This is a question we get all the time! Will my puppy forget who I am? Will it impact my bond with them? Will they struggle or have anxiety when I send them away from a home they just got used to? What about when they come back?
We totally get the nerves and questions behind sending a puppy away for training, however the short answer is YES. Your puppy can absolutely be trained successfully away from home. There are a few reasons why we find owners may prefer a board and train program versus keeping their puppy at home.
- You are going on a trip and your puppy can’t come with you
- You live a busy lifestyle and/or want more extensive help getting a jumpstart on housebreaking, manners, and obedience
- You would like your puppy to have a head start on housebreaking, manners, and obedience before they come home and you want to send them to training straight from the breeder or shelter
Now for the longer answer. Puppies can achieve the same, if not further advancements in their manners, obedience, and socialization by being sent to a board and train program depending on the training set up. Typically these programas range from 3-4 weeks long, and the biggest thing to keep in mind when deciding if a board and train program is a good choice for you is knowing up front that your puppy will NEED for you to maintain and continue the training they have learned while they are away in order for those results to stick. Just like with any training that would be done in home, it is important that when choosing a board and train option, that your trainer and you are on the same page of expectations and goals, and that you have ample opportunity to learn from the trainer how to implement all of the amazing things that they have learned while they are away. Consistency is key!
As for your puppy’s behavior, and how they will handle home transitions, we hope to put your mind at ease here. If we are being totally honest, for a young puppy it’s normally harder on us as the owners to send them away than it is for them to be away for us. At the juvenile stage of 3-6 months, your puppy is craving to engage in its environment. In our experience, after a few hours in our homes and their temporary “puppy camp”, they are exploring and fitting right in with the rest of our pack. Having your puppy live at home with a professional dog trainer and behavior consultant is also a great way for us to be able to see all of your puppy’s behaviors across a multitude of environments. If there are any concerns that arise or questions the trainer has, we know that we can contact you immediately to discuss. When it comes to your puppy coming back home, trust us, they will DEFINITELY remember you and it more than likely won’t seem like any time has passed at all getting them to readjust back home. As long as you follow your trainers recommendations and strategies, if sending your puppy away for training feels like the right option for your lifestyle, we say go for it!
If you are interested in learning more about a board and train and how they are structured for your success, you can look at our board and train program details here.