By Melanie Benware, Training Coordinator/Consultant for Holiday Barn Pet Resorts
This is Part Three of our series following the training progression of star pupil, Slash! Read how Slash begins the transformation into his owner’s dream dog in Part One, Creating your Dream Dog, and in Part Two, What a Difference a Week Makes.
Slash is now boarding while his family goes on vacation. They are very eager to continue his training while he boards. Each day I will work with him to continue what we already started at home, but this will give me the opportunity to kick his training into high gear. Training while boarding will provide a more stable environment in which to Train. The dogs are under less stress, they listen better, and tend to learn quicker within the facility. Slash has made great improvements. His family is working hard but, as in many homes, they do not have all day to focus on working with him and being consistent is difficult because sometimes life gets in the way. While he is boarding, I can more routinely focus on Slash’s training so that he can improve quickly and make lasting changes.
Making the Change
Dogs are environmentally sensitive. For example, you train your puppy at home, teaching them sit/down/come, then you take him to a dog-friendly park and he does not listen to you. He does well at home because it is quiet and that is where all his training is taking place. Taking him to the new environment is almost like starting all over. Removing the dog from their environment (where they may have developed bad behaviors) is like hitting the reset button. Training at the facility will give me the option of soliciting the behavior in order to correct it in a very controlled environment. Holiday Barn provides so many different areas to train so that the dogs do not become environmentally sensitive. They learn to perform the commands anywhere and everywhere they are asked.
Handing over the Reins
A common misunderstanding with this type of training is that the dog will learn to listen to the Trainer and not her family. The Personal Training Program at Holiday Barn was specifically designed to alleviate this problem. By meeting with the family at the end of the week, the transfer of training/leadership from the Trainer to the family easily teaches the dog to listen to their family so that they can be successful in any surrounding. As long as the family follows through with the training they are being taught, the dog will be successful. Slash’s family has already done a wonderful job with their homework from week to week. I am confident they will do the same after he finishes his Board & Train program.