Frequently Asked Questions | Board and Train Program
Where will my dog be staying while on the Board & Train programme?
All dogs on our Board & Train programmes will stay in the family home of their trainer. They will be supervised at all times unless crated during rest periods or night time. If your dog suffers from reactivity there you might need to have your dog in a suitable outside house in the trainer’s property, until sufficient progress has been made to reintroduce the dog to the house and this would be part of its training protocol
Are your trainers qualified?
We have a wealth of talented and dedicated trainers who hold a vast range of general and specialist qualifications along with years of experience in a variety of canine fields. All our trainers subscribe to the use of positive training techniques and a methodical and holistic approach to assessing your dog’s needs. Qualifications at our disposal.
Will my dog still know me after a Board & Train program?
Yes of course! When your dog returns to you not only will it be excited to see you but we will show you how to build as strong a bond as ever.
How will my dog know to follow commands from me when a trainer has taught them?
Throughout your dogs time with us, we will be sending you regular videos of the training sessions, along with transparent progress updates and clear explanations behind our methodologies. These shared videos will act as a roadmap for you to refer back to in the future. On completion of the programme, we will arrange a detailed face-to-face handover where your trainer we will coach you through everything that has been covered over the past few weeks. We will also provide you with a written report giving you the tools and techniques needed to keep your dog attentive, well behaved and responsive to your commands.
What is the best age to train?
We subscribe to the belief that every breed is different and that every dog within each breed is different too. For that reason, learning speeds can vary depending on a range of factors, one of those being age. As a rough guide, basic obedience is best taught sooner rather than later, ideally from 12 weeks to 6 months, helping to give your dog a balanced and well-rounded character. Advanced obedience is typically best at 6 to 12 months depending on temperament.
How many things can you work on in a one-week custom programme?
Ideally, custom programmes are designed as refreshers for obedience training, or to work on very specific issues. It can sometimes take 3-4 days for the dog to settle and bond with the trainer before meaningful training progress can be made and for that reason, we recommend working on 1 main issue for each week the dog is in a custom programme with us.
Do you offer discounts?
Occasionally we will run promotional offers, keep an eye on our social media accounts or subscribe to our mailing list to find out more. However such promotions are only seasonal as we strongly believe our unrivalled level of service and top-of-the-industry expertise we offer is the best value for money in the market and our 1000’s of satisfied customers are a testament to this.
What methods of training do you use?
We believe in the positive modern-day principles of dog training, with an ethical and responsible approach to the animals’ welfare throughout. We don’t subscribe to any one set of rules that would restrict our approach and therefore undermine the results we deliver.
It is our view that the training methods and techniques we employ should not only centre around the practical goal we are looking to achieve but also that our trainers have a fundamental understanding of a dog’s genius – the psychology behind their actions. Our core philosophy is that a happy and responsive dog is one that works for everything it wants and that both mental and physical stimulation will play a huge part in delivering the results you are after.
Food, love, praise, attention – all can be positive motivators without having to ‘bribe’ your dog. By setting clear boundaries and eliminating inconsistent owner-to-dog messaging you will be on the path to a successful relationship between you and your loyal companion. Our training methods include; hand feeding, use of clickers and whistles, tonality, environmental assessments…and heaps of praise!
What if the training isn’t successful?
With our 121 sessions, your trainer will give you a clear outline of the course program before starting. You will be guided through each lesson by your trainer, with follow-ups, report cards and homework to make sure you and your dog stay on- track.
With any Board & Train programme, you will first enter into contact with Bark & Birch, where we outline all the agreed issues you would like us to focus on. Throughout your dogs stay your trainer will send you regular updates. At the end of the programme, you will be given through handover.
However, if for whatever reason you feel the training was not up to standard you expected, or you struggle to maintain the same level of control once the dog has returned home, we offer a range of post-programme support tools to help you and your dog get back on track. These include; a custom report that will give you clear and actionable advice based on the specific needs of your dog, phone support from a qualified trainer, and a complimentary face-to-face refresher session at your home.
Which programme is right for me & my dog?
We offer 3 different programmes and 2 different programme formats, all designed to suit every lifestyle.
121 private lessons:
- Basic Obedience, x5 1hr sessions
- Advanced Obedience, x8 1hr sessions
- Rehabilitation, x8 1h sessions
Board & Train:
- Basic Obedience, 2 weeks
- Advanced Obedience, 3 weeks
- Rehabilitation, 4 weeks
If you have the time and the inclination then private lessons are a good option. If your dog requires a bit more intensive work to get it over some hurdles, whether that be housebreaking or aggression, Board & Train would be the best choice. If you are going on holiday or need your dog boarded for a long time having your dog trained at the same time is a no-brainer!