Is a Board & Train Program Right for Your Petcare Facility?

Between hectic work schedules, friends and family, and social activities many pet parents simply do not have the time to train their dogs properly. As a result, pet parents are left with dogs who can be frustrating, annoying, and even dangerous to other pets and people. While this is no fault of the dog’s after all do we blame children for spilling a cup of juice? No! Pets are smart and have their own personalities (which we love) but that intelligence and uniqueness need to be channeled into safe and productive manners.

Board & Train offers the perfect solution for both pet care facilities and pet parents. This intensive training camp strengthens the bond between the pet and pet parents, as well as pet care providers. But what exactly is Board & Train?

What is Board & Train?

Board & Train is a 1-4 week overnight, intensive training program that utilizes one trainer, one consistent approach, in one environment with tailored solutions for each individual pet. Excellent Board & Train programs provide social development and obedience management skills for pets of all breeds, types, and ages. Yet training doesn’t end after the time at the pet care facility ends. Pet parents are provided with the proper training tools to use at home with their pets.

Why Board & Train Works Over Other Traditional Training Methods

Traditional training methods only offer partial solutions to disobedience issues in dogs. With Board & Train dogs not only learn proper obedience but they learn how to learn.

If you have a pet at home then you know how difficult it is to truly discipline your pet. But with trainers, higher expectations are placed on the dog, which is then followed by pet parent training.

While there are many schools of thought on who is best to train a pet, the reality is that it doesn’t matter so long as everyone learns how to use and apply the pet’s obedience skills consistently. Board & Train often target issues like:

• Aggression
• Resource guarding
• Separation anxiety

These behavioral issues are difficult for pet parents to manage and are best left to the professionals.

How to Launch a Board & Train Program at Your Facility

Board & Train programs can be implemented into any daycare and boarding facility of any size. A huge facility or large staff is not necessary to have a successful program. We asked our friend Katy Cushing CPACP, CDT, CDT-A, CDT-P, CEO from A Closer Bond Dog Center what it takes to launch a Board & Train program, how to do it, and what it takes. Here’s what she had to say,

“The first step is to have a trainer who has experience in teaching puppies through adult dogs and understands behavior modification and counter-conditioning to help resolve behavior concerns.  The trainer should own a dog who can give demonstrations of the style of obedience you want to provide.  Their dog should be a willing partner who wants to obey and should not be easily distracted during a demonstration of obedience.  The trainer should have excellent communication skills and the ability to teach humans as well as canines.  
Once you have a trainer, the next step is to create an evaluation form.  It is critical to evaluate each dog to determine their personality, attention span, and aptitude to provide a training plan for the pet-parents.  An evaluation will assess the behaviors and trainability of the pet and allow for the trainer to discuss the pet-parents training goals and concerns.    
The next step in launching a B&T program is to create training programs for each level of training you are providing.  Each level should have criteria the trainer needs to teach and how many days it will take to reach those criteria. As there are many different training methods, the first level of training should focus on not just what the commands/cues mean – most dogs know what sit/come/down means – this is the level where the dog will “learn how to learn” from the trainer.  Some other ideas on levels can focus on distractions, distance, and duration through off-leash training inside and outside.  
The next step is to determine how you are going to teach the pet-parents the skills their pet has learned.  At the end of a training program, the pet-parents will pick up their pet and should receive a demonstration of their dog’s new skills and instruction on how to continue to apply and practice the skills.  
Other things to decide, are you giving clients a guarantee on the training? How many follow up lessons are included.  Will you provide a monthly group session for the B & T clients to come together and practice their skills? Will your trainer do demonstrations for Veterinarians, Park Districts, School Events, and so on.”

Make Board & Train Easier, More Successful, and More Meaningful with Kleanbowl

When training a dog, you’ll need to take into account all aspects of the pet’s needs and health. The worry of cross-contamination, bacteria, and illness is completely eliminated when you are using clean bowls for treats, water, and mealtimes. Kinn Kleanbowl helps you meet each pet’s nutritional needs during their Board & Training stay. Most trainers will wait about an hour in-between mealtime and the next training session. With a clean bowl, pets are more likely to eat their meal within 10 minutes of being served vs picking at it for close to an hour thus pushing back training time according to Katy Cushing CPACP, CDT, CDT-A, CDT-P, CEO from A Closer Bond Dog Center.

Looking beyond the health and safety aspects that Kleanbowl provides pet guests, Kinn Kleanbowl provides a solution to a serious pain point– washing dishes.

“A dog getting sick during training can really be an issue from a product perspective and a client engagement perspective.  Obviously, cutting out two weeks of labor costs improves the bottom line to the PB&D company, which is always a plus.” –Amber Burckhalter CNWI, CDBC, CEO, K-9 Coach

Washing dishes is not only time-consuming but it cuts into client engagement and enrichment time. Over the course of a 14-day stay, you and your staff could be washing upwards of 42 or more traditional stainless steel bowls. With Kleanbowl the only thing your staff needs to do is assign 2 Kleanbowl frames for a pet guest at the beginning of their stay and sanitize them as needed throughout the duration of the training period. The sugar cane refills can be recycled or composted after each mealtime, in between treats, or as needed for freshwater.

Because pets are more inclined to eat and drink from clean bowls, your staff is better able to predict, track, and monitor bathroom times, further reinforcing the training schedule and producing higher-quality training results.

Helpful Advice for Pet Parents Who Are Trying to Decide if Your Board & Train Program is Right for Their Pet

So, you’ve implemented a Board & Train program in your facility but now you need help promoting and convincing pet parents to sign up for your program. Here are some helpful promotional tips to help assure pet parents that your Board & Train facility is safe, effective, and the right choice for their pet.

Update your website with your on-site Board & Train trainers 

Pet parents will feel more comfortable and confident if they can see and research your trainers before signing up. Updating your website to showcase the trainers available at your facility will help ease any uncertainty and help pet parents get to know you and your staff.

Offer free tours 
Keep in mind that most pet parents may be new to boarding and daycare facilities. Having used friends or family in the past to watch their pet while away, the concept of a facility may not sit well with them initially. Offering free tours of your facility will help you show pet parents that your facility is safe, friendly, and cares for every pet as if they were your own.

Verify what kinds of tools and methods will be used during training

One of the main issues with Board & Train for pet parents is the unfamiliarity with the tools and methods used for training. Keep a document that you can share, digitally or physically, with curious pet parents that outline the tools and methods used during each pet’s training stay. Remind them that each training session is tailored completely to the pet so a few different tools and methods may be used during their pet’s stay.

Learn More About Board & Train with Kleanbowl

Ready to learn more about how Kleanbowl can make Board & Train easy, safer, and more effective for your pet guests? Learn how Kleanbowl can improve your pet guest’s stay, boost employee morale, and improve employee retention with our one simple solution product.