As a dog owner, you are probably aware that there are several options available for training your dog. Whether you’re considering attending a group class, enrolling in private lessons, or finding a specialist facility for a Board and Train program, there are a multitude of factors to assess. Finding the correct option will depend on your dog and your overarching dog training goals.
At Christian K-9 Academy, our team understands that a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work when it comes to dog training. Our programs are tailored to the needs of you and your dog, which is why we frequently take the time to discuss training options with dog owners before they sign up. Understanding the best fit for your dog beforehand increases the chances of successful outcomes once the training is complete.
Board and Train programs offer several potential benefits for dog owners. While the prospect of leaving your dog for 10, 15, 20 or 25 days may seem initially daunting, there are several reasons why our Board and Train programs are our most popular offering.
Just as humans can benefit from a change of scenery, giving your dog the chance to have their own time away from home and learn new skills under the tutelage of experienced dog trainers can be good for them, too. Even better, the benefits are not only for the duration of the Board and Train program; if properly maintained, the behaviors will improve the quality of life for your dog – and your family – for years to come.
In this article, we’re going to look in more depth at three major benefits of a Board and Train program for your pup.
Benefit 1: Intensive and focused training
Perhaps the main benefit of Board and Train programs is the sheer amount of time it allows a professional trainer to work with your dog. The actual active training time included within a Board and Train program far surpasses other types of dog training.
Consider this: private lessons and group classes typically offer your dog the chance to interact with a trainer one time per week, usually for an hour. If a program lasts for six weeks, that is six hours in total. Even putting aside the other potential drawbacks of those particular programs (by their nature, group classes do not permit a lot of one-on-one interaction between trainer and dog; with private lessons, it is somewhat reliant on the owner reinforcing the training correctly in between lessons), if your dog is with a professional trainer for 25 days (our longest program at Christian K-9 Academy), there is a much bigger window to work with the dog. That offers up so much more time to teach, reinforce, and proof the dog, even in complex behavioral cases.
In addition, when a dog stays at a training facility, it opens up different ways for dog trainers to structure the training sessions. Rather than trying to force lots of information into an intense, one hour window (during which the dog may become tired, or less receptive to the training), trainers are able to break the time into several shorter bursts throughout the day. This increases the likelihood that the dog will be an enthusiastic and willing participant in the training, and ultimately, increases the likelihood that the training will achieve its desired outcomes.
Benefit 2: Socialization
If your dog is staying at a dog training facility, then there is a good chance that they will have the opportunity to interact with other dogs who are also in training. This is the sort of situation that rarely presents itself during in-home lessons, where trainers can only work with the humans, animals and environment around them.
Socialization has numerous benefits for your dog, and teaching them how to interact properly with dogs of all sizes, breeds and personalities helps to create a well-rounded, stable pup. After graduating from the Board and Train program, this also helps to reduce reactivity and other undesirable behaviors when your dog encounters unfamiliar pups in public, such as when you take them out on walks.
The important thing from the trainer’s perspective during the Board and Train is to ensure that the introductions with other dogs are positive, as negative interactions can result in training setbacks. Specifically, in behavioral issues where aggression may be prevalent, the trainer must use discretion in pairing dogs for socialization activities. To help mitigate this, you should always make your trainer aware prior to the program of any past history of incidents with other dogs.
Benefit 3: Time constraints are irrelevant
In our modern-day society, many of us are leading busier lifestyles – whether through our work, school or family life. It can be hard to fit in any extracurricular activities, let alone dedicate adequate time for dog training. And remember, with private lessons, it isn’t just the one hour session you need to allocate time for – you also need to create time for ongoing training sessions during the week to ensure that your dog is retaining the information.
With a Board and Train program, there is no pressure to find time to train your dog. All you need to do is find time to drop your dog off, and then pick them up at the end of the program. This is not only a great option around your existing responsibilities; if you are heading out of town on vacation and are unable to bring your dog along, a Board and Train stay may be the ideal solution. After all, your dog will be in the hands of professional, dedicated experts for the duration of their stay; will be able to learn new behaviors (or understand not to perform old ones); and have the chance to interact, play and make new friends in a controlled environment. What’s not to love?
Making the decision to get your dog trained is an important first step in creating a harmonious, mutually beneficial relationship. The second step, following closely behind, is choosing which program will allow you to unlock their full potential.
At Christian K-9 Academy, our trainers have worked with hundreds of dogs in the Columbus, OH area and helped their owners to achieve their dog training goals. Our programs run for 10, 15, 20 or 25 days, and take place at our state-of-the-art facility in West Jefferson – the perfect learning environment for any dog.
If you have questions about whether a Board and Train program is the right choice for your dog, or want to get your pup signed up for one of our programs, please contact us for more information! Call (614) 580-3454 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.