Expert shares five ways to prep your dog for their board and train program

person training their dog
(Image credit: Getty Images)

When it comes to training your dog, one option is a board and train experience. It’s not something that’s right for all dog parents, but for some, it can be a good choice. 

If you're wondering what that is exactly, it's when your dog stays over at a training facility while completing a program. 

But if it’s something that you’re considering for your pup, there are some things to bear in mind. Fortunately, Kait Stankowski, head trainer at Kane9 Dog Training, has outlined how you can prepare your dog for their board and train experience. And don’t forget to treat them to one of the best dog toys when they return home!

“Start limiting free roam,” begins Stankowski. “Your dog will be given tons of structure when they get to training; removing free roam will be one of the first things to change for them. Help them adjust by utilizing the crate (both when you are home and away), starting to work on place, and using the leash in the house if they are constantly all over the place.”

Similarly, Stankowski recommends putting a stop to your dog grazing on their food or feeding when they like. “Give your dog 15 minutes to eat their meal,” she says, “If they don’t eat, pick the food up until their next meal time and repeat.”

She explains that if your dog is used to grazing at home it’ll be more difficult for their trainer to use their food drive in training and that the adjustment for your pup will be more difficult too.

Something else Stankowski advises is to limit baby talk, and avoid excited greetings with your dog, too – wait until your dog is calm to give them attention and affection. 

You should also ensure that your dog is groomed before they board, and if your pup has anything health requirements it’s important to speak to your vet in good time. 

“Be proactive with your training,” Stankowksi continues, explaining that it’s good to make a head start – this could then make your life easier when your dog’s back home. 

And when it comes to preparing for your dog to come back home, make sure that everyone in your household, and everyone who otherwise has a role in caring for your dog, is on the same page. If there’s any inconsistency, it’ll be detrimental to your dog. If you live alone, these 25 practical tips for training your dog on your own may be useful!

While your dog’s away, it’s a good idea to refresh their space. Double-check that everything’s in the right spot, and check to see if they might need something replaced or upgraded. 

It can be difficult to adjust to things when your dog comes back home, but like Stankowski says, “This does not mean that everyone has to be perfect, but all have to commit and try!”

Grooming your dog before their board and train experience? Make sure to use the best dog bath grooming products. If you want to brush up on your training beforehand, here's how to train a dog with treats.

Zuke's Mini Naturals Peanut Butter & Oats Recipe Training Dog Treats
Was $18.99, now $16.98 at Chewy

Zuke's Mini Naturals Peanut Butter & Oats Recipe Training Dog Treats
Was $18.99, now $16.98 at Chewy

These low-calorie treats are ideal for training and packed with plenty of protein. What's more, they're also free from soy, corn and wheat so every dog can enjoy. 

Adam England
Freelance Writer

Adam is a freelance journalist covering lifestyle, health, culture, and pets, and he has five years' experience in journalism. He's also spent the last few years studying towards undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in journalism. While a cat person at heart, he's often visiting his parents' Golden Retriever, and when he's not writing about everything pets he's probably drinking coffee, visiting a cat cafe, or listening to live music.