You’ve heard about them, but what exactly is a dog training boot camp? We’re glad that that you asked! In this article we are going to tell you a little more about dog behavior boot camp and what it can do for you and your dog. We’ll also give you an idea of what to expect and what you can do to help reinforce the training that your dog will receive. Excited? Well, without further ado, let’s talk about puppy (or dog) boot camp!
Dog behaviour boot camp is not an instant guarantee of obedience
The first thing that we would like to stress is that this is training, not magic. A lot is going to depend on your dog. Not that some dogs cannot be trained, of course, merely that there are factors that can come into play that can slow things down. Typically in behavior camp they are going to focus on teaching your dog a number of commands. Let’s say 10, for example. How many that your dog learns is going to be a matter of many factors but don’t worry, they will learn some things. Go into it with this in mind and you won’t be disappointed.
More doesn’t always mean better
That’s right, your dog will probably not learn all of the commands, but part of the focus of a good doggie boot camp is making sure that they learn a few core commands. This may seem a little disappointing but think on this. If you have a few core commands that your dog always follows, even simple ones like ‘come here’ and ‘sit’, these can be used to build upon. If your dog likes begging at the table, telling them to ‘sit’ and ‘stay’ at a distance from the table can help to teach them patience and to train them out of begging. What you are doing with this training is building a foundation and once your dog has learned a few commands then learning more becomes much easier. You will want to learn a little about the techniques which are being applied at boot camp, however, and that’s where our next point is going to be vital.
You should attend boot camp with your dog when you can
This is another factor that you will want to consider. Dog boot camp provides a bit of socializing with other dogs and people but when it comes to commands, you want to make sure that your dog responds when YOU are giving them. While you can just send your dog off to ‘boarding school’ your participation in this is actually quite important. It’s estimated that only 25% of dogs can do this sort of thing on their own so if you want to get the most value out of boot camp we highly recommend that you participate. So think of more as a ‘dog and owner’ boot camp and contribute the time that you can. It will greatly improve the results.
You will need to practice with your dog after boot camp
These new commands that your dog has learned will need to be used, and used often! This is because you need to reinforce the training. While boot camp can instill the basics and provide some fantastic results rather quickly, this training needs to be continued at home if it is going to stick. This means that you should plan a good way to make sure
“Incorporate some of the training in your daily walks.”
that your dog remembers and learns the commands more thoroughly. A great way to do this is to incorporate some of the training in your daily walks. Bring some treats with you and after your doggy has a potty break, issue one of the new commands. When your dog obeys, give them a treat. It’s as simple as that. Vary the commands so that your dog is not doing the same two things and trying more than one command is fine as well. Just make sure that you are rewarding your dog for their obedience with those delicious treats and that training will slowly set like strong concrete.
Finding a dog training camp in the USA or in the UK
Now that you know a little more about the boot camps and what to expect, how do you find a good one? Why, the internet, of course! Specifically we are recommending a resource known as ‘Yelp’. Yelp.com is a website that compiles individuals and businesses offering services to the public. The nature of their service is not just the collection of resources, however, as you could simply use Google for that. What Yelp does that is unique is that they offer a rating system coupled with testimonials. This means that you can read about other Dog owner’s experiences with a particular trainer or business and get the real scoop! It’s rather like the ratings and comments that you see on Amazon, just geared more towards businesses rather than merchants or reviews of a particular item. To use it, simply go to Yelp.com and type in ‘dog training boot camp near me’ or ‘dog training boot camp in atlanta’, substituting ‘atlanta’ for your own city name, of course. You will see a long list of trainers at this time and so you should make yourself a coffee and start reading reviews. You’ll find the perfect boot camp for your pup in no time!
Some final words
Today we have discussed what Dog training boot camp really is, as well as what you can expect, and what you should do in order to reinforce your pup’s new knowledge. Don’t forget that every dog is different and will learn at their own pace. You might find that more than one enrollment to the boot camp is a good idea if your dog is taking the lessons slowly. That said, with a bit of patience, love, and reinforcement of those lessons your dog will be a better behaved member of the family a lot faster than you expect. Just wait and see!