Why we don’t do residential training at Dog Comm.
I’ve been asked dozens of times if I would take a nervous, shy or anxious dog into my home with my 5 well adjusted dogs. People think it will be good for their dog. My answer is always no, and always will be. Here’s the reasons why.
In order for a dog to learn new skills, they need to be relaxed, happy and stress free. Even with my lovely gang of 5 dogs around them, it’s likely any dog with anxiety issues would still be stressed out. Why? Because it’s a new environment, and we’ve dropped them headlong into a situation they can’t cope with. However nice my dogs are, there are still 5 of them, and they’d still want to interact with the newbie, and it’s likely the newbie would be very scared.
Now some dogs, after a few days, would start to adjust, and might well learn to love my dogs, and might jog along fine for a few weeks. But that doesn’t mean we’ve solved their problems. As soon as they’re out of the bubble with my dogs, they’d most likely go back to the dog they were before. Some might not, but most would. Also, some dogs would just totally shut down, they might seem fine but might just be holding it all in.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that residential training is best for your dog, it’s not. It’s good for the residential trainers though, they’re getting paid a lot of money to do this. Mostly the dogs are kennelled, although a few places take the dogs into their homes. Kennels are stressful for the most well adjusted of dogs, let alone a dog with issues. And of course there is always the worry that once your dog is left there, who knows what the trainer is doing with them? Sadly we have seen a lot of ‘post residential training’ cases.
What about the owner involvement then? Of course, we love owners to be involved in any kind of canine behaviour modification. The owner or guardian of the dog is closest to that dog, brings them security and most dogs, when left by their owners will feel anxious and become more stressed. The guardian of the dog always needs to learn new skills too, usually counter conditioning, so that they can work with their dog on every outing, helping them feel new, positive emotions around other dogs (or people, horses, cyclists, cars etc). We teach our clients how to recognise the signs of stress or anxiety that their dogs might be showing. If you’re not present when your dog is being trained, you wouldn’t even see these signals.
Just training is never enough, we cover all aspects of your dog’s life. Their sleeping habits, eating, exercise, medical conditions, enrichment, and environment are all taken into consideration and discussed at length.
Fixing a dog takes time and commitment, it’s never easy and it’s never fast. Anyone who tells you it is either of those, is telling you porky pies.
Myself and Laura are here to support you, and the Dog Comm family (lovely loyal clients who understand what you’re going through) are also around. We’ll help you, and your dog, together, in a safe controlled environment, with appropriate dogs around to help. We’ll help you understand your dog better, and we’ll help you to fix them. Give us a call or drop us an email if you need our help with your dog.