Welcome to SS Animal Care!
New Client Welcome Info
Welcome to working with SS Animal Care & Photography LLC! I look forward to getting to know you and your dog on your path to reaching your training goals. This packet will give you an overview of what to expect while working with me.
I realize that this may be your first time working with a professional dog trainer so in this packet you’ll learn about what you can expect from me, what I’ll expect from you, and how to prepare for the next steps so we can begin working together.
How Dog Training Programs Work
Over the next few weeks we’ll work together as a team to improve or change your dog’s behavior. Based on your dog’s prior history, your family’s situation, and the dog’s daily environment, I’ll work with you to create a training plan that can be implemented quickly and effectively.
During our lessons, I’ll observe and explain your dog’s behavior. I’ll then demonstrate and instruct you on how to implement some safe training techniques to change your dog’s behavior. You’ll learn about the science behind the behavior and the training techniques.
What You Can Expect from Your Dog Trainer
I value timely communication and promise to respond quickly to your questions and feedback.
I will communicate primarily through email so keep an eye out for notes, handouts, and reminders in your inbox. Please feel free to reach out through email or phone if you have questions.
All my clients deserve my full attention when I am working with them in person so please keep in mind that my availability to answer phone calls or respond to voicemails immediately is limited. I will respond to your voicemails and emails as quickly as my schedule allows.
Thank you in advance for your understanding.
Preparing for Lessons
WHEN? – If you are taking private lessons, we will meet at a cadence that suites your schedule and the goals we’ve set out to reach. I strongly recommend that we hold in-person lessons once a week or every other week depending on your schedule and urgency of reaching your goals.
If you are taking group classes, the group will meet once a week for 6 consecutive weeks for approximately one hour. Please arrive a few minutes early to settle in and help your dog get acclimated to the environment.
WHO? – During lessons of any sort please be prepared to have all immediate family members attend. Everyone’s participation, support, and execution will be critical to reach your training goals.
WHERE? – Private lessons will be held where your dog primarily needs to improve his or her behavior. This can be in your home, local park, or other familiar environment. If you are enrolled in group classes, we’ll hold classes at TBD.
The location will be included in the confirmation email that is sent out before each lesson.
What to Bring With You To Lessons or Classes
Please make sure you have the following handy for every lesson:
- At least 100 mini-M&M sized pieces of your dog’s favorite treat (If you don't have training treats or want to try something new, we have an inventory!)
- One or two of your dog’s favorite toys
- A harness and leash for your dog
- A non-slip bath mat
- A pen and notepad
- Poop bags in the case that we are meeting outside of your home
List of Reinforcers Your Dog May Enjoy Training With
Every dog has different preferences so we will work together to determine which rewards will work in which situations for the best results.
These are some common rewards you may want to consider.
- Hard treats (Milkbones, rawhides, kibble, etc.
- Soft treats (Cheese sticks, freeze-dried chicken, bagged training treats, etc.)
- Toys (Balls, stuffed toys, Kongs, nylabones, etc.)
Touch (Ear scratches, belly rubs, etc.)
What to Expect During Lessons or Classes
During lessons I will be actively engaged in teaching you how to train your dog. I will provide step-by-step instructions as well as demonstrate the training exercises. You will be expected to practice during the lesson with light critiquing from me and then continue practicing in between lessons.
I will provide a handout during each lesson that outlines observations, training tasks to practice, and a brief explanation about the training exercises.
I will always be upfront about my observations, expectations, and what is and isn’t working. We’ll discuss progress on a regular basis so you understand what results can be expected and how your dog is progressing.
As a professional dog trainer, I keep up with the latest research and news in the industry. My recommendations will always consider your best interests as well as your dog’s best interests on the path to reaching your dog training goals. Following the recommendations I provide will help to ensure success in reaching those training goals. Failing to follow the specific instructions I provide will reduce your and your dog’s likelihood of reaching those training goals.
I understand that I’ll gather a large amount of information about your family and your dog. You can rest assured that this information will be held in confidence. I will never share your information without your knowledge and approval.
How to Get the Most Out of Our Time Working Together
5 tips to help you get the most out of these dog training lessons:
- Please come prepared for your lessons.
Follow my specific training recommendations. Any deviations whether intentional or unintentional could stagnate or negate training progress.
Be honest about how you feel about the training techniques and recommendations.
Be honest to me about how you’ll be able to follow through or not follow through with the training recommendations.
Do the homework that’s assigned and train your dog when the trainer isn’t present. Progress cannot be made without your participation.
Requesting Additional Services or Training
If you would ever like to add additional lessons or classes to your dog’s training program, please follow these steps:
Talk to your trainer
Book additional lessons
Attend lessons prepared and on time
I hope this welcome packet has helped you better understand how we’ll work together to help your dog reach his or her training goals. Remember that I’m here for you, your dog, and your family and that I truly want you to be successful. If you ever have any questions or concerns, please reach out.
I look forward to working with you!
Sarah S. and Zac S.
SS Animal Care & Photography Staff