How working in boarding facilities and rescues prompted me to become a dog trainer.
Boarding your dog can feel like such a relief when you have to be away for long periods of time. Whether it's just for doggy daycare or for overnight extended stays, boarding facilities seem like safe places to leave your dogs with professionals. Not only do you not have to worry about how your dog is being taken care of, he will be nice and tired out by the time he gets home leaving less work for you.
Unfortunately, not all dogs should be boarded. My first day working at a boarding facility I was shocked. Like many people, I had it in my head that everyone who worked with dogs was an understanding, compassionate and intelligent individual and all dogs were sweet little fur babies who just wanted to be cuddled and fetch all day. What I realized immediately was that over half of the dogs at the facility were nervous, hyper, demanding and physically very forceful and the staff were under-trained, over-worked and stressed to the max by the intense energy of all the dogs.
Dogs can be very sensitive to their environments. Many of them are stressed out by chaos. While the staff may be moving dogs from here to there in what would seem like an orderly fashion, the dogs are seeing and feeling vibes that we wouldn't necessarily pick up on. While the amount of dogs, the space and the staff may vary, many dogs are just much better off staying home and having a dog walker come to visit.
After experiencing this and the stress and chaos of working at a rescue, I realized I wanted to help inform people about what effects certain things can have on their dogs. This is a huge part of being a dog trainer. If you are the type of dog owner who has your dog so that you can provide the best life for him and not just for what he can do for you, consider what your dog needs to be as stable and confident as possible.