Frequently Asked Questions: Board and Train
What is a Board and Train/Camp Works?
A Board and Train requires that your dog be left with us at Alaska Dog Works for the duration of the training. Our programs enable your dog to learn commands quickly, efficiently, and effectively. Boarding your dog while it undergoes intensive training is the key component to a Board and Train/Camp Works at Alaska Dog Works. Commands are given to the dog in a consistent repetitive way so that it becomes like second nature to the dog. Because this is what we do, we are able to undertake the training of your dog like you do in your eight hour a day job.
When your dog is ready to return home the real work begins in that we teach you how to become the best owner you can by offering follow up sessions to you and your family.
Why consider a Board and Train for your dog?
A Board and Train/Camp Works program is the most consistent and efficient way of training your dog. Training a dog, at any age, is time consuming and although you may be thinking, “I’ll have the time,” in reality there’s never enough time in the day to get enough training done for your dog. In our three week program, your dog will be trained in three sessions per day. That’s 63 sessions. It would take 16 months of and $4,095.00 to complete the same amount of training in weekly private sessions. In our six week program, your dog will be trained 3 sessions per day. That’s 126 sessions. It would take 32 months, and $8,190.00 to complete the same amount of training in weekly private sessions.[Fill out our Camp Works Questionnaire]
Why are your prices higher than other trainers in Alaska?
As in the previous question, the price of a board and train/camp works is much more cost effective than if you were to attend private lessons. Also, we are a premiere training school and do not offer a cookie cutter approach to training your dog. Each dog training program is based on a complete evaluation, your training goals and your dog’s temperament and needs. If you were to research training schools of similar demographics and training programs our costs are right in line with them.
Another way to look at it is you would pay approximately $30.00 per day at a quality and professional boarding center without any training sessions. With your dog in our board and train program he will receive several hours on intensive training and one-on-one attention.
How early can I enroll my dog for training?
Puppy Works (Imprinting) – 10 weeks to 6 months
Camp Works – 6 months and up
Obedience Works – 6 months and up
Advanced Obedience Works – 6 months and up
Where will my dog be kept while in training at Alaska Dog Works?
Your dog will stay in our home in Willow, Alaska. Each dog will stay inside where it is warm and cozy. Between training sessions each dog will have supervised socialization opportunities to socialize, learn structure, and how to play. Unlike some boarding facilities with potential health risks and the stress of barking dogs, Alaska Dog Works’ is in-home environment.
If Alaska Dog Works does the training, will my dog still perform the commands at home?
Yes. Just as service dogs are trained over a two year program by several handlers and eventually placed with their permanent handlers, we complete the training and turn your dog over to you and then teach you how to work with your dog. These follow up sessions are crucial to your dogs success. Without the follow up sessions your dog will not perform at it’s best.
During the program, you will receive weekly videos of your dog performing the commands, plus you will receive follow up handler training sessions.
Will my dog ever misbehave after it completes the Board and Train?
Dogs will be dogs. No form of dog training can guarantee that your dog will NEVER misbehave again. However, our methods of training are effective, yet simple and easy for you to follow. We guarantee follow up assistance for the life of your dog. We stand behind our training!
It is our goal to send your dog home at about 85% complete. We do this because dog training programs are never successful if someone else does all the work. You dog has to live with you and in your home and understand that you are the boss. When your dog stays with us at Camp we give them a great foundation and by working with you on then follow up sessions, we get to teach you how to make your dog the best!
How will I be able to find out about my dog’s progress?
We use email and our Facebook page as our primary method of communicating with owners. We can send weekly updates that include photos, and a short narrative describing how your dog is responding to training.
What training methods does Alaska Dog Works use?
At Alaska Dog Works we use a style of training referred to as operant conditioning, and transition the dog through three phases; acquisition, proofing, and generalization. Through hands-on training and experience, we have developed a variety of ways to teach commands to dogs and use their diverse personalities and temperaments. We start by finding out what motivates the dog. Then we create conditions for the dog to be encouraged to follow commands that occur naturally (sit, down, heel). We focus on timing positive reinforcement, with the dog intuitively offering a response to a command.
What is clicker training, how is it different from your training?
Clicker training is a method of marking behavior with a clicker, which is followed by secondary reinforcement (treat). Clicking a clicker or offering a food treat simply will not stop your dog from chasing down a squirrel. We do not use clickers for training. In the early stages of training, we mark proper behavior with release and reward, however as we transition into phase two the dog learns to perform on command. Our training program is effective regardless of clickers or squirrels.
What is needed to confirm my dog’s immunizations are current?
We need veterinarian records confirming your dog has received the distemper combination (DHLPP), rabies, and bordetella (kennel cough) shots. If you do not these records, they can be easily obtained by contacting your veterinarian. Please note that we are required by State Law to have these records on hand and bordetella is required every six months whenever you board your dog.
Just kids catch colds at school, dogs can do the same thing at camp. We rely on our clients to make sure that their dogs come to camp healthy and free of illnesses but occasionally germs can be spread.
Also, when your dog comes home from camp there will be an adjustment period. Ocassionally there will be some weight loss during your dog’s stay. Our dog’s at camp are fed on a strict schedule and are very active during their stay. A much different lifestyle than the typical house dog that lays around all day while their owner is at work.
What if my dog is not ready to graduate by the end of the three, six, or 12 week program?
If your dog is not ready to graduate, we will continue dog obedience training at no cost to you. We guarantee our training 100 percent. We guarantee this training IF you follow through with the homework and follow up sessions. Many dogs go home and the owner doesn’t have the time to work with them on the follow up homework.
Can I visit my dog during the Board and Train process?
It is not recommended. Once your dog is dropped off at our site (or we pick him up at your home), it is normal for your dog to go through an adjustment period. Visiting your pet may prolong transitioning and cause further separation anxiety. In order for the program to succeed, we do not schedule visits for you and your dog until graduation or final pick up.
Why Alaska Dog Works?
Your dog will be trained one-on-one by a team of certified trainers and under the supervision of Michele Forto who is a certified canine behaviorist. Each custom-tailored program, whether it is obedience works, camp works, positive behavior modification, puppy works, or working/sports training, is centered in repetition, consistency, and reward for dogs of all ages and personalities. We are certain you will bring home a canine obedient to your commands and prepared to participate in your life.
Your camp is full but I would like training to begin now, what are my options?
We only accept four dogs in camp at any one time. The dogs stay in our home and become part of our family routine during their stay.
If our camp is full we offer our clients two sessions before their camp starts, at no additional charge, to give them a head start. We have found that these lessons can really help the family on problems/issues that need addressed before their dog comes to camp. A good example of this is jumping on guests that come to your home.
If you are thinking of sending your dog to camp we ask our clients to reserve a spot as soon as they can. Even if you are planning a trip for next summer it is not to early to sign up now.
Of course our private lesson program works very well if our camp is full too. We train dogs in private lessons in blocks or four sessions and each block is geared toward specific training goals. For example, during the first block we may work on the basics like loose leash walking, sit, down and stay and during the second block we might work on come, wait, and off leash walk.
What if I’m not satisfied with my dogs training when he/she comes home from Camp?
Our Camp program is designed over years of working with clients and their dogs. We have found that in order to be successful it is imperative that the dog owner and their family is included in their training. To us it is a four step process: an in-depth evaluation and designing of a training program to suit your goals, the Camp itself, the send home session, and the follow up sessions.
We do not offer refunds because we feel that in order for dog training to be successful it takes a commitment from you too, but we guareentee success and we will work with you after camp for as long as it takes. That is a promise!