The St. Louis Magazine A-List 2024 nominations are here, and the tails are wagging with excitement around Petropolis at the chance to be recognized as your favorite pet care facility in St. Louis!
Happy Dog Training Month! This January, we are celebrating the continued education of our furry friends. Whether your dog has been with you for years or just a few weeks, all dogs can benefit from training! At Petropolis, we focus on the enrichment of animals in order to promote a healthier human-pet bond using force-free, reward-based methods.
Ready to start training? You’ve come to the right place! At Petropolis, our professional trainers use only positive reinforcement-based methods that improve the human-animal bond. Plus, we help you do the same! Learn more about how much dog training will cost and what you’ll get from our programs.
How We Price Our Dog Training Services
All of our dog training packages are customized based on your dog’s and your family’s needs. We offer all dogs a free one-hour training evaluation so our trainers can meet you and provide an accurate quote on your dog’s training cost. They’ll get to know your dog, ask you about your goals, and develop a plan to reach them. Call (636)537-2322 to schedule your free evaluation today.
What You Get
During your evaluation, the trainer will provide you a list of manners and skills your dog will learn over the course of their program. These range all the way from polite greetings to life-saving skills, and they’re tailored to your dog.
If you opt for one of our standard Day Training packages, your pup will get to enjoy daycare while they visit us and take short training breaks throughout the day. In this case, the dog training cost includes the price of daycare.
You will also get to schedule several Skills Transfer sessions. During these sessions, you’ll work one-on-one with a trainer to address any challenges you’re facing and practice your dog’s skills together.
What Else You Invest
Aside from the financial investment, our trainers will also ask that you and the rest of your household invest time, energy, and patience into your dog’s training. We can teach your dog all the manners and skills they need to be a polite member of the family. But if you don’t practice with them at home, they’re bound to forget. We ask that you have a serious conversation with your partner, your children, or any other members of your household about your training plan. Consistency is key in dog training, so it’s important that everyone is on the same page.
Now, let’s get to training! Call (636)537-2322 or click here to book your dog’s free training evaluation today.
We often hear from frustrated pet parents that they want their dog to stop barking. And while barking can definitely be a nuisance, patience and gentle guidance can reduce your dog’s barking back to an appropriate level.
How Not to Train Your Dog
For many pet parents, the knee-jerk reaction to a barking dog is to shout No! or Quiet! But when you yell at your dog for barking, they just think you’re barking with them! Instead of yelling, we suggest redirecting your dog’s energy and attention to stop the barking.
The Right Way to Stop Dog Barking
How you’ll stop your dog from barking entirely depends on why they’re barking. The reason usually falls in one of these three categories:
- Excitement. Not all barking means your dog is upset. Sometimes, they’re just excited! Your dog may be barking because they’re excited about something they see outside (like another dog), eager to play, or just happy. If this is the case, redirect your dog’s energy by offering their favorite toy. They’ll eventually learn to show excitement through play instead of barking.
- Alarm. We never want to train our dog not to ever bark, because sometimes dogs bark to alert us. This could be to something we also notice, like a knock on the door. But it may also be to something we can’t see, like a particular scent or sound. When your dog barks to alert you of something, reward them with a treat and say ‘thank you’ after the first bark. After that, ignore them. Over time, your dog will learn that one alarm bark is okay but that anything after is unnecessary.
- Fear. Often, fearful dogs bark at whatever is scaring them. It’s their way of telling the scary thing, “Stay away!” If your dog is barking out of fear, work with them slowly to show them that whatever they’re barking at – be it the vacuum, a neighbor on a bicycle, or thunder – isn’t anything to be afraid of.
If you’re still struggling with excessive barking, give our training department a call for a free evaluation. They’ll get to know your dog, troubleshoot any training challenges you’re having, and develop a plan for you and your pet. Just call (636)537-2322 or click here to get started.
Puppy biting is a challenging phase of puppyhood! But with patience and the right training, you can teach your puppy appropriate play skills.
“Why does my puppy bite?”
Young puppies explore the world with their mouths. And if your puppy hasn’t had much experience playing with other dogs, they may not have good boundaries yet. Most often, puppies bite because they’re trying to play, not because they want to hurt you. That’s why, instead of punishing them, we redirect them.
“How do I train my puppy to stop biting?”
First off, make sure your puppy has plenty of appropriate things to bite. Things like chew toys, bully sticks, antlers, Himalayan chews, frozen Kongs with treats inside, etc. are all great options. Give your puppy a few at a time, and switch them out occasionally to keep your pup interested. Just like human children, puppies go through a teething phase, and chewing (especially on frozen toys) helps relieve the discomfort.
You might notice that your puppy has the most energy first thing in the morning and right before bedtime. They’ll sometimes get the ‘zoomies’ to release that pent-up energy. These are prime times to take your puppy outside, go for a walk, or play with them to help release that energy in a healthy, nondestructive way.
This is also the perfect time to teach them not to bite during play. Make sure you have an array of long toys so your puppy can hold one end while you hold the other. If your puppy bites your hand instead of the toy, drop the toy and completely stop engaging with the puppy for a few seconds. If the puppy starts to bite at your arms or legs, you may have to leave the room entirely. Give them a few seconds to calm down, then pick up a toy and invite them to play again.
Dogs love to chase and grab moving objects. By jerking your hands away from a biting puppy or wagging a finger at them, you can inadvertently teach them that biting makes your hands move, meaning your hands become even more fun. Instead, by disengaging and removing yourself from the situation, you teach your puppy that biting means playtime ends. Over time, they’ll learn that only polite play keeps the game going.
To stay consistent with your training, keep a toy in each room of your house. If your puppy starts biting at you, redirect them to the toy. Also, show members of your household or visiting friends how to do the same. Consistency and patience are key!
If you’re struggling with puppy biting (or another of the many challenges of puppy parenthood), book your free training evaluation at Petropolis today. Our training team would love to get to know your puppy, troubleshoot any challenges you’re facing, and help you plan for your puppy’s development and growth.
Many new puppy parents are intimidated by potty training, but it’s not as complicated as it seems. Potty training takes patience and consistency, but with time your new puppy will learn not to do their ‘business’ indoors.
“How do I start potty training my puppy?”
The first step in potty training is to monitor your puppy’s food and water intake. Young puppies have very small bladders, and they can’t ‘hold it’ very long. By monitoring their intake, you can best predict when they need to be let outside.
Every time your puppy eats or drinks, set a timer for five minutes. When the timer goes off, take them outside on a leash and tell them to “go potty” in a bright, happy voice.
If your puppy goes potty, reward them with praise, pets, or a high value treat (a small bit of cheese or hot dog works well).
By praising your puppy, you’re telling them that they’ve done the right thing, meaning they’ll be more likely to ‘go’ there again. And by using a leash while potty training your puppy, you remind them that potty time is not playtime.
If your puppy does not potty, take them back inside, but keep them on the leash. Set another timer for five minutes, and try again. If you see your puppy start sniffing, spinning, or trying to run away from you quickly, they need to go! By keeping them on the leash, you’ll be able to quickly guide them outside before they can potty in the house.
“How do I stop my puppy from peeing in the house?”
It’s disappointing when your puppy has an accident inside the house. But remember: never punish your puppy for pottying inside. Never hit them or rub their noses in the mess. Dogs live in the moment, so by the time you scold them for a puddle on the floor, they can’t comprehend why they’re being scolded. Punishment will only teach your dog to fear you and to start ‘hiding’ their messes.
The best cure is prevention, so start potty training the day you bring your new puppy home. By starting the training process early, you bond with your puppy and teach them to trust you.
If you have a puppy, be sure to sign up for a free evaluation with our dog training team. They’ll get to know you and your pup, troubleshoot any challenges you’re having, and give you advice for how to best train your puppy. Just call (636)537-2322 or click here to get started.
We at Petropolis are proud to have no breed restrictions for any of our services.
We believe all dogs are good dogs. It’s our job as their owners and handlers to set them up for success.
Why we don’t believe in breed restrictions
Many of the behaviors that can get a dog labeled as ‘aggressive’ at other facilities are actually fear responses. No dog is aggressive, but they can be reactive in the face of scary, unknown, or stressful situations.
Even so, no breed is inherently reactive. Dogs very rarely bite “out of the blue.” It’s our job to keep dogs out of uncomfortable situations and learn the warning signs of a stressed dog.
Luckily, our highly-trained staff can recognize the signs of a fight or a bite long before either occur. They constantly monitor our playgroups and step in if dogs start to play too rough.
How we evaluate new dogs
We evaluate every single dog who walks through our door the same way, regardless of breed. Each dog spends their first day with our Canine Evaluators, who get to know them and help them adjust to our facility.
Then, each dog is slowly introduced to the appropriate play group. We separate our groups based on size, energy level, and play style to keep everyone happy and having fun. We also offer one-on-one play options for dogs who’d prefer to spend time with our staff instead of other dogs.
If a dog is particularly reactive, we may suggest training, behavioral help, or just more time to adjust, but we will never turn a dog away based on breed alone.
Summer is in full swing, and we have so much going on! Here’s a taste of what we’ve been up to at Petropolis.
Ask the Trainer on July 18th
Does your dog bark constantly? Potty in the house sometimes? Struggle with separation anxiety? If you have questions, we have answers! Drop in anytime from 3 to 6 pm on July 18th to ask all your animal behavior questions. Dr. Jesse McClure, our resident dog expert, will be hanging around ready to help.
Dog Days of Summer Day Care Party
Starting today, we are officially in the Dog Days of Summer! This is the hottest part of the summer and also the time of year that the ancient Greeks associated with the “Dog Star” Sirius. What better way to celebrate than with a doggy day care party? Join us on Tuesday, July 30th, for our Dog Days of Summer Doggy Day Care Party. We’ll be splashing in Canine Cove, taking photos, and keeping cool. Plus, your pup will take home a photo from the party and a cookie from Treats Unleashed!
If your pup is new to doggy day care at Petropolis, give us a call at (636)537-2322 to schedule their FREE first day before the party!
While the first day of summer is technically a few weeks away, it sure feels like it’s already begun here at Petropolis! We have dogs in Canine Cove nearly every day, the salon is busy with summer cuts, and lodging is already filling up for Independence Day. Keep reading for some more updates about what we’ve been up to and what you can expect later this month.
Welcome Dr. Jesse McClure, Our New Canine Behavior Manager
It seems like our training team is getting stronger every day! We’re so happy to welcome Dr. Jesse McClure to our team as our new canine expert. Jesse has over 15 years of dog training experience and a Ph.D. in neuroscience and behavior. He got his start training narcotic detection canines for the Coast Guard, and he and his dog Rebel even provided explosive detection support for the 2005 presidential inauguration.
Now, Jesse (and his dog Ramekin) are heading up our new behavior department aimed at helping pets with specific behavioral concerns including extreme cases of anxiety, fear, and aggression. We’re so excited to offer behavior modification in addition to our training programs, and we can’t wait to see what amazing work Jesse can do with our Petropolis Pups.
“The Paw-fice” Doggy Day Care Party
Our favorite TV show shouldn’t be reserved for people, so we’re bringing it to the pups! Join us on Tuesday, June 25th, for our “The Paw-fice” Doggy Day Care Party. For the price of a regular day of doggy day care, your pup will get a full day of fun with their “coworkers.” They’ll also get an office-themed treat from Treats Unleashed and a photo to take home. Plus, weather-permitting, they’ll get to spend the day splashing around in Canine Cove!
Is your pup new to doggy day care at Petropolis? Give us a call at (636)537-2322 to schedule their FREE first day before the party.
4th of July Lodging (and Safety) Reminder
We’re less than a month away from the biggest holiday of the summer! While the 4th of July is an exciting, fun holiday for humans, it can be scary and dangerous for our pets. The 4th is the absolute worst holiday in terms of pet loss. During backyard barbeques, there are plenty of opportunities for pets to escape out the door while guests come and go. Plus, fireworks and firecrackers trigger flight responses in many dogs. It’s important to plan for your pet’s safety and peace of mind.
That’s why we recommend boarding your pet whether or not you’re leaving town for Independence Day, especially if you plan on hosting. Large gatherings can be stressful for pets anyway, and the added danger of pet loss makes the 4th of July a perfect storm. Give our Reservation Specialists a call at (636)537-2322 and let them help you plan your pet’s lodging stay. And don’t worry – they won’t miss out on the 4th of July fun! Our dogs will spend the day splashing around in Canine Cove and playing with their furry friends. Plus, don’t forget to add a special holiday meal to your dog’s stay when you book; we’ll be serving watermelon, blueberries, and (of course) hot dogs!