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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

  • How did you choose the name "SideKick Dog Training" chosen?"
    The short answer is that I wanted a business name that reflected a focus on the relationship between dogs and their guardians: Our dogs are there for us when we need a shoulder to cry on, a friendly face to greet us, a smooch to brighten our day, and, well, a SideKick to help us out.
  • Where did you get certified?
    Jennifer Prill received her dog training certification through Animal Behavior College (ABC). I believe learning never ends, though! I'm always reading up on all things dog, attending seminars, workshops and conventions, and consulting with dog training peers. Visit the Education page to see what I've been up to!
  • Where does the training take place?
    All training session - Private Training or the Intro to Training course - are conveniently in-home; I'll visit you and your SideKick in the comfort of your own home for all scheduled training!
  • How far are you willing to travel for clients?
    I visit clients throughout the Southeastern Wisconsin area: Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Washington, Walworth, and Racine counties. For clients more than 25 miles from SideKick Dog Training's home base (Whitefish Bay), there may be a transportation fee.
  • How much does training cost through SideKick Dog Training?
    The cost of training depends on what kind of training you're looking for: Private Training or the Intro to Training course.​ Private Training is ideal for dogs and dog guardians who need a little help working on some undesirable behaviors. At it's most basic, Private Training consists of an Initial Session (90 minute training session for $115.00) and Follow-Up Sessions (60 minute training session for $75.00). Check out the Private Training page to learn more! Private Training packages are also available upon request or if I feel that more than a 90 minute Private Training session is needed to accomplish your training goals. Contact SideKick Dog Training for a quote! Intro to Training is advertised as a puppy course (but can be modified for adult dogs); it's a course for learning the basics of training and (as the name suggests) getting a good introduction to training and building a relationship with your SideKick. Intro to Training consists of four 60 minute sessions (for $300.00). Check out the Intro to Training page for more details!
  • What breeds will you work with at SideKick Dog Training?
    I love all dogs at SideKick Dog Training and I'll work with any breed of dog - big or small, short or tall, long-haired or short-haired. Breed is not a factor for me!
  • What age does a dog need to be to work with you at SideKick Dog Training?
    I've worked with puppies and with SideKicks who have been around a little longer. All dogs, regardless of age, are capable of learning; but, like us when we get older, we sometimes need a little more time to grease the mental wheels - that's all!
  • What training equipment do you use or recommend I use with my dog?
    At SideKick Dog Training, I use and recommend front-clip body harnesses, flat leashes of varying lengths, and a clicker (as a marking tool). Not sure what those are? Ask! I'm happy to answer any questions!
  • Is there any training equipment that you don't use or recommend to clients?
    We do not use or recommend the use of punishment-based training tools or tools that are designed to cause a dog pain or discomfort or restrict essential bodily functions. This includes prong/pinch collars, choke chains, spray collars or electric/shock collars. I've signed the pledge to help eliminate electric shock in training, care, and management of pets by joining the Shock Free Coalition.
  • Your website mentions positive reinforcement a lot; what exactly is that?
    You're in luck! I wrote a post for the SKDT Blog that describes what positive reinforcement is! But, in a nutshell, positive reinforcement means we give our SideKick something they want when we see things we like - and get a lot more of it! For example, giving Fido a tasty, delicious treat every time his butt touches the floor for a Sit means he's probably going to offer us a Sit more often!
  • So, you use positive reinforcement training; do you use punishment at all?"
    Punishment, in the arena of science that concerns learning, refers to behavior decreasing because of the consequence for the behavior. Positive punishment means that a behavior decreased because the consequence was unpleasant; for example, a prong collar or choke collar tightens painfully (consequence) for pulling on the leash. ​Negative punishment, on the other hand, means a behavior decreased because a pleasant consequence (or the opportunity for the pleasant consequence) was removed; for example, forward motion during a walk halts (consequence) when a dog pulls toward a tree. To answer the question, yes, I use negative punishment for a limited number of behaviors.
  • What happens when a dog you're training with does what you want?
    In my dog training sessions, good things happen when a dog does what we ask them to do! The "good things" can be anything the dog likes: treats, praise, toys, attention, petting, anything! Giving a dog something they like for doing something specific increases the chances that they'll try doing it again; that's positive reinforcement at it's finest!
  • What happens when a dog you are training with does not respond the way you want them to?
    When a dog does something unexpected or does not do what I ask, I generally ignore the behavior; giving it attention could easily be rewarding the dog for the behavior. This doesn't mean that we let a dog run wild during our training session; instead, it means I redirect the behavior - like give a mouthy dog a toy to chew on instead of my hands or clothes. I also help clients teach an alternative behavior that we can ask for instead of the undesirable behavior. Teaching a dog that sitting is really rewarding makes it less likely that we'll see jumping, for instance!
  • How do you know if the rewards I'm using with my dog are the right ones?
    The "right" rewards or reinforcement for your SideKick are decided by several factors: what your dog likes, what will motivate your dog, and what behavior we're working on! I always like to say that your SideKick chooses the rewards; that's because, if they don't like what you're offering, they may not want to work with you, which means neither of you learn much from that training session (except that you need better rewards).
  • Do you guarantee results if I hire you and SideKick Dog Training for me and my dog?
    The short answer is no; I don't guarantee that your dog will respond to training. There are simply too many factors that go into successful training - and many of them I can't control. Instead, at SideKick Dog Training, we guarantee that I am here for you and your dog every step of the way in your training journey: I will provide you with the tools to work with your dog, provide detailed instructions to help you reach your goals, and be available for any and all questions you have before, during, and after training!
SideKick Dog Training | Private Dog Training Milwaukee WI
SideKick Dog Training | Private Dog Training Milwaukee WI
SideKick Dog Training | Private Dog Training Milwaukee WI
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