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Doggie Day Camp - 6-8 weeks away from owner

Discussion in 'General Dog Chat' started by Emmasmom, Apr 20, 2014.

  1. Emmasmom

    Emmasmom Premium Member

    Apr 2, 2010
    I have a friend who has a six-month chocolate lab. The lab is rambunctious, as they are known to be. They have her in training with a local trainer and they were advised to use a prong collar on her. The friend says this is working - the dog loves (?) the collar?

    When I was talking to her the other day, she said they have found a doggie day camp that runs 6-8 weeks and the dog is there 24/7. She is trained in "alpha", basic manners and I think to learn to start to retrieve as well. Owners are not allowed to see the dog for the first two weeks. The last weekend, they spend with the dog and the trainer to learn how to do things.

    To say I was surprised is an understatement. To take a six-month old puppy away from her owners when this is such a critical time for bonding makes me shake my head. I get it that the dog needs training, I get it that they both work (and don't have time to do training), I get it they have just bought a new house and are moving. I just don't get letting my dog go away from me for that long. I upfront told her no way would my dogs be gone that long.

    What are your thoughts? Sophie - you have Cadbury. I would love to hear from you.
  2. jomuir

    jomuir Premium Member

    May 10, 2011
    Sounds like your friend is about to be parted with a lot of money & possibly the devotion that follows youthful bonding. 'Alpha' training? Big turn off for me, I can't imagine a lab needing that level of training either.

    Of course, I work with a guy who bought & uses a shock collar on his lab, because she bolts when in the unfenced front yard. He has spent zero time training the poor dog. he talks about 'alpha' stuff too. :hide

    EJHUNTL Forums Enthusiast

    Aug 11, 2013
    Ontario, Grand Bend
    That sounds a lot like the approach Ceasar Milan took on his show. Ultimately they will have to be able to work with their own dog. I'd be very worried about what they're doing when I'm not watching.

    That said - we have neighbours who have a 4 year old golden retriever that weighs about 90 pounds. He walks it on a leash with a second handle and the dog still has managed to pull him off his feet at times. Oakley is not agressive at all, very playful but absolutely no self control and he will jump on you with no restraint. She cannot have people over unless hubby is home to watch the dog as she can't handle him on her own. I've suggested many times he should have some training but they think prong collars or martingales are cruel. It's clear they love him as they put up with his lack of manners and he gets walked twice a day - no matter the weather but they have to choose routes to avoid people with other dogs.

    They don't really believe he can be trained - so if someone took him for a few weeks they might just change their minds. :no:

    We really good boarding kennel nearby owned by a positive trainer - I'm sure she could turn him around in a few sessions.
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2014
  4. Mom2Melli

    Mom2Melli Forums Enthusiast

    Oct 2, 2013
    Central California
    The prong collar has it's uses. I called it Shay's manners collar. Just reminded him to focus and think before he reacted -- but I only used it inside class and in a park for heeling practice. Our trainer called it power steering for dog walking. However, she weaned us all away from the collar by the second class. Control first then train out of it.

    The away thing is much favored in the GSD forum. Of course, those people are going for competition training and many of them don't even have the dogs living in their homes. I couldn't part with my dog. I can't trust anyone 100% with my dogs -- except my mom for a couple hours but even then I am thankful that she lives in a gated community and has a security door!

    I would take the time to train the dog myself with good classes or private trainings. I couldn't do a doggy boot camp.
  5. Katagaria

    Katagaria Forums Enthusiast

    Jun 23, 2012
    There's a place in my country that does the whole "we'll take your dog for X amount of time and you'll come back to a perfectly trained dog!" and have had numerous complaints.

    The employ the whole dominance theory nonsense and have returned to their owners dog's that are afraid of men, malnourished, neglected and fearful animals.

    Cosmo at 6 months is NOTHING like Cosmo now at 2 years, when he was 6 months he was absolutely mad (and rightfully so), some people expect so much out of their dog's when they are just puppies, it's simply not realistic.

    I'm horrified for that poor puppy, those places are not cheap and are likely to be incredibly damaging especially if they run under those practices, it would cost so much less (is that even proper English lol?) to go to training classes with their puppy. Because first and foremost... you have to educate the owner's before teaching the dog.
  6. JLSOhio51

    JLSOhio51 Forums Enthusiast

    Mar 16, 2013
    Interesting topic, partly because as I have researched training methods, facilities and trainers, I have come across several of the "send your dog to us and go home" facilities. None of the ones that I found said you couldn't see your dog during the training (most of them were 7 - 14 days). They did (sort of) suggest that you should stay away (at least the ones that I saw). Each one slotted time for the owner to meet with dog and trainer at specific times during the training. The reason I nixed such facilities was because it made little sense for me to force a separation between me and my companion unless and until I encountered a problem with him that had me at my wits end. I guess I would consider it if I though that what I was doing could seriously harm him, but short of that, we should be able to work through our issues (even if I had to bring someone in or go to someone), without sending my dog to doggy military school.

    I have seen comments that the pronged collars hurt the dog and probably as many that say they don't. I have no idea. The look like they are uncomfortable, so I would be unlikely to employ one unless I had some major issue that I thought the collar would help solve and I had no other recourse. But, I'd need a lot more input before I went that route.
  7. Tagg

    Tagg Forums Enthusiast

    Jan 4, 2012
    Brantford, On
    Prong collars are banned in Quebec. Considering this is the province with the most puppy mills in Canada, that says something about what should be done with them. Garbage!
    My daughter and I once allowed two of our horses to go to a respected and well known trainer for 60 days. We were told that we could come over, by appointment only, to see the progress. Well, $3600 later we had such well trained horses that my gelding was 300 lbs underweight and wouldn't accept a bit and my daughter's horse was even more underweight and exploded when daughter, a very seasoned and experienced rider, got on. Broke her leg so bad it required pins and plates.
    Lesson learned. Never send anything anywhere where you can't drop in and see what is going on. Labs are strong dogs bred for the field. The first two years are a combo of teaching it not to pull your arms off and not to eat your house. They need lots of exercise - seldom given and are commonly seen in ads for rehoming at about the age of 6 months. Why??? Because people don't realize that that quiet, generally fat Lab, that they remember from days gone by or that a friend has is older, wiser and trained.
    My friend has had several, never paid for one of them, but they go from being crated all the time, ex'd on a 20 minute walk between going to an obedience school one hour a week, to going to the farm and running with the other dogs while she works all day. They don't chew things up once Judy gets them and all they want to do is sleep the evening away. In fact, Sara, Judy's latest acquisition, comes here after work, barks once in all 4 directions, eats her dinner, poops and then jumps back into the car for a snooze. She was going to be put down by her previous owners because in their words she was untrainable, ate their leather couch and constantly bowled over people. Hmmmmm
  8. trini

    trini Premium Member

    Nov 13, 2013
    upstate ny
    I would never send one of my dogs away to be under someone else's 24/7 care for their training. There are always trainers who will come to your home and work one on one with you...so that both you and your dog get the needed training. And, in my opinion, the "alpha" approach is often very seriously misused and that misuse can cause even deeper issues than the dog originally had.

    Dogs respond to firm, fair, respectful, understandable and consistent training. Some dogs take significantly longer to train than others, but I have never had a dog that didn't learn when I made sure they understand what I expected from them and held that line.

  9. Mom2Melli

    Mom2Melli Forums Enthusiast

    Oct 2, 2013
    Central California
    Just for clarification . . . I don't care for the prong, but I think under the guidance of a trainer for a limited time, they can be useful. The first time I encountered the prong collar I was dead set on NO way. I tried the head halter and the martingale first. The dog absoutely choked self and flpped self backwards. As a last resort, fitted by my trainer and only used within the training session room or this one empty small park for some short heeling practice, the prong was used on my shepherd. I also didn't use it as chokable. I clipped the two rings together so the only pressure was like a flat collar and not a choke. That was enough for him. It took him from nuts over the other dogs and people -- he is beyond fearful -- to paying attention to me and focused. Once we got the loose-leash & heeling zones understood, off it went. For class he could use a martingale just fine after that. He is walked in public on a special 2-belly strap harness for safety due to his absolute terror at buses and trucks. I would say as a limited teaching tool in a carefully controlled setting, the prong has a use. As for walking on the street everyday forever with the prong, nope. I do, though, like martingales for the non-slip factor more than the choke factor and Melli is always on one. Just for clarification -- Good training negates the need for prong.

    Back to the other part of the thread -- I still like the motto "Trust No One". It IS about training owners and understanding and problem-solving and anticipating with the dog. Training with your dog increases the bond between you and the teamwork between you. I wouldn't want someone else to do it. As to the alpha bit, the dog knows you are the leader, you don't have to prove it. Being a team is much better, really. And why would you ever need to teach a lab to retrieve? Isn't that darned near a given? And a good way to wear them out too and burn off a little steam?

    Tell your friend to save the money and invest in more classes in obedience, agility (not hard core though as the dog is young), etc. It will all fall in line.
  10. Fasb's Owner

    Fasb's Owner Forums Enthusiast

    Jan 21, 2013
    Morgantown, WV
    My thought is that pretty much everything you said sounds ridiculous. That's just my opinion, of course. I'm not the expert opinion on anything. Buuutttttt.....

    Prong Collars? No. Just. No. Would never consider using one with Fasb.

    Alpha training? Fasb already knows he's in charge. He doesn't need expensive training for that (I know, that's not what alpha training is. Not a fan of it, in theory or practice).

    And I can't imagine sending my dog away for 2 months to be cared for by strangers with no oversight from me. I don't know which part of that sentence I like less. I would never send Fasb away for weeks or months short of some sort of family emergency that we couldn't take care of him.

    Whole thing is absurd. Personally, I think they're likely to get back a dog with issues that doesn't respond to them well.

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