Q: What areas does Divine K-9 service?
A: We service Manhattan, the Bronx and areas of Lower Westchester. We also travel to Brooklyn and Queens for behavior consultations. In certain situations, we will travel to work in some areas of northern New Jersey. Rates may vary. We have recently added services to Putnam County, Dutchess County, and Upper Westchester County, but are only seeing clients in these areas at our local office in Putnam County.

Q: How long as Divine K-9 been in the training business?
A: Jorge has been a professional dog trainer for over 14 years.

Q: My dog is aggressive. Is there a way to help him?
A: We specialize in behavior modification, including for aggression. We have worked with various degrees of aggression in dogs in both shelters and private homes. We utilize our skills and experience to help you and your dog. The goal is to keep the family, or "pack," together as long as the environment is safe for everyone, humans and dogs alike.

Q: What is behavior modification? Is it the same as dog training?
A: Behavior Modification is used to describe a program that relies on rewarding positive behavior in order to increase the frequency of such behavior. To set up a program for your dog takes careful planning, commitment, patience and working together with all members of the household. Dog training entails teaching your dog good manners and obedience.

Q: I've heard about clicker training. Do you offer the service?
A: We do not require the use of a clicker in our classes, but you are more than welcome to use one if you'd like. Sometimes clicker training is very effective in behavior modification programs we put together for dogs we meet with privately. We are currently offering a class in clicker training and shaping.

Q: My dog is five years or older. Is it too late to train him?
A: Absolutely not! Your dog is always capable of learning new tricks! As your dog ages, he does, however, become more set in his ways. At Divine K-9, Inc., we like to use the expression: it is easier to shape a tree when it's a sapling. Training will probably require more patience and effort, but it is doable.

Q: I would like to include my entire family in the training sessions, is that possible?
A: Of course! We encourage the whole family to participate in dog training. Through training, the dog will learn to respect those who direct him, even little sister Sally!

Q: I have two or more dogs. Can they all be trained at the same time?
A: If you contact Divine K-9 for basic obedience, both dogs can be trained at the same time. It is similar to a classroom setting. If you contact us regarding a behavioral issue, two or more separate consultations might apply, depending on the issue.

Q: I am in the process of choosing a dog for my family. Can Divine K-9 help?
A: Definitely. It is very important to research the best breed for your family and your lifestyle. We can also do a temperament test on the dog before he enters your home.

Q: What is a temperament test?
A: When adopting a dog, you may not know its history. This is why temperament testing is important. It allows you to learn the dog's strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes, and what kind of home would best suit it. By learning about the dog's personality, training becomes one step easier.

Q: At what age should I start training my puppy?
A: The sooner the better! Responsible breeders start training their pups as young as 4-5 weeks, so by the time they are placed in homes they already have a good start. Divine K-9 accepts training puppies as young as 8 weeks. We make sure to train at a pace that is comfortable for your puppy. Socializing your pup early in life can prevent many serious behavior problems, such as aggression and fear that may develop as it matures. In this class, your puppy will be exposed to other dogs and puppies for generalization. So as to foster a good temperament, other dog owners will also handle your pet. This class is designed to help your puppy feel comfortable and confident by introducing it to the world around. The "world" includes everything from vacuum cleaners, to cats, to children, to cars, and so forth.

Q: How long will it take to train my dog?
A: His whole life! Your pup is always learning and growing. It really depends on you, your dog, and your training goals. Whenever you're with your dog, one of you is training the other.

Q: How long are the classes?
A: All the classes are different. They range 5 to 7 weeks in length, depending on the class. You will meet with Divine K-9 in either a group or private setting. You can request to meet more than once a week if necessary. Behavioral modification is scheduled as needed.

Q: My dog had formal training, but seems to have regressed. What do I do?
A: Your dog probably needs a refresher. Enroll him in a class.

Q: How do I find a dog trainer?
A: Dog trainers do not have to attend school or be certified to call themselves dog trainers. Some of these people are good trainers because they have educated themselves in a variety of productive ways. The best referrals will probably come from your vet, groomer, or a friend who has had his dog trained. Jorge is a Certified Pet Dog Trainers (www.ccpdt.org). He is also a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (www.apdt.com). Both organizations are good sources to find a dog trainer. Make sure to look for the letters CPDT (Certified Pet Dog Trainer) after the person's name to ensure you are working with someone that has some credibility and education background in dog training.