Mummy says…. We had a pup a couple of years ago, Bella, but due to personal circumstances we had to rehome her. We found her a lovely family, and she has just moved to sunny Spain with them! Lucky Bella! Anyway, we were looking into different types of training for her, as she was a totally crazy dog! One option was residential training. Why is residential training important for your dog? Simply because it works! Read on to find out more…
Owners of dogs are often reluctant to spend time apart from them, however, sending pooch to residential school may be just what they both need to improve their long-term relationship.
You may not have the time needed to train your dog. Or maybe you are aware of the benefit of the help of a dog trainer to develop your dog’s obedience. You will see a noticeable difference after committing to residential dog training, which will improve your quality of life with your beloved doggy.
What is it?
Residential dog training is when you send your dog to be trained without you by experienced dog trainers.
It can take place in a boarding scenario or in a day-care setting. Residential dog training covers both sides of your dog’s behaviour – the good habits she needs to learn and the bad habits that need to be unlearned.
Training periods vary by trainers, but it is important to realise that the issues addressed in the training of your dog were not learned in a day and will not be unlearned that quickly either. Most programs require that the dog participate for at least several weeks. Your dog will need the opportunity to settle into a new routine, as well as the time to get to know the trainers and learn basic obedience.
How Does It Work?
There are two main aspects to dog training. One being your dog’s journey from puppy to obedient dog. And the other is your journey from new dog owner to competent dog handler. Residential training is great for your dog because it is specially designed to help her journey.
How Will It Help My Dog?
Residential dog training offers the opportunity for your dog to learn basic obedience skills like walking on a loose lead, coming when called, and basic commands like “sit,” “down,” and “stay.”
The training also attempts to address some common issues that dog owners have to deal with, like your dog not coming when called, jumping on people, aggression, and anxiety.
How successful your dog’s training will be depends a great deal on how long the dog stays in the program. Being a successful graduate of a residential dog training program is just the beginning, though. How you maintain the standards that your dog learned and continue to train your dog after he or she returns home will set the tone for how your relationship continues to develop.
The Pros of Residential Training
For most dog owners, the advantages of professional residential training outweigh any disadvantages. If you can afford to do it, sending your dog away for training has great appeal. While it may not be enjoyable to be without her, residential training offers more hands on and frequent training for your dog than she would receive in a group class setting. Residential trainers are more skilled and knowledgeable about dogs than the average dog owner and, as such, will be able to train your dog more quickly and effectively.
Putting your dog in the best training options available to you will help her learn what is expected of her as quickly as possible and put you both on track for a long, healthy, and happy relationship.
What to Expect at a Residential Training Program
In most cases, your dog will be sleeping in a kennel during her training and she will be given a few days to get settled into the new routine. Once your dog is more comfortable, training sessions will begin, both to develop the basic obedience skills needed, but also to help your dog overcome bad habits.
Throughout their stay, your dog will get anywhere from one to three training sessions every day. Depending on the size of the program, your dog may receive training from more than one trainer. Most residential training programs rely on positive training methods.
A great company who offer residential training will still care for you and your dog even once the program has ended, and this is exactly what the company Dog Harmony do. Their residential dog trainers offer helpful tips, prompts and encouragement for you and you can still be supervised by them after the initial program is finished. The greater understanding you have after the course of what motivates your dog will help you in achieving a secure relationship with them.
Types of Positive Training Methods
Modern dog training methods are thought of as “science-based dog training.” Science-based training is hard to clearly define, but it involves a deep understanding of a dog’s nature, behaviour, conditioning, punishers and reinforcers.
Some positive training methods include:
Mirror or model training is one type of positive reinforcement some dog trainers use. Dogs learn by example.
This method is when the dog owner model’s good behaviour for the dog to mimic, then offers a reward for doing so.
Clicker training is another form of positive reinforcement training and it relies on the use of a device to make a quick, sharp noise to signal to a dog when a desired behaviour is accomplished. In order for it to be effective, you must first condition your dog to know that a click means that a reward is coming. Once the dog associates the desired behaviour with a click and reward, verbal commands can be introduced.
This dog training technique is also great for learning new tricks, but not necessarily for curbing unwanted behaviours. Clicker training can be very effective, however, when used alongside other training techniques.
Cause and Effect
Many believe that dogs learn best from cause and effect dog training. Cause and effect training, or balance training, uses positive and negative consequences for your dog’s behaviour. Simply put, positive reinforcement encourages wanted behaviour and negative reinforcement discourages unwanted behaviour.
How Long Will It Take?
The amount of time your dog will spend in a residential training program will depend on the outcome you are looking for. A thorough training can take several months. Dog training can be a long process and there are no shortcuts.
Again, please remember that your dog did not develop their bad habits overnight and will not learn other better habits overnight either. Just like humans, dogs have to break a habit and it takes time.
If special training is needed, it will cost more and take longer. For example, solving behavioural problems is so much more complex than basic obedience training.
What Should You Expect When Your Dog Comes Home?
If your trainer used modern methods like positive reinforcement, model training, or clicker training, your dog will likely return home enthusiastic. Your dog will have learned clearly what actions and responses are desired and will know what to do to please you (which is what they want to be doing all of the time anyway).
There will be an adjustment period when your dog returns home. Your dog has been in a closed environment with trainers who he or she has become used to listening to and obeying. it helps to realise that during the time your dog was being trained, you were not receiving the same training. Your dog will need to understand that you have the same standards and expect the same obedience that the residential trainers did.
It is important to remember that you will have to remain consistent and structured with your dog so that she does not fall back into bad habits.
Remaining consistent and continuing to reinforce what your dog learned during her training will enable you and your dog to have a close, healthy relationship.
Is Residential Dog Training Just for Puppies?
No, residential training is for dogs of all ages and temperaments because all dogs need guidance and structure. If you have an older dog who doesn’t listen to basic commands or struggles with aggression or anxiety issues, residential dog training may be able to help her.
There are many successful dog training techniques for you to choose from and it is important that you consider your goals for your dog’s training, her needs, and her temperament when thinking about which residential dog training program is right for you and your dog.
Have you ever had or considered residential dog training for your dog?