“Board and Train” programs have become increasingly popular in recent years. Sometimes sending your dog to temporarily live and work with a professional in an immersive program can be incredibly beneficial to achieving your training goals! We offer this program here at Pawsitive Futures, but it is a program that is only open to specific goals and circumstances. Today, we want to tell you all about our board and train program: what it is, what it isn’t, and help you determine if it is a good fit for your individual training needs!
What Our Board and Train Is
We like to refer to our Board and Train service as a “boost” to your current training process. We use this time with your dog to really focus on the problem areas that you’ve been having with your dog, and help your dog work through roadblocks in your training. For example, if you have been doing a lot of work on trying to teach your dog reliable loose leash walking skills, but just can’t seem to progress past working in low-distraction environments, a board and train service would be a great opportunity for your dog to work with a certified trainer in varying environments and distractions throughout their time with us to help you move past this “sticky” spot in your progress. This service can also be beneficial if you are wanting to make sure your training doesn’t unravel or become out of practice while you are going out of town or travelling. Instead of taking your dog to a potentially stressful boarding kennel, our board and train service, which takes place in a Pawsitive Futures' trainer's home, is a great way to make sure your dog is well cared for while you are away and also keeping up with their training progress until you return.
Our service achieves the best results with clients who are committed to continuing training with their dog even after the board and train is finished. Dogs need our help to generalize behaviors they learn, so that means that you will need to be on board to continue what we’ve taught your dog in your own home as well to ensure they will be able to “take home” what they learned with us, to you!
What Our Board and Train is Not
We do not advertise our board and train service as a guaranteed means to get a “fully trained” dog in a specific time frame. Not only is that unethical to claim a training guarantee, but it is unrealistic. Many training processes are complex and require more time than can be given in a board and train time frame, and require you to continue on with the work that we “start” while your dog is here. Dogs are still living beings, and there is no one-size-fits-all formula to achieve your goals in a certain amount of specified time in a board and train program, as convenient as that would be! We are upfront with you about how much progress we will be able to achieve depending on your goals and the prior training you’ve already put in. For many behaviors, we are able to make a large amount of progress in your dog’s time with us, but we like to be straightforward with the fact that you will need to continue what we worked on in your home after sending your dog back with you.
Additionally, we do not tend to recommend board and train services for behaviors that will not benefit from staying with a trainer, such as working on potty training, puppy mouthiness, or other issues that are rooted in puppy development. These behaviors are best worked on in the home setting that we want to see success in as the human caregiver needs to have the skills to deal with these behaviors on a daily basis through development. For that reason, we recommend considering private lessons (virtual or in-person) with one of our trainers to address and discuss these issues instead of utilizing the board and train program.
What Does Our Board and Train Program Look Like?
We take pride in our program for the simple fact that while your dog is with us, we will treat them just like family! Your dog will live in-home with one of our trainers and be a part of their daily routine. During their time with us, your dog will receive:
At least 3 structured training sessions each day
Some sessions being in varying environments depending on your training goals
General training and management to practice appropriate behavior throughout the day in a home setting (like polite greetings, no counter surfing, appropriate play, etc)
Daily enrichment opportunities (play time, pool time, choice walks, and stuffed food puzzles like Kongs and Lickimats)
Supervised free time in the home and outside in the yard
Plenty of rest opportunities to promote relaxation and prevent overexertion/over-arousal
At night, your dog will be sleeping in the home in a crate, so being able to rest overnight in a crate is required. Prior to your board and train program, your trainer will reach out to you and discuss your training goals as well as talk to you about anything you need us to know about your dog before they come to stay. We require a minimum of a 5 day stay to ensure we have the time to get enough foundational work in with your dog before returning them back to you. For every 5-7 days of stay with us, you will receive one 60-minute private follow-up lesson to show you what we’ve been working on and help you to continue the training at home.
Our board and train program can be just what you need to really expedite your training process and see the lasting results that you’re looking for. If your goals are a good fit for our program, we hope that you will consider letting your dog come stay for lots of training fun! If you like what you see and are interested in signing up, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us to get started. See you and your dog soon!