FAQ

General

Why should I train my dog?

Training is an important part of any dog's life, and is important for several reasons. It provides mental stimulation which helps to keep your dog happy, and if combined with morning exercise your dog will be mentally and physically tired at the end and far more likely to sleep during the day.

What age should I start training my dog?

No matter how old or young your dog is training will help fix many behavioral issues. There is no set age that you need to begin training your dog, we recommend starting training right away because the longer you wait to fix any issues the more ingrained those problem behaviors will become. Speaking from countless years of experience and knowledge, it doesn’t matter if you have a young puppy who you want to establish a proper lifestyle with from the beginning, or an older dog who you would like to act a little bit better, the time to start training it is now! The sooner you start the better off you and your dog will be.

How old is too old to start training my dog?

It is never too late to start training your dog. In fact, obedience training can be a great way to keep your older dog focused, in shape, mentally sharp, and happy when they are no longer able to be as physically active as they once were. Obedience training can be the key to your older dog enjoying a long healthy lifestyle.

How long have you been training dogs?

Our company has been established for several years and the majority of our dog trainers have more than 20+ years of combined experience training dogs.

Do you use reward based dog training?

Yes we are balanced trainers who use a combination of reward based dog training methods that are enjoyable for the dog and positively enhance the relationship between the dog and handler. This approach revolves around positive reinforcement – i.e. rewarding behavior that we like. Rewards may be in the form of a tasty food treat or verbal praise such as “good dog!” in a pleasant tone of voice, to be given when the dog performs the ‘good’ behavior.

Dog Behavior

Why do dogs lick people?

Dogs lick people and other dogs for a whole variety of reasons. Puppies will lick their mothers or owners as a sign of affection or when asking for food. Once they’re adults, licking becomes a sign of submission to an authority figure. When your dog licks you, they probably want something, like food or attention. Doggy kisses are also a way for your pet to feel better: Licking releases endorphins that calm and relieve stress. We can help properly train your dog to not lick you or your furniture.

WHY IS MY DOG’S NOSE ALWAYS WET?

A common misconception is that your dog’s wet nose is a sign of good health. In reality, the moisture on Fido’s nose is no indication of their overall well-being. The reason for a dog’s wet nose is a little murkier. One explanation is that dogs repeatedly lick their nose throughout the day to keep it clean. Another is that the moisture helps them cool off. Dogs don’t sweat the way humans do, so they pant and let off extra heat through their noses. A special gland in the nose produces a clear fluid that helps them cool down faster.

HOW MUCH BETTER IS A DOG’S SENSE OF SMELL THAN OUR OWN?

A dog can smell anywhere from 10,000 to 100,000 times better than the average human. Canines have 300 million olfactory receptors, compared to our measly six million. Moreover, the part of the brain dedicated to smell is 40 times larger in dogs than in humans.

A dog’s nose also works differently than the human nose. While people breathe in and out the same way, canines breathe in through their nostrils and out through the slits found on the sides of the nose. This system circulates air so that the animal is always bringing in new smells. Breeds like the bloodhound also have the advantage of floppy ears that push up new smells.

IS MY DOG’S MOUTH REALLY THAT CLEAN?

A common myth is that a dog’s mouth is a magically clean place. This is not the case: A canine mouth is brimming with bacteria. Fortunately, a lot of those germs are specific to the species so you don’t have to worry when your pup goes in for a wet kiss. That said, there are some similar bacteria, so make sure your pet has up-to-date shots.

DO DOGS GET JEALOUS?

Anyone with two dogs will probably tell you that dogs definitely feel jealousy—and it’s true! A 2014 study confirmed that your pet gets a little miffed when you start petting other dogs on the side. Subjects in the study were asked to give love and attention to objects while filming their dog’s reactions. The items were a stuffed dog, a jack-o-lantern, and a pop-up book. The participants would give attention to the plush and pumpkin, and then read from the book. Scientists recorded the reactions of the dogs and looked for jealous signs such as pushing the owner or snapping. The study found that dogs displayed many jealous tendencies and made attempts to break the owner away from the rival. They were most threatened by the stuffed dog and least threatened by the book.

DOES A DOG’S WAGGING TAIL REALLY MEAN IT’S HAPPY?

A dog’s tail can tell you a lot about how they are feeling. A loose wag from side to side means the dog feels relaxed and content. More fervent wagging with hip movements means the dog is happy or saying hello to a loved one. If the tail is straight up, it is a sign of confidence or aggression; down and curled between the legs usually means fear or submission.

WHY DO DOGS WALK IN A CIRCLE BEFORE LYING DOWN?

Dogs get this behavior from their wild ancestors, who didn’t have access to doggy beds. Walking in tight circles would push down tall grass and shape it into a bed. The motion would also scare off any bugs and snakes are hiding in the vegetation.

WHY DO DOGS SNIFF EACH OTHER'S REARS?

Dogs sniff rear ends as their way of asking, “Who are you and how have you been?” Canines can find out a whole slew of information from just a whiff. The secretions released by glands in the rump tell other animals things like the dog’s gender, diet, and mood. It’s sort of like talking with chemicals.

CAN MY DOG FEEL GUILTY?

Possibly, but dogs are great actors. A study asked dog owners to place a treat in front of their dogs, tell them not to eat it, and then walk away. In some trials, the dogs were scolded regardless of whether they had eaten the treat or not; in other trials, they were not scolded at all. The results showed that the dogs always looked guilty when scolded, but dogs that weren’t reprimanded for bad behavior made no face at all. The expression seemed to be a way to appease their owners. So when your pet flashes you those big puppy eyes, they may just be faking it to get out of trouble.

Philosophy

What is your basic training philosophy?

Our philosophy differs from many in that we focus on teaching dogs what they should be doing when faced with specific stimuli or situations. Using this philosophy encourages dogs to attentively and excitedly listen to their owner. Furthermore, it forces a positive perspective on training – finding ways to shape and reward your dogs’ good behavior, not correct their bad behaviors.

How many dogs do you train at once?

Unlike many training facilities, our goal is not to train the “most” dogs. While our facility could certainly support us doing so, we are much more concerned with ensuring that we have enough time in the day to provide every dog with the individualized attention and training you are paying for. As a result we will not accept more than 20 dogs in for their initial training at any given time.

Are all sizes of dogs together?

We accept dogs of all breeds, sizes, and ages. At any time we may have a 5lb Teacup Yorkie to a 200lb adult Neapolitan Mastiff in for training or enrolled in the same class. Dogs that stay with us for training are generally kept in personality matched groups of 3 – 4 dogs. Size is a consideration in the equation, but ultimately overall personality is the biggest piece of the puzzle when we are selecting social groups.

Are there any breeds you will not train?

No, we accept any dog, any breed, any size, any age, and any behavioral issue. Our years of experience with all types and breeds of dogs has provided us with the knowledge and tools to train all dogs regardless of breed.

Are there any behaviors which you will not work with?

We are one of the few training facilities in the country that is equipped to deal with any and all behavioral issues you may be dealing with. All we ask is that you are open and honest with us about your dogs’ behavioral history so we know what problems we need to work on. Do you accept dogs of all ages? All fully vaccinated dogs are welcome at The Canine Club of Chicago. For puppies this usually means around 16 weeks of age.

Dog Training Program

What are the benefits of having my dog stay with you during training?

Having your dog trained at our facility helps to maximize the rate at which they are able to learn. First and foremost, our training program provides them with a highly structured and consistent environment where they can easily absorb the training.

What are the benefits of having my dog stay with you during training?

You get a break from the “chaos” and allow us to bring you back a dog which is fun and manageable to be around. We have the ability to run them through all different sorts of scenarios on a daily basis, allowing a wider range of training options.

What are the benefits of having my dog stay with you during training?

You get a break from the “chaos” and allow us to bring you back a dog which is fun and manageable to be around. We have the ability to run them through all different sorts of scenarios on a daily basis, allowing a wider range of training options.

If you do the training at your facility, is my dog still going to listen at home?

Of course. While with us, we give your dog a crash course in obedient behavior and how to respond properly to specific commands and situations. That is why, when we bring your dog home, we spend time showing you how to achieve the same results with your dog. With the included private lessons you are able to refine and perfect your skills and have the dog you imagined when you signed up for training.

Where will my dog be kept while training with you?

Throughout the day and evening your dog will rotate between the training areas, an outside kennel run, and their assigned crate. They will be given ample time to run around, stretch their legs, and go to the bathroom. We also frequently bring dogs with us if we need to leave the facility for any reason.

Why does my dog have to stay in a crate at night?

Throughout the day and evening your dog will rotate between the training areas, an outside kennel run, and their assigned crate. They will be given ample time to run around, stretch their legs, and go to the bathroom. We also frequently bring dogs with us if we need to leave the facility for any reason. Crate training, and having your dog feel comfortable, safe, and happy in their crate is an integral part of our training program at Hunter Canine. In this sense, having your dog stay in their crate at night, allows us to continue your dogs training – even when they are tired from a full day of learning. Additionally, we find that crating dogs during the evening helps to minimize their stress during their stay. In particular, by eliminating the noise associated with “fence fighting” that is common in facilities that use kennels at night, your dog is able to relax more comfortably, and sleep throughout the evening.

How much time will my dog spend out of their crate a day?

The majority! Between training time, time in their runs, and other time out with us, your dog will be busy for a large part of the day. In fact, their brains will be so overloaded and tired they will be happy to be able to go in their crates and take a nap or sleep for the evening!

My dog has medical issues and needs to be given medication. Can you administer that?

We are more than happy to administer medications for any of the dogs training with us, free of charge.

What will my dog be eating when in training?

We require that owners provide a bag of their dogs’ regular food during training. This helps your dog avoid any intestinal issues that may result from a sudden change in their diet, and helps us to keep costs down.

Can you train my dog in another language?

We can train your dog in any language you choose. If you have specific commands that you would like your dog trained with, please inform us at check in and we will happily meet your request.

How do I find out how my dog is doing while in training?

If you have specific concerns during their training program, or would like a quick update on progress, please call, text or email us and we will provide you with picture and video updates upon request. We also allow scheduled visits during our training camps so that you can come and spend quality time with your dog.

What can I do to prepare my dog for his or her training retreat?

To ensure that your dog is ready for their retreat, please make sure you have the following ready for their drop-off:

  • Veterinary records, which show they are up to date on their shots (see below)
  • Their food and any specific instructions for feeding.
  • We recommend providing 1.5x the amount you would normally feed over the course of their stay.
  • Any medications your dog may need and instructions for administration.
What types of shots or vaccinations must my dog have?

To ensure that your dog is ready for their retreat, please make sure you have the following ready for their drop-off:

While there is considerable debate as to proper vaccination schedules for dogs, the health of the dogs in our care is of our primary concern. As a result we require proof that your dog is current on the following vaccines to be enrolled in a training retreat.

  • Rabies
  • Bordetella
  • Distemper/Parvo (commonly referred to as DHP, DHPP, 5-in-1 or 7-in-1)
  • Canine Influenza H3N2
My dog is coming in for a training retreat, what time do I need to drop them off?

We will prearrange a time with you, that coincides with your busy schedule, and our training day so we have the proper time to thoroughly cover everything associated with your dogs stay.

My dog is coming home from a training retreat, what time will you be there?

In home transition times will be determined by mutual agreement only, and are scheduled the day you drop your dog off.

Payment Methods/Refunds Once I place a deposit, can I cancel or request a refund? Deposits are nonrefundable unless we are for some reason unable to accept your dog for training. If you are unable to leave your dog with us when initially planned, we will happily reschedule their stay. What forms of payment do you accept? We accept cash, checks, and all major credit cards as well as Zelle, Venmo, Paypal, and Cash App. Please note that we charge an additional 3% service fee for any debit or credit card transactions.

What is your refund policy?

We have a no refund policy, we guarantee all of our training services and have never come across a dog we are not able to train. We may make exceptions and offer a refund under special circumstances in which processing can take 3-5 weeks.