Picking Up After Boarding and Training 

Board and Train. It’s a style and approach of dog training that is becoming popular and sought after by many dog owners. It is also something I am seeing more and more in my clients’ training histories – something they have attempted in the past, but yet again, are back for more dog training.

First off, the board and train method is where a dog is basically sent off to the training to a trainer’s facility, be it their kennel, their own home, etc. It’s almost like sending your dog off to boarding school or summer camp. The amount of time spent with the trainer varies, but it is usually a few weeks and no more than a month. After this period of training, the dog is then picked up or returned to the owner, now fully-trained. The owner is usually given some type of of instructions to follow up with, so that they can maintain what the dog learned from the trainer.

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Training builds the bond between dog and owner!

Now for those reading this and just learning about board and train through this article, you might be thinking, “Wow! That sounds so awesome and convenient!”, or maybe, “Wow! I wonder how much training like that costs!”. As a professional dog trainer here in Tampa, and one who is familiar with the board and train approach, I can address both of these:

In terms of cost, board and train is going to be the more expensive route to take. This is because the trainer is boarding the dog and also is doing 100% of the work while they have the dog. The time spent training the dog is also a big factor into the price.

But because of this setup, the high costs do make sense and it provides great convenience for the owner. For dog owners that want to seek dog training, but have very busy lifestyles and booked calendars, board and train can be a great opportunity for getting a dog trained.

However. I want to talk about my clients that I mentioned earlier. The ones that have tried board and train before with other trainers, and are now calling me up asking more supplemental training. These clients paid thousands of dollars for a board and train program, and yet somehow, something went wrong. Many cases, the dogs do come back fully trained, but then problems start arising once they’re home, sometimes a few weeks after, or almost immediately.

What is happening here is that the owner is still not seen as a leader to their dog. Being trained by a trainer, the dog learns that the trainer is in charge. Naturally, good learned behaviors should be able to carry out to other people and other environments, but that is not always the situation, especially if the owner cannot consistently maintain the training once they get the dog back. Board and train trainers normally will give the owner an idea of what to do, or specific instructions to follow once the dog returns home, but because the owner has little to no background history or experience with the training, it can be very hard to follow.

This article is not bashing Board and Train. This article is more about addressing common issues that pop up with Board and Train programs though, and more importantly, dog owners should know that there are other available training options for them if they feel board and train is not for them. In-home training is a favorite of mine and it is my specialty. I love providing in-home dog training because it keeps the owner part of the dog’s behavioral progress. Sure, there’s not as much convenience as a board and train program, but even though the owner is required to work and be part of the training, this is a HUGE benefit for both dog and owner. The owner knows EXACTLY what he/she needs to do to teach their dog and maintain the training, keeping everything consistent and ensure long-lasting results!

There are different training styles and maybe not all of them would be suited for you. Are you curious about in-home training, or even group classes for your dog? Call me at 800-649-7297 and we can find the right program for you where you and your dog can flourish!