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Service Dog Training Session: Tattle the Golden Retriever

Tattle is a Mobility Dog that we trained for a veteran with MS and PTSD.

Here you can see her working on her “take it” and “hold” commands.

A formal retrieve is a more complicated behavior than it may appear on the surface, and is actually a chain of several behaviors. First, the dog has to be able to identify the right item to retrieve. Secondly, they must go to it directly, and pick it up without dropping it. They cannot chew or play with it, as this could damage the item. They must bring it directly to their handler, and depending on that person’s individual disability, the dog may have to place the item in their hand or lap. The dog must also be able to release the item willingly.

Here you can watch Tattle while she was in the training phase of this behavior chain. The command “take it” is for her to grab a given item, and “hold” means to gently bite down without chewing the item. If you watch closely, you can see that her confidence is better on softer items like the pouch, and that she isn’t as comfortable grabbing the cane. The cloth wrapped around the cane is to help her out. She can start by biting the softer part, and we can gradually fade it out.

Notice also that Tattle’s confidence grows throughout the session. This is a typical session for this type of skill, and is only 5 minutes long. You can see how much progress we made in that time, and she will do better and better every time she works on it. These skills can take a long time to teach, which is why service dog wait lists are so very long. These skills also require maintenance, which is why owner support and follow up is so critical.

Tattle, back when she was just learning the basics.

Service Dog Training with Kentucky Dog Training LLC

Due to the time commitment required, we take a limited number of service dog clients at a time. We specialize in public access training and proofing of obedience behaviors, but we do offer certain types of task training. There are some types of task work that we are unable to offer at this time, but we may be able to refer you to a colleague. Please reach out to us if you have any questions about service dog training.

Watch some of our other service dog graduates.

Recent Dog Training Graduates

Meet some of our recent dog obedience graduates!

Dixie, lab/rottie mix

Dixie, Labrador/Rottweiler Mix

Dixie is a mixed breed who came to training because she was struggling with leash reactivity and dog aggression issues. Dixie is very social with people, but does not appreciate strange dogs in her space. In addition to working on dog obedience training with Dixie, we also taught her how to cope with stressors. We do not expect her to interact with strange dogs. All we need from her is to be able to tolerate dogs she may see when out and about.

Sophie, Portuguese Water Dog

We generally work with two groups of dogs: those who we are having to fix behavioral issues, and those where we can stop them from ever starting. Sophie belonged to the second group, and is a very impressionable Portuguese Water Dog who was a blank slate for us. She has great food drive and loves to please, and has a lovely temperament. When we got the chance to work with Sophie, we started off by building a solid communication system as well as good dog obedience foundations. Then we took our training on the road, and made sure that Sophie could do all these behaviors anywhere she went.

Luppa, Cane Corso

Luppa came to training when she was 8 months old. Cane Corso’s are a powerful working breed that require training from an early age. Starting this early means that we can instill good habits rather than having to break bad habits. You can see that Luppa has awesome food drive! She also loves to work for praise, and for life rewards like playing with her friends. Luppa was struggling with some skin and coat issues when we first met her, but we were able to help her owners with some dietary changes that helped her feel her best.

Dog Obedience Training in Louisville and Lexington

If you would like your dog to achieve the same success as Dixie, Sophie, and Luppa, reach out to us to schedule your free evaluation. We offer training options to fit a variety of behavior issues, breeds, and budgets.

Training Koda the Golden Retriever

Koda graduated from our main program when he was about 6 months old, and came back for a week long refresher course.

During our refreshers, we are working on whatever individual items that particular dog needs. In Koda’s case, there were a few things that we needed to cover. Koda was young when he graduated, so we were not able to ask too much of him in terms of duration exercises. We were able to increase the duration of all of his stays and places going forward, no matter what the environment.

Koda also had developed a reluctance to jump into the car. He struggled with this when we first started working with him, and we worked through it. After a long break from car rides, he became a little apprehensive about them again, but it only took us about 15 minutes to get him back on his A-game.

We also wanted to fade out Koda’s training tools while he was with us for his refresher training week. Training tools are very useful when dogs are going through the learning process, but we always want to have an exit strategy for the dogs. People should be working towards phasing these tools out as the dog progresses, rather than relying on them forever.

After a week spent working on these skills, we took Koda back home for an in-home private lesson. We showed his owners how to get him in and out of their large SUV, and went on a nice walk with him. There is no better feeling than a relaxing walk with a dog walking on a loose leash at your side, totally in sync with you. We have followed up with the owners since Koda went home, and he is still doing great and is perfectly mannered wherever they take him.

How Do You Fade Out Training Tools?

First of all, let’s establish what we mean by “training tools”. A training tool is any item that we are using to help us establish better behavior from the dog. Most commonly, this is some type of training collar. It could be a slip collar, a prong collar, a martingale, electric collar, head halter, or a Starmark collar. Other training tools can be things like a Pet Corrector or a muzzle.

When we start a training program with a new dog, we evaluate them to figure out which training tools are the right fit. Not every dog is a candidate for every tool. Once we have the right selection made, we start introducing the dog to the tool and make sure that they understand it. A key part of our transition lessons with owners is making sure that the owners also have a very clear picture of how the tools work.

We expect dogs to use their tools for at least 30-60 days after graduation. This gives the dog and owner plenty of practice time, but really there is no rush. Some people fade tools out in a month, others it might take a year. Koda’s owners had mostly stopped using them, but wanted to make that final step toward getting rid of his prong collar. We accomplished this with Koda, and now he can perform all of his obedience with just a flat collar.

The one caveat that we gave his owner is the same one that we give to all our clients. If your dog is off leash in an uncontrolled setting, you should always have a safety net. Dogs are still animals at the end of the day, and no dog will ever be 100% reliable every time. Our recommendation for off leash work is that the dog either have a long line or an electric collar. Either tool will allow them to enjoy lots of freedom in a safe manner.

Wild: 5th at AWMA Nationals and on to FMBB!

D’Wildcat 16130 IGP3 5th Place

88-89-90=267

Wild went to Maine to compete at the American Working Malinois Association (AWMA) national championship. This was the first time that he had been able to travel to a trial, and was also his first exposure to national level competition. Traveling can take a lot out of a dog, especially when there are big changes in climate. Going from hot and humid Florida to some very cold days in Maine was a big leap! The AWMA nationals is also especially nerve-racking for a handler, because the best of the best are there competing. Wild handled everything in stride, and came away with a 5th place finish.

In tracking, we had some issues on the corners and a slow article indication, but his straight legs were phenomenal. Very consistent and correct work there got him an 88 point score.

On Sunday we were in the stadium, and were the last flight of the whole trial. Some issues in our heeling were the biggest hit to our score, as well as some issues with our fronts and finishes. All in all, the judges awarded us 89 points.

After coming off the field from obedience, my friend let me know that we were actually in the running to make the team. We needed an 89 point score in protection to make the cut, so the pressure was on for me to handle him correctly and make sure he had every opportunity to hit that benchmark.

We had been battling with a guarding issue and a slow sit on the side transports, and both problems showed up, but he still had a very nice showing, and we managed to pull 90 points!

With the performance he put down, we qualified for the FMBB team that will be going to compete in France in May of 2020. This is a lifelong dream of mine, and I am so excited to be taking this journey with Wild.

AWMA Nationals Footage

AWMA Nationals 5th Place

Dog Training Quick Tip: Stop Jumping on People

One of the most common training issues that I see people struggle with is with their dog jumping on themselves and guests. Dogs love to interact with us, and jumping up is a fun way for them to do so. They do not realize that this is an undesirable behavior unless we tell them. Jumping up on people can even be dangerous when it happens with young kids or elderly people.

I see lots of people try to stop jumping by pushing the dog away with their hands or their feet. This is one of the absolute worst things that you could possibly do to stop the behavior. Don’t forget that your dog is jumping on you to get attention from you. You pushing on them is not something that they necessarily see as a punishment, but rather as more interaction from you.

Instead, we need to show the dog that the only way that they get positive interaction with you is by keeping their feet on the floor. We can teach the dog a more appropriate greeting position, such as a default sit. This will encourage them to think before they jump on you. The dog may still need a consequence for jumping, but implementing corrections is something that should be done under the guidance of a trainer. Eliminating jumping allows you to then show the dog the proper way to accept greetings. You can pet and interact with your dog all they want, and they can express their excitement while still keeping their feet on the ground.

We also have to look at the reason for why your dog is jumping up. 9 times out of 10, jumping is a sign of excitement, overstimulation, and overly social behavior. However, this isn’t always the case. Sometimes jumping can be a pushy behavior that can be tied to an aggression issue. Some other dogs will jump on their owner when they get scared and nervous as a way to seek out safety. An experienced dog trainer can help you to determine the root cause of your dog’s jumping.

If you know that your dog is jumping from just pure excitement, then you can manage this behavior through an incompatible behavior. Simply put, you need to assign your dog to a behavior that they cannot do at the same time that they are jumping, This could be a sit or down stay, but I prefer to use a place command. Place still gives your dog the freedom to wiggle and be excited, but in a way that is more pleasant for your guests and yourself.

charlie-schnauzer
Charlie, working on a place command. As long as he keeps his feet on the bed, he is free to be as wiggly and excited as he wants to be.

As with any behavioral issue, the best way to stop jumping is to prevent it from happening in the first place. When you get a new puppy or dog, be sure to start setting your expectations from day one. If you allow bad habits to start developing, it will be that much more difficult to stop them.

If you are struggling with jumping or other behavior problems, be sure to contact us so that we can help you out.

Should You Do Group Dog Training Classes?

Group classes are one of the most common dog training options for pet owners. Each class generally lasts an hour or so long, and there are anywhere from four to eight dogs participating. The trainer works with everyone as a group, and will follow a set curriculum. Some classes will also include socialization time at the end for dogs and puppies.

Many dog owners will start off their puppy’s life by seeking out a puppy kindergarten class, and then continuing on through a series of group classes. But is that really the best path for your dog?

There are pros and cons to every type of dog training program, and group lessons are no different. Let’s start looking at some of the great aspects of group dog training classes.

Group Dog Training Class Benefits

  1. Cost Effectiveness: Group classes are generally going to be the cheapest option when you are looking for dog training lessons. Because your trainer will be working with multiple people in the same span of time, they can charge each person less. More affordable classes means that this can be the best option for those with a limited budget. You can also generally do more sessions in group lessons than you can in private lessons for the same amount of money.
  2. Built In Distractions: Your dog’s training should be able to hold up no matter what is going on in the environment. When you are in a group class, you are always going to be working around plenty of distractions. Multiple people and dogs working in the same room is a great way to replicate the distractions that you will face in the real world.
  3. Observational Learning: When you do a private lesson, it is just you and the trainer. You can watch the trainer demo things with your dog, but still might not quite get the visualization of how to do an exercise. When you are in a group class, you get to watch a half dozen other handlers working on the same thing. Sometimes just seeing somebody else learning can really help observational learners to figure things out.
  4. More Teamwork for You and Your Dog: When you do group classes, you have just one hour with the instructor every week. It is up to you to practice with your dog throughout the week to make sure that they get enough repetition of each skill. This really helps you to build a better relationship with your dog, and to improve your own training skills.
group dog training classes

Group Training Class Negatives

  1. Less Individual Attention: The instructor of a group class has to divide their attention between multiple people, so there is less time for everyone to address individual issues. This makes group classes less than ideal for those who are dealing with behavioral issues that need a more personalized approach.
  2. Larger Time Commitment: Dogs need regular practice to make improvement on their training. When you are doing group dog training classes, you have to practice daily in between classes. You also have to make sure you are working on your own training skills. Compare this to a board and train program, where you learn to handle a trained dog instead of learning to train your dog yourself.
  3. Potential for Too Many Distractions: While the distractions of a group class can be great for proofing your obedience, they can be too much for a dog who is just learning basic skills. It is much harder for a dog to learn simple skills in a busy setting than it is to learn them in a quiet, controlled setting.
  4. Less Convenience: Group classes require that you drive to a location every week, participate in an hour class, and then go home and practice every day in between lessons. If you were doing private lessons, your trainer will often drive to your home instead and work with you there. In a board and train, you don’t have to worry about getting in all of the repetitions with your dog because your trainer will do it for you.
group dog training lessons

What Dogs are a Good Fit For Group Dog Training Classes?

  • Young puppies who just need to learn the basics.
  • Dogs who need obedience proofing.
  • Dogs who are doing sports like rally, nosework, competition obedience, or agility
  • Dogs who are working toward their Canine Good Citizen
  • Therapy dogs
  • Dogs doing advanced obedience
  • Dogs who have owners with existing training experience

If you think that group classes sound like a good fit for you, contact us to ask about our upcoming offerings.

FAQ: Dogs Shredding Beds

Destructiveness with bedding is a common issue.

This is an especially common problem with working breeds and puppies. It can be frustrating when you spend as much as hundreds of dollars on quality dog beds, only for them to be destroyed. This can also be potentially dangerous for your dog if they decide to ingest material from the bedding.

The first thing that you need to evaluate when deciding why your dog shreds bedding is to look at their age. Some puppies can handle having plush bedding, but others lack the maturity to handle it until later into life. Think about your puppy’s toys that they play with. Are you giving them stuffed toys? Do they shred and destroy them? If so, your puppy probably doesn’t think of your dog bed as anything other than a giant stuffed toy.

Is your dog destructive in general, or do they just have this problem with dog beds? If your dog is suffering from separation anxiety and destroys multiple things in the household, the issue is not isolated to just bedding, and needs to be addressed separately. Another common cause of dogs shredding beds is boredom and excess energy. Make sure that your dog’s brain and body are both tired before you give them access to their bed.

And let’s face it: tearing stuff up is super fun for your dog. One of the simplest solutions when somebody tells me that they have a problem with dogs shredding beds, I generally tell them to go out and buy a Kuranda bed. Kuranda beds, especially the aluminum ones, are very durable, easy to clean, and are not as enticing to tear up as plush beds.

Another thing that you can try is to give your dog something else to keep their mouth occupied when they are on their bed. Stuffed kongs, dog bones, and other interactive toys are an excellent way to show your dog that there are better things to chew on.

Dog Aggression in Rescue Dogs

A Common Problem

One of the most common issues that crop up when rescue dogs enter a new home is dog aggression. This is a problem that is not only frustrating, but can be potentially very dangerous. The intent behind the aggression that a rescue dog might display can vary greatly. Some dogs will bite just to get other dogs out of their space because they do not want to co-exist. Other dogs have the intent to do serious harm, and will not stop at just a bite.

When dog owner’s see dog aggression in rescue dogs, a common assumption is that the dog was a victim of a previous traumatic experience. One of the most popular stories with rescue dogs is that a dog who is fearful or aggressive toward other dogs was a former bait dog. This is a story that has been very popularized in the media, but it doesn’t have much truth in these situations. Bait dogs very rarely survive being a bait dog, and if they do, they have extensive injuries.

One type of experience that can cause aggressive behavior toward other dogs is being attacked by a loose dog. This problem is all to common all around the country, and most people who walk their dog regularly have had some kind of experience with loose dogs running up to them. This situation can absolutely cause a dog to develop insecurities when they see a dog out in public.

Lack of socialization also explains many cases of dog aggression in rescue dogs. It is normal for a dog to react poorly to things that they have not been exposed to when they were in their crucial early socialization period. Dogs that end up in rescue may have missed this window for a variety of reasons. Hoarding and puppy mill situations typically mean that the dog has never left the same place it was born in. Other dogs may end up abandoned or neglected a young age, or they could simply have been with someone who did not commit the time to give the dog what it needed as a puppy.

dog socialization
Socialization is key in showing your dog proper dog communication skills.

Experience vs Genetics

However, there are plenty of dogs who have had less than optimal socialization who still do fine when they see a strange dog. The same can be said for dogs who are generally good natured and get charged by a loose dog. When these triggers cause significant aggression issues, it generally means that there is also a genetic component. Most working breeds have a genetic tendency towards same sex aggression toward other dogs. Terrier and livestock guardian breeds are often naturally inclined to have a zero tolerance policy for strange dogs all-together.

It is important to recognize which things are experience related, and which are due to genetics. We can never make a dog forget what has happened to it, but we can provide lots of good experiences and show the dog how to work out of their issues. Genetics are a different story. Dogs with genetic dog aggression can be managed, but they are who they are.

How Misunderstanding Dog Aggression in Rescue Dogs Can Hurt

Many rescue dogs end up in the wrong home or in bad situations because the reason behind their issues is misunderstood. Well-meaning people may take a dog who is genetically dog aggressive and try to socialize it by taking it to the dog park. This is not only dangerous for the other dogs in the park, but it is unfair to the dog. That dog does not want doggie playmates, and trying to have them make friends is against their nature.

The idea that a dog has had bad past experiences can also lead to trouble. Unfortunately, there are bad things that will happen to some dogs over the course of their life. This can lead you to want to shelter your dog and to make excuses for their behavior. This also does a disservice to your dog, and prevents them from moving forward. Instead, you should acknowledge your dog’s past while working with a professional to build a plan to get your dog through their issues.

The Benefits of Private Dog Training Lessons

Private lessons are one of the most common ways that dog owners can work with a professional trainer. These dog training lessons might occur at a training facility, in your own home, or in a local park. During these sessions, you will work one-on-one with a trainer and your dog, and learn how to teach your dog new things and how to manage their behavior. Most dog trainers offer lessons ranging from 45 minutes to an hour and a half in length, and generally you will do multiple lessons spread out over a period of time.

Some people are leery of the idea of private lessons because they do require more work from the owner than a program like a board and train. However, there are other aspects of private lesson programs that you may not consider. There are some huge benefits to this type of training, including an increased understanding of your dog and the ability to work with your dog more in your own home environment.

1. Being Involved From Start to Finish

When you participate in a private lesson program, you are right in the mix with your dog from day 1 of training. Your trainer will show you how to start teaching new commands, how to utilize training tools, how to motivate your dog, and how to manage your environment. You will then get to practice these things with your dog every week.

golden retriever puppy

Because you are working with your dog on a daily basis, you will get to establish consistency early. Your dog will get lots of repetitions with you, which is crucial for building habits and eliminating bad behaviors. You will also be able to understand each step in the process, and will have a better understanding of each behavior because you know how it was built.

2. One-on-One Feedback

Traditional dog training lessons are typically thought of as a group class setting. While group classes have their place, they spread the trainer’s attention between several dogs and their owners. When you are doing a private lesson program, you get all of your trainer’s time and attention during the lesson. This means that you get to devote more time to your specific issues.

For example, a group class might have one person struggling with leash pulling, another struggling with jumping on guests, and another who tears up shoes. If you are also dealing with these issues with your dog, you would really benefit from being in that class. However, if your biggest issue with your dog is chasing cars, you only get a few minutes of discussion so that everyone gets addressed.

By enrolling in private dog training lessons, you can have entire lessons focused on car chasing, and eliminate the problem with much more customized work with your trainer. This goes the same way for any major training issue, and is a huge benefit of private lessons.

3. Gradually Adding Distractions

When your dog participates in a group class or board and train, they have to deal with distractions right off the bay. In a group class, you are in a room with 4-6 other dogs and their owners, which can be too much for some dogs when they are just getting started. In board and trains, your dog may need a day or two to adapt to the new environment before they can totally focus.

belgian shepherds

When you do private lessons, it is just you, your dog, and the trainer. This means that you can add distractions whenever your dog is ready, and you can progress at the rate that is best for them. Some dogs can handle distractions very early, others may take a few sessions before they are able to handle it.

4. Setting Your Own Timeline

Group classes are generally 4-6 weeks long, which is a timeline that works great for some dogs, but may not be the right fit for others. You may only be dealing with very minor house training issues or something similar which only take 2-3 lessons to resolve. On the flip side, you may have a dog with more severe behavioral issues that simply won’t be resolved with a 6 week group class. Both of these categories of dogs can be a better fit for private lessons than they are for group classes.

Private Lessons with Kentucky Dog Training LLC

We offer several different programs for private dog training lessons, and they are based on the age and issues that your dog is struggling with.

Puppy Lessons

puppy training lessons

We offer one program for puppies under 6 months of age. You can start this program when your puppy is as young as 8 weeks, and we will cover everything from basic obedience to house training, and anything else you are wanting to know about your puppy.

This program consists of two lessons, and you have the option of customizing the program with additional lessons and day training sessions.

Adult Dogs

We offer programs for adult dogs that range from four lessons all the way to programs that include 10+ lessons.

Out Manners Matter program consists of four lessons, and covers basic manners and the essential obedience commands. This is a great program for dogs who are generally well behaved, but who have a few issues here and there to work on.

The Essentials program consists of six lessons, and covers more advanced obedience commands, and a higher degree of behavior modification. Dog with minor behavioral problems like leash reactivity are a good fit for this program.

The Dream Dog program is for those who need to go above and beyond with ten or more lessons. This is a great program for dogs who have severe behavioral issues, including human aggression, dog aggression, separation anxiety, and other major problems. This is also a great option for those who want complete off leash control, those with service dogs or therapy dogs, and people who want to teach more specific skills that are not covered in the other programs.

If you are interested in our private lesson programs, please contact us and tell us a little bit about your dog.*

*We are not accepting new private lesson clients until spring 2020. We apologize for any inconvenience, and are happy to provide referrals for those who are looking for a qualified trainer.

Board and Trains in the Media

You may have seen news stories recently about dogs who have gone through board and trains or another type of in-kennel training program. Unfortunately, the situations being shown in these stories are very concerning for dog owners. There have been cases of dogs in board and train programs who get lost, develop medical issues, or were subjected to overly harsh training methods.

Good dog trainers are just as disturbed by these stories as the average pet owner, if not more so. We got into this business because we love dogs, and we want to help dog owners and help them live more harmonious lives with their dogs. We hate to see anything bad happen to a dog, especially when they were entrusted to someone who should have had their best intentions in mind.

Now what you do not see in the news is the thousands and thousands of dogs who thrive in board and trains, and who live much happier lives for having been to training. There are situations where board and trains are by far the best option for a given family and their situation, and unfortunately some dogs are not getting the right help because these horrible situations have made people understandably concerned about their dog living with a trainer.

On the bright side, there are some key things to look for when selecting a trainer that should help you to see if your trainer is legitimate or not. There are also some huge red flags that should send you right out the door.

Things to Look For

  • Clean, well lit, safe facilities. Everybody has their preference in kennel design, but a few things should be part of the design no matter where you go. Everything should be clean and sanitary, and the kennels or crates should be large enough for the dogs to be comfortable. Do not immediately be suspicious if the dogs do not have bedding, as some dogs may have potentially dangerous habits such as shredding and ingesting bedding.
  • The area where the dogs are staying should be kept at a temperature that is safe and comfortable for the dogs. If the dogs are out in the yard, especially in hot summer months, water should always be available. When in their kennels/crates, the dogs should also have water as well. An exception to this would be dogs who are on a schedule due to potty training, which the trainer should be able to easily explain to you.
  • Dog food should be stored somewhere air tight and away from moisture and extreme temperatures.
  • The trainer should be comfortable with you touring and seeing the facility. Most trainers will be appointment only, especially smaller scale operations, because they want to ensure that they are not in the middle of a lesson with a client when you show up to take a tour. Be respectful, especially if the trainer is doing their business out of their home.
  • The dogs should seem calm and relaxed, within reason. Remember that this is a training facility you are visiting, so the dogs may be dealing with any number of behavioral issues. Overall, the dogs should seem happy, clean, and in good condition.
  • Your trainer should be very clear with you about communication and updates. For example, I give clients picture updates every 2-3 days, and videos every 10-12 days. The reason that I do not give pictures every day is that I do not always have my phone on my during sessions, and want to make sure that I am devoting my full attention to the dog. The videos are spaced out like that so that you can really see the progress as time goes on. If a trainer takes your dog home and does not send you updates or won’t return your calls, that calls for a visit.
  • A reasonable visitation policy should be in place. I would never tell anybody that they could not come and visit their dog, but I do have suggestions for the client to make things as easy as possible on the dog. I do ask that clients who want to visit wait until the first week of training is done, so that I can have time to create a bond with the dog. I also suggest that the client come at times that do not conflict with the training schedule, so that I can ensure that the dog still gets what they need out of that day’s training.
  • Your trainer should be able to provide you with photos and videos of dogs who have previously graduated. Look at their reviews and see what people are saying about the results that they have.
  • Your trainer should be very upfront with you about what training methods, tools, etc they are planning on using with your dog. There is nothing inherently wrong with a trainer using most training tools, but there is an inherent problem when it is either being done incorrectly or is being done without your knowledge.

Happy, healthy dogs that have been loved and trained by us.

Red Flags with Board and Trains

  • The trainer will not allow you to visit their facility and see where the dog will be staying.
  • The facilities are a mess, smell bad, or are unhygienic. The dogs are exposed to extreme temperatures for long spans of time, and/or do not have access to fresh water when outside.
  • The trainer will not tell you how they are going to train your dog, or how long your dog needs training for.
  • Your trainer keeps extending the time they have your dog without any reasonable explanation.
  • Your trainer does not return calls, seems to avoid communication, or refuses to send pictures or video of the dog.
  • There is no video or reviews to show what the trainer is capable of.
  • The dogs seem stressed, worried, or in poor health.
  • Your trainer does not disclose medical concerns. Stuff happens sometimes and a dog may stub a toe or scrape a paw pad, but when it happens your trainer should let you know right away and should ensure that the dog’s health comes first.

If you follow the guidelines listed here, you will be able to find a quality trainer and facility that do board and trains the right way.