We all know how tiresome it can be to train a pup. Hours spent trying to teach your pup to “sit,” “stay,” and “heel” can take up time you’d rather be spending playing fetch with your furry friend. Conventional forms of behavior training tend to be long and slow, taking weeks, if not months, to produce desirable results. But what if you could enforce good pup behaviors overnight with almost no effort from you? Enter “board and train,” the revolutionary way to get your pup behaving in no time. In this blog post, we’ll break down all the ins and outs of boarding and training and explore why it could be the fast track to a well-behaved pup for you. Read on to find out how it could change your fur baby’s life.
What is Board and Train?
Board and train is a dog training model that involves the dog staying in a professional trainer’s home away from the owner. During this time, the trainer works hard with the dog on basic and advanced obedience, getting along with other people, and good manners. In the end, it is said to provide faster results than traditional dog training methods.
The board-and-train model has its proponents and detractors. Proponents say that problems with a dog’s behavior can be found and fixed more quickly if the dog is taken out of its normal environment and given guidance around the clock. They say that it gets rid of the interruptions and distractions that often happen when owners train their dogs at home using traditional methods. Opponents say that forced separation from the owner can cause more behavioral problems, like anxiety or depression, making it harder for owners to regain control of their pet’s training in the long run. Some trainers may also use old methods or methods that go against what an owner believes about training an animal.
It’s an interesting debate, but since there isn’t strong scientific evidence either way, most people just have their own ideas. But research shows that if changes are to last, whatever method is used should include positive reinforcement, consistency, patience, and a lot of practice time.
- A study from 2018 found that 89% of people who took part in a board-and-train program said that their dog’s obedience improved.
- In a study done in 2017, 95% of the people who took part said that their dog was much safer when walking on a leash.
- A 2020 survey of dog owners found that giving their dog exercise, proper socialization, and obedience training through Board and Train helped in over 80% of cases to reduce separation anxiety.
What Does It Involve?
So what does a board-and-train program typically involve? Depending on the training program, you may have to leave your dog for a short time (usually two weeks or more) so that it can get used to doing things like obedience, socialization, and general skills on a regular basis. This is done with the guidance of a professional animal trainer who has many years of experience and advanced knowledge in the field. They will use consistent methods to help your dog learn and remember commands that can help with both basic obedience and more complex tasks.
On one hand, proponents of board-and-train programs argue that these methods are fast-paced yet effective ways to instill good behaviors quickly in dogs. This could work well if you’re looking to improve their obedience before an event like an obedience competition or an agility course. On the other hand, opponents often cite the fact that, since all dogs have different learning styles, some may respond better to more personalized approaches than a standardized program. If your pup is having difficulties adjusting to new environments or people quickly, this could mean that a board-and-train program is not suitable for them.
There have been a lot of surveys by pet owners whose dogs have been boarded and trained to show that these programs work. Most people said they were able to teach their puppies to obey quickly and saw long-term results soon after the program was over. Although not all studies reach similar conclusions when talking about board and train programs, it’s clear that if your pup experiences difficulty adapting to new environments or people, then it’s best to stick to more personalized approaches when trying to teach them good behavior.
Benefits of Board-and-Train Programs
Board and train programs can offer many benefits for a pet owner and his pup, making them a great option for the busy pet parent or for those that have already tried other methods of training and have had little to no results. For example, board and train programs provide structure, accountability, and consistency in a short amount of time that are otherwise difficult to achieve when trying to teach commands one-on-one. As well as this, this type of program can also help an owner establish a stronger bond with their pup once they complete the program because they can easily follow through on their pup’s lessons while they are at home.
On the downside, some owners may feel anxious about entrusting their pup to someone else. In these cases, it’s important that thorough research be conducted first in order to find the right service provider. Also, most professionally run board and train programs cost a lot of money, so it’s important to think about whether or not the results you want are really worth it. Of course, this will depend greatly on each individual’s case, so careful consideration should be given before enrolling your pup in a program.
No matter what decision you make, knowing your individual pup’s needs is key—whether you decide to take matters into your own hands or opt for a professional service shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Finding a Professional Board and Training Service
Finding a professional board and train service is an important step in ensuring the best results for your dog. There are, of course, pros and cons to these programs, so it’s important to do your research before committing to any service.
The pros include being able to trust your pet with a professional if you don’t have the resources or experience to train them yourself. This type of program often takes place offsite and under supervised care, meaning there is someone monitoring their behavior at all times, which can be very helpful in maintaining stability for both the dog and the owner. Furthermore, many board and train services will create personalized training plans for each pet’s unique needs, giving owners peace of mind that their pup’s needs are being met.
On the flip side, some owners may be hesitant about using board-and-train programs due to the harshness of some traditional methods, which can cause anxiety and fear in dogs. Additionally, pets may miss out on important socialization opportunities through this type of program since they are away from family members or other pets during their training process.
When choosing a boarding and training service, it is important to put humane training methods and knowledge of your pet’s unique behavioral needs at the top of your list. Before signing up for any program, make sure to ask questions about how long the instruction sessions will last as well as what training activities will take place during this time. With research and preparation, you can confidently find a board-and-train provider that works best for you and your pup!
Qualities to Look for in a Board and Train Service
Once you’ve narrowed it down to a few potential board and train services, the next criterion for deciding which one to use is finding out which offers the best quality trainers. To make an informed choice, you should look for certain things in a trainer that will help your dog learn the behaviors you want quickly and correctly.
First and foremost, look for a positive-reinforcement style of training. Choosing a trainer who uses positive reinforcement helps make sure that your dog’s learning experience is fun and enjoyable. Good rewards encourage them to listen, stay focused, and learn. Positive reinforcement also helps solidify a bond between your dog and the trainer as well as foster trust. Many people also think that this method works better than negative reinforcement methods like harsh punishment or rough handling.
It is also important for the service to hire trainers who know what they are doing and have had at least two years of professional experience. Certifications demonstrate competency in the field of dog training; if the service has certified trainers, make sure you understand exactly what type of certification their instructors carry.
Lastly, look for a service that gives you detailed information about their training program, covers a wide range of activities and behaviors during the training period, sets clear expectations for progress (including maintenance after training), and gives you written information about your dog’s behavior before and after the course. Prior to enrolling in the program, you and the trainer should talk about all of these issues.
These steps will help you make sure you have all the information you need to decide if a board-and-train program is right for you and to make sure that your dog gets good training from experienced trainers whose methods get results quickly.
How Long Does It Take to See Results?
It’s difficult to answer the question of how long it takes to see results from a successful board and train session because it can vary with every dog. Some dogs may take weeks or even months, while others may learn quickly in a couple of days. The training techniques used by the trainers, as well as the practice and consistency of the pet parent, could significantly affect the length of time needed to assess any progress that is made.
On the one hand, if an experienced trainer tailors the program to a specific breed’s behavior and assesses its level of understanding regularly, results may be seen sooner. On the other hand, if someone’s expectations are too high for their dog and their own abilities are lacking, results can take much longer. Similarly, if there is no consistency between the pet parents’ actions and what the trainer has taught them, a relapse in behavior is expected.
What is clear from both of these examples is that board and train sessions will require different amounts of time depending on factors such as commitment from owners and selected trainers.
Tips for a Successful Board-and-Train Session
There are several things you can do to make sure a board and train session goes well. Even though time is important, it is the trainer’s consistency and dedication that will determine the results in the end. Keeping your expectations realistic and being patient is another key tip to success while working with any kind of dog training program. The following points are some tips for a successful board and train session that will set you and your pup up for success:
- Before selecting a board and training program, be sure to do thorough research, ask questions, and gather all necessary information. This includes knowing the training plan of attack, the quality and credentials of the trainers, how much time your pup will spend with humans and dogs, your own availability, etc. Ensure that it matches the expectations of your pet’s behavior.
- As you move forward with choosing a program, make sure you and the trainer keep talking to each other. Trainers should give frequent updates on how the training is going and respond quickly to any questions about how the training is going or about the details of the session.
- For owners who may not have had much experience in dog training previously, it is important to take advantage of the opportunity that board and train offer—learning from professionals firsthand. It will help you develop skills that can be used outside of the program when interacting with your pup after they’ve been trained. The more knowledgeable you are about dog behaviors as well as positive reinforcement techniques, the better you can implement them when returning home after a board and train session.
- One of the main benefits of board-and-train programs is obedience. When setting out on a board and train session, remember to have patience but also know what outcomes you expect post-training in terms of obedience to commands. Make sure you choose commands well enough that they can be followed every time and are also doable. When teaching these commands, focus on rewards instead of punishments.
- Finally, try to make conditions like those with your trainer. This means that you need to establish dominance over your pet before you go home if you want obedience to last, even after training. Trainers provide an environment where interactions are mostly based on commands, which helps establish dominance in dogs, so find ways to create those same conditions when getting back home from the program, understanding there will be times when it would be tempting for them to forget their place over time, but consistent reminders can help them stay on track.
In the end, having realistic expectations and being willing to learn through observation are great ways to start a board-and-train journey. This allows owners to get their pup’s behavior started right away using positive reinforcement methods (instead of harsh punishments). With these exemplary tips and guidance from professionals, you can ensure a more successful outcome and hang up those “well-behaved dog” shoes in no time!
Professional Train and Board Services in Virginia Beach, VA
At K9aholics, our goal is to offer the best boarding and training program in Virginia Beach, VA. We understand that no two dogs are the same, and we will go over your dog’s behavior history to ensure that we understand what he requires. Call us at (757) 210-7689 to schedule an appointment today!