Abby Hill, CPDT-KA

We emphasize positive, reward-based methods to make dog training fun for both dogs and owners.

Why is it important that dog trainers are Certified through the CCPDT or IAABC?

  • We take great pride in our Certifications and our drive to always be better than we were before. Dog training has changed a tremendous amount in the last decade because of some great researchers that have proven through peer reviewed studies the best way to train a dog without causing any harm. We now know that forcing a dog into a down causes a dog to be more dominant and fearful. We now know that using harsh training tools like prong collars, choke chains, electric collars, and leash pops cause more harm down the road because rather than teaching a dog what to do, they teach the dog to suppress their behaviors. This is dangerous because at some point the dog will shut down completely or lash out. Uncertified trainers cause lifelong damage to dogs when they use outdated techniques like force, fear, or dominance.

  • Certified trainers are able to work with aggressive dogs to heal them rather than just stop them. The benefits of healing a dog is lifelong and teaches both the dog and handlers how to make each other more comfortable so that the aggression dies down.

  • Certified trainers will never force an aggressive or fearful dog to be aggressive towards them. We do not need to see the aggression to fix it! Our goal is to help the dog to never feel so helpless that it needs to strike out.

  • Certified trainers also know how to sculpt a puppy into a confident adult dog that thrives in all types of settings.

Health Requirements:

  • ADULT dogs must have current rabies and distemper/parvo vaccinations or have proof of titers within the last year.

  • All dogs and puppies must have been in your home without illness for the two weeks prior to start of class.

  • If your dog has been ill during the week, please do not bring him to class. We encourage you to attend so that you can learn and practice at home. If in doubt, please give us a call.

Cancellations and Refunds:

  • Prospective students are invited to observe classes in progress. Please contact us to arrange a visit (without your dog).
  • It is also your responsibility to inform us of any classes that you can not make it to so that we can open the spot up to other clients. A $30 cancellation fee will be applied to your account if you do not cancel at least 48 hours before class and you will be unable to register for any additional classes until that bill is paid.
    •  We try to be lenient since people and dogs do get sick.
    • With the Elementary School Membership we allow 2 last minute cancellations without a cancellation fee.
    • With the Middle School Membership we allow 4 last minute cancellations without a cancellation fee.
    • With the High School Membership we allow 6 last minute cancellations without a cancellation fee.
    • With the Ivy League Membership we allow 12 last minute cancellations without a cancellation fee.

  • If classes are canceled due to weather we will send out emails and post to our facebook page at least one hour before class.

  • Classes must have a minimum of 3 dogs. We will call you 24hrs in advance to inform you if class will not be held due to low enrollment. Please register in advance so that the class is available for you.

  • All dog training fees, are final and non refundable but are transferable to other services. When you first sign up you may not know what service would be the best fit for your dog. If the wrong service is picked we can transfer your credits to our other services.

Can my children come to classes?

  • Yes, We encourage the whole family to participate in training. If your children are coming to class but are too young to participate they should be able to be calm during class. (no running, playing on equipment, yelling, approaching other dogs)


  • We are closed the week of all major holidays (see calendar)
  • Our trainers do take vacations and we try to do these during our slow times, however there may be times that
    we close for vacations.

My dog is Aggressive/Reactive can I still come to classes?

  • If you have a dog that is aggressive or reactive a private lesson is required to be evaluated by one of our trainers.
  • All aggressive dogs and reactive dogs must go through our reactive dog class before attending any basic obedience classes, dog sport classes, or drop in classes.
  • Our trainer will determine when your dog is ready to participate in our other exceptional classes.

Will I have the same trainer at each class?

  • Our trainers have set days and times they teach. However, we may have other trainers substitute as needed.

I live an hour away. Can I still be a client of The Exceptional Pet?

  • We have many clients that travel to us from great distances for both private and group classes but we limit our trainers travel to within a 30 min drive of our facility at 3 Simm Lane, Newtown, CT.

3 Simm Lane, Newtown, CT  06470

Certified Dog Traininer and Aggression Specialist for Fairfield County, Connecticut:  Newtown, Brookfield, Bethel, Danbury, New Fairfield, Wilton, Ridgefield

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