Is Dog Boot Camp Right for Your Pet? Factors to Consider

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June 30, 2023
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Dog Boot Camp Success Factors

When deciding if dog boot camp is right for your pet, you have some things to consider. Can you explain what your dog needs? Do you know what training approaches you agree with most? What are your goals in enrolling your dog into boot camp?

These are just some of the factors to consider. At Minnesota Canine Consulting, we encourage you to educate yourself on the ins and outs of dog boot camps to know if it’s the right fit for your unruly dog. We work with all types of dogs and we’re confident that we can find the right training fit for your dog!

Keep reading to inform yourself on some factors to consider when deciding if dog boot camp is right for your dog.

Knowing Your Dog

Before throwing your dog into a boot camp, you have to consider him or her as an individual. What are his or her unique temperaments and needs?

If you are able to identify your dog’s behavioral issues on your own, use those talking points with potential dog boot camp trainers to evaluate if their facility is a good fit for your dog’s needs.

If you cannot articulate your dog's needs, reach out to your veterinarian to get some language to use with the potential dog trainer. Also important to know is the overall temperament of your dog as that will be a factor at play in choosing a dog boot camp. 

Work with the trainer to have clearly established training goals so that you feel comfortable with the expected results. 

Approaches & Methods

If you hop on the internet, it won’t take you long to figure out there are quite a few options when it comes to dog training. Boot camps are one of those training options. Within this training category, different methodologies and approaches exist for how that training should be done. 

Positive Reinforcement

It’s common for dog boot camps to incorporate positive reinforcement training as part of their obedience training framework. Among other training methods, with positive reinforcement practices, a trainer will work to figure out what the function of your dog’s behavior is. 

He or she will likely come to understand what your dog is getting out of specific behaviors that incline your dog to act in that way. Positive reinforcement training is one such way a trainer can work with the dog to teach expected behaviors. 

Versatility & Specialization 

Some dog boot camps offer a variety of training programs while other facilities specialize in certain areas. To know if dog boot camp is right for your dog, you’ll need to figure out what kind of training your dog needs and then use that information to direct your search. 

You need to know that “dog trainer” is not a catch-all category. Some trainers specialize in certain breeds, ages (puppy to adult dog), temperaments, and behavior issues (like aggression). It’s not to say such specialty trainers cannot find success in expanding their niche, but it’s more to warn against making such an assumption about skill. 

Referrals Out

It’s safe to say that there isn’t in existence a single trainer who knows how to train each and every dog on this earth. Be careful of those trainers who say they can. That will likely be an unmet promise and some cases require advanced obedience training experience.

It’s a respectable move for a trainer to know when a particular dog behavior situation is out of line with their personal training experience. In these cases, it’s a common approach for the trainer to refer the client to an outside entity – perhaps a consultant or a dog behavior specialist.

Owner Commitment 

Before signing on the dotted line, make sure that you are ready to commit to the after-care for behavior modification that comes along with the completion of dog boot camp. 

Make sure you speak with the trainer before your dog comes home so you can get some education on how to best support your dog after boot camp. There are many ways this education can be delivered: after-care classes, in-home integration, e-classes, etc. 

Just as the dog is learning new behaviors while at boot camp, so too does the owner need to commit some time to reinforce that training while at home

Conclusion - Dog Boot Camp Success Factors

Making an informed decision is the right thing to do when it comes to dog boot camps. It’s an investment for you and a commitment on your part and for your dog. 

Be sure to do your research and when doing so, you’ll understand that ongoing training and reinforcement is needed for long-term success with the training. 

Dog boot camps are powerful training methods and when done with fidelity and expertise, the results are outstanding! And we have just that training formula at Minnesota Canine Consulting – give us a call at 651-505-3585.


What is an example of behavior modification in dog training?

An example is teaching a dog to lay down instead of jumping up. Owners should begin in a calm environment where success is likely, then progress to places with more distractions as the behavior is learned. Dogs may first need to be desensitized to the stimuli for response substitution to be successful.

How do you fix behavioral issues in dogs?

Discourage the behavior by using redirection (to the preferred behavior, or the behavior you want to see) along with positive reinforcement (rewarding your pet with treats and praise) for the desired behavior. Make sure your pet has had basic obedience training and socialization.

How long does it take to correct a dogs behavior?

The shortened version is that if you're dedicated and focused, 3-8 weeks is a good timeline for transforming your dog's behavior.

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