Is boarding training actually effective - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 49 (permalink) Old 11-21-2010, 07:02 PM Thread Starter
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Question Is boarding training actually effective

I took my 71/2 month old female GSD to be evaluated by the head of the K9key training school on Long Island. I have been training her myself using German commands. I hoped to eventually have her be a drug detection dog. The evaluation: she us smart, very well socialized, affectionate and smart, BUT she is probably not a candidate for Schutzhund competition or drug sniffing because drug sniffing is started much much earlier. However, obediecnce classes were suggested so she can be a working dog in some capacity. Having her live with the trainer for three weeks with intensive hands on training (I would work with them at least once a week) and then 4 private additional lessons (included in price) afterward.

Two members of the Schutzhund club, one with champion Schutzhund dogs trained by boarding, said it is remarkably effective.
Opinions are really asked for from this group. Boarding training is not cheap, but my dog definitely needs to attain a higher level of near perfect obedience for any kind of work. BTW, the trainer admits 20 minutes cannot rule out drug snuffing, etc. Three weeks would show her actual potentials.
Is this a legitamite and effective way to train? He also gives 8 week group lessons, etc., but the club members felt boarding training was most effective. Advice, please!!!!
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post #2 of 49 (permalink) Old 11-21-2010, 08:03 PM
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It comes down to the trainer: knowledge, skill, patience, and effort put into the dog. If these things are all there it can be great. If they are not then it is just a way to get your money.

I do not know the trainers or what knowledge they have. I went to K9KEY Canine Education Center to see what they had to say. Their listed accomplishments are all in schutzhund competition, not drug detection. I don't see a DEA license or anything like that listed.

To the best of my knowledge, most trainers will begin drug detection training with dogs older than 7-1/2 months. They want to see solid nerves and excellent drives (not just a nose) and it is hard to evaluate young puppies for those qualities.
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post #3 of 49 (permalink) Old 11-21-2010, 08:11 PM
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Our department (and I know there are others) pulls shelter dogs older than 7 1/2 mo to train as narcotics dogs, so the age comment is odd. That said, the dog either "has it" or doesn't.

Regarding in kennel training, our trainer provides this service as well although I haven't personally done it. From what I have seen and heard, it is VERY effective and he's the first to tell you that you need to keep up on the training. I think some people get a week or two put on their dog early on and then expect them to be perfect until the day they die. It sounds like you aren't that kind of person, so it would likely be very effective for you.
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post #4 of 49 (permalink) Old 11-21-2010, 08:21 PM
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Why do you want her trained as a drug detection dog?

Personally, I don't think board and train is the best way to train a pet. Training is as much about teaching you as it is about teaching the dog. Training your dog is also a great way to build and strengthen your bond...I wouldn't want to lose out on that opportunity or have someone else benefit from the bond created by working with and challenging my dog.

If you want a mostly working dog (instead of a pet that works) then I guess it is a good way to go. A lot of places that train your dog for you use complusion to get it done quickly and I've heard stories of dogs that don't listen to the owner when they get back or revert because the owner doesn't train the same or as often. Sending your dog for training isn't going to make them magically perfect and obedient, that will still require a lot of work and commitment from the owner everyday.
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post #5 of 49 (permalink) Old 11-21-2010, 08:25 PM
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I know a police officer that had a green dog and sent her off to board for 3 weeks for scent detection(not obedience) training. When she got her back she performed her tasks right on and the officer has kept up with her training. The owner/handler is active in competitive AKC obedience, so her dog is doing well on the job and at other venues. She did come back with a bad case of Giardia from the board & train facility. She was doing SchH but decided not to persue it, and as an active LEO search working dog, focus on her job instead.

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post #6 of 49 (permalink) Old 11-21-2010, 08:26 PM
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For detection work, it is not about the age, it is about the dog. I have pulled a number of dogs from shelters who were as old as two/three years of age and placed them as detection dogs on departments. The dog must have extreme interest in a toy or ball, great hunt drive and really strong nerves. I have never seen someone take two weeks to evaluate aptitude for that work .
As for training, in kennel training for what? SchH? Obedience? If they are good trainers both classes and in kennel are effective. It is teaching the handlers to handle and work their dogs that is the hard part. The in-kennel should offer sessions with you afterwards. Otherwise, in my opinion, you will not be getting your monies worth. Most of the training involves the owner, that is my experience anyway. The dogs are the easy part.


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post #7 of 49 (permalink) Old 11-21-2010, 08:52 PM
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I can't address the board and train but you mentioned they told you she was too old to start drug detection work? That's crazy. Years ago (in the 80's) I started a canine drug detection business with a retired police chief. We utilized a K-9 officer/trainer in choosing our first dog to train from scratch. She was a 2 year old golden retriever (working line) with no training but crazy ball drive.

We hired him to train with us and she was DEA certified easily. He was so impressed with her....couldn't get over how easy she was to train and how impressive she was working. So all that to say a dog does NOT have to be stated as a very young puppy to do drug work.
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post #8 of 49 (permalink) Old 11-21-2010, 09:13 PM Thread Starter
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Cool Boarding training: replies to my request for advie

I am a Private Infestigator, which is why I wanted to use my GSD for drug detection. I found the remarks about trailing older dogs interesting: so a 7-8 month old dog CAN be trained? As for "drive", the trainer used a ball on a stick and said she did not have enough " drive". At home, however, I myself trained her to "bring", aus, sook, in German with toys and balls. She also chases squirrels, and will try to climb the tree, so she must have a prey instinct!
On the k9key site they do mention drug and bomb detection. Since most of my friends are in law enforcement, I will ask them to check on their DEA status.

There are around two other Schutzhund groups near NYC that are reasonably close. One is Professional Dog Trainer Serving New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. John Soares. associated with professional dog trainer servicing the new york new jersey philadelphia area - obedience, protection, sport. Another is Mid Island Schutzhund Club on Long Island. Maybe members of the forum would be kind enough to scope those out? John Soares also offers boarding training.

I would like Bella to be evaluated by another trainer with K9 and Schutzhund background. It is not easy to evaluate a young dog in 20 minutes. To give the first trainer credit, he did NOT push for boarding training. He said I could do the 8 week group class which is quite reasonable. But I need to have a very high level of obedience from Bella, because she could also be a therapy dog, or a service dog. I have a bad back, etc, and she could assist me!

Is boarding training more intensive and thorough? I would still be involved. Problem: who is legit? Your replies are terrific: any further advice really appreciated. I am pretty good as a non-pro trainer, but no way can I take Bella to the very high obedience levels by myself.
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post #9 of 49 (permalink) Old 11-21-2010, 09:18 PM
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Regarding drive, training a retrieve is not the same thing as drive. A dog with the ball drive necessary for narcotics detection is a dog that will go through a brick wall to get a ball because they want it, not because they were told to retrieve it.
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post #10 of 49 (permalink) Old 11-21-2010, 09:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rerun View Post
... a dog that will go through a brick wall to get a ball because they want it, not because they were told to retrieve it.
I have one of those...

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