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Old 05-10-2008, 03:48 PM
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Pupcake Pupcake is offline
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Default Dog Boot Camp - What ya think?

Hello Chazers, while researching (and saving for) dog trainers my dad came to me today with his new idea. Dog Boot Camp.
He was at a friends house and their dog was sniffing him like crazy because he smells like my dog (so he says. haha.) He commented on how the dog sniffed him but was still calm. His friends told him how their dog used to be a nut and their daughter's Lab (like I have) used to be as crazy as my dad explained my dog can be. They recommended their Dog Boot Camp. You drop your dog off for a week and *poof*. Magic. No, apparently you go near the end of the week to see if the pup listens to you as well as they trained him to.
I've only heard of Boot Camp once before. A radio DJ was talking about dropping her dog off and how hard it was to be seperated for so long. But, I didn't hear the show the next week to hear her results.
What do you think of these Boot Camps? My reaction was I want to be trained along with my dog. I want to know how to get him to listen to me. My dad is all excited about it. I swear, I think he's about to sign him up. And, since I live with him now (as does my dog) certain things are non-negotiable. You have to know him.
If you have experience, can you share?
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Old 05-10-2008, 04:42 PM
Suzzie Suzzie is offline
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i used to work at a dog training facility that did week long dropoffs like that.

i feel the best training and strongest bond forms from you doing it WITH your dog, not dropping it off somewhere and wanting someone else to do it for you. Usually they have a session at the end where you learn to continue to get those results from your dog. They do things the owner isn't willing to do - constant short sessions of training throughout the day, NILIF.

The facility I worked for used choker chains, even on little dogs like chihuahuas, and as I am extremely anti choker, never in a million years would I leave my dogs there for a day, let alone a week. I remember there was a little shih tzu pup that came in, friendly as can be - by the next day, she huddled in the back of her cage, traumatized from the harsh corrections that were totally not necessary for this particular animal. IMHO, they ruined that dog. It went from being extremely outgoing and friendly to scared and overly submissive.
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Last edited by Suzzie; 05-10-2008 at 04:42 PM. Reason: oops mispell
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Old 05-10-2008, 04:43 PM
SizzleDog SizzleDog is offline
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RUN AWAYYYY from Doggy Boot Camp!

Ronin is the product of Doggy Boot Camp. His previous owners sent him to one when he was an adolescent, spent more than $3000 for them to basically shock him silly and force him to obey.

And you know how well it worked? It didn't. It made him terrified of obedience work, for more than a year he'd tuck tail and shake when I'd ask him to sit, or down. He'd slink coyote-like to me when I'd ask him to come. After a lot of retrained he'd obey, and it was snappy and fast, but he'd shake, and cower, tucked tail and laid back ears.

Now, after more than two years of constant work, he'll do obedience without shaking.


Here's what I see with Boot Camp:

1. You have *no idea* what the staff is doing to your dog. Are they being rough? Are they beating the dog? Are they using a shock collar inappropriately? Are they yelling? Are they endangering your dog's life? You have no way of knowing...

2. IMO more than half the training involves the creature on the other end of the leash - US. Doggy Boot Camp does little to nothing to train the human.

3. Your dog is learnig from a stranger - not you. *You* need to be the one training the dog IMO.

4. Did I mention you have *no idea* what those trainers are doing to your dog?
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Old 05-10-2008, 05:17 PM
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RUN.

No way, I would ever send my dog or recommend a place that calls itself a Boot Camp.
If you want convinence have a qualified trainer (not bark busters) come to you for daily training sessions.
Too many horror stories that are true about places like that.....can't believe they always manage to get people to send their dogs to them, but they do.
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Old 05-10-2008, 05:25 PM
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I agree with everyone. Anything that calls itself a "Boot Camp" - giving the mental picture of that thing the army does with new recruits, where drill sergents exercise and scream at the guys until they conform to the army's way of life - is not what I want to imagine when I think about dog training.

One major aspect of dog training that I love is how much it builds the bond between you and your dog. I've had my dog for over 3 years - believe me, we've bonded - but when I take her to training class and we work through things together, as a team, and we both learn... there's just nothing like it. Yeah, it's a lot of work, but OMG the benefits are so worth it.
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Old 05-10-2008, 06:26 PM
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elegy elegy is offline
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hell no.

a huge amount of training a dog is developing a relationship of mutual respect. you can't get that if you're not there. i have no trouble handing my dog off to my trainers in class to use as a demo dog or to help me with something i'm struggling with, but i know and trust them and i'm right there. i know they will not do anything to hurt and/or scare my dog.
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Old 05-10-2008, 06:41 PM
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If for some reason you really need that kind of professional, long term training, look at training day camps that also require that you attend some of the sessions. And insist on a tour ahead of time. And observe your dog when you pick them up every day.

But you are probably better off with a good training class for both of you.
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Old 05-11-2008, 12:38 AM
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Sizzle,

In my opinion, 90% of training is training the owners, and "boot camp" is useless for that.

We have a shepherd in Strider's class who was ruined by one of those week long camps. She went in happy and confident, and now she submissive pees every time someone goes to pet her, whenever her owner says "no!", and she is terrified/aggressive with other dogs now. Her owner says it was the worst decision he's ever made with her, and he regrets it more than anything. Now he's spending hundreds of dollars doing sessions to fix whatever the heck the "boot camp" trainers did to her. I don't think she'll ever be the same dog she was before though.
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Old 05-11-2008, 02:46 AM
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hmmmm.... im satisfied with my training... well we have lot time together this summer...
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Old 05-11-2008, 10:20 AM
Rebecca4614 Rebecca4614 is offline
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I don't think that boarding programs are the best way to train a dog, generally, so I can't believe I'm posting to (kind of) defend them!

Any kind of training program can be bad if the trainer is bad, but if you find a good, experienced, humane trainer, a boarding program can be a good jump start to getting a dog trained, particularly in cases where the dog is way too much for the owner to handle.

Sounds like some folks are put off by the term "boot camp". I think trainers are just using it as a cute marketing thing... I know a dance teacher who does an intensive program called "Salsa Boot Camp" and I don't think that means she's breaking out the shock collars and cattle prods!

As long as the owner has reasonable expectations (not expecting Cujo to come home as Lassie!) and goes with a responsible, experienced trainer that includes sufficient owner training as part of the program, a boarding program isn't necessarily a bad thing.
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