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Dog Training Question - Board and Train

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DevastatedDee ( member #59873) posted at 10:01 PM on Friday, May 20th, 2022

I won't lie. It was a close call for Molly. I had never even considered returning one before, but then again I've never had a dog scare me as much as she has at times.

I do get that too. There are people who honestly have realized that they cannot safely handle their dog but want them to have a chance and that isn't irresponsible. Particularly households with children. I know how scary they can be when they're in aggressive mode. It's more the people who get one because they're cool dogs and have no idea what they're getting into and then don't even try to learn, just say "he's eating my couch and I don't have time for him" and dump them off untrained and manic. That's sad for the dog and dangerous for the shelter employees.

[This message edited by DevastatedDee at 10:02 PM, Friday, May 20th]

DDay: 06/07/2017
MH - RA on DDay.
Divorced a serial cheater (prostitutes and lord only knows who and what else).

posts: 5051   ·   registered: Jul. 27th, 2017
id 8736284
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grubs ( member #77165) posted at 11:15 PM on Friday, May 20th, 2022

Champ. So hard to get a good picture of a black dog. They called him a lab/shepard mix, but just as likely a pitt/lab.

Molly. She was such a cute puppy. She's wicked smart. Most of the time totally affectionate. She loves little dogs. Plays with spawn's father's pug very gently. Anything her size or bigger it's a toss up.

[This message edited by grubs at 11:15 PM, Friday, May 20th]

posts: 1301   ·   registered: Jan. 21st, 2021
id 8736297
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Bigger ( Attaché #8354) posted at 12:43 PM on Saturday, May 21st, 2022

With the big disclaimer that as a dog owner I know breeds vary and this might not apply to a high-intensity canine.

My trainer told me as our Labrador graduated from doggy-school that it was actually me that was graduating. That the 3x a week for 4 weeks was basically training me to learn and understand my dog and how to train him. The trainer then stressed that we maintain the sit, high-five, lie down and all the "tricks" because they reminded the dog about complying.
This would make me have doubts about boarding a dog to learn commands… I would think the owner needs to teach – using the instructor to learn from.
We have always used positive reinforcement. I am firmly in the corner that thinks dogs have no way to connect to actions they did ten minutes ago, so shouting at Fido for running away AND returning will only make him wonder why returning is bad.
I have also placed emphasis on certain behaviors, and less on others. When we walk he pulls at the leash and stops to smell. I can train that out of him in a couple of days, but our logic is that his walks are his adventure-time and that by smelling the world he get’s more exercise and is more tired. Since we live with open spaces and are not walking the pavements with him then heel is not high on the list.

"If, therefore, any be unhappy, let him remember that he is unhappy by reason of himself alone." Epictetus

posts: 10918   ·   registered: Sep. 29th, 2005
id 8736339
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grubs ( member #77165) posted at 2:03 PM on Saturday, May 21st, 2022

With the big disclaimer that as a dog owner I know breeds vary and this might not apply to a high-intensity canine.

As a lifetime dog owner, I've train many to heel, sit, etc. For most it's easy. Dogs want to please you. Molly was much, much harder due to her innate dominance, stubbornness, and prey drive. Those are traits bred in to her line as a working dog. Her line was bred to tree prey. To never give up until the target was found.

Champ does sit without prompting at treat time. Molly to this day will sit but only after you make it clear that she's not getting a treat without.

Just like it faster and easier for an owner that's been trained before to train a new dog, it is easier to train an owner with a trained dog.

For the difficult cases, it really makes the difference to whether that training or really bonding is accomplished. Dogs feed off their pack mates. If they feel you are nervous the dominant ones will protect the pack at what they believe is the cause. That makes it incredibly hard for an owner to train the pair of them out of reacting when the dog is reactive and dominant. It really helps to have someone confident in their ability to work with the dog in triggering situations without the owner present to get the dog trained first.

[This message edited by grubs at 2:05 PM, Saturday, May 21st]

posts: 1301   ·   registered: Jan. 21st, 2021
id 8736342
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tushnurse ( member #21101) posted at 1:07 PM on Monday, May 23rd, 2022

We have done the Sleep Away Camp training for our youngest lab because we wanted him to be titled and participate HRC Hunt Tests. I will absolutely send every Lab I have in the future for the initial training they did with him.

The people we sent him to allowed us to visit and come get him on weekends. He was 5 mos old when we sent him, and they really want them potty trained and have the basic commands down, and that's it, so they really would have preferred him to come sooner. He went for 3 months initially.

So yes they do remember you. They still love you, and they are not negatively impacted by it by any means as long as the trainers are excellent. The family we sent him to allow the dogs to be free in the house in groups and want to know will they be allowed on furniture, or not, will they be allowed human food or not. And they treat them accordingly.

He then went to a different trainer for 4 mos 2 times to get his finished title in HRC. He is now 3.5, he is the sweetest best damn dog I have ever had, and has awesome commands. He will back up, he drops his ass to a sit in a full out run when I give the command. He heals without a lead. He listens to me and my spouse both.

Lastly - it is vital that you are able to be trained as well. You have to know the commands, you have to know how to drive that Ferrari. At least that is what it was like when I learned how to manage and work ours.

Me: FBS
Him: FWS
Kids: 22 & 25
Married for 30 years now, was 16 at the time.
D-Day Sept 26 2008
R'd in about 2 years. Old Vet now.

posts: 19509   ·   registered: Oct. 1st, 2008   ·   location: St. Louis
id 8736523
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 Lalagirl (original poster member #14576) posted at 2:38 PM on Monday, May 23rd, 2022

It really helps to have someone confident in their ability to work with the dog in triggering situations without the owner present to get the dog trained first.

Yes! This is the primary reason I'm sending him to board & train. He can feel my anxiety through the leash and it makes him worse. Vicious circle shit.

it is vital that you are able to be trained as well. You have to know the commands, you have to know how to drive that Ferrari.


Absolutely! There is training the day we pick him up, more training the next day, then two more sessions, two weeks apart. We also plan to enroll him in some training to keep him working (nose work, agility, etc.) - he was bred to do this - he needs a JOB. grin

Me-56 FWH-58 Married 38 years 9/2/2021 grown daughters-38&34 12yo GS,9yo GD & 7yo.GD (DD38) and 10yo GD & 5yo GD(DD34). D-day #1-1/06; D-day #2-3/07 Reconciled! Construction Complete. Astra inclinant, sed non obligant

posts: 8877   ·   registered: May. 10th, 2007
id 8736540
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grubs ( member #77165) posted at 8:36 PM on Monday, May 23rd, 2022

He was bred to do this - he needs a JOB.

Molly's self assigned JOB is to defend the backyard from the local horde of squirels. From asleep to full speed patrol of the perimeter with just a quiet utterance of the word.

[This message edited by grubs at 8:36 PM, Monday, May 23rd]

posts: 1301   ·   registered: Jan. 21st, 2021
id 8736656
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 Lalagirl (original poster member #14576) posted at 3:09 PM on Tuesday, May 24th, 2022

Molly's self assigned JOB is to defend the backyard from the local horde of squirels. From asleep to full speed patrol of the perimeter with just a quiet utterance of the word.


laugh If we had a fenced-in yard, it would probably be my boy's job too!

Me-56 FWH-58 Married 38 years 9/2/2021 grown daughters-38&34 12yo GS,9yo GD & 7yo.GD (DD38) and 10yo GD & 5yo GD(DD34). D-day #1-1/06; D-day #2-3/07 Reconciled! Construction Complete. Astra inclinant, sed non obligant

posts: 8877   ·   registered: May. 10th, 2007
id 8736814
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Superesse ( member #60731) posted at 3:50 PM on Tuesday, May 24th, 2022

Fence? Isn't that put there for me to CLIMB??? 😂 Watch me!!!

posts: 1493   ·   registered: Sep. 22nd, 2017   ·   location: Washington D C area
id 8736828
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tushnurse ( member #21101) posted at 11:47 PM on Tuesday, May 24th, 2022

Absolutely dogs that are bred for work and jobs need to be taxed and challenged daily. If not they tend to find a way to do it on their own and that never ends well.
We have a saying in our house. A tired lab is a good lab.
My superstar 3.5 yo boy is a great dog. He knows exercise time is at 4:30. He starts bugging me about 30 min before that and if missed a day or two it gets earlier and earlier.
My 13.5 yo female also still needs her exercise and LOVES fetch time. Without it she will counter surf, and get into stuff she shouldn't. STILL, she is 13.5. She is an OLD lady but when its playtime you would never guess her age if she didn't have a gray face and feet.

Me: FBS
Him: FWS
Kids: 22 & 25
Married for 30 years now, was 16 at the time.
D-Day Sept 26 2008
R'd in about 2 years. Old Vet now.

posts: 19509   ·   registered: Oct. 1st, 2008   ·   location: St. Louis
id 8736945
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 Lalagirl (original poster member #14576) posted at 1:34 PM on Wednesday, May 25th, 2022

If not they tend to find a way to do it on their own and that never ends well.
We have a saying in our house. A tired lab is a good lab.


Copy that!

Counter surfing - my boy is the champion at it! It's all done out of boredom/wants attention for sure.

Me-56 FWH-58 Married 38 years 9/2/2021 grown daughters-38&34 12yo GS,9yo GD & 7yo.GD (DD38) and 10yo GD & 5yo GD(DD34). D-day #1-1/06; D-day #2-3/07 Reconciled! Construction Complete. Astra inclinant, sed non obligant

posts: 8877   ·   registered: May. 10th, 2007
id 8736998
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grubs ( member #77165) posted at 3:43 PM on Wednesday, May 25th, 2022

Counter surfing - my boy is the champion at it! It's all done out of boredom/wants attention for sure.

With Molly that is her goto spiteful activity. When you leave without her when she wanted to go with. eg. Wife and son bounced through the house on the way to his practice last night. In the hour between them leaving and me getting home, so grabbed the box of biscuits off the stove, that had been there since Sunday night, and demolished them. I could have predicted that she would have done something.

posts: 1301   ·   registered: Jan. 21st, 2021
id 8737011
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tushnurse ( member #21101) posted at 8:19 PM on Wednesday, May 25th, 2022

My 13.5 yo females spiteful behavior was pooping on my husbands side of the bed. She is too old to jump up there now, so now if you forget to crate her on the way out she poops on the couch.

Me: FBS
Him: FWS
Kids: 22 & 25
Married for 30 years now, was 16 at the time.
D-Day Sept 26 2008
R'd in about 2 years. Old Vet now.

posts: 19509   ·   registered: Oct. 1st, 2008   ·   location: St. Louis
id 8737060
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Superesse ( member #60731) posted at 11:28 PM on Wednesday, May 25th, 2022

Ah ha, the rarely-discussed "spiteful behavior." I shall defer to others here, but it's funny how local farm dog owners, dog breeders, and my FIL - who raised sheep commercially in New Zealand using their "huntaway" sheepdogs - each have explained that when a dog is excessively noisy or pouty, "It's a female." In the old days, I would have bristled at that kind of generalization, but when multiple dog breeders and owners make those kind of statements AND when our girl dog exemplifies those behaviors, well.....?

Ours isn't so much spiteful, as she decides to put on an "I'll be naughty" act, racing into the house soon as the door opens to nail my slippers and "steal" them from me. (Yes, somebody could restrain her, but he obviously think it's a laugh...) She always prances off with this particular little tippy-toe trot she does that says "she knows she's being bad." I think it's odd behavior for a 60 lb. GSD. But it's all a ploy for attention - 'cause negative attention is still GOOD!

Truth to tell, she was doing this with her litter mates the day we picked her out of a pack of identical 10 week old puppies. They had a bone they were playing with - until she grabbed it and made off with it. The smallest of the bunch, yet our trainer said she must have been the pack Alpha.

How do you guys deal with the spiteful acting out, especially when you aren't there to see it? Ignore?

posts: 1493   ·   registered: Sep. 22nd, 2017   ·   location: Washington D C area
id 8737098
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grubs ( member #77165) posted at 2:29 AM on Thursday, May 26th, 2022

Depends on how badly you want something back and how badly you want to keep her in her place. The trade command works when she has something that can either harm her or be harmed by her. If not I just put her in her room for a timeout.

posts: 1301   ·   registered: Jan. 21st, 2021
id 8737132
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tushnurse ( member #21101) posted at 1:30 PM on Thursday, May 26th, 2022

How do you guys deal with the spiteful acting out, especially when you aren't there to see it? Ignore?


Nope because mine tells on herself. She immediately sulks and smiles to tell on herself. Now that she is old, she sometimes gets confused between when she has bad thoughts, and does bad things. She does her guilty bad dog act and we have to look around to see if she got in the trash, or something.

She also has been known to steal eggs, we kept them on the counter, and she go to the point where she would steal them off the counter, and eat a dozen or so at a crack. Thank goodness she has an iron gut.

Me: FBS
Him: FWS
Kids: 22 & 25
Married for 30 years now, was 16 at the time.
D-Day Sept 26 2008
R'd in about 2 years. Old Vet now.

posts: 19509   ·   registered: Oct. 1st, 2008   ·   location: St. Louis
id 8737189
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Superesse ( member #60731) posted at 6:33 PM on Thursday, May 26th, 2022

OMG Tush, that is funny!! Your old girl has more of a conscience than many humans! No wonder we love them.

posts: 1493   ·   registered: Sep. 22nd, 2017   ·   location: Washington D C area
id 8737246
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WhatsRight ( member #35417) posted at 12:11 AM on Friday, June 3rd, 2022

I have never really had a hard time with potty training puppy dogs before, and I have had either one or multiple dogs at a time my entire life.

But this latest puppy, now 3 mo old, is definitely not there with the potty training. 😕

I had her well on her way before our recent 10 days at the hospital. I sleep in our sunroom, just on the other side of the sliding glass door from where my H sleeps. It is a sunroom, with tile floors. I wake up in the morning with at least two of my four dogs sleeping on top of me some way or another. LOVE THAT!!!

Anyway, I can usually hear when the puppies jump down from a chair that they are sleeping in in the middle of the night, and I get up and let them outside. I go back and lay back down, and when they are ready to come in, they come and scratch on the window right beside my recliner. And I get up and let them back in. Super easy.

This latest puppy dog, beagle/basset hound mix, is slow on the uptake with the potty training. But she was doing pretty good just before the hospital visit. When I came back, because their eating routine had changed I guess, there was diarrhea from one end of that sunroom to the other. Dried like mortar. My first response was to be super scared that one of them was sick especially the puppy. But as soon as I got them back on their eating schedule, they were fine.

But I am left with the mess! And with starting over with potty training.

I agree with Bigger’s comment. I have never been one to care if my dogs do tricks on command. But they absolutely do need to have some commands that they obey in order to respect your position as pack leader.

When it is treat time, two of the four dogs that I have can do all kinds of tricks for their treats. The new puppy just looks at them and is trying to figure it out. But my 13-14 yr old black lab mix knows ZERO tricks. She was raised on 30+ acres with a 7 acre underground fence, and I just felt that it wasn’t necessary that she and her sisters know tricks. So I offer a treat if the others "sit" or "lie down". I also give my lab the same commands, and she just looks at me. And gets a treat.

But she obeys when it counts. If she leaves the backyard when I’m driving the lawnmower through the fence to mow the front yard, she will come when I call. And if she is snarling at the puppy for scratching her nose, and starts to growl, she will obey me when I speak her name in "that" tone of voice. Those are the things that really matter to me.

I was just editing this post for typing and Siri errors, and when I said that my black lab would come "when I call" if she gets out of the fence while I’m driving the lawnmower from the back to the front yard… What Siri typed was "she comes WITH ALCOHOL". Now THAT would be a good dog!!! 😛

"Noone can make you feel inferior without your concent." Eleanor Roosevelt

I will not be vanquished. Rose Kennedy

posts: 7634   ·   registered: Apr. 23rd, 2012   ·   location: Southeast USA
id 8738300
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tushnurse ( member #21101) posted at 1:34 PM on Friday, June 3rd, 2022

LOL that would be a good dog.

Me: FBS
Him: FWS
Kids: 22 & 25
Married for 30 years now, was 16 at the time.
D-Day Sept 26 2008
R'd in about 2 years. Old Vet now.

posts: 19509   ·   registered: Oct. 1st, 2008   ·   location: St. Louis
id 8738399
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grubs ( member #77165) posted at 3:30 AM on Thursday, June 9th, 2022

Tonight was fun. Molly caught and killed a baby raccoon in the backyard. What made it more fun was everyone else was in the shower. Pretty hard to separate both dogs from the racoon by myself.

posts: 1301   ·   registered: Jan. 21st, 2021
id 8739263
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