Note - "sessions" refers to live or virtual
Apply the techniques in the sessions and between sessions
Provide feedback/communication between sessions
Contact us to schedule sessions
Be careful/responsible/aware with aggressive or potentially aggressive dogs
Be on time for sessions and/or text or call if you’re going to be late or need to reschedule
Be honest when providing information
Be open minded and creative
UPWARD Dogology and Billie Groom reserve the right to suspend or discontinue working with clients who are disrespectful, practice unsafe measures, do not adhere to the program or client responsibilities, are dishonest, and/or are in the program for any reason other than to work together in the better interest of their dog and their family.
UPWARD Dogology and Billie Groom reserve the right to refuse any amount of refund to any client at any time in the program.
Why do you not do formal assessments?
The casual assessment takes a few minutes at the beginning
of the session; however, there is no right or wrong to the
exercises. We spend a lot of time discussing behaviors,
previously applied methods, dog’s history/likes/dislikes/common
reaction etc which allows us to then talk about the best technique
for your dog, goals, and lifestyle. The most relevant and helpful information is provided after the proper techniques are applied for a few days. We do not need to see a dog jump, lunge, bark or bite - we have seen hundreds of dogs do those behaviors; by noting the changes once we apply the right techniques, we can continue to make progress.
Should all family members be present for the sessions?
The first session is a lot of information, so young children will most likely get bored. All adults who will be applying the training techniques; corresponding between sessions; and participating in follow up sessions need to be present for the first session. The follow up sessions can have anyone attend, as long as one person from the first session is present. The follow up sessions discuss how to apply the exercises and skills discussed in session and/or are more exercise based and specific. It is commonly more effective when all adults in the home are participating, but I realize this is not the reality in many cases and we can work around that, although the progress may be inhibited depending on different factors.
How do we know how many sessions we will need?
We don't. Once we begin the program we will have a good idea. There are many factors involved. You are expected to teach and apply techniques between sessions so that each session advances the progress of the training. Often people are comfortable applying the techniques on their own after a few sessions (2 session minimum is required) and keep in contact as they continue along.
So there is no limit to the number of sessions?
No. And Yes.
We have structured the business module this way for over 25 years. It works best for rescued dogs, dogs over 6 months, and busy clients. "Unlimited sessions" are for the purpose of "working at the Dogs' pace" and addressing change in behaviors. Unlike classroom training or on-line info sent to you, we do not have a structured agenda. Sessions allow for two way communication to provide information that allows you to confidently proceed on your own when you feel comfortable.
Because dogs progress and regress for varying reasons at different stages, clients who are no longer actively partaking in regular sessions can contact us at any time if changes occur or they have questions. We encourage clients to contact us as soon they notice changes, as these problems can often be quickly and easily resolved through information and advice provided via email/ phone/ text/ and/or sessions. It is not uncommon for communication to exceed the number of sessions.
How do I know your advice won't be the same as the other advice I have received from trainers or material I have researched?
Often advice offered by other trainers and in books/on-line are not successful. Having said that, often they are, but when they are, people do not contact us. There is not “one right way” to work with a dog.
Common examples of techniques we do NOT rely on or adhere to: (NOTE: we are not opposed to these techniques; however, they are commonly attempted by our clients prior to contacting us and have proven ineffective)
*kneeing; teaching "off" or "down"; or ignoring to prevent jumping;
*relying on treats or other distractions to prevent lunging; biting or barking;
*getting the dog to "look at me" to deter negative reaction;
*removing the tug-o-war toy or pinning down a dog to decrease aggressive tendencies; hand feeding to decrease food aggression; leash tied around waist to over-come anxiety;
*getting other people to feed treats to decrease aggression or anxiety.
We do not do clicker training, crate training, emotional support, sport training, agility training, canine enrichment, standard socialization techniques, scent detection, guard-dog training, E-collar training, standard positive reinforcement training, counter-conditioning or balanced training.
NOTE: Techniques or approaches listed above are not all “wrong”, we just simply do not adhere to their practices and principles, and/or they are not our area of specialty. UPWARD Dogology adheres to the principles of cognitive behavioral therapy. For more info, pls view this website.
*if your dog likes the crate, we will not tell you not to use it. If crating a dog is solving a problem and/or is the preference of my client and their dog, then, by all means, stick with it. If the dog is refusing to go into a crate, we address the reason (ie - anxiety/separation anxiety), which, in turn, results in either, a) the dog no longer fearing the crate and happily hanging out in it, or 2) the dog no longer chewing/messing/panicking and, therefore, not needing to be in the crate. We leave that decision to the dog!
*if you and your dog enjoy agility then keep with it! Fun activities, including agility and canine enrichment exercises, are great ways to stimulate the brain, increase bond, and provide exercise. They can also decrease anxiety and improve behaviors! For these reasons, we never discourage them; however, we do not rely on them to address your needs.
If we feel a method, technique or approach is not recommended for your dog, we will discuss this, allowing you to make an educated decision.
Is Your Methodology “Positive”?
No. And Yes
NO - UPWARD Dogology does not adhere to the principles and
practices of operant conditioning, of which positive reinforcement
training and balanced training adhere to. So, as an “noun”, we do not
apply techniques that adhere to reinforcement-based training.
YES- UPWARD Dogology is positive, when speaking as a “verb”. The
approach is grounded in C.B.T. which is, inherently, non-aversive and
does not include negative responses to unwanted behavior. Our formula follows the guidelines of C.B.T., which takes a proactive approach to change perception and address the reason for the behavior to change behavior. There is “no one right way” to work with a dog; however, dogs must like and relate to a methodology in order for it to be successful. For more information, please review the information provided in this website.
Do you offer payment plans?
We do not offer payment plans because the first session provides a ton of information. We then build on these tools in the follow-up sessions and with communication between sessions. Our program is not based on time in sessions and we do not charge that way either. When people pay for time they want to rush to the end result, which is not the best way to approach working with dogs over 6 months of age or adopted dogs. If people pay in increments, they may attempt to continue the training on their own without obtaining the skills and information required to successfully continue on their own.
Is it twice the price for two dogs?
Not if the dogs are living in the same home and the people are the same people working with both dogs. Basically - the people learn the skills, which may vary between the dogs, so may be slightly more time consuming, but "family dogs" work as a whole.
What if we decide to re-home our dog after working with UPWARD Dogology?
Many people contact us when they are at their wits end and/or "have tried everything". We provide effective, honest and realistic advice which allow you, once the techniques are applied and the changes assessed, to make educated decisions as to the best and most realistic options for your family and your dog.
Although most of our clients keep their dog, the situations and dogs we commonly work with are extreme, and the outcomes vary. If you feel your dog may be more suited to a different lifestyle or home environment you will be able to comfortably and safely re-home your dog. We will assist you in this process and the training program goes with the dog to the new family (conditions and terms apply). We do not judge you on your decision.