Our Training Philosophy
Arfordable Dog Training’s philosophy is to focus on positive reinforcement to train both your dog and you. Utilizing positive training methods, it will allow your relationship to flourish and ensure well-behaved dogs will always be a part of the family. Through affordable dog training, behavioral modification and education, families can keep their pets in the home and hopefully, impact the overpopulation of dogs in San Antonio and surrounding suburbs.
About The Owner/Head Trainer
My name is Jessica Davis, BS, CPDT-KA. All my life I have been an animal lover but was never a math/science person. After the realization that being a veterinarian would be an unlikely future for me, I turned to customer service. Throughout my career, I knew something was missing. I wanted to give back and help others. I started volunteering at a local shelter and fell in love. The people, the pups, and the passion. The shelter started a dog training team and the rest is history.
After 3 years of working with reactive, fearful, and socialized pups, I knew it was time to get certified. Along with becoming a dog trainer and receiving my CPDT-KA through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT), helping people make their lives easier with their beloved pups has been my greatest accomplishment. To see the impact of a few simple behaviors on families has motivated me to learn more and work harder than ever before.
My training philosophy is to focus on positive reinforcement to train you and your dog. Through positive training it will allow your relationship to flourish and ensure well-behaved dogs remain as part of the family. Through affordable dog training, behavioral modification and education, families can keep their pets in the home and hopefully, impact the overpopulation of dogs in San Antonio and surrounding cities.
My heart will always be with the shelter pups. They are the reason I work today.
This is a picture of the first reactive dog I ever worked with. (Adopted 4/10/2016) He was my first foster dog. My first heartworm positive dog. My first pitbull mix – but he was my Willie. Through work and dedication, he found his forever home. He now lives a fappy (fat and happy) life in Idaho with his loving sister and plenty of people to dote on him.
Pamela Molina is a United States Marine Corps Veteran and is currently studying psychology here in the San Antonio area. She grew up with dogs and has always had a passion for helping shelter dogs. She didn’t realize her calling as a dog trainer until she adopted a German Shepherd mix dog named Chula that came with a set of behavioral issues. To help ensure she has an enriching and fulfilling life, she wanted to learn how to help Chula. Pam decided to attend a 6 month long Master Dog Trainer’s Course at Highland Canine’s School for Dog Trainers. While there, she learned all about dog body language, obedience, service dogs, behavior modification, scent detection, and trailing. Over the course of her career, she has handled and trained many different breeds and temperaments. We’re so happy to have her part of the team!
Lisa Anderson is a graduate from The Behrend College at Penn State University with a degree in Psychology. Recently, she graduated from Animal Behavior College and is currently working towards her CPDT-KA through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers, Inc. Her training philosophy focuses on positive reinforcement and understanding the dog as an individual with individual needs. Throughout her training, she has worked with many dogs of different temperaments and has a passion for rescues and misunderstood dogs.
We couldn’t be more excited to have her. Please help me welcome her to the team!
Photo is courtesy of Paw Prints – Pet Portraits by Charlene – Pittsburgh Pet Photographer.
Mara Eck is a United States Active Duty Army Officer in the Military Police Corps and a part-time Certified Professional Dog Trainer. Mara holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Troy State University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from University of Pittsburgh. Mara has been passionate about animals and especially dogs her whole life and has even volunteered at the Hawaii Humane Society where she became a foster failure and adopted her “love bug” Leila (Pit/Airedale mix), who is an AKC Canine Good Citizen. Mara has trained two of her own dogs (Allie – a Dalmatian & Leila) dating back to 1999 and she loved it so much that she went to Animal Behavior College in California in 2015 and became a Certified Dog Trainer. Mara currently trains dogs in Basic Obedience, Agility, Trick, Puppy Training, and she is an AKC Canine Good Citizen certifier. She is also Canine CPR Trained. Mara‘s next goal and passion is to train Service and Therapy Dogs for Veterans and First Responders. Her goal, when she retires from the Military, will be to work with and train dogs full time. We’re so happy to have her with us!
Alexa Christian has always been an animal lover! After marrying her high school sweetheart and becoming an Army wife, she adopted two dogs, Ambush and Reda, from a shelter in New Mexico. Ambush was very fearful and Reda was a high energy puppy. This sparked the idea to learn more about dog training.
Alexa graduated from Animal Behavior College in 2013 and took a Karen Pryor Clicker Training Course in 2016. She is currently working towards her CPDT-KA through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Training. Alexa has also worked for a dog walking company while living in Virginia for over two years which allowed her to experience many different breeds with a variety of temperaments. Her training philosophy focuses on positive reinforcement, clicker training and understanding dogs as an individual. Because of her on experiences with rescues, she has developed a big passion for working with them and looks forward to working with more of them!
Alexa is currently helping us train our Board and Train clients as well as our Group Classes to help everyone have a great training journey with their four-legged partners! We are so happy she’s here!
“Thanks to Jessica and her team, a dog once deemed aggressive and un-adoptable got a second lease on life. With lots of patience and training from the team, Akita found her forever home and now lives with two other fur siblings.” -Mari C.
“Jessica Davis was very informative, professional,
“We adopted a dog a little over 9 months ago. He is a Husky and Yellow Lab mix. He was so very unruly. We had Jessica come to our home for a series of lessons, and she was phenomenal! It’s still a work in progress, but I highly recommend her” – Kimberly P.
“Having Jessica come to our home to help with our German Shepherd has been phenomenal. She gave us the knowledge and skills we needed to train our pup! He loved every minute of training and so did we. We learned so much and all of our concerns were addressed and fixed.” – Wendy R.
Clicker Training is effective because it begins with Classical Conditioning. Classical Conditioning is based on reflexive or automated behavior. Most people will hear the “ding” of their phone signifying a message has been received and will automatically check it. This is a reflexive learned behavior. The “ding” of the phone is the cue and the behavior of checking the phone becomes the behavior. The reinforcement is the satisfaction of reading the message. It becomes habitual after a while. This behavior may even happen when another person’s phone goes off around you. This is an example of Classical Conditioning.
Based on Classical Conditioning, the handler will ask for a behavior (cue) such as Sit. When the dog sits, a marker is used to signify that the behavior was correct, and is followed by a treat (reinforcement). It is best for the dog to understand the behavior before introducing the command. Dogs do not speak the human language, so we must assist them during the learning process via clear communication. Once the behavior is learned, associating the word can be done. Arfordable Dog Training uses this technique to teach obedience. When the marker is used and the dog is conditioned to expect reinforcement. Using this principle will allow the trainer (you) to use it many different ways. It can be used to teach the obedience, loose leash walking, and assist with behavioral modification (operate conditioning). Once the dog understands that their behavioral will give them goodies, the possibilities are endless.
- We will explain fully what we propose to do with your dog and why.
- We will invite and encourage you to ask questions.
- We will always do our best to be friendly and approachable so that you feel comfortable and unafraid of judgement.
- We will review and consult with multiple positive training resources when developing a behavior modification protocol or training program to ensure it follows our force free guidelines.
- Your dog’s physical and emotional well-being will be our top priority when working out any behavior modification protocol or training program for you.
- We will never coerce your dog into participating in any form of behavior modification.
- We will encourage your dog to make the choice we want using non-threatening and rewarding motivators.
- We will work hard to keep your dog under threshold and keep him/her as stress-free as possible.
- We will work hard to keep the process as comfortable and stress-free as possible for you as the owner, handler, and trainer of your own dog.
- We will treat your dog as an individual and your situation as unique – one size does not fill all.
- We will never do anything with your dog that we wouldn’t do with our own dogs.
- We will consider your dog to be as much a vital part of your family as our dogs are to our own.
- We will never bully your dog using threatening or violent behavior.
- We will never put a choke, prong, or e-collar around your dog’s neck or recommend you do so.
- We will continue to follow up our education by attending workshops, seminars, conferences, and courses so as to add to our ‘training toolbox’ and bring you the very best service we can.
- No dog will ever be ‘just a dog’ to us.
Adapted from lottiesdogs.co.uk
These are answers to general questions about policies. Should you have any additional questions, feel free to visit our Contact page to reach out to the trainer.
How do I register for a class or one-on-one sessions?
By enrolling you are reserving a spot. To ensure that the spot is reserved, the Waiver, Enrollment Form, Proof of Vaccinations, and payment are required 1 week prior to the start of class or one-on-one sessions.
Do you cancel classes due to low enrollment?
Basic Obedience Classes are best with multiple dogs, however, you’ve dedicated the time to train, as will we. Classes will not be cancelled due to low enrollment.
What if my pup is unable to attend due to injury or illness?
At Arfordable Dog Training we know life happens. If a pup is unable to attend due to injury or illness, the Dog-Human team will be able to make it up at the next month’s class. If that is not an option, they will be offered a 25% discount on a one-on-one session to cover the missed material.
Do you offer a guarantee?
Unfortunately, there is no guarantee when working with cognitive, living animals. Although the trainer will support you and offer plenty of guidance, success in training your pup is achieved through dedication and consistency of the handler.
What forms of payment are accepted?
Cash or Credit Card.
Do you offer discounts?
We love our rescuers. So to show our support, there is a rescue rate. The discount is 10% off one-on-one sessions for pups that have been rescued in the last 3 months or is currently owned by a rescue organization or shelter.
We also offer 10% off one-on-one sessions for active duty or first responders such as firefighters, EMTs, and police officers.
For one-on-one sessions, will I be contacted to confirm each session?
Once a session is scheduled, the trainer will be at the agreed upon location at the scheduled time. A confirmation may be sent if the session is outside of regularly scheduled timeslot.
What is your one-on-one cancellation policy?
We understand emergencies happen however, there is a 24 hour cancellation period. Any rescheduling with less than 24 hours notice prior to your session will result in one session being deducted from your total remaining sessions.
What is the reschedule policy?
Rescheduling sessions for any reason are on a case-by-case basis and will be rescheduled based on availability in the trainer’s schedule.
Is there an expiration limit on rescheduled one-on-one sessions?
Rescheduled sessions are to be used within 2 months of the original date of cancellation.
Do you offer refunds?
No refunds will be given once fees have been collected.
Are there travel fees?
There is a $25 surcharge for any session:
– Outside of Loop 337*
– North of US-281 and Evans Rd**
– West of W Loop 1604 and Hausman Rd **
– South of 37 and Cesar Chavez Blvd **
– East of IH 10 and E Loop 1604**
Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers
The Association for Professional Dog Trainers
AKC’s Canine Good Citizen (CGC) Program
The Whole Dog Journal
The Power of Positive Dog Training by Pat Miller
How Dogs Learn by Mary R. Burch, Ph.D. and Jon S. Bailey, Ph. D.
How to Speak Dog by Stanley Coren
Training for Both Ends of the Leash by Kate Perry and Yvonne Conza
The Culture Clash by Jean Donaldson
Inside of a Dog by Alexandra Horowitz
Don’t Shoot the Dog! The New Art of Teaching and Training by Karen Pryor
How to Behave So Your Dog Behaves, 2nd Edition by Sophia Yin
Gentle Leader Using Positive Reinforcement
Muzzle Training Using Positive Reinforcement
Dog Decoder – Available through Google Play and the App Store.
Scientific Studies and References
Removing the Prong Collar:
Reward-Based Training vs. Aversive Methods:
Socialization in new environments is very important. If you plan on taking your dog with you to places during their life such as the river, beach, park, restaurants, be sure to socialize them to those types of locations. Here is a list of some of the pet-friendly stores in our area.
When in doubt, call and ask. As always, ensure your dog is leashed and well-behaved.
- Abercrombie and Fitch
- Ann Taylor/Ann Taylor Loft
- Barnes and Noble
- Bass Pro Shop
- Bath and Body Works
- Bed, Bath, Beyond
- Crate and Barrel
- Eddie Bauer
- Foot Locker
- Free People
- Half Priced Books
- Hobby Lobby
- Home Depot*
- Home Goods
- Jo-Anne Fabrics
- Kaiser’s Natural Pet
- LUSH Cosmetics
- Neiman Marcus
- Old Navy
- Paw Basics
- Pet Adventure
- Pet Supplies Plus
- Pottery Barn
- Saks Fifth Avenue
- The Apple Store
- The Container Store
- Tiffany & Co.
- TJ Maxx
- Tractor Supply
- Urban Outfitters
- Woofgang Bakery
A Note About Puppies:
Caution must be used when taking a puppy under 16 weeks that hasn’t had all of their vaccines in public places. You may take the puppy to pet-friendly locations but ensure hand sanitizer is available for individuals wishing to pet your puppy. You may clean a cart and place a blanket down for protection. You may use portable play pens for safety.
We offer a private training office exclusively at Arfordable Dog Training dedicated to your pup focused on socialization and relaxation. We offer individual play and enrichment. In our office, we have classical music, Adaptil diffusing, and mental stimulation opportunities!
We’re bonded, insured, and focused on individual attention for your pup during their stay.
Additional classes include:
– Pet Tech, Inc. First Aid & Care for Your Pets Classes
– Small AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy Group Classes
– Mental Stimulation and Enrichment, Responsible Pet Ownership, and Puppy 101 Presentations
– Intro to Basic Obedience to Rescues, Fosters, and Adopters
Interested in training in our office? We offer 10% off for those individuals that come to train in our Training Office located in Schertz, Texas.