Philosophy

Frequently Asked Questions

WHAT HAPPENS IF I DON’T GET THE RESULTS I WANT FROM THE TRAINING? IS THERE A GUARANTEE?
Due to the many variables involved to create a well-behaved, balanced dog, including owner commitment, consistency, and follow-through, it would be unethical for us to offer a 100% guarantee. However, we only choose the most dedicated and diligent owners, so no matter how severe the issues your dog is experiencing, we consistently see breakthrough results and amazing transformations. We work with our clients hand in hand as a team in your dog’s rehabilitation. This process of teamwork and collaboration begins before we even meet your dog, moves through the training process, and continues long after your dog has gone home. Once you hire us, we consider you part of The Shades Of Blu family, and your success is our utmost priority.
WHO WILL BE WORKING WITH MY DOG?
You will be working with one The Shades Of Blu Dog Training Team. All trainers have been personally trained by Felicia. She will be involved in and in charge of all training programs. Felicia will always be present for your initial consult/orientation lesson, and your go home/transfer of training lessons.  If any dog’s training has not been achieved to a certain level of client satisfaction, at the fault of any of our trainers, including Felicia herself, the client will be compensated with free services until their dog’s training is satisfactory.
WILL I GET TO SEE MY DOG DURING THE BOARD AND TRAIN?
Although we understand it can be hard to be away from your dog, we sometimes discourage the owner’s presence as it can be counter-productive.  This is mostly for dogs that present with separation anxiety, aggression, lack of confidence, fearfulness, etc. Our clients with well-tempered and stable dogs are welcome to see their dogs during their board and train stay by attending group classes and certain training sessions, days and times will be available to you from your trainer during your dog’s stay with us.  Please be aware that owner’s presence can cause some dog’s training process to move backward and it can be difficult to predict, as such, visiting your dog during board and train is always at your own risk. If your dog regresses, we will not be responsible for compensating you for extra training.
DO YOU USE TREATS AND POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT FOR TRAINING?
Every training session your dog will work for their meal (whether it be kibble, air dried, freeze dried, etc). If your dog has more motivation for toys or praise, they will be given their meal directly after their training session in their crate while they decompress. Occasionally we work with dogs who will not work for food, or will not take food in the presence of their stressors. For those dogs we either require more time and training be purchased to build food motivation or desensitize the dog, or we can proceed with using our training tools to build food or toy drive with our dog. This decision will be made individually by each trainer and owner team.
WHY DO YOU USE PRONG COLLARS?

We use prong collars because we find them to be one of the best tools for gently communicating and connecting with the dog. Even though they’re often portrayed as dangerous or harsh tools, they’re far from that. Do not let their appearance or the ignorant and uneducated opinions of others mislead you into making the wrong, and often detrimental, decision for your dog. Prong collars are actually one of the safest and most gentle ways to effortlessly communicate both during training and after.

WHY DO YOU USE E-COLLARS?

Because they are so neutral, mild, and their use involves very little mechanical mastery, making it a necessity for owners without expert canine handling skills. Modern e-collar training allows for the very best communication and transferring of skills from trainer to owner. While many are concerned that the dog is being “shocked” into listening, the truth is, contemporary, high-end e-collars are based on the same technology as TENS machines used for physical therapy in humans. Which means, your dog feels a mild, benign sensation that is not harming to them mentally or physically. Most dogs work at e-collar stim levels that most humans often can’t even feel. In addition, the e-collar enables many challenging issues (reactivity on walks, jumping, barking, stealing food) to be resolved quickly and easily. It’s also the ONLY way to safely have your dog off-leash and maintain reliability. The ability to keep your dog safe with a reliable way to recall your dog back to you, even at great distances, is something that remains unavailable with any other tool.

WHAT IS A DAY IN THE LIFE AT BOARD AND TRAIN LOOK LIKE?

All dogs sleep inside, in our climate-controlled kennel. We only work with a small handful of dogs at any given time, which allows us to give every dog the personal attention they need, as well as maintaining a calm, relaxed, and quiet environment. First thing in the morning, all dogs go for a long structured walk. After that dogs will have some downtime in the crate. From there we start the training day, with each dog receiving 90-120 minutes of training. While this might not sound like an enormous amount of time, it’s more than enough for dogs to make significant, consistent progress without overwhelming them or burning them out. We don’t allow free roaming or interactions with other client dogs without the supervision of our senior trainers. Only our personal, and 100% safe dogs will be involved, so your dog won’t be at a high risk for injury as they would at the dog park. And most importantly, every moment of the day is training – this means crate behavior, thresholds, feeding, potty breaks, yard-time with friendly dogs, in house behavior, behavior in public, play-time with their trainer, and every other interaction are all a huge part of the overall training process, and why we’re so successful.

HOW DO YOU TRAIN WITH AN E-COLLAR AND PRONG?
Our standard process begins with teaching your dog all of their obedience cues using their daily meal as positive reinforcement.  Once we are confident the dog knows exactly what is expected to them, we begin to teach the language of the prong collar, and what each directional tap should signal to your dog, all while still using their daily meal as positive reinforcement.  Once we are confident that the dog understands and is familiar with the prong collar, we then layer in the use of the e-collar stim.  We find the dog’s working level (one that does not cause any pain, resistance, or discomfort, but still grasps a hold of their attention), and we hold the stim constant until the dog responds to the command we give them verbally and with our food lure. Once they complete that command, they will receive a piece of their meal, and the stim from the e-collar subsides. This is in alignment with positively reinforcing as well as negatively reinforcing training techniques, completing the necessary balance that is biologically and psychologically sound canine training.
MY DOG IS FEARFUL AND NERVOUS – I SHOULDN’T USE AN E-COLLAR WITH HIM, RIGHT…?

Actually, modern e-collar training, combined with our unique approach to it, is the very best solution for seriously and even dangerously fearful dogs. Although counterintuitive, we’ve turned around severely fearful/insecure/nervous dogs when all other approaches had failed.

MY DOG IS REALLY AGGRESSIVE. DO YOU WORK WITH AGGRESSIVE DOGS?

Yes. We specialize in serious aggression rehabilitation. We’ve designed unique protocols that are able to turn around even the most severe cases – whether human aggression, dog aggression, resource guarding, or aggression on walks.

MY DOG IS UNCONTROLLABLE ON THE WALK – PULLING, LUNGING, BARKING, GROWLING – CAN YOU FIX THIS?

Whether you’ve got an unstoppable puller, a super prey-crazed dog, or severe leash reactivity/aggression towards dogs/people/cars/bikes, etc., we’ve created socialized approaches that solve even the most challenging dog walking issues.

I HAVE TRIED OTHER TRAINERS BEFORE AND DIDN’T GET THE RESULTS I DESIRED – WHAT MAKES YOUR PROGRAM AND APPROACH DIFFERENT AND MORE EFFECTIVE?

We often work with dogs who have been failed by other training programs. Unlike other techniques and approaches that only focus on developing rehearsed behaviors, bribing with treats, or merely managing/bandaid-ing the problem, we have developed a unique approach that fundamentally changes the dog’s state of mind. Once we address the dog’s state of mind, the sky’s the limit for what we can create. By cultivating new habits, teaching the dog to make better choices, building confidence, teaching doggie meditation, training calmness instead of excitability, and employing our unique duration work, we are consistently successful with dogs that others are unable to help.

I CAN’T AFFORD YOUR PROGRAMS, BUT I’M IN A BAD SITUATION WITH MY DOG – WHAT CAN I DO?
We offer an interest free payment option through Affirm if you purchase through our online shop. An additional service fee will be required to pay through affirm.
Beyond that, most clients qualify for PayPal’s Credit program which allows for easy loans with zero interest if paid within 6 months.
I PURCHASED A TRAINING PROGRAM AND WOULD LIKE A REFUND, AM I ELIGIBLE?

We have a very strict no refund policy. Your payment for services and commmitment to your training plan supports our two non-profits that save the lives of dogs in need and veterans in need of service dogs. When you pay for services with us, you are reserving space that we no longer advertise as available to new clients. The only clients eligible for a refund are those who we are unable to provide the services that they paid for due to the fault of one of our trainers, or our company. We do not ever offer refunds for those who change their mind about services they have not yet received, relocate out of our service area, or are unhappy with their dog’s progress. We will always try to accommodate our clients by offering an alternative as a courtesy, but we cannot approve refund requests for any reason other than our own inability to provide and complete the service that you paid for.