency of that behavior in limited time. A trainer cannot make guarantees on factors outside of their control, including the compliance of the dog owner and the dog’s overall temperament.
As members of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers, FSDS, and AKC we are committed to performing our services within the Code of Ethics of those organizations. Consistent with those codes, we may not give guarantees regarding the outcome of training. We do, however, guarantee that our training program will be customized to your dog’s needs, based on the latest in animal training and behavior science, and that we will never use or recommend aversive or harsh methods or equipment.
Do you give discounts for rescue dogs?
Yes! 15% off any class, session, or workshop (excluding In-Home and Test fees.)
Will you train my dog to be a service dog?
We do not offer training for service dogs. Keep in mind that not all dogs have the temperament necessary for such demanding work and the training necessary can take up to a year or more for experienced dog handlers. However, if you think you’re up for the challenge, we recommend searching the Foundation for Service Dog Support online for more info.
Can I just pay the first day of class?
Unfortunately, we are unable to hold spaces for students without payment. We do not accept partial payment or “deposits” for class registration.
How long is each class?
Each class is approximately 1 hour long. Sometimes the class may run longer by up to 15 minutes, depending on the lesson.
Can my family attend classes with me?
We encourage the participation of all family members, especially those who have a role in the care and training of the dog. This includes family members outside the home.
Depending on the age of your child, they may be able to actively participate in the class. Generally 8 yrs and up is recommended. We require that all minor handlers be physically capable of managing and restraining the dog. TGDA reserves the right to require that an adult assume handling of the dog, if we feel necessary.
Our unique programs focus on positive reinforcement — not force, pain or intimidation. We want your dog to respond to YOU, not to special training collars or equipment.
Our methods are based in the science of how dogs learn (classical and operant conditioning), how dogs behave in their natural environment (ethology), how the brain affects behavior (neuropsychology), and the behavioral characteristics of individual breeds.
Do you use treats in your training?
Yes. We educate dog owners how to use food as a reward, not as a bribe, how to prevent dependence on treats, and how to integrate other types of rewards into every day situations. We encourage the use of the dog’s meals as training rewards.
Do you tailor your methods to each dog?
Yes. We use a wide variety of reward-based methods and adapt our approach to each dog. We have studied the methods of dozens of different trainers from a wide variety of studies.
After years of experience with punishment-based methods, we have found reward-based methods to be the most effective for most dogs, regardless of breed or behavior.
Will you suggest I just ignore bad behavior?
We would never instruct owners to ignore behaviors that will cause harm to dogs, property or people.
When dogs exhibit attention-seeking behavior, those behaviors which are rewarded by attention (even when the owner believes they are using punishment), we will teach dog owners how to withdraw or withhold the kinds of attention that might inadvertently reward the dog’s whining, barking, nipping or other unwanted behavior. This, however, is not the same as simply ignoring bad behavior.
Do you use shock collars?
No. Our training methods focus on teaching your dog to respond to you, not special equipment. Reliance on aversive collars often creates dogs who are only responsive when wearing this equipment.
Further, aversive training methods and equipment have repeatedly been shown to increase stress and anxiety in dogs, which is the leading cause of problem behaviors, including fear and aggression.
Do you specialize in stubborn or dominant breeds?
We specialize in dog behavior. That means, we understand how dogs learn, what causes problem behaviors and how to teach new behaviors. All breeds of dogs have their individual challenges, but they all learn the same, from Pit Bulls to Poodles and Dachshunds to Dobermans.
Our experience in working with a wide variety of breeds allows us to tailor training programs to suit the individual.