What Training Program is Right for You & Your Dog?
Imagine you and your dogs are the talk of the neighborhood…..for all the right reasons. Imagine your dog looks at you and listens to what you ask, the first time and every time, even off-leash. Your dog has excellent manners and their unruly behaviors are no longer an embarrassment. Every dog owner wants to reach these goals and enjoy the benefits of having a thriving partnership with their trained dog. The real question is how to achieve these training goals. What is the best tactic or training scenario?
Board & Train
If you and your dog want or need fast training results, board & train is the best training scenario. Board & Train (BT) options are also called boot-camps or immersion training. Features vary from trainer to trainer. However, the overall benefits are similar – fast results because a professional trainer trains your dog and teaches you how to handle your trained dog. The convenience of having your dog trained while you are at work or on vacation is another huge benefit of BT options.
Programs with BT options often include private sessions and/or group sessions so the owner can learn to handle their dogs. Board & train tends to be the most expensive training scenario, but offers the fastest training results and the most convenience. BT programs vary with their training features. For example, some programs train exclusively with e-collars, while other programs take a less technology-dependent approach. Also, some BT are in a kennel-environment, while others are in a private home.
If you desire fast training results but also want to have a significant role in the training process, private sessions are ideal. Private Sessions can be at the client’s home or in the trainer’s place of business. Private Sessions are often scheduled around the client’s busy lifestyle, so a huge benefit is the convenience. Some training issues need addressing at the client’s home, like potty training and house training. Compared to Board & Train options, Private Sessions require more commitment by the owner in the actual training process. However, Private Sessions allow clients to enjoy the benefits of convenience and relatively quick results because of the one-on-one attention from the trainer. Private sessions tend to be less expensive than B&T, but more expensive than Group Sessions.
If you are a do-it-yourselfer, on a tight budget or prefer to be fully engaged in the training process, Group Sessions are a great option. Although Group Sessions are the least expensive option financially, they are the most expensive option based on your time commitment. Group Sessions are always at specific times and locations; you must fit the session into your busy schedule. In addition, Group Sessions always involve distractions, which is one of the reasons achieving significant training results will take longer with Group Sessions compared to Board & Train and Private Session options.
What is Your Best Option?
What is the best option for you and your dog really depends on your specific training needs. Do you need fast results? Do you have a difficult situation with your dog that needs to be addressed immediately? Do you have a new puppy or an older dog? Do you want just basic manners or do you want/need more advanced training?
If fast, convenient results are a necessity, or if fear, anxiety are other behavioral issues are a problem, Board & Train may be your best option. If you want fast results, but want to be more involved in the training process, Private Sessions are ideal. Group Sessions are great for practicing training skills in social settings with lots of distractions, but they are not ideal when first getting started. The best programs include all three training options (Board & Train, Private Sessions, Group Sessions). Please check out our training programs to learn more about all these different options.
Kathryn R. Gubista, PhD is an evolutionary biologist, college biology instructor, former zookeeper, author, certified professional dog trainer with Lucky Dog Training Asheville and has over 30 years of dog training and human teaching experience. The Dog’s Perspective is a training philosophy based on how dogs think, the title of the book series and our blog.