Frequently Asked Questions


Thank you for your interest in The Refined K9! We look forward to working with you and your pup! 

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What is a consultation?

A Consultation, via video chat; will give the trainer time to sit down with you and your dog and discuss your goals and expectations during training. We can determine a training program designed to fit your individual dogs' needs. This is also time for you to give us a history of your dog: what their normal daily schedule is, what commands he/she already knows, and if there are any behavioral issues that need to be addressed (such as play biting, chewing furniture, potty training, aggressive tendencies with other dogs, people, pulling on the leash, barking out the window, unruly behavior towards house guests).  We can set up a plan together, and figure out what program will work best for you and your dog. 

how quickly will my dog learn?

Every Dog Learns at a different speed, just as every owner will have a different amount of questions to go over.  You will be offered individual private lessons after the Board and Train program, where you will be taught how to work through everything your dog learned here with us.  There is never an expected 'end date' on dog training, after Board and train you will be expected to help your dog through any issues after training.  Each dog completes and masters commands and behaviors at different rates. 

what are your training methods?

We utilize healthy and humane forms of communication to enhance the learning process with the dog to either continue a behavior or to discontinue an unwanted behavior. One form of communication is PAYCHECK, which lets the dog know that you appreciate his efforts and is seen as fun and motivation by the dog:

“I am asked frequently about paychecks (toys, food, etc.) and how "your dog only listens with them around". I hear the frustration in owners vocals as they describe the battle between wanting their dog to listen right this moment, without having put any time into the behavior they are asking their dog to do. I see yelling of "sits" "heels" and "downs", before the dog has ever been taught to do these; followed by: "well, I shouldn't need to have anything for my dog- he should just do as I ask right now", or "he usually does this, why isn't he doing it right now?". My answers are always: what's going on around you in the environment, and then have you ever paid your dog for this task? We go to work, and expect our paycheck at the end of the week, or the job. Our incentive is money so that we can pay the bills. You wouldn't see someone mucking through a task they hate doing for free- and the happier and faster they work probably means their pay is equivalent or higher than the job they are performing.  So, what does this mean for your dog? If you haven't paid your dog enough for a task, don't expect them to be responsive to a varied reward schedule. When we start to take away the rewards, you need to do it so that the dog is still getting paid just at a different schedule. Instead of immediately, do it after a small chain of behaviors; and then so on and so forth until they know you are truly the source of their paycheck, and they will work for extended periods of time for just you. Because you are the source of what is good. A toy is just a stupid toy until you breathe life into it”- Alicia Scholet, BA CPT.

After the behaviors are shaped, and the dog has been paid for his efforts; the dog will begin to push back and that is when we add in feedback. ‘Feedback’ is an instant and fair response to an unwanted behavior.  This is not a form of teaching or learning, and should not be a part of the process of learning. This simply gets the dog's attention and communicates to the dog: "stop what you're doing, and pay attention".  When the feedback is effective, fair, and timed properly with the unwanted behavior, it will cause the dog to discontinue the unwanted behavior.  

OUR ultimate goal is to reach a direct line of communication with your dog.

YOUR ultimate goal with your dog is to build a solid foundation by developing your bond, communicate trust, and have the ideal harmonious relationship.

You cannot outsource this bond, we are here to jumpstart your obedience. It is up to you to put in the work & time with your dog, and to become the leader your dog expects you to be. We are here to help you bridge the gap in communication and to coach you through the process of developing a solid bond with your pup. 

Health Requirements: 

Health and Vaccination Requirements

o   It is the owners responsibility to provide current copies of vaccination records to The Refined K9 from a licensed veterinarian. 

o   Dogs without proper vaccination records or overdue vaccines will not be accepted for training. 

o   All dogs are required to be in good health and have the following vaccinations: Rabies, Distemper, and parvovirus.

o   We do not accept female dogs that are in heat or pregnant for any type of training programs. 

o   We do not accept any dogs who look underweight, sick, or ill- including dogs with missing fur/rashes.

  • We do appreciate that your dog be crate trained at drop off. We do not currently have formal kennel runs, or kennel technicians; so cleaning your dogs kennel 3-4x a day will significantly decrease the amount of training time your dog will experience. (and your training time will not be extended for potty issues). During our programs - 'crate training' is not included. We will go over manners (such as whining or barking inside the crate) but we will not work through potty issues. Thank you for the consideration. 

Benefits & Discounts

·      If you have proof of serving in the US military, The Refined K9 is happy to offer you a discount on any program.

·      Please check our Facebook Page for monthly offers and coupons. 

Scheduling & Payment

 We accept all major credit cards, Square invoicing, Money Orders, Wire, and Cash. We do not accept personal checks. 

  • We require a 25% Deposit to reserve Board & Train Programs, and a 40% Deposit to reserve Service Dog programs.

  • If an invoice has been formulated, you will need to pay a 10% Cancellation Fee to cancel the invoice and training program.

We only offer 1 payment plan; "Layaway Payment Plan": 

  • You may schedule your program to start up to 4 months out from your consultation, and make payments onto the PayPal invoice weekly/monthly as long as the balance is settled 20 days before drop off.

There are NO REFUNDS for any training program, as stated in the training contract & NO REFUNDS for any pre-paid Behavioral consultations, or any other evaluation or single private lesson that has be pre-paid in advance. 

Please email our Office at if you have any additional questions about payment.

 Decoy: Carlos Ramirez.

Decoy: Carlos Ramirez.




how old should my puppy be to start obedience training?

Your Puppy can begin obedience between 8-16 weeks of age! They start learning the day you get them, but can receive confusing communication from your household and family members, causing bad habits to develop. Starting them out as soon as possible on obedience, can help your pet dog develop and grow with appropriate and mannerly behavior. We accept Puppies in Board and Train Programs around 9 months of age. We do offer Puppy preschool group classes at Dog Lovers in Tarpon Springs FL on Saturdays, and you should seek out other programs such as Mike Ritland's Team Dog Training to jumpstart your puppies success.

What is a balanced trainer?

A Balanced Trainer recognizes dog training is not a “one size fits all approach”.  Balanced trainers don’t limit their training skills to a pre-defined protocol or rules.  They set a training plan, which defines each dog as an individual. This gives the trainer the ability to respect each dog’s personalities, training needs, and goals. 

Will my dog remember me after a board and Train program?

Yes! Your dog will remember you after his/her boarding program. We are just the trainers; your dog will know you as mom or dad. Please visit our instagram page for reunion videos. Your dog will see this as a training vacation. Not only will he/she be getting trained, he will also be playing, having fun, and going on field trips. He will be well cared for and looking forward to your arrival at pick up. 

How do I sign up for a program and get pricing information?

Please click "book a free consultation" to sign up for a video chat consultation; where you'll receive a program PDF where you'll find our price list & speak with our Lead Trainer/Owner about whether our training is a match for your dog. 

*Please Note: having your dog train with us does not guarantee Daily Instagram posts featuring your dog. We feature many of our Boarding dogs inside our IG "stories" on a daily basis, and you will receive personal updates weekly via text message or email. We strive to deliver you a fully trained dog and intend to focus each day on providing your dog with a positive experience during his/her training program- not to help you make your dog "insta famous". Thank you for choosing The Refined K9, and we look forward to helping you develop a stronger bond with your pup! Unplug, and go play some fetch!