FAQ: Training

When should I start training my dog?

Now!  Any age is a good age to begin training.  If you have a new puppy, training can start as early as 8 weeks of age.  Senior dog?  No problem!  It turns out that you CAN teach an old dog new tricks.  Training your dog helps to ensure that your pet becomes, and stays, a lifelong companion.  Regardless of your dog's age, we can help!

What types of training do you offer?

At Central Pet we understand that no two dogs are alike.  Because of this, we offer individual training at home or on site, group classes and our famous Lodge & Learn program.  We cover basic obedience, all levels of agility, Canine Good Citizen, therapy dog readiness, scent work, snake & toad avoidance and more!  Request to join a class or call our trainer today for a consultation to discuss your goals.

What makes Central Pet training different from other training?

It works!  Our trainer has been working with dogs for over 20 years and understands that every dog is unique and that cookie-cutter training doesn't work for every pet.  We get to know you and your pet personally; your personalities, wants and needs.  This allows us to customize each lesson to your pup in a way that they relate to.  Our years of proven results speak for themselves!  Interested in learning more?  Contact our trainer today!

Do you offer consultations?

Yes!  In order to recommend the correct class or style of training, we offer professional and thorough consultations to get to know both you and your pet.  Contact our trainer to schedule yours today!

Will you use a shock collar or e-collar to train my dog?

Great question!  Let's first start by saying that the safety of your pet is always our #1 priority!  Our trainer is experienced in many different forms of dog training but generally does not utilize shock collars or e-collars outside of our Rattlesnake & Toad Avoidance classes.  During these 5-10 minute annual sessions, we utilize an e-collar solely for the safety of your pet.  (A split second scare is much safer for your pet than a rattlesnake bite!)   While the use of shock collars & e-collars can be done ethically and responsibly, it does not change how you personally feel about them and we would never have a client utilize one if they weren't comfortable. 

Will you use a chain collar/spike collar to train my dog?

We feel strongly that you should be 100% comfortable with our training methods.  While chain collars might be a good fit for some, they are definitely not a good fit for others.  As we get to know both you and your dog, our trainer will make recommendations based on her years of experience and utilize a training method that works for you!

Do I need to bring anything to class besides my dog?

We ask that you bring your dog in on a leash and collar or harness.  During your first session, our trainer will let you know if there are any tools or treats that she recommends to aide in your training.

I have 2 dogs. Does training them both cost more?

Training fees are charged on a per-dog basis.  On occasion, there may be a discount for a second dog from the same family and our staff will be sure to let you know when such an opportunity arises!  Should you want to train more than one dog at a time, we ask that you bring an additional handler for each additional dog.

What's best? In-home training, group classes or Lodge & Learn?

That's entirely up to you!  We make training recommendations based on your specific needs.  Contact our trainer for a professional and thorough consultation to discuss your options and make an educated decision.

How long does training take?

Our group classes run for 5-6 weeks, depending on the class.  Individual training sessions usually take place one hour at a time and are not bundled into any set number of visits.  Our Snake & Toad avoidance classes take about 15 minutes and we recommend taking a refresher course once a year, as needed.  Lastly, our Lodge & Learn programs range from 5 days to 30 days, during which your pet will board with us and train daily.  

Is there a "missed-class" make up policy?

We know that life doesn't always go as planned!  If something comes up and you miss a class, simply let the trainer know.  There is usually a 6th week optional class for clients who may not have made it to every appointment.  If you know in advance that you will miss one or more of the class dates, inform your trainer so that she can help you stay on track and get the most out of your training.

Where do you hold group classes?

Our group classes are held on site at our Tucson or Amado locations.

What is Snake & Toad Avoidance Training?

Snake & Toad avoidance training are life-saving training sessions that every dog in Arizona should attend!  During these sessions you pet will learn to recognize a deadly rattlesnake or poisonous Colorado River Toad by sight, sound and smell.  Snake avoidance and toad avoidance are held on different days and are separate classes, each of which takes about 15 minutes to complete with your pup.  Despite being such a short lesson, the training is highly effective.  Every year we receive letters and phone calls from clients, thanking us, when their pet alerted them to (and avoided) a rattlesnake or toad.  Snake bites can cost thousands of dollars to treat and rarely end in the dog surviving the attack.  Taking 15 minutes, once a year, to walk through our snake or toad course can help prevent your dog from injury or death.  For more information, give us a call!  **These courses are held on a seasonal basis and are first come, first serve.  In order to ensure the ultimate safety of your pet, e-collars are utilized during these sessions.  

Who is your trainer and what experience do they have?

Jill Cruz is our Director of Training at Central Pet.  Jill has been with us since 2009 and brings us her experience as a professional dog trainer, doggie daycare manager and animal assisted therapy tester.  She is an AKC CGC evaluator and pert of the Alliance of Therapy Dogs Tester.  After rescuing and adopting a Mastiff in 2007, she became a big supporter of shelter pets, rescues and less fortunate animals. While Central Pet is not a shelter, we do end up with a few dogs we foster and adopt out; Jill oversees all adoptions.  She and her husband reside in Sonoita with Bubba, an Anatolian Shepherd, Ripley, a Rottweiler and Bruce, a Heinz 57 from TALGV.org and their two crazy rescued cats, Bates and Oliver.

Crystal Blaker is a Tucson native, has been passionate about animals since childhood. Her work with dogs began during high school while employed at a boarding and daycare facility in the east valley area of Phoenix. She relocated back to Tucson for college and earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science from the University of Arizona in 2007. Crystal’s experience working with animals includes time at veterinary hospitals, boarding and daycare facilities, animal shelters and Tucson’s Reid Park Zoo. Most recently she served as the Animal Enrichment and Behavior Coordinator for the Humane Society of Southern Arizona. In addition to her natural behavior assessment abilities and years of dog-training experience, she continues to sharpen her skills through formal education and applied activities such as dog sports and therapy work. Her husband, Michael, works alongside her, managing the company operations and marketing efforts to provide the very best in dog training to their clients! Her training options include Lodge and Learns, Private Lessons, Puppy Kindergarten, Basic Obedience, Agility and Service Dog training.

Can you train my dog to be a service animal?

Yes!  We are very fortunate to have Crystal Blaker, an amazingly experienced dog trainer, who offers Service Dog training services.  For more information on the requirements, and to share your specific needs, contact us today and ask for Crystal!

Can you train my dog to do tricks?

Absolutely!  In fact, we hold group classes just for this.  If you're looking for a fun way to share some quality time with your pet while teaching them something new, the you'll love this class!

My dog has a handicap/medical issue. Can you still train them?

If your dog is deaf, blind, missing a limb or suffering from a mental or physical disability, it doesn't mean they can't be taught!  While they may lack the means to perform as well as some of their counterparts, they still enjoy the challenges and rewards of training.  (And the personal time with you!)  Call our trainer to discuss your pet's special needs and we'll be sure to help you find a good fit!

Do you train aggressive dogs?

Our trainer has a special place in her heart for our less-amiable guests.  Jill has worked with numerous dogs who display aggression for one reason or another and has been able to rehabilitate and find forever homes for many of them.  If your dog displays and aggressive tendencies, contact our trainer to discuss their history.  We'll help find the right setting and approach to get your pup on the right track!

My dog has gone back to old behaviors after training. Why?

While this doesn't happen often, it can occur when pet parents struggle with maintaining the consistency needed to retain their pet's training.  Don't feel bad!  Training is a lifetime commitment and it can be easy to let things slide when those big eyes look up at you.  If you feel your pet needs a refresher, contact our trainer and discuss your concerns.  Many times, these scenarios are resolved through only 1 or 2 one-on-one sessions where our trainer can identify the missing link and help you to resolve the issue.

How many people/dogs are in the group classes?

We want to ensure that everyone who attends our classes gets the attention they need.  Because of this, we keep our classes small and usually cap them at 8-10 people.

How do I get started?

It's easier than you might think!  Contact our trainer today to schedule your consultation.  We'll discuss your pet's history, your wants, needs, and get to know your pet so we can help you select the best training approach for both you and them!  Call today!