Why don't I offer Drop Off Board and Train?

 

aggressive dog in cageI frequently get asked if I offer Board and Train in Cary, NC. If you are not familiar with this type of training option, trainers will charge a lot of money for this service,  take a dog into their home (or in a kennel or barn in the backyard) and work with the dog for a period each day, often for weeks at a time. They then return the dog to the family and (hopefully) spend some time explaining what their dog learned and teach the family how to communicate with their dog and continue the training. 

Why don't I offer this type of training? I offer the Stay-at-Home Board and Train, but I don't recommend dropping your dog off at a training facility. 

In theory Board and Train sounds like an ideal option. While very expensive, the convenience sounds amazing. You drop your dog off with someone, pick him or her up and voila! You end up with the perfectly trained dog without all the time, effort, early mornings, and endless repetition that is normally required. You end up with the perfect family dog and let someone else handle the stress. Great! Right? So why don't I offer Board and Train in Cary, NC?

Private Training is More Effective

Private training is the most effective type of training for most families. I also taught classes for years and find this to be enjoyable and somewhat effective, but the custom, in-home dog training is fine-tuned to your specific needs. If a dog is jumping on guests, I can show you in real-time how to work on this topic. If your dog is reactive on-leash, I can bring one of my dogs and teach you how to conduct safe, calm greetings. We can also meet at a park or work in your neighborhood around other dogs, and I can show you exactly what to do in every situation. 

I don't think that Board and Train Dog Training is as effective as private training. To transfer the dog training knowledge to your home, you need to work with your dog in your setting. Where I have seen repeatedly, Board and Train Dog Training often falls short of showing families how to take the information learned elsewhere and apply it to your situation. Also, a BIG consideration is that a large percentage of Board and Train Dog Trainers use physical, abusive methods such as shock collars and choke chains. While I am opposed to all aversive, physical training, I also don't like the deadline-based mentality of board and train dog training. Think about it, a dog trainer takes $5K for two weeks of training to "fix" your aggressive dog, or your dog that jumps and pulls on the leash. There is pressure on that dog trainer to show results. 

Why should those topics take only 2 weeks? Sometimes aggression can take months of hard work to reach the goal. Why should there be a specific timeframe to "fix" a problem? Can your child's teacher guarantee that your child will learn their ABCs or how to write a perfect book report in a specified amount of time? All people and dogs learn at a different pace. If you also have a dog who is anxious or aggressive or has separation anxiety, it could take days or longer for a dog to even feel comfortable in a new situation. The clock is ticking for that trainer and he often feels that the only way to get results is to use extremely physical, abusive methods. 

Abusive Board and Train Dog Training Can Cause Long-Lasting Damage

But, not only do these abusive methods rarely work, they can cause some serious long-term emotional or physical damage. I was hired many times to rehabilitate a dog that went through abusive board and train dog training, leaving them emotionally scarred. There was one client that went to pick up her 6-month-old Golden Retriever puppy that was dropped off at a board and train dog training facility to learn basic training. She arrived at the training facility and her dog was shaking in the back of the crate. She reached in to coax him out of the crate and he urinated on himself out of fear and trembled as she reached for him. It took many sessions and about 6 months of work to teach that puppy to trust anyone again. He spent two weeks of his life getting beat up using shock collars, all in the name of "training". 

You Might End Up Spending Extra Money 

There have also been many, many situations where clients have paid 1000s of dollars in board and train dog training and their dog simply isn't trained. They invariably blame themselves for not "keeping up with the training". Usually, however, they simply were not taught how to continue the training, or they felt uncomfortable using the methods that the trainer used. Any dog will stop jumping or barking if you shock them enough. The more effective and humane approach is to understand how to motivate your dog to behave in a certain way. Using fear or pain is easy. Understanding the science behind motivation is what I will teach you and you will find that once you understand how to do it, it is not that difficult. 

Handoff of Dog Training Information Doesn't Always Stick

The problem with the handoff to families is often that their dog looks like a show dog when the trainer drops her off and then when the trainer leaves, the family has no clue what to do and the training falls apart. They then hire me, and pay more money, to train their dog and teach them how to do it more effectively and humanely. 

Not all board and train dog trainers use shock, choke or prong collars and use abusive methods. If you decide to go that route, make sure you do your research and make sure the training is humane, and there is a specific way to teach you how to work with your dog after you pick him or her up. 

Some trainers offer a lifetime of "tuneups" if you find that your dog isn't doing as well as you want. If the training was well thought out, with reasonable expectations and timeframes, why would you need that extra training? Also, usually you have to bring your dog to the trainer for sessions, sometimes with other people there as well. Paying 1000s of dollars for board and train and then end up doing training that you could have done elsewhere to begin with? What is the point of that?

As you can tell, I am not a fan of drop off board and train dog training. If you would prefer to work with the best dog trainer near you, fill out my contact form and I will get back to you. I do offer my unique Stay-at-Home Training option. 

Work with the best dog trainer near you.  Dog training in Cary, Morrisville, Apex, Raleigh and Durham. Make sure you look at my Dog Training Travel Area. I don't service all locations within those areas.