Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What types of dog training and behavior problems can you help me with?

A: Dr. Wan can assist owners with basic manners training for new puppies and adult dogs. In addition, she can help with a variety of problems, including difficulties with housetraining, jumping-up, excessive barking, destruction, fear, on-leash reactivity, and other common behaviors. New cases involving aggression are accepted on a case-by-case basis. Please fill out this brief inquiry form to find out more.

Q: How long will it take to change my dog’s behavior?

A: Sometimes a few quick changes in the dog’s environment and the owners’ interactions with the dog are enough to create improvement. However, generally speaking, for many behavior problems, an investment in time and effort is needed to create lasting change. For more serious problems, improvement may take several months or longer. Dr. Wan is available for consultation throughout the behavior modification process.

Q: Do you offer a guarantee?

A: No, most trainers and behaviorists do not offer guarantees. In fact, the Association of Professional Dog Trainers does not allow its members to offer guarantees, since animal behavior can never be fully predicted or controlled. Many factors influence success, including the dog’s genes, environment, and previous learning, as well as the amount of time and effort that owners can put into working with their dogs. Dr. Wan strives to address owners’ concerns as thoroughly as possible and guide them through the behavior modification process using scientifically sound and humane techniques.

Q: What techniques do you use?

A: Dr. Wan uses fear-free, family-friendly methods that are based on the principles of learning and conditioning. Dogs are rewarded for desired behaviors (positive reinforcement). Treats are often used as rewards, although play and attention can also be rewarding in some situations. Clicker training (using a verbal marker or a manual clicker to mark desired behaviors) is also very effective for many dogs. Dr. Wan does not use shock, prong, or choke collars. For more information, click here.

Q: What is the difference between a trainer and behaviorist?

A: There are no laws governing who can call themselves a trainer or a behaviorist and what education and experience are required for these titles. However, typically, within the dog behavior industry, the term “trainer” is used when referring to a professional who provides manners and obedience training. Some trainers are more experienced than others and may also be comfortable providing guidance on behavior problems. Typically, the term “behaviorist” is used when referring to:

  • an individual who has received an advanced graduate degree and has been board-certified through the Animal Behavior Society (a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist) or
  • a veterinarian who has completed a behavior residency and has been board-certified by the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists.

Q: Will your fees be covered by my pet insurance policy?

A: Your pet insurance policy may cover some behavioral service fees. We recommend contacting your insurance company to inquire about the details of your policy and whether a referral from your vet or other documentation is required. We are aware of the following companies offering some behavioral coverage:

  • Embrace
  • Lemonade
  • Nationwide
  • Pets Best
  • Pumpkin
  • Trupanion