Board and Train Columbus

Boarding with Training in Columbus: Our Dog Training Programs

At Dog Dynamix Ohio, we put a lot of effort into ensuring that dogs and their owners achieve the best results through our selection of dog training programs. Our off-leash Board and Train options as well as our Puppy Training programs come with extensive owner counseling after graduation and have evolved over the years to get the greatest results possible.

Our Board and Train is a very popular program for dog owners in Columbus and Dayton looking to get high quality training results for their dogs on an expedited timeline.

We provide a few different Board and Train programs:

Our Ohio dog trainer will teach your dog how to walk properly on a leash, go to their bed (and stay there), come when you call them, behave correctly on field trips to various dog-friendly establishments, parks, trails, and more throughout our three-week off-leash focused training program.

If off-leash training isn’t a goal, we offer a two-week program that focuses on walking nicely on leash around distractions, bed-stay, and basic house manners.

We also off a Dog Bootcamp that aims to treat troublesome behaviors in dogs like aggression, barking at other dogs or people on leash, separation anxiety, fear and phobias, and other issues. The two different stays included in this program allow you to work with your dog halfway through and provide feedback on what needs to be adjusted for the greatest results.

We have a puppy to adult Perfect Puppy Program for puppies that consists of two weeks of on-leash puppy foundation training (name recognition, crate games, beginning leash walking, wait at the door, leave it, confidence building, and handling for grooming), and three weeks of off-leash training when your puppy is at least seven months old.

Finally, we offer a two-week puppy training program that starts puppies off on the right track but does not get into the advanced off leash training when they are older.

So, why choose board and train for dogs?

The biggest benefit of a board and train program may be the amount of time that our experienced Columbus dog trainer can commit to training your dog. In a Board and Train program, your dog’s dog trainer gets the chance to put the training techniques to use every single day. We’ve been doing this for a long time, and our system works (and has been proven via many dogs each year!). While in training, your dog receives repetitions every day as well as deliberate introductions to new dogs, people, and environments intended to serve as distractions.

The daily training for a prolonged length of time can be quite helpful when trying to resolve more serious behavioral difficulties. Due to frequent exposure to long-term triggers, lack of consistency, and the fact that dog owners don’t have the skillset of a dog trainer, things can move more quickly with a trainer than they would at home.

At a specialized training facility, the trainer is also likely to have access to a wider variety of people, dogs, and other significant distractions than you would at your house. It can be quite challenging to locate neutral dogs and people to work with frequently enough to make significant progress if your dog is overly thrilled to meet new people or other dogs. Dog trainers are able to set up your dog for success by using their own well-trained dogs, other dogs in training, dog trainer friends, and coworkers as everyday distractions. One of the most important aspects of dog training—and one that can be the most difficult—is teaching your dog how to behave consistently and securely around people and other dogs. In a dog training setting, socialization does not entail a free-for-all, overly enthusiastic greetings, improper conduct from the new human or dog, or anything else. We manage the atmosphere so that your dog learns how to act in a thoughtful and shrewd manner.

Some of us have very little time for dog training because our everyday lives are so busy, whether it’s because of work, kids, or a mix of things. Board and train programs can assist dog owners teach their dogs effectively on a tight schedule. In most cases, all you need to get ready for a Board and Train program is the food your dog will need for the duration of their stay and their vaccination documents. You don’t have to worry about keeping up with your weekly training “homework” in between appointments because the trainer will handle all the tiresome repetitions. Private Lesson programs are without a doubt a fantastic choice for many people, but if your schedule is already full, adding another commitment may be challenging. Knowing that your dog will receive the necessary training from a trainer you can trust and that all you need to do is pack up their food and drop them off removes your tension.

If you’re heading out of town for vacation, boarding and training programs are a terrific option. A Board and Train program may be the best option for you if you don’t want to board your dog while you’re away on business or vacation in an unstructured way that can create more bad behaviors. If you’re planning a trip and know you’ll need to board your dog, why not take advantage of the chance to combine excellent training with doing so? Your dog will behave better when you return, in addition to being in good hands while you’re away.

Dog Dynamix provides board and train programs for dogs and their owners in Ohio (Dayton and Columbus) and Colorado (including the Denver Metro area).

If you’re interested in our Board and Train Programs, please contact the trainer in your area by visiting their page (which is listed above)!

A Cattle Dog plays fetch during her Board and Train program near Columbus

Pros and Cons of Boarding and Training Programs for Dogs

What exactly is a “Board and Train” for dogs?

With a board and train program, you leave your dog for a set period of time to stay at a dog training facility or a dog trainer’s house. Your dog’s day is spent developing new skills or addressing other behavioral problems. A professional dog trainer does the repetitions (generally daily, but every company is different) and then helps you learn how to maintain the skills once your dog graduates from the program.

What Is the Duration of a Dog Board and Train?

Depending on the behaviors you want to address, and the trainer’s service options, the length of your dog’s board and train will vary. Most boards and trains have a duration of two to five weeks. Some dog trainers will offer shorter board and train programs for learning fundamental skills, while others may be longer for dealing with difficult behavioral problems (aggression, lunging and barking at dogs or people, high levels of anxiety, separation anxiety, phobias, or otherwise).

While your dog is enrolled in a board and train program, you could be required to regularly attend lessons so you can become familiar with the human side of the training equation. Other programs might choose to forego this, and the owner education piece comes in when your dog graduates from the training program. At Dog Dynamix Ohio, we provide regular video updates that keep you up to speed on the program and send you a PDF packet of training homework to study while your dog is in training. Then, you have private lessons to utilize, beginning the day you pick up your dog, where you learn how to keep up with the skills at home, how to use any prescribed dog training equipment, and how to begin introducing your dog to more difficult situations/distractions using the new training skills. The owner coaching portion of a board and train program is critical, and you should only consider programs that put a heavy emphasis on training you as well as they train your dog.

What is the price of board and train?

The price of a board and train program varies depending on where you live and how long your dog will be staying. Costs each week could range from $500 to more than $2000. This cost takes into consideration daily boarding, regular obedience training on site and on field trips, behavioral modification if the dog is having issues, follow up lessons, dog training equipment, and the general daily care such as feeding, brushing, exercising, and rotating to potty. Dog board and train programs involve way more than just dog-sitting with some training if you’re working with a reputable dog training company. Reputable board and train programs should include daily exercise, enrichment, and playtime in addition to providing a safe environment around-the-clock to prevent the rehearsing of undesirable behaviors and decrease physical risk to the dog.


Regrettably, a high price tag does not always mean that a board and train program is being offered by licensed or morally upright professional dog trainers. Anyone can use the title “dog trainer” and offer board and train. When enrolling your dog in a board and train program with a prospective dog trainer or training facility, it is crucial that you conduct a thorough background check on them to avoid becoming one of the tragic stories of dogs being abused, stolen, or lost during a board and train program. You should do your research thoroughly by checking google reviews, visiting social media pages, and touring the training facility whenever possible prior to enrolling in a program. You’ll want to ask the dog trainer what their qualifications are, what continued education they pursue, and what methods and techniques they use to train dogs. Make sure you are comfortable with what methods and tools are used with your dog.

There are a lot of things to consider when choosing a board and train facility. Does your dog stay in a kennel or dog run when not training? Or do they stay in a home environment? Is the facility or home clean and safe? Are proper cleaning products used to lower the risk of illness transmission? Are there any potential dangers present that indicate an area is not fully dog-proofed (proper containment areas, etc.)? Are dogs required to be up to date on vaccinations and on flea and tick preventatives? If board and train staff notice your dog not eating or losing weight, what do they do to combat that problem? How many dogs can enroll in a program at one time? How is barking controlled? How much human interaction will your dog get every day? What types of enrichment and exercise does your dog get each day? Will there be any playtime with other dogs (if appropriate) or with people?

Board and Train Programs: Benefits and Disadvantages

Convenience is a major benefit of a board-and-train program. It takes a lot of work to train a dog. Your schedule might not provide much time for training because of your work schedule, kids activities, travel plans, or other obligations. For busy folks who simply do not have the time to get in the necessary training repetitions required to teach new skills, a board and train option can be an excellent option.

Your dog will receive a lot of repetitions for training skills with a daily training schedule, and those repetitions will be performed by a dog trainer who has better timing, a deeper understanding of dog behavior, and sharper training skills than you do. Faster learning results from quality, repetitive practice. A good board and train program will also provide an atmosphere where your dog won’t engage in naughty habits that can impede their training, such as pulling on the leash in between training sessions, jumping on the counter, getting into the trash, or practicing aggressive behavior.

Board and train programs change the dog’s environment, which can make learning easier. There are instances when a dog’s environment at home naturally causes undesirable behaviors, and it can be challenging to alter the environment to stop the behavior from happening. For example, it is difficult to get a dog to stop counter surfing, jumping on guests at your front door, or from chasing joggers down the fence line if those triggers exist in your daily environment. At a dog training facility, the environment is easier to control and dog trainers can introduce those types of distractions strategically without them being practiced during “Downtime” outside of training. Environmental management and prevention of poor behaviors are essential for accelerating learning! It can be beneficial to take a dog to a different Nonetheless, home follow-up instruction and upkeep are crucial for long-term success.

Stress can be a big disadvantage of a board-and-train program. Many dogs find traveling away from home to stay somewhere new to be distressing. They don’t have a trusting relationship with the new folks running the show, the routine is different, and the setting can be a lot to take in. A dog must adjust to a new environment and routine for at least a few days to a week; tense or fearful dogs may take longer. The acclimatization period, often known as the transition time, is important. Learning is not facilitated by stress. So, sending a dog to board and train means that, at minimum, the first few days are focused on acclimating a dog to their new environment and building a relationship with the trainer. This is why we do not offer programs shorter than two weeks at Dog Dynamix Ohio — we want dogs to have a few days to settle in before the training begins.

Dogs are not very good at generalizing. It is crucial to train them to respond to cues in various contexts. A trainer’s home or a board and train facility will be set up in a way to prevent unwanted behaviors from happening. It can be challenging to transfer this to your house without consistent follow up and owner education. Your dog has a learned history of what works in their home environment and a different learned history in the board and train environment. It is important that any board and train program you enroll your dog into takes their in-training dogs on regular field trips to new spaces so that they can generalize the behaviors around a lot of distractions, including new people, dogs, and environmental distractions (cars, bikes, joggers, stores, trails, etc.).

We cannot emphasize this enough: in a board and train, your dog will be learning and practicing with a professional trainer or training staff — not you. You are the one who will be living with your dog full-time. The way you communicate with your dog — how you move, how you give cues, how you reward, and how you respond to undesired behaviors — is what affects their training and behavior the most. You are one of the most important antecedents in the dog training equation! If you don’t put in the effort to learn how to maintain the training at home (or you do not have a dog trainer who is willing to take the time to teach you how to act like a dog trainer) your dog will soon revert back to what they used to do. This can be frustrating for people who did not get the proper follow up instruction after investing in a board and train. They see how well their dog performs for the trainer, but then feel like it didn’t “stick” or that somehow they’ve failed. Owner instruction has to happen for long term success.

Board and Train for Puppies

If you have a new puppy in your life, it can be overwhelming to make sure they get lots of positive experiences in a variety of environments during their critical socialization period. A board and train program can be ideal to provide appropriate socialization to different people, other dogs, and other important experiences. This requires a dog trainer who knows how to raise a confident puppy, because bad experiences during this socialization window can have lifelong effects on a developing brain.

While a board and train can be very helpful for socialization with appropriate dogs, people, and places the average dog owner doesn’t have access to (or time to access), a Board and Train Program for a puppy isn’t generally that helpful for potty training. Housetraining is probably one of the most exhausting parts of raising a puppy. And while you might feel that passing this task off to a trainer at a board and train program sounds like a good idea, it doesn’t tend to help much. Potty training is incredibly location-specific for young puppies. They may be housetrained quickly at a board and train where the routine and the potty spot are consistent, but once they return home, they have to relearn where they are supposed to go potty. It might not be starting at square one due to physical maturity that takes place during a training program, but it certainly won’t be done.

Board and Train for Aggressive Dogs

There are different types of aggression in dogs, and a board and train for aggressive dogs will not cure aggression (nor will any other type of dog training program). Management and safety are key components for addressing a dog’s aggression and requires the dog owner to learn proactive and defensive handling, dog body language, and how to effectively manage their dog’s environment.

A board and train will benefit a dog struggling with leash reactivity, as your trainer will be able to quickly teach the reactive dog obedience skills (leash walking, coming when called, bed stay) and then expose the dog to a lot of new dogs, people, places, and things to help move the process forward as a faster pace than they would be able to with an inexperienced dog handler. Then, just like a regular board and train, the dog trainer will coach the dog owner how to be successful at home.

Aggressive behavior can either exacerbated or suppressed in an unfamiliar environment with a new handler (the dog trainer). A dog may shut down in the new environment, or they may exhibit more aggressive behavior than usual. Either way, the aggressive dog needs time to unwind and settle in as stress makes it difficult to practice counter conditioning methods (which is used to help change a negative emotional response to a positive one).

Are Board and Train Programs Worth It?

Sending your dog off to a board and train near you is worth it if your expectations match what’s actually possible in a short time period. While three weeks seems like a long time to be away from your dog, it is a very short time in the grand scheme of things. Dog trainers are not magicians and a board and train program still requires intensive owner commitment, daily repetitions to upkeep behavior, and a long-term dog training plan. Behavior change does not happen overnight. It doesn’t happen in one or two weeks. Training your dog is a lifelong commitment. A board and train program can certainly jumpstart your dog’s learning and get where you want to be faster than group classes or private lessons, but you need to be committed to the training program for the long haul.

Overall, board and train programs for dogs can be a good option for those dog owners who are committed to continuing training for long after the program ends. Because a board and train can be a major financial investment, it’s important to make sure you’re choosing the right program to meet the needs of you and your dog.

Shaina stands next to a long jump as Atom soars over it.

How to Become a Dog Trainer

I’ve spent a lot of years in the dog world. I’ve managed numerous companies, and I’ve done a LOT of interviewing and hiring for those companies. Any dog trainer who runs an operation requiring hiring other dog trainers to help train the dogs will tell you that it is absolutely one of the most draining parts of this industry. It’s not because there aren’t great dog trainers out there… there are! But those great dog trainers tend to run their own dog training companies, and, unfortunately, so do many of the ones that would really benefit from working with a more experienced dog training team. You see, dog training is an unregulated industry, meaning any dog lover can take an online class and/or attend a weekend training workshop, go home, build a website, and BOOM! They’re officially a “professional dog trainer” looking for new clients. This is a major disservice to dog owners, their dogs, the “dog trainer”, and the dog training industry, but it happens more than you’d think.

When new dog trainers open their own companies and market like they’re experts in their field, unsuspecting dog owners hire them. Since newer trainers don’t have the necessary hands-on experience with a high number of dogs that comes only with years of training, those dog owners are at risk of receiving subpar results… which reflects poorly on dog trainers as a whole and leads to dog owners being skeptical of more experienced trainers who could get them better results with their dog. Dog owners are left thinking their dog can’t be helped, experienced dog trainers can’t staff their facility with the much-needed enthusiastic newcomers to the industry, and many dogs are left with subpar training as a result.

So, what is the correct path to becoming a dog trainer? Here are some of the things that I’ve found most helpful as I’ve navigated this industry over the past 13 years.

Get as much dog handling experience as possible.

Starting out in the dog industry should mean handling as many types of dogs as possible; this means working with dogs of varying ages, sizes, and temperaments. Nothing teaches you more about working with dogs than physically handling them. Most of the high caliber dog trainers I know also have extensive past experience working in boarding and daycare, shelter work, the veterinary field, volunteering with rescues, or otherwise. Working in boarding and daycare taught me how to physically handle large, untrained dogs, how to read body language, and how to interact with clients. The veterinary field helped me learn warning signs of medical issues, vaccine and deworming schedules, and how not to get bit by stressed out dogs. Shelter work and volunteering with rescues taught me all about what leads to dogs ending up in shelters, common behavioral concerns of those dogs, and again… how not to get bit. Training dogs isn’t just training dogs: it’s client interaction, setting realistic expectations, social media marketing, dog photography and videography, being a team player, being physically capable of handling strong dogs, seeing when a dog’s behavior might be related to a medical issue, animal husbandry, being able to read body language quickly, and much, much more. There is no substitute to learning these skills; you have to put in the time.

Take classes from other dog trainers.

This is something that just doesn’t happen enough! An aspiring dog trainer should be taking as many classes as they can with their own dogs, to learn new techniques, watch dog training in action, and to learn tips and tricks from professional dog trainers. When I first started pining for a dog training position at Dog Dynamix, a well-respected dog training company in Denver, I made sure to sign up for classes so I could learn more about the methods used in their training programs. I signed up for every class I could: Rally Obedience, Nosework, Agility, and varying levels of Pet Obedience. I also brought my dogs to various drop-in classes around the Denver metro and attended as many dog training workshops and seminars as possible with dog trainers I admired. Some dog trainers are very secretive about their techniques and won’t allow aspiring or current dog trainers in their classes, but those are dog trainers I would avoid anyway (as we should want to help each other do better whenever possible!). There are countless options available for traveling seminars in all aspects of dog training. All aspiring trainers should be highly motivated to learn and improve their craft by attending available seminars, workshops, and classes.

Consider an internship or training school.

In addition to classes, workshops, and seminars, you can consider a dog training internship or apprenticeship, or attending a dog training school. Available programs can vary in cost, time commitment and expectations, so doing your research into options is important so you find the right fit. Some apprenticeships come with a price tag, an option to work off the cost via work hours, and some might even be paid… but you should go into an apprenticeship understanding that they are a huge time and energy commitment for the dog trainer and the training facility staff, so there will be a high expectation of timeliness, attendance, and commitment. Dog training is a 365 industry with long hours, physical work, and high stress and you’ll need to show you are committed to absorbing the information and getting your hands dirty! Dog training schools and certifications are also great options, but you have to do your research carefully. As mentioned before, dog training is an unregulated industry. This means that organizations are also able to “certify” dog trainers without actually testing their training skills or knowledge. Certifications and graduations are only impressive to more experienced professional dog trainers if they come from reputable organizations who have consistently turned-out knowledgeable dog trainers who know their stuff. While a certification may look good on paper to the average dog owner, most industry professionals know many aren’t worth much in terms of proving proficiency.

Compete in dog sports.

I’ve heard from some dog-hobbyists that dog trainers don’t “need” to have well-trained dogs themselves in order to be considered a reputable dog trainer. Personally, I think the “cobbler has no shoes” analogy is total rubbish in the dog training industry. A dog trainer should be passionate enough about behavior and dog training that they make time to train their own dogs. Nothing improves a dog trainer’s skills like taking their personal dogs training to the next level via competition. A dog trainer who understands the little details in dog training (marker training, reward placement, rate of reinforcement, precise luring mechanics, how to properly hold food, achieving stability, training behaviors around competing motivators, the list goes on and on…) is going to be better prepared to train a pet dog than someone who does not have good understanding of those concepts. Additionally, competition requires taking your dog to a (generally) new location, without rewards or corrections, often without a leash, to perform advanced obedience skills that are being judged to a set criterion by a non-biased third party (the judge). This really puts the dog trainer’s skills to the test! Most dog sports involve training in a club atmosphere, meaning you get to network with other dog sport competitors, help each other learn and grow, and support each other. Whether you compete in Rally Obedience, Competition Obedience, Nosework, or Mondioring, getting out there and proving your training is going to make you a better dog trainer, period.

Find a mentor whose training style you admire.

This is truly the most important suggestion in the list. Nothing will help a new dog trainer learn like having a mentor who wants to help them grow as a trainer and pushes them to do better. Having someone to call on when you’re struggling to make progress with a dog, or when you’re faced with a difficult client, or when you aren’t sure how to approach a particular issue can really help with problem solving and get you better results for your clients. A mentor should be able to advise and guide you through unique challenges, which can help boost your confidence when taking on complex cases or more challenging clients. Your mentor will want to see you succeed, which means they will take on being the person that tells you things you don’t necessarily want to hear (but need to!) so that you can increase your professional skillsets in a way that is positive for you, your clients, and the dogs you train. It might take some time to find the right fit; just because you’ve worked for a few dog training companies does not mean you’ve found a mentor that has developed you into a talented dog trainer. You’ll know when you find that person that helps you build a spark and helps you take your training to the next level.

Work for an established company as you build your experience.

It cannot be stressed enough: if you are a new or aspiring dog trainer, you need to work for an established dog training company before branching out on your own. Dog training can be one of the most rewarding career paths out there, but if done incorrectly it can cause extreme stress for dog owners, their dogs, and dog trainers. Dog training is physical and can be dangerous if you do not know what you are doing. Dog trainers are in charge of helping pet owners navigate life with a predator in their homes. Incompetent training can do a lot of harm, quickly. If you do nothing else, find a dog training team that has talented trainers on staff and learn all you possibly can while building experience with dogs and their owners. There is no appropriate accelerated path to becoming a dog training business owner; you need to put in the work and the time. While it may be true that social media dog influencers have made their way into the industry and have managed to make a name for themselves, it does not mean they are having a positive impact on dogs or our industry.

I hope this guide helps spark some ideas for anyone looking to get into this field. This industry can be tough to get a leg in the door, but it is achievable if you work hard and do things right. If you want to become a talented, respected dog trainer, please, do it right. The dogs, their owners, and your fellow colleagues deserve it.


Puppy Training Program

How to Raise a Puppy

I’m raising a few puppies right now. I’ve done a lot of puppy raising over the years, both for breeders and for clients (and, obviously, for myself). When clients are struggling with their own puppies it’s usually pretty easy to guess the root of the problem: too much freedom and attention.

I know, I know… you got a puppy because you wanted a pal. You don’t want to keep them in a box. You took two weeks off of work so you could make every crate experience the puppies own choice and bonded by hanging out on the couch. But now, that two weeks is up and you HAVE to put the puppy in the box… and the puppy isn’t having it. Yikes, what went wrong?

I love my puppies just as much as the next person. But loving them means understanding that what *I* want to do with my puppy isn’t always what is best for them.

If I want my puppy to get used to being in a crate when I’m out of the house, I need to make that a normal part of their life as soon as possible. I feed every meal in the crate, have them spend plenty of time in them both when I am home and when I leave, and I have multiple crates/pens set up around the house so they don’t get too accustomed to a certain environment/amount of activity. My time spent with my puppies is intentional and always directly supervised.

Potty training is also less complicated if you aren’t letting your puppy run around loose all day while you’re home. Baby puppies have baby bladders… and they need to physically mature a bit before they can learn to hold it. Too much freedom in the house means a high risk of accidents, and a more difficult time potty training. Puppies need to go outside regularly and have no opportunities to make a mistake inside. That’s the secret to it. How do you accomplish that? By using a crate, making a schedule, observing your puppy closely, and understanding that any mistakes they DO make are probably human error. With time, physical maturity, and structure, healthy puppies will potty train. But a puppy with too much freedom, no schedule, and inconsistent owners will struggle for much, much longer.

Jumping/biting/counter surfing/stealing household items/etc… don’t let them do that! Again, too much freedom is happening if your puppy is able to jump all over your house guests or run off with a sock. Keeping your puppy on a leash in the house, using your crate when you can’t directly supervise, and making sure all inappropriate items are out of reach when the puppy is out will prevent those normal-puppy-issues from spiraling out of control as they grow.

Puppies are hard. I get it! But they’re WAY harder if you don’t look at restricting their freedom as a temporary (necessary) state of existence. Preventing bad behavior now will save you a LOT of trouble later… do right by your puppy and your family by raising your puppy like a dog trainer would! And if you need help, contact Dog Dynamix Ohio today.

A cat and a dog sit on a place cot in the Dog Dynamix lobby.

5 Tips For Finding Quality Dog Training Near You

Finding quality dog training nearby can be a challenge. With this guide, you’ll have the tools you need to find the perfect dog training program for you and your dog. Learn 5 easy tips so you can get started with professional dog training in your local area today!

Research Online For Local Dog Training Courses.

The first step in finding a quality dog training course near you is to research online. There are many websites and directories online that list local dog trainers and classes, and every trainer has a social media page for their business these days. Take the time to read reviews from other dog owners and find detailed information about the courses taught by each trainer. This way, you can easily compare programs and choose one that best meets your needs. Things to look out for:

How many dogs are assigned per dog trainer?

Does the trainer accept dogs and puppies of all ages, breeds, and sizes?

What opportunities are there for advancing in training? Does the program have significant follow up opportunities post-graduation?

What is the dog trainers professional experience? Did they mentor under any other dog trainers, and do they regularly attend dog training workshops?

Will the dog trainer send you homework for when the training program ends?

There are all important considerations, and can greatly affect your dogs’ training success rate.

Ask Your Friends, Family and Veterinarian for Advice & Referrals.

Don’t forget to ask your friends, family members and veterinarian for advice and referrals. They may have personal experience with a quality dog training program and can let you know what worked well for them. Pay attention to THEIR dogs’ behavior! If their dog is a bit of an out of control wild-child, maybe don’t press them for a recommendation… but you should absolutely ask dog owners that have calm, polite dogs out in the world and see how they trained their dog! Dog Dynamix Ohio gets a lot of calls that start out as, “I was out and about in town, and I saw this REALLY WELL TRAINED DOG, I just had to ask where they got their dog trained…”. When you reach out to people, be sure to ask about the cost of the program, what type of techniques were taught, and whether or not the instructor was someone they’d recommend or return to. This will help you quickly narrow down your options so you can select the best training program for your pup.

Determine What Type of Program Is Right for You and Your Dog

Before you start your search for the perfect dog training course, it’s important to understand what type of instruction will best serve your pup and your unique needs. Are you looking for an overnight board and train program, an in-person group training class, private lessons, or an online training course? If you have basic training skills mastered but are looking to really push it to the next level, a lot of high quality dog training instructors have content available online for a fee. You can also look into in-person dog training seminars/workshops from highly respected dog trainers traveling through your town. There are so many options these days, so do your research before settling on a dog trainer near you.

Read Reviews Before Putting Down a Deposit.

Knowing the quality of instruction you will be receiving before committing to a dog training program is key. Take some time to read online reviews and talk to people who have had success with any instructors or trainers you are considering. Many cities and towns also have Facebook groups dedicated to pet owners looking for advice on local businesses, including trainers, so don’t forget to take advantage of those resources. Ask around, and see what names regularly get brought up in your community, and why. You should always dig for good reviews and bad reviews, and decide which ones are credible, honest reviews from clients, which are from people who just seem unhappy because of unrealistic expectations, and which reviews might be fake. Just like shopping on Amazon, we need to look at things with a magnifying glass!

Inquire About a Trainer’s Qualifications and Experience.

Before enrolling in any dog training classes or courses, find out what type of qualifications the trainer holds. Is he/she certified by any industry organizations? Is the trainer experienced and educated in modern dog training methods? Have they worked with or under other experienced dog trainers, and if so, for how long? Do they compete in any dog sports? How is their reputation in the local dog training community? Ask as many questions as you need to be sure you’re investing your money in a qualified and ethical trainer that you can trust.

We hope this guide helps you find the best dog trainer near you. With so many options, the choices can seem overwhelming… but following these quick tips should get your pooch on their way to better behavior fast! If you are local to Columbus, Dayton, or Cincinnati, contact us for more information on how we can help you train your dog.

A Belgian Malinois dog grins at the camera while running with a large branch.

Belgian Malinois: Is Rising Popularity Causing Major Turmoil?

Belgian Malinois are rising in popularity. What does that mean for the breed and well meaning dog owners?

As professional dog trainers, our job is to tell clients what they need to hear, not what they want to hear. Due to the rising popularity of the Belgian Malinois, we’re receiving more and more inquiries asking us to help “fix” these dogs as they mature into adults. They’re biting house guests, chasing the children, and getting into bar fights at the dog park…. and their families are feeling hopeless and frustrated, realizing they bit off more than they could chew.

We understand the appeal. They’re beautiful, athletic dogs with hilarious personalities and they’re smart as can be. Videos of their impressive training and abilities regularly go viral on the internet. Done correctly, you’d be hard pressed to find a more loyal breed. But these dogs are not without extreme challenges that can make them completely unsuitable for the average home.

For those of you that know us, you know that we are incredibly passionate about the breed. For those of you that don’t, a little background on us. Lisa Lucero won the USA Mondioring Nationals in 2021 and 2022 with her Malinois, Hero; and competed in Romania in the International competition with him in Oct. 2021 – placing in the top 15 in the world. She has been in the Malinois breed for twelve years, with her third competition dog of the breed. Shaina Zimmerman won the MR1 Nationals in 2019 with one of her Malinois, Atom, took 3rd place at MR3 in 2021, 2nd place in 2022, and has two dogs currently competing in Mondioring and French Ring. Both have also been involved in rescue and placement of the breed, as well as puppy selection and rearing for some of the top breeders in the country. Shaina’s female Malinois just had a litter of puppies for a well known kennel, and she is currently raising one of those puppies until he is placed in an appropriate home. Prior to Malinois, Lisa and Shaina both competed with working line German Shepherds. We have titled in AKC and ASCA Obedience and Rally, in addition to protection sports. We have trained with the best of the best in the country, and in the world. The point is, we have extensive breeding and training experience with Malinois.

We aren’t going to sugarcoat what it takes to be successful with a young Malinois in a pet home. One of our well-respected colleagues, that we refer to for private lessons and group classes (since we do not offer those services) has decided to refer out all Malinois inquiries that come in as she has had almost no success helping people with these dogs as pets. The breed has gained exponentially in popularity since the rise of the public’s exposure to them. Unfortunately, this has led to many more of them being bred and put out into the world – from those in shelter situations, to those being purchased from working line breeders, to those being bred by less scrupulous breeders looking to cash in on their popularity. It’s easy to find breeders regularly mixing Malinois with Dutch Shepherds and German Shepherds, touting them as the perfect family protector and companion, selling them to ill-prepared families. They are a truly singular breed in their needs, and in how their brains work. Even those from the very best breeders require a completely different type of life and training than most trainers offer, or most homes are willing to provide. While we do not subscribe to the theory that Malinois need hours of intensive training and exercise every day, we do know that they need more structure and understanding of training theories and genetic behaviors than most homes are willing to learn and implement.

Malinois are purposefully bred to be a bit neurotic, with a lot of drive, suspicion, and aggression. This can be a hard balance to get right, as genetics have a huge influence on behavior and despite the most thoughtful of breeding, the result can be undesirable. Some Malinois like dogs. Some like people. If you’re lucky, you end up with a dog that likes both (we call this a UNICORN)… but most often, they dislike both. And that doesn’t make them a bad Malinois.

No matter how social a Malinois is (or appears to be), dog parks and daycare are not appropriate outlets for their energy. These dogs are obsessive — of their toys, their interactions, and their environments. Putting them in situations where they are able to obsess over dogs, people, and items will inevitably result in behaviors such as barking and lunging on walks, aggression due to possession of their toys, running off after dogs while off leash, etc.

Any interactions our own dogs have with other dogs and strangers are well thought out, and for the benefit of the dog. This is not a breed to hang out at a backyard BBQ with intoxicated houseguests who don’t understand high drive dogs. Even sober overzealous greeters can get into trouble with a Malinois. (HIIII PUPPPY!)

While I am not saying owning a Malinois is akin to a tiger that needs to be kept in a cage, I am telling you that they require a much higher level of obedience control, and coaching other people how to interact (management) than other dogs in order to be mentally well adjusted, happy dogs, to prevent dog fights, and bites to people. Even an accidental bite can have devastating consequences for a dog and it is our job to respect this breed for what it is, and for what it isn’t, and to avoid and/or intervene in bad situations. While we can help our clients get rock-solid obedience training, direct them to appropriate training outlets, and help them live the best life together, we cannot, and will not, help them make a Malinois what they are not (a Golden Retriever, by example). It is not possible, and it would be unprofessional and unethical for us to take a clients money promising to do so.

If you’re considering this breed, feel free to reach out. We’d be happy to discuss your needs and whether or not this is the dog for you.

Finn, a daschund puppy from Columbus, Ohio, in training.

Is Hiring a Local Dog Trainer Important?

The reality is, unlesss you have a real knack for animal behavior and leash handling, most dog owners will need the help of a professional dog trainer in order for them to make fantastic household pets. When the doorbell rings, most dogs will bark. Other dogs will pull hard on leash to visit the neighbor or practice doggy parkour in order to harass the household cat. While barking, jumping, digging, pulling on leash, and chasing prey items are normal canine behaviors, it can be really helpful to get a professional dog trainer on your team to help you figure out how to best live with your dog and avoid problematic behaviors from occuring.

Dog trainers can be extremely beneficial for dogs of all ages who may have a variety of problems, such as fear, aggression, and difficulties learning advanced (or even simple) obedience commands. If you want your dog to join you on off leash adventures, it is critical they are reliably trained under heavy distraction. Dog friendly patios can be a blast… unless your dog spends the entire time barking and trying to visit other patrons. Hiring a dog trainer doesn’t make an owner a failure, nor is it a sign that there is something wrong with the dog. Hiring a dog trainer should be a proactive move made to help better your relationship with your dog.

Finding the pet expert who is best for you is the first step in strengthening the link between owner and dog. Check out this guide on how to get in touch with the best dog trainer for you and your dog.

Dog training can begin at any age. Beginning with a trainer as soon as a new puppy comes home can start them off right; it’s a lot of work raising a puppy, and there is a lot of conflicting information out there! Hiring a puppy trainer can help you learn how to properly socialize your new friend, create an appropriate potty training schedule, and help you deal with pesky, but normal, puppy behaviors such as jumping, biting, and barking in the crate.

Get the tools you need to practice at home. Consider the tools you’ll need to reinforce excellent behavior at home after consulting with a trainer. Learning simple training skills like “sit,” “down,” and “leave it” can be done at home with minimal effort, with just a leash and some yummy dog training treats. You should have a short leash as well as a long leash for practicing coming when called out and about, and a properly fitted collar that won’t slip over your dogs head. A dog kennel helps puppies learn to respect other people’s property and facilitates housebreaking. We love Ruffland Kennels and KBC Kennels for solid crates that will last you years.

While working with a trainer, you can get into the habit of incorporating training exercises into your daily routine with your dog or puppy. Each walk should be spent reinforcing excellent leash manners, rather than teaching your dog to drag you around the park. You can practice leave it during dinner, and work on your bed stay at night while watching TV (while also paying attention to your pup, of course). Every time you let your dog outside to go to the bathroom is a time to practice “wait at the door”. Being consistent and keeping your dogs brain active goes a long way in future good behavior!

In the end, hiring a reputable dog training professional and devoting time to training will help your dog succeed and open up your world to more adventures together. We would love to discuss training options with you if you are local to Ohio or Denver. Our dog trainers specialize in Boarding and Training programs for dogs and puppies.

A Labrador Retriever, a German Shepherd, and a Kelpie all pose for a photo.

Important Considerations When Socializing Your Dog.

How to: Socializing your Dog or Puppy (the right way)

There is a important distinction between a ‘social dog,’ and a dog that is ‘dog obsessed.’ 

What people want is a dog that is happy to engage with other dogs and people without dog aggression, or human aggression of any kind. What they actually end up creating can be a different story. 

It seems like the obvious solution is to introduce your dog to as many dogs and people as possible. But, there’s so much more to it! The interaction itself must be a positive experience for your dog! If you see your dog avoiding the dog or person you are trying to introduce them to; If they are attempting to move away, make themselves small, or if you find yourself saying things like, “it’s okay….”, your dog is NOT having a great experience! There are steps you must take to ensure your dog walks away from that interaction thinking, “hey, that was easy.” We don’t want them to be like, “OH MY GOSH, THAT WAS THE BEST THING EVER!!!!” and we also don’t want, “THAT SUCKED… PLEASE, don’t make me do that again.” We want something lukewarm; medium if you will. Let me explain….. 

If we are going for Dog Social:  


    • Your dog can see another dog (off in the distance) and take it or leave it. Social dogs don’t get frustrated when they can’t access other dogs, and they don’t drag their owners to get to them.

    • While your dog is engaged with other dogs, they are still aware of you (if you feel like your dog is “blind” to your presence, your dog is not socializing in a healthy way). 

    • When your dog sees a dog friend, they can quickly and easily be brought back under control, even if they are excited initially.  

    • During play, your dog is easy to recall and refocus. 

Dog Neutral: It’s important to note that **most mature dogs fall into this category**. Dog Neutral does not mean unsocialized. 


    • Your dog is selective about its dog-friends. It doesn’t always enjoy playing with other new, stranger adult dogs or may have to be introduced in a thoughtful way.

    • Your dog probably grew up with the dogs it likes, and those relationships are friendly and fun. 

    •  It retreats, or growls and postures, when another (stranger adult) dog gets in their face or tries to sniff them.  

    • When stranger dogs try to play, they move away and seem disinterested. 

    • While they don’t enjoy playing with strange dogs, they are able to be near other dogs, or pass other dogs on or off-leash as long they don’t ‘get in their face.’  


    • These dogs are usually tolerant of, and willing to play with puppies. 

Think  of how YOU behave in public. Is it appropriate to run up and hug every stranger you see? How about banter (joking around) or wrestling? It doesn’t connote that you are a mean person, it simply shows you are aware of behavioral norms. Some behaviors that were totally acceptable as a child are frowned upon as an adult. The same is true with Dogs. We don’t typically accept overly touchy, clingy, childish behavior from friends. Those are considered Toxic. 

Toxic Dog Behavior 

Stage One Clingon: When your dog sees another dog in the distance it pulls hard on the your leash. You can ‘sometimes’ wrestle them back into compliance. Trying to use treats to control their behavior is  ‘hit or miss’ when trying to refocus. 

Stage Two Clingon: Your dog is pulling so hard on the leash, it compels you to explain your dog’s behavior with “He’s just so excited…” Treats are as useless as your leash. You dog is difficult to refocus until the other dog is far away. 

Stage Three Clingon: While you’re trying to explain how excited your dog is, the other people can’t hear you over your dog’s barking. You can’t reach your treats without losing your leash and your dog. Walking your dog is becoming more of an upper body workout. 

Stage Four Clingon: Seeing another dog in the distance gives YOU anxiety. Taking your dog for a walk is embarrassing. They are basically unaware of your presence in search of other things to interact with. They barely flick an ear at you even if you (repeatedly) call their name. Barking is become unbearable. 

Stage Five Dog Obsessed: The thought of walking your dog gives you pause. Hiding behind trees and cars when you spot another dog in the distance is the norm. You know there’s a problem. Is the Dog Park a solution?  

First, the Dog Park and Dog Daycare is rarely the way to go, as (as counter-intuitive as that may seem), because they can actually facility Cling-on behavior. 

If you notice your dog becoming a Cling-on, the best time to intervene is BEFORE STAGE THREE. Your dog needs proper dog training to retain or mitigate their social behavior. If Cling-on behavior has developed, the goal is to get Dog Neutral. Dog training is helpful, but not miraculous. If you are teetering on stage four or five,  life-long management and mitigation of the dog’s behavior is in order; dog training will *help but may not fix the problem. At that point the dog may struggle to return to Dog Neutral, and Dog Social will likely never be an option. 

Here are some tips for Socializing your Dog 

Focus on long-term doggy relationships (friend, neighbor, and family dogs). Monitor their play and intervene when things appear to be getting too amped. Don’t wait until there is aggressive behavior. Monitor their body language and step in early. If you need additional guidance, follow the Meet and Greet Protocol (Available on our Virtual Academy).  

Avoid meeting strange dogs your dog will never see again.  

Reward your dog for ignoring other dogs on walks. I know…. That doesn’t sound right!? If you want your dog to like other dogs, isn’t ignoring them the opposite? NO, not in dog psychology! Pairing a reward event with the presence of other dogs helps build that positive association, without the adrenaline and cortisol rush,  or the potential for the interaction to go south!  

If you feel like your dog isn’t getting enough exercise, treadmill train, teach them how to tug, and/or hire a dog walker or dog hiker, instead of doggy daycare or dog parks. 

Dog Dynamix Ohio can help you reach your training goals through various dog training program options. We have locations serving Denver, Colorado and Columbus, Ohio, so reach out and let us get your dog on track. 

A black and white dog lays calmly out at a busy park during a dog training field trip.

4 Helpful Tips to determine if a board and train is right for you and your dog. 

Is a Board and Train right for you and your dog?

  1. Taking classes and learning to train your own dog is a worthwhile endeavor, however, most dog training classes last a minimum of 6 weeks, and in that time, barely cover leash walking and other basics. In addition, private dog training and group dog training classes require the owner to practice (daily) what they’ve learned in class that week. Do you have the time to commit to teaching your dog the skills every day? While a board and train still requires owner commitment and practice, you are working on skills that your dog has a solid understanding of. Dog training is all we do, and we love it! Our programs are designed to meet your training goals in a condensed period of time. 
  1. Convenience – If you are planning a trip, or have an event (remodeling, work conference or project, etc) that necessitates the dog needing daycare or boarding, it may make sense to make the most of that time away from your dog teaching them great life skills! Most boarding facilities are too full and busy to control barking, jumping, pulling on leash, and other nuisance behaviors. Our Board and Train Programs. exercise your dog’s mind and body through teaching polite greetings, proper leash manners, stay, waiting at doors and more. Out of control play groups create out of control dogs. At Dog Dynamix, your dog won’t pick up bad habits. Our emphasis is better behavior, and happily obedient dogs. 
  1. Dog and Owner limitations – Some dog behavior issues require special attention. Dog training requires precision, patience, perseverance, and knowing the right technique for the moment. If the dog presents a danger to the client or the public, it’s best to let a professional step in. Additionally, some clients might have mobility issues or may be elderly and aren’t physically capable of practicing the training techniques. Leave it to the pros. We will take excellent care of your dog and be sure that you get the training you need. 
  1. Board and Train is Perfect for New or Expecting Parents – Managing your dog while trying to establish a new routine and care for your little one can be quite a challenge. Who will watch the dog when the Baby is on the way? Board and Train is the perfect place for your dog to learn obedience and baby-manners in a short amount of time. Let us give your dog the one-on-one attention it deserves, while allowing peace and time to settling in to your new life and family.  
A small Belgian Malinois puppy trots in the snow towards a dog trainer.

Puppy Training in Dayton: Get Expert Advice Now

Looking for Dayton puppy training? Starting off with good puppy training is such an important part of preparing your pup for a lifetime of happiness and adventure. This guide offers expert tips and advice on training your pup in Dayton, OH, so you can set them up for success from the start.

Establish Boundaries and Structure.

Establishing boundaries and setting structure is an important part of puppy training. Consistency and repetition are key to teaching your pup the boundaries and what is acceptable behavior. We always start puppies off with engagement (focus and attention on the handler), name recognition which will help with coming when called later, wait at the door, and leave it, all of which will help you maintain control of your pup in different situations as they advance in their training. Additionally, establishing rules such as ‘no jumping,’ ‘no barking indoors’ or ‘no chewing on furniture’ will help your pup learn what behaviors are acceptable or unacceptable in the home.

Establish a Consistent Routine.

Having a consistent routine when you are training your puppy is key – it helps create clarity for both of you! Once you have designed your puppy’s schedule, stick to it and be as consistent as possible. This will also help you and your pup get into the habit of performing certain commands or behaviors with ease. Consistency helps your pup grow in confidence and makes the training process much easier. The world is not a scary place if it is black and white! Finding a professional dog trainer to help guide you through this process can make a huge difference, as puppies can go through various fear periods throughout their growth.

Begin Socialization and Manners Training.

Socialization and manners training are important aspects of puppy training in Dayton. From an early age, it is important to start teaching your pup how to interact with other people, animals and its environment in a friendly and safe way. This is done by gradually introducing your pup to new sights, sounds, smells, objects and animals. Staying patient as you introduce your pup to new experiences and rewarding good behaviors with treats or verbal praise will help form positive associations for your pup. Taking regular trips to the local park or introducing your pup to pet-friendly businesses are great ways to socialize and teach them good manners, but remember that it is most important that your puppy learn to ignore other dogs and people! Any physical interactions they have with people or other dogs should be well-controlled with those you know and trust.

Potty Training with Positive Reinforcement.

Potty training your puppy is often the most challenging part of the process. However, reinforcing positive behaviors and providing consistent house rules is the key to success in potty training… meaning supervision, supervision, supervision is key here. Practicing a schedule with meal times, play times and bathroom breaks is important for establishing routines. Rewarding your pup when they do their job in the right area with treats or verbal praise will also help them form positive associations and learn good habits. Be patient as you go through this process, as different puppies move at different speeds when it comes to learning! Do not allow your puppy to sneak off and have accident in the house. Make sure you are crate training, using a leash in the house, and not giving your puppy too much freedom too quickly. It will take up to a few months of consistent work, but if you do not allow mistakes inside your puppy WILL potty train!

Introduce New Tasks Gradually and Be Consistent With Commands.

As your puppy gets more and more comfortable with the basics like potty training and house rules, you can start introducing the more complex commands like stay, come, sit and how to walk on a loose leash. Start off by teaching one command at a time in a low distraction environment (like the house or backyard) and keep the overall routine consistent. Don’t push your puppy too quickly by expecting them to perform under higher level distractions or in new, novel places. Use lots of positive reinforcement – in the form of verbal praise or treats – when your pup does a good job, as it will help solidify their understanding of that particular command. Remember to go slow – Rome wasn’t built in a day – and have patience as you introduce new tasks to your pup!

If you are located in Ohio and need help with Dayton puppy training or Columbus puppy training, please reach out. We have puppy programs designed to help you navigate this critical period in your life; we are experts in puppy obedience training, on and off leash training, socialization, focus and attention, potty training, crate training, house manners, and more.