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Dog & Puppy Trainers & Training in Washington, DC & Virginia

Dog training methods VirginiaBeginner to Advanced Dog & Puppy Training with Andrew Coffelt
Professional Dog Trainer Serving Washington, DC & Northern Virginia

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Professional in home dog trainers VirginiaHello. 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 About 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 society...

Understanding the Pet Dog
The Importance of Socialization & Basic Training

Poorly socialized Dachshund cowers between owner's feetTo 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 public places.

Dog biting problemsAs 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.

A happy, friendly and confident dogDogs 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?

Well trained dog reads bookIf 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 behaviorist inspecting puppyCommon Dog Training Option #1:
The Dog Behaviorist or Analytical Dog Trainer

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 your children."

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.

CBRK REAL 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 training method.

Dog agility & sport dog trainingCommon Dog Training Option #2:
The Long-Term "Package" Training Course Deal

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!

Dog trained to jumps through flaming hoola-hoopsThis 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!

CBRK REAL 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!
Pet store dog training classesCommon Dog Training Option #3:
The 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 else's on-the-job-training...?

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 "trainer's" attention.

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.

CBRK REAL 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.

CBRK Dog Training Services in Virginia & Washington, DC areaCBRK 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

Pro Trainer Andrew Coffelt comforts frightened dogSESSION ONE - 75 Minutes: $150.00
 • Baseline Temperament & Training Evaluation
 • In-Depth Consultation & Hands-On Instruction
 • Step-by-Step 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.

In-home Dog Trainer Andrew Coffelt consults with dog owner in training sessionSESSION TWO - 75 Minutes: $150.00
 • One-on-One Consultation, 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 new.

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.

Teaching a dog the "look" command with Andrew Coffelt, Professional dog training services in northern VirginiaPREFERED CLIENT SESSION - 75 Minutes: $120.00
 • One-on-One Consultation, Instruction & Demonstration
 • Applied to 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.

Leash training with pro dog trainer Andrew CoffeltLET'S GO FOR A WALK - 75 Minutes: $150.00
 • One-on-One Training Focused On In-Public Behavior
 • Can Also 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 be difficult.

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.

Dog walking by trainer Andrew CoffeltAlternatively: This is your time and you can use your Let's Go For a Walk sessions however you like. For example...

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, either way.

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 email.

Thank you for your time.


National Kennel Club American Bulldog Breed StandardUnited Kennel Club American Bulldog History and Breed StandardInternational Designer Canine RegistryABKC American Bully Kennel Club American Bulldog Breed Conformation Standard
Coffelt professional dog trainers in Washington, DC and Virginia