When you first get your dog or puppy home, they will need training in a variety of different ways.
If you’ve never had a dog before, you might think that a dog boot camp is the easiest way to train your dog, but is it?
In this article, I will explore some key information you should know about sending your dog to a dog boot camp, including whether dog training works.
Keep reading to find out more.
What Are Dog Boot Camps?
Dog boot camps, also known as ‘board and train’, refers to sending your dog to a kennel or a training facility.
The purpose of sending your dog to one of these facilities is to teach them basic foundation skills.
While at a training facility, your dog will receive one-on-one training with a professional trainer. The best training facilities train your dog in frequent but short sessions throughout the day and allow them plenty of rest, too.
During their training programme at a good kennel, your dog will likely be going for walks, playing with other dogs, and enjoying other activities.
This can be a lot for your dog to take in, so an ideal kennel will also offer your dog a space for alone time so that your pooch can relax and take a nap if they feel like it.
However, it’s important for you to know that these boot camps can be seen as controversial amongst the community.
Some individuals would argue that you shouldn’t send your dog to one of these training facilities without significant research, and even after then would still hold reservations. After all, they are called boot camps for a reason!
In addition to this, it’s important for you to remain realistic. You might be sold a dream, but some of these camps use unethical training methods to get the results they want.
Generally speaking, your dog will eat the food that you send her there with, so make sure that you buy in bulk beforehand. However, it’s also good practise to let the facility know if your dog has any food sensitivities or allergies to remain on the side of caution.
Do Dog Boot Camps Work?
Puppies and dogs can be a handful, there’s no getting away from that. You might believe that a dog boot camp is the best way to train them, especially if you don’t think you’re experienced or confident enough to train them yourself.
Dog boot camps can work for some dogs, but it largely depends on the dog in question and the training methods that are implemented by the training camp that you select.
There are also many factors to consider before sending your dog to one. These include:
You Haven’t Got A Say In How Your Dog Is Handled At A Boot Camp
Other than the research you can do prior to sending your dog to a boot camp, you don’t have any say in how your dog is handled once you hand them over.
These training facilities aren’t known as ‘boot camps’ for no reason. The fact that many of them use punishment-based training methods, shock collars, or even abuse is what warrants the name.
You should also be aware that at these establishments, no matter the rosy picture that is painted, your dog can experience lack of proper care or social interaction. In rare cases, dogs have even died at board and train facilities.
As their owner, it is your responsibility to find the right training facility for your dog, and to heavily research it. Failure to do so could result in you turning a training problem into a much bigger issue.
You Are Not Learning How To Interact And Communicate With Your Dog
When you send your dog to doggy boot camp, you’re not training them yourself. Although this might be the main reason that doggy boot camp appeals to you, as you’re not doing any of the work yourself, this can have an affect on your bond with your dog.
If you’re not their handler, you won’t be building the crucial bond it takes for your dog to understand and listen to you.
When you bring them home, although they might have made progress at the boot camp, it might be lost in translation when you try to get them to follow your instructions.
Dog Training Is Unregulated
There are a tonne of “experts” out there who are simply looking to make money off the back of training your dog through any means necessary.
These “trainers” are more than happy to offer to train your dog for a hefty price, but they may use outdated fear-based and imitation training techniques that can cause long term damage to your dog.
These methods are cruel, and can cause emotional distress for your dog that will result in them being fearful and untrusting when they return home to you.
Successful Training Requires A Strong Bond Between You And Your Dog
Shipping your dog off to be trained is going to place distance between you literally and figuratively.
Establishing trust and a bond with your dog is a fundamental part of their training. To have them trained by someone else, they will be learning to trust someone else.
As a result, you will miss out on that part of bonding with them and may struggle to reestablish trust once you pick them up and bring them home.
Dog Boot Camp Isn’t A Quick Fix
Committing to have a dog is the same as committing to any other relationship in your life, it takes work from both sides.
Some people have the wrong impression of dog boot camps in that they think it’s the easiest option and isn’t without its drawbacks. It’s important that you know this isn’t the case, and it can actually lead to further issues down the line if you don’t choose the right training facility.
Even when opting for the best training facilities, you are still likely to experience the drawbacks that are associated with not training your dog yourself.
A dog boot camp isn’t a quick fix, and sending your dog off to dog training boot camp isn’t going to be a miracle worker. Training your dog is an ongoing relationship that takes patience, time, and dedication.
Sending them off to be trained doesn’t change this fact, so it’s important to remain realistic on this front.
How you choose to train your dog is a personal choice that only you can make. If you decide that it’s the right choice for you, make sure that you extensively research the training facility before you send your dog there.
There’s a reason why boot camps are seen as controversial by many people and hopefully after reading this article you understand a little more about them.
You should also be aware that your bond with your dog can be affected if you don’t train them yourself, and it could actually make getting them to trust you harder later on if they have a negative experience.
While training camps can work for some dogs, you should always carefully consider the facts before sending your dog away to one.
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