The Benefits of Board and Train for Puppy Training

If you want a dog that’s well rounded, comfortable in new places and can listen in public, a board and train experience can be a great step towards those goals! At Goldstar Puppy Academy, we call it Sleepaway Camp…

What’s a Sleepaway Camp you ask? Sleepaway Camp is our version of a board and train program for your pup. This means your pup lives with our trainer for a period of time to have an immersive socialization experience while learning foundational skills like coming when called, down, stay, leave it and leash walking. 

Although this style of training may not be right for every puppy, the majority of pups greatly benefit from this experience and have a fantastic time. In addition to the benefits for your pup, YOU will benefit by saving time and allowing the experts to lay the foundation for your puppy’s good behavior. When your puppy returns, we teach you how to maintain the routine and behaviors we’ve put in place. 

Think of it like learning to ride a bicycle. It’s a lot easier to learn how to ride a bike with training wheels versus trying without any help. In this instance, the training wheels are the board and train and when those wheels come off, I’m the person running alongside the bike helping you keep riding straight ahead!

Over the course of your dog’s life, you’ll likely have to leave them with a sitter or in a boarding facility while you travel. However, you don’t want the first time they’re left with someone to be when they’re 2 years old and have never been away from you, they’ll be so stressed! With Sleepaway Camp as a puppy, you’re showing your dog that they can go somewhere away from you, have fun and you’ll still come back for them afterwards.

Board and Train Treasure Coast

At Goldstar Puppy Academy, we pride ourselves on using humane and ethical training methods. The emotional health of your puppy is a priority for us and we take extra care to make sure that your puppy feels safe and is having fun when staying with us. During training, we use LOTS of rewards like food, toys and access to things they want to reinforce them for the behaviors we want to see. If your puppy performs a behavior that we don’t want, we may take away something they want (like our attention) or simply ignore their behavior to avoid rewarding it. Pretty quickly, your puppy learns what behaviors earn them a paycheck and what behaviors earn nothing. Over time, your puppy offers more of the good behavior and eventually stops performing the unwanted behavior. Then we start increasing the distraction level when asking for behaviors so they learn how to respond in various scenarios.    

The MOST important part of any board and train program is what happens when your puppy returns home. Simply put, the follow up support will make or break your success. This is why our program includes 6 months of support to make sure your puppy works for you as well as they work for us! Our programs include a combination of in-person sessions, live weekly Zoom meetings, lesson videos and group class to make sure you have the skills YOU need to have continued success with your puppy. It’s so rewarding to see you and your puppy connect and develop that working relationship after they return home. 

Questions to Ask When Choosing a Board and Train Program.

Full disclosure: a large percentage of board and train programs out there use tools like shock collars and prong collars as the first step to training a dog. The sales pitch can be really convincing, who doesn’t want a “quick fix”? But we’ve seen the fall out of this style of training and although the dog may look “trained”, they are usually just shut down and stressed. This does not make for a good relationship and can cause other issues down the road. We want people to be aware that not all board and trains are created equally but the right ones can provide a really positive experience for both you and your best friend.

Here are some questions to ask when looking for a board and train program:

  • What happens if my dog makes a mistake during training?
  • What happens if my dog does something right during training?
  • What kind of tools are you using on my dog?
  • Where will my dog be housed during the board and train?
  • Will my dog spend time in a crate or kennel? If so, how much time on average?

Simply put, if you don’t like the answers to the questions above, don’t hire them!

Board and Train Treasure Coast Best Dog Walks Sebastian and Vero Beach Training tips to get your dog to stop pulling on leash

Board and Train Treasure Coast

If you’d like to learn more about our programs and see if we’re the right fit for your pup, give us a call or contact us online to book a FREE phone consultation with our puppy trainers. We’d love to chat with you!