General Boarding School Info
Boarding School programs range from 3 to 6 weeks. Each day is highly structured based on the needs of your dog, incorporating a healthy mix of 1) training, 2) play, and 3) rest sessions. Followup Private Lessons are included with all Boarding School programs to help you transition the dog back to your home.
We work with your dog one on one several times per day in and around our facility. Training sessions vary based on which program your dog is enrolled in (see below), but are always customized to your dog’s needs. When your dog is ready, we visit neighbor businesses such as Lofty Dog pet store and Moontower Saloon for practice sessions in public environments.
For additional “proofing” of the training, we offer a few add-on services. “Real World” Training Trips to other locations such as Pet Smart, Home Depot, or a location of your choice (within a 15 minute drive) provide your dog with even more practice in busier public places. Tandem Hikes to Mary Moore Searight Park provide opportunities for your dog to really be a dog while safely practicing “off-leash” skills. If able to be done safely, off-leash hikes on designated off-leash trails are some of the most beneficial and rewarding activities that you and your dog can share.
Play Sessions most often incorporate socialization and play with other carefully selected dogs. We believe in structured play that is highly supervised and managed – playtime shouldn’t be a free-for-all whirlwind of total chaos. We incorporate training and encourage regular breaks, and work hard to ensure they remain responsive to our guidance and signals throughout. Playtime not only provides dogs with a therapeutic release of tension, but also provides an opportunity for your dog to learn things they can’t learn in any other way.
In between training and playtime, dogs rest in our climate controlled building. Just like us, dogs need plenty of rest to function well. To keep the indoors restful for your dog and other dogs, we are very serious about keeping stress levels low for the dogs. Therefore, we require that dogs attend an overnight evaluation, in order to give them a chance to settle into our environment. The cost of the evaluation is included in the package price. The overnight evaluation must be completed before we are able to confirm your Boarding School reservation.
Boarding School Programs
We offer two types of Boarding School Programs. Which one is right for you depends on you and your dog’s needs.
The Life Skills Foundation Program is for social, confident dogs that need help learning basic training skills and/or making them more reliable.
The Socialization/Behavior Program is for dogs that need help overcoming environmental fears, social deficiencies, or more complex behavior problems.
Basically if your dog is generally cool being in new places, meeting new people, and meeting new dogs then the Life Skills program is probably the right option for your dog. If they aren’t cool with those things or you aren’t sure, then they might need the Socialization/Behavior program.
Answering the following Yes/No questions should help give you an idea of which program you’re likely to need:
- Has your dog ever injured a person or another dog?
- Has your dog shown “aggressive”, anxious, or fearful behavior towards people or other dogs more than three times?
- Are any of your primary concerns a result of your dog behaving”aggressively”, becoming anxious or fearful, or barking excessively in a specific situation or situations?
- Does your dog sometimes growl, bark, lunge, or otherwise freak out when seeing other dogs or people on or off leash?
- Does your dog bark excessively or show anxious/fearful behavior when taken to most new environments or social situations?
- Are you unsure about whether your dog might act “aggressively” towards dogs or people in any situation?
If you answered NO to ALL of the above questions, then your dog might be a good candidate for the Life Skills Foundation Program.
If you answered YES to ANY of the questions, then your dog might be a good candidate for the Socialization/Behavior Program.
But we’ll need to meet you and your dog before confirming which program will be needed!
Life Skills Boarding Program Info
Our basic “fundamentals” training program, based on our Life Skills curriculum and customized towards the needs of you and your dog. This program is for dogs who are generally comfortable in new environments and social situations, whose issues are generally not related to aggressive behavior or fear.
The Life Skills Boarding Program is offered as either a 3 week or 4 week package.
The price for the 3 week package is $2000, and includes two 60 minute followup private lessons at our facility.
The price for the 4 week package is $2500, and includes two 60 minute private lessons at our facility and two free “Real World” Training Trips and/or Tandem Hike add-ons for additional “proofing” of skills in public places.
Socialization & Behavior Boarding Program Info
Socialization and Behavior programs are for dogs displaying moderate to severe socialization and behavior problems, such as those resulting in aggressive behavior towards other dogs or people or extreme fear.
There are 4 week and 6 week versions of this package. Which package is right for your dog will depend on the specifics of the situation. Generally more severe issues will likely require the longer program.
During the weeks your dog spends with us, we work on directly addressing the primary problems, recreating the situations that you and your dog commonly encounter so that they can be best prepared to re-enter your home and your life. Because of how easy it can be for dogs (and people!) to regress to previous behavior when re-exposed to past situations and triggers, we take great care in transitioning you dog back to your home with care and guidance. We begin this transition with a 2 hour Reintegration appointment as soon as your dog steps back into your home (we will bring them home from the Center ourselves!). We will discuss what should be expected and rehearse what you will need to do in the situations that you will most likely encounter on a typical day, based on your lifestyle and needs.
For each of the the next four weeks we will have a regular 20-30 minute check-ins either via FaceTime or Skype. Check-ins at our behavior center may also be arranged. During the check-ins, we will make sure things are going smoothly and discuss any obstacles you are having. The 6 week program includes a second 60 minute in-home lesson a month later. (Travel fees may apply for locations over 15 miles from our center.)
The price for the 4 week package is $3200 and the price for the 6 week package is $4500. Any “Real World” Training Trips and/or Tandem Hikes are included in the prices, and are performed at our discretion based on need and safety.
Just like all of our programs, Boarding School is not a one size fits all service – it will only be a helpful solution for certain situations.
All of these issues will be discussed during the prerequisite Behavior Evaluation.
Boarding School Comparison Chart
3 Week Life Skills
4 Week Life Skills
4 Week Socialization & Behavior
6 Week Socialization & Behavior
Here is the step-by-step process for enrollment:
1) Submit Boarding School dates request form.
If you need to board your dog for specific dates, please let us know what they are so that we can check availability. If you don’t have specific dates in mind, you can skip to step 2.
2) Attend Behavior Evaluation or Private Lesson.The Behavior Evaluation fee ($20) will be credited towards any future Boarding School program. Be aware that although you may have a particular service in mind, it might not be the best one for the problems you are experiencing. During our initial meeting, I will observe your dog’s behavior, learn more about your situation, and discuss how our different services might be expected to help. My goal is always to address the issues as directly and efficiently as we can, while remaining compassionate and fair to your dog and to your family.
3) Pay deposit to lock in Boarding School dates.
A 25% deposit is required to lock in the dates for the program. This deposit is refundable up until 2 weeks from the drop off date, and 4 weeks if your boarding dates coincide with Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Years. The remaining balance is due before your dog returns home.
3) Schedule and bring your dog in for Overnight Evaluation.
Overnight evaluations consist of two full School Days that include training, play, and rest sessions. You will drop your dog off at 7am and pick up the following afternoon, between 3 and 6pm. The aim is to get your dog comfortable at our facility and determine whether they will be a good fit for an extended stay. If additional Overnight Evaluations are recommended, they can be booked for a discounted $75 rate. If Boarding School is cancelled for any reason, $75 will be deducted from returned deposits for each overnight your dog has spent with us.