Residential Dog Training FAQs

We know that owning a dog can be hard work! But, we all want our dogs to be happy and healthy. Above all, we love them like they’re a member of the family.

Residential Dog Training FAQs

We know that owning a dog can be hard work! But, we all want our dogs to be happy and healthy. Above all, we love them like they’re a member of the family.

Training a pointy eared dog

Is residential dog training right for my dog?

We offer a range of training options because there isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ approach to training. For help deciding which might be the best approach for your dog, we recommend booking an assessment through our website ‘Book Now’ option.

My dog is aggressive, can they attend the programme?

Our ‘Behaviour Modification Programme’ is designed to help dogs that display aggressive behaviour. Amongst our expert team, we have members who specialise in helping aggressive dogs and will be able to help assess if training at Royvon will be suitable for your needs. To book an assessment, please access the ‘Book Now’ option via our website.
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My dog is anxious, can they attend the programme?

We understand anxiety can prevent a dog from feeling relaxed and able to focus on training. Our expert team are familiar with anxious dogs and will use their knowledge to form a bond and help your dog to feel comfortable. Our ‘Behaviour Modification Programme’ has been designed to support the needs of anxious dogs. Depending on the triggers for your dog’s anxiety, you may like to arrange a site visit to give your dog a chance to meet their trainer and get used to the environment with you by their side for reassurance. To organise an assessment, please access the ‘Book Now’ option via our website.

Where will my dog be during the day?

Our residential training programme is designed to optimise your dog’s learning with focused time away from home. However, this doesn’t mean constant ‘bootcamp’ style training and we have learned over many decades of working with dogs that there is an optimum amount of training each day. Like humans, rest, quiet time and play is equally important for development and we build this into the programme.
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A small black puppy looking at the camera
A white dog looking at her trainer

Your dog will have an hour of focused 1-2-1 training with their expert trainer each day. This length of time allows them to retain concentration and builds their bond of trust together. In addition, they will have half an hour of play time each day – either in a group or on their own as appropriate to their personality.

When they are in their kennels, they can enjoy two spaces to themselves – one more outside for fresh air during the day and an indoor heated area that they can relax in day or night. Our care team are affectionate dog lovers and deliver plenty of cuddles throughout feeding, cleaning and medication visits. They are on-hand 24/7 for your dog’s safety and comfort.

Alongside our residential dog training programmes, your dog will also have access to all of the enrichment options we offer our boarding guests. These add-ons are completely customisable and cost between £3 and £9 so that you can build a schedule customised to your budget and needs. These may include more play time, treat puzzles, woodland walks, even a bath!

We are used to looking after dogs that are anxious but their suitability for boarding cannot be assumed. We strongly suggest a complimentary evaluation, bookable through My Account. This may be followed by an overnight stay before booking a longer stay to help them to get used to Royvon. We love dogs and won’t let a dog be unhappy in our care without alerting you to the issue and working together to rectify it.

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Where will my dog be at night?

At night your dog will have their own indoor area which is kept warm. Our care team are on hand 24 hours a day to ensure that dogs are safe and well so there is someone about to have a chat to if they find themselves restless in the night.

Where are your Royvon sites?

We have special environments at our Royvon sites in Esher, Surrey and Merthyr Tydfil, Wales, that have been created for maximum training opportunities. Our secure sites and play paddocks are used for training, along with visits to the local areas when appropriate to help train your dog in parks, busy areas and amongst distractions to develop their skills and focus.

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A dog being walked by a trainer

Is there an age limit for your residential dog training?

We work with dogs of all ages but the optimum age for training success is between six and nine months. We have specific puppy and adolescent programmes to meet their training needs. For older dogs, we can work with them based on the issues you are looking to address but we may see a different response than would be possible with a younger dog.

Are your trainers first-aid trained?

All of our care team are first aid trained and we have strong relationships with local vets in case of an emergency, 24 hours a day.

Can, or should I visit my dog while at Royvon?

We understand your dog is part of the family and it can be hard to be away from them while they are staying with us for residential training. It is our recommendation that, hard as it may be, you don’t visit your dog during their stay. Our trainers work hard to create a bond with your dog that is built on holding their attention. For this to happen successfully, your dog needs to seek the stimulus of a new friend away from home and the trainer fulfils this role, helping them to understand that demonstrating the desired behaviours will earn them plenty of rewards and attention. This strong bond for learning grows more each day and is a core part of the success of our residential dog training programme.
We have had owners visit their dogs hundreds of times over the years and can clearly see that it affects the bond with the trainer, taking about days to get back to the position they had previously. We would ask that you bear this in mind for your dog when contemplating a visit. However, it is your dog, and as long as you let us know that you are coming so that we can take the appropriate security measures for access, you may visit them. Whether you decide to visit or not, you will have ample opportunity to see how much your dog is enjoying themself through a private WhatsApp chat where you will receive regular videos, usually once a day, which we hope will offer great reassurance.

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A Royvon van with a happy black dog

Can dog training fail?

The key to success is the importance that you as the owner place on continued training after departure. As a third-generation family business, we have been caring for, training and loving dogs for over 60 years. Over this time, we have been perfecting our dog training programmes and have learned the importance of training owners as well as their dogs. For this reason, we only take on clients who are willing to put in the time and energy to learn about dog training and offer all the support needed to help them do so.
We work as a team: you, your dog, and us. Working with one of our expert dog trainers, we will help to set two milestones: what to expect after the residential training and what to expect after further owner training. You will therefore know what level of commitment you will need to invest before residential training begins. As a general rule, dogs between six and 12 months need less input than those over a year. Once a dog is three, we advise the full 12 weeks of owner training that is offered as part of the programme. If there is further need for owner training beyond this period, we will continue our support at no additional cost. Our mission is to help as many dogs as possible and our belief is that confident owners who can hold their dog’s attention are the key.
To avoid anxious dogs having trouble settling in, we offer a stepped approach to staying at Royvon. This begins with a visit, a play, possibly an overnight or weekend stay, before training begins. We will work closely with you and your dog to help them have the very best chance of success.
In the very rare event that a dog finds they cannot settle after two days, we will cancel the programme and you will only need to pay for the two days they have stayed with us.

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A black dog looking at a female dog trainer
A black patchy floppy eared dog

What is owner training?

Over 60 years of working with dogs and developing our training methods, we believe that owner training is just as important as dog training. Your training starts on arrival with goal setting. When you come to collect your dog from residential dog training, your dog will have the opportunity to show you what they have learned, and you will have a further two hours of training with your dog and trainer. The following week there is a follow-up 1-2-1 training hour and again the next week to really cement the great learning your dog has done during a residential stay.

We love the moment when dogs are reunited with their owners and it reinforces just how important the bond is between you both. We only take on dog families who are willing to put in the time investment to make training successful and it is important that you can commit to this time. The advice given is bespoke to your dog and cannot be learned from a book. Subjects include the environment to train in, which rewards to use when and how as well as how you can support reward-giving through noises and actions.
Following the five hours of owner training included in Residential Dog Training, you can opt for continued sessions to suit your needs. We offer weekly group sessions in the park with your trainer in blocks of 4, 8 or 12 with sessions starting from £8.30 each.

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Will my dog be happy in residential dog training?

We understand that when you drop your dog off for residential dog training, you are putting your trust in us to take good care of your dog. We offer taster sessions before they arrive for a residential training stay and where this hasn’t been possible, we see the first 48 hours of their stay as crucial. During this period, your dog’s trainer will work hard to create a bond with them. This not only helps them to settle and feel safe but plays an essential part in the success of training.

Our daily programmes have been designed for optimum flexibility to suit every dog and their personality. While we plan the training routine, the rest of your dog’s day is open for you to create a schedule in line with your dog’s needs and your budget. When you go through the booking system, there are a range of services available every day from 8am to 11.30pm. These include group or single dog play, woodland or bedtime walks, games, puzzles and filled kongs for engagement and enrichment.

In the very rare circumstance that a dog cannot settle after 48 hours, and they are not creating a safe bond with their trainer, we prioritise the happiness of your dog and they will need to be collected to go home.

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A white dog jumping up to hug the trainer
A happy Chow Chow

What are the terms and conditions for residential dog training programmes?

To ensure that we can help as many dogs as possible to receive the enriching training and boarding opportunities that Royvon offers, we have a clear payment policy. While we will always try to help dogs and their owners by being flexible, this policy allows us to continue to run the business and ensure that we don’t turn away dogs unnecessarily. For our residential training programmes, some customers may be taking some time away while their dog is with us and others won’t, but we need to treat all bookings equally.
Full terms and conditions are available here. Key points are:

  • A non-refundable deposit of £500 is due immediately to confirm your reservation.
  • The deposit can be moved to store credit at anytime if plans change. This can be used for the same service or any other Royvon service within 12 months.
  • The full balance is due before the start of your reservation.
  • If you can no longer make this date or your balance payment is not made in time, your deposit will be transferred to store credit and your booking date will be released.
  • If you need to cancel prior to the start date and after the balance is paid, payment can be returned, less the deposit. The deposit can be moved to store credit for use within the next 12 months.
  • Please get in contact if your dates change, we can usually move to dates in the future with ease.
  • Full vaccinations must be in place before your dog’s arrival at Royvon, including kennel cough.

In the very rare circumstance that a dog cannot settle after 48 hours, and they are not creating a safe bond with their trainer, we prioritise the happiness of your dog and they will need to be collected to go home.

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Why is residential training three weeks long?

We love the fact that many of customers are able to coordinate time away for themselves with our residential dog training programme rather than traditional boarding. We are often asked if the stay can be shorter to fit more exactly with a holiday, or owners simply don’t want to be away from their dog for as long. However, the Royvon residential dog training programme has been developed over many years for optimum results and the three week stay is crucial for success as the process is cumulative. Week one lays the foundations for learning, building a bond with the trainer and helping them to learn that the right, focused, behaviour turns on the ‘tap of rewards’. During week two clearer results are evident as the dog understands this reward tap works even in more distracting environments. In week three, the biggest training jumps are made with big leaps possible in previously very challenging environments.

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A dog outside the Royvon dog training centre