When it comes to learning the basics of canine obedience and stopping bad habits before they become behavior problems, some dogs require a more focused, intensive learning experience than the typical group class or private lesson provides. Dog board and train programs are like a learning vacation for your pet. They can be fun and productive because they give your dog needed stimulation and impart important concepts your pet needs to know to grow into a well-behaved dog. The Dog Wizard in Sarasota, Florida, offers basic obedience classes and loving care at our training facility in Manatee County.
How Dog Board & Train Programs Work
During a board and train program, your dog stays at the training facility 24 hours a day for a week or more. Dog owners drop their pets off at the beginning of the training program, and the facility provides both dog boarding and obedience training while the owner is on vacation, at work, or taking a break from regular obligations. Each dog gets personalized lessons from a qualified dog trainer. Concepts taught include basic commands, life skills, and how to stay focused even when there are plenty of distractions around.
Training sessions are built around the idea of positive reinforcement, so your dog learns to associate recognition and appreciation with good behavior. As the professional dog trainers at the facility get to know your pet’s individual personality and needs, training can be personalized to make the most of each lesson.
Dog training isn’t all work, though, so your canine companion gets plenty of socialization during a board and train program, too. Your pet spends time at parks, shopping centers, and other social settings to help reinforce concepts from training classes in a real-world setting.
Follow-Up Lessons and Support
Once you pick up your dog from The Dog Wizard boarding and training facility, you get a lifetime of follow-up support to ensure your pet remains a canine good citizen. Our professional trainers come to your house after your dog has completed a residential board and train program to teach you the skills and techniques you need to continue your dog’s training. This helps you reinforce the concepts at home and helps your dog learn new skills over time. Part of this reinforcement is building a good relationship between you and your dog. The trainer will show you techniques you can use to motivate and reward your dog, which helps you and your pet have a happier life together.
Because training is a lifetime commitment, The Dog Wizard also offers lifetime support through our weekly Support Group for all our dog obedience training graduates. You can bring your pet in every week for a follow-up class with other dogs, giving your dog extra socialization in addition to skill reinforcement.
Why Choose a Dog Board & Train Program?
There are plenty of reasons to choose a board and train program for your dog. Some dog owners opt for this type of training program because a group class or private lessons don’t fit into their schedule. Owners with little time to practice and reinforce concepts between lessons also might prefer a board and train program over traditional dog obedience classes.
Training can also be stressful for both the dog and owner, so handing over the duties of training to someone who does it for a living could lead to less stress and anxiety for everyone. A good trainer can teach dogs how to relax and use their brains to figure out the right thing to do in a variety of situations. Once your dog knows how to make better choices, it can improve the dog-owner relationship significantly.
Dogs with mild to moderate behavior problems might benefit from a dog board and train program. Focused attention on training could help your dog overcome bad habits. A professional trainer may also be able to get better results when dealing with behavior issues than owners could at home.
Some owners choose a board and train facility as an alternative to a pet resort or traditional dog boarding facility when they’re out of town. Because there’s a training component involved, your dog gets to spent lots of time interacting with people and other dogs. This tends to be more enjoyable for your pet than a week or two spent in a boarding kennel cage with only short periods of outdoor playtime allowed. If you’d like your pet to learn new skills and become less reactive around other animals during your absence, a board and train program might be the right choice.
Dealing with Behavior Issues in a Board & Train Program
In general, dogs with behavior problems want to be better canine citizens. They just don’t know-how. The professional trainers at The Dog Wizard Sarasota can address most behavior issues during your dog’s stay at our facility. The severity of the behavior problem dictates how long your dog may need to stay in a board and train program. Dogs with mild problems may be able to break those bad habits during a 7-day program, while dogs with moderate to severe behavior issues might need a 14- or 21-day program to combat the underlying problems that lead to unwanted behaviors. Some typical issues that professional dog training can help with include:
- Dog aggression
- Shyness or nervousness around other dogs
- Excessive barking
- Separation anxiety
- Chewing or destructive behavior
In some cases, bad behavior is the result of abuse or neglect, and an extended board and train program can help rescue dogs with a problematic history overcome their ingrained responses and learn to interact with people and other animals in a calm, stress-free way.
Effectiveness of Dog Board & Train Programs
Dog boarding with a training component can be an extremely effective way to get your dog up to speed on basic obedience skills. The Dog Wizard’s trainers use positive reinforcement to get your dog motivated and eager to learn.
One key to a truly effective board and train experience is to follow up once your dog is home. Reinforcing the learned behaviors over the weeks and months after the training program helps solidify those concepts in your dog’s mind.
The Dog Wizard’s Jump-Start Programs
Our Jump-Start board and train programs are designed to teach your dog valuable on-leash skills and provide a comprehensive foundation for tackling behavior problems. We offer 7-, 14- and 21-day programs for dogs and puppies.
One of the things owners want their dog to learn during a board and train program is basic obedience. The trainers at The Dog Wizard teach your dog the specific skills necessary for good household manners and how to be a good dog outside the home.
On-leash skills taught during our Jump-Start programs include:
- Loose leash walking
Our Puppy Jump-Start programs are intended for dogs between 10 weeks and 6 months of age and take into account the unique needs of younger pups. Most puppies haven’t had time to develop severe behavior problems, so our puppy programs focus on preventing bad habits from developing and teaching your new canine family member what’s expected of a well-behaved dog. Puppies may need special help with housebreaking or behaviors such as nipping and chewing that older dogs have already outgrown.
Because The Dog Wizard Sarasota is committed to your pet’s success, we offer plenty of support during and after our classes. Each board and train program includes a follow-up lesson at your home, access to our private Facebook support group, and access to our weekly group support classes for the rest of your pet’s life after graduation. A leash and food pouch come included with classes as well, so you can continue reinforcing concepts once your dog comes home.