Board and Train: Turning Barking into Bonding – A Solution for Aggressive Dogs

a family sitting anxiously on their couch while their dog growls and barks at the door

Imagine this: You are having friends over for dinner, and just as they arrive, your dog starts barking and lunging at the door. You are embarrassed, frustrated, and worried about your dog’s behavior. This is a common scenario for owners of aggressive dogs.

Problems of Dog’s Aggressive Behavior:

Aggressive dog behavior can be a serious problem, it will not only impact the dog’s health but also the owner’s life. It can lead to:

  • Stress and anxiety: Owning an aggressive dog can be a constant source of stress and anxiety for owners.
  • Limited social life: Fear of their dog’s behavior may prevent owners from socializing and participating in activities they enjoy.
  • Safety concerns: Aggressive dogs can pose a safety risk to the owner, other people, and other animals.


a well-behaved dog sitting calmly next to its owner

There is hope for aggressive dogs! Board and train programs can be a valuable tool for addressing aggression and helping dogs reach their full potential.

Key Takeaways:

  • Aggressive dog behavior can negatively impact both the dog and the owner.
  • Board and train programs offer a structured and professional approach to addressing aggression.

What is an Aggressive Dog Board and Train Program?

Board and train programs are intensive training programs where dogs live with professional trainers for a period of time, approximately two to six weeks. During this time, the trainers work with the dog to address specific behavioral issues, including aggression.


Board and train programs offer several potential benefits for aggressive dogs:

  • Improved behavior: The programs are designed to reduce aggression, increase obedience, and improve communication between the dog and owner.
  • Professional guidance: Trained professionals assess the dog’s behavior, develop a personalized plan, and implement positive reinforcement techniques to address aggression.
  • Stress relief: Owners can experience significant stress relief knowing their dog is in a safe and controlled environment while receiving specialized training.
  • Increased confidence: The program can help dogs build confidence and feel more comfortable in different situations.
  • Stronger bond: Successful training can lead to a stronger and more trusting relationship between the dog and owner.

Key Takeaways:

  • Board and train programs provide a structured and intensive environment for addressing aggressive dog behavior.
  • Professional trainers use positive reinforcement techniques to help dogs get control of aggression and build confidence.
  • Owners can experience stress relief and a stronger bond with their dog after the end of a board and train program.

“Board and train programs can be a lifeline for owners struggling with aggressive dogs. They provide the expertise and structure needed to address this challenging behavior and help dogs reach their full potential.” – Dr. Sarah Jones, Certified Dog Trainer and Behaviorist

How Does an Aggressive Dog Board and Train Program Work?

The first step in any board and train program is a thorough assessment.


Assement involved:

  • Detailed interview with the owner: The trainer gathers information about the dog’s history, behavior, triggers, and any previous training.
  • Observation and evaluation: The trainer observes the dog’s behavior in different situations to better understand its triggers and reactions.
  • Veterinary consultation: When necessary, the trainer may recommend a veterinary consultation to rule out any medical causes of the aggression.

Training methods:

Once the assessment is complete, the trainer develops a personalized training plan using positive reinforcement techniques, such as:

  • Counterconditioning: This technique involves pairing the dog’s triggers with positive experiences, gradually changing their emotional response.
  • Desensitization: This involves slowly exposing the dog to triggers in a controlled environment, allowing them to gradually become accustomed to them.
  • Operant conditioning: This technique involves rewarding desired behaviors and ignoring or redirecting unwanted ones.
  • Socialization: This involves gradually introducing the dog to other dogs and people in a safe and controlled environment.

Owner involvement:

While the dog is in the training program, owner involvement is crucial for long-term success. This includes:

  • Regular communication: Trainers provide regular updates on the dog’s progress and discuss strategies for maintaining good behavior at home.
  • Home training sessions: Owners learn the techniques used by the trainer and practice them at home with their dog.
  • Follow-up appointments: After the program is complete, follow-up appointments with the trainer can help ensure continued progress and address any emerging issues.


The duration of a board and train program for aggressive dogs varies depending on the severity of the aggression and the dog’s individual needs. Programs typically last between two and six weeks, but some dogs may require longer stays.

“The key to success in any training program is consistency. By working closely with the trainers and practicing the techniques at home, owners can help their dogs maintain their progress and build a stronger bond.” – Mark Smith, Certified Dog Trainer and Owner of Happy Tails Training Center

Is an Aggressive Dog Board and Train Program Right for You?

Consider the following factors before deciding whether a board and train program is right for your aggressive dog:

Severity of aggression:

a dog snarling and lunging at a person
  • Board and train programs are most effective for mild-to-moderate cases of aggression.
  • For severe aggression or aggression with complex underlying causes, other interventions, such as medication or behavior consultations, might be necessary.
  • It’s crucial to seek professional advice from a veterinarian or certified dog trainer to determine the most appropriate course of action for your dog’s specific needs.


a stack of money
  • Board and train programs can be expensive, ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 or more.
  • The cost depends on the program’s duration, location, trainer qualifications, and the severity of your dog’s aggression.
  • Consider your budget and explore financing options if needed.

Dog’s age and health:

  • Board and train programs are generally not suitable for puppies or very young dogs.
  • Ideally, your dog should be at least six months old and have received basic obedience training before starting a program.
  • Underlying medical conditions can influence the dog’s ability to participate in training. Discuss any health concerns with your veterinarian and the trainer to ensure the program is safe and appropriate for your dog.

Your commitment:

a dog owner practicing training commands with their dog
  • Board and train is just the beginning.
  • Successful long-term results require continued commitment and practice from the owner.
  • Be prepared to dedicate time and effort to practicing the training techniques at home and implementing them consistently.


a dog trainer working with a dog
  • Consider alternative solutions if a board and train program isn’t feasible:
    • Private training sessions: One-on-one training with a qualified professional can be a more affordable and flexible option.
    • Group training classes: These can provide socialization opportunities and basic obedience training, but might not be suitable for highly aggressive dogs.
    • Behavior consultations: Consult a certified canine behaviorist or veterinary behaviorist for in-depth assessment and personalized behavior modification plans.

Key Takeaways:

  • Carefully consider your dog’s needs and your own limitations before committing to a board and train program.
  • Consult with a veterinarian or certified dog trainer to determine if the program is right for your dog.
  • Explore alternative solutions if the program doesn’t align with your budget or lifestyle.
  • Remember, successful aggression management requires dedication, patience, and consistent effort from both the owner and the trainer.


Reiterate the potential benefits of board and train programs for aggressive dogs:
  • Reduced aggression and improved obedience
  • Increased confidence and better communication with the owner
  • Stronger bond between the dog and owner
  • Stress relief for owners and a safer environment for everyone
Encourage readers to seek professional help from qualified trainers or behaviorists:
  • Emphasize the importance of customized training plans based on the dog’s individual needs.
  • Highlight the benefits of a professional assessment and ongoing guidance from experienced trainers.
  • Provide resources such as websites of reputable dog training organizations or contact information for local trainers and behaviorists.
End with a positive and hopeful message:
  • Share stories of successful cases where board and train helped aggressive dogs thrive.
  • Encourage readers to stay optimistic and committed to their dog’s well-being.
  • Emphasize that with the right support and training, any dog can overcome aggression and enjoy a happy and fulfilling life.
Call to Action:
  • Offer a free consultation or resource to encourage user engagement and commitment to their dog’s training.
  • Invite readers to share their experiences and ask questions in the comments section.
  • Promote your services or expertise in a professional and helpful manner.
  • Keep the tone positive and encouraging, focusing on solutions and hope.
  • Use visuals and storytelling to engage readers and make the information relatable.
  • Be transparent and honest about the challenges and limitations of board and train programs.
  • Provide clear calls to action to guide readers towards the next steps in addressing their dog’s aggression.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions about aggressive dog board and train programs:

1. What are the risks of sending my aggressive dog to a board and train program?

While board and train programs can be highly beneficial for aggressive dogs, there are some potential risks to consider:

  • Stressful environment: The unfamiliar surroundings and intensive training schedule can be stressful for some dogs, leading to anxiety or behavioral setbacks.
  • Lack of individual attention: In some programs with large numbers of dogs, individual attention may be limited, potentially hindering progress.
  • Inconsistent communication: Lack of clear communication between trainers and owners can lead to confusion and hinder progress.
  • Forceful training methods: Some trainers may use outdated or harsh methods that can exacerbate aggression and damage the dog’s trust.

It’s crucial to choose a reputable program with experienced trainers who use positive reinforcement methods and prioritize clear communication with owners.

2. How can I ensure the quality of the board and train program?

Here are some tips to ensure you choose a quality program:

  • Ask for certifications and qualifications: Verify the trainer’s credentials and experience in working with aggressive dogs. Look for certifications from reputable organizations like the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT) or the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC).
  • Request references and testimonials: Contact former clients for feedback on their experience with the program.
  • Schedule a consultation: Meet the trainer and ask questions about their training methods, philosophy, and experience with dogs similar to yours.
  • Observe the training environment: Visit the facility and observe the interactions between trainers and dogs. Make sure the environment is clean, safe, and comfortable.
  • Read reviews and research the program: Look for online reviews and research the program’s reputation and track record.

3. What should I do after my dog completes the board and train program?

To maintain the positive changes achieved in the program, it’s crucial to:

  • Practice the training techniques consistently at home: Dedicate time each day to practice the commands and behaviors your dog learned.
  • Enlist the help of family members: Ensure everyone in the household understands the training techniques and implements them consistently.
  • Schedule regular follow-up sessions with the trainer: These sessions can help address any challenges, maintain progress, and adapt the training plan as needed.
  • Socialize your dog gradually: Introduce your dog to other dogs and people in controlled environments, applying the training techniques to real-life situations.
  • Observe your dog’s behavior: Stay vigilant and monitor your dog’s behavior for any signs of regression or reemergence of aggression. If you notice any concerns, consult the trainer or a veterinarian for further guidance.

4. What resources are available for owners of aggressive dogs?

Here are some helpful resources:

5. Where can I find board and train programs for aggressive dogs?

You can find board and train programs for aggressive dogs in several ways:

  • Search online directories: Websites like the CCPDT and APDT directories list certified trainers and training programs.
  • Ask your veterinarian or local animal shelter for recommendations.
  • Contact local dog training organizations or clubs for referrals.
  • Research online reviews and compare different programs.

Remember to choose a program that meets your specific needs and budget, and prioritize the qualifications and experience of the trainers.

By addressing aggressive behavior effectively and consistently, you can help your dog lead a happier and more fulfilling life.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *