I have an unusually large or high-energy breed. Will that cost extra?
If you’re looking for the answer to this question, it is probably “yes”. While I love all dogs and firmly believe they are all as unique as we are, there are a number of breeds that stand out as requiring considerably more time, exercise, effort, and ultimately cost to care for. When one dog requires 2 trips to the dog park each day and a cleanup crew for the house & car, while another needs a bowl of dry food & access to the yard in between naps, it starts to make very little sense to charge the same amount.
There are of course exceptions, so if you feel like your dog should be considered as such, please drop me a note. I am not completely inflexible on the subject. I won’t be checking pedigrees, nor are mutts exempt from the policy. However, if your dog falls into this group, you’ll know it; the distinction will never be ambiguous. Overnight boarding services for the following breeds & those with similar characteristics (under 10 years old) will incur a 20% surcharge per night.
- Australian Shepherd
- German Shepherd
- Labrador Retriever
- Golden Retriever
- Pitbull Terrier
- Rhodesian Ridgeback
- Siberian Husky
* Breed List subject to change & whether or not it appears here is not indicative of a final decision regarding the assessment of the 20% surcharge.
How much does it cost to train my dog?
I get this question a lot, and unfortunately there is no simple answer. I often use an analogy from my experience as a website developer because it is an example of another product/service that can doesn’t really have a ‘one-size-fits-all’ model. A local small business owner is not going to have the same goals or needs as a multinational corporation. When it comes to training your dog, you probably just don’t want him jumping on the neighbors or chewing on the sofa, and probably don’t him to be certified for search and rescue, assisting with helicopter rescues on weekends. There is a training package to suit most any budget, but every dog is an individual, with unique personalities, backgrounds, and interests. Interests? Really? Yep, one of the most important aspects of any training program is to determine the best motivator for your dog. Some dogs will work tirelessly for a chance to fetch a ball, while others ignore the ball but will put in the same effort for a simple ‘good boy’ and a pat on the head. While each breed has broad characteristics that are similar, i.e. Labradors generally like to swim and fetch, since they were originally bred as hunting dogs. However this information can be as reliable as the assertion that tall people are good at basketball. Sure, most Labs enjoy these activities and are pretty clever. Yet I guarantee at least one person reading this has had a Lab that was incredibly dopey, yet he was the greatest dog ever.
It doesn’t matter what kind of dog you have, how old he is, or how smart he is. All of them have a ‘good dog’ inside that’s just waiting to come out. The only important variables are your patience, commitment, and ability to communicate effectively with your dog. I don’t mean to oversimplify the process. If you are reading this, you are looking for help. Some dogs are more difficult to train than others, but in my experience most any can be resolved with love, patience, and if necessary professional guidance. There is always the possibility that your dog’s behavior could be the result of a medical problem, and that should always be ruled out first before beginning any rigorous training program. As long as you are willing to be firm, consistent, and apply just the right amount of positive reinforcement when required, you will be successful.
So that’s nice, but how much does it cost? What are the behaviors you are seeking to correct? How much guidance will you require? Are you willing to change your dog’s environment and perhaps even your lifestyle or schedule to solve this problem? There are many questions to be answered. It is also essential that your trainer have a chance to observe your dog in his natural atmosphere to get a sense of how you communicate. We form very strong bonds with our pets, and the training process, when done correctly, will strengthen that bond immeasurably. It is important we remember that one of our dogs’ primary motivators, aside from a ball or a treat is to please their leaders. If you’re not sure who that leader is in your household, then we have some work to do! I usually tell people I can teach their dog to walk on the leash inside of a 20-30 minute walk. Why then, do my Leash Training packages take a minimum of 3.5 hours? Getting your dog to understand how to walk on the leash is the easy part. Training YOU how to walk HIM on the leash, and convincing him there is no other attractive option but to do so – that’s the challenge.
A well-trained dog is a happier dog, because he will get to do all of the things dogs love to do! Roam free during a party at your place. Ride with you in the car to run your errands. Join the family on vacations. If there’s a doggy-heaven, these activities are on the itinerary. If your dog jumps on everyone, barks incessantly, or is uncontrollable in the car, these activities that should be nice for you, and a source of pure joy for your dog turn into torture. Everyone’s heard a young Golden Retriever crying and scratching at the door because she’s locked in the back bedroom at a party. Once you can help your dog make those connections between positive behaviors and getting what she wants, she will happily comply.
So what’s the bottom line? Where do I begin?
- Decide on a ballpark budget you are comfortable with, taking into account the cost of replacing all of the chewed up shoes and TV remotes.
- Determine the top 3 behaviors that you absolutely must correct.
- Complete an intake form (it’s just a few quick questions) and schedule a free evaluation.
If I don’t think I can get results, I won’t take your money.
Can I give my host a tip?
It is entirely up to you! It is not against any DogVacay policies to do so, and it depends on the customer and their dog(s). Some guests definitely require more work than others! While not expected, receiving a tip is certainly appreciated if you are especially pleased with our services.
Is there an additional charge for boarding over holidays?
There might be! Most hosts have special holiday rates. Rover.com explains how the pricing structure works in this helpful FAQ article. If you are planning to book over a holiday, be sure to check Pet Prodigy’s special offers to see if you qualify for a discount that could potentially offset increased holiday pricing.
What is your cancellation policy?
Guests will be entitled to receive a full refund (minus any service fees) if they cancel at least 7 days prior to the start date of the Vacay, and 50% if they cancel within 7 days.
Guests will be entitled to receive a full refund (minus any service fees) if they cancel at least two days before the start of the individual daycare session, and 50% if they cancel within one day. For example, if the daycare session begins on 7/5, you must call by 11:59pm PST on 7/3 for a full refund.
Why go through Rover.com to set up a boarding reservation?
With Rover.com, you know your pet is in the best hands. Every sitter goes through a rigorous approval process before they can join our community.
Customers share detailed reviews and star ratings for all of our sitters to help you find the perfect match for you and your pet.
Your pets’ safety and your peace of mind are really important to both of these organizations. Every reservation includes 24/7 customer support, daily photo updates, and premium pet insurance which covers up to $25,000 in vet bills per pet.
Can I check on my dog while I’m away?
Of course! Both DogVacay and Rover.com offer easy ways to stay in touch with your host through a mobile app or standard email/text. Whatever your communication preference, I will be sure to send photos, videos, and regular updates so you can enjoy your trip knowing your dog is having a ball. It’s like summer camp for these guys, where (approved) treats are plentiful, you’re allowed on the bed, and the dog park a daily visit to the dog park is always on the schedule.
My dog has already flunked out of obedience school. What makes you think you can help?
I see this a lot. Most often when you look into the incident a little deeper, you’ll reach a human who either enables the bad behavior or was inconsistent with the exercises. Dog training is as much about training the owner as it is the canine. Dogs are pack animals, and instinctively look for a “pack leader” to follow. That role must be occupied by YOU, not your trainer!
Consistency is the key. Your dog will take all of their cues from you. If you’re hesitant or nervous, they know it. Dogs that perform poorly in group training environments are usually just not ready for them. If your dog is high energy, easily distracted, or not used to following commands of any kind, it’ll take some prep work before he’ll be ready to behave around other dogs or people. In addition, just like a child, if your dog isn’t getting enough exercise or mental stimulation throughout the day, they are going to have difficulty concentrating when it’s time to learn.
No matter how tough a case you think you have, I encourage you to fill out an intake form anyway and schedule a free evaluation.