Dog Training FAQs

We actually are a site that pulls products to our site to ensure our clients are purchasing the right products and we do not handle shipping and we do not have product details or specifications. When you click the products in our store- you will be taken to the company who sells those products and that is where all of the information on shipping and the items will come from. We are unable to help in any way in regards to these products.

We do not have anything to do with the sale or return of items so make note of the vendor that you are purchasing from through our store and contact them directly. Whether it’s Amazon or another company that is selling the product- we do not have products on hand and we do not get involved in the sales in any way, not to avoid questions- but because we literally have no control over any other companies inventory or shipping, etc. We are “hosting” pictures of the products we like and recommend if you will.

At this time we have automated the front end of the company to simplify our in house processes and allow us to focus heavily on our service to our clients rather than answering the same questions 1000x over- please check the entire faq to see if the answer is there. Otherwise, go through the system and fill out the intake form to be given all of the information about training you want to know (prepare for “the wall of text” that will more than likely answer all questions you’ll have). This is not to say you are not important- this is to clearly state that you are not alone and that MANY others have had the same exact questions over time and we are again trying to get back as much time as possible so we can provide the best service to our HD Community Members, and we would LOVE for you to become a part of the family too. So go ahead- fill out the form- what’s the worst that can happen?!?

At this moment in time, we are offering board and trains for extreme cases only and at the trainers recommendation only. We do not do board and trains for the purposes of the owner who doesn’t feel like dealing with training their dogs on their own or learning what to do and how to properly train and handle your own dog. As time goes on this may change but for now we are selective about who and why. Our goal is not to bleed your bank account and board and trains are a great way to fluff revenue for greedy dog trainers or companies that KNOW training your dog and NOT YOU, will only allow for complete regression to those behaviors again in the future. Our goal, is to train you, train your dog, and train you both to work together to compliment each others lives while forging bonds. Learning how to communicate with your dog, how to properly handle- take care of – and keep your dogs safe in all scenarios leads to a much happier and fulfilled life as you travel, do, and see things together and from your dog that you would have never thought possible before.

At this time we are not training service dogs due to the fact that 99% of the phone calls we receive saying that they need “service dog training” is nothing more than people looking for ways to fly and travel with their dogs to places while the dog can be on the plane. If you are not disabled and do not understand what it takes to actual have the need for service dogs or emotional support animals please visit the American Disabilities Act and find their section on the laws and rules revolving around training service dogs, etc.

Over the course of 16 days. Days 1-4 you are using 25% of the new brand or flavor of food. Days 5-8 you will be doing a 50/50 ratio of the new food to the old food. Days 9-12 the new food makes up 75% and the old is now 25%. Days 13-16 you will be switching over to the new food 100% in that proper time, your dog’s gut has the ability to transition, prepare, and adjust. That way you are happy and don’t have to clean up the diarrhea or puke and foofee can relax and not feel sick or show aversion to the new food.

First things first, check the dog for fleas, ticks, rashes, or anything out of order. If you aren’t sure, take the dog to the vet. If the vet says your dog needs creams and special diets I typically interject and ask, “What flavor of food is the dog eating?”. I usually get the response of chicken or beef or duck, if that is the case I want you all to switch to lamb or salmon foods. Using our proper 16 day method listed in the above faq. Give it a week or two. There is talk of adding raw eggs to your dog’s food but I am still weary of raw eggs as I am not a dog nutritionist or Rocky Balboa (Just cause we’re from Philly doesn’t mean we all specialize in drinking raw egg shakes and run up and down the art museum steps).

Dog training in a perfect world would begin… BEFORE you even got the puppy, adult, senior, rescue, etc. We have worked with dogs as young as 6 weeks old and as old as 14 years old.
Our personal philosophy is that you should not take a puppy from its mother until it is at least 8 weeks old so we are always very cautious of young pups and how we train with them. No worries, we specialize in wild case scenarios. Being with the mother for as long as possible is great for puppies who come from a stable and real breeding program, if they didn’t have a stable mother sometimes it is best to separate pups from aggressive mothers and in turn we end up with some extra special bonds with these young dogs so it is best to be prepared ahead of time. We also believe that training a dog can add time to it’s life, communicating with a dog in it’s old age for the first time really brings that puppy back out of them and gives them something worthwhile pushing harder for everyday, YOU, and the bond that you’ll build through training your dog.

On every bag of food there are recommendations from the creators of the brand of food you’ve bought to feed your dog. Sometimes the recommendations may not line up with your dog or it’s activity levels. It is safe to say that if your dog has a lot of poops in a day, or a lot of BIG poops, then they are overeating. Always consult your veterinarian but know that Veterinarians for civilian dogs will always tell you your dog is at a good weight, if they didn’t you wouldn’t come back, not to mention the study that shows working dog vets vs civilian pet vets rating dogs on the obesity scale. The military vets and working dog vets know what in shape and “ripped” dogs look like. Civilian vets rate them as underweight. Military vets rate the civilian vets’ personal dogs as overweight. There is science and reason behind this. Civilian vets are skewed due to seeing SO MANY overweight dogs and animals that the scale has lost it’s true value. Again, when it comes to weight and what to feed. Find a nutritionist who directly deals with working dogs and has taken dog nutrition courses. To my knowledge I have taken as many Nutrition courses as a vet has, 1, and I took that course when I worked at a pet store that paid for our nutrition course through the UC Davis Veterinarian School in California as part of our onboarding to understand the breakdown of foods and all. Remember this as well, puppy, adult, and senior dogs ALL NEED DIFFERENT FOODS. Because the food has different contents in them. I.e. more fat for puppies, more nutrients for senior dogs, more protein for adult dogs, etc. That is why you see the companies with different bags of food, YES, it does matter.

NO. It is physically unsafe to run with your puppy. Dogs take a year (or more) to fully develop physically. Mentally is an entirely different story. I have had clients ignore me in the past and run their puppies for miles. The puppies then could not walk, on a regular walk, because it’s legs hurt too bad to walk. Maybe splints, maybe stress fractures, I don’t know exactly but I do know that dogs are not high performance athletes because they can run. I haven’t ran in 5 years, but I am probably still faster than 80% of people out there during a quick sprint. On the back end of that, the following day I will be barely able to walk due to tightness and pain and muscle tears and possible stress fractures. You will always keep your dogs environmentally engaged by going on short walks so that the dog gets comfortable in its neighborhood, but running is a no go until the dog is ready physically. Best to shoot for the 1 year mark. For bigger breeds like Danes, maybe even 1.5 years. Small dogs mature physically faster than big dogs do.

Our philosophy is that if your dog can listen to all of the commands and perform them correctly and promptly on the first try- your dog doesn’t need training but you may still benefit from learning some new ways, methods, and our thought processes that go on behind the scenes of training. If you need to go and get the bag and then use treats to get your dog to listen to you- that is called BRIBING and we would definitely recommend you begin training immediately as you do not actually have any true control over your dog. It works when it knows it can get something from you. Not because it loves to train, work, and listen to you for the sake of your bond and friendship. Training is tedious for people who are inconsistent and or “may not have time to train their dog”. If that is the case, we never recommend getting a dog. It is a life value that takes time and respect as well as consistency, not to be thrown out or put on the “back burner” for when life feels good enough for you to be present. Dogs are lives, not items.With that said, you need training if your dog: bites, chews, humps, digs, barks out of control, howls extensively, destroys your house or belongings, pee’s in the house, poops in the house, lunges at dogs, lunges at humans, drags you on walks, goes after the cats in the house, resource guards, has reactivity, or aggression, or fear reactivity, etc. YOUR DOG DEFINITELY needs to be trained. Dogs are supposed to make life amazing, not make you envy other people’s lives and dogs, allow us to help you reach that happy medium!

START TRAINING FOR THE BABY…. THE MOMENT…. YOU FIND OUT YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE THE BABY. Don’t wait until the baby is about due to then go into panic mode. This is nothing to ever procrastinate about. With that being said, this is one of our specialties, we’ve worked with MANY homes who are expecting and have always had flawless results. Truthfully, our dog and baby households have phenomenal results and the dogs typically end up choosing to be the babies best friend with some cuddles, or licks, or even just companionship where sleeping together (with supervision always), goes amazingly well.

If you feel anything like: embarrassment, anger, irritation, guilt, sad, lost, afraid, alone, confused, or maybe even a little OVER confident and beginning to see the signs of “I might not actually have this under control”, then our recommendation is to get signed up for training today. Our goal is to give you the confidence, skills, knowledge, and support that we did not have in the beginning. We give you a community, and everything else that an owner could ask for all under one roof. The only question is “what are you waiting for?!”

Yes! And No! We were Best of Philly 2018, no one else was nominated for the next 3 years so we were the “reigning champs” in our book!

We get this question often and the truth of the matter is there is no age that is “too old” to train. Training looks different at every age. With puppies and sometimes very old seniors (13-22 years old) the goal of the training is to get them engaged and keep them moving. We believe training old dogs strengthens your bond and gives them more reason to keep on pushing forward with you, and that’s what we all want!

We no longer recommend any one food brand over another anymore. We used to recommend a brand that was sold by a pet store which has since packed up all of their stores and moved back to Canada sadly and the food has become very hard to get if at all. If you want to know what is best for your dog even though it may be expensive and you will need a freezer to make it work properly and save any kind of money, the raw diet is seemingly the best for dogs. BUT! It is very easy to mess up and you should find a company or dog nutritionist who specializes in these types of things so that your dog doesn’t become nutrient deficient by accident. If you are unsure where to start, ask anyone nearby who does dog sports or competition and most oftenly the people that can help are into the protection realm or working dog line of things. Nutrition is key to keep dogs like that operating in optimal form.

We could list out the awards and accomplishments we have attained but the truth is that the reason is because we care. We care as a company, we care as individuals, and the community of other highly informed and well trained owners and dogs awaits you. Everyday we strive to learn more and further advance our skills which directly transfers to you and your access to our resources and years of experience. The more you know and learn and do with us and your dog, the more simple your life will become. Don’t take our word for it, check out our Google Reviews from clients that we asked to be honest and truthful- free from instruction. Integrity is one of our many Core Values at HD Dog Training. Now, to list out those accomplishments and awards:

  • HDDT Won Best of Philly 2018 through Philadelphia Magazine
  • Won the 2020 Philly Love Award through Main Line Parent Magazine
  • Robert was Interviewed on LaSalle TV
  • Robert was called back to host a interview for LaSalle TV titled “Getting a Dog: What you need to know”
  • HDDT was shown on the Jumbotron at the Lincoln Financial Field During the NCAA Lacrosse Championships and Robert was named the teams Honorary Captain
  • Robert was invited to lead a Parade in Peddler’s Village for Wounded Warrior Project for Veterans Day Parade
  • Won Top Three Best Rated 2018/2019/2020/2021
  • Robert went through 2 Programs that were paid for by the Veterans Affairs as he is a disabled Air Force veteran. The first program was a Service dog training program and the second was a joint program between Harcum College and UPenn’s Working Dog Center
  • We have connected with international dog training companies and professionals to trade information, knowledge, methods, and talk about problems we face and how to resolve them in our own ways.
  • Robert was accepted to and graduated from Community College of Philadelphia’s Power Up Your Business Program and is well connected throughout the city and amongst other business professionals and entrepreneurs who are motivated towards creating a better future through educating.
  • Pet First Aid and CPR Certified
  • Robert was accepted to Bunker Labs Veterans Residency program and made more connections
  • We are dedicated to creating a thriving community of educated and well informed dog owners here in the tri state region.

Once you fill out our new client intake form you will be given an immediate response with all information you would need to know about training and offerings. We don’t post our prices on the site due to the possibility of fluctuation of prices based on the issues you are facing. We can say that we are more than chain stores that sell food in your neighborhood. With good reason, we have an in depth dog training program and curriculum. At this time we are working on making training more convenient and affordable for everyone so check out our online course(s) once the course section pops up. If it is not up yet, keep checking back in. The course is still under construction so please bear with us. We promise it will be worth the wait.

In our line of work we know that if we come in and solve issues and leave, the dog will regress in a not so distant future. Our goal is to train YOU week to week. The dog’s will learn through us weekly and we will teach you everything you will need to know for homework each week. Our course is in depth and each week builds on the previous week’s skills. Again, we try to be bland with the explanation we provide in this scenario due to the industry itself being very copycat in nature. Dog eat dog if you will. Although you have great intentions, a lot of other companies across the US and world have eyes on us and our methods, techniques, and business plans. We want you to know that we can solve any of your issues and we will do it in the most fun, interesting, interactive, and most importantly informational way that your dog will LOVE.

The type of dog that anyone should get is the dog that matches your ENERGY LEVELS. At HDDT we are again, HUGE, mental health advocates being that we are a dis. Veteran owned company and all. With that being said, your mental health and ability to be consistent and constantly present for your life and your dog’s needs are crucial. We are here ready and willing to coach you through this process, it is also why we have created a community of other owners who are experiencing issues, learning, failing (part of learning), and having insane levels of triumphs. Get a lazy dog if you are a lazier person. Some things that play a factor are: where you are living, how much space you have, how much extra income you have. Also, something I coach people through is a financial assessment of whether or not you truly understand the cost of a dog when things are good, but also when things go south and go wrong.

Seemingly the most troublesome answer here. But also the easiest. YES. We have spent years solving reactivity and aggression issues and teaching owners how to handle and stop the behaviors.

Yes. We stop the one’s and two’s. All bathroom behaviors are typically stemming from something else going on. We handle these issues and teach you so much more all at the same time.

YES! One of, if not the MOST COMMON issue we work on. Out of 5 dogs we probably have about 2 with anxiety or nervous/ fearful behaviors exhibiting.

YES! Totally. The same as Dog Walking and Group Lessons we ONLY board past or current clients’ dogs. This gives our HD Community Members an extra level of mental relaxation when they go away on vacation. We have reasons as to why our clients’ dogs are the best trained dogs in the city and staying with trainers instead of daycares or boarding facilities is one of the perks of working with us! If you have not trained with us in the past, unfortunately we are unable to watch your dogs. If you would like to be able to board your dog with us in the future and would like to begin the training process and get into the Community, please do fill out a new client intake form and we can get started training as soon as possible so that you have access to HD Community Member Perks and Privileges. Once you have trained with us your dog will always be welcome in the future. Do not make the mistake of thinking that boarding means that your dog will be training. Boarding and Training is a separate service.

YES, We do! The same as boarding and group lessons, we only offer dog walking to our clients’ dogs. This is a MASSIVE benefit to our HD community members as there is no other training company that trains exactly how we do. When you are hiring a walker through an app or calling a company to walk your dog, the dog is not benefitting from being allowed to do whatever it wants and especially in someone hands who has no clue how we train or how your dog is trained. So for clients within a two mile range of Rittenhouse square we have you covered! (We will be broadening that range in the future but for now that is our limitations for walks, we appreciate your patience and support as we transition through this growth period!)

Absolutely, YES! Just like Dog Walking and Boarding- Group lessons are for HD Community Members only and can only be attended once the client and dog are ready to come to training in a group scenario. This is the best thing for your dog for socialization and by this point you will have had major results with your dog and attaining peace in your home.

Absolutely not, this is a diverse all inclusive friendly and hopefully one day a family oriented group. We have functions and as many events as possible and will be traveling together. HD Dog Training’s goal, or Robert’s (the owner) goal is to have the most fun, respectful, professional, accepting environment that we can. This is not a group of people who just have their noses up in any way, this is a group of individuals who have made an investment into their life, relationship, education, skills, and mental health and may not have even realized that upfront. The more involved you are with the community the more you will get out of it. Some of our clients do really awesome things for a living and we all try to work together to help one another the best we can. You will have access to the group once you join. As long as you stay active with the group you can stay in the group. If you just want to be able to login here and there and not participate, once you fall out of the 30 activity window the access changes to $5 a month otherwise after 30 days of inactivity you will be removed from the group. We all try our best to provide value to each other on the dog training level and we hope that you do get the most out of our programs and access to us during your course and we will be here to support our HD family to the best of our ability!

HD Dog Training Philadelphia

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