BOARD AND TRAIN DETAILS, PREREQUISITES & PROCEDURES
This is for informational purposes only, full contract is emailed upon request.
For starters, your dog will be living in a residential home, not a kennel or facility. Your dog will be under direct & indirect supervision of dog trainer, Ally Murdock, & possibly her interns, family & friends. Your dog’s days will be filled with a menu of activities all designed to address identified goals, concerns &/or problems, in an intensive & proactive format including but not limited to:
- Goals set forth by you & Ally — This usually includes things such as house manners, skills (obedience), listening, etc.
- Priorities set forth by Ally — This usually isn’t determined until the dog is in the trainer’s care. Usually in this program goals are set & put in motion but the trainer may also see other issues that need addressing & will do this upon contacting you & discussing. All priorities & goals discovered by your trainer is only to benefit you & your dog.
- Socialization & play with people & other dogs — A resident (or other trusted) dog-friendly dog, or dogs, may sometimes provide appropriate play, if/when it’s time and/or if it’s beneficial to your dog. Structure includes balance between play, fun, working & opportunities to rest & absorb lessons. Onward Bound is definitely geared more toward training priorities over play with other dogs.
- Daily training & work toward goals/priorities — Your dog will receive daily training that is directed toward your goals & priorities. Your trainer may also see things that are priority that will affect your long-term goals. This will be worked on first & foremost so that your dog receives what is needed to accomplish your dog’s goals as well as the well-being of your dog. Your trainer will work towards the goals by increasing reliability of manners & skills in increasingly challenging ways incorporating distractions, distances & durations. Structure/routine & management styles used in Board & Train are all intended to enhance the learning or training experience.
- Transfer & Reintegration back home — At the end of your dog’s program your trainer will drop off your dog at your home & you are required to be available for a minimum 1 hour session (we call a “Transfer Lesson”) that will cover your dog’s completed program. In this session you will review what your dog has learned by learning what your dog has learned, how to maintain your dog’s training, & many other details so that you can reintegrate your dog into your home & into his/her “new life”. You will receive written documents with protocols, homework & often video (video may not always be available.)
Pre-Requisites to meet before attending Onward Bound
- All dogs must be properly crate trained. — All dogs that participate in this program must be trained to stay in a crate without signs of stress/anxiety when left in a crate. Young puppies or dogs newly crate trained are welcome as long as they are not overly anxious, overly vocal or stressed when crated. (If dogs exhibit these behaviors at Onward Bound they may possibly be asked to be picked-up.)
- Dogs cannot exhibit separation anxiety. — All dogs must be comfortable being left alone (along with the above crate training requirement) in a crate without exhibiting more than minor stress. Unfortunately Onward Bound is not able to accommodate any dogs that suffer from any level of separation anxiety or distress.
- Dogs must not have had parasites or worms within 3 months of starting at Onward Bound. — This program is in a residential home just like any other home. This is not a kennel or boarding facility. This makes Onward Bound unique however it also makes for much stricter rules on other things. Giardia, Hookworm, Roundworm or Tapeworm can be passed to other dogs and some to humans, therefore it is vital that your dog has been treated and 100% clear of any of these worms and/or parasites at least 3 months prior to starting Onward Bound.
- All dogs attending Onward Bound must be up-to-date on all vaccination according to their dog’s age. Puppies may have fewer vaccinations due to age, however any puppy must have had at least one Parvovirus, Distemper & Leptospirosis vaccination no less than 14 days prior to starting Onward Bound.
- Dogs must be kept up-to-date on heartworm & flea/tick preventative. — All dogs must be currently free from heartworms, fleas & ticks and currently taking heartworm preventative & flea/tick preventative. We can administer any of these while your dog is at Onward Bound if they need to have it during their stay.
- Dogs that require regular haircuts must be trimmed before coming to stay at Onward Bound. We take dogs on various adventures and long ‘doodle type coats become messy and tangled easily. Regular grooming along with a bath and weekly nail trims will take place for all dogs.
FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions about Board and Train
- How old does my dog have to be to attend Sleep Away Onward Bound? — Your dog must be a minimum of 10 weeks old to attend Onward Bound. There is no dog too old to attend Onward Bound.
- How many dogs are in the program at a time? —There is room for four dogs at a time, new dogs are added as others are getting the finishing touches. Some are return guests while their family is on vacation. They stay in cozy 3x7 dog rooms with classical music or audio-books playing and an essential oil diffuser.
- How do I know how long my dog should stay at Onward Bound? — While there are programs with set days for training it is important to understand that there is no way to tell how long it will take to reach the goals you have for your dog. Every dog is different. There must be a 3-week minimum as most dogs take at least 3-5 days just to adjust to their new surroundings. New habits require time to establish and become strong.
- What kind of training is done, i.e., what methods for training are used on my dog? — You can read more about Ally’s philosophy on training & methods on the About page. In summary she utilizes reward-based training & will not utilize corrections or any type of correction collars to train your dog.
- What does a day at Onward Bound look like for my dog? — Ally has 3 dogs, a 12-year-old son, and a patient husband! Your dog will stay in their suite when s/he is not being trained or playing. S/he will sleep in her/his suite. Each day your dog gets to romp about Ally’s large fenced-in yard. S/he will also hang out with Ally while she works. In between all this fun your dog will receive multiple training sessions working on specific behaviors.
- Will my dog socialize with other dogs at Onward Bound? — Maybe, if it’s appropriate. Ally has 3 of her own dogs — an 11-year-old Beagle mix, Yuna. Stark, a five-year-old border collie, and Nitro a three-year-old Terrier mix. Your dog will get to hang out with Ally’s dogs & play several times a day (if it’s appropriate for your dog). Ally values training & priorities over dog-play. So, your dog will spend a lot of time alone with Ally for training & in her/his suite for naps & re-charging.
- How is this different than other board-n-train programs? — This program is different because your dog lives in Ally’s home like one of her own dogs. There are no dog runs or kennels out back. Your dog will live in Ally’s house. Your dog will have multiple potty breaks per day in a huge yard with a 6-foot dog fence; as well as play time with her dogs, training & lounging time inside with Ally & her family.
Prices and inclusions
- All Program pricing includes boarding, training, Transfer Lesson & follow-up session(s).
- What payment plan options do you have? After the non-refundable $300 deposit is received there are payment options to pay the remaining balance, please inquire.
- See our chart for price and inclusion comparison
- Deposit & Paperwork — You must pay a non-refundable $300 deposit to hold your spot at Onward Bound.
- Pay your deposit first. This will go toward the balance you will owe for your dog’s entire training/stay.
- You can write & mail a check for the non-refundable deposit. Make all checks payable to Onward Bound & mail to:
- Fill out the paperwork sent to you. You may print & scan/email to Ally – OR snail mail all paperwork with the deposit check to above address.
Very critical things you should know about this program . . .
- This program is designed to work for your dog & with your dog. Some dogs come to us with trust problems, stress, or other things that may hinder their learning. While this isn’t normally the case, it has been in a few cases. Ally works with your dog & will not force training or learning just to meet goals if your dog isn’t ready or able to do something. This can sometimes mean only a few goals are met, or even just one. It all depends on your dog. Ally will let you know right away if something like this applies to your dog.
- This program is not going to give you a perfect dog. This is a great program for dogs to get a huge boost on training; however, it’s not a one-and-done. Once your dog’s training is complete you will be required to maintain what your dog learned & likely even do more work in some areas. There is no such thing as getting a “fully trained” dog in a set number of weeks. Training a dog is a lifetime of consistency, dedication & proper handling from all family members.
- If you have a puppy under 12 months of age expect to keep working through developmental stages. Puppies do great in this program, however, it should be very well understood that puppies (especially under 6 months) couldn’t possibly learn everything they should in a few weeks, even in a month or two. They are developing & learning & growing which means they will need continued training, understanding of developmental stages, patience & consistency from all family members after they return home. You will in no way receive a puppy that needs no further work from you at home.
- You must do follow-up training. The first lesson takes place upon Ally returning your dog to your home & going over all the things your dog learned & is able to perform. It is important that you are available for this transfer lesson & can participate with all family members. If you do not follow through with the provided group class or lessons your dog’s training will not stay reliable.
- This program does not offer guarantees. Guarantees cannot be made with dog training or behavior. Dogs are sentient beings & many things must go into consideration when it comes to a dog’s ability to learn, how fast they learn & what they learn, therefore, it is impossible and unethical to guarantee training or results.