Board and Train

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Postby katiek0417 » March 31st, 2009, 9:12 am

DemoDick wrote:I think you're missing the point of the post you were addressing. You can't really compare your dogs to the average dog that gets put into a board and train situation. First, your dogs (meaning yours and Greg's) are competition dogs whose entire life is structured around performance. For most dogs, that has a huge effect on how they will work for anyone, regardless of whether they have bonded with that person (I know a few of your guys are different in this regard, as is my dog). Two, you guys are both handlers, so that also has an effect. If I pick up the leash of someone else's competition dog he's going to read very quickly that I know what I'm doing vs. average Joe who will likely crap himself when he realizes there's a trained biting dog at the end of the leash. Unless, as stated, said dog doesn't tolerate assertiveness from a "stranger." Third, the average board and train dog is coming into the kennel without the benefit of working dog genetics.

I think the original point was that for the average pet, owned by the average person, board and train fails to address the key issue, which is owner education. It also appeals to the very type of person who needs to be educated the most, i.e. clueless owners who have unintentionally created and reinforced problem behaviors and who just want to drop the dog off while they go on vacation while the dog is "fixed." On this point, I tend to agree. Now, plenty of trainers do board and train with owner follow-up, and plenty of owners do board and train without regressing back to bad habits, but all too often, board and train is a quick, and temporary fix that would be better addressed with long term strategies.

Demo Dick


You also selectively quoted what I said, and left out the next line of my post:

Granted, these dogs have more than pet obedience - but I have seen a lot of the training on Jue and Asja - and Greg didn't use "yanking and cranking" with them (he used corrections, but, like me, he used much more positive reinforcement than positive punishment).


But, I have seen people with LITTLE handling experience do stuff with dogs like Asja...in fact, when I had JUST started to train with Greg, Asja and his old pit Rusty lived with me for a while. All I really had at the time was Sacha (I had Nisha, but she was a baby)...yet, when I told them to do something they did....so, I was the so called "average Joe" that you refer to in your post (and I can promise I had NO idea how to handle a dog like that at that time - I was far from being half the handler I am now - and I'm still not perfect). If they were living in my house, they were going to listen to me. End of story. I didn't care whether there was a biting dog at the other end of the line. (In fact, Greg decided to sell Rusty, but had he not sold Rusty, I was going to bring him out of retirement).

Yes, boarding and training is sometimes used as a fix. Sometimes, however, it really is used to take hold of a situation, and the owners are diligent in what they do. Maybe Greg's was lucky at the old kennel, but this was his experience more often than not....and these dogs had on-leash and some off-leash obedience....I got to see some of these dogs on Saturday afternoons after training...I would usually stick around to hang with Greg when people came in for their follow-ups...it had usually been 3-4 weeks after the dog was boarded...and the dogs were listening to their owners, and were obeying them.
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Postby DemoDick » March 31st, 2009, 9:25 am

You also selectively quoted what I said, and left out the next line of my post:


Nope, didn't need to. The bulk of your post concerned how your dogs could be handled by people other than their trainer, with one sentence dsclaiming that those results would not be typical. I think a lot of people would have missed that distinction, which is very important. I actually addressed the rest of what you wrote in the body of my post.

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Postby TheRedQueen » March 31st, 2009, 9:28 am

I'm not gonna quote everything...but I'll state that most of the board n' trains that I have done...have gone back to owners who do everything wrong AGAIN and the dogs lose the skills/training that they had. Demo is correct in that MOST of the people I trained for in the traditional board and train really didn't have a clue...and a one-on-one or class situation would have been better. It's usually NOT the dog that needs the work, but the owner+dog that needs the work. I can take an unruly dog away from an owner anytime, and get the dog working...but will it work when I hand it back? :|

The training I do now, if someone leaves their dog is a bit different...like what Dog_Shrink was mentioning...more along the lines of manners, social skills, living with other dogs, etc. I won't do formal training anymore...ugh.
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Postby katiek0417 » March 31st, 2009, 9:34 am

TheRedQueen wrote:I'm not gonna quote everything...but I'll state that most of the board n' trains that I have done...have gone back to owners who do everything wrong AGAIN and the dogs lose the skills/training that they had. Demo is correct in that MOST of the people I trained for in the traditional board and train really didn't have a clue...and a one-on-one or class situation would have been better. It's usually NOT the dog that needs the work, but the owner+dog that needs the work. I can take an unruly dog away from an owner anytime, and get the dog working...but will it work when I hand it back? :|

The training I do now, if someone leaves their dog is a bit different...like what Dog_Shrink was mentioning...more along the lines of manners, social skills, living with other dogs, etc. I won't do formal training anymore...ugh.


Is it that they don't have a clue or they really don't care? Our friend Denise used to do board and train with her dogs (with Greg, in fact), then never did the follow-ups...and she admits that she just didn't care...so I don't think we can make a blanket statement that all people are clueless...in all reality, there's probably just as many people that want to say their dog is trained, they don't want to do it themselves, they pay someone to do it, and now they can say their dog is trained....regardless of whether the dog will listen to them or not....
"Rumor has it, compulsion is evil."

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Postby TheRedQueen » March 31st, 2009, 10:16 am

Don't have a clue in terms of...no clue what owning/training a dog encompasses...;) And what I said was that most people that I trained dogs for were like this...

and they cared enough to have their dog trained...whether it was because it was a nuisance, it was embarassing, etc...there were many reasons that they "cared" enough to get it trained at least.
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Postby katiek0417 » March 31st, 2009, 10:32 am

TheRedQueen wrote:Don't have a clue in terms of...no clue what owning/training a dog encompasses...;) And what I said was that most people that I trained dogs for were like this...

and they cared enough to have their dog trained...whether it was because it was a nuisance, it was embarassing, etc...there were many reasons that they "cared" enough to get it trained at least.


My point is only that just because someone cares to get it trained, doesn't mean they truly care about how it acts once it's home...

Not all people are like this...there are some that really do try...

But it's akin, many times, to seeing a purse that I love, I spend the $300 on the purse, I get it home, and use it for a couple of weeks, then it sits on a shelf...sure, I cared about the purse when I bought it b/c it was really cute/went with the shoes I got a week before/was trendy/etc...sure, I may have cared about it at the moment, but then the novelty wore off....it has nothing to do with being clueless...

And, you say that maybe it's the people whose dogs you've trained...but I've seen several like what I describe...so, maybe it's also a geographic thing :|
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Postby TheRedQueen » March 31st, 2009, 11:20 am

I guess part of the problem where I used to train was that it was a boarding kennel. Most people that signed up for training did a "Oh, well...I'll get the dog trained while he's here too"

:rolleyes2:
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Postby SisMorphine » March 31st, 2009, 11:33 am

TheRedQueen wrote:I guess part of the problem where I used to train was that it was a boarding kennel. Most people that signed up for training did a "Oh, well...I'll get the dog trained while he's here too"

:rolleyes2:

That was a big problem for me as well. Plus we only offered 1 and 2 week board and trains, which IMHO gets you nowhere, ESPECIALLY when the set up is to work with the dog for 1 hour 5 times a week. Talk about a horrid set up!!

I still stand by the fact that I think board and trains are lazy. Could I send Blue off and have him come back with awesome obedience? Of course. But then I would miss out on all of that training time with MY dog (plus I'm not a fan of my dogs listening to other people), and personally I would have less of a sense of accomplishment.


And sorry I'm gonna take this slightly OT a little but
Dog_Shrink wrote:I also offer a program for puppy transitioning since in Pa. They can be sold at 7 weeks and really should stay with the litter until at least 10 weeks for the best psychological development potential.

Do you have a link about this? I haven't ever heard of 10 weeks being the optimal litter age.
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Postby TheRedQueen » March 31st, 2009, 11:39 am

SisMorphine][quote="Dog_Shrink wrote:I also offer a program for puppy transitioning since in Pa. They can be sold at 7 weeks and really should stay with the litter until at least 10 weeks for the best psychological development potential.

Do you have a link about this? I haven't ever heard of 10 weeks being the optimal litter age.[/quote]

I was wondering the same thing... :D
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Postby mnp13 » March 31st, 2009, 12:15 pm

katiek0417 wrote:Actually, a funny story about this was 2 years ago, we had the decoy seminar in Baltimore...well, one of the guys that Greg was friends with tried an experiment with Asja. He didn't really know Asja - I mean, he had met her - and he took bites from her - but he had never worked with her. Anyway, he bet Greg that he could do obedience with her, then send her for a bite on Greg. Needless to say, he won the bet. She was running full force towards Greg (who wasn't wearing any equipment) and Greg was like "whoa, no, auf." She downed and listened to him...but it was still funny that this guy could do that with her

Though I find the term rather demeaning, I think this is what is often referred to as a "push button dog." In other words, the dog is trained to the point where any person it sees as a "handler" can tell it what to do. Of course, this depends on the experience and confidence of the handler - and the personality of the dog as well. Riggs will listen to some people and not others - it depends on whether he thinks you "can tell him what to do", and I am quite confident that you couldn't send him on me.

The dog I am working with right now is a bully. He was taught (inadvertently of course) to be that way. We've spent the past 7 weeks working on his attitude, focusing on teaching his owners to be leaders and show the dog that he can look to them for guidance instead of being an ass to everyone. Last week we transitioned from a flat collar (which he was ignoring) to a choke chain (and I hate choke chains, but it was necessary.) This week I handled him for the first time. When he came up the line at me, I clearly communicated to him that that behavior was unacceptable. He tried it again, we had clear communication again. The third time, he started and I finished. He thought about it a fourth time, and I offered another round of clear communication. He decided that it wasn't worth it. By the end of the hour I was able to pet him - last night was the first time I had any physical contact with him besides feeding him treats.

Could I have done that with a board and train? Yes, absolutely. I could have had him controllable in 5 days time, I am quite confident of that. However, I would have solved the problem with me. He would have continued to be a nut case with his owners. He has learned to look to his owners for guidance, having him at our house would have taught him to look to me. His problem was respect, not obedience.

I think obedience can be taught with a board and train, it's "just" obedience. The dog learns that sit means sit, down means down, come means come... and gets on with life.

I don't think problems like what I'm dealing with now with that dog are fixable with board and train alone - the vast majority of his problem is he thinks that he has to control the world, and the fix for that is teaching him that other people can control it for him.

This whole topic came about because I was sent some information about a dog that is biting - and has sent two people to the hospital for stitches. The family was in interested in a board and train with him. I think the first step would have been teaching him that biting is not acceptable - ever. After that, it would be training the family and the dog together.

But that's a moot point because they contacted a few people at the same time and decided to go with the local Dog Whisperer (yes, we have certified dog whisperers in the area.) Funny, the last person the dog sent to the hospital was a certified canine behaviorist. I suppose they are just gluttons for punishment. :|
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Postby katiek0417 » March 31st, 2009, 12:46 pm

But Michelle...is Jue a push-button dog? Do you think YOU could take his leash and do obedience with him?

He's not push-button...but he trusts me enough to let me give him commands...and I HAVE sent him on Greg...
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Postby mnp13 » March 31st, 2009, 12:55 pm

katiek0417 wrote:But Michelle...is Jue a push-button dog? Do you think YOU could take his leash and do obedience with him?

He's not push-button...but he trusts me enough to let me give him commands...and I HAVE sent him on Greg...

I was talking about Asja, as your example was about her not about Jue.

From my post:
mnp13 wrote:Of course, this depends on the experience and confidence of the handler - and the personality of the dog as well.
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Postby call2arms » March 31st, 2009, 4:11 pm

Dog_shrink: I was just stating my opinion, personally I've never seen a good board-train facility, and as a person who gets asked about training at work I will not recommend any in my area. If yours is good, then great but around here in Quebec I know of none that I would recommend. Not saying they're all bad, just saying I have no knowledge or have had any good recommendations of any, ever, around here.
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Postby Dog_Shrink » March 31st, 2009, 5:56 pm

Totally understand and sorry that you don't have any good facilities there. It makes it hard when you don't know who to trust with your pet. I was just pointing out the other point of view that we aren't all bad and some do treat our boarders as if they were our own pups.
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Postby katiek0417 » March 31st, 2009, 8:09 pm

mnp13 wrote:
katiek0417 wrote:But Michelle...is Jue a push-button dog? Do you think YOU could take his leash and do obedience with him?

He's not push-button...but he trusts me enough to let me give him commands...and I HAVE sent him on Greg...

I was talking about Asja, as your example was about her not about Jue.

From my post:
mnp13 wrote:Of course, this depends on the experience and confidence of the handler - and the personality of the dog as well.


Nisha has a great personality...she's not going to listen to you...in fact, as friendly as she is, I've seen her come up the line at people who have grabbed her leash to attempt obedience...

There is a HUGE combination of factors that go into whether a dog will listen to someone. NOT just the experience/confidence of the handler and the personality of the dog...
"Rumor has it, compulsion is evil."

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Postby mnp13 » March 31st, 2009, 8:24 pm

katiek0417 wrote:Nisha has a great personality...she's not going to listen to you...in fact, as friendly as she is, I've seen her come up the line at people who have grabbed her leash to attempt obedience...

There is a HUGE combination of factors that go into whether a dog will listen to someone. NOT just the experience/confidence of the handler and the personality of the dog...


Personality / temperament, whatever.

I had my first training session with a one year old Golden today. Neutered male, sweet, friendly, pushy, mouthy, has manners all bad ones.

Literally five minutes on leash with me and he was walking without dislocating my shoulder and after mouthing me twice refused to do it anymore even when I tried to get him to do it. Once I made it clear that I wasn't playin' the issues vaporized. The dog had no issues that someone not used to bratty dogs couldn't handle. All the family wants is manners.

Your dogs are far from the typical dogs owned by the typical owner. I'm NOT slamming your dogs or your training. My point was (and is) that some dogs, high drive or not, will work for anyone who "knows" how to handle them - Asja (using your example.) Some dogs respond to a select few people and will chew up everyone else, regardless of their handling knowledge / skill- Jue.

Ruby listens to everyone equally - that would mean that she blows everyone off equally. lol

Connor listens to Demo, pays attention to me, and gives everyone else the finger.

Dogs like the golden from today just want clear directions and are happy to comply. I think the vast majority of dogs out there really just want that... let them know what you want from them, be clear and fair, and they'll do whatever you ask.
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Postby BritneyP » April 1st, 2009, 12:19 am

katiek0417 wrote:
Just an FYI - the Leerburg person you're speaking of is Ed Frawley of Leerburg Kennels... There are many who don't put a lot of faith in what he has to say...


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Postby SisMorphine » April 1st, 2009, 10:52 am

This thread turned into a sport dog thread, which I don't believe was it's original intent.

Personally the reasons I got the most for doing board and trains were: jumping, pulling on leash, coming when called, and unwarranted aggression within the home.

The first 3 issues would be things that I could quickly train someone else's dog, BUT those are all things that are dependent upon relationship with the owner so really it makes more sense to do private lessons. And of course the last is dependent upon the issue, but in all cases (IME) it was stuff that needed to be dealt with within the home (ie: situational).

Now touching on sport dogs: I have known of a number of people who've sent their dogs off for board and trains. I have even heard of some well known trainers sending their dogs off to be trained by OTHER trainers in a board and train. I'm not going to lie, I see the point in this. It is MUCH easier to train a dog who you do not have a personal relationship with, and it is much easier for the experienced handler to then take the dog and follow the instructions given (again, we are talking about handlers who "get it"). But for me I could never do it. Now I know I'm extreme, but I'd like to use Blue as an example.

I got Blue as an adult (a few weeks shy of 5 years old). Though he and I had been working together for months prior to him coming home, we didn't have a bond, I was just the bitch who held his leash while he bit. I couldn't get that dog to do an ounce of obedience. When I brought him home he had a loose idea of basic OB, and I worked up to a certain point. One night banditman (hey, dude, where are you?) took his leash to show me the next level of OB needed. Now it was less than 5 minutes, but now I feel like I didn't train my own dog. 5 minutes of someone else holding the leash, and I no longer feel like I had a hand in training my own dog.

For me it isn't about collecting titles, it's about EARNING titles. I would much rather deal with the difficulties of training my own dog with whom I have a relationship with other than training (which, IME, slows down the training process), than to be handed a dog who has already been trained, that I just need to handle and/or clean up.

But really I am also struggling with my own feelings of self-worth in being a so-called trainer . . . possibly one of the main reasons I quit my training job . . . is this group therapy?? lol
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Postby SisMorphine » April 1st, 2009, 11:01 am

Oh and Dog_Shrink I'm still interested in reading about the 10 week thing. Even if you don't have a link can you give the general idea behind it, as my learning has always said 7-8 weeks.
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Postby pitbullmamaliz » April 1st, 2009, 11:27 am

SisMorphine wrote:For me it isn't about collecting titles, it's about EARNING titles. I would much rather deal with the difficulties of training my own dog with whom I have a relationship with other than training (which, IME, slows down the training process), than to be handed a dog who has already been trained, that I just need to handle and/or clean up.


Very well said! :clap:
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