Board & Learn FAQ

Why is it called Board and Learn and not board and train/residential training?

We decided to change the name to better describe what your dog will experience while they are with us. We do not provide a rigid bootcamp like environment where your dog must obey our every beck and call. Our training approach is focused on the individual dog in front of us and we go at their pace. To begin with your dog will have time to settle in and get to know the family and routine, whilst at the same time learning new things through fun enriching activities. Our focus is on your dogs mental wellbeing so we wont force them to do things they are not comfortable with. They will on the other hand become calmer, more confident dogs that are resilient when confronted with tricky social situations. They will be given the foundations of communication so that you can make sure to keep them motivated and focused on you even in distracting environments. 

Unlike many other board and train providers, we will only use reward based methods to ensure your dog forms positive associations to the world around them.

Are you licenced and insured?

Yes, because we are licenced, our insurance policy covers boarding. On top of that, your pet insurance company will also cover you if you need to use it. 

Any establishment that looks after other people's dogs needs an animal activity licence. If your dog is left at an unlicensed premises and something goes wrong, you may not be covered by any insurance.

Will my dog stay in a kennel?

No. Your dog will become part of the Val's K9 Training family. This means they will experience and learn to live with young children and other dogs. They may sleep in a playpen or crate to help with toilet training and reduce destructive behaviours over night. They will never be left in a crate or pen for more than 2hrs during the day.  

Can my reactive dog attend a board & Learn program?

Before any dog attends Val's K9 Training for boarding, they need to be assessed to ensure the safety of all the family as well as your dog. We can take some reactive dogs if their reactivity is not directed at people and if they are able to get along with the 2 resident dogs. If your dog is reactive towards children or the resident dogs, then unfortunately they will not be able to attend Board & learn. Instead, we are happy to work with you and your dog on the full behaviour package to ensure that your dog gets the help and support it needs. 

How long does my dog have to stay for Board & learn

The minimum stay for Board & learn is a minimum of 2 weeks. This is to allow your dog to adapt and form a bond with me. The first week here will focus on teaching them the basics and  building trust. The second week will focus on socialisation as well as continuing everything from the first week,  the longer your dog stays, the more practice they will get in developing good behaviours. As all dogs are unique, these stages may vary, so if your dog takes longer than expected to settle into our routine, you will be advised to extend the training period for up to 4 weeks. 

How will I know what to do once my dog comes back home?

For Board & learn, you are expected to attend at least 1 session each week, where i will teach you what i have covered with your dog, and advise you on how to continue it at home. At the end of the B&L period there will be a detailed handover session, this is accompanied with a full behaviour plan and progress videos. 

Do you accept dogs just for boarding?

Yes, we can also board your dog. They will go on daily walks and as part of their enrichment they will also get some training, but there is no set plan and it will only be reinforcing their current training. Our boarding option is unique in that we offer boarding to dogs we have already trained, this means that we can continue to reinforce their training while you are away and you can rest assured that your dog will not regress during that time. This is a very bespoke service exclusively to the Val's K9 Community . 

My dog has some behaviour problems, can you take them on just for boarding?

 Your dogs welfare is of paramount importance to us, so just allowing your dog to be distressed when on walks or just living in an environment that it will be stressed is not an option for us. If your dog has got behaviour problems I can offer 1-2-1 sessions or board and Learn where your dog will receive dedicated training to help them overcome the problems they are having, therefore leading to a more relaxed and happy dog over all.

I thought you said you provide some training for dogs just boarding?

Indeed, if your dog is staying with us they will get a lot of enrichment, this may consist of long walks, puzzle toys, and some basic cues that are essential for enjoying those activities, such as reinforcing a recall that they already know, or getting them to sit before food or go to their bed. The only training we do is just reinforcing what the dog has already learnt with us, we don't teach them anything new or work through behaviour problems if your dog is staying just for boarding.

From what age can a dog come for boarding or training?

Although we can take puppies from as young as 12w, (if they will become regulars this is fine) we often recommend your dog is at least over 5mth old. We are more than happy to work with you on a 121 basis before hand or point you in the direction of group classes who will set you up for success in future. 

What is the difference between Board & Learn and just boarding


  • Your dog will live as part of the family
  • go on daily walks
  • Have lots of enrichment
  • Daily video/picture updates
  • If they have already attended a B& T or 121 behaviour program then any training we did will be continued to ensure there is always consistency

Board & Learn:

  • Your dog will live as part of the family
  • They will go on daily walks
  • Have lots of enrichment
  • They will have a structured training plan for the duration of their stay
  • Training will become part of their day to day life
  • They will be socialised in all areas
  • Specific focus on problem behaviours will be worked on
  • Daily training and video updates
  • Detailed behaviour plan at the end of their stay
  • Access to video tutorials
  • access to exclusive Val's K9 community group on Facebook

Why do you charge so much?

Because your dog is living in our house, they are getting frequent interaction from all the family, lots of enrichment and daily walks. As well as taking care of their basic animal welfare needs your dog is living in the house with a qualified and experienced behaviourist who understands all of your dogs needs. If they are stressed, or anxious, We can  make sure to apply techniques that will help your dog cope. We are first aid trained and qualified  in canine behaviour.  

At kennels, your dog is kept isolated in their own kennel for most of the day with maybe 2 walks/free time in a larger pen. where they get their human interaction They don't get the 121  home from home experience they get when they stay with us. 


If you have already done training with Val's K9 Training then your dog will already be very familiar with me and this will also help them settle in at our house.