MAURA PORTER

I am a CPDT-KA certified trainer with years of experience with dogs of all different breeds and training needs, although I do spend more training time with dogs who were adopted from shelters and rescues. I love working with dogs who have been given a second lease on life. I am also the owner and founder of Clear Skies Dog Training and Evaluation, LLC. I truly believe dogs are a wonderful gift, and I hope through training and guidance to improve the lives of dogs and their owners.

Trainer page

How can i quickly train my dog to stay?

Start with the dog on leash. Pull back on the leash so the dog cannot step forward, as you say the work "stay". Start with one step forward, then back to the dog. Praise. Then once the pup seems to be staying on his own (and not you keeping him back with the leash) then increase to two steps, then three etc. Reward with food and praise each time done correctly.

Whats the best treat to use during training?

The reward is in the eyes of the dog. So high value treats the dog likes, which for some might be carrots, others roast beef. The harder the task you are working the higher value the reward. I use freeze dried beef liver because there are no grains and many dogs have allergies - plus the pups love them.

How do I introduce my new pet to my current pets in a safe and effective manner?

You should always follow the two week shutdown any time you introduce a new dog into the home. Google two week shutdown and you will see many examples, most of which are similar. Then you introduce them slowly with baby gates separating them, then tethering them in the same room but with distance. Remember the slower you go, the higher rate of success.

I’ve heard that some bunnies can be liter boxed trained, is this true?

Yes they can and in many ways it is easier than a puppy!

How large should my pen really be for my rabbit? Do they need daily exercise (time outside their pen)?

The rabbit cage size should be 4 to 6 times larger than the rabbit stretched out. Yes rabbits need time to exercise - usually around 3 hours a day to hop, stretch and explore.

What kind of training do I need?

Good question but it totally depends on the needs of the dog. A good training program will be devised based on each individual dogs needs, personality, temperament, etc.

Why is it that other trainers have told me I need between 5 and 10 sessions with them to fix a problem?

Every trainer is different, but one rule of thumb is that there are no guarantees with anything, including dogs, so be careful with guarantees. Do your homework on trainers like you would with a teacher.

How long does it take to train a service dog?

It depends upon what you are training the dog to do.

Can you train your own dog to be a service dog?

Yes you can, though it can take awhile depending upon what you want the dog to be doing for you.

Why should I train my dog at home?

If the behaviors are happening in the home, that is where the training should be done - with the dog and her or his family actively involved in the training. Good trainers do not just train your dog, they should also be training the owners to train their dog.