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Does residential training work?

So, you might have heard of residential dog training and you're wondering how it works and what are the potential benefits? Residential training refers to your dog being trained while living with a trainer, away from home. Recently, this type of training has become much more well known and there are many different options available. So what would be the reasons to choose a residential training course over other types of training for your dog?

There are so many benefits to sending your dog to an in-home residential training programme. The main one is that they are being trained and cared for by dog professionals in a home environment. This means that your dog will be staying in an place that they are quite familiar with and will generally settle in and become more relaxed more quickly than if they were staying in kennels. Having a similar environment to their home environment means that your dog is likely to demonstrate the behaviours that you as owners are experiencing (both the good and not so good) such as counter surfing, stealing objects, barking at the door, sleeping habits and toilet training. Kennel based residential training would not be suitable for working on some of these training challenges because of the drastic difference in environment.

Having your dog stay with a professional trainer means that the rate of learning is much quicker because the trainer is very experienced and knowledgeable in dog behavior so the cues can be taught correctly and thoroughly and the trainer is more likely to reinforce the correct behaviours or notice why you as the owners may have been struggling with a particular challenge. Your trainer will spend a lot of time bonding with your dog and will quickly learn what is and what isn’t motivating for your dog as well as your dog’s needs.

Each day the trainer should spend 2-4 hours of time training with your dog over multiple sessions which can include training sessions focusing on specific behaviours, walks, play sessions and distraction training, both inside the house and outside. This means that your dog will get much more 1 to 1 time with the trainer and more can be accomplished compared to other training options available such as 1-2-1 sessions and group classes.

Residential training works especially well for owners who:

  • May not have as much time as they would like to train their dog.

  • Are struggling with challenges they are having with their dog as they are quite complex.

  • Have tried other ways of training but have not had much success.

  • Need help with their dog’s reactivity.

  • Cannot achieve reliable obedience with their dog.

  • Are going away and want their dog to benefit from learning during their holiday.

Living with a dog trainer often means that your dog will be living with another dog (there aren't many dog trainers who don’t have their own dog) and sometimes other people e.g the trainer’s friends or family. This means that residential training is great for helping with socialisation. It can help with dogs who are nervous or over excited as your dog will learn how to behave appropriately in the presence of other dogs and people.

However, it is also important to note that residential training is not a quick fix option and owners will be required to keep up with their dogs training once their dog returns home to ensure consistency in behaviour. Owner training and aftercare is equally as important as the in-home dog training. You as the owner should receive lots of help through handover lessons, 121 sessions with your trainer and online contact to help you maintain your dog's training.

Emma R. & Poppy

TNT Team

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