Board and Train Frequently Asked Questions
Q: I don't want to leave my dog for a long time, so why should I do a board and train?
A: We're glad you don't want to leave your dog! People who love their dogs generally don't. However, we recommend board and train for a few very specific reasons. The first is that you are already traveling and need a place for your dog to stay while you are gone. If you are going to board your dog, you and your dog might as well get the most out of it by taking advantage of our training, too. Your dog will enjoy the extra enrichment, and you will benefit from a lesson when you pick up your dog to help you learn to reinforce all the new behaviors.
Additionally, dog owners may choose to do a board and train when they are struggling with serious behavior concerns, like fear or aggression. A professional trainer can teach your dog new skills in a relatively short time that you will then only need to maintain when the dog goes home.
Q: How long does a board and train last?
A: That depends on what you are hoping to accomplish. If you are traveling and just want your dog to have a safe and fun place to stay with lots of enrichment while you are away, the board and train can be for as long as your trip requires. If you are just looking to build foundational obedience skills, we recommend a 4-week board and train. However, if your goal is to address more complicated behavioral challenges, such as fear or aggression, it takes time to change previously learned behavior and the emotional responses that cause it, so that board and train will require 8 weeks at Lupine Lodge.
Q: My friend did a board and train with her dog, and she said that the dog was good for a few days after coming home but then reverted to all the old behaviors. How do I know that won't happen to my dog?
A: Dogs do what is reinforced, so if a behavior is reinforcing in one environment but not in another, the dog will learn to behave differently in those environments. In order for a board and train to be successful, it is imperative that the owner participate in the training so that they learn how to reinforce the new behaviors. In some cases, the owner may even need to learn how to manipulate the environment so that the dog knows reinforcement is available in the first place. You've probably heard people say, "My dog doesn't need the training, but I do." For serious behavior cases, that is partly true. Your dog does need the training, but so do you. If you don't have time to invest in your own training, we don't recommend investing in a board and train. But if you are able to participate in private lessons in conjunction with the board and train, clients usually find that the board and train is not only transformative but also that their dog keeps improving long after the board and train is done.
Q: You keep mentioning private lessons and training the owner. How does that work when I leave my dog with you for a board and train?
A: There are two possibilities. If you are local, you can schedule a weekly lesson with the trainer during your dog's boarding stay. If you are coming from out of town, we recommend taking advantage of our amazing sightseeing opportunities and staying for a 5-day vacation at the end of the board and train, during which you will have daily lessons in the morning, giving you plenty of time to explore Lassen Volcanic National Park, Shasta National Park, or any of the many other amazing local destinations during the day. We can even recommend lodging accommodations ranging from a rustic tepee to a plush bed and breakfast. We also offer a combination of in-person and Zoom sessions for those who are unable to stay in the area for the full 5 days.
Q: I've heard that all board and trains use electronic collars and choke chains or pinch collars. Does your board and train use those?
A: No. We use exclusively scientifically-based, modern, and humane methods. We recognize that learning happens not only through consequences but also through associations, and we understand the incredible importance and obligation of trainers to create positive associations when working to change behavior. Our goal is for your dog to find joy in working for things they want rather than to escape or avoid things they don't. For this reason, we do not use or condone the use of any corrective equipment but rather utilize whatever your dog loves to motivate behavior.
Q: Aren't boarding kennels stressful?
A: They can be! But Lupine Lodge is very different. When dogs are boarded together in close proximity, especially when those dogs are already uncomfortable around other dogs, the constant visual and auditory assault of barking dogs nearby is not conducive to good mental health. This is why Lupine Lodge has been designed more like a hotel than a kennel. Each dog will have their own luxury suite in our temperature controlled lodge with solid walls separating them from the other dogs. They will also have access from their suite to an outdoor kennel, and those kennels will have solid walls between them so that dogs will have neither physical nor visual access to one another. We've even included sound insulation to decrease the noise within the building. Additionally, our location allows us to take your dog on daily hikes and swims at the local lake in addition to their regular training time. This ensures that your dogs have plenty of opportunity for enrichment, exercise, and mental stimulation to minimize stress and to help them sleep well at the end of a fun and busy day.