the bark n' fly training and boarding school

After spending decades coaching owners and training their dogs, we have come to realise that there are certain inherit problems with the way dog trainers, including ours, approach this task. 

The teaching of dog training is largely different to the teaching of many other activities. For the most part, when people look to learn a process by getting coached, they possess the desire to become proficient in that process at least to some degree, in order that they can engage in that activity for their pleasure. So a person looking for a tennis instructor usually does so because he or she wishes to learn how to play tennis, plain and simple, and for that reason they are willing to spend the time, money and most importantly - the effort to learn the game of tennis. Another activity, perhaps more similar to dog training in the sense that both activities involve working with an animal, is horse riding. Individuals who decide to learn to ride do so because the want to become horse riders.


Dog training is very different. I have long come to realise that people who contact a dog trainer usually do so because they need to resolve issues they are experiencing with their dog, rather than wishing to become proficient in the process of training and teaching their dog. This, of course, does not apply to the few that are looking to compete in dog training or want to engage in professional dog training for other reasons, but most dog owners looking for help do not fall into this category. This creates a huge challenge: unlike tennis playing students or those taking horse riding lessons, most of the time dog owners are not looking to become proficient in dog handling and have little or no desire to learn how to train a dog. And any teacher would tell you that when a student is not genuinely interested in learning the subject matter, the results tend to be rather poor. 

The problem is that having someone else train the dog for the owner presents its own challenges. You may have come across the term 'Residential Training'. This terms relates to the practice of leaving a dog with a professional dog trainer to be trained and then returned to the owner, and unfortunately, for the most part, it doesn't work particularly well. To use the earlier horse riding analogy, the fact that a professional rider or a riding instructor can ride your horse does not mean that you would be able to. In fact, nothing is further from the truth. You would have to know at least the basics of horse riding in order to manage. It is for this reason that residential training does not work properly. Usually when owners get their dog back, after a short and impressive demonstration followed by an even short er session that covers the basic commands and how to give them, they see an improvement in behaviour and response, but within a short time things return to the inconvenient way they were before and the dog stops listening. At Bark n' Fly we firmly believer that in order for owners to be able to control their dog properly, they need to have at least a basic understanding and some experience in training and handling a dog. 

In other words, the traditional methods of teaching dog training, even on a one-to-one basis, all too often fail to produce the desired results when it comes to general basic training. Why? Let's use our horse riding analogy one more time. Say that you wanted to learn how to ride and you have never mounted a horse before. How do you think you would fair if you were taught by the best horse riding instructor on the planet, but riding a horse that had never been ridden before? That probably wouldn't work very well, would it? Well, this is precisely why most owners experiencing problems with their dog after engaging in any form of dog training, be it private sessions or classes. 

And in it for that reason that  we have developed our Training and Boarding School approach. This method captures all the important elements of getting both dog and owner properly trained, bringing, on the one hand, the dog to a high level of obedience-training, while teaching the owner both the theory and mythology of proper, practical dog handling that really works, enabling owners to fully enjoy their best friend's company without experiencing the frustration and worry associated with a disobedient dog. To achieve this we firstly spend a period of time training your dog at our training centre in Edinburgh, where your dog can stay in our comfortable, friendly kennel facility followed by a crash course in dog handling and proper training for the owner, thereby creating a perfect balance between a properly trained dog and a sufficiently experienced and educated owner.  

If you are interested in going down this route, please note that our program is not designed to save you the work! Not at all. If you wish to have a well trained dog you would still be required to go through the phases of learning how to handle your dog properly. But we can guarantee that going down this route will produce far better results for you and your dog than any other training method or approach, while using much less of your time. 

Please get in touch through the 'Contact Us' section of the home page, email us on or call 0131 333 1222 for an informal chat about your requirements. 

VAT registraion 264563488

Company number SC560113