Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle
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Frequently Asked Questions

Thanks for stopping by the Ahimsa FAQ. Here are a few of the questions that we have gathered over the years. Feel free to contact us if your question is not answered below!

  1. I can't remember ahimsadogtraining.com.  Do you have an easier site name?
  2. What does Ahimsa mean and how is that related to dog training?
  3. Which shot records should I have for my dog or puppy?
  4. I can't make it to class.  What should I do?
  5. I have questions about the ongoing classes.
  6. How do I keep my barky dog quiet in class?
  7. Do you sell Gift Certificates?
  8. I trained my last dog using traditional dog training methods.  Why change?
  9. What is a clicker and do I have to use one if you work with my dog and me?
  10. Can more than one person come to a session?
  11. What should I bring to class?
  12. Do you offer private dog training?
  13. Do dog training sessions cost more if I have more than one dog?
  14. Where are your dog training classes located?
  15. What's a positive dog trainer?  Are you a positive dog trainer?
  16. Can I observe a dog training class?
  17. Which training class is right for my dog?
  18. What is your cancellation policy?
  19. My Puppy is deaf. Does clicker training work for deaf dogs?
  20. I have other dogs. Does my puppy still need Puppy class?
  21. What Seattle neighborhoods do you serve?
  22. I have more questions.  How can I contact a dog trainer?

Answers:

  1. I can't remember AhimsaDogTraining.com.   Do you have an easier site name?

    Ahimsa Dog Training Seattle  Yes!  Just tell your friends to visit DoggieZen.com .  It's another address for this site.  You may also want to bookmark this page now.  Another way to find us is to search for "Seattle dog training" on Google (google.com).  Look for the company that starts with an "A" with a name that's hard to remember.  Ahimsa Dog Training is usually near the top of Google's list.

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  2. What does Ahimsa mean and how is that related to dog training?

    Ahimsa Dog Training Seattle  Ahimsa, also written Ahinsa (or mispronounced as Ahisma!), is a Buddhist and Hindu word of Sanskrit origin often used by Mohandas Gandhi that means "do no harm",  "non-violence toward all other beings", or "compassion."  The methods used at Ahimsa Dog Training are based on motivating your dog to work with you using something the dog wants, using the principles of learning theory.  If you want your dog to stop jumping on you, for example, stop rewarding her for jumping and find something else for her to do (like sit politely) and motivate her to do that automatically, instead of jumping.  You can use a lot of these methods on your spouse or kids as well!  

    Traditional methods force the dog to comply.  Our methods are based on learning theory, a branch of science that studies how animals, including humans, learn behaviors.  The idea is that if an animal (including a human) is presented with something they want after they do a certain behavior, that behavior is likely to happen again.  So we basically get the dog addicted to sitting on the floor when you say "SIT," and we don't need force to do it.  Click here to find out more about what Ahimsa means.

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  3. Ahimsa Dog Training Seattle Which shot records should I have for my dog or puppy?

    For puppy classes, puppies must be up-to-date for their age, with at least the first set of DHLPP shots, usually given between 6-8 weeks of age.  Because socialization is so time-dependant, we do not usually recommend waiting until the whole series of puppy shots are complete, but different veterinarians will suggest different guidelines for your puppy, so please take their advice into consideration.

    For non-puppy classes (Agility, Basic Manners, etc.), dogs must have the full sequence of DHLPP (usually an annual booster for adult dogs) and the Rabies vaccine.  Bordatella is not required.

    The "shot records" may be anything from a vet receipt to a shot-vial sticker to a note from the breeder or a checked-off list with the shots on them.  We have to be a bit on the honor system, but we do want to make sure the puppies are all safe.

  4. I can't make it to class.  What should I do?

    Our suggestions for absences are on a separate page. Click here for more info on Absences. Or see our Terms & Conditions for cancellation, etc.

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  5. I have questions about the ongoing classes. Click here for answers.

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  6. How Do I Keep My Barky Dog Quiet in Class?

    Please read our blog article on Barking in Dog Training Class. You might also want to enroll in our Barky Dog workshop.

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  7. Do you sell Gift Certificates?

    Yes, we sell Gift Certificates for Dog Training and Play Times.  Click here to find out more.

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  8. I trained my last dog using traditional dog training methods.  Why change?

    Ahimsa Dog Training Seattle  In short, because you CAN!  Traditional methods use collar corrections to teach dogs to sit, lie down, stay, etc.  Why would you cause harm to a dog in order to get him to listen to you, when there is a perfectly effective method of getting the same results without it?  Force-based methods can also have hidden consequences, like encouraging aggression and other behaviors we don't much like in our dogs.

    If you have children, why show them an example of violence when there is another way?  More and more top show dogs (agility, conformation, obedience, flyball, etc.) and working dogs (bomb sniffing dogs, assistance dogs, etc.) have been trained using positive methods. They really do work!!  Using positive methods is also a lot more fun and builds a stronger relationship with your dog.  Here's an article on how "positive" dog training can change the world.

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  9. What is a clicker and do I have to use one if you work with my dog and me?

    Ahimsa Dog Training Seattle  A clicker is a tool used to tell your dog "THAT'S IT, DO THAT AGAIN!"  It is an excellent way of marking the behavior when you want to teach something new.  A clicker is a small box that you can press to make a clicking noise.  It's praise, not the command or cue.  The clicking sound is a promise of a reward, usually a food treat, but a toy works, too, if your dog really likes it.  Every time you click, you give the dog a treat.  The dog hears "click" and gets food enough that the click becomes as rewarding as food (you still give the food after each click).  After the dog understands what behavior you want, you teach the dog the name of the behavior (SIT, DOWN, SPIN, etc.), then you gradually stop clicking to mark the behavior, just using praise instead, and later also (mostly) fade out the food. 

    An alternative to the clicker that works about 1/3 as well (but is better than no marker at all) is to have a verbal marker that acts just like the click.  I suggest using a word like "treat" so you know that you always have to follow that word with food, but I use "yes" with my dogs.  The benefit of the clicker over a verbal marker is that the timing is better and that the click sound is processed by the Amygdala, the part of the brain that deals with survival.  That makes it easier for the dog to remember.   I always switch to a verbal marker (like "Yes!") when I stop using the clicker for a given behavior.  For more information on the clicker, click here.

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  10. Can more than one person come to a session?

    Ahimsa Dog Training Seattle  Definitely!  Training should be a hobby for the whole family.  That helps your dog learn much faster, and it helps build a strong relationship with everyone.  For a given activity, it is usually best to have one person train the dog for that session.  So one person works on sit in that class, the other does down, etc.  If you have small children that will distract YOU from learning, you should try to have a session with the trainer when they are not around (nap time, at the sitter's, etc.)

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  11. What should I bring to class?

    Ahimsa Dog Training Seattle  Please have the following items available your class.
    • Proof of vaccinations. Puppies should be up-to-date for their age and have at least the first set of shots.  Older dogs should have all shots. (Group classes and play sessions only)
    • Hungry dog. Don't starve her, but don't give her a substantial meal or leave out food for a few hours prior to the session.
    • Some way to take notes.
    • Treats. Specifically, soft, pea-sized treats. I recommend chopping up Natural Balance semi-moist dog food.  You'll need a full baggy.
    • Standard (non-flexi) leash and buckle collar or body harness.
    • Head collar, if you are using one. (Optional)
    • Toy to get the dog's attention and/or chew toy to entertain the dog while you listen to the instructor. Bring at least one tuggable toy. (Classes only)
    • Long training leash. Not a flexi leash, 20-30 feet long. You can make your own, it just needs to be long enough to practice coming when called. We also sell home-made long lines.   Silk ribbons work well for toy dogs. (Most, but not all classes use the long line)
    • Water bowl for classes. Water is available.
    • Clicker, if you have one. We will provide one.
    • Each time that you come into the classroom, please find a spot to sit, then calmly massage your dog. Please do this instead of having your dog wrestle with other dogs (they may greet and walk on, if both humans are willing). The idea is to teach your dog to pay attention to you and relax in the presence of other dogs.

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  12. Do you offer private dog training?

    Ahimsa Dog Training Seattle  We offer private dog training and one-on-on-one behavior sessions for aggression, fear, and various behavior problems. Click here for more information on private lessons.

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  13. Do training sessions cost more if I bring more than one dog?

    Ahimsa Dog Training Seattle In group training classes and workshops, the dog is the student, so each dog must register for the session.

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  14. Where are your dog training classes located?

    Ahimsa Dog Training Seattle  Our classes are located at 925 NW 49th Street, Suite C in Seattle. Click here for directions.

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  15. What's a positive dog trainer?  Are you a positive dog trainer?

    Ahimsa Dog Training Seattle   In the sense you probably mean it - "Will I be nice to my dog using your methods? Would Child Protective Services be okay if I used this on my kids?" the answer is yes.  Positive dog training is the way to go! We are members of the Pet Professionals Guild, which is the international Association for Force Free Pet Professionals™ and also members of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers.

    Now for the hair-splitting. The term "positive" has at least two meanings in dog training.  One is positive, as in dog-friendly.  In that sense, Ahimsa Dog Training is all about positive dog training.  We train with clicker training and do not use force, shouting, or other "negative" forms of coercion to train dogs.

    The other use of "positive" in dog training is as a technical Learning Theory term.  In that sense, there is "positive reinforcement" and "positive punishment," among other things.  In those terms, "positive" just means you're giving the dog something, in the mathematical sense of addition.  You're giving treats or giving pain/annoyance.  So in that usage, "positive dog trainer" doesn't make sense.  But that's a little geekier than most people care to be. 

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  16. Can I observe a dog training class?

    Of course! Except for the Growly Dog Class, Jump Into Agility, and classes taught in seminar style (classes where dogs are optional), you are welcome to stop by any (one) of our classes. Please leave your dog or puppy at home and arrive on time or early. There is no need to let us know in advance; just tell the instructor you are there to observe. It would probably be the most helpful to attend an Orientation. Click here to see the Adult class schedule or the Puppy class schedule

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  17. Which training class is right for my dog?

    Ahimsa Dog Training Seattle  We get this question in so many different forms that we've made another page to answer that question.  Click Here.

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  18. What is your cancellation policy?

    Ahimsa Dog Training Seattle  Please visit our Terms and Conditions page which includes our cancellation policy .

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  19. My Puppy is deaf. Does clicker training work for deaf dogs?

    Ahimsa Dog Training Seattle  Yes! With clicker training, the idea is to use some kind of event marker to tell the dog the instant that they've done something you like (like sit, lie down, spin, etc.)  With hearing dogs, we use a noisemaking box called a clicker. Some hard-of-hearing dogs can still hear the clicker.  For most deaf dogs and puppies, we use a hand signal, a flash light, or something else as the even marker.  Most of the rest of the training is the same, or can be easily modified to suit a deaf puppy or deaf dog.

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  20. I have other dogs. Does my puppy still need Puppy class?

    Ahimsa Dog Training Seattle  Yes! Socialization is more complex than just having a few dogs around your puppy. Read our longer explanation of why your puppy still needs class.

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  21. What Seattle neighborhoods do you serve?

    Ahimsa Dog Training Seattle Our dog training classes and private behavior consultations take place at our main facility between Ballard and Fremont.  Private training sessions can also be at your home or elsewhere in Seattle. We  have had clients from all over Western Washington, driving from as far as Moses Lake and ferrying from Whidbey Island.  We have dog training clients from just about every neighborhood in Seattle. 

    Who knew Seattle had so many neighborhoods? And all of them have dogs. We do private in-home training in Ballard (Adams, Loyal Heights, Sunset Hill, West Woodland, Whittier Heights), Crown Hill, Lake City (Cedar Park, Matthews Beach, Meadowbrook, Olympic Hills), Northgate (Victory Heights, Haller Lake, Maple Leaf, North College Park, Pinehurst), University District, University Village, Magnolia (Briarcliff, Lawton Park), Queen Anne, Capital Hill, Madison Park, Montlake, Portage Bay, Eastlake, South Lake Union, Westlake, Wallingford, Central District (Cherry Hill, Leschi, Madrona), Belltown, First Hill, International District, Pioneer Square, Yesler Terrace, Rainier Valley (Brighton Beach, Columbia City, Dunlap, Seward Park, Mount Baker, Rainier Beach, Rainier View), and Beacon Hill.  We do not go as far as West Seattle. Let me know if your Seattle neighborhood isn't on this list!

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  22. I have more questions.  How can I contact a dog trainer?

    Ahimsa Dog Training Seattle  We would love to hear from you!  Please contact us by telephone at 206-364-4072, by email at info@doggiezen.com, or use our handy form.

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© 2003-2013 Ahimsa Dog Training, LLC. Seattle, Washington State, USA.   Last Update:
925 NW 49th Street, Suite C, Seattle, Washington, 98107.   206.364.4072    Email info@doggiezen.com

Located in Seattle
Phone: (206) 364-4072
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