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Dog Training Questions & Answers

  • Do we offer online dog training courses?
    Yes, we provide online dog training courses that include instructional videos to help you train your dog. Our courses are structured similar to online college courses, with a clear beginning and end. You have the flexibility to access the videos at any time to fit your schedule. Additionally, we offer extra support for those who may need it. For an additional $15 per month, you can gain access to our certified dog trainers who will provide live support. This includes answering your questions, creating training plans, and providing recordings for you to listen to during your dog's training. Check out our website at for more information.
  • Do you offer Private In-Home Dog Training?
    Yes, we offer a service where a certified dog trainer from Best Buddy Dog Trainer, LLC will come to your home to provide personalized training for you and your dog. We believe that this is the optimal way to begin training, whether you are a newcomer to dog training or have attended multiple classes in the past.
  • Do we offer board and train or puppy boot camp?
    Yes, our Board and Train program, also referred to as Puppy Boot Camp, is an intensive training program for puppies and dogs. When you enroll your pup, they will stay with us for at least 21 days, during which they will receive daily training sessions, walks, opportunities for dog-to-dog interaction, mental and physical stimulation, manners training, socialization, and playtime. Essentially, it's a training bootcamp that provides a comprehensive and immersive experience for your furry friend.
  • Do you offer group lessons?
    Group lessons involve having multiple dogs in a public setting for training. At Best Buddy Dog Trainer LLC, we only offer these types of lessons to those who have already completed our private classes and have demonstrated proficiency in their skills. We believe that it's not advisable to start dog owners with group lessons in a public setting with 5-10 other dogs and their owners. Instead, we recommend starting with private lessons and progressing to more advanced training once the dog and their owner have developed the necessary skills. Only then should they train in the presence of other dogs to ensure a safe and productive training environment.
  • Which areas do we travel to for private dog training lessons?
    We travel to St. Marys county, Charles county, Calvert county, PG county, Washington D.C, and Anne Arundel county.
  • What are socialization classes?
    Socialization classes for dogs or puppies are designed to expose them to different social experiences with other dogs, people, and objects in a controlled environment. The classes aim to teach puppies and dogs how to properly interact with other animals and people, and how to react to different situations. The classes are generally held during the critical developmental period for puppies, between the ages of 8 weeks to 6 months, where they are more receptive to learning and adapting to new experiences. The goal of socialization classes is to help puppies and dogs become well-adjusted, confident, and comfortable in social situations, which can prevent behavior problems and improve their overall well-being.
  • What is Clicker Training?
    Clicker training is a highly effective method of communicating with animals, which can be used on virtually any species. The training involves the use of a clicker, which signals to the animal that a reward is forthcoming. For example, if you click the clicker when your dog sits and then provide them with a delicious treat, they will start to associate sitting with receiving a reward. This encourages them to sit more frequently, as they try to replicate the behavior that leads to the desirable "CLICK" sound.
  • How many dogs do I allow in my socialization classes?
    3 dogs minimum is what it takes to start the class and 6 dogs maximum are allowed to enroll for each class.
  • Vet Recommendations! Who do we recommend?
    We highly recommend Solomons Veterinary Medical Center located in Solomons, Maryland. Their staff is force-free certified, and they share our philosophy on handling, treating, and training animals. They are professional, knowledgeable, and friendly, making for a positive experience during your visit. We are also seeking additional veterinary partnerships, so if you have a veterinarian you'd like to recommend, please reach out to either April or Jeff at
  • What is Positive Reinforcement Training?
    Positive reinforcement training is a training method for dogs that involves rewarding desired behaviors rather than punishing undesirable behaviors. The idea behind this training approach is that dogs are more likely to repeat behaviors that are rewarded, and less likely to repeat behaviors that are not. Positive reinforcement can be in the form of treats, praise, toys, or other rewards that the dog enjoys. In practice, positive reinforcement training involves teaching a dog a desired behavior, such as sitting or staying, and then rewarding the dog when it performs the behavior correctly. The reward should be given immediately after the desired behavior is exhibited, so that the dog learns to associate the behavior with the reward. Positive reinforcement training can be used to teach a wide variety of behaviors and tricks, from basic obedience to more advanced behaviors. It is a gentle and effective training method that can help strengthen the bond between dogs and their owners, while also promoting good behavior and preventing problem behaviors.
  • How long will it take to train my dog/puppy?
    The amount of time it takes to train a dog or puppy depends on several factors, including the the specific behaviors or skills that are being taught. Some dogs may pick up new behaviors quickly, while others may require more time and repetition to learn. Additionally, the amount of time and effort that the owner is able to dedicate to training can also impact the length of time it takes for a dog to learn. Consistent, daily training sessions are generally more effective than sporadic or infrequent training sessions. Overall, it's difficult to give a precise timeline for how long it will take to train a dog or puppy. Basic obedience training can typically take several weeks to a few months to master, while more advanced training, such as agility or specific task training, may take several months to a year or more to fully train. It's important to be patient, consistent, and persistent in training your dog, as every dog learns at their own pace.
  • What is a Cue? Why Not Say a Command?
    At Best Buddy Dog Trainer, LLC, we prefer using the term "cue" instead of "command" when training dogs. This is because "command" can imply a threat or punishment, which we do not use in our training methods. A cue, on the other hand, is an opportunity for a dog to earn a reward. Before a behavior can be cued, the dog must know and be able to perform the behavior without any prompting. We use the clicker to teach the desired behavior and once it is reliable, we add a cue to signal the dog when to perform the behavior.
  • What is capturing a behavior?
    In dog training, capturing is a method where the trainer catches the dog performing a desired behavior and reinforces it with a reward. The trainer does not prompt or lure the dog to perform the behavior, but instead waits for the dog to naturally exhibit the behavior on its own. Once the behavior is captured, the trainer can then add a cue or a signal to the behavior so that the dog can be asked to perform the behavior in the future. Capturing is often used to train behaviors such as "sit" or "down".
  • How do I get my dog to stop jumping?
    Stopping a dog from jumping is not a simple task, to stop your dog from jumping, you need to figure out why they are jumping in the first place. Dogs do not engage in behaviors that have no pay-off, so the jumping behavior is likely being reinforced in some way. Once you have identified the reason why your dog is jumping, you can work on removing the reinforcement and teaching an alternative behavior. One effective method is to teach your dog to sit to greet people instead of jumping. Start by training your dog to sit on cue and reward them for doing so. Then, when someone comes to the door, have them ignore your dog until they are sitting calmly. Once your dog is sitting, reward them with a treat, and allow the person to approach and pet them. It's important to be patient and consistent in your training. It may take some time for your dog to learn the new behavior and stop jumping, but with persistence and positive reinforcement, you should see progress.
  • Are there any breed restrictions when considering taking on a client?
    At Best Buddy Dog Trainer, LLC, we strongly believe that a dog's breed should never be used to determine whether or not we accept them as clients. We treat every dog as an individual and focus on their unique needs and personalities, regardless of their breed. We believe in providing equal opportunities to all dogs and helping them achieve their full potential through positive reinforcement training methods.
  • What is the best way to train my dog?
    At Best Buddy Dog Trainer, LLC, we firmly believe in using positive-based training methods for all animals, including dogs. We consider using pain, force, or any harsh techniques, such as shock collars, prong collars, or choke chains, as unnecessary and even cruel. We aim to provide a safe and positive environment for dogs, bringing them into our world, and training them with the safest and most humane methods available.
  • Why the clicker is better than a verbal marker "yes" ?
    It's been scientifically proven that dogs can interpret the clicker sound about five times faster than a verbal marker "yes". This is because the sound of the clicker is a distinct and consistent sound that doesn't vary in tone or inflection, whereas a verbal marker can have different tones and inflections depending on how it's said. This makes the clicker a more effective and precise tool for communicating with your dog during training sessions. However, once your dog has learned the behavior and is responding reliably to your verbal marker, you can use it instead of the clicker.
  • What should I do or say if my puppy/dog Pee's or poops in the house?
    When your dog urinates or defecates indoors, it is crucial not to react in any way. Dogs do not understand the concept of right and wrong, and punishing them for eliminating inside could lead to confusion and anxiety. Punishment may also cause the dog to fear elimination in front of you, making it challenging to train them to eliminate outside. The best approach is to establish a routine and take your puppy outside frequently. Stand quietly in one spot until the puppy eliminates, then use a clicker to mark the behavior and reward your dog with a high-value treat such as cooked steak. If your dog does not eliminate after 5-8 minutes, bring them back inside and supervise them closely. Repeat the process until your dog learns to eliminate outside, and make a big fuss over your dog when they are successful. Using positive reinforcement is the most effective way to train your dog to eliminate outside.
  • How many times a day should I train my dog?
    It is recommended to train your dog at least 2-3 times a day. It is important to note that breaking up the training sessions into 2 or 3 shorter sessions is more effective than training once a day for a longer period of time.
  • Which behavior should I start with?
    At Best Buddy Dog Trainer LLC, our head trainer and owner emphasizes the importance of starting with attention exercises when training your dog. Once these exercises are completed, you can move on to other training activities. However, it is crucial to begin with attention exercises, as without your dog's attention, you will not be able to effectively train them.
  • How do I keep my puppy from chewing everything?
    Chewing is a natural behavior for puppies and dogs, but it can be frustrating when they chew on things they shouldn't. Here are some tips to help prevent unwanted chewing: Provide appropriate chew toys: Make sure your puppy has plenty of appropriate chew toys such as Kong's, Nylabones, or edible chews such as Himalayan chews, cheek rolls or knuckle bones. Rotate the toys & bones regularly to keep your puppy interested. Supervise your puppy: Keep a close eye on your puppy, especially when they are out of their crate or playpen. If they start to chew on something they shouldn't, redirect them to an appropriate toy. Provide plenty of exercise and mental stimulation: Puppies who are bored or have excess energy are more likely to chew on things they shouldn't. Make sure your puppy gets plenty of exercise and mental stimulation to help them release their energy. Crate train your puppy: When you can't supervise your puppy, consider crate training them. This will keep them safe and prevent them from chewing on things they shouldn't. Remember, patience and consistency are key when it comes to preventing unwanted chewing behavior in puppies. With time and effort, you can help your puppy learn what is and isn't appropriate to chew on.
  • How do I stop puppy biting?
    Puppy biting is a natural behavior and a way for puppies to explore and interact with the world around them. However, it's important to teach them to control their bite and not to bite humans or other animals. Here are some tips to stop puppy biting: Teach your puppy bite inhibition: It is best to avoid making any sounds or saying "ouch" when a puppy bites, as this can often excite them further or reinforce the behavior. Instead, it is best to withdraw attention and stop all interactions when a puppy is biting excessively. This teaches them that biting will lead to the end of playtime or attention, which they will learn to avoid over time. Redirect their biting: When your puppy starts to bite, redirect their attention to a toy or chew bone. This teaches them what they are allowed to chew on and reinforces good behavior. Provide enough exercise and mental stimulation: Puppies who are bored or have excess energy are more likely to engage in destructive behaviors, including biting. Make sure your puppy is getting enough exercise and mental stimulation to keep them busy and tired. Be consistent: Consistency is key when it comes to training your puppy. Make sure everyone in the household is using the same techniques to stop biting, and be patient as it takes time and consistency to see results. Remember that puppy biting is a natural behavior, but with consistent training and positive reinforcement, you can teach your puppy to control their bite and interact with the world in a safe and appropriate way.
  • Why don’t you use prong collars, shock collars or aversive training methods?
    At Best Buddy Dog Trainer, we do not use prong collars, shock collars, or aversive training methods because we believe that positive reinforcement-based training is not only more humane, but also more effective. These harsh methods can cause fear, anxiety, and physical pain in dogs, which can lead to long-term behavior problems. Additionally, using these methods can damage the trust and bond between the dog and their owner. Instead, we focus on using positive reinforcement techniques to encourage and reward desired behaviors, which leads to a happier, more confident, and better-behaved dog.
  • Should I use an electric fence for my dog?
    Electric fences are not ideal for dogs as they rely on the use of aversive training methods, which can cause fear, anxiety, and physical harm to dogs. Additionally, electric fences do not prevent other animals or people from entering your property and can fail to contain dogs who are highly motivated to escape. The use of positive reinforcement training methods and physical fences are generally considered safer and more effective options for containing and training dogs.
  • Why should I crate train my puppy/dog?
    Crate training is a useful tool for housebreaking, managing behavior, and providing a safe and secure space for your puppy or dog. A crate can serve as a place where they feel comfortable and relaxed. By crate training, you can teach your dog to hold their bladder and bowels, reducing the likelihood of accidents in the house. Additionally, a crate can help prevent destructive behavior and keep your dog safe when you are not able to supervise them. Crate training can also prepare your dog for unexpected situations such as post-surgery or illness when your dog may need to be confined. If your dog is already accustomed to spending time in a crate, it can eliminate additional stress during an already difficult time. Additionally, crate training can also be helpful for traveling or when introducing a new dog to your home, as it provides a safe and familiar space for your dog to retreat to. Overall, crate training is a valuable investment in your dog's well-being and your peace of mind.
  • What age should I start training my puppy?
    While puppies are born with a limited ability to learn, they start to develop the cognitive and physical skills necessary for training as early as 3 weeks of age. This is why it's important to start training your puppy as soon as you bring them home. Early socialization and training can help prevent behavior problems from developing later on, and can set the foundation for a well-behaved and obedient dog. It's never too early to start teaching your puppy basic commands and behaviors, such as sit, stay, and come when called.
  • Should I spay or neuter my dog?
    Spaying or neutering your dog has several benefits. Firstly, it helps to control the pet population by preventing unwanted litters of puppies. This is important as millions of dogs end up in shelters each year and are often euthanized due to a lack of available homes. Secondly, spaying or neutering can help to prevent health problems later in life such as certain types of cancers and infections. In female dogs, spaying can also prevent potentially life-threatening conditions such as uterine infections and mammary tumors. The best time to spay or neuter your dog can vary depending on the breed, size, and overall health of your dog. However, it is generally recommended to wait until your dog is fully developed and matured, which can be anywhere from 1 year to 1 1/2 years for most dogs. This allows the dog's bones and organs to fully develop before undergoing surgery.
  • How can I stop my dog from barking excessively?
    There are several ways to address excessive barking in dogs: Identify the trigger: Try to identify the reason why your dog is barking excessively. Is it due to boredom, anxiety, or fearful behavior? Increase exercise and mental stimulation: Providing your dog with sufficient exercise can be helpful in reducing unwanted behaviors, such as excessive barking, because it helps to channel their energy in a positive way. A dog that is bored or under-exercised may become restless and look for ways to release their energy, which can often result in unwanted behaviors such as barking, Positive reinforcement training: Use positive reinforcement training methods to encourage your dog to stop barking. Reward them for being quiet and redirect their attention to a more appropriate behavior. Avoid reinforcing bad behavior: Avoid giving your dog attention, speaking to them or touching them in anyway when they bark excessively. This can reinforce the behavior and make it worse. Seek professional help: If the excessive barking continues despite your efforts, consider seeking help, a certified trainer can assess the situation and provide customized training solutions for your dog.
  • What is the best way to potty train my puppy?
    Figure out the one treat your dog goes crazy over, and save it for potty training only. Recommended treats for potty training are chicken, steak, ham, lamb, veal, and string cheese. Pre-cut treats into pea-sized portions and place them in a container near the door for easy access. Take your dog out the same door every time to associate going potty with that door. Supervise your dog at all times until they're reliably not having accidents. Don't correct your dog if they have an accident. Quietly and calmly redirect them outside. Clean up accidents with a cleaner meant for urine with enzymes to break up the smell. Know what activities provoke your dog to go potty, such as drinking water or playing, and take them out shortly after. Watch for signs your puppy may need to go potty, such as sniffing, circling, or going to the door. When it's time for a potty break, be quiet and still and give the cue "go pee pee" once they start going. Click and reward immediately after they finish.
  • How do I teach my dog to come when called?
    Teaching your dog to come when called is an essential command that can keep your dog safe and under control in many situations. Here are the steps to teach your dog to come when called: Conditioning a Recall Word: (repeat this step 2x per day for one whole week before beginning the recall exercise) Choose a high-value treat such as chicken or steak. Set a timer for 1 minute and stand in front of your dog with your hands behind your back. Say your recall word and immediately feed your dog a high-value treat. Repeat the process for a full minute, making sure to say the recall word before grabbing a treat. Recalls exercise: Use a low-value treat such as kibble and a high-value treat. Toss the low-value treat and cue your recall word when your dog looks back. Click and reward your dog with a high-value treat when they reach you. Repeat for 3 minutes and gradually increase distractions. Use a 30-foot leash when practicing outside in a low-distraction area.
  • How do I socialize my Puppy?
    Tips for Properly Socializing Your Puppy: Do’s: Focus on the essentials. Take your puppy to experience a variety of places, people, dogs and situations he's likely to encounter in his life with you. Go at your puppy’s pace. Consult your certified trainer about what’s right for your particular puppy. Socialize your puppy individually. Learn to read your puppy's body language. Use every opportunity to link new experiences with food or play. Be safe and sensible. Interrupt and prevent situations that could be harmful or overwhelming for your puppy. Don’ts: Get careless. Befriend every dog your puppy meets. Force your puppy to face something that scares him or makes him react aggressively. Punish your puppy for fearful or aggressive behavior. Correct your puppy in a negative or harsh way. Allow too many kids to crowd around your puppy at once.
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