After a 2 year break because of covid, we are finally starting training again. However, because the daycare/boarding facility is still short handed, most lessons must occur at the Pooch Palace. Only certain times work for lessons, at our facility or at your home. Mostly mid mornings, mid afternoons, occasional 7 pm lessons, and Saturdays. Only the 7pm and Saturday lessons can be at your home right now. We are sorry for the inconvenience and should be staffed up to offer more times very soon.
Dog training students at the Pooch Palace
If you are looking for quality, fair priced dog training anywhere in Charleston, look no further than Alpha Dog Training. We have many programs to suit your needs. Why don't we offer group obedience classes? Because after 25 years of professional dog training, we have always had far better results working privately with dogs and their owners. If you have a friend or neighbor who also needs help with the training of their puppy/dog and want to split the cost in order to save some money ... no problem. We go out of our way to make everyone happy.
What separates us from our competition?
In most cases, about 23 years of experience, and thus, diversity. If you do your homework you will find that most dog trainers out there are novices. But only experience teaches one a vast collection of techniques to deal with certain behaviors in more than one way. What works for one dog doens't always work for every dog, and trainers at local chain stores and some dog training franchises are often hurried through a 3 or 4 week "how to train a dog" course and then put out there as "certified experts". In those classes, dogs are put in a ring in the corner of the store and owners take turns giving basic commands with lots of treats involved, and after 6 or 8 weeks, the dogs listen to basic commands in that ring within that store with lots of treats.
We see a lot of dogs who have already been through one of those courses and most customers comment that they get more out of one session with us than they got out of 6 or 8 sessions from the course at the local chain store or from multiple lessons through a dog training chain franchise.
One competitor insists on using a shock collar from day one.
One competitor uses only treats and no discipline. That's fine if your dog is extremely motivated by food, is kept in a constant state of starvation, and no squirrels show up! Otherwise, this method will work only when your dog chooses a treat over the many distracions that exist in the real world.
We believe (and know through experience) that one stock method will not work for every dog, and we will use a vast collection of techniques depending on the dog, owner, and situation. We work with dogs in all situations, from your home to the beach because if you want your dog to obey everywhere, you have to practice everywhere...and it sure helps to have an experienced trainer present in each environment until you feel confident in yourself as a dog handler in each situation.
Our prices are fair. Our prices have increased very little over the 25 years that we've been serving Charleston. Just getting a locksmith or repairman to come to your home these days costs $90-$100, and that's just for the car ride there! Our experience and expertise is second to none and we only charge enough to make sure we make a profit instead of losing money.
Honesty. We don't promise and advertise that your "first visit is FREE" or a "FREE EVALUATION", both of which are incredibly dishonest and misleading because those "visits" and "evaluations" are simply sales people with a contract looking to get your signature locking you into way more training than you often need. We don't make you sign a long contract with lots of fine print that ends up giving many dog training companies the perfect "out" of their guarantees, and lock you into paying for their entire course whether you like it or not, or see improvement in your dog's behavior or not. We don't offer guarantees. Animal behavior and guarantees do not mix. Your dog is an animal with his/her own personality that evolves with age, just like a person. Training never ends. We are here to get your dog behaving the right way and give you the knowledge and teach you the skills to KEEP your dog behaving the right way. You will be amazed at how much progress you see in your very first session with Alpha Dog Training, and if you aren't, you can give us the boot!
The basics are all that most people need or have the time to perfect. A dog who comes when called on a consistent basis is a dream come true for many dog owners. The "Basic Obedience" program covers the Come command, as well as Sit, Down, Stay, Heel (some dogs), "Walk" (all dogs) and a "Bed" or "Time Out" command (perfect for dinner time or when a guests arrive at the door). Heel is a very strict command and is not enjoyable for a dog, espescially for long periods of time. For this reason, we usually steer customers in the direction of the "Walk" command, in which the dog is expected to stay to one side, behind the owner, and not pulling backwards or off to the side. The dog has much more freedom to look around and "smell the roses" as he/she walks, but is still controlled. Unlike Heel, however, your dog is not expected to lock eyes with yours for the entire walk and therefore, the walk is enjoyable for the dog and owner.
More importantly, you will learn how to get your dog to obey these commands whether he/she feels like it at the time or not. Also covered are any problem solving dilemmas that you may be having, such as; jumping, chewing, playbiting, digging, using the house as a toilet, etc.
Teaching your dog to perform certain tricks is quite easy while other tricks can take a good bit of time and patience. It could be years and years before we ever get your basset hound to skip across the floor on his hind legs or your five pound dog to retrieve a drink from the refrigerator! But while common sense must apply, most dogs are capable of learning just about anything you want to teach them, as long as their bodies can perform the task. Let us know what trick(s) you want your dog to learn - chances are, it's possible.
*Important Scheduling Tip
Prices are for our regular service area during NON RUSH HOUR times unless we can make it to you within 15 minutes. You can go ahead and schedule and pay for a course or a single lesson with your chosen trainer on our booking page, however we reserve the right to call you and inform you that the time slot you chose and your location will require an additional charge due to your location and time slot chosen. It all comes down to time. Rush hour lessons within the Mt. Pleasant or Daniel Island service areas generally won't require additional rush hour charges because we are based out of Mt. Pleasant. If we need to add a fee for additional drive time because you scheduled a lesson during rush hour and you live in James Island, West Ashley, North Charleston or Downtown, we only charge enough to pay for our normal hourly rate (pro-rated) and we will call you to confirm the additional fee and to make sure you are comfortable with the fee. Those who do not want to pay rush hour drive time fees are always welcome to schedule lessons at the Pooch Palace. These lessons never incur additional drive time fees because the customer is the one spending the extra time in their car. Problem solved! We are happy to answer any questions you have regarding whatever course you are considering, so give us a call or email us if you aren't sure what program you need to enroll in or which trainer you need to work with. But if you are in a hurry to get on our schedule and know which course and trainer you want to schedule, use the "book appointment now" tab to get on our schedule as soon as possible. What's available now may not be available tonight or tomorrow.
Only some 7pm and Saturday sessions available
In Home or Travelling Basic Obedience COURSE With Jeff, the Owner
(4) 60-75 minute lessons
Lessons are with Jeff Sutton, the owner. If your dog is not displaying aggressive or extremely abnormal behavior, you probably don't need lessons from Jeff and his 25 years of experience. Instead, get a lesson from an assistant trainer (price below) and if the assistant feels that he/she needs Jeff's assistance after working with your dog, Jeff will come at a reduced rate because you were willing to work with an assistant first. If Jeff's help is needed, the assistant may very well still attend lessons for training purposes.
In Home or Travelling Basic Obedience COURSE with Assistant Trainer
$650 (includes 15 minutes drive time, $1/minute for extra)
If your dog isn't displaying aggressive behavior or alarming characteristics, use an assistant trainer for your basic obedience needs. Assistants are trained by Jeff and use the same techniques. If your dog happens to display a behavior the assistant isn't comfortable with, or hasn't seen before, Jeff will get involved. And for being willing to work with an assistant first, you will pay the assistant trainer rates even with Jeff involved. Assistants get rave reviews all the time, so unless your dog has some scary issues, use an assistant, save some money and everyone wins!
One Single In Home or Travelling Lesson With Assistant Trainer
If, after your single session, you want to go ahead with full course, your price will be discounted for the single lesson.
(Rate includes drive time and one 60-75 minute lesson)
If you only need help with one or two issues, you may not need the full Basic Obedience Course. You are welcome to schedule one single lesson in which we can work on a few problem behaviors, a few commands, or a little of both. You'll be amazed at how much improvement you see in your pooch after just one session. Or if you aren't sure if you want to sign up for the full course without seeing how your dog responds to us, sign up for a single session, and at the end, when you're amazed at how well your pooch did and how much you liked your trainer, you can then go ahead and sign up for the rest of the Basic Obedience Course and we'll still give you the discount for getting multiple lessons.
One Single In Home or Travelling Lesson with
Jeff, the Owner
Includes one 60-90 minute lesson and drive time
If your dog has issues serious enough that Jeff needs to get involved, it is unlikely that one lesson is going to be enough. But if you just want to get one session to make sure you and your dog click with Jeff and to make sure you see a good bit of improvement during the lesson, that makes perfect sense! We will work on anything from aggressive behavior, to extreme fear of things (people or other dogs...or trash cans, or other weird things!), Tricks, service dog issues, commands, or any other problem behaviors. Remember that if you are only in need of basic problem behavior modification help or help with basic commands, you should probably try a single lesson from an assistant trainer.
Lessons At The Pooch Palace
4 Weekly Private Lessons @ Pooch Palace with Assistant Trainer
Everything included in the Basic Obedience Program is covered, only you drive to us and do lessons in and around the Pooch Palace instead of in your home, around your home, and places like the pet store and the beach.
Single Session w/Assistant Trainer @ Pooch Palace
Basic Obedience and/or Problem Behavior Modification
Single Session with Jeff, the Owner @ Pooch Palace
Basic Obedience and/or Problem Behavior Modification
Not Available Yet Basic Obedience Plus
The one sure way to screw up your dog's training is to skip a day or two of practice and then try to play catch up because the trainer is coming for a visit soon. For the dog owner who knows that they might need a little exra push in order to work with their dog every day, this program is for you. With this program the exact same things are covered as within the Basic Obedience program, we just visit more often. Instead of one visit every 6-9 days, you will receive a lesson every 3 to 4 days, thus making it difficult for you to be a slacker! This course is available from assistant trainer only.
6 In Home or Travelling Bi-Weekly Private Lessons (45 minutes each) --
*Some locations may require an additional drive time fee.
6 Bi-Weekly Private Lessons at the Pooch Palace (45 minutes) -- $425
Single lessons may be purchased for $90each, however the full course is recommended.
Lesson prices are slightly less than with the "Basic Obedience" course due to the fact that lessons are shorter (45 minutes) due to the increased frequency of lessons.
Private tune up classes available after completion of inital 6 lesson course for $45 each (discounted rate) and are held at the Pooch Palace. Tune up lessons may commence 4 weeks after completion of initial course.
Dog training student working at the Pooch Palace
"Pinto" & "Squirt"
Teacher's Pet Camp
Going on vacation? Need a vacation from your unruly dog? This program is designed for the dog owner who wants a well trained dog but doesn't want to put in the unavoidable hours necessary to have one. The Teacher's Pet Camp program does not eliminate work on your part, but does reduce your workload by about 85%. Before you ever touch a leash, your dog will stay with us for a period of about 4-5 weeks. During his lessons, your dog will learn all of the basic commands involved in our Basic Obedience program: sit, down, stay, come, heel, and a control area command. We will also spend 20 hours watching your dog when he/she thinks he/she is alone and correcting him/her for unwanted behaviors such as digging, chewing and pottying in the house (small dogs have some housebreaking exeptions with surveillance training - ask for details). When your dog is consistently refraining from naughty behaviors and performing his commands flawlessly for his trainer, Fido will begin visiting home each day. These daily visits continue until Fido's owner receives the same consistent response from Fido that his trainer receives. You will receive 5 home visits and as many follow up visits as needed at the Pooch Palace to insure that your dog obeys you, his master and friend. This generally takes anywhere from 5-10 hours. Rest assured, once your dog is certain that you know how to play the game, he/she will be the most well behaved dog you know.
Also included is one week per year of tune-up training at the Pooch Palace for no charge. Holidays are excluded.
Investment ....... $3,500 (without surveillance)
some discounts available
VIP Teacher's Pet Camp
This is the same program until the very end. With the VIP program, once Fido is obeying his trainer consistently, you will receive 3 more full work weeks (15 days) of further home visits. 5 follow up visits is usually plenty, however we want to make sure that those clients who want more follow up and guidance in the weeks following your dog's training, have that option. Some homes are downright hectic in the afternoons and early evenings, and sometimes we can't get much work done because of circumstances out of our control. Things such as your 3 year old locking your 4 year old in the oven, or your children disappearing with the dog halfway across the neighborhood. I had one poor woman have a nervous breakdown over her job. I had one couple get in a marital fight so bad that I could have sworn they forgot I was there. The point is, 5 follow up visits with a dog who is already listening wonderfully to us should be plenty, but some homes are crazy to the point that in those 5 days, we only manage to get in 2 hours of work. If that is your home, consider the VIP follow up course! These extra visits will be informal and will generally just involve your trainer hanging out 60-90 minutes per day with your family, making sure that if anyone gives Fido a command or if Fido gets into any trouble, things are followed through with in the correct manner. It is crucial that you, the owner(s), are handling your trained dog correctly before we go away for good, so give some thought as to how much follow up time you will need because your investment depends on it. We've tried to think of ways to ensure a more complete dog training program, but this is it. This is the end all, be all, of dog training programs.
Teacher's Pet Daycare Camp
We've tried to come up with enough training programs to suit every possible wish and desire. This is our last try! If you do not want to be without your pooch for about a month (Teacher's Pet Camp Program), but want more consistent help with problem behaviors (jumping, housebreaking, playbiting, digging, getting in the trash) than the Teacher's Pet Program offers, this program may just be the one for you. With the Teacher's Pet Daycare Camp, Fido comes to the Pooch Palace for training all day long but returns to his home and family at night for some quality time. During his days, Fido will receive work on his basic commands; sit, down, stay, come, a "time out" command, and leash walking. He will also be taught to refrain from jumping and playbiting, and we will spend some time allowing him/her to roam the inside of the pooch palace to address problem behaviors such as sticking his nose in places it doesn't belong (trash cans and counter tops) and housebreaking. It won't all be work, however, as Fido will have plenty of time to play and socialize with the other dogs who are there for entertainment purposes only. It is a great atmosphere in which to train a dog because we can alternate between work and play all day long, which mimics normal day to day life. Once Fido is refraining from the problem behaviors and obeying commands consistently for his trainer, you will receive 5 in home follow up visits to make sure you know how to handle your newly trained pooch and unlimited follow up lessons at the Pooch Palace. In most cases, 5-10 hours of follow up visits does the trick. Once Fido learns that his owners know how to play the game, he/she will be the most well behaved dog you've ever owned.
VIP Teacher's Pet Daycare Camp
Same program as the Teacher's Pet Daycare Camp except the follow up training at the end. Once Fido is behaving wonderfully for his trainer, instead of 5 in home visits and unlimited follow up at the Pooch Palace, you will receive 3 weeks (15 days) of in home follow up visits, as well as unlimited follow up sessions at the Pooch Palace. These visits will be informal and will generally just involve your trainer hanging out with your family and making sure that if anyone gives Fido a command, things are followed through with in the correct manner. We've tried to think of ways to ensure a more complete dog training program, but this is it. This is the end all, be all, of dog training programs.
Because of the fact that dogs are capable of learning so many things, we don't offer a specific advanced course. Just let us know what you would like your dog to learn and we can surely help you. Advanced trainng is usually done on a lesson by lesson basis.
Call 224-2559 with any questions or to set an appointment.