WHO ARE WE, AND HOW DO WE TRAIN?
Boston Dog Training and Rehabilitation Services
Corinna and Eddie have 17+ years of combined experience working with literally thousands of dogs, varying in size, breed, age, and temperament, successfully addressing a vast array of behavioral issues. This includes dogs that have bitten people badly, and even dogs that have killed other dogs. We believe most dogs can be rehabilitated, and deserve a fair chance!
The Loyal Hound's #1 goal is to empower people, maintain the trust of the dogs, and teach our clients how to strengthen the human-canine bond. We aim to develop stable, healthy, safe, happy companions, and train dogs to succeed in REAL LIFE. We are inspired and fascinated by dogs, and the ways in which they enrich our lives. Dogs have selflessly given us an incredible amount, so our company has made it our mission to strengthening the human-canine relationship so that others can more aptly care and properly advocate for their canine companions. Developing personalized, effective, and, most importantly, realistic training plans.
At The Loyal Hound, we refuse to restrict or resign ourselves to one methodology, tool, or school of thought, as we feel this is limiting and not in the best interest of the dog or the human. I am a balanced trainer, focusing on helping dogs succeed in real-world scenarios. This means relying heavily on positive reinforcement and believing in the power of properly-timed affection, praise, and inclusion in our lives – NOT just on food, treats, and other material rewards. We use a variety of training tools in addition to most modern techniques and methods existing in the industry to modify behavior, allow for crystal clear communication, and to pattern desirable responses. Your dog might work best in a slip lead, head halter, pinch collar, or remote collar, paired with a clicker to mark correct choices, and their daily kibble, with additional praise for reinforcement. Your dog might need only one or two of these tools...or they might need something completely different! We are EXPERTS in thinking outside of the box. Dogs that come into our program are set up to succeed by being taught new coping tools, social skills, and replacement behaviors BEFORE they are expected to make better choices in high distraction or stressful situations. At that point, if a dog still chooses to make a choice that is dangerous, rude, or otherwise inappropriate, you will learn how to calmly, fairly, and effectively correct your dog so that they understand that this choice was not acceptable.
Every dog and owner is different and lets us know what they need. We will do whatever it takes to help you and your dog reach your goals.
It is so important that our clients understand how to implement structure, boundaries, and rules. These must be easy for your dog to comprehend and easy for you to consistently follow so you all can enjoy a safe, FUN, happy life together at home and in public, and to minimize the number of mistakes made by your dog in the first place. We are huge advocates for being proactive!
We hope for people to see training as a lifestyle; something that you can incorporate seamlessly into your daily routine, and not just a bunch of tricks for treats. I strive to educate the public on canine behavior, teach owners how to advocate for their dogs, and how to foster a culture of accountability on the parts of both dog trainer and owner.
You and your dog’s success and satisfaction is paramount at The Loyal Hound!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1.) What are your qualifications?
Corinna is CPDT-KA certified, and Eddie has been training and working dogs in a professional capacity for a combined total of 15 years. From shelter volunteer work that challenges us to think on our feet, in addition to attending as many seminars and workshops possible through accredited organizations and esteemed trainers, we are always striving to learn how to train better, more effectively and humanely. Corinna spends roughly one month annually shadowing trainers who are renowned in the U.S. and Canada for their skills successfully rehabbing extremely aggressive dogs. To provide the highest quality of service, we must study and work alongside the best of the best; The Loyal Hound is no exception, and this is why you will find nothing less than world-class results when working with us.
2.) What kind of results can you promise?
For a dog to succeed, there has to be 100% owner-compliance, consistency across the board, and a serious level of commitment. This is especially true if you are dealing with real aggression of any kind. Choosing our human and canine clients carefully does help to ensure that we are a good fit, and this allows for some dramatic, positive changes. However, ultimately, a trainer has no control over all of the above circumstances once a dog goes home and is out of our care. By providing realistic expectations in addition to an incredible amount of written, video, and honest communication to the owners, we set you up to succeed, often before a dog's training has even formally begun. We will also do everything in our power to make sure you stay on track long after you leave our facility. The Loyal Hound promises to be in the picture until you and your dog have reached your goals, and we settle for nothing less than excellence.
3. Can I visit my dog during their Board and Train Program?
Having to be apart from your beloved companion can be incredibly tough, and we understand this! However, having folks drop by for visits has historically caused more stress, and that is the opposite of what we are trying to achieve. You can follow your dog's progress through photos and video footage here. Clients find that seeing their dog's improved demeanor and watching the magic happen right before their eyes in real-time helps immensely!
4. Does The Loyal Hound use clickers, food, or treats when training?
Yes and no! If food or clickers help to strengthen the bond, communicate more clearly, and help us get through to a dog, then yes. If it ruins focus, creates unnecessary excitement, and does not help reach our goal of balance and stability, then no. Every dog has different needs, and we use what works best for each one.
5. Do you use prong collars on all of the dogs you work with?
No; not all dogs respond well, due to a variety of factors. There is no "one size fits all", and our approach is balanced and customized. However, for a vast majority of the dogs who come into our programs, we find prong collars (not to be confused with choke collars) to be the most effective tool for connecting, communicating, and creating a harmonious relationship with a minimal amount of pain to the dog and stress to the client. We find this tool can help teach a dog to regard and defer to us instead of simply reacting emotionally to situations, engaging them to the fullest, and leading to better choices made eventually on their own. Here is one example from a client session of ours, illustrating what using a prong collar can, and should look like:
6. What will my dog's day be like in your Board & Train Programs?
Tiring, challenging, and ridiculously fun, is the short answer! Humor aside, dogs are given a ton of downtime and affection when they're not working their little furry butts off! Boarding dogs spend the night safely crated inside our spacious, close-circuit monitored (by Simplisafe®), climate-controlled facility. We only take on six dogs at once to ensure that each pup's goals are met, and allowing some serious one-on-one. Dogs are given several potty breaks throughout the day, go out on a minimum of two 30 minute structured walks per day, learn to walk/run on the treadmill, and learn healthy social skills during structured socialization sessions. Each dog also receives several personal training sessions addressing their specific issues, practices solo and group duration work in place and down, and receives necessary behavior modification with Corinna. Here is a sneak peek from our old training company, Paws Alive, (renamed The Loyal hound in 2011):
7. How do you use remote collars?
We utilize cutting-edge low-level remote collar training technology. Our techniques are guided by the latest advances in behavioral science and allow us to achieve dramatic, long-lasting, transferable results. Remote collars help empower owners, refine dogs’ focus in both low and high distraction environments, and HUMANELY encourage crystal clear communication between dog and human. Our methods instead build confidence through teaching your dog to reliably make better choices in all kinds of situations, with minimal stress and confusion, and in a very reasonable amount of time. When used properly at these lower levels, they have helped to save dogs that would otherwise be put down, or given up. Remote collars, as well as any other training collars and tools used in The Loyal Hound's programs, are used in a conversational, “pressure on” (I need you to move toward me/stop doing that) + “pressure off “(great job, keep coming this way/doing what you’re doing!) style of communication. We often use the collars as a way to regain focus when treats, praise, or toys are not enough of a functional reward in the dog’s eyes. This combination helps in higher distraction environments to proof and reinforce a behavior, making sure it is under stimulus control, whether your dog is on or off-leash. This can be immensely helpful in teaching your dog boundaries, and that certain rules are non-negotiable. Many dogs find the low-level stimulation (which we humans can barely feel!) paired with commands to be incredibly calming, and look forward to training time with these tools! Dogs can also see this stimulation as an indicator that we are asking something of them, subsequently, refocus themselves, and find that the pressure being removed is the reward, letting them know they made a good choice. For many dogs, it’s a mix of both! Dogs are very responsive to touch and physical contact- this is what the collar mimics, and why it is so effective when used properly. The goal of the remote collar is to be able to communicate with the dog when they are not right next to you or on a leash, leaving you with a dog who knows what to do and how to behave in any situation.
8. Do you recommend remote collar training for dogs who are extremely fearful?
YES! Modern E-Collar training can be a last resort for dogs struggling with severe anxiety when toys, treats, and praise have gotten the dog and the owner nowhere. We strive to leave you with a dog who actually feels better; not one who is simply repressing their actions. Here is some video evidence of how e-collars can help rehab especially damaged dogs; Tippy came to us with zero threshold for sudden movements or touch, no tolerance for strangers, and some nasty human aggression. We are now left with a wiggly, sweet, trusting pup how knows it's not her job to decide what is a threat and what is not, and has some great new coping skills that allow her to process events that used to make her shut down.
9. Do you work with human or dog-aggressive dogs?
Yes! We have helped dogs that other trainers and veterinarians recommended be euthanized by way of our renowned Board & Train programs. Giving dogs who have been deemed a lost cause a new lease on life is the most rewarding part of this career. Read about some of our most difficult pups here.
10. The moment my dog is outside on a leash, they become an aggressive, unrecognizable, out-of-control monster. Do you have a track record with successfully addressing leash reactivity?
Yes! From mild pulling and lack of regard for the handler to leash-biting, severe dog/human reactivity, or even redirecting of aggression and frustration on the owner, we show both you and the dog a new way of being and connecting on walks that eliminates this behavior. Additionally, clients will learn how to advocate for and lead your dog so that they will actually want to follow. Check out this video to get an idea of what you can expect after one session.
11. I have spent a lot of money on trainers in the past, and gotten nowhere. I am afraid to spend more money. Why should I take another risk investing in your services?
Before/after videos here on the website and on our interactive Facebook page, endless five-star client testimonials, and dogs that got another chance to live in their homes speak for themselves! The Loyal Hound was founded on the idea of owner empowerment, using whatever means necessary, and we vow to do whatever it takes to ensure that a dog succeeds. We believe every dog is different and will find a solution for every problem. We pride ourselves on our business ethics and integrity, as well as our ability to transfer our techniques seamlessly to our clients so new behaviors are maintained long after the dog has left our care. See what past clients have to say here.
12. Do you take dogs from other states for training?
Yes! We have had folks come from Maine, New York City, and even northern Vermont! The Loyal Hound is currently serving clients in Boston, Brighton, Somerville, Medford, Cambridge, Newton, Brookline, Jamiaca Plain, and Allston areas. If you are outside of these service areas, we now offer private seminars (more info at the bottom of our "Services" page.)
13. Can you put me in touch with past clients who have enrolled their dogs in your programs and are now living the life they have always dreamed of with their pups?
You bet! Just ask. Video testimonials are written reviews can be helpful, but we understand that sometimes there is nothing quite like actually talking to a human being about their experience. Leaving your beloved companion in a stranger's care for any amount of involves a lot of trust, and we get that! When your dogs are with us, they are family. End of story.