Hi, I’m Debbie Schaefer, owner of The Well-Mannered Dog, LLC!

Debbie SchaeferWe Believe

At The Well-Mannered Dog, we believe training is a partnership in which the dog and owner are learning what each other wants and needs and how to meet their individual goals.  Through this process, our job is to join in this partnership to guide you through the process.  For this reason, we provide not only coaching of the training process but a lot of phone and written support.

In addition we believe dogs learn best with the use of dynamic scientific and humane methods that employ the use of a large variety of rewards (food, play, social, and environmental) to teach desired behaviors while minimizing the probability of mistakes. Techniques that cause pain, fear or stress for the dogs (choke chains, pinch, shock collars or physical or verbal corrections) are never recommended. Although owners learn how to train their dog using positive methods, they also learn how to set effective limits and how to humanely change rude behavior.

We believe owners should enroll in a training program that will successfully meet their goals while using these humane techniques. To ensure this compatibility with our classes we offer you the opportunity to visit a class without your dog before you decide to have us join your partnership.

We believe dog trainers should be certified

Until recently, consumers did not have an effective way of evaluating a trainers ability. That changed through the organization of The Certification Counsel For Professional Dog Trainers. The certification Counsel For Professional Dog trainers provides testing and certification for trainers to ensure the consumer is receiving training from a qualified professional. At The Well-Mannered Dog all classes are taught by a Certified Professional Dog Trainer who has been tested through a nationally recognized dog training organization. The test examines knowledge of pet dog training, learning theory, and handling behavior problems.

We believe you deserve quality service and promise to give you

  • honest professional services of the highest quality
  • to treat all dogs and clients with respect while taking into account their physical and psychological well-being
  • dedicated customer service, facilitated through small class sizes, phone and e-mail support.
  • an instructor who will listen to what you need
  • an instructor who never recommends techniques known to cause pain, fear or stress
  • an instructor who continues their education to ensure you have the best quality training

We believe in education and giving back

We believe dog trainers should be certified by an independent counsel:
Certified Pet Dog Trainer (2002 to present)
Puppy Start Right Graduate (2016)

We believe dog trainers should belong to professional organizations
Association Of Pet Dog Trainers (1998-present)
Certification Counsel For Pet Dog Trainers (2002 to present)
The Pet Professional Guild (2016 to present)
Dogs Gone Dancing (2016 to present)

We believe education of our peers is important:
2002 Speaker at the Association of Pet Dog Trainers’ Conference.
2004 Speaker at the  Association of Pet Dog Trainers Conference.
Aug. 6 2015 Speaker at EWEB  – reading body language – what to do if you are attacked.

We believe in giving back to the community and have:
Been Vice President, Education  and Pet Therapy Committee chairs for Humane Society of Cottage Grove (mid 1990’s)
Chaired the APDT Member Relations and Services Committee (2000-2002)
Helped Greenhill Humane Society implement temperament-testing for shelter dogs.
Established a  program for local shelters dogs in need of  training and enrichment (2013 – 2014).
Volunteered on Animal Care Committee (2015 – 2016)

We Believe in Continuing Education and have attended:
1993 Behavior Rx The Art of Counseling Pet Owners 3 Day Course
1996 Looking At Aggression Seminar presented by John Fisher
2000 Association of Pet Dog Trainers annual conference
2002 Association of Pet Dog Trainers annual conference
2004 Chicken Camp- Discrimination Workshop
2004 Association of Pet Dog Trainers annual conference
2006 Chicken Camp- Cueing and Criteria
2009 Association of Pet Dog Trainers annual conference and Symposium of Fear and Anxiety
2013 Association of Pet Dog Trainers annual conference
2015 Clicker Expo 
2015 The role of nutrition in behavior therapy by Dr. Lore Haug
2016 Clicker Expo
2016 Creating Your Dream Team – with Michelle Pouliot
2016 – Puppy Start Right Program

2017 Clicker Expo

We believe you deserve  a safe training environment and fair treatment

At the Well-Mannered Dog, we enforce these policies to ensure everyone is treated fairly and so you have a safe experience:

  • People visiting class to determine compatibility are welcome at any time but are asked to leave their dog at home
  • A full refund will be provided if we cancel a class
  • A full refund will be provided if client terminates registration at least 72 hours before their first class.
  • If a client cancels after the start date no refund will be given but the client will be offered private consultations instead.
  • If you miss a class, you are welcome contact the instructor to find out what was covered.
  • People handling the dog in class must be capable of ensuring the safety of others.
  • Group classes and  Special Events are for non-aggressive dogs. This means the dogs do not snarl, growl, snap, lunge, bite or bark in an unfriendly fashion.