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Old 04-20-2014, 11:48 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Board and Train?

Terrible idea for a puppy?

At what age is this even a consideration?

I feel like even considering this makes me seem lazy....I think that maybe I'm in over my head a bit and letting someone else get the process going and then help me help Zoe might be best.

She has not been well socialized. I wanted her to mostly ignore other people and dogs. I do take her places with me in the car and we people watch but she doesn't meet many people. And apparently she is people crazy. When my mother visits she acts like her survival is dependent on climbing my mom. She screams and jumps and lunges in excitement. It's incredibly stressful. I just want what is best for her and our family and I feel like we are falling more behind every day.

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Old 04-20-2014, 11:55 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I wouldn't do a board and train. It is very difficult to find a good one anyways. I would look at group and possibly private training classes with a trainer you are comfortable with who can address the concerns you have about her behavior. Not only will this allow you to work more directly on what concerns you, but working with your dog will build your relationship with her and help you better understand why behavior like this comes about as well as the best way to handle bad behavior as you train the good. Working in a group setting with a good trainer will also help you socialize her better.

It may be frustrating at first, but I feel like the experience and knowledge you will gain by working through her problems with a good trainer will be far more valuable than trying to get an easy jump start with a board and train.
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Old 04-20-2014, 11:59 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Pax8 View Post
I wouldn't do a board and train. It is very difficult to find a good one anyways. I would look at group and possibly private training classes with a trainer you are comfortable with who can address the concerns you have about her behavior. Not only will this allow you to work more directly on what concerns you, but working with your dog will build your relationship with her and help you better understand why behavior like this comes about as well as the best way to handle bad behavior as you train the good. Working in a group setting with a good trainer will also help you socialize her better.

It may be frustrating at first, but I feel like the experience and knowledge you will gain by working through her problems with a good trainer will be far more valuable than trying to get an easy jump start with a board and train.
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Last edited by Juliem24; 04-21-2014 at 12:00 AM. Reason: Incomplete
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Old 04-21-2014, 12:02 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Sorry! Just out of curiosity, if all things were good in the kennel, why wouldn't you board and train? Is it too hard on the dog? Ineffective for the amount of $?
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Old 04-21-2014, 12:14 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Juliem24 View Post
Sorry! Just out of curiosity, if all things were good in the kennel, why wouldn't you board and train? Is it too hard on the dog? Ineffective for the amount of $?
My main problem with board and trains is that I can rarely find even a decent one. I have had friend after friend and client after client that have sent their dogs to board and trains where their dogs have been ignored, incorrectly pronged and shocked, and have been infected with a whole slew of diseases and infections. I generally want to see my dog being trained if it is being handled by someone else, but I am not able to see this with a board and train.

EVEN IF the OP found a perfect board and train that allowed her to check in on her dog, used exactly the methods the OP was comfortable with, and returned the dog in good health with noticeable behavioral improvement, it sounds like the OP needs experience dealing with basic problems like over excitement and focus. These are things the OP will not be able to learn to instill in the dog if the dog goes to board and train. Even if the facility does the usual after stay course in handling and maintenance that most facilities do after they return a dog, I don't know that it would give the OP the experience and knowledge truly needed to know what to do to maintain that behavior. And again, this is all assuming best case scenario and a stellar facility.

As a note, I don't mean to bash on board and trains, as I've heard a member or two on the forum run excellent board and trains. I have no problem with board and trains as long as they are run properly, but it can just be hard to tell whether the facility is truly reputable until something goes wrong. And with a puppy, a bad experience can turn into a lifetime of problems.

Lastly, most board and trains that I know of do one on one training with board and train dogs so that does squat for the OP's puppy that needs socialization.
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Old 04-21-2014, 12:19 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I feel for you. So sorry to hear that you are overwhelmed...
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Old 04-21-2014, 07:26 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I would start by checking if there is a 'GSD Club' in your area. They should have puppy classes, other training and contacts with advice.

Most young dogs get all excited meeting a new person. After 2 minutes of sniffing and checking them out they calm down. Try to give the dog some good exercise, 'off leash' in a safe area when able. It's great for them and beneficial to you too.

I'd say a 'board & train' option is better than getting rid of a 'problem dog', but I'd rather try myself. The dog would prefer to be with the family.
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Old 04-21-2014, 09:44 AM   #8 (permalink)
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You are the one that needs to be trained as well as your dog, so board and trains work well if you are being boarded too.
You need to learn how to manage your dog, he can come home 'trained' but will revert to old behaviors if you allow it or don't manage him.
Unless the dog is showing extreme aggression that is out of control, I personally don't understand why someone would get a puppy then send it off for training.

Get with a club, learn how to train and work with your pups individual personality. It'll be the best path in the journey you are on. You may just enjoy seeing the progress YOU are making! Wishing you success!
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Old 04-21-2014, 12:00 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I would not do a board and train for that problem. I have done some "board and train" with baby puppies and younger foster type dogs and I do work extensively on socialization and manners (I mean, the dogs come to me, not me sending my dogs away), but IMO most board and train setups are exactly what it says...the dog is in a boarding kennel and comes out for training which is usually more typical commands (obedience at different levels). If you want your dog to have better manners around guests and learn to be more neutral with more self control, I would just start with puppy obedience and then move on to an intermediate class that is geared towards taking the Canine Good Citizen test (CGC). Really it sounds like your dog just needs practice and consistency, not to be boarded or have professional training. Whatever a trainer teaches, you would still have to learn and be able to reinforce.
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Old 04-21-2014, 11:51 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I really appreciate everyone's opinion and advice.
Group classes are not an option at this time. Sadly. It had been my original plan, however, there was a change in my husband's work schedule and with no set hours or even days off I can't plan to be able to go to a class on a certain day at a certain time for 6 weeks. And yes I feel horribly guilty over this.
I am concerned I'm missing a vital learning period in her life. THAT is the reason for wondering if board and train is a decent option if group classes aren't possible right now. We all love her very much and I'm not trying to get rid of her or dump her somewhere....I just want her to have every opportunity to succeed. I have 5 children who are deeply in love with her. I really want the best for everyone. Some of the things I've seen and read on here are just scary to think about.
I also realize that I NEED training and guidance. I'm certain this is more a me problem than a Zoe problem. She's just a puppy. I am not looking to replace classes together. I just feel I should be doing something until that point.
And lastly I skipped some details. This is not solely a socialization issue. She has other (puppy) behaviors that could use work that I don't know how to deal with myself.

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