Board & Train Programs
Our Home Location in La Porte, TX
Review from Owner:
"When I first got my puppy, I thought I was doing all the things right, playing crate games, working on obedience, etc, but still wound up with a pup with horrible separation anxiety. I tried every online tutorial and blog, working for months on my own trying to gradually desensitize my dog to being alone. After months of little to no progress, I was starting to worry I'd have a dog with life long panic attacks who I could never leave alone. I tried several private trainers, who more or less parroted the same things I was reading online and had already tried on my own. Anytime I left the house I either had to take my pup with me or pay someone from rover if I couldn't find an available friend to watch her. I had several months off before starting a new job, and I treated training my dog like a full time job yet still wasn't making progress.
Sammye's reverse board and train changed everything. After a few weeks of reverse board and train days (The trainer comes to your house for several hours to work on a problem in the dogs home environment), I now have a dog who I can leave at home without a second thought. No crying, no whining, and certainly no more panic attacks!
Sammye was always very respectful of my home and I always felt comfortable leaving her with my pup and a house key. As a bonus, my pup was always exhausted after a full day of working with Sammye, which meant I got to enjoy a tired out, snuggly pup when I got home. Sammye was incredibly patient with her, and used positive reinforcement methods that aligned with my own philosophy (I can't say the same of the other trainers I tried).
Sammye was so professional and clearly very knowledgeable in her field, and I cannot recommend her enough.
If I could give her 10 stars I would. As my pup grows more I'm sure we will run into other problems, and I fully intend on reaching out to Sammye when the time comes." Thank you Sammye for all your hard work!"
- Dr. Elyse Lopez
Our private one-on-one sessions offered are extremely effective but may not always be available or feasible for your situation. Board & train programs can be a good option for busy owners who do not have the time or expertise to train their dog, or for dogs with behavior issues that require intensive training.
Our board and train program is a specialized program designed to provide obedience skills and behavior modification for a dog while they stay at the trainer's home. As experienced CCPDT Certified Professional Dog Trainers and behavior consultants, we utilize the most up-to-date, scientifically-backed, positive reinforcement techniques, ensuring that dogs are trained using rewards and encouragement rather than punishment or harsh aversive methods. This approach promotes a strong bond between the dog and the owner and fosters a positive (and faster!) learning experience for the dog.
Additional charges: Any additional charges will be paid when the dog is returned.
Flea and tick medicine must be provided. If an adequate amount is not provided at the time of drop off, I will provide a topical preventative. The cost will be determined by the weight of the dog.
Your dog will receive a bath, at no charge, before being returned at the end of the program.
If the dog is of a type that requires professional grooming, the owner will be responsible for these charges. A dog weighing 10 lbs or more will be charged $70-150 per occurrence of grooming needed.
Owner is responsible for the cost of food for their dog; it is best to keep them on their regular brand to avoid an upset stomach. You can either provide the entire amount upon day 1 of the program, or we will purchase it for you and be reimbursed for costs at the end of the program.
Owners should plan to pack to bring:
A list of the items you packed so I can be sure to return them to you
Instructions of your routine or notes
Copy of vaccination records
Emergency contact besides owner
Dog food (please pack more than needed, sometimes stays are extended, natural disaster emergencies could happen, and sometimes their food kibble is used as treats)
Harness and collar with ID tags
Flat leash (nylon, leather, ones that are NOT retractable)
If your dog likely won't tear it up, pack an old t-shirt, blanket, or some fabric that smells like your home as it may comfort your dog
Any supplements or medications needed
Treats if picky eater or have a sensitive stomach
**Please DON’T pack anything sentimental or that you’d be sad about if something happened to it!**
Interested? Read it all below!
If you book a program during our appointment, your evaluation price of $100 is deducted from the total cost!
Here's an overview of how our in-home board and train program typically works:
Evaluation: The program begins with an initial evaluation which costs $100 where the trainer assesses the dog's behavior, temperament, and specific training needs. This helps us create a customized training plan for the dog and see whether we are best fit for your needs. An evaluation for dogs 6 months and older is needed and is a 30-60 minute in-person meeting (preferably completed prior to reserving dates to ensure a good fit). Current clients do not need an evaluation prior to booking.
Boarding: We are not a shelter-style kennel run-style facility, proudly, as logistically, your dog should learn best how to behave in a home environment. Your dog is then boarded in our trainer's home for a specific duration, which typically is 3 weeks, depending on the training goals and the dog's progress. We utilize crates and playpens at night and during resting periods.
Training Sessions: During the stay, we conduct multiple daily training sessions one-on-one with your dog. These sessions focus on teaching and reinforcing desired behaviors using positive reinforcement methods, such as clicker/YES verbal marker, treats, praise, toys, and other individually valued rewards. We may work on basic obedience commands (sit, stay, come, place), leash manners, socialization, problem behaviors, or any other specific training goals identified during the evaluation.
Socialization and Enrichment: Alongside the training sessions, the dog is exposed to various socialization experiences and environmental stimuli to help them become comfortable and confident in different situations. This may include interactions with other dogs, supervised playtime, exposure to different sounds, environments, and people.
Progress Updates: Throughout the board and train program, we keep dog owners updated text or email. We send an update on the progress made with a mid-program progress report describing the dog's advancements, behavior improvements, and challenges encountered during training. However, please do keep in mind the time spent sending updates may take away from time available for training which is our top priority, so we appreciate your patience and understanding if there are delays. Think no news is, way more often than not, good news anyways!
Owner Training: Towards the end of the program, the trainer typically provides 1 FREE TRANSFER SESSION PER WEEK STAY where we teach the owner how to maintain and reinforce the trained behaviors. This ensures a smooth transition once the dog returns and settles back in at home. The follow up sessions need to be scheduled in advance due to limited availability. These sessions begin the following week of return, and occur within 14 days of the prior scheduled session. All sessions owed should be completed within a time frame of 60 days of completion of the training program.
Follow-up Support: After the board and train program is complete and the dog has returned home, we offer follow-up support, including phone consultations or additional training sessions if needed, to help the owner and the dog continue progressing and addressing any lingering concerns.
The sooner you schedule a Board & Train, the better the outcome for training. However, you can always teach an old dog new tricks! For puppies under six months, a Board & Train program with Sammye’s Dogs is $2,100. For dogs 6 months and older, the price is generally $2,500 - $3,500 depedning on complexity of goals or behavior issues. The cost is $1,000 per week with a 2 week minimum. A $1,000 reservation fee per dog is required to reserve program dates and is NON refundable. The remaining amount for program costs is to be paid 30 days prior to bailment of the dog(s) on day 1 of the program. If booking is under a 30 days notice, full payment for the program must be paid upon booking.
Can you believe she used to be reactive and pull on leash relentlessly?
3 weeks of board & train!
*ALL payments are NONREFUNDABLE
*Dogs will periodically spend short periods of time in their kennel/crate. Since we are home-based and not a facility with kennel runs, a dog who barks incessantly or one with separation anxiety while inside kennels might not be a good fit.
*Dogs may travel for outings off of the trainer’s property
*Dogs need to be free of any veterinary ailments. Dogs with ear infections, sores, upset stomachs, in estrus/heat, pregnant, or recently healing from surgery are not candidates for this service.
*Dogs that require special care or grooming-upkeep may require additional fees. It is recommended to plan for or schedule grooming after the completion of the program.
*If the owner is not able to take the dog on the scheduled return date, i.e. out of town, illness, yard repair, etc... the normal boarding fee will apply from that date until the dog is returned. Normal boarding fees are $100 per day.
*The Board and Train Program will not short cut the amount of work you will need to continue to put into your dog for the rest of your life . However, your dog will be fully trained upon his return.
BEWARE OF SALES TACTICS
"Guaranteed results" "Results in X amount of time"
Real dog trainers CANNOT "Guarantee" behavior of a living, breathing animal or state an issue can be "fixed" in any certain amount of time. It is unethical to mislead potential clients into thinking otherwise to make a quick buck.
Our favorite example is Nicole Wilde's friend's rhinoplasty procedure. "Her parents eventually agreed to allow her to have a rhinoplasty—a “nose job.” After careful research and consultations with various plastic surgeons, they settled on one who guaranteed that if they didn’t like the results, he would modify it again, free of charge. Armed with this assurance, they moved forward. As it turned out, my friend did not like the results. In fact, she hated them. As promised, the second surgery was performed free of charge. Unfortunately, it yielded results no better than the first. My friend was not any closer to having the straight, narrow nose she’d envisioned, and although I would never have said so, it now looked downright odd. It took a third surgery, performed by another surgeon, to get it right."
What value does a guarantee of additional services hold if the provider lacks the proficiency to achieve success initially? Think a dog training company that pledges results, asserting they can solve your dog's issues in a single session. Even if unsuccessful, they commit to returning until the problem is resolved. Is this a worthwhile arrangement, particularly if the initial session comes with a hefty price tag? Doesn't the foundation of this "quick fix" approach suggest a lack of appreciation for the time needed to modify certain intense or deeply ingrained canine behaviors?
Of course simple, basic obedience skills like teaching sit and down can be taught quickly. However, in the majority of instances, trainers who pledge immediate guaranteed resolutions for significant issues such as aggression often rely on aversive and punitive methods. While the quick fix may appear miraculous, there are repercussions associated with the use of punishment—it merely stifles behavior rather than tackling the root problem. Furthermore, attempting to replicate the trainer's actions may not yield identical results for the owner, and there have been instances of individuals being bitten in the process. And the transfer sessions with these trainers, if any are given, are not in the owner's home and usually these skills do not transfer to success in the owner's home rendering their attempt at training provided at their kennel useless. Additionally, is it truly desirable to treat your dog harshly and potentially jeopardize the trust between you and your furry companion? Certainly not.
Another example referencing a similar concept is teaching a child a foreign language. Can fluency really be guaranteed in the true meaning of the word?
Every dog is unique, with distinct temperaments, personalities, and responses to training. Positive reinforcement scientifically works for ALL mammals (they must not be doing things correctly, if these trainers think otherwise). A dog trainer cannot predict or control all variables that may influence a dog's behavior. Ethical trainers acknowledge and respect the individuality of each dog, understanding that outcomes may vary.
A dog's behavior is often influenced by its environment, including the owner's home, lifestyle, and other external elements. Ethical dog trainers recognize that factors beyond their control may impact a dog's behavior, making it impossible to guarantee specific outcomes.
Successful dog training often requires active participation and consistency from the dog owner. Ethical trainers understand that if the owner doesn't follow through with training techniques or fails to maintain a consistent approach, it can affect the dog's behavior. Guaranteeing results without considering owner commitment is not ethically responsible.
Dogs may encounter new and unpredictable situations that can affect their behavior. Trainers cannot foresee all potential scenarios that a dog may face, and therefore, they cannot guarantee how the dog will react in every circumstance.
Health issues or genetic predispositions may influence a dog's behavior. Ethical trainers recognize that these factors are beyond their control, and guaranteeing behavioral outcomes would be unrealistic and potentially misleading.
In summary, ethical dog trainers emphasize the importance of a customized and flexible approach, understanding that living beings, including dogs, exhibit variability that cannot be entirely controlled or predicted.