From a Trainer, and Client’s Perspective
From a Trainer’s Perspective In board/In House dog training- great results but YOUR training is far from over.
In Board training is an intensive canine camp where you send your dog off to a reputable trainer for 4-6 weeks of training. This Program is a pretty popular selection amongst clients, and it’s typically offered by most trainers.
Fast forward. Graduation day is sometimes perfect for the dog and it’s humans. Everything goes according to plan and the dog and humans are in sync. More often then not though, it’s messy! You have very well behaved dogs, that are excited to see their owners, regardless of whether they came to visit the dog during the stay.
Every single previous association they had with their owners, flood their brain. They become excited, anxious, and sometimes even insecure when they see their family again. Their endorphins dump, and they often enter a level of eustress, that most humans would be jealous of. It’s important that the client tries to soak in the new skills and practices them with the dog while the trainer assists, during their graduation session.
Upon the meeting, the trainer quickly begins working on helping the dog change its perception of the owner. Owners MUST REALIZE that it’s all a team effort. A reputable trainer will not just hand over the trained dog and send you on your way. That’s not how it works. The training facility worked hard on adding in very nice obedience, and/or behavioral modification for previous issues.
Owners must be able to duplicate that amount of time the trainers put in(if not more,) but through follow up, and restructuring the pet’s life within the home. The dog the owners take home, has all these new manners, but must have someone to enforce them.Without that piece to the puzzle, the training will fail.
Dogs are living, breathing opportunistic animals by nature. They have also only had only a month(roughly) of training. One month, in comparison to their many years of life left, is very minimal. It is crucial that clients understand that there is still work to be done when the dog comes home..
Trainers- let’s remember that the clients will struggle. Not all clients have practiced being firm yet fair, or have good coordination with the leash, and some have never even owned a dog. They are learning, and need your guidance.
The owners are having to over come their fears of being dragged down by their dog, climbed on, bitten, etc. I have personally had many clients that admit they are afraid of failing their dog as well. The dogs pick up on the owners insecurity, and attempt to take advantage. This is definitely going to be a process of essentially “rewiring” not only the dogs brain, but the human’s as well.
Clients- road bumps are normal! Ask yourself, how often an unwanted behavior was practiced previously in your presence. If they did it before, they will try it again to see if it works! Your dog is far from a programmed robot, even with all the hours of training put in by the facility you trusted. They are going to struggle in the beginning, and it’s most typical during the first week home. You are learning with them as well! You are learning how to be consistent, and asking them for behaviors in ways that they understand. You are preventing, and redirecting them from old habits, that die hard! You are practicing how to be firm and fair, and us trainers do not expect you to be 100 percent at this in the beginning.
If you get overwhelmed at first, put your dog in another room/or confined area. Then take a deep breath, assess the situation and ask yourself if you could have handled it differently. Next, call/message your trainer to see if they have suggestions, or if they can come out and help! It’s a team effort after all!