What is an Bespoke Intensive Training Week?...
Have you ever thought about sending your dog away to a Board and Train dog trainer? One that offers to train your dog for you at their home or kennels over a period of usually 2 or 4 weeks? It sounds like a great solution to get a professional trainer to do all the hard work for you and your dog comes back to you fully trained doesn't it?
Unfortunately sending your dog away to one of these trainers is unlikely to be the best way for your dog to reliably learn good life skills and basic training that will transfer to their real life with you when they get home. There are a number of reasons for this:
Dogs do not generalise behaviour well. This means that if they learn to do a particular exercise in one environment/situation they will not necessarily perform that exercise the same in a different environment/situation. Obviously being in a kennel environment is very different to your home, but even if they stay in the trainer's home it is highly unlikely this is anything like being in your home and the routine will be nothing like your daily routine in your house. They will go on walks to different areas and live a very different life during their training.
Often dogs on a board and train programme are kenneled for a large amount of the day and then brought out to be trained for a set period of time (many of these trainers have more than one dog staying to be trained at any one time). Because the dogs have little else to stimulate them during their day they will be keen to 'work' for the trainer during the limited time when they have all the trainer's attention. Once back home with you and back into their normal daily routine this keenness may disappear and they may stop responding as well as they did.
Board and train programmes usually offer to teach your dog the basics, but what are they and is that what is most important to you and your lifestyle needs? How will the training relate to your everyday life with your dog?
Because you do not see the training happening you have not seen the process that your dog has gone through to learn each exercise, instead when you collect your dog at the end of the training you will be shown the commands/signals that your dog has been taught to respond to. If the training starts to break down when your dog comes home you won't know how to help your dog to generalise their new skills as you will not know which steps to take to replicate the original learning process.
Perhaps the most important concern with sending your dog away for training is that you have no idea exactly which methods have been used to achieve the training. Unfortunately there is no regulation in the dog training and behaviour industry and literally anyone can set themselves up as a professional trainer. There are a lot of trainers who still believe in using negative/aversive methods which use punishments/corrections to achieve results, despite the wealth of scientific research that tells us that this is neither necessary or indeed the most effective way to train any animal. Would you really want to leave your dog with someone who might use outdated and/or cruel methods? Some of these trainers will use various terms to disguise their use of punishments and aversives, such as calling themselves a 'balance trainer'. If you are not there you cannot be sure the training has been a pleasant experience for your dog.
Fun With Dogs offers an alternative!
An Course of Bespoke Intensive Dog Training in your own home, where we come to you every day for a week and train you and your dog together. You can be 100% sure the training will be force-free and positive for your dog and also for you. You will be there every step of the way during the training so after the Intensive Training Course you will be able to continue the training with your dog effortlessly. We understand that some people need a little more help training their dog in certain situations such as:
New puppy in the house. Particularly if you have never had a puppy or dog before. As well as teaching your puppy basic manners and to respond well to you, you can learn how to socialise your puppy, successfully manage interactions with other pets and children, avoid behaviour problems as your dog matures, and ensure you give your puppy the best possible start in life.
Taking on a rescue dog. Often rescue dogs can take a while to settle into their new homes, particularly if they have had a traumatic or unsettled life previously. We can help you settle your new family member teaching you to read your dog's body language as well as starting to train them to respond well to you.
Adolescent dogs. Adolescent dogs can be hard work (and a lot of fun!) their recall can become erratic, loose lead walking goes out the window, their interest in other dogs/people/animals/things increases and their general manners can be lacking. We can help you form a great bond with your young dog and encourage your dog to want to respond well to you and learn good manners.
Families with disabilities/special needs: Training a dog can be difficult if you have disabilities and having a trainer to work with you is ideal. We can find ways to train your dog that work for you and your specific needs within your own home and local environment.
Behaviour Problems: If you have a problem with excessive barking, separation anxiety, aggression towards people or dogs or a similar problem behaviour, then a week of intensive training can help you learn how to manage your dog and start to modify your dog's behaviour in these situations. We cannot cure these problems in a week a two as changes to these kinds of behaviour take much longer, but we can give you the skills to start making changes and advise you on how to proceed in the future.
If you have any further questions please click here to contact us.
Frequently Asked Questions...
How long will the trainer spend with me each day?
This will depend on what training you need, which package you choose and what will fit in best with your normal daily routine. On the first day of the Bespoke Intensive Training Week your trainer will usually spend around 6 hours with you to get a feel for what a normal day in the life of your dog and family is. For the rest of the week the trainer will normally spend at least 4 hours with you and your dog each day.
Will my dog be fully trained at the end of the week?
Effective learning takes longer than one week for most dogs. However, a Week of Bespoke Intensive Dog Training will give you an accelerated start and give you the skills to carry on with the training until your dog is reliable.
Can I book more than a week of training?
We recommend one week of training initially as this is enough to give most people a good start. However if you would like a second week of continued support this is certainly possible. For certain behaviour problems (such as separation or aggression issues) it is likely that it will take some time for your dog's behaviour to change and you may like a follow up week of support a few weeks after the initial weeks training to help you progress.
How much will Bespoke Intensive Dog Training cost?
7 Day Package - from £1750
5 Day Package - from £1250
Weekend Package - Saturday and Sunday - from £600
3 X Half Days Package - 3 Sessions in a 2 Week period - from £495
5 X Half Days Package - 5 sessions in a 2 week period - from £800
Prices quoted are for Hampshire, if you are outside of Hampshire there will be an additional fee to cover travel/hotel costs, please email for more info
What is included in the cost of a Bespoke Intensive Dog Training Package?
If you book one of our Bespoke Intensive Training Packages we will provide everything you need for the training sessions apart from your dog's normal food.
If we feel your dog would benefit from a different type of collar, harness or lead from the one you normally use, we will buy a high quality replacement, specially fitted if required. If we recommend a particular toy or other piece of equipment for your dog we will provide this as part of our service up to the following limits:
5 or 7 Day Package - maximum £150 of product
Weekend Package - maximum of £75 of product
3 x Half Days Package - maximum of £75 of product
Free follow up support is offered for the lifetime of your dog via telephone or email.
Do I need to be present for all of the training week?
We do prefer it if at least one family member is present for each day of the Bespoke Intensive Training Package.
In order to get the most out of the training you need to be there so you can understand how your dog is learning and take part in the training yourself. However if you are unable to be there all day, every day we can do some training with your dog without you, but would not advise that this happens more than 2 days out of a 7 day week.
Most clients choose to take a week off work to get the most out of the Bespoke Intensive Training Weeks
If you have any further questions please click here to contact us.