Fidelco’s kennel, affectionately known as “Hotel Fidelco,” is a warm and welcoming place for dogs-intraining. Fidelco puppies, raised in the loving homes of volunteer Puppy Raisers, return to Fidelco twice— at 6 months and again at 12 months—before coming back for formal training. This gradual kennel transition makes it much easier for our dogs to stay in the kennel for the duration of their formal training before they are matched with a client.
Kennel staff work tirelessly to ensure that dogs in-for-training have the most positive experience possible during their stay. Happy dogs are also more eager and able to learn the skills they will need to effectively guide a partner. Morning walks before breakfast (which is sometimes served al fresco in nice weather) are part of the kennel experience.
Dogs-in-training go out for the day with their respective trainers, each of whom has a “string” of approximately six dogs they are training simultaneously. Dogs return from training to a special treat and plenty of opportunities to unwind before dinner. Most dogs have a bunk mate to play with, in addition to toys, puppy chews, and bones. The dinner menu varies based on the individual needs of each dog. A biscuit on each dog’s cot ends the day—a “turn down” service of sorts that can be enjoyed while listening to a story on tape or relaxing music.
Creating this environment for our dogs paves the way to success. Many years of experimenting with different approaches and incentives have resulted in an experience that is both effective and mindful of what Fidelco dogs-in-training need to thrive.