Allegiant K9s Board & Train Programs: Amazing Results but not Without Work
Considering a board and train program with Dave & Allegiant K9s or someone else? This blog is worth the read:
Board and Train training provides the most consistent, efficient, and thorough training possible that produces the most reliable results for owners and their dogs. Simply put: most owners are amazed with the results. Most owners cannot believe they are getting back the same dog :) However, those amazing results only continue when owners are committed, consistent and engaged with their dog on a regular basis. Board and train training is not just a financial commitment, it is a time and life-style commitment. A relationship with a dog is like most things in life: the more you put into the more meaningful it is and the more you get out of it.
With Allegiant K9s board and train training, dogs live in a home environment and are consistently trained multiple times throughout the day, 7 days a week, in real world environments. They also participate in group play & socialization 3-4 times per day with other dogs. Dave is in constant communication with owners while their dogs are in training with him: frequent pictures, videos and progress updates sent via text, email, and social media posts on the Allegiant K9s Facebook page. Dave then provides 2-3 (depending on the program) private sessions (up to 2 hours each) with owners during/after the board and train training to ensure that owners are comfortable and confident in handling their dog and to ensure that all of the dog's newly learned behaviors transfer well back into the original home environment. Then, for continued on-going support, Dave provides two years FREE access to his monthly pack walks, hikes and socials. The pack activities are perfect opportunities to practice all the skill sets your dog has been trained for: structured leash walking (calm dogs that walk behind the handler), public obedience (sit, down, stay, come) with distractions around, off leash hiking and group play situations, social situations (dogs remaining in a down-stay while all the humans enjoy a beer or cup of coffee on an outdoor restaurant patio). Plus, these pack activities are just plain fun :)
After the board and train, as the owner, expect to put in some time and work. Board and train training sets a solid foundation for dogs, but it is not a "once all fix all" type of situation. Handling and communicating with a dog is a skill set and like any other skill set, the more you do it, the better it gets. But let us remember something: spending time with our dogs (walking, hiking, biking, camping, outdoor festivals, etc), working with them and showing off what they can do and how well-behaved they are... is fun.
The first 60 days home are the most critical. The first 60 days are where you will be setting the ground work and the "tone" of the new relationship with your dog. You will need to make working with your dog a priority when it first comes home. Generally speaking, Dave makes the following recommendations for the first 60 days (over time, good behaviors are so ingrained in the dog and owners have established such solid leadership and structure that owners can lighten up on the frequency of practice and routines and merge into a more "normal" or "realistic" life-style with their dog):
1. Structured exercise 30+ minutes per day. Structured is the key word: an activity that you do with your dog that has rules and structure. It may be a leash walk/run, off leash hike, mountain bike ride, game of fetch, etc. However, you, the owner, are directly engaged with your dog. Dog daycare and fenced-in yards are great, but they are not enough. Owners need to be committed to being engaged with their dog.
2. Obedience practice 5-10 minutes a day. Practice the various basic obedience commands (place, sit, down, stay, come) in various situations. It could be a quick obedience session in the living room or the backyard. It can be during an off leash hike: put your dog in a down stay, walk away 25 yards and then recall ("come") your dog- that is obedience practice. It can be a nice leash walk followed by a 10 minute visit to a coffee shop and having your dog in a down-stay while you enjoy a "cup of joe" on the patio- that is obedience practice. Keep it varied. Keep it fun!
3. Structure and consistency. Everyone in the home needs to be "on the same page" with the dog. Every dog is different, but for MOST dogs, Dave recommends that dogs have no free roam in the home for the first 10 days they return. This means that when they are inside the home they are either on their place bed or in their crate for those first 10 days. Why? We want to make the transition back home as easy and clear cut (no "gray" areas) for the dogs as possible. We want to keep it VERY easy for dogs to be successful. So many dogs arrive to Dave completely out of control (jumping, barking, pulling on leash, not coming when called, being rambunctious in the home, crate tantrums, etc). Dogs then thrive when living and training with Dave. If something is working... let's not steer away from it. Let's stay with it! So you will want to simulate Dave's environment (lots of structured exercise and lots of structure and consistency in the home), the environment your dog thrived in, as much as possible... again, keeping it easy for your dog to continue on the track of good behavior. As the days and weeks tick by and owners are feeling very confident about their ability to handle their dog and their dog's behaviors in and out of the home, then owners can slowly start to give the dog more and more free roam in the home and more freedoms overall... eventually merging into what is conducive and realistic for the owners and their life-style.
4. Duration "Place-Stay" 30+ minutes every day. Essentially, the dog is on its place bed... calmly. This simply reinforces calm behavior and impulse control in the home. It reminds the dog that they cannot be the center of attention 100% of the time. It is really convenient to during family dinner time, cleaning the home, family movie time, etc. Over time, you will be able to lighten up on so much "place" practice, but if you do your due diligence on the front end, then when you NEED it (ie: pizza delivery guy shows up, guests enter the home, you simply need the dog "out of your hair for a bit," etc), your dog will still have a SOLID CALM place-stay.
5. Accountability. Owners must hold their dogs accountable. Your dog will come home having learned to value and respect "no" for unwanted behaviors. However, they are dogs and trust and believe, your dog will "test you" a few times here and there to see if you are really going to keep the same rules as trainer Dave. Dave will of course will teach you how and when to correct your dog for unwanted behaviors, you just have to do it :)
6. Use the support! Dave offers 2-3 complimentary private sessions, 2 years complimentary access to Allegiant K9s Pack Activities, and life-time email and phone support. You have all the support you need for you and your dog to be successful.
Reality check: Every dog is different (genetics, drive levels, distraction levels, past experiences, breed characteristics, willingness to comply & please, engagement with the handler/owner, confidence, etc) and every owner, home situation & life-style are unique. However, there is one undeniable fact: the more committed, engaged and active owners are with their dogs the more successful they will be and the more meaningful their relationship with their dog will be. 97% of Dave's committed & engaged clients see a "night and day" difference in their dog and the results are long-lasting/life-lasting. Bottom line: the program works at an extremely high rate for committed & engaged owners. The "other 3%" of committed & engaged owners still see improvements in their dog. Things are better with their dog; however, the improvement may not be "night and day" or "WOW!" type of improvements. Why? We are dealing with living, breathing animals. We are not building a house :) Any trainer that "guarantees results" is either ill-informed, dishonest or misleading at minimum. The 3% of owners that still struggle with their dog have extremely difficult dogs with severe issues (usually severe issues of severe leash reactivity, aggression, fear, or anxiety) and while things may be better, there is still a struggle at times or certain situations. I wrote a blog about Realistic Expectations when training and working with dogs with severe issues. It is on this website and worth a read.
Be sure to check out the dozens of thorough and genuine Google and Facebook reviews of Dave and Allegiant K9s! Dave gets constant feedback (pictures, emails, text, videos, etc) from clients on how well their dog is doing weeks, months and even years after training. Working with dogs and helping owners build the relationship they have always wanted with their dog is Dave's life passion.
Dave sends out a Survey Monkey to ALL clients. Here are some example questions and percentage of answers for all clients that complete them:
Survey Q: How likely is it that you would recommend Dave and Allegiant K9s to a friend (scale of 1-10)?
A: 10 (extremely likely; promoter) 100% clients answered this
Survey Q: How would you rate the quality of training with Allegiant K9s
(1. Awesome- Very high quality, 2. Good, 3. Average, 4. Low quality, 5. Very low quality).
A: 1. Awesome- Very high quality 100% of clients answered this
"Celebrate the successes. Absorb and learn from the failures. Laugh at the ridiculous moments. Most importantly... enjoy the journey with your dog!"
If you are ready to build the relationship you have always wanted with your dog and you are willing to be committed, consistent and engaged with your dog, then Dave would be honored to work with you and your dog.
Allegiant K9s LLC