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Adventure Board and Train Expectations
Contractors agree to do the following when delivering the Dog Adventures Northwest Adventure School service:
Shared by Jess Lara: Consider what behaviors are unacceptable in your home, either for safety, your dog's preferences, or your preferences. Can you handle housing a dog who stress pants frequently? Does the dog need to tolerate your neighbor's barking dog? Does the dog need to spend time alone? Do you dislike the way a certain breed smells? Does the dog need to be safe with guests or roommates waltzing in the front door? Do you want dogs that need special considerations? Can you board a dog who is fearful of car rides? Can you board a dog with aggression? Can you board a dog over 100 pounds? Define your parameters of behavior and physical traits that are suitable for you to board well.
Consider your dogs! In home boarding can be quite stressful for your resident dogs. You must consider your dog if you want this work to be sustainable. One too many annoying puppies up in your adult dog's face can create intolerance, fear, and aggression. Know your own dogs social preferences and weaknesses. Have systems in place so your dog doesn't feel like their home life in unpredictable and stressful. If your dog watches TV on the couch with you every night, maintain that routine and do no allow guest dogs to interfere. If your dog gets a calm walk with you each morning, maintain that and leave the bouncy puppy at home with a kong. You can bring guest dogs in through the back door rather than the front door. You can let your dog smell their gear before introducing. You can go several days before you introduce your dog to the guest dog. Give your dog a space that is their own, where boarder dogs do not go. Train your dog to cooperate with boarding. Teach them to allow you to go through thresholds with the boarder while they wait. Teach them to leave the boarder alone during training, eating, and resting. Teach your dog to fluently go to their bed/couch/hallway/place on a single verbal cue to quickly de-escalate or manage a situation. Talk to your dog and tell them what is happening! Prioritize your dog's well being when selecting which dogs you will board.
Evaluating a dog is a process. Spend time with this dog if they are not familiar with you. You can require that the dog spends the day with you for Day Camp, goes on a hike with you, and does 1 day of boarding. Some dogs that are dreams on hikes can have unexpected challenges in a home or on a leash. At any point (before committing to boarding) you can determine that this dog is not a good fit for boarding in your home. Be clear with the client that this is part of your evaluation process. Be clear that even if the dog is not a good fit for boarding with you, the services they sign up for as part of the evaluation process provide enrichment and training.
Ask direct questions. Has your dog ever bit another dog? Did you have to break up the fight? Did the bite case any injuries? How old was your dog when this happen?
When the front door is open, do you have to physically block or restrain your dog to prevent them from running outside? What do they do if they make it outside? ETC.
After you have determined a dog is a good fit to board with you, instruct the client on how to help prepare the dog. Does the dog only crate overnight at home? Assign homework to crate the dog through out the day for 5-60 minutes at a time. Other behaviors that make boarding safer and easier: CER+ to collar grabs, sit at thresholds, recall, load up in car, spent time alone, and relax on a mat.
Play safe and then play it safer. Dogs can display new behaviors under new antecedents, some that can really catch you off guard! Crate or contain dogs when they are alone, until they prove themselves reliable around your valuable/dangerous things. Have 2 barriers between dogs that shouldn't meet. Create a vestibule around your fence gate and front door. Do not have any medium or high value resources around unfamiliar dogs. Study dog body language, have ways to temperature test dogs, have emergency recalls. Use baby gates and xpens. Keep arousal levels low and encourage relaxation. Let your boarder sleep a lot. Do not allow a group of dogs to spend very much unstructured time together. Separate dogs when you are not actively supervising. Invest in gear that makes things safer: dog proof garbage cans, locks on your gates, security or treat dispensing cameras, chew proof toys, chew proof dog beds, chew proof leashes, more secure harnesses or collar, carabiners, secure crates, etc.
Give your client an honest evaluation of their dog's behavior during their stay. Compliment sandwich style this.