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People choose Board and Train programs when other options aren’t a good fit, and they need more support. The number of solutions available for your dog’s behavior issues may feel daunting. How do you choose the right one?

Can you learn to train your dog yourself by reading a book or watching YouTube videos? Will group training classes be practical or chaotic? Do you use a clicker or not? Maybe you’re trying some of these techniques without success.

Most people do not have the time or the expertise to train their dogs effectively. Without training, living situations can quickly get out of control, causing unhappiness for you and your dog.

Good news! These behaviors can be fixed in a short course of in-home training. Sending your dog to Board & Train is a way to jump-start better behavior that you learn to reinforce in your home.

How Does a Board and Train Program Work?

The Board and Train program at Wag Ur Tail Dog Training consists of multiple, daily, one-on-one training over 2 or 3 weeks with one of our professional dog trainers.

During training, dogs live with the trainer as a member of their family. Training at “home” is the perfect setting for teaching basic obedience, and extinguishing unwanted behavior while building and reinforcing positive habits. At the end of the training window, you’ll pick up Fido and spend some time with your trainer, learning how to reinforce the training at home.

How do You Choose the Right Board and Train Program?

Boarding and training a dog is like sending a kid to summer camp. You won’t be able to drop in for a surprise check-in visit, so it’s essential to do your due diligence (research) beforehand. You’ll want your board-and-train facility to be licensed and bonded. Different states have different requirements, so know what’s required in the state where you are considering training.

Ask to speak with previous clients for a referral. Search for online reviews in places like Google My Business, Facebook, and Yelp. Talk to your veterinarian and other dog owners to source all your options.

Ask your trainer if they are Pet CPR Certified. We certainly are!

Visit or Observe Where Your Dog Will Board & Train

If you live close enough to your trainer’s home or facility, and they allow it, you could request an in-person visit before booking. If that’s not possible, ask for photos of the spaces where your dog will sleep, play, and train. Look for spaces that are organized, comfortable, and clean.

Ask if it’s possible to observe training in action before you commit to a trainer. We always encourage owners to schedule a visit during the training sessions so we can work together. Wag Ur Tail records videos of all the dog training we do, so the owner can quickly refresh their memory on proper technique. Many trainers do the same, so videos can fill that gap if they can’t offer to let you observe in person.

Ask about the trainer’s method, what you can expect by the end of the program and what your role will be post-training. Make sure the trainer offers some sort of follow-up that allows you to quickly get in touch with questions or concerns after you bring your dog home. Wag Ur Tail offers complimentary follow up sessions for each of it’s two Board and Train programs.

Determine Your Dog Training Style

Wag Ur Tail only uses positive reinforcement methods. Your dog will never be frightened or experience pain as any part of our training. While the choice of training method is yours, some studies show electric shock stimulations (like shock collars) elicit a stress response in dogs, raising their cortisol levels and heart rate. Your good boy or girl will already be a little stressed in a new environment, away from familiar members of their pack. We believe positive reinforcement is their best chance for long-term results.

Commit to Reinforcing Training at Home

Board & Train programs won’t work if you think you can “set it and forget it.” As the owner, you are a partner in the success of your dog’s training. Can you commit to learning a brand new language? Without this commitment on your part, everything your dog learns will fade away at home. It would also be disheartening and confusing to your pet. They are genetically hard-wired to please the pack leader (you) and thrive when they know what’s expected of them, so please be sure you can commit to continuing their training at home.

What if Board and Train Isn’t Available Near Me?

Once you’ve done your research, choose the trainer with the best reputation who is a reasonable distance from your home. “Reasonable” will be different for everyone. It might be worth it to travel out of state to get the kind of training you want. Some of our clients bring their best friends from all over the US to our nationally-recognized Board and Train program in Virginia.

What Will Board and Train Cost?

Costs of an in-home program like Board and Train vary widely and can be based on where the training is located. If the trainer is in a city like Chicago or New York, the rates your dog trainer will charge are likely to be steeper than in a small town.

Discuss the amount of the investment fully with your trainer and request any arrangement be made in writing. Have a thorough understanding of what your agreement covers and what, if any, guarantees are offered. At Wag Ur Tail we guarantee a high standard for all our trainers but we don’t guarantee 100% success. So many factors can impact how much and how quickly each dog learns. Learning and reinforcing the training at home is critical to success. That’s why we always provide videos of each dog’s training sessions to the owners to support their continuing the training at home.

What Kind of Credentials Should My Dog Trainer Have?

A more expensive dog trainer isn’t necessarily a better dog trainer. You don’t need any formal education or certification to call yourself a dog trainer and certification standards vary. However at a minimum you could expect your trainer to have something like the title of Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge Assessed with the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers. This training requires a minimum of 300 hours of experience training dogs in the last three years and you have to pass a 180-question multiple-choice exam. With standards like that, certifications help owners have faith in the skills you are offering. Our owner, MIke, chose a program that allowed veterans to train their own service dogs.

Would You Like to Work With Us?

We offer Board & Train packages starting at $2,200.00 for 2 weeks. Payment plans are available.To learn more or reserve time with one of our trainers, contact us today at (540) 324-3518 or drop us an email to [email protected].