Potty Training, House Training, Nipping, Biting, Introducing the leash, How to get your puppy to love his crate?
Nutrition Facts, Proper Canine Care, Interactive Games, Traveling with your dog, Off-limits!, Getting the whole Family on Board.
Chewing (Furniture..), Digging up the yard, Getting into trash, Destroying toys, Counter Surfing.
How does it work
After receiving your information, either per phone-call or via e-mail
we will set up a convenient time for our initial, free phone interview (this should take about 20 min- so please plan in some time). During our conversation we will figure out your/ your dogs needs, discuss possible contributing factors to a certain behavior and lay out a plan on how to best address your concerns. This is also a great time for you to ask questions, and very often I can already provide tips over the phone. It is equally important for me to figure out who your dog really is before meeting with you and your dog in person. We then set up our 1. Training Visit in your home. It is certainly recommended that every interested member of your Family takes part in this lesson, children are especially welcome. We are flexible and can work around your schedule, 7 days a week. Upon arrival, we will go over general things first, then specifically address your questions and concerns. This is a very hands-on approach. I might ask you to show me how you do certain things or how you manage (unwanted) behavior of your dog. I will also demonstrate techniques that you can try immediately afterwards. We will also take your dog outside for leash work and other important things.
Before leaving, you will be provided with a "homework" that you should practice daily over the next 10 to 14 days.
During this time you are welcome to call with any questions/ concerns (but we also love to hear of improvements!). TIP: It can be helpful to keep a little "diary".
One week after the first lesson we should touch base and fine-tune whatever we can over the phone and adjust the given homework, where necessary.
Around 2-3 weeks after the first lesson, we would like to schedule a follow-up lesson. In most cases, a third lesson will not be necessary- however, some clients like to continue and improve what they have learned.
A lot of times people ask me the following QUESTION: Is there such a thing as a "perfect" dog?
And my simplified ANSWER is this: any dog that makes you happy to be around and any dog that loves being near you- that is the perfect match! Remember, a "perfect" dog with one person/ family may not at all be perfect (or considered perfect) in a different environment! Having that said- there will always be not so perfect moments or even frustration, but this is completely normal and part of owning a dog. Accidents happen- willpowers are getting tested- character being formed.... A dog is not a stuffed animal- it's alive! If you are not discouraged by now- then we are on the right track:
Before Getting a New Dog
The Right Timing
Plan to bring your dog home when you can take a few days off and/ or can spend as much time as possible with your new family member. Those first few days are crucial for building trust and help tremendously to form a bond.
What to Consider
If you are not living alone, please have the entire family participate in the process of selecting your new dog= new family member. That way, everybody will be on the same page. It is a very important experience that should be fun, exciting and also educational. It might also end with the conclusion that your lifestyle does not allow for a dog at this time- but how much better is it to find this out before you bring home a dog! ?
You might want to think about
The desired (final!) size of the dog; the age and gender; type of coat: short/ long/ "non-shedding" (Allergies? Maintenance?); energy-level; specific breed- and if so- why?; You should decide ahead of time where your dog stays during the day- where he sleeps at night- who takes him on walks and if someone will have time to look after him during the day. If your dog would be alone all day long- it's necessary to start planning who would take the dog out- and how often. How much would such services cost?Inform yourself about housetraining and general obedience. Many problems can be avoided by picking the right dog in the first place-and preparing your home in the right way.
Where Do I Start Looking for "My" Dog
Breeder? Make sure you will only consider Breeders with a good reputation- giving away a puppy at 6 weeks of age "just because it's the right time for Christmas" should be a warning sign!
Shelter? Petfinder? Local rescue? Craigslist? Just to name a few of the more popular choices.
There is no recipe for success
I am convinced you can find your perfect dog in any of the above listed places - it just has to feel right! You should never put yourself under the pressure of finding the new dog on a particular day.
PLUS: the dog should also have a say.
If he walks up to you/ is curious- that's a good sign. If he is hiding, growling or stressed - not so good (but maybe fixable)
If there is any chance-and actually every responsible source should support this approach
please go and meet your dog at least once before you bring him home. If you really like the dog- let the current owner know that you are serious. Then go home and think about it! Discuss with your Family. If it still feels right the next day- you are good to go. If something makes you hesitate-follow your instinct. There are so many dogs out there- once you found the right one- you will know!
What Veterinarian are you going to use?
Maybe there is a Vet you have used in the past and liked- then it's easy. Call the Vet and inform him about your plans. Maybe he has some health advices, especially if you are looking into a specific breed of dogs...
Once you know when your dog is coming home, make an appointment with your Vet.
The dog should see the Vet first thing, ideally on the way to your home.
Routinely, your dog will need a comprehensive health examination, his shots and has to be de-wormed.
You will also need to apply monthly flea-and tick preventatives.
Everything your dog will need for the first few days
Write a list of items your dog will need when he comes home- but buy them only shortly before your dog arrives. There really aren't that many things you will need in the first few days.
lease ask what brand was fed previously-and how much: you will need to buy a small bag of the same food (even if it is not your preferred choice for the future)- and very slowly transition away from the old food by substituting with the new food. This process should take roughly 2 weeks and is necessary to help adjust your dogs digestive system to the new food. If not done properly, diarrhea can be a very common consequence.
Food-and water bowls
Leash, Collar, Nametag
(even if you did not pick your dogs name yet- the first few days are critical: if your dog runs off/ gets loose, he does not know you or his surrounding and might not be able to come back home. Simply put your phone number on the tag- you can always replace it later. Better safe than sorry)
maybe you can borrow one? Consider the "final size" of your puppy.
blankets, dog bed, a few old towels.. and that's about it ...for now.
Nicole was born in Germany.
After finishing medical school at the Universaity of Ulm and obtaining her PhD/MD in Medicine, she started working as an Intern to become specialized in Urology. After 3 years, and meeting her now husband, they moved to Chapel Hill, NC in 2001, with a 3-month old baby girl.
lans changed ever since and while the Family grew bigger (3 children, 4 dogs, 3 cats- but still 1 husband!)
one thing stayed the same: Nicole's passion for animals, especially dogs. Already in Germany has Nicole volunteered at a local Animalshelter and was involved with animal rescue and foster care.
Over the next few years Nicole came to the conclusion that she did not want to start all over again to obtain the necessary qualifications in order to continue with Medicine in the US.
The next step came naturally: she decided to devote her time to her growing Family and continued following her passion to work with animals, especially dogs (which makes her poor husband sometimes jealous!).
In the coming years she ran a private dog (and cat)-rescue by taking in animals from the Harnett County Animal Shelter in Lillington
a rural high kill shelter. Nicole also took care of abandonned or unwanted dogs and cats.
What sets Nicole apart from many other Dog Trainers?
Besides her passion, love and dedication for dogs Nicole knows first hand from being a mother of 3, how to successfully teach a child and train a family dog to live happily together.
She started with dog rescue when her youngest child was 1 year old. This required taking sanitary measures to avoid spreading diseases, knowledge of preventative medication as well as proper nutrition. She introduced countless puppies (and adult dogs!) to her own family (which includes dogs and cats!). All rescue dogs were examined by a Vet, neutered and spayed, housetrained and sozialized in every possible situation (from going to soccer games to cuddling in the bed :).
Nicole's main goal was to prepare every dog in the best way to assure them a wonderful, loving, forever home.
Nicole knows the challenges that come with unexperienced dog handlers and the impulsive ways of children- but under no circumstances does she lose her patience or punishes the dog. Training is strictly done by rewarding good behavior and correcting unwanted. Having that said- no bribing with food is necessary- the biggest reward for your dog is the loving attention and praise that only you can give him. This does not mean that the occasional treat is forbidden, not at all- but it is not a recommended "tool" for teaching your dog basic obedience.
Prong collars, choke chains and shocking devices are not part of her training methods.
Nicole is convinced that In order to become the best possible Dog Trainer you can never stops learning and searching for solutions.
We work with living creatures- there always will be set backs- for the Owner- as well as the Trainer.
This is something one should never forget.
But this is also the BEAUTY of it. Having an unproblematic robot dog or stuffed animal is EASY- living with a real dog who shows you affection on its own, who loves you and listens VOLUNTARY is the GOAL!
As you can probably guess by now, Nicole's main focus lies on helping dog owners understand how to raise a puppy
succesfully introduce a puppy/ new dog into their home, teaching basic obedience, talking with children on how to respect their four legged friend and finding creative solutions for a life in harmony with you dog (s).
"Be the person your dog sees in you".
Once you realize how true this statement is, you might see your own dog in a whole new light.
Where else do you see this pure, undemanding and unconditional love?
Was there ever a day you came home and your dog didn't race to greet you- his tail wagging, eyes shining?
Don't forget this if it comes to training your best friend- he deserves patience, understanding and love.
If he does things in a way you do not appreciate- it's not intentional- not "provocative"- these are human attributes. It's just him not knowing what to do and how to do it- especially if it's a puppy.
Bo and Lilly- our 2 oldest dogs: Friends forever-from Day 1!
disclaimer:pricing and availability subject to change.
Saturday, Sunday and after hours by appointment only
At "The Chapel Hill Dog Trainer" we believe that training HAS to start in your own home- afterall- this is where the "average dog" spends more than 80% of his time. We emphasize the importance of all persons handling the dog to be present at the time of training. This will tremendously help with being on the same page in regards to training your dog; following the recommended exercises (in the SAME WAY) ; understanding why we suggest doing things in a certain way AND- very important: CONSISTENCY!!!