Recently we did two back to back board and trains up here at the ranch. We also began offering in-home training. Why the change?
Where we train affects what we know about your dog.
Here's an example. One of our recent board and trains was cutie patootie, Teddy. Teddy is a complex case with multiple problems that we have been addressing through training at our in town location using drop-off day training. While much of his behavior was improving, some was not, and I really needed to find out what was going on. Because Teddy is a high drive puppy, I decided that spending a week trying to find the optimal balance of sleep, exercise, and training would jump start our efforts.
I was quickly able to find several points where Teddy's home life could be impairing his ability to succeed with training. These were things that I couldn't find out from his owner, and his owner would not have been able to suss out himself. Because of the short week he spent here, Teddy's progress has kept forward and we have a far better handle on his needs.
Dogs who carry on and act insane in the home may act perfectly fine at my location, so for them home visits may be beneficial.
We have changed the way we address problem behaviors because we want to be able to offer owners the best fit for their dog's needs.
So, how do you find out what your dog needs?
For most basic stuff (jumping up, leash pulling, poor recall, etc...) I try to use a class setting. It's far less expensive and the information and practice can go a long way towards addressing problem behaviors.
If the class setting cannot fix these behaviors, or other behaviors crop up, then private, one on one training of some sort is required.
For many things we can address problems at The Dog Spot, or across the street at the park, either through drop off training (best for anxiety, complex issues, reactivity, and the like, as well as to build foundations quickly), or one-on-one training with the handler (really helpful for leash work, dog and human reactivity).
At home we can address door bell behaviors, resource guarding, some anxiety issues, and more.
I am still limiting board and train for very specific situations and dogs. I can see it being helpful in some cases, so we are now tentatively offering it, but we will assess each case independently and try other methods first if at all possible.
How long does training take?
Dogs aren't machines, and every case is different. Breeding and genetics play a roll in some cases, and owner time spent training and adherence to the plan affects all cases. No major problem will be solved in a matter of weeks. I wish We could wave a magic wand and make everything better, but dogs, like humans, are complex, thinking animals, and we sometimes struggle just to find out why we are seeing certain behaviors. Owners must be able to help with most of the training, and in assessing progress so that we know if what we are doing is succeeding.
We love that we are now offering more ways to help problem dogs, and we think we can balance owner