Updated: Feb 15
Commonly asked questions from new students to RYP
Q: Will you train me, too?
A: Oh yeah, big time! Success for any patterns started with your dog RELIES on you being a knowledgeable student of canine psychology and training application. We send you a comprehensive video course via our online learning portal "Work Your Pack" to kick off your learning while your dog is with us. We also send you updates during your dog's stay to start educating you on the process with YOUR dog, and then we tie it all together in lessons with you here on the property.
Q: How long are lessons?
A: Typically 1.5 to 2 hours, but we try not to worry too much about the clock. If you are asking questions we will take the time to answer them thoroughly.
Q: What does a typical day look like for my dog?
A: Every day is a little different! Your dog will have their own temperature-controlled run all to themselves during their stay. The training staff gets dogs out multiple times per day. Some sessions are short and punchy. Some are longer. Sometimes a dog has to hold positions while other dogs are working. We don’t want training to be too predictable or a grind. Sometimes the most powerful session is the SUPER short one that gets the dog fired up, then we put them away wanting training MORE. They come out next time with a fire to keep working. Sometimes we just get them out to play and sometimes just hang out with us on the couch in the yurt. Each dog is different and needs a different pace.
Q: What do they do when they're not training?
A: Honestly? Most dogs sleep between sessions. They are working their minds by hunting and problem solving. That is exhausting. Most dogs can run around A LOT and not wear out--often it’s the brain that needs more exercise during the day.
Q: Is your staff certified?
A: Absolutely, although be careful with that word "certified." The dog training industry is totally unregulated. A trainer can take an online, hour-long course and get a "certification" from anyone willing to take their money. That being said, our staff here have studied (and yes, certified) at some of the most notable pet and working dog training schools in the country. NePoPo®, Tarheel Canine, Tom Rose School, Top Tier K9 to name a few. The staff is regularly enrolled in continuing education and often travels around the country to teach as well. Each trainer also regularly trains and competes with their own dogs.
Q: I hate the thought of leaving my dog, do you have any other programs other than the board and train?
A: Short answer for new students: no. We do private lessons for young puppies (8-16 weeks old) and can customize advanced obedience/working dog courses for graduates of foundational board and train, but that’s it. There are just way too many misconceptions on what it means to patiently teach and layer concepts into a dog that we prefer to ONLY teach to a degree we feel is complete for dog and human. Each dog/handler we take on we treat like a project. We want to see them succeed…not give them their own designed à la cart program that doesn’t deliver on expectations. Oftentimes the context of the handler is also the biggest challenge to the dog. We like to teach dogs new patterns fresh BEFORE bringing handlers back into the mix. Again, all for the betterment and psychology for the dog. THAT BEING SAID, we do have comprehensive video courses for the driven self-study student on workyourpack.com. These programs are not ideal for dogs with major behavioral/training culture issues and at this time is 100% self-study. We do not customize private lessons for those that watched the online course. If you want access to the training staff in person, you have to start with the three-week board and train program.
Q : My dog is a rescue, so if I bring them to a board and train will they will forget about me or think I abandoned them?
A : No! In fact a lot of rescue dogs do better here since they are more accustomed to changing environments. What is most important for ANY dog is order in chaos. We only take on 10 dogs at a time, and they all start at the same time. Usually it takes about three days for everyone to settle into a nice rhythm here on the property. When you come back for your first lesson your dog will be thrilled to see you! Dogs do not hold grudges or resentment like humans often do. They just think “okay, this place is different—what does it mean?” We get them in a fun, structured rhythm and they quickly calm down and enjoy the process!
Q: I rarely have my dog on a leash, can I skip to off-leash?
A: No. The leash is an important language to define to achieve long-term success. The best off-leash trained dogs started on a leash. Guaranteed.
Q: My dog already knows "sit" and "down."
A: That’s great! We label that as the dog understanding a behavior. That’s an important step in the process, but getting the dog to execute positions on cue with heart and soul with distractions and stressors present? You need to add way more structure and depth to their understanding. A dog that only does things sometimes in certain situations doesn’t truly understand expectations.
Q: Do you offer guarantees?
A: Yes and no. We guarantee you will learn, and we guarantee your dog will start this process, but we cannot guarantee YOU will put in the time to maintain and progress those skills. Dog training is like going to the gym: you need a plan and put in consistent time to get stronger and add weight to the bar. We guarantee you will understand HOW to do that, but all we can do in three weeks is jumpstart new patterns and transition skills to you holding the leash. Your dog’s genetics/temperament/past training/self-rewarding scenarios all work against what we start conditioning in three weeks. It is up to YOU to take the training we start and (sometimes patiently) proof and generalize to reach your specific training goals.
Q: Do you use prong collars, e-collars, etc.?
A: Yes! But let me say there is a right and wrong way to use this gear and there is a TON of misinformation out there. We also use clickers, food, toys, etc. The first step to proper gear use is conditioning the dog to LOVE controlling it. Directional pressure must start as a gas pedal BEFORE becoming a brake. The end goal with whatever system we are using is that the dog fully understands how to control it for variable rewards. We are students of all methods. We choose the best method to build confidence, clarity, and stability in the dog.
Q: Is my dog a good candidate for your program?
A: 99% of the time, absolutely. The only dogs we hesitate to take on are very old (9+ years old), terribly bred, poorly socialized, not crate trained, never boarded, etc. Even these dogs usually do fine during training, but struggle when left alone in the kennel. We are always honest with clients if we think this may be the case. If you have concerns your dog might be like this, we need to jump on a call before you book.
Q: Am I a good candidate for this program?
A: Good question! We want to work with individuals who are excited to learn how to train their dog versus those looking for a quick-fix solution. We LOVE seeing long, fulfilling lives with canine companions where newfound structure CREATES more freedom and adventure together. We want open minded students that are punctual and respectful to the fact that we are a small business and are perpetually busy. We do not have patience for disrespect or arrogance. We will tell you what you need to hear as opposed to what you may want to hear. We do it politely, but you have to be ready to hear that message. Handlers often love their dogs into stress/untimely death in this country and we want handlers to understand their role in leading and respecting the dog in this modern world. That being said, we want you to be a leader/coach/parent--not a dictator. We also have no patience for animal neglect, abuse (physical or mental), obesity, or the human placing their own emotions ahead of their dog’s well-being and psychology.