At Adolescent Dogs, we see first-hand how successful residential training can be in improving training and behaviour problems, but we also understand that for some people, the idea is daunting.
Is it really possible to train a dog without the owner present? Surely the owner needs to be involved in every step, after all, don’t we always hear ‘it’s the owner who needs training, not the dog’?
These are valid points, and we never shy away from the fact that residential training is not a quick fix approach. It still requires ongoing commitment from owners and a long-term training plan which continues well beyond the end of the residential stay.
Both the dog and their owners need to learn new skills and behaviours, it’s important they can work together and communicate effectively, but residential training is a highly successful way to teach the dog the foundations and skills they need before transferring this to their owners.
There are other reasons why people hesitate to choose residential training and we’re ready to offer an alternative which combines the intensive benefits of residential training and daily coaching for owners.
Stay-and-Train is an intensive course of daily training sessions for 5 consecutive days where you and your dog work together alongside a trainer. You receive coaching from your trainer, teaching you how to understand your dog’s behaviour and the skills to apply to improve any challenges you face.
Who is it for?
There are some dogs and owners who will benefit most from Stay-and-Train in comparison to residential training:
Separation Anxiety – dogs who find it hard to be left alone or who struggle to settle in different homes will benefit hugely from Stay-and-Train where they won’t be separated from their owners.
Assistance Dogs – if your dog is assisting and supporting you, the thought of being separated for any duration of time can be daunting, so Stay-and-Train can be an ideal alternative and allow you to remain with your dog during training.
Handling Struggles – some of us need a little more coaching and time to practice with a professional trainer alongside, so if you feel you are lacking the skills and experience to apply training methods with your dog, Stay-and-Train can be a great way to fine-tune your skills.
Stay-and-Train is suitable for everyone, whether you’re at the start of a training journey, you’ve hit a challenging time or your dog has completed a residential stay and you want extra hands on coaching, it can be completely adapted to you and your dog.
To get the most out of an intensive week, we suggest that dogs have a good level of food or toy motivation so training can begin from day 1.
At Adolescent Dogs, all training we do is force-free and reward-based, so we want to make the most of using food treats and other reward systems (like toys or environmental rewards) to reinforce behaviours.
If your dog struggles with food motivation, residential training is a good option to enable food motivation to be built up over the course of a few weeks, alternatively, booking individual 1-2-1 sessions can be a good starting point to build initial food motivation before booking a Stay-and-Train package.
How Does it Work?
You will meet daily with your trainer for a 1.5 hour session on 5 consecutive days, the session can be spent on any training you choose and in any suitable environments. We like to work in the real-world, showing you how to apply training in environments and situations you face on a regular basis.
Some examples of where we can train:
Open parks and fields
Cafes and dog-friendly shops
Your own home (dependent on location to trainer)
However, we always work within each dog’s limit and we put their own needs and emotional state at the forefront, which means choosing locations and situations where they are able to learn and feel relaxed.
A central part of our Stay-and-Train weeks are to help you understand your dog’s behaviour and the reasons why they behave in certain ways.
In order to make training progress, it’s important to look closely at why behaviours are happening and the emotions your dog is dealing with, we can help you learn to read their body language and communicate more effectively with your dog.
Some examples of training and behaviour struggles we can work on:
Social skills and control in social situations around dogs and people
Reactivity (e.g. towards dogs, people, traffic and more)
Anxiety, phobias, and fear-based behaviours
Assistance Dog skills, including public access and task training
If you’re interested in booking Stay-and-Train we will ask you to give us a brief overview of the areas you’d like to work on with your dog and then we suggest a phone call with your trainer so you can discuss the finer details and make sure it’s the right option for you and your dog. After this, there’s a more detailed form to complete so we have all the necessary details about you and your dog, you can then contact your trainer to start planning for your 5 days together.
Where Does it Happen?
We’re currently offering this service in two main locations:
Surrey – near Guildford, Farnham or Aldershot (GU12)
Powys, Wales – near Newtown (SY16)
We can discuss travel within a reasonable distance from these locations if you would like your trainer to work with you in your home or local environment.
We ask that you organise your own accommodation if you need to stay locally but we are happy to assist with finding suitable accommodation.
Get in touch to find out more!