Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I choose In Dogs We Trust? 

Our training is recommended by Vets, Rescue organizations, Groomers and Breeders. Our training is geared towards a very well trained family pet as opposed to obedience competitor. This includes focus on impulse control.

Below is a list of reasons that makes our training unique:

  1. There are never more than 6 dogs maximum in any class at ANY time
  2. The dogs are separated by age with puppies 5-6 months and under and dogs 6 months and older in separate classes. This way there won’t be any negative socialization experiences for the puppies
  3. There is off-leash playtime for puppies (a critical component for puppy classes) while a trainer watches over and helps you learn how to teach your puppy to play nicely.
  4. Training is located right inside the city on a scenic location on the Thames River (Climate Controlled)
  5. All classes come with handouts to help you remember and practice homework
  6. All dogs must show proof of vaccination
  7. Our training style is fun for the dog with no punishment during learning, and methods that can be adapted to each individual.
  8. Our clients get excellent results in just 6 weeks! 

Ontario SPCA How to Choose a Dog Trainer

The American Veterinary Society of Animal Behaviour


At What Age should I start my puppy in classes?
There is a ‘sensitive’ socialization period between 3-12 weeks of age where your pup needs to be socialized to as many new experiences and people as possible. Per the recommendations of the AVSAB, the best time to start training is during the sensitive period after your puppy has received his first set of shots as early as 8 weeks of age. Isolating your puppy until all vaccinations are complete (4 months of age) can cause lifelong deficits.

"Because the first three months are the period when sociability outweighs fear, this is the primary window of opportunity for puppies to adapt to new people, animals, and experiences. Incomplete or improper socialization during this important time can increase the risk of behavioral problems later in life including fear, avoidance, and/or aggression. "


Can I observe a dog training class?
AbAbsolutely! Not all dog training classes are the same and in fact classes can be very different. It is an excellent idea to come and observe the classes to see if the training is effective, how many dogs are in the class, are the puppies mixed with adults (not recommended), are the pet parents receiving personal attention, is the training talking non-stop or is there plenty of time to work, are the dogs or puppies stressed/afraid or is everyone having fun.

Can more than one person come to a session?
You are welcome to bring multiple family members to training classes. Having well behaved children come to classes helps socialize puppies We do ask that only a maximum of two people handle the dogs during the class so that the dog doesn’t get confused.

What kind of collar should I bring to class?

 Bring your dog on a flat, nylon or leather collar and we will assess if you will need any extra equipment, how to use it properly and why we recommend this specific product over others. We do not use choke chains, (which can cause damage to the trachea) prong collars or shock collars at any time. We use our brains to train!

What should I bring to class?
For your first class you will need to bring:
• Copy of vaccination records
• Soft Treats and a favourite motivational toy
• 6ft Nylon or Leather leash
• Flat nylon or leather buckle collar
(or harness of your choice)

If I can't make it to class.  What should I do?
There is an option for 1 make-up class in a body language seminar. Just email or call your trainer and let them know that you cant make it and they will let you know the date of the seminar! Unfortunately to keep class sizes small we can't offer a refund once the course has started.




Do you offer Guaranteed results?
There are so many variables when it comes to changing behaviour in a dog including genetics and early experiences that it is considered among professionals in this industry, unethical to offer a guarantee. We have had excellent success in changing behaviour in almost all of the thousands of dogs we have trained for obedience, aggression, fear and other behavioural issues. We guarantee that we will give you the most up to date information and have a wealth of experience to offer alternative solutions.

How long will it take to change my dog’s unwanted behaviour?
It may take anywhere from one week to six months depending upon the issues, genetics and past experiences. Obedience issues can be changes fairly quickly while dog aggression can take more time. Unfortunately quick fixes usually include heavy correction and will only suppress the behaviour with other side effects. For more serious behavioural issues we will get to the root of what is causing the issue and resolve the underlying emotion that is driving the behaviour which will provide a long term solution.
picture of a great dane
Do you offer private dog training in the home? Are private lessons better because the issues are happening in the home?
We do offer and recommend private lessons for certain behavioural issues such as aggression, profound fear, excessive barking, etc. For dogs that have behavioural issues that can be resolved through obedience training like jumping up on the owner, mouthing and biting, won’t come when called or walk nicely on leash then we definitely recommend an 6 week course. As the clients enrolled in class joke, “it’s really owner training” and enrolling in an 6 week course gives you more time to absorb the information and learn how to handle your dog without having to absorb all of the information in one session or incurring the cost of multiple private lessons.

What is a clicker and do I have to use one?
About 50% of clients make the choice to use a clicker, others choose to use a voice marker. A clicker is a marker that communicates to the dog exactly when he is correct, and why he is getting a treat. It is only for learning, not for walking around with for the rest of your life. The clicker will double your efficiency if you use it for at least the first two weeks! Then making the change to a verbal marker is easier and more effective.

You mention using food to train dogs; shouldn’t he just do it because he wants to please me? Will I have to use treats forever?
You will have to use some form of reward whether that be environmental rewards, toys or occasional food. Otherwise you will have to use some form of punishment. We prefer positive reinforcement! (Dogs do too)

Here is how food training should look: You order a pizza and upon delivery, put your dogs in a down stay. Pay for the pizza, close the door, release the dogs and sometimes go to the treat or food bag for a reward.

If you do not specifically train the dog to work without seeing a food reward, he will not work unless you have a treat. Working towards intermittent treats and without treats in your hand constantly is part of the curriculum at In Dogs We Trust!

dog with ballDo you train my dog for me?
Most of our clients like to joke that our lessons are really "owner training" as we teach the family how to both train and continually handle the dog for success. As a professional trainer, your dog would likely respond to my handling techniques and equipment differently almost right away and revert back to the problematic behaviour as soon as you were holding the leash. For a short time we offered a "walk and train" program where our trainer trained the dog for you, but found that the dogs mostly only responded to the trainers afterwards so we dropped the program. Private lessons are excellent if you need extra hands on help!

Do I have to be a pack leader in order for my dog to listen to me?
Jumping up, pulling on leash and counter surfing are just a few behaviours falsely blamed on dominance. Are our dogs really pulling us down the street, peering over their shoulder, laughing manically and trying to take over the world? Or are they so lost in the excitement of the moment, that they cant control their impulses.

Impulse control (controlling your emotions and excitement) is now considered the most important factor in training dogs. Impulse control is a muscle, and through 10 minute daily exercises and changing your day to day interactions with your dog slightly, you can see a massive change in behaviour.

We will teach you how to provide non-confrontational leadership by controlling resources and change unwanted behaviour through training and understanding how dogs really view the world.

Read what the experts have to say about Dominance:

My dog is aggressive to other dogs, would it be good to have him in a group class?
If your dog barks, lunges, growls, or snaps at other dogs please bring this to our attention so that we can assess which class is best for you. All dogs that show reactivity (aggression, fear) will be removed from class. 

There are multiple reasons that a basic obedience class is not the place for a reactive dog including; 

  • • Reactive dogs need to start training with controlled exposure in semi private groups. Overwhelming the dog in a class full of dogs is counter effective.
  • • Basic classes do not address how to work with reactivity, it is geared towards obedience only. To best serve our clients and provide optimal results, we have a specialty 'Growly Dogs Class" with a curriculum geared specifically towards reactivity.
  • • To address the reactivity in a basic class the trainer would have to stop teaching the curriculum, and spend a significant amount of time teaching the reactive dog and owner completely different techniques, therefore disrupting the class for everyone else.
  • • Reactive dogs stress the other dogs and humans in the class as they worry about the reactive dog's whereabouts or struggle to hear over constant barking. The owner of the reactive dog then feels stressed about the disruption to others as well.

WE WANT TO HELP YOU! We understand how stressful and embarrassing reactivity can be. We are experts in working with serious issues and offer a specialized program called the Growly Dogs Class.  Please speak to us if you are concerned about these issues in any way, so that we can best help you enjoy your experience and receive optimal results at IDWT by choosing the correct course.

My dog is timid, would he be ok in a group class?
We have had excellent success in group classes with timid dogs as long as they still accept food and are not profoundly timid. Our technique of training which is free from correction focuses on setting up your dog for success and providing clear communication-which provides stress free learning. Timid dogs associated the fun and stress free learning with the environment and begin to show great improvement in confidence building. We do also offer smaller timid dog classes occasionally as well where we discuss techniques for confidence building, alternative therapies and more!

What's a positive dog trainer or positive dog training? Don’t dogs need correction?

Dogs absolutely need boundaries and structure and they are more comfortable knowing what is expected of them. Positive training means that we don’t use pain, fear or intimidation but we definitely use consequences.

We build a relationship based on trust, communication, impulse control and confidence. Dogs learn to associate listening to their owners with fun and good feelings.

There is a popular saying amongst positive dog trainers:
Violence begins where knowledge ends” ~Abraham Lincoln