What is Dog Boot Camp

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July 19, 2023
5 min read
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What is Puppy Boot Camp?

Whether it’s at your own house or someone else’s, I’m sure we’ve all found ourselves in a situation where a wild dog’s presence has spoiled the well-intended fun. 

The dog might be erratically running around, counter-surfing for scraps of food, barking excessively, or jumping up on humans. The list goes on – and it’s clear the owner is stressed because the dog doesn’t know how to behave. 

Luckily enough, there are such facilities and programs called dog boot camps that exist to teach dogs foundational behavioral skills that transform them into well-behaved members of a household. 

Dog boot camps can also be synonymous with other programs called board and train, boarding schools, or send-away dog training.

Because of these dog boot camps, you can say goodbye to lamps being knocked over, clothes being smeared with muddy paw prints, and adios to the shrill incessant barking that tends to overtake a conversation. And you won’t have to worry about pulling out your back by lunging to close an open door to prevent your crazed dog from bolting outside!

At Minnesota Canine Consulting, we believe in the power of dog boot camps. With consistency and dedication, time and again we have seen unruly dogs learn how to improve their behaviors through their participation in our dog boot camps.

If you are wondering if a dog boot camp is the right option for you and your dog, keep reading to find that answer!

Transforming Your Dog's Behavior: The Benefits of Dog Boot Camp

The ultimate goal in completing a dog boot camp is that healthy habits are developed in your dog. When an owner chooses to enroll their dog in a boot camp, he or she is effectively addressing unwanted dog behaviors. 

Remember this too: just as you (or a different person) get frustrated and grimace when your dog acts out, the dog too feels distressed because he or she does not inherently want to misbehave – your dog wants to make you happy! These boot camps will help your dog be the dog you want your dog to be. 

When deciding if a dog boot camp is right for you and your dog, you can be assured that you will be reaping many benefits should you choose to enroll your dog in such a program. 

Below you will see how we break down what can generally be expected as the host of potential  benefits that come from dog boot camps. 

 Consistent & Structured Setting

If you have a busy schedule like most people nowadays, dog boot camps are a great way to ensure that your dog gets the consistent training he or she needs. Even if you are in a place in your life when your schedule isn’t too packed, dog boot camps can remove an owner’s stress that often comes with the strain on time and energy felt from dog training on your own. 

No matter the case, along with the consistency of a dog boot camp come expected routines and structures that make for an effective learning situation for your dog. Practice makes perfect and you can be assured that dogs will have the necessary conditions to learn expected behaviors. 

 Expert Guidance & Individualized Attention

Sending your beloved dog to an unfamiliar place to be taken care of by an unfamiliar person can be scary. We get it! But we encourage you to rely on the trainers' expertise who run these facilities. 

Skilled trainers know the importance of routines as well as how to read the behavioral signals from different dogs. They’ve devoted countless hours to perfecting their craft and have learned many tricks of the trade along the way. Trust in this!

Your dog will also receive individualized training in most boot camps. Dogs have a lot in common but that doesn’t mean that dogs don’t each come with their individual quirks and needs. Dog boot camps can cater to this. 

 Socialization Opportunities

A big plus of dog boot camps is that dogs are exposed to purposeful distractions so they learn in a more realistic environment. 

Imagine learning how to drive a car on a closed course. Yes, you likely learn how to drive in the technical aspects, but once you try out your skills on a highway – well, that could be a different story.

The same goes for the effectiveness of dog boot camps. Because there are different dogs around and new sounds and smells to tempt their attention, dogs learn behavior modifications in a real-world setting. It’s not done in an isolated environment. 

Accelerated Progress

By adhering to consistency, routines, and structures, dog boot camps tend to yield faster results than other methods of training. More practice time generally means more learning. Because trainers can work on commands with your dog multiple times a day, your dog is given a great opportunity to excel. 

A consistent training framework based on best practices will provide your dog with what he or she needs to learn. And, it’s also likely that the facility housing the dog boot camp will have equipment available that you don’t have at home. This means more mental stimulation for your dog, which will likely speed up the training process!

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

Simply put, dog boot camp is not a one-size-fits-all solution for dog behavior modification. Even though dog boot camps are often effective and efficient, there are things you have to consider before enrolling your dog in such a program. 

We encourage you to do your research so you know who you are entrusting your dog’s care with. As the owner, it is your responsibility to vet the potential dog boot camp to make sure you are comfortable with the environment. Below you will see some suggested areas to look into when you look for a proper dog boot camp.

Research the Trainer

Look into the background of the trainer and ask to meet them or do a phone call. Does the trainer deal with specific breeds or a variety of breeds? Do they have any areas of specialization?

You can also ask for the facility for trainer references so that you can reach out to previous customers to get a better feel for their experience. 

Ask to observe the trainer in action – or ask about any training videos they might have! This might also be a natural time to inquire about the trainer’s techniques and philosophies. Ask about their dog training experience to figure out how much hands-on experience they’ve had directly training dogs. Keep in mind that 10 years of dog grooming experience, for example, does not translate to 10 years of dog training experience! Not all experiences with dogs transfer directly to meaningful dog training experiences. 

Realistic Expectations

Know that the timing piece cannot be guaranteed. Just as it might take two people a different amount of time to learn the same dance routine, it will take a different amount of time for specific dogs to grasp their training routine. 

Be wary of any facility that offers guaranteed results or other “too good to be true” offers. Of course, there should be expected results – ask about those so you know what you can potentially look forward to! It’s also wise to ask the trainer what he or she expects out of you after the dog boot camp is over. 

And yes, as the owner, you can expect that you will have some after-care training to tend to in order to fully see the results and maintain those results. 

Common Behavioral Issues Addressed in Dog Boot Camp Programs

Families choose to send their dogs to dog boot camps for a variety of reasons, all of which tend to fall under the very general category of unwanted behavior. 

Below are a few specific reasons owners seek out dog boot camp programs:

  • Aggression Management
  • Leash Reactivity
  • Excessive Barking
  • Jumping Up
  • Manners and Basic Obedience
  • Individualized Client Support

This list is not exhaustive and often times dogs are seen for a combination of reasons. Keep reading to see some expanded information on a few common behavioral issues that are addressed in dog boot camp programs. 

Basic Skills & Basic Behavior Modification 

Most of the time, what you can expect in a basic obedience program is that problems like excessive barking, jumping up, and begging for food/counter surfing will be addressed. 

Consistency in enforcing boundaries will be adhered to in most basic dog boot camps. Dogs should learn how to “come” when called and will often learn how to walk properly on a loose leash. You might also be able to expect your dog to learn how to politely and more calmly greet a human!

Some boot camps use an e-collar training tool and in such programs, you can expect your dog will be properly conditioned with the e-collar in conjunction with positive reinforcement training.

Puppy Training and/or Intermediate Dog Training

Dog boot camp programs at an intermediate level will teach your dog foundational skills and provide basic obedience training as well as seek to resolve specific problem behaviors. 

You can think of this type of program as a “step up” from a basic camp. In these programs, the owners are educated on how to maintain the training at home so the dog doesn’t regress. The expected result will be a confident dog in your home.  

Healthy habits will be developed in dogs and dog students will be provided ample opportunities to learn how to be household pets. 

 Advanced Dog Training

The ultimate type of dog boot camps offer what most dog owners dream of: fully trained, off-leash dogs!

This type of boot camp includes basics like helping your dog learn some commands like come, sit, and stay

Premier off-leash behaviors are taught in a way that dogs learn how to be in control in public settings with distractions. 

Your dog will be that dog – you know, the dog we all want! The one who is behaved, trusted, and when needed, responsive to behavioral redirects. You can tell the owner and dog are just in sync and they share a healthy relationship founded obidence and trust. What more can you ask for?


Conclusion - What is Dog Boot Camp?

If you are looking to train your new puppy or older dog, a dog boot camp is a great option that has the potential to yield excellent results. 

Dog boot camps can treat an array of misbehaviors as well as teach expected dog behaviors. The dog that comes home to you will likely be one that is calmer, has better manners, and is more confident in self-control. 

You don’t have to live a restricted life controlled by a misbehaved dog! At Minnesota Canine Consulting, we stand behind our quality training methods and our highly talented team of dog trainers. Contact us at 651-505-3585 today so we can help you get that ideal experience and relationship with your dog!


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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