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    1. #1
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      Board & Train Programs

      DH has been looking into some board and train programs at kennels near home. We are wanting to put Chutes through an obedience training program and we are also looking to find a good kennel that we would be comfortable boarding Chutes at while we go on vacations that we can't take him along with us.

      I've been having mixed feelings about boarding and training and what that does as far as affecting bonding or other things. From my looking around online, I've mostly found positive articles.

      I'm curious what opinions y'all have with these training programs? If any of y'all have experience in the process and could share that would be appreciated.
      Josh & Jenna. Texas.
      Parents of: Farmer's Deschutes Cinder Cone Red "Chutes" the Labrador. (And the cat, Stewie. Hidden Content )

      Instagram: @jenfarm_ & @farmer_bram

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    2. #2
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      I haven't used one of these programs but I've spoken to others who have and found it to be a good experience. My thinking is you want your dog to be obedient with YOU and being obedient to you should involve you being involved in the training and developing your relationship with the dog. I suspect these training programs, though, are much more consistent about training than your average dog owner is, so mine would probably be more well behaved if I actually had sent them for training, rather than me letting their mistakes slide. As long as there is a good system of transferring that training to you, not just handing you the lead at the end of the training period and sending you off with your pup, maybe it would be OK.

      Will Chutes be a hunting dog? I guess if you're going to hunt with him and have never trained a hunting dog before, I might send them for that sort of training but probably not your everyday dog sort of training. You can probably find a good kennel without doing the training, too.

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    4. #3
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      Quote Originally Posted by smartrock View Post
      I haven't used one of these programs but I've spoken to others who have and found it to be a good experience. My thinking is you want your dog to be obedient with YOU and being obedient to you should involve you being involved in the training and developing your relationship with the dog. I suspect these training programs, though, are much more consistent about training than your average dog owner is, so mine would probably be more well behaved if I actually had sent them for training, rather than me letting their mistakes slide. As long as there is a good system of transferring that training to you, not just handing you the lead at the end of the training period and sending you off with your pup, maybe it would be OK.

      Will Chutes be a hunting dog? I guess if you're going to hunt with him and have never trained a hunting dog before, I might send them for that sort of training but probably not your everyday dog sort of training. You can probably find a good kennel without doing the training, too.
      DH would like to train him for shed hunting and possibly blood trail tracking but not much. We're mainly looking at obedience as of now. One of the reasons we're considering a board and train is a lot of the kennels we are finding that we like won't board him without going through their program.

      I see what you are saying with the worry of someone else training him, but not training us on how to handle him. That's something we we have thought about and are taking into consideration also. The two programs we have narrowed down to not only do a 2-3 week board and train program, but they also have follow up lessons with us to show us proper handling so that we can continue the training going forward at home. We understand that dropping the dog off for training isn't a fix all. That's not our expectation at all. They also include refresher courses if he starts to slip on any of the training that he's supposed to know coming out of their program or starts having behavioral issues that need to be addressed. So it's not just a board and train and that's it, it would be an ongoing relationship with the kennel and training with us also.

    5. #4
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      I would personally never do it, especially not for just basic obedience. For the money you can hire a personal trainer to do many in home sessions and classes.

      If you go the board and train route, be VERY VERY picky and get as much info on training philosophy and practices. Ask about how they train (like actually how) and what tools they use. Ensure you are ok with whatever they use. Ask how they correct if the dog does something "wrong" (and ensure you are ok with what they say).

      Personally I have my own philosophy on training, but it's up to you what you are comfortable with. I believe that with animal training, the method matters as much as the result.
      Last edited by Tanya; 05-29-2017 at 02:06 PM.

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    7. #5
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      My neighbors did this for basic obedience. I also run into alot of dogs in dog parks and hiking trails who have the same e collar and tell me they were trained their.The common feedback is with in a year the dog has pretty much forgotten all the commands .They do cost for 2 week program. One of the dog was a german Shepard and other was a dutch Shepard with police/military blood lines. She is nuts . They had to be boarded and did 2 week e collar training. again this couple is in their 60s and are a bit out of shape. Do not ask why they need just high drive dogs to keep inside all the time.

      We took the cheap route , i spend maybe 350$ in training total as petco has 50% cash back and she did 7 classes . We ofcourse found a great trainer, so your experience may differ. At the end of the day me , my wife , my 6 yr old [then 5] and my 9 yr old [then 8] played a big part . the kids would join on few classes and me and wife alternated. so the side effect is gigi is being trained by us or kids all through the day. i think it helped as kids give gifts never without some obedience routine. my 5 yr old is makes a point to even do off leash stuff. Also having used external trainers and results i think the the training is actually is more for people then the dog.

      satz

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    9. #6
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      Quote Originally Posted by silverfz View Post
      My neighbors did this for basic obedience. I also run into alot of dogs in dog parks and hiking trails who have the same e collar and tell me they were trained their.The common feedback is with in a year the dog has pretty much forgotten all the commands .They do cost for 2 week program. One of the dog was a german Shepard and other was a dutch Shepard with police/military blood lines. She is nuts . They had to be boarded and did 2 week e collar training. again this couple is in their 60s and are a bit out of shape. Do not ask why they need just high drive dogs to keep inside all the time.

      We took the cheap route , i spend maybe 350$ in training total as petco has 50% cash back and she did 7 classes . We ofcourse found a great trainer, so your experience may differ. At the end of the day me , my wife , my 6 yr old [then 5] and my 9 yr old [then 8] played a big part . the kids would join on few classes and me and wife alternated. so the side effect is gigi is being trained by us or kids all through the day. i think it helped as kids give gifts never without some obedience routine. my 5 yr old is makes a point to even do off leash stuff. Also having used external trainers and results i think the the training is actually is more for people then the dog.

      satz
      Very important. Training is an ONGOING lifelong thing. You have to be consistent in your day to day life (more so than not) and continue to do reminder sessions and such. Meaning; sure you don't wnat ot reward your dog for every sit. But sometimes it's good to randomly reward the dog and keep a standard of expectations (if you say sit, make sure the dog sits, wait until they do). If htey start to slide you go back to a bit of reminder sessions training (with rewards and then remove). Reward can be "real life rewards" too. Sit to get out. down and wait for food.

      Edited to add: oh oh google the place. see if anyone has complaints posted. those you NEVER see on their website The annoying part with references is there are always a few happy customers and those are the ones you see on the website and they will refer you to. So references given BY the trainer/facility i find sorta pointless.

      Talk to your vet. See if they know of dogs that did board and train. Maybe they can ask those clients if they would mind chatting with your. Or they may have indirect information.

      While facebook may not be your think, worth looking at local dog related groups to see if anyone has gone there (again not using THEIR website - trainers and companies diligently manage their social profile so you won't SEE anything negative on THEIR pages/profiles).
      Last edited by Tanya; 05-29-2017 at 03:06 PM.

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    11. #7
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      Quote Originally Posted by jenfarm View Post
      One of the reasons we're considering a board and train is a lot of the kennels we are finding that we like won't board him without going through their program.
      We've had dogs for >30 years and have been able to find good kennels in the 3 states we've lived that didn't require that sort of up front commitment. I'm guessing the several weeks of training is expensive, even for general obedience. So that would annoy me right there but that's me. Like Tanya, I'd want to know what their training methods actually are and how errors are corrected. Will they be training him to respond to an e-collar? What corrections do they use for mistakes or not responding fast enough? Have you spoken to anyone who has actually gone through the program, not just looked at the webpages and their "testimonials"? Online websites can look really slick when the reality is completely disappointing. I'm just saying be sure you know what you're signing up for and laying out your money for.

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    13. #8
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      Yes, thank you for all of your advice. We are definitely not taking this decision lightly. We've been doing a lot of what y'all are suggesting. We've been looking all over at reviews, in fact, one of the facilities we are interested in is recommended by our vet. We've made a list of questions to ask when we go to consultations at both of the places we have narrowed down to, including what types of methods they use during training. I am very interested in this part. Chutes is our baby and I want to make sure he's being trained in a method I'm OK with. Another reason we are looking at a board and train is our schedules. DH has been at home finishing his degree online since January. He's been able to be home with Chutes 24/7 so far which has helped immensely in getting him settled and starting basic training until he starts his new job in August. His midterms are coming up and he's also having to add an additional class for his new job on top of his already full college load so having Chutes boarded for a couple weeks while training would be very convenient. We are hoping that this training program will give us a jump start on getting him settled to being home alone for longer periods while we both resume working. I also hope to be able to bring him to work with me occasionally and I'm needing help in jump starting his manners in preparation for that.

      We, of course, totally understand that training is an ongoing lifelong event. I have grown up with dogs as a kid (years ago), but this is mine and my husband's first puppy on our own and are hoping for some help and guidance on his training. With these programs we are hoping to get a good groundwork started to work off of. Maybe with our next pup we will decide we don't need this. But this is a learning experience for us, as well. We are looking trainers to not only help train him, but us too. We are looking for trainers to have an ongoing relationship with. This isn't us looking for a fix all start and expect it to last his whole life. Not at all.

      I appreciate all your responses and concerns. All very helpful!

    14. #9
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      Sounds like you checked off all the boxes that would be on my list. Your rationale for including a trainer at this point in your dog's life makes sense. Absolutely agree with the train-my-dog-then-train-me-to-train-my-dog approach.

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    16. #10
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      I would far rather do the training myself. Basic obedience classes are where the OWNER learns how to teach the dog and work with the dog. Plus, classes tend to help forge a bond between owner and dog. However my friend, an emergency room nurse with shift schedule, could not fit regular classes into her schedule and did use a board and train for her GSD and it all worked out just fine. However she does have extensive experience training horses and her own previous dogs so she herself did not miss out on as much owner training as most of us might have.

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