A Better Best Friend

Programs for Basic Training and Minor Behavior Issues


A Better Best Friend programs are intensive training packages for dogs who are generally friendly and confident off-leash with dogs and people, but who need help with basic training or "nuisance" behavior. Younger dogs with minor socialization issues and other special circumstances may also be considered for a Better Best Friend Program.

If any of these sound like you:

  • "I want my dog to learn basic skills like 'Stay' and 'Come'."
  • "I want my dog to stop jumping on people!"
  • "My dog is dragging me down the block on walks!"
  • "My 6 month old dog is shy".

Then A Better Best Friend might be right for you!


A Better Best Friend Programs consist of Four Steps (Step 1 is optional for some dogs!):

  • Step 1: Initial Consult

    Come meet us and discuss your goals and issues. If your dog is friendly and social, this step is OPTIONAL and you can move straight to Step 2. Click to Schedule Initial Consult!

  • Step 2: Evaluation Day

    Full day assessment and integration of your dog at our facility to determine best path for your dog. Click to Schedule an Evaluation Day!

  • Step 3: Dog School

    We work with your dog during Day School or an extended Boarding School stay.

  • Step 4: Human Lessons

    We work with you to implement everything your dog is learning.



Step 1: Initial Consult

During this 30 minute session at our facility, we will discuss the issues you are experiencing, observe your dog's behavior, and answer any questions you might have. If your dog has any difficulty interacting with unfamiliar dogs or people in any way, an Initial Consult is required. If your dog interacts with unfamiliar dogs and people regularly, without conflict, you have the option of bypassing the Initial Consult and move straight to Step 2, an Evaluation Day. 

 
 



Step 2: Evaluation Day

If we all decide the A Better Best Friend is a good fit, the next step is to bring your dog in for an Evaluation Day - you drop your dog off for a full day integration into our facility, during which we more thoroughly assess your dog to confirm that our program is a good fit for your needs and goals.




Step 3: Dog School

Dog School comes in two formats - Day School (you drop your dog off in the morning, and pick them up in the afternoon/evening) and Boarding School (your dog stays with us overnight for an extended period). 

Each day, we give your dog a highly structured routine based on their needs, incorporating a healthy mix of 1) training, 2) play, and 3) rest sessions.

Training Sessions
We work with your dog one on one several times per day in and around our facility. Training sessions vary based on which program your dog is enrolled in (see below), but are always customized to your dog's needs. When your dog is ready, we visit neighbor businesses such as Lofty Dog pet store and Moontower Saloon for practice sessions in public environments. 

For additional "proofing" of the training, we offer "Trips & Trails" Passes. See above for details.

Play Sessions
Play Sessions most often incorporate socialization and play with other carefully selected dogs. We believe in structured play that is highly supervised and managed - playtime shouldn't be a free-for-all whirlwind of total chaos. We incorporate training and encourage regular breaks, and work hard to ensure they remain responsive to our guidance and signals throughout. Playtime not only provides dogs with a therapeutic release of tension, but also provides an opportunity for your dog to learn things they can't learn in any other way.

Rest Sessions
In between training and playtime, dogs rest in our climate controlled building. Just like us, dogs need plenty of rest to function well. To keep the indoors restful for your dog and other dogs, we are very serious about keeping stress levels low for the dogs. 

 
 



Step 4: Human Lessons

You'll work one on one with your trainers to fine tune your communication skills so that your dog can be a Better Best Friend to you and a Better Best Friend to the community. 

We heavily emphasize the practical use of skills that we teach. Here, I want the dogs to Stay in their place while I retrieve something from indoors. 

Here is a demo of many of the Life Skills we teach in our Better Best Friend program.




Pricing


Initial Consult: $20.

Evaluation Day: $75 (this fee is applied to School Package cost).


Is your dog under 6 months old?*
Deduct $200 from any package!


Day School Packages


Basic Package: $1400
- 16 School Days (Tues-Fri for 4 weeks, includes Evaluation Day)
- 2 Private Lessons at our location

Standard Package: $1950
- 24 School Days (Tues-Fri for 6 weeks, includes Evaluation Day)
- 2 Private Lessons at our location

All-In Package: $2500
- 32 School Days (Tues-Fri for 8 weeks, includes Evaluation Day)
- Trips & Trails Pack
- 2 Private Lessons at our location
- 1 Private Lesson in your home or in public location  


Boarding School Packages


Basic Package: $1400
- 14 overnights
- Evaluation Day
- 2 Private Lessons at our location

Standard Package: $1950
- 21 overnights
- Evaluation Day
- 2 Private Lessons at our location

All-In Package: $2500
- 28 overnights
- Evaluation Day
- Trips & Trails Pack
- 2 Private Lessons at our location
- 1 Private Lesson in your home or in public location  


Payment Plans are available. Just ask.


Additional Lessons at our location can be purchased for $95 each.

Lessons can be upgraded to In-Home for an additional fee.


*Why 6 months old? From around 6 - 14 months old, puppies experience their Second Fear Imprint Period. It's extremely common for people to notice increased fearful and defensive behavior from their puppy during this period - and only then seek our help. Unfortunately, by then these fears and behavior may have already become somewhat hardwired, making our job much harder. And we don't want that. So we hope a $200 discount for puppies under 6 months old will encourage people to enroll before the imprint period sets in!


Recommended Add-On
 
Trips & Trails Pass allows us to take your dog on "real world" locations like parks, trails, and dog-friendly stores. These trips add a layer of enrichment and learning that we can't achieve any other way and can be used for all types of things, from learning how to chill out on a patio to preparing for "off-leash" trails. Most importantly, they are super therapeutic - we see big differences when dogs are able to get to work "off campus" regularly. If "off-leash" hiking or taking your dogs to social situations is a goal, a Trips & Trails Pass is a must have. 

 The "Trips & Trails Pass"  is $250 and is a one time purchase, meaning it is valid for any package you purchase from us in the future.


A little about our training philosophy...


Most people think of "dog training" in terms of one word "commands" that your dog "obeys". 

I think that stuff is overrated and has limited practical use (with a few exceptions). 

We do teach your dog "Down" and "Stay" and "Come" and a bunch of other stuff, generally at pretty advanced levels.

But that's not really what we're all about.

Think about it from a dog's point of view.

Dogs are not verbal animals. Words are our strength, not theirs. They will never learn half as many words as an average 2 year old child. 

So, as the supposedly more advanced species, why do we insist on trying to get dogs to understand our language? Wouldn't it be easier for us to adapt to their strengths?

Our dogs watch us constantly, making generally accurate predictions about what's going to happen based on our natural body language and tone of voice, often when we aren't even trying to communicate. (Does your dog know what it means when you walk to the pantry their food is in? When you pick up your keys?) 

It's when we actively try to communicate that things go wrong. Because we suddenly get weird. We over enunciate and get sing-songy and stiff ("Benny-Siiiiiiiiiiiiiiit-Siiiiiiiiiiit. Benny! Siiiiiiiit. BENNY! SIT! SIT! Siiiiiiiiit!"). And they look at us like "wtf, freak". Who talks like that? 

Instead, the focus here is on achieving a strong connection and fluid two-way communication - a true foundation for a more responsive dog and enriching relationship.  I want your conversation to be fluid and natural - not just consist of you barking frivolous orders.

Sound flaky? That's ok. Because the fact is that a solid connection and strong communication are what make for a rewarding relationship. And that's what you want, isn't it? If so, keep reading.

If not, I recommend ordering an "Alexa". You can order her around to your heart's content.