If you're going off on a vacation, maybe you'd like more out of your dog boarding situation. Boarding schools for dogs combine training and care. Depending on the program, you could send Spot off to doggy boot camp if he's a bit of a canine delinquent, or send an already well-trained dog off for more instruction.
Why Boarding School
Why would you choose to send your dog away from home rather than work with him yourself along with a trainer? You might not have the time to devote for proper training because of job, school or family demands, or you could have a problem pooch. However, it's unrealistic to think you can send your dog off to a boarding school without putting work into him afterward. The trainer must also teach you how to handle your dog so the lessons stay learned.
There are boarding facilities that also offer training, and there are trainers who offer limited in-home boarding. Decide what is the best environment for your dog. Needless to say, always visit the facility before agreeing to board your dog there. If your dog has specific problems you want the trainer to work on, make sure it is something the trainer can address. If your dog has aggression issues with other dogs, boarding him in a kennel facility might be a better idea than a trainer's home.
What To Look For
When choosing a boarding/training facility, ask a lot of questions before committing your dog to its program. A trainer should explain his particular program in depth. Look for a program tailored to the needs of your particular dog. With canines, one size does not fit all. Find out how much time your dog will spend in training, along with how much daily playtime and "down" time he will receive. Make sure you and the trainer are on the same page concerning what your dog will learn during his boarding school experience.
If your dog exhibits specific behavioral problems, he could spend more time at boarding school than a dog who just needs basic training or a refresher course. At the New Jersey-based Shelly's School for Dogs, for example, dogs with behavioral issues might spend four to six weeks at boarding school until "graduation." According to the school's website, once boarding training is completed, the dog's family continues with weekly private lessons to learn how to work with the dog, continuing until everyone in the family can comfortably handle their pet.
Jane Meggitt has been a writer for more than 20 years. In addition to reporting for a major newspaper chain, she has been published in "Horse News," "Suburban Classic," "Hoof Beats," "Equine Journal" and other publications. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English from New York University and an Associate of Arts from the American Academy of Dramatics Arts, New York City.