Paw in Hand offers in-home private lessons working with you and your dog or cat to transform troublesome behavior into a harmonious relationship. There is no additional charge for multiple pets in the house! To aid you in working with your pet, Mel offers several packages. A limited number of group classes are also available for dogs. Since Mel loves rescue pets, all clients will receive a 5% discount with proof of adoption of their pet from a shelter or rescue.
Why use private lessons?
Many times an animal is more comfortable in their home, and the stress of going out can decrease their reception to learning new skills and behaviors. Fearful and reactive dogs benefit from beginning skills to decrease their anxiety in a familiar environment with controlled distractions before going out and attending something like a group class. For the vast majority of cats, training is best done in the home, in their territory, and not in a group environment. Also, many behaviors that trouble owners are specific to the life-style, and in-home lessons can help you find ways to manage your pet's behavior while you work with them to create new, more desirable behaviors.
Mel highly recommends all family members be present at the lessons so that everyone gets the same information at the same time, in order to increase consistency.
Feline Packages and Rates:
Individual lessons and consultations last one hour. The rate is constant whether there is one pet or multiple pets in the home.
Among the issues commonly addressed are litter-box issues, inappropriate scratching, or trouble introducing a new member to the household. Call for a consultation today!
Canine Packages and Rate:
Individual lessons last about an hour each. Since many canine behavior problems need several lessons to see significant improvement, Mel recommends a package, which includes a discount over selecting single lesson by single lesson.
A set of three lessons is a 10% savings!
A set of 6 lessons is a 20% savings!
Canine behavior problems can include obedience or manners issues, impulse control, puppy behaviors, fearfulness, reactivity, aggression, trouble introducing a new member to the household, and more.
New Family Member Packages:
Mel can also advise how to get an existing family pet ready for the arrival of a new baby, how to help the existing pet adjust after the baby comes home, or how to introduce a new pet to a family with young children.
The full new baby package includes a beginning consultation, to be set sometime in the third trimester before the baby is born and a final lesson, set sometime in the first three months after the baby is born, with an optional bonus consultation anytime in between the first and the final.
The new pet package includes a beginning consultation within the first two weeks after the new pet comes home, as well as a final lesson to be set no later than 3 months after the new pet arrives. As a bonus, you can choose to have Mel consult on what kind of pet (species or breed, or individual) might work best with your family and your needs before you decide.
Day Training (Canines only)
If you don't have time to train your dog, or if you are afraid you don't have the techniques to train your dog properly, Mel can simplify your life. Day training involves Mel coming to your house to train your dog for you. She will come an hour a day three times a week and work with your pooch on basic manners, obedience, and problem areas. At the end of each week she will meet with the family to show progress and teach you how to keep up on the skills learned. Call for a consultation and price quote!
Board & Train:
If you are boarding your dog at FidoFit or Colonial Terrace, it's super easy to add on a training package! While you are away on vacation, Mel will work your dog 3 to 4 times a day on whatever you've decided you want worked on! Whether it's greeting behaviors, basic obedience, or reactivity, call now to schedule your consultation! Mel will talk with you about your needs, help you set realistic goals, and then work toward those goals while you relax. When you come back, there will be a final consultation to transfer the new skills over to you, the owner!
Group Classes: (All dogs must be current on distemper, bordatella, and rabies to attend.)
Basic Obedience Class: All dogs 4 months or older are welcome to attend our low-cost obedience class at the Dubuque Regional Humane Society. We’ll begin with the basics like Conditioned Relaxation, Sit, Down, Come, Loose Leash Walking, and Leave It! We’ll also work on appropriate greetings and solving problem behaviors, and then proof all behaviors against distractions.
Intermediate Obedience Class: If your dog has already mastered Sit, Down, Stay, Come, and Loose Leash Walking in moderate distraction, then the intermediate class will provide you and your dog with challenging group activities to complete together, moving toward off leash reliability! Learn how to keep your dog's attention with higher distractions, and work toward mastering activities like targeting, place, moving Sits and moving Downs, commands from a distance, and long stays including while out of sight.
Feisty Fido Reactive Dog Class:
This is a specialty class designed for dog-reactive dogs. This is not a typical obedience class- it is an intensive 8-week course including desensitization, counter-conditioning, and behavior modification. All candidates must be spayed or neutered prior to joining class. After this 8 week course, the owners should have the skills, confidence, and support needed to continue to help their dog's behavior improve well after class is over and done with. Dogs in class generally make great strides in improvement over the course of this class, and all Feisty Fido class graduates may take the class again one time for free to continue their work. (Don't worry: the dogs in the picture above are playing, not fighting.)
Therapy Class: This 4 week course is specifically designed for dogs getting ready for therapy work. If your dog has or could have CGC certification (for manners and obedience), you are welcome to take this class! For three weeks we will work on skills needed for therapy, and for the final week we will go out and about for a mock therapy session to give you and your dog a taste of what it’s like!
Lost Pet Recovery:
If you've lost your cat or dog, call Mel in the first few hours for a consultation. She can advise on where the best places to search for your pet might be, how best to search, what flyers would best look like, and aid in getting the word out. The more people that know about your lost pet, the more likely you are to find him/her!
AKC CGC Testing:
If you would like to get your CGC, simply call Mel to run a test for you! Tests are only $10 each, and test items can be found by Googline "AKC CGC" or clicking here.
Therapy Dog Testing:
Are you intending to make your dog a therapy dog? Mel is a certified evaluator for the K9to5 National Therapy Dog Registry and would love to help you get your dog certified! To help you prepare, she recommends passing the previous test items above (the CGC and all three C.L.A.S.S. tests), although these are not required.