Ten Things You Must Know
Before Leaving Your Dog in Boarding or Training

Don’t wait until you drop them off, check the place out before.
Don’t be shy, this is your baby dog that depends on you and can’t speak!

#1 How to Get a Well Trained Dog in Just 45 Minutes a Week!

Dogs live 15+ years, and these can be wonderful or terrible years. The investment in professional dog training improves the quality of life for you and your dog. Trained dogs get more freedom and live more fulfilling lives. A good trainer can save you: TIME- Good trainers know how dogs learn and don’t waste time with ineffective “hand me down” techniques that put more pressure on your dog than is necessary. A professional trainer can train your dog, then train you in just 45 minutes a week. EFFORT-Good trainers have studied how people learn and make learning easy and fun. MONEY-Good Trainers can reduce or eliminate pet damage to your home, possessions, and liability issues. HEARTACHE-Good trainers help you establish a healthy relationship with your dog so you can avoid serious issues later. PlayStayTion has experienced, credentialed trainers.

First Picture –Dog Needing Training.  Second Picture-A dog trained at  PlayStayTion.

Untrained Dog
Trainer-Vicki


#2 Don’t Be Duped By Phony Boarding and Training Pictures!

Many Dog Boarding and Training places use pictures borrowed from the internet to entice you. The first picture is an example of photos borrowed from the internet and used by unscrupulous trainers. It’s designed to grab your attention, but don’t be fooled. This is NOT your trainer, and this is NOT where your trainer trains. Don’t wait until you are dropping off your dog. Go to the place first. Ask to meet the trainers that you and your dog will be working with. Ask to see their certifications. We all like to see our doctor’s credentials hanging on the wall, dog training is no different! Many trainers mislead about how many dogs they’ve trained and their certification. PlayStayTion uses pictures of real trainers, training real client dogs, actually at PlayStayTion.

First picture of a model, purchased on the internet and designed to grab you.
Second picture is a real trainer at PlayStayTion heeling by food on ground off leash!

Internet Photo

#3 Warning-Dog Boarding and Training is an Unlicensed Field

Anyone can claim to know how to keep and train a dog. There are hundreds of meaningless training certifications. Ask to see diplomas with your trainer’s name on it. Look for the meaningful ones: American Kennel Club Canine Evaluator, CCPDT-KA, IAABC Animal Behaviorist, Mirror Method Master Trainer, Karen Pryor Certified Trainer, Dunbar/Sirius and NADOI. The more credentialed the trainer, the more time the trainer has spent learning scientific theory and techniques. Training done by uneducated trainers is usually in direct opposition to what really works. Once certified, good trainers must attend continuing education. This enables your trainer to stay current on new techniques and achieve the quickest results with the least amount of pressure on you and your dog. Many trainers boast credentials they haven’t earned. You can look up the associations on the internet and search the roster for a trainer’s name. Be careful to note the difference between training certifications and training associations. Simply joining an association does not guarantee that the trainer has knowledge or skills. One place whose trainers hold the most distinguished credentials in the country is PlayStayTion. They hold American Kennel Club Canine Evaluator, CCPDA-KA, ADPT, IACP, and the European Mirror Method Master Trainer.

Left- Meaningless Credentials. Right- Real Credentials of Real Trainer at PlayStayTion

Trainer Credentials

#4 Get a Free Evaluation from a Certified Dog Behaviorist!

An animal behaviorist has devoted a great deal of time and studied why dogs behave the way they do and can show you how to help your dog feel better and solve problems through identifying and removing the underlying stressor, then creating a custom plan that teaches your dog an alternate, more positive way of behaving instead. PlayStayTion offers training combined with Animal Behaviorist outlook for maximum success.

Left- Unqualified. Right-Qualified Animal Behaviorist onsite on the PlayStayTion Pet Resort


#5 Experience Is The Difference Between Kind And Cruel

Experience is the most important factor of all. Working with a trainer that has more than 20 years’ experience means they will be able to spot issues early and help you navigate around pitfalls. Experienced trainers have a variety of ways to teach things, depending on the learner, so sessions are fresh, fun, and productive. Inexperienced trainers often only know one way to teach something and become frustrated and angry with your dog if it doesn’t catch on. Experienced trainers can train dogs and people quickly. Ask if the trainers have pledged to follow LIMA protocol. If they can’t tell you what this is, you’re at the wrong place. How do you find a trainer that will still be available to help you later? Thinking about hiring a brand-new trainer? Where will they be in six months, a year? A good trainer will have been in business for many years. The reason they are still in business is because they did a good job with the dogs they’ve trained. They understand and are willing to work with you even after your dog is trained. They are into dog training for the long haul. They know that some problems take a while to solve, and new issues may develop along the way. The best way to pick a trainer that will be here tomorrow is by picking one that has been here for a lot of yesterdays. One company that has been in business for 45 years is PlayStayTion.

Left- Trainer Frustrated. Right- 2 Good Training Actually performed by a real trainer at PlayStayTion. Look at the dog’s expression.


#6 How Do I Know A Place Will Be Kind To My Dog?

Ask to watch a trainer working with a dog. Think twice if a trainer says that punishment-based training using choke, prong or electric collars are safe and effective. Some even claim, they are positive! This is not true. Pain training may achieve some short-term goals, but it only suppresses behaviors. Pain training inhibits a dog from thinking and becoming an active learner. Listen to your gut. If a trainer is doing something and the dog looks confused or scared, it isn’t right. If the trainer requires tools like choke, prong or electric collars, they aren’t using the latest, most effective techniques. Drop in unannounced and watch. If a trainer tells you they work 7 days a week or ridiculous hours, this isn’t living a balanced life and you and your pet will suffer the consequences. A successful private trainer may see 1-4 clients a day at most, a trainer at a school might train up to 8 dogs a day. Ask a perspective trainer what reinforcements and punishment they use. If the trainer will be using treats, how they will get the dog to continue to do the behaviors later without the treats? Animals can now be taught to do amazing, reliable behaviors without the pain and force of yesterday. Many old-school dog trainers use positive buzzwords but in truth practice useless, dangerous, and outdated techniques. PlayStayTion uses Positive Reinforcement Training

First three pictures of Cruel Training. Next three pictures of positive training done at PlayStayTion. Look at the difference in the dog’s posture and attitude.

Cruel Dog Training

# 7 Will my dog be safe?

The single most important thing to look for is Indoor/Outdoor Access so a dog can relieve itself when it needs to and not have to wait to be walked. Never leave your dog in a place that uses crates! It costs twice as much to build a facility with indoor/outdoor access, so most places don’t do it. If not, your poor dog is waiting to be walked depending on staff’s whims, remembering to walk them and walking them frequently enough, if at all. Staff usually leave at 5 and don’t return until the next morning. It could be 15 hours or more! That’s way too long to wait, not healthy and miserable for the dog. Many dogs won’t eliminate on a leash. Not being able to eliminate when needed causing UTI’s, constipation, diarrhea, and discomfort. Some kennels don’t even walk dogs; they just expect them to eliminate in their kennels. Poor dogs, trying to hold it until they practically explode. No matter how cute it’s decorated, it’s still a miserable cell if you can’t relieve yourself when you need to. Can you smell urine, feces, or bleach? There should be little to no urine or feces in kennels and common areas. Ask to see what kind of cleaning products are used. They should be using a human hospital grade disinfectant that kills surface bacteria not cheap bleach that burns paws and tongues. Is the kennel’s heating and cooling system working well or is it a hot bed of contagious germs? Most contagious dog diseases are air borne which means that they travel through the facilities’ air conditioning and heating system. Make sure the boarding facility has a UV Air Sanitizer installed in their heating/cooling system. UV sanitation systems are expensive equipment that kills air borne germs. PlayStayTion has indoor/outdoor rooms, heated, air-conditioned with UV air sanitizers running throughout along with soft lighting, music and TV 24 hours a day.

First Picture-Bad Housing. Second two pictures of actual dog rooms at PlayStayTion

Bad Dog Housing
Dog Room 1
Dog Room 2


#8 Crazy Fun Your Dog Should Be Having While Boarding or Training!

Ask to see EXACTLY where and what your dog will be doing for activities and socialization when not being trained. Obedience commands are only a part of a well-behaved dog. Dogs need lots of exercise, mental stimulation, and socialization with their own kind and new people to be happy and well adjusted. Dogs can’t be just let out in a pen every day! Providing different high quality activity centers is expensive. Look for daily sanitized Astroturf playgrounds to allow dogs to play and socialize in a clean and disease-free area rather than raw dirt and grass that harbors disease. They need pools, agility courses and other dog friendly activity centers as well as plans for rainy day activities. Drop by unannounced. The result will tell you volumes about how well the facility is run and how the dogs are treated. Make sure you see a staff that is large enough to not only feed and medicate twice a day but spend many hours loving and playing with the pets. PlayStayTion offers many interesting activities like: Agility, Dock Diving, Doggy Puzzles, Lure Courses, K9 Massages, Nature Hikes, Swimming and Train Rides at no additional charge!

First picture-dog left in cage when not training. Second picture-Dog enjoying activities when not training

Dog Enjoying Fun Activities

#9 What do you mean, I can’t see my dog???

Dogs need care 365 days a year so look for a place that is open 365 days a year. Be wary of places that are closed on weekends or have limited weekend hours or close on holidays. You’ll be much happier if you can drop off your pet any day of the week or pick it up when you get back. Ask if you can drop by announced. Many places won’t let you. That’s a red flag! Why can’t you see your dog? Dogs need quiet time and rest at night so being open at night isn’t necessary, just make sure someone lives on site. PlayStayTion is open 365 days a year and welcomes you to drop in anytime!

Left-Sad owner and pup because place is closed. Right-PlayStayTion Pet Resort open every day from 8-5.

Sad Dog Because Closed
Open 8-5 Resort

#10 Does the Staff Really Care About My Dog?

Talk to the staff. Caring for dogs and training is a passion. A good way to tell is to ask two questions. 1) What does the company do to help animals? This speaks volumes about a business. People who help animals demonstrate that animal welfare is important to them. It’s much more likely this type of business will go over and above the call of duty to make sure that your pet is well taken care of, even if it’s not always profitable. PlayStayTion works with several charities and helps animals independently. 2) Interested in training? Ask to meet the trainer’s dog. Good trainers live and breathe dog training. They practice what they preach and have a well-trained dog themselves.

Left- Only interested in money. Right-Real trainer at PlayStayTion that genuinely loves dogs.

Only Interested In Money

Watch these super fun videos of PlayStayTion’s owner’s personal dog!


100% Verifiable Customer Reviews

Vicki and Will Nourse are proud members of The Association of Professional Dog Trainers.

PlayStayTion in North Texas

* In business for over 45 years
* Most Comfortable and Fun Pet Resort & Training Center in Country.
* Experienced, Authentically Credentialed Trainers.
* Lifetime training support guarantee
* 0% Financing
* FREE EVALUATIONS available from Certified Dog Behaviorist and Trainer.
* Serves North Texas, Dallas, Ft. Worth. Winner-Voted Best Pet Resort in Texoma