The Problem with Board and Train
I have been working with dogs for a while. I have trained multiple breeds and dealt with a wide range of issues. If my experiences so far have taught me one thing, it’s that you should always be wary of a dog trainer who claims they can “fix” all your dog’s problems if your pet spends a set period of time being boarded and trained in their facility.
To start off, it doesn’t matter one bit how well your dog ultimately learns to behave in the facility; it is his behavior at home that you are concerned about. It doesn’t matter how well the dog trainer can handle your dog; it is how well YOU can handle the dog that you are concerned about.
Let’s get one thing straight: Regardless of how good the dog trainer is, he or she cannot permanently modify your dog’s behavior and habits into something that YOU can manage on your own in the home setting if you are not involved in the training process. Period. If you have a dog that is exhibiting signs of aggression or unsociable behaviors, it can be very stressful and even traumatic. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that thousands of people are lured by false promises that simply sending their dogs to an expensive facility for a couple of weeks will be the solution to all their problems. Believe me. It won’t.
To start off, it doesn’t matter one bit how well your dog ultimately learns to behave in the facility; it is his behavior at home that you are concerned about. It doesn’t matter how well the dog trainer can handle your dog; it is how well YOU can handle the dog that you are concerned about. See where I am going here?
Trainers are experts in dealing with dog behavior, and a good trainer will have no problem getting your dog under control. But what happens next? What happens when the leash is handed back, and you take the dog home? You don’t have the experience of training dogs. In fact, we already know that you are experiencing problems handling your dog (why else would you send him for training?). You don’t know what commands to give, what signs of deteriorating behavior to look for, etc. This is a major problem because your dog lives with you in your home, not the dog trainer in a training facility.
So, it’s simple really. For you to change your dog’s behavior, you need to be involved in the training process, and this training process needs to take place with you and your family. It doesn’t matter if you’re teaching a dog not to bark at the door, to walk properly on a leash, to stop chewing the furniture, or to stop chasing delivery drivers down the street… YOU are the person who needs to be in control.
So, if you do decide you need the services of a dog trainer, you need to find someone who can work with both you and your dog. Don’t rely on someone else to fix your problems and don’t be tempted to shell out big bucks for guaranteed boarded training services that promise to fix your dog’s problems. When it comes to dogs and training, that old adage has never been truer: If it seems too good to be true… it probably is!