King’s Dog Training Story

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New dog parent's want the best for their new dog or puppy. We go on our first shopping trip to pick out the food our dog will eat, the cozy beds they will sleep on. Each little detail done with the best intentions. Every dog owner we come across, is trying to make the right decision for their dog. When our dog trainer's met with King's owners, it was obvious they had the biggest heart for their dogs and had made every decision for their dogs with the most care. King had been through dog training already, a high dollar one at that. They had spent a lot of time socializing him from a young puppy after adopting him at eight weeks. They did all the things you are supposed to do. So why were they calling dog trainers for help?

We had a great discussion about King's behavior history at a complimentary meet and greet with his owners. At one year old he started to get more selective with his dog friends and by four years old he was trying to eat the new pet sitter. Our dog trainers were seeing his obvious and direct aggression towards all strangers dogs and humans alike. At 100 lbs, that was no small risk for his family to manage. For his family this meant, avoiding public outings, avoiding guests, no pet sitters for vacations. Seeing his breed a lot of people would mistakenly think this was "dominance," breed related guarding, or just a mean dog. Our trainers saw many signs of stress in King and noticed his lack of confidence. This wasn't a confident dog guarding his home, it was a scared dog feeling like he have no choice but to go into fight mode for his and his family's sake. So where is the fear response coming from? The fear couldn't be from a lack of exposure, after all King HAD been socialized. He had been trained. He had been to dog day camp. King had had the same owners from eight weeks old. Maybe it was breed or genetics, or maybe something else?

Our trainers made a personalized training plan for King and put it into action over a six lesson dog training course.

  • Learn skills to redirect him when he is nervous or aggressive. Such as a "Leave it" cue.
  • Use classical conditioning to build a positive association towards current triggers (ie. Dogs, people).
  • Improving King's leash manners to make it easier to get in the all the public walks they'd be taking now.
  • Muzzle training King so that anytime he was practicing or working around strangers, they would always remain safe.
  • Setting King up with one of our dog walkers for weekly dog walks, to increase the number of visits to the home, and create opportunities for his family to work on his door greetings.

The classical conditioning part of King's dog training plan made lightbulbs go off for his family. As we were giving him yummy snacks for each person and dog he saw in an attempt to build a positive association for King, he started to look forward to seeing them and he relaxed more and more. His family then knew exactly what caused King to grow aggressive towards strangers. His first trainers were using e-collars to apply stimulation when King was excited in his youth to see other dogs and people. His trainers were trying to punish away the excitement instead of encouraging the calm and all they really accomplished was making King see every person and dog as a representative of pain and stress. The grief they felt over that realization was so heartbreaking. They didn't know, the trainers had them test it on their arm, the trainers described it as feeling like a "tap" but with levels zero to a hundred or more around the neck, King was feeling more than a tap. He was feeling stressed. It's really not fair that there are so much different dog training techniques, dog training tools, and options for dog owners to have to weed through. Dog owners are doing the best they can with they info they have, they aren't behavioral scientists after all. Actual behavior scientists have spoken on the issue though. Adding negative stimuli has been found in countless studies to cause anxiety and aggression in the long term regardless of short term training gains.

Over six dog training classes with our positive dog trainers, King learned everything with enthusiasm. He was a smart and eager learner, under fair working conditions, of course. Turns out people and others dogs are pretty cool actually. By lesson 2 he was trusting his trainers and by the end of it all he had a committed pet sitter who he loved and his parents took their first vacation in three years without the dogs in tow! The most important lesson was learned by King's parents. They now knew how to manage fearful behavior, how to encourage and form positive behaviors, and how to understand their dog on his level.

Would you like to talk about a training plan with one of our trainers? They can help you decide on the right dog training program for your dog from private lessons, to day training, group classes and our luxury board and train program! Schedule a complimentary Meet & Greet using the pet portal!

Boarding: The Bark Experience

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No Kennels, It Feels Like Home

Kennel environments can be loud, stressful, and smelly! While you are off enjoying your next vacation, your dog deserves a similar relaxing experience while they are at dog boarding. The dog boarding suites at The Bark are set up like bedrooms with cozy beds, furniture, toys, and everything your dog needs to be comfortable. Our boarding suites feature a solid door on the front of each room to ensure they aren't being disturbed by dogs and people passing by. In the rooms you will smell a hint of lavender and the sound of classical music, all designed to keep your dog calm and feeling relaxed.

Basic Care is Never an Add On

You don't have to worry about picking your dog up from dog boarding and ending up with a much higher bill than anticipated. Basic care is never an upcharge at The Bark. All of our boarding dogs have their bathroom breaks on four hour intervals (two hours for puppies) and staff is tracking if there are having accidents in their dog boarding room. If your dog is unable to hold it for four hours, their bathroom breaks are adjusted to encourage outdoor bathroom usage. All dogs boarding at the bark get the opportunity to join play groups throughout the day if they can pass our Behavior Pre-Check. All potty breaks, play time, snuggles, meal times, and medication administrations are included in the cost of boarding

Pet Parents Get Nightly Updates

Knowing how your dog is doing at dog boarding is no question at The Bark. Pet Parents receive a nightly report card about their dog's day including pictures and videos. We will keep you up to date about how your dog is feeling, what activities they got up to, and any concerns we might have.

Dog Proofed, Dog Safe

All of our boarding rooms and play spaces are designed with your dog in mind. Our doors have safety locks on them. We have a system of gates and doorways to make sure they stay secure in our facility. The play spaces have play equipment that your dogs can enjoy safely! Even the cleaner we use in our building is up to veterinary standards and totally safe for your dog!Interested in boarding your dog at The Bark? Private rooms are $100 per night for one dog, holiday rates and additional dog fees may apply. Your dog will need...

  • Dog food and Treats: maintaining your dog's current diet will help avoid any tummy upset. Please bring your dog's normal food and dog treats for them
  • Body Harness: If you intend for your dog to be involved in dog park
  • Comfort Items: If there is anything you want to bring your for your dog to make their experience better please feel free. We are always willing to add their personal dog beds and toys to their room.
Put in a Boarding Request

Earning Trust With A Nervous Dog

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Those sad puppy dog eyes captivate your attention but is there more going on? From the rescue who suffered trauma, to the under socialized dog struggling with stranger danger, anxious dogs are certainly not uncommon. These nervous dogs may struggle with fast movements and loud sounds and their response to fear can be sad and even scary at times. Moments can quickly go from fun and fine to fight or flight. Building trust with an anxious dog take patience, understanding, and a positive dog training plan

HAVE PATIENCE

It takes time to calm and reshape anxious thoughts so have patience with the nervous dog in your life. Pushing anxious dogs out of their comfort zone too much or too quickly can have disastrous and even dangerous results. Positive dog trainers always let their students set the pace and work to manage and minimize any negative experiences. You should start working in a low stress and low distraction environment. Give the dog as much space as they require, toss lots of treats, and let the dog approach you when they are ready.

UNDERSTAND DOG LANGUAGE

Dogs use so many body language signals to communicate. It not just barks, growls, and wagging tails, there is a lot more you should be watching for. When trying to build trust with an anxious dog, you should be watching for signs of stress and managing the situation to promote a learning environment that feels safe and secure. If an anxious dog is showing signs of stress, back off and find a way to change up the situation. Anxious dogs will often display stress by...

  • Pacing or being unsettled
  • Licking their lips
  • Sneezing
  • Yawning
  • Turning head away or avoiding a situation
  • Dilating pupils
  • Stiffening body posture
  • Tucking Their Tail
  • Pulling their ears down
  • Submissive peeing
  • Holding up one paw
  • and more...

HAVE A POSITIVE DOG TRAINING PLAN

Building trust with a nervous dog will require some positive dog training skills not only for the sake of safety but dog training is also a great team building activity! Just like pavlov trained his dog to love the sound of a bell, anxious dogs can also be trained to have a positive response to things that may be causing stress right now. Using positive dog training will help assign positive thoughts and reshape the anxious dog's mindset. Anxious dogs also need a good handle on some basic commands so when things aren't going well, they have a way to receive and understand direction. Dog owners with an anxious dog need to be able to tell their dog when to "focus" on them and "leave it" away from situations that could have a poor outcome. Those dog owners will also need to be able to tell their anxious dog when to "stay" and when to "come." Basic obedience skills aren't just about achieving tricks for treats, it's about being able to tell your dog exactly what they need to do in any situation. Do you have an anxious dog who needs a positive dog trainer? Book a complimentary Meet and Greet to get an evaluation and personalized training plan from one of our Knoxville dog trainers.

What is a Barkranger?

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The Bark is an 18,000 square foot dog park, beer garden, and doggy daycare located in Knoxville, TN. At our dog park safety comes first, so we have rangers, or as we like to call them Barkrangers! They have several important roles that help maintain a safe and clean environment for the dogs playing at The Bark.

Behavior Pre Checks

One of our safety measures at The Bark is performing a Behavior Pre Checks on every dog before they are allowed to play at The Bark. Our Barkrangers help guide dog owners and their dogs who visit us for the first time through this process. It only takes about 15 minutes. The Barkrangers will ask several questions about your dog's behavior history, check your dog's friendliness with people, then they will supervise a sniff test with one dog and then a sniff test with a group of dogs. If your dog does does well they pass and they can enjoy the dog park or doggy daycare services right away.

Playgroup Monitoring

Our Barkrangers are pet professionals. They are watching for body language and inappropriate play. They liaison between dog owners to make sure everyone is maintaining their dog's behavior and that every dog at the dog park is having fun. Barkrangers are trying to keep the peace between dogs and prevent problems before they happen. Our Barkrangers also engage in play with the dogs in our playgroups which can help maintain balance in the group, and is also just fun!

Playspace Sanitation

There is nothing worse than the public dog park being covered in feces while your dog is trying to run around. So many nasty parasites and diseases are spread through dog excrement. Our rangers making sure all visitors to the dog park are cleaning up after their dogs and if they see something laying around they know to pick it up right away. We use a veterinary standard cleaner and sanitizer that is safe for pets and kills Canine Adenovirus Canine Coronavirus, Canine Distemper virus, Canine Influenza A virus, Canine Parainfluenza virus, Canine Parvovirus. The Barkrangers use this cleaner to sanitize our play spaces throughout the day.

Bring you dog to play with our Barkrangers and meet their new furry best friend. First time Barker? Create your pet profile using the pet portal!

Are you interested in becoming a Barkranger at The Bark in Knoxville, TN? < a href="www.thebarkknoxville.com/careers">Complete an application and you will hear a Bark from us about an interview!

Bark & Boos Halloween Bash

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Halloween Bash for the Dogs!

Join us on Friday, October 21 from 6pm-10pm for a wicked fun Halloween event at The Bark Knoxville. Your dog isn't going to want to miss our 1st ever Barks & Boos Halloween Bash! Knoxville's favorite dog park and beer garden is throwing a halloween bash for your furry best friend! Compete in a costume contest for a chance a fun prizes for your dog, like dog toys, treats and more from our pet store in Fourth and Gill. Rock the night away to halloween tunes and enjoy an ice cold beer, cider or seltzer from our huge collection!

Costume Contest

Bring your creativity and show off you adorable dog costumes! We will have several different categories for you to compete in. Each dog can win in one category. Prizes include dog treats, dog toys, and dog park memberships!
  • Duos and Trios Have a whole pack? or want to compete with your dog? You are going to love this! Put together costumes reflecting Duos and Trios.
  • DIY If you are crafty, this one if for you! Best homemade costume takes home a prize!
  • Pop Culture Dress your dog up as a pop culture icon.
  • Dogs with Jobs Pick your dog's career and make sure they are dressed the part.
First visit to The Bark for our dog park and beer garden? Make sure you check our Entry Requirements and review our Dog Park Rules. We encourage you to complete your behavior pre-check before the day of the event to avoid a wait at the lobby. It only takes about 10-15 mins to complete and is totally cost free.

Vendors Opportunities

We are looking for one food truck to come vendor at the event. Food trucks and all other interested vendors should email office@barkknox.com

The Board & Train Alternative You Need To Know About

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Leaving your dog for weeks with a stranger can be scary! What if your dog gets lonely? God forbid they don't eat enough! You can search for a fear-free Positive Board and Train program like we have at The Bark but they are few and far between and you still may not love the idea of not seeing your dog for weeks. There is an alternative! Its called Day Training!

What is Day Training

Day training is where you drop your dog off at school in the morning and pick them up at in the evening. Your dog still gets the individualized dog training attention that they need and you still get the perks of having a professional put in the training hours for you. You are in charge of all their meal times before and after their day of dog training and you get a cute report card all about their day and progress!

How long does Day Training Take?

In a traditional board and train program you dog finishes their training in just a couple weeks. That's made possible by the amount of hours the trainers has to pour into them day after day and the consistency the dog gets since they don't have any other interactions. How long Day Training takes is really dependent on how often you dog is coming to dog training class and how well you are maintaining the program at home overnight.Day Training usually takes place over a few months but can be done in weeks if they dog is scheduled for daily lessons.

Does my dog train ALL day at Day Training?

We could have the best treats in the world and no dog is going to train all day long. Their brains have the stamina for about 1-2 hours of training per day and the shorter the intervals the better it sticks! Day training dogs participate in numerous one on one training sessions with their positive dog trainers. The time between sessions they can spend in a playgroup with other dog friendly dogs, or if they are not dog friendly, they get a private and spacious suite all to themselves with interactive toys!

How much does day training cost?

We charge for day training by the hour. You can purchase (1) hour session for $100 or get a package of (10) one hour sessions for $800.

Ready to get your dog started on day training? Book their first session today or schedule a meet and greet to speak with a trainer using our Pet Portal

Is Doggy Daycare Worth The Cost?

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Alright a day running around dog friend sounds like fun for your dog but is doggy daycare really worth the cost? Doggy daycare isn't just play time, for some dogs and pet parents it is crucial to maintaining balance and meeting a dog"s needs.

Socialization

Knowing how and when to socialize your dog can be hard and scary! What if the dogs you introduce them to aren't friendly? A quality doggy daycare program performs a behavior check to ensure the dogs coming to playgroup are balanced players who are friendly. You also want to find a program that offers different groups for different temperaments.

Keep your dog active & fit

Did you know dogs require a minimum of 30-120 minutes per day of exercise everyday! That can add up to 14 hours per week for some active breeds! It isn't always easy to squeeze in essential dog walks before and after work and it sure shows in their behavior at home. Restlessness, digging holes, whining, chewing things up, licking obsessively, escape artistry and nuisance barking can all signs your dog is B-O-R-E-D. Doggy daycare can be an essential tool in ensuring your dog gets enough exercise.

Give your dog something to do during the day

Laying around doing nothing for eight or ten hours per day isn't your dog's idea of nice time. All of that idleness can actually stress your dog out. This stress and restlessness is often what lead to destruction and other signs of separation anxiety when pet parents leave in the home. The cost of repairing your home and replacing your belongings far exceeds the cost of doggy daycare.

Having a Doggy Daycare can save you in a pickle

Doggy Daycare in Knoxville, TN is hard to get into! Most places are on a waiting list and a last minute pop in as a new customer will often get you turned away at the door. Doggy daycare can be a great place to send your dog when staying home for the day isn't a good option like when a repair visits, you are moving, or maybe the AC goes out. Having people you trust to watch your dog for the day is invaluable!

Ready to get your dog into doggy daycare in Knoxville, TN? The Bark has a completely cage free and fear free experience in our over 18,000 sq ft facility! We have three huge nature themed play spaces with features like a swimming pool, jungle gym, tunnels and more!

Steps to get started

Is Board & Train Right For My Dog?

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COULD BOARD AND TRAIN BE YOUR DOG TRAINING SOLUTION?

Long work hours, kids, cleaning the house, and the million other things on your to do list can prevent you from being able to spend the time your dog needs on dog training. We know that with such busy schedules, the last thing you want to come home to in a misbehaving dog. How frustrating! Board and train programs can be a really attractive dog training option in these situations. Your dog gets dedicated, daily attention to their training needs, you get a short break, and your dog will return home with better behavior than they left. Its just that simple right? Not quite. Board and train is a great option for a lot of dogs and owners, but it may not fit every dog and client.

How does board and train work?

At The Bark, our trainers first want to meet with you to discuss your dog training goals. Our professional dog trainers will evaluate your dogs behavior to suggest a length of stay that can accommodate your goals. Your dog training goals could include work on obedience, impulse control, and even address issues like fear, anxiety, and dog aggression. Our dog trainers use positive reinforcement and dog psychology to reach your training goals. We never use e-collars, prong/choke collars, or starvation tactics. You will receive daily updates about your dog's successes and struggles so you can monitor how they are progressing through their dog training program. Upon return your trainer will go over the skills they learned and make sure you know how to maintain the progress that was made and continue to build even better behavior over time.

How is Board & Train so fast?

It's all in the numbers, hours of daily practice from our dog trainers adds up quickly. It would take the typical dog owner months to get through the amount of training hours we complete in a couple weeks. The full immersive experience and consistency of a Board & Train program is largely why dogs make such huge strides in a short period of time.The most important thing to remember about training your dog, is the work is never done. If you don't use it, you lose it. It is important to practice your dog's new skills to keep them on the right track.

What kind of goals can Board and Train help my dog reach?

  • Basic Obedience
  • Improving Impulse Control
  • Resource Guarding
  • Dog Aggression
  • Off Leash Skills
  • Public Manners
  • So much more!

Where do I sign up?

Our board and train availability is limited and books up very quickly. You aren't alone a LOT of dog owners struggle to find the time and patience to train their dog. Book a complimentary, in-home meet and greet with a trainer today to discuss your goals and reserve a date for your dog to get started. Better behavior is only two weeks away!

What You Need To Know: Behavior Pre-Check

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Your dog is so good and you are hoping we see it too? You are not alone, a lot of customers come into our lobby nervous about their Behavior Pre Check. Our behavior checks are important to make sure we are inviting dogs to join our playgroups that are friendly and most importantly comfortable! There is very little reason to worry. The pre-check only takes about 15-20 mins and less than 1% of the dogs we see do not pass their behavior check the first time. For those dog's that don't get to pass their first day there are a lot of Dog Training Options to help your dog gain more confidence and comfortability within playgroups during doggy daycare or dog park visits. So many have passed and your dog can too!

Behavior Pre-Check Overview

  • Step 1: Behavior History Questionnaire One of our Barkrangers will sit down and ask you questions about your dog's history playing with dogs. They will ask questions to learn more about your dog's temperament and play style. Do they like to chase? Do they like to wrestle? Are they laid back? Are they bursting with energy all the time? We want to know.
  • Step 2: Greeting a Stranger Our Barkranger will offer to let your dog approach them on their own. They will pet your dog and inspect their harness to see if handling is an issue at all. Barkrangers have an important job to maintain safety within the playgroups and sometimes that means separating dogs or having a dog walk away. Being able to touch your dog and grab their harness is important for everyone's safety.
  • Step 3: Sniff Test with One Dog Your dog will take a walk on leash to go visit a new dog. They will do some short sniffs while our Barkrangers are monitoring body language.
  • Step 4: Meeting a Group of Dogs If your dog does well on their sniff test, they may be invited to join a group of dogs to finish their pre-check.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Do I have to schedule my Behavior Pre-Check? No, you are welcome to do a walk-in for your pre-check and get service the same day. We do not perform them Monday-Friday 12-3pm so our staff can take their lunch breaks. Scheduling your pre-check does allow us to plan for your visit and minimize any wait time.
  • Can my dog visit the dog park or stay for doggy daycare the same day as their pre check? Yes, if your dog passes their Behavior Pre-Check they can immediately join a playgroup!
  • What if my dog doesn't pass? We recommend your dog joins our day training program where our trainers work one-on-one with your dog during daycare to help ease them into a playgroup or you can start working alongside one of our positive trainers through private or in-home lessons.

Your dog is just a short 15-20 minute pre-check away from a day full of fun and off leash play! Schedule your dog's behavior pre-check today and they'll be enjoying doggy daycare while your work and running around the dog park with you while you enjoy a cold beer. Be ready for your visit by logging into the pet portal and uploading your dog's proof of vaccines!