Frequently Asked Questions

Sniffing around? 

We love that!  

Hello, Welcome to our Frequently asked questions page!  

We think it's so awesome when people do their research, in choosing their dog trainer.  Ask questions, make sure that you are comfortable!  Check out our reviews

Ask for proof of Credentials, from a governing body where knowledge and experience is measured, and ongoing continuing education is required.  

What is positive reinforcement, that I hear so much about?  
Positive reinforcement is a training method that focuses on rewarding your dog for good choices, rather than punishing bad behaviour.  Rewards can be anything your dog values, a toy, access to something / someone, praise, play and yes, food!   Rewarding your dog for offering preferred behaviours makes it more likely that the dog will repeat the behaviours.  

How much dog training experience do you have? 
I have been involved in dog training and studying the science of dog training since 2004. I apprenticed for two full years with a mentor trainer, and began teaching classes in 2006. Since then I have taught thousands of clients, and their puppies and dogs, in both group classes and private lessons.   

While education is an absolute must in understanding how dogs learn, the hands on practical experience I have gained in my almost 20 years has put me in an excellent position to utilize skills and techniques that can really only come from hands on work.  Please refer to my Google and Facebook reviews as a reference point to learn more about my experience.  
Do you have credentials?  
Yes! 2010, after meeting the requirements of the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers, and passing their intensive 4 hour exam, Cathie obtained her professional designation CPDT-KA.  In order to maintain this professional designation, certificants are required to renew every 3 years by either re-taking the exam or by continuing their education (36 CEU'S), by completing courses seminars and webinars that are approved by CCPDT.  In 2020, Cathie also successfully received the Fear Free Certified Trainer designation.  
Dog training is so expensive. Why is that? 
The expression you get what you pay for definitely does not apply here!  

Dog training is an unregulated industry, so anyone can call themselves a dog trainer, with little or no experience, education, zero credentials and charge whatever exuberant rates they want, even offering lifetime guarantees.  Consumers are paying this which has increased the current market rate overall. 

We believe, as outlined in previous answers, when factoring in our knowledge, experience, credentials and overall investment of time and money, as well the costs of operating, that our rates are modest and fair. 

Why can't I just give you my dog to train? 
1.  Dogs do not generalize well. What this means is that they don't understand that a cued behaviour they learned in a specific place, with a specific handler,  will also apply when given by YOU at home, outside it, etc.  The way to learn from you is WITH you.  
 Why do you use food in training?  Isn't praise enough?  
If your employer decided to praise you verbally, instead of giving you a paycheque, would you be motivated to keep working for that employer?  

Food is directly linked with survival, so it is extremely valuable when used as a reinforcer for preferred behaviours.  Rewarding dogs for preferred behaviours with food, increases dogs’ willingness and ability to learn, and makes training an enjoyable activity to engage in together.  It also makes you pretty awesome!  

Feeding a dog it’s kibble in a food bowl is literally hundreds of wasted daily opportunities to reward it with something it loves, food, for doing something for you!   

Think of paying your dog with food for a job well done.  He'll want to keep working for you.  

How long will it take to train my dog? 
There is no set time that training takes.   There are so many variables.  Training requires a commitment, having clear goals, making time to practice and consistency.   One may only want to teach the dog a few basic behaviours, and be done with it, and another may really enjoy training and will continue on, as long as the dog and his person continue to enjoy it.  Dog sports are great for this! 
Should I take classes or do private one on one training?
In part, this may depend on what you are more comfortable with, but especially your dog.   

In one on one private training the trainer is dedicated to only you and your dog, and specific needs.  Private training begins with an initial 90 minute consultation. Book your initial consultation here.

A group dog training class is shared space with other guardians and their dogs, following a set curriculum and so there is little time for individual coaching.  

A group class can also be a very challenging environment for some dogs, be it fearful or overly excited.  We at Cathie's Canine Connection have provisions for this by way of placing visual barriers between the dogs.  Check out our group classes here.

If you are not sure which option is best for you and your dog, give us a call @ 604-505-8680 and we'll be happy to chat and decide together with you. 
I need a prong collar to control my dog's pulling. Why don't you allow me to use it in session?
Science has proven long ago that dogs are extremely capable of learning without being punished and forced.  Physical punishment does not teach the preferred behaviour, can be very harmful to the dog both emotionally and physically, and does not foster a healthy and safe relationship with the handler and can definitely compromise effecient learning. 

As part of my professional memberships, I have made a commitment by signing memberships code of ethics, not to use aversive tools, fear, intimidation, or pain in my training programs. 

Do you offer dog daycare, or boarding? 
Yes, Cathie's Canine Connection Inc. does offering dog boarding.   Your dog will stay in Cathie's own private home in New Westminster, and will have companionship, with her, her husband David, and their dog Coco belle, a 9 year old Field Spaniel.  That's her nose in the picture above!

The number of dogs in care is limited to 2.  This will ensure your dog get lots of one on one attention, and love.  Click here for more details about boarding with Cathie. 

We do not offer daycare.  We strongly believe that dog daycare and group dog boarding is not suitable for most dogs.  These environments put a lot of social pressure on unknown dogs to meet and get along, and staff , (while advertised as educated …one or two webinars does not quantify), are often not knowledgable, and lack sufficient experience to manage the dynamics of multi dog groups.  

If you want to give your dog a break from being home, where he is usually sleeping when you are out, perhaps consider a professional dog walker.  If you are looking for a qualified, professional, licensed and insured dog walker, send us an email, and we'll be happy to share some resources with you. 

Do you offer any guarantee for your training services?
We do not offer any guarantee of results in our training, nor should any trainer.  There are way too many variables that can affect a dog's progress in training, or lack there of, most of which 100 % depends on the handler / guardian. 

Offering guarantees is not only unrealistic, but it is also unethical too. According to the Certification Council of Professional Dog Trainers Code of Ethics, certficants must "refrain from providing guarantees regarding the specific outcome of training."