Michael Burkey, President and Dog Behaviorist of Michigan Dog TrainingÂ (MDT) in Plymouth, Michigan was recently asked what were the most popular training programs at MDT. He responded by saying, “Our most popular training programs are in this order:
- Dog Day School
- Board and Train (K9 College & K9 University)
- Private on-site lessons
- In-home lessons
- Group classes
- VIP Day Care and Home Away from Home (boarding)”
In trying to decide which program is best for you, a good question to ask yourself is, do you have the time and patience to train your dog yourself with help from a professional via the private sessions, in-home sessions or group classes (you’ll have homework to do each week) or would you prefer the dog experts to train your dog for you, then train you and have unlimited follow up training via a “Perfect Practice” group class (the Day School and the Board and Train programs). Once you know your commitment level, then you can make a further selection between the programs.
Most people prefer the experts to do the initial training and then train them how to do the maintenance work with their dog. When the training is done by the experts, you can enjoy the benefits of the training quickerÂ and be assured the training was done correctly without having to do the initial hard work yourself. The difference between the Day School and the Board and Train is the boarding and extra training one receives in the Board and Train programs. The dogs’ learning and socialization continues into the evening hours before bed time.Â Whereas with the Day School, dogs are picked up by their parents between 4:30-6:00pm.
The board and train programs are generally more effective. However, a plus of the Day School is that owners will miss their dog less since their dog returns to their home each day in the evening. Since dogs think in the present moment (they don’t regret the past or think about the future), they won’t miss you during either program.Â To lessen your absence from them, MDT posts pictures of dogs in training approximately every three or four days so you can keep up on their learning progress. Clients are often worried whether or not their dog will forget them if they do the board and train programs. The answer is, “absolutely not.” While they don’t think about your absence because they think in the moment and are having such a fun time learning and playing with other dogs, they also don’t forget you.Â When you pick them up after a board and train or day school program, it will seem like they have the question in their mind, “Where have you been mom/dad?!”
If you have the time and patience to train your dog yourself with help then you might prefer the on-site private sessions, in-home lessons or group classes. Most dogs do well with on-site lessons.Â While it is true that most behavior problems occur in the home, it is usually easily replicated at the dog training facility. Coming for the sessions at the MDT facility will save you some money over the in-home sessions and it allows MDT to use its personal dogs as distractions in training your dog. However, MDT offers the in-home sessions for your convenience. The group classes are the most economical way to train a dog but it is usually better to do private lessons first unless you have a young puppy which needs socialization or are interested in a specialized course such as Nosework, Service Dog in Training, Circus Dog, etc.
The VIP (Very Important Pet) Day Care is called that because its not just doggie daycare.Â Socialization with other dogs is certainly part of the program but the emphasis is on your dog rehearsing the dog obedience he/she already knows.Â Many dogs who complete our other training programs come back for the VIP Day Care to keep their skills sharp and to help them burn off excess energy before their mom or dad pick them up after work. And, of course MDT offers boarding for new and old clients. We love taking care of your beloved dog while you are away.Â Thus, its name, Home Away from Home.
To start your dog’s education, call MDT at 734-634-4152 or research more information on the Michigan Dog Training website.