Puppy Boarding School

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MaMaKhan's picture
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Joined: 2015-10-05

Hi,

I'm waiting for my puppy to get all his shots so he can be on the clear for more socialization.  I found a couple in my area who are dog trainers and they have great reviews.  They have private lessons, and they also do a boarding school program where they board your dog for a week or more and then they provide private lessons so they can pass the leadership on to you.  Depending on the package you choose it can range from 100-120$ a private lesson or the highest package which is training for 3 weeks at their home for over 3000$ with lifetime follow-up.  We're opting for a middle package pricey but not the cream of the crop.  I wanted to know if anyone else has had any experience with this type of training? And if so,  how did it go?  

 

Sgourle's picture
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Joined: 2014-07-18

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I would not send your dog to one of these programs. I have never sent my dogs to one, but I have worked at one before. You want to look for a program where you train with your dog, not just an orientation at the end of the boarding program. Yes, the program will whip your dog into shape--but likely only under the conditions at the school, which would probably include prong collars (nothing wrong with them, just saying), electric collars (which you probably shouldn't use after the program), a strict schedule and near-constant supervision, and certainly a highly skilled, confident trainer (not your average owner). So once you get the dog home and these conditions are not present the training will almost assuredly decline. You want to train a puppy to live with *you* in *your* life, so you need to be part of the training process. 

Congrats on your pup, and welcome to the forums :)

Joined: 2012-10-28

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I would second what Sgourle said.

Private lessons graduating to group lessons/ with you as the handler, is probably best. Khan needs to bond with you and learn from you. A trainer would be teaching you.

How old is he now? Have you tried a group basic obedience class at Petsmart or local dog training facility? 

 

Good Luck!

AresMyDobie's picture
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Joined: 2015-02-28

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I third what sgourle says. Working with your puppy is a great bonding experience and helps you learn to. 

Laura's picture
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Joined: 2015-05-25

I fourth it all - the majority of training classes is training the human(s), not the dog!  I started Zeus at home with a private trainer at ten weeks old and then started taking him to a "socialization" play group once he had his shots and put him in an advanced obedience group class.  

I also suggest that you meet with the trainers that you are interested in to really discuss their methods and ensure that they are aligned with you.  The private trainer I hired I ended up losing about a thousand dollars.  I did not like his methods and ended up quitting our work together prematurely because I was not comfortable with him and neither were my dogs.  I personally don't believe in any fear based training.  The trainer I use now for my group classes is all positive reinforcement which both myself AND my dogs react to much better.  Zeus enjoys his training now and is a quick study since it's fun. 

MommaL's picture
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Joined: 2014-06-15

Please do not send your baby away for training.  Opt for private lessons if you are unsure how to start.  The relationship is built as you learn to communicate with each other.  There are options like online training (what we do) and videos that you can watch and apply. 

You don't have to start out perfect to raise a good dog, you just have to invest time and energy into him. 

I didn't know where to start either and was worried that I would do it wrong.  I'm grateful for every moment invested in our boy and we have had so much fun along the way learning about and from each other.

MaMaKhan's picture
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Joined: 2015-10-05

Hi all,

Khan is 11 weeks old.  He knows sit, wait, lie down, go to bed (enters his crate).  I trained him myself at home.  I just feel once he gets a bit older I will need a bit more help with him.  I have met with the trainers, and their dogs seem great.  They also had lots of testimonials of what they do.  They also do distraction training with them by taking them to stores, like Lowe's and the beach and harbour.  They provide a full year of follow up classes with us so they can "pass the leadership" on to us.  So it's not like I will not be involved at all.  

I think Khan is way to smart to be a couch potato, so I think this will be a great challenge for him and us.

But I will make sure of their methods before hand.  I know there are many training methods out there and from what I understood they use three types.  Reward base training, leash training, and remote collar training.  

They came over to show us their methods, including the e collar.  They even tried it on my husband and I. They explained that they don't use it in the way that people 'think' they use it, which is a form of correction.  But more in the way to get their attention.  

I still have to visit their home thought.  Their program seemed more promising then Petsmarts though...

 

Sgourle's picture
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Joined: 2014-07-18

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I'm really glad to hear that you have been working with him already and that he is doing so well =) Is there a particular concern you have as he ages that you feel would be best addressed by this kind of training?

Again, the place that I worked briefly did the same thing with the outings and distractions--shopping centers, the beach, local ranches, etc...--and would provide lifetime "tune-ups" to those who paid for the highest training package. This is still not something that I would recommend unless you are literally unable to work with your puppy, which I can't imagine is the case. Most of the dogs that we saw were failed by their owners long before they came to us and had developed a lot of bad habits over a number of years. Did the training stop the bad habits and/or address aggression? Yes, so there were a lot of happy clients. There is not, however, any really good reason to send a new puppy to one of these programs when you can work with them. Try finding a good dog/handler class where you can work with your puppy. I have read a number of favorable reviews about the online training courses also, which may be a good option if location or time are an issue for you.

Good luck with whatever you choose!

MaMaKhan's picture
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Joined: 2015-10-05

Yes I work with him on a daily or almost moment to moment basis.  Whenever I can get a training in.  I always make him work for a toy or a treat.  

But in all honesty it's my first dog that is large enough to hurt someone.  I lack confidence in myself to be able to know when I'm doing something wrong.  The training is to guide me, my husband and our pup in the right direction.  And the training will only be for a week when my family will be in town to visit and I don't think I'll have the time to spend with him in that week that he will need.  So it just so happens to either board him in doggie day care while we're out showing my family the city, or send him to a place where he will actually learn at the same time.  

The trainer also provides private lessons in our home.  I text her and she also gives me advice on what methods I can try with him to see what works best.

I have anxiety, and it's hard for me to tell myself everything will be ok.  So basically the trainer is for me.  I kinda need reassurance along the way.

 

Laura's picture
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Joined: 2015-05-25

It sounds like you have already made up your mind about training and just want affirmation.  I hope it works for your puppy.  The trainer I quit used a citronella collar on my puppy one session and it was so traumatic he was afraid of people for three weeks and had to be completely resocialized - and my older dog who was there also and is normally a social butterfly was standoffish for about a week.  I would never again subject a dog to a citronella or e-collar.