1. How will COVID-19 affect my pet and your services?
Safety has always been my number one concern for the pets and families I am privileged to work with.
COVID-19 update: We are OPEN. Please read my blog post regarding the coronavirus and how it affects your dogs and cats. Also, how my Phone/Video consultations can help you tremendously and why it is essential to continue dog training, and boarding (with social distancing).
2. Do I need to make an appointment for Dog Training, Dog Boot Camp, and/or Dog Daycare, or may I just swing by?
You may not drive by or stop in for any service.
3. Will my dog be accepted for club Membership, Dog Boarding and/or Dog Daycare?
We evaluate every dog in our thorough Dog Boot Camp service and through our application process. Our luxury Dog Boarding and custom-tailored Dog Daycare is for Members only. Sophisticated and impeccable dog boarding and dog daycare facilities only allow behaviorally, emotionally, and medically healthy dogs to socialize and develop together to maintain great social skills.
Our behavior and training-focused Platinum Club Membership accepts many dogs with behavioral problems that are otherwise not suited for traditional dog daycare and dog boarding. Contact us today to see how we can help you.
If your dog is not suited for our premier dog boarding or curated dog daycare we strongly recommend beginning or continuing with a private dog board and train to evaluate your dog’s behavior before applying for Membership.
4. What vaccinations are required and how often?
Dogs: Need to be current on their vaccinations, flea, and intestinal parasite preventives before arriving at our Dog Boot Camp, Dog Boarding, Dog Daycare, and/or Dog Training center. We require Rabies, DHPP (distemper/parvo) & Bordetella vaccines (every 6 months). Vaccines must be administered at least 48 hours before visiting our facility. We will require vaccination records from your veterinarian.
If you make frequent visits to dog parks, it is a good idea to have more fecal examinations performed, as the risk of acquiring intestinal parasites is high.
Microchip information must be updated and confirmed.
Cats: Need to be up-to-date on vaccinations, shots, flea, tick, ear mite, ringworm, parasite, and other contagious conditions prevention.
Due to the nature of vaccinations, cats must be vaccinated at least 14 days prior to your visit. We require vaccines for Feline panleukopenia virus (FPV), Feline herpesvirus (FHV), and Feline calicivirus (FCV), (FVRCP-C), Rabies, Leukemia (Felv) (If your cat ever goes outside or has ever been outside… must have; this is a communicable disease.) All cats that have had a Bordetella vaccine within the last 30 days will not be allowed in our cattery. (This is due to the reactions to the vaccine that resembles the actual disease. We are unable to diagnose and must assume your cat is ill and contagious.) We will require vaccination records from your veterinarian.
Now is a great time to update your pet’s Microchip information.
5. Do you offer club Membership, Dog Boarding, and/or Dog Daycare for dogs that are: unaltered, have special medical/behavior needs, puppies, elderly, are not dog-friendly, or are not all people-friendly?
Unaltered dogs: Yes, for Membership and/or Dog Boarding, with the addition of at least 4, ½ hour private daily dog walks. Maybe, for Dog Daycare.
Special medical/behavioral needs: Yes, for Membership and/or Dog Boarding. Maybe, for Dog Daycare.
Puppies: Yes, for Membership. Dog Boarding is only suitable for potty-trained dogs over six months old (if unaltered after six months old, with the addition of at least 4, ½ hour private daily dog walks.) Dog Daycare is only suitable for puppies over four months old. We cater to puppies who need more playtime, and exercise and place them appropriately with dogs of similar age, energy, size, temperament, and play styles.
Elderly: Yes, for Membership, Dog Boarding, and Dog Daycare. If not suitable for Dog Daycare, with the addition of at least 4, ½ hour private daily dog walks. We cater to older dogs who need more downtime and place them appropriately with dogs of similar age, energy, size, temperament, and play styles.
Not dog-friendly: Yes, for Membership, Dog Boarding and Dog Daycare, with the addition of at least 4, ½ hour private daily dog walks.
Not all people-friendly: Yes, to Membership, No to Dog Boarding, No to Dog Daycare. A dog with aggression issues or a history of dog bites to people would not be suitable for these services but may be suitable for Dog Behavior Modification in your home, Boot Camp and Phone/Video Consultations.
Each case is situational and at Fun Paw Care’s sole and absolute discretion.
If your dog is not allowed in Dog Daycare and/or you request private walks, we require a six-foot dog leash, a standard flat buckle collar to hold tags, a martingale collar, and muzzle.
We do not accept any dog for dog boarding or daycare that has severe aggression behavior problems, separation anxiety (without being on meds and a behavior modification plan), fear, or aggression towards people, or has a bite history with people. Instead, please enroll them in our Phone/Video Consultation ASAP.
6. Do you accept all breeds for club Membership, Dog Boarding and/or Dog Daycare?
Yes. Every dog is an individual and evaluated as such. BSL (Breed-specific legislation) discrimination has no part in an educated society and is not supported by science. However, certain breeds do require much more attention and management. Pets that are part of our Membership and Boarding typically have the most impeccable social skills, behavior, and training. If your pet needs work with their training and behavior, Boot Camp would be a more appropriate service. Please contact us to speak about your unique dog.
7. Will my pet be by themselves or with other dogs at your Dog Boarding and/or Dog Daycare?
We offer an exclusive, first-class, one-on-one service (just Russell and your pet), on his private, fully fenced, 5-acre behavior and training ranch for Members only.
Your pet will receive undivided attention and care. If your pet is approved for Membership, they may also receive optimal Dog Boarding and pet care. Your pet will have their own private luxury sleeping quarters (in a behaviorist’s home/bed) and Zen quiet areas where they can always choose to wind down and relax when they feel like it or when we deem it healthy.
If your dog has behavioral issues with other dogs, they will be required to be walked, enriched, stimulated, and fulfilled separated from other dogs. If appropriate, during walks, exercise, enrichment, socialization, and playtime, your pet may socialize with other people and pets at the park, beach, and in social settings to keep them active, mentally and physically challenged and engaged.
If your dog is friendly and wants to play with other social, friendly and healthy dogs, Russell will work to set up one-on-one social play sessions with your puppy’s best friends.
8. How long are Puppy/Dog Training and Phone/Video Consultations?
All of our initial Services are about 1.5 – 2 hours long. The first session takes the longest because there is a tremendous amount of information and history to teach, learn, and cover in the initial consultation. Our standard typical 1-hour Service would not be enough time to cover all of the material nor would it leave a parent educated enough to instill change.
Also, parents typically come with many questions (which we encourage) that need to be addressed, taught, and explained thoughtfully and comprehensively during the first session.
After the first session, a parent may continue training and learning with their pet in 1-hour service increments.
9. Do you guarantee success rates for service dog training or behavior modification?
No ethical dog trainer guarantees success because service dog training and behavior are far too complex and variable and each pet parent’s commitment to training and behavior modification is different. It is unethical to make guarantees about behavior and dog training results and as a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (CDBC), certified by the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC), and a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT) certified by the Certification Council For Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT) Russell has willingly pledged not to make such guarantees. Please read what we do guarantee.
10. What education and training does a dog trainer, behaviorist, or animal behavior specialist need?
None. Scary isn’t it? The only regulated behaviorists are Board Certified Veterinarian Behaviorists, certified through the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists, and The Animal Behavior Society (ABS) which provides two levels of certification: Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist (CAAB), certified through the Animal Behavior Society and Associate Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist (ACAAB), certified through the Animal Behavior Society.
Other than the aforementioned, a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (CDBC) is the industry standard for behavior certification issued by the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC) and Certified Professional Dog Trainer-Knowledge Assessed (or CPDT for short) issued by the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT) are the only professional dog trainers certified by an independent council, required to take annual Continuing Education Units (CEU) and psychometrically tested by world-renowned doctors and scientist in the fields of canine and feline ethology, psychology, training, evolution, physiology, neurobiology, sociology, learning theory and animal husbandry. There are some educated trainers and behaviorists out there, but there are also many that are not rigorously, academically nor experientially trained. So you need to thoroughly do your homework to find an exceptional dog trainer and behaviorist.
In addition, most importantly, find a trainer or behaviorist who has committed to train and teach without force, fear, intimidation or punition. They should most definitely be members of The Pet Professional Guild and be a Certified Fear Free Trainer.
To help you navigate the unregulated dog training world, please read Dog Trainer Certification & How To Choose a Dog Trainer which will guide you through finding a Pet Professional Guild Member, Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (CDBC), Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT) and Certified Fear Free Trainer.
11. Why do dog training and behavior modification cost more than seeing my regular veterinarian?
It doesn’t. By the minute, we are actually much less expensive than general practice veterinarians. Not many veterinarians make house calls or accept pets into their personal homes. We are anti-scale and de-emphasize volume. The amount of time a CDBC and CPDT spends personally managing each case is much higher than a general practice veterinarian. Our behaviorists and certified professional dog trainers have the highest level of behavioral and training expertise, education, and experience in the dog training and behavior modification industry.
Additionally, unlike a veterinarian, as a CDBC and CPDT, we are unable to accept medical insurance as a form of payment which affects the cost.
12. Should my pet be with me at the appointment?
Yes, it is preferable but not mandatory. If possible, bring all pets who are involved in the problem behavior to the appointment. You may also have all of the people who are involved with your pet present as well.
If you have any concerns about your pet’s aggression or reactivity, please let us know prior to your appointment. If your pet has ever attempted to or has bitten, growled, barked, or lunged at someone it is mandatory that they are placed securely in another room before we arrive and that they wear a muzzle for everyone’s safety.
13. What happens during a Phone/Video Consultation or dog training or dog behavior consultation?
Prior to your appointment, you will complete a Client Profile Form. If your pet has a more detailed, or severe behavior issue, we will send you an additional behavior form to collect a more detailed background and history about the presenting problem. This will allow us to thoroughly review your concerns and situation prior to our meeting so that we may have a more complete understanding of your expectations and what you would like to accomplish during your training and behavior modification session. The initial behavioral assessment is typically 1.5 – 2 hours long.
It is our goal to teach you to teach your pet because you have the most opportunities to modify your pet’s behavior. Each consultation is unique and different from appointment to appointment and client to client.
A training/behavior session may encompass demonstrations of different behavior modification protocols, exercises, and/or additional question-and-answer sessions. While some consultations will be mostly action, others will be mostly discussion. We cater the appointment to you, your dog, and the best way to manage and modify the environment and behavior issues.
Because the majority of the initial consultations are geared towards teaching you and your family, it is not necessary to see your pet and/or their behavior problem in order to help you.
14. My dog has had this behavior problem for years, is it too late to fix?
No! Dogs are never too old or too young to learn new behaviors or modify old ingrained ones. Of course, if your dog is 12 years old, problem behaviors may take longer to change, but that shouldn’t stop you from seeking help and improving your and your dog’s quality of life. Dog training and behavior modification can help dogs of all ages and reduce household stress, making your relationship stronger and days more peaceful.
15. We have already been to several dog trainers that could not fix the problem, how can you?
Our clients have often seen many other dog trainers and behavior specialists prior to us. The dog training and behavior world is rife with ignorance and is completely unregulated. Unfortunately, anyone can and will call themselves a dog trainer or behaviorist. However, our extensive careers in ethology, force-free dog training, and helping families and pets span over 30 years.
Russell Hartstein is a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (CDBC) certified by the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC) and a Certified Professional Dog Trainer-Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA) certified through the Certification Council of Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT). What this alphabet soup means is that he takes his career and passion seriously, teaches and takes many continuing education classes in applied behavior analysis (ABA) every year based on the newest training and behavior modification techniques and holds himself to the highest standard of ethics, education and skill set. Russell can and will help you and your dog.
16. What type of service dogs do you train?
We train a variety of working animals, pets, and service dogs. Los Angeles and people from all over the country, trust our trained service dogs, psychiatric service dogs, emotional support animals, and therapy dogs. We specialize in but are not limited to training service dogs, assistance dogs, or working animals for the following disabilities: Autism, Mobility, Hearing, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Psychiatric, and we also train Emotional Support Animals and Therapy Dogs.
17. Do I have to purchase a Club Membership to use Fun Paw Care services?
No, Membership is not a requirement for Boot Camp and/or Phone/Video Consultations however it is required for all other services such as Dog Training and Behavior Modification in your home, Dog Boarding, Dog Daycare, Pet Sitting, and Cat Boarding. Although all Services are subject to availability, we’re only able to prioritize services and availability and offer many other savings and perks to our Members.
18. What are the benefits of a Fun Paw Care Club Membership?
Many! Please visit our one-of-a-kind, custom-tailored, world-class Membership service.
19. Are the Daily Dog Walks during Boot Camp and boarding private, catered to my dog and safe?
Yes. Greater Los Angeles and California have micro-climates, extreme, and fickle weather patterns and the safety of each pet is of our utmost concern. Some factors that may affect walk, jog and run times are extreme heat/sun, rain, thunder, lightning, general weather conditions, what type/breed of dogs we are caring for, brachycephalic (short snout breeds), respiratory/breathing problems, physical problems, health conditions, and age.
We offer a very catered, individualistic service and each pet is different. If your pet is up for it and conditions allow, dog hikes and adventures will be for 1 hour or more. All dog walks are provided during our luxury Dog Boarding, dog Boot Camp or dog Day Care. We do not come to your home for dog walks.
20. Do you train and take care of cats?
Yes, as cat behaviorists, we provide cat training, and behavior modification and offer a cattery for Cat Boarding.
21. Why do I have to fill out the Client Profile Form?
Our time and yours are valuable. We need the most basic information to help you and your pet(s). If all information was taken at the time of the appointment, the appointment would take much longer, increasing the cost of the appointment. The Client Profile Form contains essential information in an easily read format. It is reviewed and analyzed by Russell prior to each appointment so that the appointment time may be used more effectively and efficiently.
22. I’m concerned about safety and privacy, how will you store my personal information?
So are we! Your safety and privacy are a primary concern for us as well. We take privacy and safety very seriously and never write any address or details on anyone’s keys, cover up dog tags when taking images/videos and never disclose who we are working with to others.
When keys are not in use, they are stored in a locked safe along with other sensitive client information. If your key remains dormant or unused for 6 or more months, we will alert you before disposing of it. We take off collars with identification information prior to images and videos, and store names as DBA, pseudonyms, or as you please, to provide extra layers of privacy and safety.
We make every attempt not to use companies that trample and abuse people’s rights, we use secure, and private cloud and communication services to share images/videos, secure encrypted communication and make every attempt to support organizations that share in our beliefs that digital (and all) privacy, is a basic human right. We support and donate to companies such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Proton Mail, Pcloud, Signal App, and others who use client-side encryption, and zero-knowledge privacy and who employ multi-layer protection with servers in countries that also share our beliefs.
In line with our values, for all services, we do not allow geolocation tags of any kind such as Apple AirTags, or any location tracking tags/devices. Please remove all tracking devices before your service.
23. Are dog collars worn during Boot Camp, Dog Boarding, and/or Dog Daycare?
Part of the reason for my 30-year safety record is I’m meticulous about the safety and health of each pet.
One of the many benefits of having a Certified expert care for your pet in a non-volume one-on-one approach is optimal dog training, pet care, safety and personal attention. Most kennels, boarding and daycare facilities require collars so they know who is who. With many dogs coming in and out of their facility they need to place a dog’s name on their collar as well as a picture in their software to know who is at their facility that day.
However, we don’t take that impersonal or dangerous approach to optimal pet care. There are no people and dogs coming and going at all hours of the day and night as in a traditional dog kennel or board and train facilitiy and your pet is actively supervised at all times inside and outside by one person, Russell Hartstein.
There is also an extensive video/audio surveillance system recording to the cloud and local network and infrared motion sensors outside all around the property and inside the home for added safety and security.
Dog collars present a safety hazard. Collars get caught outdoors on sticks branches, rocks, fences, crates, training equipment, etc., or inside the home on furniture, handles, hooks, cabinets, knobs, etc.
Hence dog collars are not worn in the home or on the ranch during Dog Boarding, Dog Daycare, or Boot Camp. Except when deemed necessary by Fun Paw Care.
Everything around the ranch is thoughtfully designed by Russell for your pet’s safety, comfort, enrichment, and training.
In addition, there are multiple double-layer redundancies of safety in the home and outdoors. For example, the ranch is fully fenced in with multiple double-gated entryways for extra protection.
Most of the time dogs are free to roam around the ranch and in the home unencumbered whenever safe and appropriate. However, for another added layer of safety, we typically attach a long leash (15-foot, 30-foot or 50-foot leash, etc.) when outdoors in case your pet’s recall is not wonderful or they have difficulty with lots of distractions in nature.
Lastly, as mentioned in FAQ number 22 we do not allow any geo-tracking tags at all to be worn or packed with a pet for all services. Please remove them before your service(s).
24. What dog food & treats are allowed at Boot Camp, Dog Boarding & Dog Daycare?
As a company founded in scientific evidence-based practices, we adhere to research, position statements, and the healthiest/safest feeding practices for pets and people.
Fun Paw Care does NOT allow the following food or treats for any of our services:
- Wet-Raw Food and/or Treats
- Food/Treats that need to be refrigerated or frozen
Most food companies make dry extruded equivalents of the wet-raw food you may be feeding your pet as well as non-refrigerated/non-frozen versions.
Please make sure to acclimate and get your dog used to eating their food several weeks before your service(s) to make sure they like it and it agrees with them.
25. How much food and treats should I pack for Boot Camp and/or Boarding?
We use treats and food to train and condition your pet.
It is best to provide at least THREE times the normal amount of food and treats you provide at home.
Do not start experimenting with treats and/or new food(s) prior to your service as that will likely cause gastrointestinal issues and will slow down your pet’s training.
Optimal enrichment, exercise and dog training are calorie intense.
At Boot Camp and/or Boarding your dog will be getting much more training, behavior modification, exercise, and cognitive and emotional enrichment daily than what they get at home.
Just like with people, dogs that exercise much more need many more calories to consume.
In addition, having extra food ensures that if you decide to extend your Boot Camp and/or Boarding service your pet is kept on the same stable food and treats.
It is also very common for parents to extend their stay at Boot Camp and/or Boarding due to many factors in and out of their control such as illness, travel plans change, flights getting delayed or canceled, missed connecting flights, etc.
When traveling, surprises are the norm, not the exception, plan accordingly.
It is better to have much more food and treats, than less.
26. Are you bonded, insured and registered?
You betcha! All of Fun Paw Care team members are bonded and insured through our company policy with the Business Insurers of the Carolinas and registered with the State of California. For your safety, trust, comfort, and peace of mind, we are insured to the highest amount possible.
27. What are the minimum requirements to be part of Fun Paw Care’s team as a Los Angeles dog trainer?
The minimum requirements for all of Fun Paw Care’s Los Angeles dog trainers and behavior specialists are to have a spotless local, national, civil & criminal background check, have multiple references verified, and must have extensive professional and practical experience & background in canine & feline ethology, dog walking & pet care. Then they are interviewed thrice before we select the crème de la crème. I am only as good as my team, and I hold them to this philosophy.
28. What services do you offer in other parts of the world?
29. Do you offer refunds?
Nope. We make it clear in all of our communications that as a non-volume, one-on-one company, we turn away other clients to accommodate your family and pet(s). Most clients appreciate and choose us because of this and many other factors.
As a boutique company, we adhere to a strict no-refund policy to sustain ourselves as a locally-owned and operated business.
30. Can my pet be picked up or dropped off from Boot Camp (Board and Train) on the same day that we leave or arrive home from our trip or when no one is home?
That isn’t a great idea and we strongly advise against it for many reasons such as:
Most people either extend their travels, their flight or plans get altered/delayed because of covid, work, family, fun, etc. parents want their pet to continue their learning at Boot Camp for a longer duration or there is simply a lot of Los Angeles traffic that delay your or our arrival.
More often than not plans get changed or something comes up.
Also, it is important to take your dog for a long walk directly before our arrival to make sure they urinate and/or dedicate before pickup and we prefer to make sure we can go over any questions you might have about the Boot Camp teachings upon dropoff.
If we travel to drop off your pet and you are not home you will be charged travel fees as well as an additional full day/night of Boot Camp and/or Boarding.
Alternatively, we recommend extending Boot Camp by at least 1 day if you plan on arriving home the same day that you would like your pet dropped off, and/or you are leaving within a few hours of our pick-up window. Or if someone is home, we may drop off your pet with that person also however they must be home the entire drop off/pick up window.
We will not drop off your pet in an empty house with no one home.