Frequently Asked Questions

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Why do we stand out from the crowd?

With our combination of people skills and dog skills, we will change your life (and your dog’s) for the better! Experience? Yes. Bernadette has twenty years experience as both a Search & Rescue handler and professional trainer. Here are a few of her credentials:

  • Past President Front Range Rescue Dogs
  • AKC CGC Evaluator
  • Certified Professional Dog Trainer
  • Published author in multiple magazines

In boarding school, we work with only a few dogs at a time. This allows us to give each pet plenty of love and education. Your dog lives with us on our beautiful property in a clean and happy environment… very unlike the industrial kennel or basement settings of many trainers. And of course, all our programs include follow up to insure your happiness and success. We’re gentle and effective.

Who will be working with my dog? Is Bernadette the only trainer?


Will I get to see my dog during boarding school?

Bernadette will determine if owner participation is appropriate or helpful to the program. In most cases, however, we find owner participation counterproductive to the rehabilitation and training process.

What is my dog’s day like during boarding school?

The dogs sleep inside our climate-controlled kennel. We only work with a small number of dogs to give every dog the attention they need, and maintain a relaxed environment. Our kids are busy from 7am – 9pm. The day begins and ends with a supervised pack walk on our farm to improve socialization and dog / dog skills, including coming when called with distractions. We do multiple training sessions per day in the form of walks, hikes and field trips. We work in the house too to shape up house training and house manners. They will also receive plenty of rest, down time, and personal one-on-one attention.

Why do you use E-Collars?

Modern E-Collar training is the most effective, most reliable, most humane, and transformational training available today. It also allows us to easily transfer the respectful new behavior we create, over to you the owner.

How do you train with an E-Collar?

We use vibration and low-level, communication-style, modern E-Collar training, which looks nothing like the E-Collar training of the past.

My dog is uncontrollable on the walk – pulling, lunging, barking, growling – can you fix this?

We consistently get fantastic results with all levels of issues, from mild pulling and disobedience, to severe dog reactivity.

If I send my dog to boarding school, will the training work for me at home?

Yes, because we train you as well and because we send you home with a simple and gentle communication system that really works in your home.

What if I need more help later? Is there a guarantee?

We want our dogs and families to be happy and successful for a lifetime but due to the many variables involved to create a well-behaved, balanced dog, including owner commitment, consistency, and follow-through, it would be unethical for us to offer a 100% guarantee. However, we only choose the most dedicated and diligent owners so in our experience, we consistently see breakthrough results. Once you hire us, we consider you part of the BlackPaw family, and your success is our utmost priority. Therefore, we offer free phone consultations for the lifetime of your dog. If a problem arises, we can usually talk you through it over the phone.

Will my dog miss me if I enroll in boarding school?

It’s just like camp. A fun activity starts even before you’re driving away. Your dog will be happy and busy the entire time. We even send you a video of your dog in training so you can see fun and progress in action. Your dog will have a blast at BlackPaw dog training and will be thrilled to see you come back so they can show off their new skills for you.

Do I need a dog trainer to come to my home?

The vast majority of dog behavior problems are better solved out of the home environment first, not in it. That’s because at our facility your dog is likely to be more open to suggestion than at home… and that’s a good thing. After all, your goal — and ours — is that your dog should learn to listen to you quickly, easily and happily. Of course your dog lives at home but this is where the great distraction level is found. At our school, we start with a controlled low distraction environment. But we can — and do — add distractions slowly and surely to build your dog’s success and reliability. Your dog can and will apply his or her education at home because we include owner education and follow up with every dog. We want you to succeed!