Frequently Asked Questions

If any trainer offers you an 100% guarantee, they are most definitely scamming you and trying to blindly take your money. Every dog has their own unique potential, and ability to learn in a certain time frame. Every owner commits to following through, being consistent, and continuing with the training at a different level. It would simply not be ethical to offer any kind of guarantee or promise your dog will behave in a certain way. What we can promise, is that we carefully select our clients, so no matter how severe the issues your dog is experiencing, we consistently see breakthrough results and amazing transformations. We work with our clients hand in hand as a team in your dog’s training program and/or rehabilitation. This process of teamwork and collaboration moves through the training process, and continues long after your dog has gone home. Once you hire us, we consider you part of The Shades Of Blu Crew, and your success is our utmost priority. All of our trainers are highly dedicated and proud of the results we present to you, as such we will never give up on you or your dog, and will always put forth our years and years of experience and knowledge to help you and your dog achieve what you are individually capable of. We will always inform you as quickly as we can predict if you will need to extend your training program based on your dog’s progress. 

You will be working with The Academy Dog Club Team.  Our head trainers will be involved in and in charge of all training programs. All training is overseen by our head trainers, and any issues are verbally worked through during regular meetings involving the entire team. We carefully select your dog’s primary trainer based on your location, as well as the best fit for you and your dog. If it is determined that any dog’s training has not been achieved to a certain level of client satisfaction at the fault of any of our trainers, the client will be compensated with free services until their dog’s training is satisfactory.

Although we understand it can be hard to be away from your dog, we sometimes discourage the owner’s presence as it can be counter-productive.  This is mostly for dogs that present with separation anxiety, aggression, lack of confidence, fearfulness, etc. Our clients with well-tempered and stable dogs are welcome to see their dogs during their board and train stay by attending group classes and certain training sessions, days and times will be available to you from your trainer during your dog’s stay with us.  Please be aware that owner’s presence can cause some dog’s training process to move backward and it can be difficult to predict, as such, visiting your dog during board and train is always at your own risk. If your dog regresses, we will not be responsible for compensating you for extra training.

Every training session your dog will work for their meal (whether it be kibble, air dried, freeze dried, etc). If your dog has more motivation for toys or praise, they will be given their meal directly after their training session in their crate while they decompress. Occasionally we work with dogs who will not work for food, or will not take food in the presence of their stressors. For those dogs we either require more time and training be purchased to build food motivation or desensitize the dog, or we can proceed with using our training tools to build food or toy drive with our dog. This decision will be made individually by each trainer and owner team.

We are going to quote one of our most respected and inspirational trainers in the industry here because he said it best:

“Because they are so neutral, mild, and their use involves very little mechanical mastery, making it a necessity for owners without expert canine handling skills. Modern e-collar training allows for the very best communication and transferring of skills from trainer to owner. While many are concerned that the dog is being “shocked” into listening, the truth is, contemporary, high-end e-collars are based on the same technology as TENS machines used for physical therapy in humans. Which means, your dog feels a mild, benign sensation that is not harming to them mentally or physically. Most dogs work at e-collar stim levels that most humans often can’t even feel. In addition, the e-collar enables many challenging issues (reactivity on walks, jumping, barking, stealing food) to be resolved quickly and easily. It’s also the ONLY way to safely have your dog off-leash and maintain reliability. The ability to keep your dog safe with a reliable way to recall your dog back to you, even at great distances, is something that remains unavailable with any other tool.” 

– Sean O’ Shea of The Good Dog Training

Even though they’re often portrayed as dangerous or harsh by certain uneducated communities and individuals, do not let their appearance mislead you into making the wrong, and often detrimental, decision for your dog. Prong collars are actually one of the safest things you can put around your dog’s neck. The Herm Sprenger Prong Collar has a trachea plate which allows for equal distribution of pressure around your dog’s neck. A flat collar, martingale, choke chain, slip lead, etc. will put your dog’s trachea at risk of collapse when pulled on by either the dog or the handler. Prong’s allow us to communicate with our dog’s in a way that makes sense to them, and allows us to give directionality to the ecollar. 

Your dog will sleep in their kennel for no more than 8 hours overnight and 2-8 hours during the day to equate to the 10-16  hours of recommended daily sleep a canine requires for a healthy mind state.  Our kennel rooms are always climate-controlled. We rotate dogs first thing in the morning, prepare their food, refill their water, give meds, etc. Dogs are rotated an additional 3-6 times daily for a chance to potty depending on their individual needs. Kennels are cleaned and water is refilled at every potty rotation.

Every trainer only has between 1-6 dogs assigned to them at a time, according to their experience and ability to manage time. This enables us to give every dog the training repetitions, enrichment, potty breaks, and exercise that they need, and allows us to keep our kennel environment cleanly, quiet, and neutral to avoid any anxiety inducing experience for your dog.

Each day your dog will participate in the following activities: individual place time, their individual intensive 1-2 hours of training, group place time, group training, field trips, socialization with other dogs when appropriate, play with their trainer, time to enjoy a carefully selected and safe chew, and resting in their kennel. 

We start every dog’s training program with positive re-enforcement only. We use their primary motivator, whether it be food, toys, or affection to teach their obedience cues, markers, and engagement with their handler. Once your dog is understanding exactly what is expected of them, we layer in the prong collar to create a much clearer communication system for your dog while still using positive enforcement to condition and teach the language of this tool. Once we are confident that the dog understands the directionality of the prong collar, we layer in the electronic collar stim to create a much more intricate and reliable communication system than can be accomplished with any other training philosophy. We use low-level stim to communicate with your dog at all times and will only ever use high-stim sensations after discussing with you first and creating a plan IF your dog is engaging in a behavior that puts themselves, any person, or any other dog in danger. Positive Reinforcement methods are ALWAYS used in conjunction with any positive punishment or negative reinforcement techniques used on your dog. 

This is a common myth. Our style of ecollar conditioning can be adjusted for any dog to be able to either be re-conditioned to it, or understand in such a way that will alleviate the fear and nervousness they are experiencing. This is why it is so important not to use the tools without a trained professional, and choose the right trainer who knows how to properly condition the tools with a variety of dogs according to their behavioral concerns and temperaments.

Every one of our trainers has a different specialty.  We have trainers who are comfortable and experienced in aggression, and we have trainers who choose not to take on certain cases. Academy dog club  has designed programs for aggressive dogs and has been able to successfully rehabilitate dogs with human aggression, resource guarding, leash aggression, and dog-dog aggression. Please fill out our application for services with as much information as possible in regards to your dog’s aggression and our head trainer for your location will give you a call and either set up an evaluation to design a custom behaivior modification package for you and your dog, OR refer you to a trusted trainer in your area that may be a better fit if necessary. We will never take on your case if we do not believe we can truly help you and your dog.

We are frequently contacted and hired by clients who have been failed by other trainers and programs. The truth is that most companies are out there for your money, and create a blanket approach to training all of their clients dogs, completely disregarding the individual needs of the client and dog. Many of these programs put a band-aid on the problem, or drown it in obedience and/or supression, which only makes things worse and/or leads to the problem resurfacing. We customize an approach for you and your dog, address your dog’s state of mind, cultivate new habits, teach your dog to make better choices, and focus heavily on confidence building, canine meditation, and impulse control. All of our intensive programs include free group class for the life of your dog, as well as extensive transfer training, repeat client discounts, and ongoing telephone support. We have always been able to make significant progress with even the most severe cases, due to our unique, intensive, inclusive, and expertly designed approach.

If you are unable to make payment by check, direct deposit, or venmo, we offer an interest free payment option through Affirm, and we take credit card payments if you purchase through our online shop. An additional admin and web management fee will be required to pay through our online shop. You are able to use paypal credit to pay for services with us.

We have a very strict no refund policy. Your payment for services and commmitment to your training plan supports our trainer’s ability to provide for themselves and their families, upgrades for your dogs to our programs, properties and kennel space, as well as provides us with the funds we need to run our two non-profits that save the lives of dogs in need and veterans in need of service dogs. When you pay for services with us, you are reserving space that we no longer advertise as available to new clients. We do not ever offer refunds for those who change their mind about services they have not yet received, relocate out of our service area, or are unhappy with their dog’s progress. We will always try to accommodate our clients by offering an alternative as a courtesy, but we cannot approve refund requests for any reason other than our own inability to provide and complete the service that you paid for or an equal alternative.