Private, In-home Dog Training Services in Charleston, SC & Surrounding Areas

 
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Day Training & Private Coaching

VivaPaws offers two types of in-home services:

DAY TRAINING = WE TRAIN YOUR DOG FOR YOU WHILE YOU WORK

PRIVATE COACHING = YOU TRAIN YOUR DOG WITH OUR GUIDANCE AND A CUSTOMIZED TRAINING PLAN


Both services start with an Initial Consult, which is necessary to conduct a behavior assessment and examine all factors that contribute to the problems you are facing.

Our consult is longer than most dog trainers’. This is because we go in-depth in order to provide YOU with the most comprehensive service, and design a detailed training plan.

In addition, we provide you with a full Consultation Report at completion of a training program, which you may bring along to you vet or other specialist.

We work at the levels of a behavior consultant to deal with your dog’s emotions, which is a necessity in behavior cases like fear/anxiety/aggression. Not all dog trainers are qualified to handle behavior cases, so we encourage you to research a trainer’s credentials and ensure the individual is educated in the science of animal learning and behavior.

We only accept cases we know we are qualified to deal with. In some case we may refer you to a certified behavior consultant or a veterinary behaviorist.

Customized packages are available in:

Puppy Socialization - for puppies 8-20 weeks

Basic Manners Training (Obedience): For puppies and adult dogs who need basic training or better manners.

Behavior Modification - For dogs with behavior problems, such as anxiety, phobias, separation anxiety, fear-related aggression.

See below for more details.

At VivaPaws, we go the extra mile and do more than just train dogs: Contact us today and experience a service like no other!

We Are Veterinarian Recommended


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Initial Consult

An Initial Consult is 90 minutes for most cases and up to 2 hours for Behavior Modification (issues like anxiety, aggression, separation anxiety, phobias, etc.)

This is a chance for us to get acquainted with you and your dog. The consult takes place in your home. We will focus on your goals, as well as taking into consideration, your dog’s needs. Along with your input, a training solution will be developed that offers the best outcome for you and your dog.

We help identify what motivates your dog and what triggers and sustains his or her behavior. Vivi conducts a behavior analysis, explaining how behavior works.

We discuss Management solutions, which sometimes means changing your dog’s environment to prevent opportunities for practicing the undesirable behaviors. Often, an easy solution to a behavior problem is simple management.

More often than not, your dog simply needs to learn what to do instead; Vivi helps you find alternatives to replace any problematic behaviors.

HOW IT WORKS:

Click BOOK NOW button below and fill out questionnaire.

  • If you are uncertain which type of training your dog or puppy needs, or you have questions about our other services, you can contact us via email, phone, or use the Contact form.

  • You will be provided with a detailed Training Protocol before the first training session.

  • We recommend that all household members are present at the Initial Consult. This is important to ensure everyone is in agreement on a treatment plan.

ALL SERVICES INCLUDE:

  • Behavior Analysis

  • Individualized training plan with clear and simple instructions

  • Weekly Follow-up training instructions and progress log to help keep you on track

  • Full consultation report (that you may take along to your vet) at completion of training program with VivaPaws

  • Instruction in clicker training

  • One complimentary clicker

  • One complimentary treat pouch

  • Handouts

  • Phone consultation or email support between visits, if problems arise

  • One complimentary follow-up session (approx. 4 weeks after completion of program)

DETAILS:

Initial Consult fee has to be paid in full when scheduling an appointment.

  • An additional travel fee may apply depending on location.

  • See our rates below


Private Coaching & Day Training Services

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Private Coaching

You train your dog with our guidance

Ideal if you want to understand behavior and build a strong bond with your dog.

You will be provided with an individualized Training Protocol and as many coaching sessions needed to succeed.

Typically, the coaching sessions will be once a week where we guide you and measure your progress on the homework we have provided you with.

Choosing this option requires consistency, patience, and commitment on your part, as well as keeping up with the homework we provide.

DETAILS:

All training sessions are one hour long.

You will need to book and pay for the Initial Consult online.

Payment for a training package must be paid in full at the Initial Consult, or at least 48 hours before the first training session.

An additional travel fee may apply depending on location.

  • 15% discount on our packages, when swapping a prong, shock, choke collar (see Project Trade for details and what other gear is applicable for a discount).

  • We give 10% discount to clients who have adopted a dog from Charleston Animal Society.

  • NOTE: Only one of the above discounts is applicable at any one time!

RATES:  (Same price for both services):

Individual session (hourly rate): $95

Initial Consult (90 mins-2 hours): $125

2 - 3 sessions: $80 per session

4 - 6 sessions: $75 per session

7 - 10 sessions: $70 per session

We customize a program so you only pay for what you need!

Please note: We customize your specific training program to fit your needs, as well as your dog’s. Sometimes it is recommendable to combine Coaching with Day Training to achieve the best result. Our approach is very flexible and we take great care to design a program suitable for each unique situation. We take into consideration your experience, time budget, and financial allowance when compiling a training protocol. This is all discussed at the Initial Consult. For behavior cases like aggression or separation anxiety, where treatment has a longterm prognosis, there is a special rate. Once you have booked the consult, and we have received your questionnaire, you will receive two package options based on the needs specified in the questionnaire. This is for you to have an indication of the likely cost of a package. If these options don’t work for you we are happy to discuss other options at the consult to get the package that is right for you and your dog.

If you only need a consultation and a training plan to train your dog yourself, we offer these two options:

#1: Behavior Consultation (2 hours) + training plan @ $25 = $150

#2: Consult (2 hrs) + training plan + 2 emails or 1 x phone support @ 30mins (per wk) for 1 month = $270

  • You will receive a comprehensive training plan within a week of the consultation.

  • Includes clicker + treat pouch + instruction in clicker training.

  • You will need to pay the Initial Consult fee $125 when booking and fill out the questionnaire. The balance of the package must be paid in full at the consultation.

 

Day Training

We train your dog while you work (in your home, and on location)

This is our most popular option.

Comparable to a Board & Train service, except your dog remains in your home and is not exposed to a potential stressful environment.

The most important benefit to Day Training is the one-on-one focus between the trainer and your dog. Needless to say, there is no comparison to letting a Professional do what they are skilled and trained to do.

Day Training essentially leads to faster results!

HOW IT WORKS:

We train your dog 3-4 times a week @ 1 hour sessions.

At the end of each week, we transfer your dog’s new skills to you and your family. We strongly recommend all members of the family are present at this Transfer session, so everyone is on board. This is your chance to practice the skills you will be maintaining after the training program is completed.

You are welcome to be present during the sessions, if preferred.

VivaPaws will email a Training Visit Report after every visit to keep you updated on the skills we have worked on and any recommendations for keeping up the skills until next visit.

Same price and details apply as for Private Coaching. See above.

See our Day School programs for even greater savings!


See below for our Customized Packages in Good Manners, Behavior Modification & Puppy Socialization

 
 

You’re On The Path To a Positive Outcome…

 
 
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Training package (Basic manners)

  • Is your dog or puppy jumping on guests?

  • Stealing socks?

  • Pulling on leash?

  • Biting/nipping?

  • Counter surfing?

  • Running out the door?

  • Chasing the cat or other animals?

  • Digging?

This package is for adult dogs and puppies who just need to learn some basic skills and good manners. You tell us what you want your dog to learn and we help you get on the right path to a well-behaved pooch!

examples of good manners:

  • Come when called - sit to greet guests - walk nicely on leash - wait at the door (or other boundary) - Relax on a mat (place, bed) - sit & stay


 
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Behavior package (Behavior Modification)

  • Is your dog’s behavior causing you stress or concern?

  • Perhaps she lunges at other dogs/people?

  • Is fearful of loud noises, like thunder, fireworks, engines?

  • Is shy or fearful of family members or strangers?

  • Showing signs of fear-related aggression?

  • Suffering from Separation Anxiety, or other related anxiety?

You need a well-educated and experienced professional who understands how behavior works and how to modify it. We will carefully examine all factors in order to determine what is going on from your dog’s perspective. Whenever your dog is reacting to things in a fearful or aggressive manner, it means he is reacting through his emotions and he ‘cannot just stop it’. He has learned that this coping mechanism works. Changing his emotions about a scary stimulus means working systematically within his comfort zone through desensitization and counterconditioning techniques. This process takes time, dedication, commitment & compassion. We often work in conjunction with veterinarians, behavior consultants, and/or veterinary behaviorists to examine all possible causes and the most effective treatment for your dog’s issues.

  • We recommend you email or call us prior to booking a Consult to determine what treatment may be necessary for your individual case


 
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Puppy Socialization package

Socialization is the process through which your puppy becomes comfortable with his or her environment. It can be quite a comprehensive (even daunting) task to ensure your puppy is introduced to as many places, people, animals, sounds, objects, obstacles, etc. as possible during the very short window of socialization. Up until 3-4 months of age your puppy’s brain is open to everything. After that, he is genetically pre-programmed to become wary of new things, making it much harder to shape him into an easygoing, friendly adult dog.

Puppies as young as 8 weeks of age are highly trainable and it is therefore important to start off with lots of positive experiences, working at your puppy’s level and comfort, in order to prevent fearful responses later on. Most behavior problems are a result of lack of socialization and training.

We help with:

  • House training

  • Crate training

  • Nipping/mouthing

  • Jumping up

  • Stealing (socks, shoes, etc.)

  • Basic manners & foundation skills

  • Fear issues and more

additionally, we offer comprehensive socialization day school programs if you are unable to find time to socialize your puppy yourself.

 

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How we help people understand behavior:

When I came to VivaPaws, I believed I had a dog who was both stubborn and unruly. She is a 2 year old terrier mix, who barks at everything and won’t listen or come when I call. Only when she gets a treat. It was so annoying. After spending the 90 minute consultation with Vivi, I quickly learned that dogs do not do these things to annoy us, or be stubborn. To realize that I had in fact been reinforcing these behaviors all along, and that she only does it because it works, was quite a revelation to me! When Vivi asked what did I wanted her to do instead of barking, I automatically replied, ‘Well, I want her to stop, of course!’ Vivi made me realize that my strategy so far had not worked, that I may have encouraged the behavior and the only way to change this behavior is to teach her to be quiet and ignore or redirect the barking. Now, Vivi has me clicking and treating every brief second she is quiet and to my surprise it has actually worked! Her barking has diminished substantially. Vivi also gave me a great technique to get her to come to me. That clicker game really is amazing. As soon as I pick it up, she is ready! It has forced me to see the logic in why treats are important. Dogs want to be paid as well. I would not recommend any other trainer in SC. Vivi has transformed my life, as well as Bella’s. She is top notch!
— L. Sullivan