We receive multiple calls a day asking us about our dog training services. Last Wednesday was no different as I answered a call from a prospective Home Dog Training client who lived in Dahlonega. He had an eighteen-month-old Weimaraner named Black Jack. From our conversation, I ascertained that Black Jack had the annoying tendency to jump on people and loved to run and be irritating when anyone would knock on the front door.
On top of that, he always pulled on walks, would always try to steal food from the dinner table, and never listened to anyone in the family. Our prospective client had visited several Board and Train Facilities in Lumpkin, White, and Hall Counties. He wanted to know if we had a similar service as those Board and Train facilities.
He told me that although he works from home and would have plenty of time to work with Black Jack during the day, his friends told him that Board and Trains were the way to go. He really wasn’t sure what to do and that is why he called us.
I started off by telling him that Robin and I talk to people who want to have their dog “Board and Trained” every day. This means that the dog will be away from his home being taught new things by unfamiliar humans (the professional dog trainers). This process is very easy and convenient for the dog owner because they don’t have to do anything. The issue that must be addressed is whether this process will deliver a well behaved and trained dog when he is returned to his home from the Board and Train process.
I continued to explain to him that I am well aware that there are dog owners who honestly don’t have the time to properly train their dog. Although they love their dog and want to spend as much time as possible with him, the demands of “modern life” make the expenditure of that time impossible. I pointed out that he has the luxury of considering the two options of Board and Train and In-Home Training.
I am going to address this question by coming at it from another angle. First, the reason that I assume most people have a dog is because they want to engage in a wonderful and lifelong relationship of unending trust and mutual respect. With this said, they want to make sure that their dog understands what they should do and what they shouldn’t do. They want their dog to recognize that they are the one who will always protect, direct, and love him.
This can only happen if there is a great deal of direct interaction between the dog owner and their dog. When their dog misbehaves and breaks one of their “house rules”, it is the owner who must clearly let their dog know that what he did was wrong. The owner must also bond with their dog by engaging in activities such as playing games, going on walks, practicing obedience, and just “hanging out together”. It is critical that the owner never do anything that would scare, frighten, or hurt their dog.
The owner must create an environment that will allow for stimulating activities that direct their dog to “the correct answers” and encourages their natural focus back towards the dog owner. Simple examples of this are requiring the owner’s dog to “come” when he needs her dog to be by his side. His dog should “sit” when he needs him to be calm and respectful. His dog should “stay” so that his dog will remain safe when he answers the door.
All of these activities help Black Jack to understand that it is critical to his safety to always be aware of what his owner wants and to immediately respond to his direction. In doing so, he will remain safe, healthy, happy, and secure. On top of this, it encourages Black Jack to focus on his owner whenever he needs guidance.
If he can perform these actions, he will have a great dog. He will have created the bond, trust, and respect that is needed for their relationship. This can only take place if he is his dog’s teacher. He needs to “be the boss”. In being “the boss”, he is the one who Black Jack directs his attention towards in order to establish what he must do next.
I concluded my discussion with my prospective client by stating that it would be very hard to achieve the goals I just enumerated if Black Jack went to a Board and Train facility and was trained by someone else. Since, through his own admission he had the time to work with Black Jack at home, the in-home training option would be most appropriate for him and Black Jack.
Now, let me add a small twist to this story that will explain why Board and Train programs can be appropriate and successfully produce well trained and behaved dogs. If the dog owner truly does not have the time to properly train their dog, Board and Train programs would be the answer.
With this said, it is critical that the owner can continue with their dog’s training after the Board and Train program has been completed. Even though someone else has done the bulk of the work, their involvement during and after the training handoff may be able to establish the proper owner to dog relationship as described above.
The key to the success of a Board and Train program is that the owner will master the techniques used by the trainer during their dog’s Board and Train experience and continue to engage in them when their dog returns home. This will pass the “leadership baton” from the Board and Train dog trainer to them. The problem that Robin and I have seen over the years is that this often does not take place.
Please call or text us at (770) 718-7704 if you need any dog training help. You can also email us at [email protected]. We are blessed to have been your local dog training experts for over eighteen years. We have trained over 6,000 wonderful dogs and great families and are ready to help you.