The phrase ‘residential training’ comes with a stigma attached. A quick Google search brings up numerous articles stating all the disadvantages and the ‘why-nots’. I’ll be the first to admit residential training isn’t suitable for every dog or every owner. It does have pros and cons, and it’s by no means a ‘quick fix’, nor should it ever claim to be. However, it can work if it’s done right!
There seems to be a perception that people who choose residential training are looking for a quick-fix without having to do any work themselves. Like they don’t want any role in their dog’s training. “Send him away and he’ll come back fully trained”.
The reality is, that’s not how it works. In my experience very few people actually use it for this, most people are fully prepared to play an active role in their dog’s training, but they have individual reasons for choosing the residential route.
If you do decide to choose residential then it’s vital you choose the right place. Dog training is an unregulated minefield and residential trainers are included in this. A reputation has to come from somewhere and it’s no secret that residential training involves its fair share of ‘old-school’ trainers who predominately use aversive, punishment-based methods, but these trainers are everywhere, they aren’t exclusive to the residential segment!
You must do your research, make sure the trainer is fully qualified and guarantees to use force-free, reward-based methods. Admittedly, it’s difficult to know what people do behind closed doors but qualifications based solely in force-free methods and a clear history free from punishment or aversives should indicate a trustworthy trainer.
You’re Not on Your Own