For training services or additional information, please contact Debbie Poloka at (412)596-6263 or

Dog Training At Sandy Hill Kennels

Kennel Education

In Kennel Evaluations
By appointment: $115                   
Trainer:  Debbie Poloka

An In Kennel Evaluation is a good way for the trainer to initially see your dog while staying at Sandy Hill Kennels and to start a training program or begin to solve behavioral issues. 

Doing an evaluation at the kennel allows the trainer to see your dog outside of your home, away from you and other family members, see your dog’s reaction to different types of dogs, people and environmental stimulation in and around the kennel.

A follow-up hour-long In-Home Session is strongly suggested after an In Kennel Evaluation.  Some behaviors require an In-Home Evaluation.  Please see In-Home Services.
In Kennel Private Sessions
By appointment only: $95 per hour ($55 per half  hour)
Trainer:  Debbie Poloka

Private Sessions while your dog stays or daycares at the kennel are a great way to follow up on after an evaluation visit, attending one of my classes. The one-on-one attention to your dog in a kennel environment makes this an effective choice for certain behavior issues related to distractions, other dogs, or strangers.

Difficult and Aggressive Dog rate starting at $105+ per session. The rate will be dependent on the initial evaluation of dog that requires additional handlers and/or training dogs.


Home Education

In-Home Evaluations 

An "In-Home Evaluation" is the preferred way to start a training program or begin to solve problem behaviors. This first meeting is part observation and part getting to know each other (and your dog). The first evaluation visit can be lengthy (2+ hours), because the trainer would like to get know the dog's entire living situation, history, and the entire family. 

The first half hour or so, I will ask questions while making observations of the pup, handler, and pup's environment, and the interaction of the three. I will give my honest evaluation at the conclusion and plan or program to move forward.

Most likely you will move right into changing the home environment, some habits and adding specific discipline and relationship strengthening exercises for you and your dog. This generally takes at least another hour to demonstrate and work with a handler to feel comfortable with all techniques of the proposed program.

The initial In-Home Evaluation Visit:  $155.00 for 2+ hours. 
The cost of a multiple dog home: $175.00.

In-Home Private Sessions

Private session in the home are a great way to follow up after an evaluation visit or attending one of the classes.  The one-on-one attention to dog and handler in the dog’s environment make this a very effective choice for certain behavior issues.

The In-Home Private Session rate is $95.00 per hour.
Minimum 7-day total stay $195 
Instructors:  Debbie Poloka

Two-week: notification before your dog's boarding, if possible

Refresh, strengthen, or teach the basic commands:  Name Recognition, Sit, Down, and Stay.

Fluency in these behaviors are the foundation for continued training. If your dog already knows the commands, then the goal is to have your dog respond to the verbal command more consistently. 

For dogs with little or no experience in basic obedience, then the goal is to have the dog performing with hand signs and verbal commands. Prior discussion with me is required before training starts.
Minimum 7-day total stay $195 
Instructor:  Debbie Poloka

Two-week: notification before your dog's boarding, if possible

A strong recall is one of the most important aspects of training your dog. If your dog comes to you only when it feels like it, then this course is for your dog. Using positive motivation and reinforcement to improve and accelerate your dog’s recall. 
This course will strengthen this most important of all dog behaviors. Prior discussion with me is required before training starts. Please mention any distractions or specific difficulties you have in calling your dog back to you. 
Minimum 7-day total stay $195 
Instructor:  Debbie Poloka

Two-week: notification before your dog's boarding, if possible

Most dogs naturally pull on the leash when walking while distracted. The goal is to teach your dog to respond to leash pressure by slowing down, not pulling harder. 

If your dog pulls frequently, the goal will be to have your dog not pull on an isolated walk with mild distractions. If your dog walks fine but only pulls in the presence of other dogs, the goal would be to have an improved loose leash walk under those circumstances. If your dog’s emotional response is too great toward other dogs, individual training may be required and I will contact you. A preliminary discussion is required with me prior to starting the loose leash walking training. 
$240 for six (6) week program       
Instructor:  Debbie Poloka
For pups ages 10 weeks to 6 months (exceptions made for older dogs with restrictions)

This in-depth six (6) week program is above and beyond what you will get from your usual standard puppy class and is ideal for pups 10 weeks to 6 months of age!  (Exceptions will be made for older pups or young dogs with some restrictions - please contact me for more information.) Classes are held Tuesdays 6:30 PM-8:30 PM at Sandy Hill Kennels.

The Puppy Intensive Program is an intensive two-hour class for the motivated owner that is relationship-based and focuses on helping you to develop a well-balanced puppy on it's way to having a solid foundation of obedience without relying on treats the rest of their life.  Classes consist of teaching basic dog communication, obedience, puppy development, and understanding, prohibiting, managing, and interrupting undesirable puppy behaviors (jumping/nipping), educating on nutrition, vaccinations, constructive play, etc.
Each class will begin with a brief period of controlled loose puppy socialization and teaching of dog interaction. Then each puppy is taught individually by me in front of the entire class in a distraction-free environment using a positive reward marker training system incorporating food. Behaviors taught include sit, down, recall/come, calming techniques, introduction to the stay, and loose leash walking. I also focus on teaching proper play, best toy choices, how to building confidence in your puppy, proper socialization, etc.

One handler per dog required.  Other attendees welcome with prior notification to allow for seating.

Minimum of 4 Participants per class, maximum of 10.