Boarding FAQ

Okay, some important information to answer some questions regarding boarding dogs here at Feathers and Fur.

1. What happens in a typical day boarding at your place?
In the course of a day, we work on getting along with other dogs, walking nicely, leaving food, clothes, shoes, etc alone, sharing with dogs, pottying outside, good manners inside, good manners outside. If there are other things someone needs work on, we do that, too. (So if a dog is naughty with visitors, I invite people over. If a dog is chewing baseboards, we try and solve that. If a dog is aggressive, we work on being friendly. Etc.)

Usually, 3 days per week I work outside the house. If you’ve scheduled boarding in advance, I work short days (5-6 hours). If you haven’t, I work normal days (8 hours). While not under supervision, all dogs are crated or x-penned so they don’t have the chance to be naughty, and so that everyone gets down time (including my dogs!). If I have a dog not used to holding it that long, my assistant trainer comes by and lets everyone out.

The other four days per week I work from home (or I’m off) and the dogs are in full training.

2. Gosh, boarding with you is expensive. Why is that?
Several reasons. One is that I shorten my work days to spend time with your dog. Another is that I’m working twenty-four hours a day when I board. A third is that I can only board as many dogs as I deem safe: it might two or three dogs from one or two households that are all pretty good, or just one aggressive dog who isn’t safe with others. How much time and effort and sleeplessness I put in all affects the price.

3. I heard you live in the east bay area. I don’t really want to drive my dog all the way up there.
I don’t blame you! I wouldn’t, either. I do live in the East Bay because it’s where I could afford to buy a large, dog-friendly lot. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and weekends I will pick up and drop off your dog for free. If you need a pick up or drop off any other day, there is a fee.

4. Will you take my dog to your classes?
Not likely. I have a lot of other dogs to watch in my classes without paying attention to one in training. More likely I’ll take your dog to downtown or park areas where there are other dogs, and I can focus solely on him or her and his or her training.

5. I don’t like the idea of my dog being crated or x-penned for more than a few hours.
We can discuss it, but safety always comes first with me. I don’t want anything happening to any animals under my care.

6. What the heck is an x-pen?
It’s like a large doggie playpen, for dogs who aren’t used to being crated.

7. My dog uses a doggie door. Can you accommodate that?
Yup.

8. My dog doesn’t use a doggie door. Can you accommodate that?
Yup.

9. My dog has allergies. Can you accommodate that?
I can pretty much accommodate everything.

10. My dog doesn’t really need training, but I want to board with you anyway. Will you cut me a deal?
No. Because I can take on limited numbers, everyone gets treated the same. Otherwise I just stop boarding the “nice” dogs, and only board the dogs who need it. I’m happy to suggest some other places who board dogs in their homes without training, or I am happy to take on “nice” dogs at training prices.

11. My dog is aggressive with other dogs, and I’m worried about your dogs. Will you still take him?
Yes, after an evaluation. I worry about my dogs, too!

12. My dog isn’t aggressive at all, but pees in the house. Can you fix this?
Yes. It takes about 4 weeks.

13. How long will it take to fix x behavior?
Without a consult I can’t even guess. In general, housebreaking takes around 4 weeks. Everything else depends on the problem, the severity, and how close to perfect you want your dog before you take over.

14. Do you offer guarantees?
It depends on the problem. Call for more information.

15. Why should I board with you and not a training kennel? Training kennels are cheaper.
Indeed they are, and oftentimes they’re exactly what you need. If you’re looking to solve problems in a house, then it’s better to board in a house. If a dog is in a kennel and they pee, no one really cares. In a house, it’s different. In a kennel, no one knocks at the door or rides by on a skateboard to induce barking. In a house, they do. Whether you should board with me or in a kennel just depends on what training you want done.

16. Do you trade for board?
It depends on the length of boarding. Most times, no. Occasionally, I can trade for up to 1/4 of the cost of boarding.

17. How many dogs do you board at once?
As many as I deem safe. Typically, no more than two households. (If someone has two dogs in the same family, I will count that as one household.) This changes depending on the dog and what behavior we’re working on. Aggression cases are far less likely to have anyone else boarding. Housebreaking cases with no aggression are more likely to “share space.”

18. What should I bring with my dog when they board?
Their leash, training tools (collar, typically), and food, so they don’t get an upset stomach. If you want to bring something that smells like you or a toy, you’re welcome to do so. (Warning: Lily likes to destroy toys, despite my best attempts to keep other peoples’ toys safe.) I have plenty of beds, crates, bones, bowls, and toys for everyone.

19. Will my dog miss me?
They will be very happy to see you and tell you about their adventures, but while you’re gone they’ll be so busy with work and play that they won’t have much of a chance to miss you. Dogs get a little extra TLC if they’re stressed, and occasionally some Rescue Remedy (a flower essence supplement). Rarely are either of these needed.

20. My dog is/is not allowed on my couch. Will that be true at your house?
Whatever rules you have at your house we’ll do our best to follow at my house. My goal is to keep your dog comfortable while in training, and not un-train anything you’ve done.

21. Can I ask for updates?
Of course! I try to send out picture messages when able, and update Lily and Cash’s Facebook page as well. I like to know my dogs are happy; I assume you do, too!

If your question wasn’t answered here, feel free to contact me at jenna.b.mcdonald@gmail.com or (951) 704-5766!

Jenna

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