Are you considering a “board and train” program for your puppy or dog?
These programs are a powerful way to boost your dog’s training progress. Spending one-on-one time with a professional trainer in a new environment is very different than going to the occasional training class or working with your dog at home.
Many bad habits persist at home because it can be so hard to break the cycle.
The more your dog practices a behaviour, especially if they find it enjoyable and easy to get away with, the more it will continue. Sometimes, the best way to break the cycle is to take your dog away from the temptations and routine of their home environment. At a board and train program, they’ll be supervised and surrounded with people and other dogs that will lead by example.
How Your Trainer Can Help
A good dog trainer is well-versed in dog behaviour. Board-and-train gives your trainer a chance to observe your dog’s behaviour and understand not only what your dog is doing, but why. Your trainer can get to the root of the problem and help you make long-term plans to work on it.
You should feel comfortable asking your trainer questions. Make sure they are willing to send you photos and updates each day – you’ll be sure to miss your pup! Your dog should be sent home with instructions on how to continue to enforce good behaviours that they’ve learned. Board-and-train is not magic – it’s highly effective, but only if you continue to follow your trainer’s techniques when you get your dog back.
Skills Taught In Board And Train Programs
Board and train programs are ideal for dogs and puppies that need to learn basic manners, like potty training, loose leash walking and learning not to be destructive.
Here are some of the most popular types of board-and-train programs:
Board and train for puppies
If possible, start planning your puppy’s board and train program as soon as you bring them home. The first few months of your puppy’s life are the best time for socialization. Your puppy will be able to quickly adjust to spending time in another home, which is particularly useful if your trainer may also board your dog in the future. Puppies can also pick up good habits from resident dogs – this can speed up potty training because when your puppy sees older dogs going outside for a potty break, they will follow their lead. Check out Puppy Potty Camp from Healthy Houndz for puppies in North York and Toronto.
Loose leash walking
You don’t need any fancy harnesses or harmful equipment to teach your dog to walk calmly on the leash, though a Halti or front-clip harness can help guide your dog without hurting them. The key is to communicate with your dog through verbal and nonverbal cues. Dogs don’t automatically realize they need to focus on us, not just the environment, when we’re out on walks. Having your dog learn to walk correctly at a board-and-train program allows your trainer to teach your dog to listen for cues while they enjoy the walk. Once your dog learns these cues, your trainer can teach you to use your words and your body language to direct your dog without tugging or pulling.
If your dog goes through the trash, chews up shoes or otherwise messes up your home, your first course of action should be to put away tempting items and keep your dog confined with a gate or crate when you cannot supervise them. At the same time, you can teach your dog to be less destructive by directing them to an appropriate toy when they feel like chewing. A board-and-train program takes your dog puts them in a safe, temptation-free environment where they won’t be able to practice this bad habit.
Your dog will learn that they can be happy while spending time away from you. For dogs with severe separation anxiety, it can take a bit longer for them to adjust, but they will have the mental stimulation and support they need to get through it.
Board And Train With Healthy Houndz!
One of the potential downsides of board-and-train programs is that some trainers use punishment-based training that can be more harsh when you’re not around. Always board-and-train with a trainer that understands behavioural science and uses rewards to teach your dog – instead of masking the problem by hurting or scaring your dog. Healthy Houndz offers positive board-and-train programs for dogs and puppies in Toronto and North York, plus training sessions and other professional dog services. Contact us today!