Board & Train programs – what are they?
Today’s post is a bit different that our last few. We wanted to share with you the progress of Slash – our recent dog-in-training – and the benefits of having your dog go through a board & train program.
Where do we start?
Board & Train programs are awesome for both the dog trainer and the dog owner for a number of reasons. Let’s go over a few.
- The trainer can work with your dog for multiple hours per day. This exceeds the amount of time we are able to work with them in a class setting or in private sessions.
- The trainer can work with multiple dogs at a time. This is beneficial when your dog has learned the basic concept of various commands and needs a challenge. We can walk multiple dogs at a time, or get two dogs to stay in place for duration work.
- Intense one-week training lays an awesome foundation for your dog. We take dogs with no training and teach them all the basics that they need to know for a successful, happy life. We lay the foundation of training for you so you can build upon it and building your bond with your dog. Often, we can do what owners can’t because we don’t have a pre-existing relationship with your dog so you know when you get your dog back, he knows what you expect of him and it is up to you to keep up the training and reinforce those expectations.
- One-week dog school gives you, the owner, a break from your pooch’s crazy antics. We all love our dogs, but sometimes it’s nice to have a break. When a dog misbehaves, it can be stressful! Completing a one-week board & train program can give you a break from that stress. Or if you are going on vacation, but have been meaning to get your dog into some sort of training for a while – this is a perfect option. Dogs are like kids and sometimes you need a night to yourself. Or a week. Or maybe two!
- Your dog gets to have monitored socialization and puppy play time! Taking your dog to the dog park is never a great way to expose them to socialization. Not all dogs there have manners, play properly, or do they respect you and your dog. By completing a board & train, your dog will be exposed to proper dog socialization where we advocate for their personal space and ensure there is no rough play. This way everyone is happy and making friends!
Finding a trainer you can trust with your dog.
Finding a trainer you can trust is a concern for many dog owners out there and we completely understand. While we can’t speak for others, we can speak about our own practices. We understand that we are not for everyone. This can be for a number of reasons – our personality doesn’t mix with yours, our training methods are unique, or you’re wary of dropping off your dog with a stranger for a week.
We do a few things to help calm your nerves regarding the above concerns. First, we talk with you to find out what your challenges are with your pup. We want to understand what you are struggling with or if you just got your dog and want basic training. We go over our training methods and are clear about how we train: we use prong collars and e-collars to communicate with your dog – as well as lots of love and positive reinforcement. Your dog’s safety is our number one priority.
Second, we share videos of past dogs in training so you can see that we do make a difference in their behavior. We have proof of dogs learning something for the first time with us and their progress through out the week.
Third, we have lots of great reviews on our Facebook page and our Google business page. Other people will tell you that we are good with your dog.
Fourth, if you decide to use us to train your dog, we will share videos with you of your dog’s progress. You get to watch us take your dog from “crazy” to “calm” through teaching “place”, “heel”, “leave it”, “down”, “stay”, and just generally better behavior.
In this video, we are working with Slash to teach him the command “leave it”. This is important for dogs to know so they don’t pick up something off the ground that could be harmful. It is also useful for getting them to ignore other animals and people.
The way we like to teach this is to layer prong collar work with e-collar pressure. We use a hot dog or some piece of food that they are interested in. Then we walk near the food and tell them leave it while simultaneously using the prong collar and e-collar to reinforce the command. When they ignore the food, we mark the good behavior with a “good” or “yes” and continue walking.
We never give them the food item that they were told to “leave” but can give them other treats if desired. The purpose of this command is to get them to be calm and to ignore whatever might cause some challenges. It is a great way to get them to learn to ignore other dogs and to not approach people, especially people that you don’t know personally.
In this second video, we do what we do best! We teach Slash some off-leash skills. We use the e-collar to guide him and keep him within our bubble and the leash is there for safety and emergencies. We use this opportunity to reinforce other skills such as down-stay and come.
Slash has gone home by now, but at the time these videos were recorded, this was only four days of training. It is possible to make huge leaps in your training with your pup if you are consistent and set up structure for them. It might be shocking at first (for the dog), but it will help them know what is expected and appropriate behavior.
If you need a dog trainer to help with your pup, we challenge you to start looking for one near you. We serve all of San Luis Obispo and Santa Maria. If you aren’t in our area – go find someone who is! A trained dog is a free and happy dog. Remember that! Because then you can take them with you and be stress-free rather than worried about their behavior. Or have guests over because you know your dog behaves well. Training your dog will change your life – and his – and that is what we are all about! Thanks for reading!