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  • April Schrader, CPDT-KA

5 Red Flags to Watch Out for in Board and Train Programs

Board and train programs can be a great option for busy dog owners who want to provide their furry friends with the training they need to become well-behaved and obedient. However, not all board and train programs are created equal. In fact, some can be downright dangerous for your dog.

To help you choose the right program for your dog, here are some key red flags to look out for when considering board and train programs:

  • Kennel-Based Board and Train Programs: While some dogs may do well in a kennel environment, many find it stressful and overwhelming. Being in a strange place with unfamiliar smells, sounds, and people can lead to anxiety and behavioral issues. Look for programs that offer home-based board and train options, where your dog can stay in a comfortable, familiar environment.

  • Lack of Individual Attention: One of the red flags to look out for is board and train programs that take on too many dogs at once. When a program takes on too many dogs, it can lead to a lack of individual attention and training. This can result in your dog not receiving the specialized training and care they need to succeed. A good rule of thumb is that a board and train program should take on no more than one or two dogs at a time to ensure that each dog receives the attention and care they deserve.

  • Unqualified Trainers: Unfortunately, not all board and train programs employ qualified and experienced trainers. It's important to ask about the trainer's qualifications and experience. Look for programs with certified trainers who have a track record of success. By choosing a program with qualified trainers, you can ensure that your dog receives the proper training and care they need to succeed.

  • Lack of Transparency: When it comes to board and train programs, it's important to know what you're getting into. A reputable program should be transparent about their training methods, including what techniques they use and how they will train your dog. They should also be upfront about their costs and what is included in the program. If a board and train program is unwilling to provide detailed information or answer your questions, it may be a red flag. It's important to understand what your dog will experience while in the program, and what kind of results you can expect.

  • Guarantees: It is also important to note that reputable board and train programs should not offer guarantees or promise specific results. Each dog is unique and responds differently to training, and no trainer can guarantee a certain outcome. If a program makes unrealistic promises or guarantees, it may be a red flag. In fact, offering guarantees is considered unethical in the dog training industry, as it sets false expectations and can lead to disappointment for both the owner and the dog. It is important to have realistic expectations and understand that training is a process that requires time, effort, and patience.

Home-based board and train programs, like ours, provide a more home-like training experience for your dog, making it easier to transfer behaviors back to their home environment. In a home environment, your dog will have access to all the comforts of home, such as a comfortable bed, toys, and familiar smells. This can help reduce their stress and anxiety, and improve their overall training experience.

In conclusion, choosing the right board and train program for your dog is crucial for their success and well-being. Look for programs that offer home-based options, qualified trainers, individual attention, transparency, and a safe and comfortable environment for your furry friend to thrive.

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