Board and train with Ivan Balabanov. Am I making the right decision? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 47 (permalink) Old 01-09-2018, 03:10 PM Thread Starter
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Board and train with Ivan Balabanov. Am I making the right decision?

So I've been in contact with Ivan's wife (I think it's his wife?) Natalia. I'm going to send my puppy to him for 4 weeks for an advanced board and train (on-leash training for now). I haven't had Sarge for that long, so I guess I just need some reassurance that I'm doing the right thing... 4 weeks is a long time to be away from my boy!

If given the chance would you guys jump at this opportunity? I hope I'm making the best choice.

Sarge VonSchnugelHausen (Sarge, Lord of House Snuggles) - Gotcha Date: 12/18/17
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post #2 of 47 (permalink) Old 01-09-2018, 03:20 PM
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I'm no expert, but I do know I could not do it even if it was the right thing. Once I HAD the pup. However, the pup I have right now was reared in a "puppy raising family" who trains and socialized dogs intended to work (SDs etc). So he had his basics and was used to kids, noises, traffic, other animals, (and getting tapped on the nose with a pen for some odd reason according to the log)

It was nice, and we still have a lot of training to do, but I will admit I did not mind not having to housebreak or to teach sit stay down and here. Had I had him though, I would not have been able to send him away even for a weekend during the bonding period lol

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post #3 of 47 (permalink) Old 01-09-2018, 03:22 PM
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I'll likely be going this route soon myself. Waiting to hear back from Natalia. I last spoke to her just after Christmas and they were out of country. There's a lot of people who would love to train with Ivan. Everyone I've spoken to is jealous that I'm close enough to train with them. So absolutely you're right to do this. Ivan is one of the best in the entire country

ETA: just noticed you're in brooksville. Finally someone that can fully understand my frustrations with finding a good trainer
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post #4 of 47 (permalink) Old 01-09-2018, 03:24 PM
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If I had the option to train WITH Ivan Balabanov, I would jump at the chance. Iím curious why you are choosing a board and train option, though. Is this for sport foundation?
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post #5 of 47 (permalink) Old 01-09-2018, 03:26 PM
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Nope. I'd save my money.

I think you might be getting a little starry eyed with Mr. Balabanov's, well-deserved, reputation.

But what can you actually get out of sending a 4 1/2 month old pup to a board and train for basic leash work, even if it is with a world class trainer?

This is prime bonding time for your puppy, I don't get sending him off for a month when you just got him. Basic obedience isn't difficult. I'd look into lessons where you work your own puppy under the guide of a trainer. You'll create a better bond with your dog and save quite a bit of money.

When you pup is older, and if you want to get involved in sport or have killer off leash obedience or something, then I might consider paying a premium price for a premium trainer.

But I am firmly in the bond with your pup, have fun, and learn things together camp.
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post #6 of 47 (permalink) Old 01-09-2018, 03:30 PM
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Also... another question...

When dealing with very popular trainers... especially in a board and train situation... Are these trainers actually going to work your dogs themselves? Or is it their staff that does the basic pet manners stuff while the big guy works the dogs their for sports training or major behavioral issue cases?
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post #7 of 47 (permalink) Old 01-09-2018, 03:57 PM
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You've only had your pup for 3wks and going to send him off for 4?

I'm with voodoo on this. You need to bond with your pup. You've taken him out of where he knows, and now he's finally settling in and you're pushing him elsewhere where he'll have to adjust and settle in only to then take him from there and resettle in with you? Seems like a lot of hassle

What is the specific reason he needs to be trained? It seems you mentioned basic leash training. Why spend the money when you can do that yourself? A lot of good info out there

At the same time, that training you do with your pup is great for forming trust and loyalty
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post #8 of 47 (permalink) Old 01-09-2018, 04:06 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GypsyGhost View Post
If I had the option to train WITH Ivan Balabanov, I would jump at the chance. Iím curious why you are choosing a board and train option, though. Is this for sport foundation?
For now it's a straight obedience board and train. I'm not having much luck doing things on my own and he's too rough with my daughter (realistically not really, but that's a whole other thing...). After the board and train I will be doing one on one's with Ivan for a sport foundation, not entirely sure what I want to do just yet though.

Sarge VonSchnugelHausen (Sarge, Lord of House Snuggles) - Gotcha Date: 12/18/17
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post #9 of 47 (permalink) Old 01-09-2018, 04:19 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by voodoolamb View Post
Nope. I'd save my money.

I think you might be getting a little starry eyed with Mr. Balabanov's, well-deserved, reputation.
Maybe a bit

Quote:
Originally Posted by voodoolamb View Post
But what can you actually get out of sending a 4 1/2 month old pup to a board and train for basic leash work, even if it is with a world class trainer?
He'll be about 7 months when he goes for the board and train.

Quote:
Originally Posted by voodoolamb View Post
This is prime bonding time for your puppy, I don't get sending him off for a month when you just got him. Basic obedience isn't difficult. I'd look into lessons where you work your own puppy under the guide of a trainer. You'll create a better bond with your dog and save quite a bit of money.

When you pup is older, and if you want to get involved in sport or have killer off leash obedience or something, then I might consider paying a premium price for a premium trainer.

But I am firmly in the bond with your pup, have fun, and learn things together camp.
I just feel like I'm completely failing at training him. He's been regressing over the last 2 weeks even on the basics we've been doing since the day we got him.

I contacted off-leash K9 to do one on one lessons so I could learn along with him. I paid and went to schedule the first session and they told me that I should send them to a 2 week board and train for $2800 (Ivan is only $1800 for 4 weeks) because they needed to socialize him more.

I don't know what other trainers around here I would trust. The others I've talked to just rubbed me the wrong way.

I know I'm being reactionary, it's why I posted this. I've tried all the things I've read to stop him from biting and jumping while he plays. I can deal with it until he gets it down but my 5 year old daughter apparently cannot. So she's basically got a complex about it and I'm constantly holding the poor dogs collar while she's around.

I bit off a little more than I can chew lately I guess lol. Bought an old house (tons of repairs so far), got married (mixed household, my two boys and her daughter), and a high drive dog lol.

Sarge VonSchnugelHausen (Sarge, Lord of House Snuggles) - Gotcha Date: 12/18/17
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post #10 of 47 (permalink) Old 01-09-2018, 04:19 PM
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Don't listen to the naysayers. Sending your dog off to get training and then learning how to maintain it is the way to go unless you are a trainer yourself. Just be sure to ask plenty of questions at the end when they do go homes about anything you aren't sure of. It is way more likely Natalia will work with the dog than Ivan, but Natalia is better at training than pretty much anyone that frequents this board.

Having not had your dog that long and then sending the dog away to learn a language of agreement and disagreement is not a disadvantage. You'll be able to get a better start with the dog and that will carry on to the rest of your life with the dog. It is much harder to deal with a dog that has (gone the wrong way for years) and then you sent the dog off to board and train than it would be to send the dog off fairly early and then knowing how to deal with the issues as they come up, be able to get the dog on the right path and keep him there.

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