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Discussion Starter #1
Just wanting to ask for member viewpoints on board and train. I had heard of board and train being offered at several places but the subject came up on my feed for our neighborhood. Seems it is being offered for 2, 4 or 6 weeks and you leave your dog there, kenneled, for the entire time, weekends included. You can "visit" and meet with the trainers so they can tell you what they have done with your dog and how you can hopefully carry it on when the board and train is over. Not cheap either. $2,500 for the 6 week course.
Just my opinion but I cannot imagine leaving my little guy for 6 weeks where he sleeps in a kennel with other dogs barking etc. instead of in bed with me. How he would feel is anyone's guess but so sad to think that he would think I had abandoned him and then for him to transfer his attention and possibly affection to the trainers. Just boggles my mind. What do you guys think???
 

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I am right down the middle on this. One you would need to be extremely careful to know that your dog would be well treated and see the conditions he would be kept in when not training. We actually have a rather good one nearby. It too is very pricey. The guy is a good trainer and worked with dogs when he was in the military. He recently started a day camp where the dogs can interact, get some training at the same time. It is good for people who work long hours and frankly don't have time for a dog or for one who want to have their dog socialized with others. I haven't looked into his board n train its very costly but if I were to be going on a extended vacation and had a young dog I probably would consider him. As my dog would be getting training while I am vacationing and he would not be bored either sitting at home or at a boarding facility. These dogs get lots of interaction all day. He also has a day training where one can drop the dog off in the morning and pick up early afternoon. I'm not sure if he still does the day training I think he has incorporated into his day camp. I would probably send mine to him if I took a vacation, which I probably won't be doing lol.
 

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Interesting. The board and train in my community also offers day training for $95 a day which is way too much for my budget. I boarded my two labs a few years ago when we had a house fire and were dislocated to a hotel for two weeks. That too was expensive and because the one lab who was older (15) came back with what they called a "hot spot" of missing fur on her back I've been leary of the facility. Also, I've taken a basic obedience from them and we were in a central area of the kennels and I was under impressed. Maybe I'm too sentimental about Rudy but he is such a tender and sweet little man, basically my best friend that I only want the best for him. I know when I picked up my labs they were very subdued and it took awhile for them to act normally.
 

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I suppose it depends on your needs and the skills of the trainer. If, say, you wanted to participate in scent work competitions, and you didn't have the experience to properly put the training foundation in place...then yeah. It makes sense to have an experienced trainer work with the dog. Of course you'd need to follow up afterwards to get yourself the coaching to build on that foundation.
I'm a lot more dubious about sending a dog off to boot camp for behavioral issues. Even if the trainer manages to teach the dog not to bark at HIS mailman and not to jump on HIS granny, who's to say the dog will transfer the lessons to YOUR mailman and granny.
 

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Yes thats always a worry. You never really know how your guy will be treated and even if they are well taken care of , well its just not home. If my daughters are still living with me one of them is very good with him so that would be choice 1. LOL At least I feel I have a place I could leave him if I absolutely needed too. For strictly training purpose though I think I'd lean more toward day training/camp and not leave overnight.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Interesting. The board and train in my community also offers day training for $95 a day which is way too much for my budget. I boarded my two labs a few years ago when we had a house fire and were dislocated to a hotel for two weeks. That too was expensive and because the one lab who was older (15) came back with what they called a "hot spot" of missing fur on her back I've been leary of the facility. Also, I've taken a basic obedience from them and we were in a central area of the kennels and I was under impressed. Maybe I'm too sentimental about Rudy but he is such a tender and sweet little man, basically my best friend that I only want the best for him. I know when I picked up my labs they were very subdued and it took awhile for them to act normally.
 

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It's so hard to know that when we are not there how a dog is treated. The person can be absolutely wonderful in person and not what I want for my little guy when I'm not around. I do know for sure that after taking the basic obedience in my community I would never leave him there. They believe in positive reinforcement but they fitted a very nice and gentle dog with a pinch collar after one of the classes. I was taken aback that they would use that on a dog that had been so well behaved in class just because the owner, an older woman, complained that he sometimes pulled when on a walk.
 

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I see no problem with pinch collars, use them many times. As long as they teach the woman the proper fit and use, its less invasive than a flat collar. My would at times choke himself on a flat collar but on a pinch never. It may be the best option for an older person who is at risk to fall, break a hip and then be unable to care for her dog.
 

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I would never use them. We have them too. The trainers are training the dog so the dog will learn to perform for the trainer because they were paid to put the time and effort in. The theory is the owner can now use the same cues to get the dog to perform, but the owners usually have no interest in putting any time or effort into training the dog so the dog won’t perform and quickly forgets the training. Seems pointless.

I train my dog for dog sports so I can get her to do many things because I have built up a relationship and cues with my dog. My husband loves our dog and is very good with her but has no interest in training. He can use my cues but she doesn’t always respond. Sometimes he doesn’t use the correct word so instead of “leave it” he‘ll say “don’t touch it”. Or he’ll be inpatient and say a second command, ”sit sit” instead of “sit”. Same with hand signals. He‘s very busy with work and dog training isn’t his thing which is okay. Babykins is a smart dog so most of the time she will do what he asks even though he muddled it. I can easily imagine a dog just getting a few weeks train which isn’t enough time to solidify skills then going home to an indifferent owner messing up cues and expecting perfection. It doesn’t work like that.

I meet one man who used them because his large labradoodle dog was seriously pulling when walking. His dog spent 2 weeks with the trainer. I have no idea how much information was provided or time this trainer spent with the owner. I met this man and his labradoodle in the park where he was jerking his dog around with a prong collar that the trainer had told him to use. I don’t know if this trainer had explained the proper use of a prong collar or not. I felt so sorry for the dog that I had to go up and tell him to stop yanking on the leash and how to use the prong collar. I told him to get a nose leader instead if he couldn’t stop yanking the prong collar And not to pull on the nose leader either. I meet him the next week with his dog on a nose leader and the dog walking beautifully. The man told me the five seconds I spent with him in the park was more effective than the expensive training.

No need to send your dog to learn nose work, you can start that training in an hour nose work class.

I do know people who compete in hunting trials that have sent their dogs to specialist to train certain aspects of the hunt. I have no idea why or what is trained but the people all seem to feel it was worth it and are successful in hunting trials.
 

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There is a local kennel that holds the annual game fair that also boards and trains hunting dogs for people. I still believe that you need a strong relationship with your dog for anything to be rewarding for either of you. I'm certainly not the best at training and I've learned more from all of you than all the courses I've taken. Would you mind telling if you think a dog must be thoroughly through basic obedience in order to pursue something else like nose work? I think nose work would suit Rudy just fine as well as me but embarrassed as I am, he's a basic obedience drop out. We finished three times but never got him to stay, he just gets too excited. He's slightly better now that he's almost 2 but still "celebrates" everything, people, new chewie, new toy, going outside, me coming home.
 

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What Skylar said!!!!!!!!!!!

I have had people ask if I do board and train and my answer is no for all sorts of reasons, but primarily because when I train other people's dogs I demo methods and then turn the dog back over to their person and have them work with the dog. This way they can see and then learn good methods for themselves to use rather than taking their dog from them and then returning the dog to the family only to have them fail because they don't really understand the methods.
 

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What Skylar said!!!!!!!!!!!

I have had people ask if I do board and train and my answer is no for all sorts of reasons, but primarily because when I train other people's dogs I demo methods and then turn the dog back over to their person and have them work with the dog. This way they can see and then learn good methods for themselves to use rather than taking their dog from them and then returning the dog to the family only to have them fail because they don't really understand the methods.
 

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I agree with Lily and Skylar too, but everyone is entitled to their opinion. Rudy's lack of learning some things is totally me NOT him. He's smart as a whip. I've toyed with doing a private lesson but darn, they are $45 for a half hour and $95 for an hour.
 

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Like everyone else has said.... Dog training is about training the human more than training the dog. I would have no interest in a board and train program.

In university, one of my housemates had what I thought was a really stubborn Airedale. I used to occasionally take it for walks. This was before I had ever read anything about dog training,never taken a class, just grew up with well behaved dogs. The dog would go absolutely nuts chew the leash jump bounce etc. A huge production of 5 Min to leash this dog. I was like, nope, you sit, calm, settle, then you get a leash on. Walks were a high value -and rare- reward, so she figured it out in 2 walks. But....since it was me who taught this, nothing changed when the dog walked with her owner. It was really funny the one day we walked together, and my housemate witnessed her "out of control" dog sitting nicely and politely waiting for me to open the door and give permission to go out! Similarly, I was so frustrated with this dog, I used to give it treats and ask for behaviours and it REFUSED to do a down. Obviously it should know down, since it knew sit and paw and since the owner took it to training classes, right? Eventually (and I wasn't as nice about it as I would be now) the dog would reliably sit and down for me. Did this one day in front of my roommate, calmly waited for a down when I asked and the dog looked at my roommate, then SLOWLY slid down."but she doesn't know down!" Oops. Felt super guilty for not being patient in teaching it!

So yeah. You have to train your own dog. Dogs don't automatically transfer what they know from one person to another, and, in fact, are more than happy to have several versions of behaviour that "work" for different people. The only way you can get a dog to change how it behaves with you is to work with it a lot!
 

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I agree with Lily and Skylar too, but everyone is entitled to their opinion. Rudy's lack of learning some things is totally me NOT him. He's smart as a whip. I've toyed with doing a private lesson but darn, they are $45 for a half hour and $95 for an hour.
I paid $60 for a single private session with a good trainer. It was definitely worth the money. Stay can be challenging with enthusiastic dogs. Annie was easy, my mom's dog is not. For my mom's dog, I had to use lower value treats (her normal treats send her into a frenzy), and started basically by having her at a sit/down and having an open handful of tiny treats that I closed if she stopped sitting/being at a down. Then gradually moved to treat every second or two, 10s etc. We are up to about 30s now. But hey, another example of why board and train doesn't make sense to me. Me teaching mom's dog stay hasn't helped Mom any. Me giving her a clicker and book for Christmas has helped though!
 

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I agree with Lily and Skylar too, but everyone is entitled to their opinion. Rudy's lack of learning some things is totally me NOT him. He's smart as a whip. I've toyed with doing a private lesson but darn, they are $45 for a half hour and $95 for an hour.

I agree that there are many roads to a good dog.

Char I think you would find a private lesson or two to be hugely helpful. Although the price schedule is odd to me. I give a discount for a longer lesson or a commitment to several lessons. The single short lesson is what I charge more for. Afterall If I tell people 2 30 minute lessons will be less than one 30 minute session paid for as singles will be cheaper the person is more likely to pay for a series than one at a time. Based on rates mentioned here I think I might need to consider raising my rates.
 

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I, too, tend to get a bit precious about my dogs, but I'm trying to ease up with Peggy so we're free to do some travelling through our 40s. Unfortunately, the only board & train facility I've heard personal stories about relies on shock collars...which tells me all I need to know.

Since the first day we worked on treat-based loose-walking with our trainer, I've viewed training completely differently than I used to. I see it now almost like learning a new language. Or a dance.

With the walking, my husband tried for a bit. Got frustrated. I tried for a bit. Got frustrated. There was much sweating and flailing. It was a true and spectacular failure. So finally our trainer gently stepped in and, after an initial display of the same behaviour Peggy showed with us, she settled right into a perfect loose-leash walk, eyes glued to the trainer. Life-changing!

It wasn't so much Peggy that needed training. It was us.

The only scenario I might possibly consider would be an in-house (not kennel) stay with a trusted professional while we travel. Leaving Peggy with our trainer or groomer would be a dream. I keep hopefully planting the seed. ;)
 

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I think it depends on what you want to accomplish. I know there are a lot of really excellent trainers that do board and train, but also a lot of bad ones. I would not do it unless I had a great relationship with a trainer and I believed that something at their facilities would allow a better learning environment than I could provide. Like if you watch videos of Stonnie Dennis' board and train program on youtube. It would be very hard for me to provide the experiences he can with the setup he has created specifically to work with dogs that need help with certain things. I think that would be a great reason to board and train if I couldn't go and train with him locally. But if I am also capable of doing the teaching as well as a trainer, than I'd rather it be me training. Training is about learning to communicate with your dog. It's less good when the trainer teaches the dog a language then tries to teach you how to talk to the dog in that language. It'll be less natural.
 

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There's a middle ground between board and train and a private trainer who comes in once a week. You could hire someone who does day training. The difference between day training and a private trainer is akin to taking your car to the garage for an oil change. Are you interested in learning how an oil change works? Are you interested in learning the difference between 10W-30 oil and 5W-40 oil? Or do you just want to get behind the wheel of a car that works? A private dog trainer is going to teach you how to train your dog. A private trainer will teach you about operant conditioning using successive approximation and bridge markers.

Whereas a day trainer is like a mechanic who changes the oil for you and hands you the keys. The mechanic gives you instructions on general car maintenance, but doesn't expect you to geek out over oil viscosity. A day trainer comes to your home and trains the dog for you twice a week. Then they have a transfer lesson where they teach you the skills the dog already learned. Day training lets a professional do all the hard training for you, and you are taught how to maintain skills. With day training, the dog lives in your house with you and the bond between you isn't broken by six weeks apart.

Not everyone who owns a car is good at maintaining it in top condition by themselves. Not everyone who has a dog is good at training. Dog training is a skill, just like fixing cars. Hire a day trainer to do the actual dog training, then learn how to maintain skills the dog just learned. If you're deeply invested in the how of dog training, hire a private trainer. If you're more interested in the outcome than the journey, hire a day trainer.
 

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Dog training is about training the human more than training the dog.

a trainer to do the actual dog training, then learn how to maintain skills the dog just learned.

Agreed...
 
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