Boarding/Training

Hi there,

So after a few weeks of trying to do it all on our own (with the help of a trainer coming in) we are realizing that with our full time jobs we might not be giving her the proper training Nilla needs.  

We live in NYC and things here just tend to run more expensive.  

We are beginning the search of possibly sending her to a place that will do a 2 week board and train.  I am sure there are feelings about it...which I would love your honesty to the reasons why/why not to do it. 

Does anyone recommend a place in either NJ, Westchester/Putman/Duchess/Sullivan County NY, Connecticut, RI, or MA?

 

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  • I should mention that we have also tried to get her into an obedience class here and they are all fully booked until May!  I just don't want to wait months to help her!

  • Here's the thing. Training is not something that is ever "finished". You never ever get to a point with a dog where you say "Okay, now she's trained, it's done." Training a dog is not like painting a room, where after you're done, the room is blue and you're finished, lol. It's more like cleaning house, it's continuous upkeep; dusting, vaccuuming, washing dishes, putting things away. It has to keep on being done.
    A training class basically teaches you how to train your dog. The real training happens in between classes, when you work every day on what you learned in class that week, and the week before, etc. 
    So, no dog is ever going to get trained in two weeks, no matter how good the trainers are. They will lay a foundation. You are going to have to keep up the work, every single day week in and week out, or the foundation crumbles and the house never gets built, to continue the metaphor, lol. 
    If you don't have time to train your dog now, you aren't going to have time to do it after the 2 week board and train, either. 
    Personally, I think you get more out of the classes. You are there to learn first hand, and you have the opportunity to practice in front of the instructor, so you can be sure you're getting it right. You learn basic tools that you can continue to use forever. You also build a bond with your dog, going somewhere together and learning together. 
    That doesn;t happen with board and train. Sure, the package will include a session where they show you what the dog learned and how to continue it, but that's just not the same thing. An hour of explanation and then "you take it from here" just doesn't work the same way as it does when YOU are the one who's taken the dog through it from step one. 
    Many people have ended up with a dog who will only obey the trainer. The bond & the communication between the handler and the dog is what makes for the mst successful long-term training. 
    But either way, you are going to have to find the time to work with your dog every day, or you'd just be wasting your money, IMO.

  • You asked for true opinions and here is mine.  Training a dog is worth the effort and you will get out of it what YOU put into it.  You don't have to have a perfectly trained dog but you want a dog that minds the specific commands that are important to you.  For example, my dogs have a wait command that is unassailable - I do not want them rushing past me on the stairs as I might fall so I enforce wait all the time with them.  I don't want a dog that doesn't even let me put the food down before diving in = so sit and wait are enforced there also.  My dogs are terrible at the door - I care, but obviously not enough because I don't work on changing that and it's my own fault.

    In all honesty, I'd send a dog to a board and train only if there were issues I absolutely could not train out and not for general training.  And those issues would be aggression. (Nilla is still a puppy so I can't imagine that would be an issue).  Sending Nilla to a class might give her a start  but if you don't exactly keep up the lessons, she will forget them and you will be clueless as to what to do.  (Plus I always question how much time the dog actually gets for training in these situations - are they crated or left to their own devices 90% of the time?)

    I'd make the time to do the training with a trainer and practice - get up a half hour earlier or whatever it takes.   Seriously, I would put this as a priority for now.  You and the dog bond through during training through your time and effort and practice.  You will learn invaluable lessons on not just teaching Nilla how to sit and stay, but how to deal with small issues that will come up as Nilla matures. 

    Book the class and do what you can now - read books, watch videos on general behavior training.  See what your local pet store. animal care shelter or  call your local vet tech to see if they have individual sessions or classes - you might be surprised that there are some sooner.

  • At her age, I dont think 2 weeks away training will make a lasting impact.   Maybe once she's a year or so.  But now?  I forget how old she is.  But a puppy isn't going to be solid in her response to commands.  My Rosco was JAWS as a pup.  I am positive I could have sent him away for a whole month and once he got back into MY house with ME, he would have continued being JAWs because I was a different more easily-freaked-out person.  He could ruffle my feathers easily and fast and only time/maturity and MY training of him really made a diff in the long run.  Same with potty training.  And those are the big ones for pups under 4 months.  The rest can come with time.  

    I forget what troubles are you having with her right now?

    • I think you all make total sense.  I think I was feeling so distraught this weekend as my vet was urging me to get her to an obedience class.  She was very excitable in the office for her last vaccinations.  Nothing bad.  Jumpy/barky, etc.  We have been working with her multiple times a day on the things my trainer has suggested and frankly I really think she has grown up SO much in the past 7 weeks!  She is fully crate trained, potty trained, sits, stays, paw, kisses, and can now really walk well on a leash.  We are consistently working on recall, drop and leave it, jumping.  She starts daycare today 2x a week and I think that will be really helpful.  

      I know of some people that sent their pups to board/train and was very succesful but I agree that my pup is actually probably right where she should be...and might not need the 24hr training unless we discover an issue.  

       

      Thanks for the feedback.  I think I might need some training for my emotions!  LOL!

      • It's hard with an extremely lively puppy. Our Springer was soooo hyper. I get you. Just keep plugging away. Try to teach her to fetch, even if it's just in a hallway and to search for you or a toy or treat ( a toy with a treat inside is great) just to tire her out some. You could do this a few times a day. Walks also. Even short ones if that's ally our have time for right now. Getting some of that energy out will do wonders. Day Care will tire her out. 

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