My name is Andrew Coffelt. I am the owner/operator of Coffelt's
CBRK Black Rock Kennel. I'm also the senior dog trainer
for CBRK REAL
WORLD DOG TRAINING. We provide convenient,
on-location dog training in Washington D.C. and northern
Virginia. Our services range from new puppy training and
socialization, to basic and advanced dog obedience, to behavior
modification, preparation for conformation shows and personal
protection dog training.
People usually seek professional dog trainers for two reasons:
1.) a new dog/puppy you
want started right, or 2.)
in frustration with an older dog's problem behaviors. So
you probably have questions you'd like answered right
now - before attending a class and spending money. The
goal of this page is to answer common questions. By
reading through to the end (maybe 15 minutes) you'll gain
enough knowledge to make a truly informed decision about
your next step.
If you'd like to learn more about the Coffelt family, CBRK,
or about me personally please visit the CBRK
Us page. For now I'd like to give
you some valuable free information
about dogs, dog training and about the most common options
available to dog owners in today's dog training marketplace.
I'd also like to tell you about the CBRK
REAL WORLD DOG TRAINING
alternative, our philosophies and pricing.
Let's begin by getting to know dogs a little better and
what allows dogs to "fit in" to our human
Understanding the Pet Dog
The Importance of Socialization & Basic Training
a dog our human society is complex, foreign and often pretty
scary. Imagine living in a world of giants that tower over
you. The giants often speak in a strange language which
they expect you to magically understand, but you do not.
You have no idea what might happen next, or how to please
the giants and live among them in safety. That's the condition
many dogs spend their entire lives in, unbeknownst to
owners who often misinterpret fear behaviors as affection
and think that it's cute. To the right this little Dachshund
hides between the feet of his owner. While he has sometimes
been taken places he's been poorly socialized and fears
a professional dog trainer I can tell you that the poorly
socialized or poorly trained dog is not usually a very
happy dog. Poorly socialized, poorly trained dogs typically
spend their lives insecure, frightened, in some cases even
unsafe among strangers and other dogs - or even around
our own children.
As a former police officer I can tell you, dog bites usually
happen in the home, with a poorly behaved dog that everyone
thought was basically okay. For this reason alone most dog
owners can benefit from our CBRK
Baseline Temperament & Training Evaluation.
However, even dogs with no anxiety issues may still misbehave
and no owner is happy with that. From soiling indoors, to
destructive behaviors, from the refusal to obey commands
to uncontrolled aggression with people or animals, all such
behaviors are avoidable in puppies and even most older "bad
dogs" can become very good dogs.
really, really want to be trained...
Positive socialization with lots of people and animals,
basic obedience training - these are the only things
that allow a dog to fit in, feel safe and be accepted
in human society. For the properly socialized and trained
dog our human world is really a very fun and exciting place.
Imagine if everywhere you went total strangers broke into
a big smile just because you're there and immediately wanted
to shake your hand and be your friend. After all, who
doesn't love a happy, confident and friendly dog?
You Live With a Dog You Are a Dog Trainer
Of course most dogs don't read books. Dogs also can't rely
on their parents or siblings to teach them the good behavior
they need to live happy lives among humans. Basically everything
a dog will ever learn about how to interpret our human world
and behave in our human society, will be taught to the dog
by us - either purposefully... or by accident.
Those words, "by accident," that's where
problems arise. With every interaction you have with a dog
- you are actively training that dog. So make no
mistake, if you are one of the primary human beings in a
dog's life, you are a dog trainer.
What now...? Well, if you've
never trained a dog previously you've probably encountered
some difficulties and some mixed results. Don't feel bad
- REALLY, let go of any guilt you may be feeling. People
aren't born knowing how to socialize and train dogs. We
don't teach Dog Training 101 in grade school, middle school,
high school - not even in most colleges.
You're making the correct first step researching your options,
so let's look at those options...
The dog training industry currently provides dog owners
three common options. Frankly I don't like any of these
options - which is precisely why we began CBRK
REAL WORLD DOG TRAINING.
However, here are the three most common dog training options
for your own consideration...
Dog Training Option #1:
Dog Behaviorist or Analytical Dog
There seems to be this obnoxious trend among many professional
dog trainers. I like to call it:
Cesar Millan Syndrome: The tendency
of dog trainers to spend much of their time (and your
time) standing around psychoanalyzing you and your dog rather
than simply training the dog. It's as if they think
being a dog trainer is the same thing as having a six year
degree in Clinical Psychology. Guess what, it's not.
You're commonly left with a dog that still doesn't behave
much better than it did before, only now you've heard
the mantra of this condescending doctor-of-all-things-dog
a dozen times:
"It's all your fault."
"You're not a good pack leader."
"Your relationship with the dog is wrong."
"The dog senses your own low self-esteem."
"You spoil the dog with too much positive attention."
"I see you have similar discipline problems with
Yes, blah, blah, blah... Thanks buddy and what accredited
university did that dog training degree come from again...?
Oh that's right, most accredited universities don't
actually offer degree programs in dog training - and even
legitimate Animal Behaviorism (strangely enough) isn't focused
on family counseling...
Here's the real world bottom line:
You just paid a professional dog trainer a bundle of money.
Your dog still isn't trained, but the trainer has spent
quite a bit of time standing around insulting you for an
hourly fee. Call me crazy, but in my mind that pretty
much means it's not your fault.
WORLD DOG TRAINING PHILOSOPHY: Dogs
and their owners come from all walks of life. Good
training methods must account for that reality. The
"fault" of chronic dog misbehavior lays
with the professional trainer employed to train the
dog - not the dog, not the conscientious owner. To
suggest otherwise only serves to promote a failed
Dog Training Option #2:
Long-Term "Package" Training Course
The sales goal of most dog training services is getting
you committed to a "package" of long-term training.
Seems like a good deal. Here's the problem: Basic dog socialization
and obedience a) doesn't take
very long (many people actually only needing a few sessions
to get them on the right track) and b)
once you have the basics an ongoing paid relationship with
a dog trainer really should not be necessary.
Get it...? Dog training contracts
up-sell the dog owner dramatically more training services
than what they need. Here you either have a puppy or
a dog you're actually pretty happy with, who maybe just
has a minor behavioral issue or two. Now you've wound up
enrolled in a full blown Canine Good Citizen program or
worse, you're running around a Dog Agility Course yourself,
ready to have a coronary, none of your other Saturday afternoon
projects getting done!
is the real world. If you're interested in competition-level
training or dog sports that's fine, but most
people simply are not. Most of us have full-time schedules
and we're not looking to get our dog trophies and ribbons
- or run off and join the circus with our dog.
Sadly dog owners often walk away from these long-term training
courses commonly provided by more competition oriented dog
trainers with a dog that still attacks other dogs, tugs
like a maniac on the leash or soils in the house - only
now the dog will gladly spin in circles and jump through
a series of flaming hoola-hoops before he does it!
WORLD DOG TRAINING PHILOSOPHY: Dogs
and their owners all learn at different rates of speed
and have different training goals. The common practice
of "package deals" in dog training pretends
this is not the case, thus up-selling most dog owners
much more training time than what's needed. CBRK
only provides pay-as-you-go, single session pricing,
allowing the dog owner freedom of choice to
work on what you want, when you want, with no long-term
commitment of time or money - no flaming hoola-hoops
or running shoes required!
Dog Training Option #3:
Pet Store Dog/Puppy Training Class
Finally there's that other common option: The pet store
training class. Here I just have to shake my head as I ponder
the logic of it...
To begin with, who are these supposed "trainers"
who are regularly seen stocking the shelves and running
the cash registers when not teaching their classes?
Please don't misunderstand me here. I'm not trying to disparage
these part-time beginners and anyone who has basically any
job in this economy has earned a measure of my respect.
However, dog training is a professional skillset
founded on experience and if you're good at it, that's
what you do. So if the person teaching the dog training
class is not accomplished enough in their field to actually
specialize in dog training... c'mon, once again this
is the real world - why should we be paying for someone
Add to that the fact that a whole group of people
have purchased that same hour of time. That means the person
with the most poorly behaved dog tends to get most of the
Topping it off there is also typically no health screening
for the dogs - vaccinated, not vaccinated, sick, healthy,
all get tossed together in the same small area that can
serve as a petri dish of bacteria and infectious diseases.
At the end of the series of classes (that you of
course commit to by paying for all of them in advance) you
end up walking away with all the same questions you started
with (unless they've been answered incorrectly) -
only now your dog has diarrhea and needs to go to the vet
- maybe something to do with the other fifty dogs that
occupy that same space throughout the week.
WORLD DOG TRAINING PHILOSOPHY: One-on-one
training with a skilled, professional dog trainer
is by far the superior, most effective method of dog
training, focusing all the trainer's attention
on a single dog/owner dynamic. In-home or on-location
training lowers the probability of contageous diseases
and acclimates the dog to the real world environment
it lives in and frequents. That
is what CBRK provides,
one-on-one, real world, on-location dog training.
REAL WORLD DOG TRAINING:
SERVICES & PRICING
Professional Dog Trainer Andrew Coffelt of Coffelt's
Black Rock Kennel
Introductory/Advanced Dog Training in Washington, DC
& Northern Virginia
ONE - 75 Minutes: $150.00
Baseline Temperament & Training Evaluation
In-Depth Consultation & Hands-On Instruction
Demonstration for Puppies & Adult Dogs:
Every dog/owner dynamic is different. Rather than jumping
into a generic, one-size-fits-all, long-term training
course, the first thing we're going to do is actually
get to know you and your dog through a professional evaluation
process. This first session is
particularly handy for those who would like to train their
own dog, but just need some advice on how to get started
- what to do and how to do it.
We're going to put your dog through a series of standardized
tests (our own CBRK Baseline
Temperament & Training Evaluation),
which rates the temperament, general level of socialization
and training, and quickly uncovers any areas of special
concern for your particular dog, in writing. You'll further
receive my professional, written recommendation of exactly
what would benefit your dog most.
Here is where you tell me your goals
and I'll show you how to achieve them. I'll handle
your dog. I'll observe and instruct you on how to handle
your dog. You're going to gain real world knowledge and
confidence and receive no nonsense, hands-on instruction
and demonstration on exactly what to do and not do. This
really might be the only session you'll ever need. That's
entirely up to you.
TWO - 75 Minutes: $150.00
Instruction & Demonstration:
Thank you for your returning business. You were satisfied
with CBRK in Session One
or you wouldn't have asked us to return. That's a big
benefit of the CBRK
pay-as-you-go model: You'll never be stuck with a trainer
or program you don't feel good about - no long-term commitments
of time or money.
Now you'd like continued instruction. Maybe a few new
questions have popped up. Perhaps you'd like to review
or expand upon what we worked on before. Maybe Session
One was a few months back and you've had great success,
only now you'd like to teach your dog something
If you have a dog with various problem behaviors and
your dog has made headway on one, now is a good time to
get started on another. Remember, this is your time.
You tell me what you'd like to work on today and that's
what we'll work on. As always you'll receive straight
forward, hands-on instruction on exactly what to do and
how to do it.
CLIENT SESSION - 75 Minutes: $120.00
Instruction & Demonstration
Any/All CBRK On-Location Training Service:
Thanks again for your continued business. You're a happy
customer and we'd like to keep you happy, so from this
point forward you are a CBRK
Prefered Client. You will always receive a full
20% off training services. Of course deals like this
always have a catch, right? Sure they do, so here's
the catch: You're a CBRK Prefered
Client for LIFE.
You will always automatically receive your 20%
discount for any and all CBRK
on-location training... for any dog you own.
Many clients enjoy the more structured environment of
having a professional trainer assist them every step of
the way. Whether working on basic obedience, or desiring
expert-level obedience for CGC Certification -
even professional training for competitive obedience or
Conformation Shows. This is your time. We can work
on whatever you like.
GO FOR A WALK - 75 Minutes: $150.00
Focused On In-Public Behavior
Be Used For Dog Walking, Exercise & Play:
Many people have dogs they're very happy with. The dog
is a problem-free family member and obedience is satisfactory...
until you take the dog out in public. Now you see
a different side of your dog and these situations can
CBRK's Let's Go For a Walk
sessions are designed for such situations. Let's walk
to or meet at the location in which the dog has the greatest
difficulty. I'll observe you with your dog. Next I'll
ask that you closely observe me handling your dog. We'll
discuss the problems you're having as I show you the simple,
corrective training methods of basic behavior modification
for a dog that has difficulty in public.
Sometimes in dealing with an older dog these in-public
issues are thoroughly ingrained and require time and effort
to train a dog out of them. Of course if a child is the
dog's primary handler that can take some extra time too.
However, in this single CBRK
Let's Go For a Walk session you're going to gain
all the info necessary to get your dog through this phase
- without further paid sessions.
Also, if you have not yet received the CBRK
Baseline Temperament & Training Evaluation,
you'll gain that in your first Let's
Go For a Walk session.
This is your time and you can use your
Let's Go For a Walk sessions however you like.
If your busy schedule makes hands-on training inconvenient,
that's fine. We'll set up a few sessions for me to stop
by, pick up your dog and do in-public training for you.
If your dog is too large for you to handle in public,
just hand me the leash. Often people are really just
looking for a "dog walker" who can handle
a difficult dog in public. I'm happy to oblige (even with
larger problem dogs), with or without you present,
If you're older or have sustained an injury and want
the peace of mind that comes from knowing only a professional
trainer is walking and interacting with your dog, we'll
schedule sessions as often as you like for me to walk
and exercise your dog.
As you can see for yourself, CBRK
REAL WORLD DOG TRAINING
is customer focused.
Our training philosophies center around what best serves
the particular dog/owner dynamic. We're not "married
to" a particular program or training method that pretends
one-size-fits-all actually fits all. With our pay-as-you-go,
single session policy, we give you the customer total
control over your own schedule, budget and what you wish
to work on from session to session.
My name is Andrew Coffelt. I love dogs and the many other
"dog people" who also love dogs. I am a professional,
one-on-one, on-location or in-home dog trainer serving
Washington, DC and northern Virginia and CBRK
REAL WORLD DOG TRAINING
is a licensed dog training service. My core specialties
are New Puppy Socialization & Training and Adult Dog
Behavior Modification. If I may be of service to you please
call me at 540.905.3155
or contact me by
form or direct
Thank you for your time.