We have a beautiful, whip smart Black Lab that will head to a reputable gun dog finishing boarding “school” that is located at the breeder’s lands where we bought her. Both sire and dam are multiple field trial champions but we won’t be doing or going for that level, she is foremost our beloved dog who will accompany my husband during water fowl season to swim and fetch. Since I’m home and my husband works I’ve worked with basic commands and bumpers and she is an ace student and it’s clear she wants increasingly complex things to do. She potty trained in a day with zero accidents at 7.5 weeks when we picked her up and she gets long walks 3x daily and small prep training sessions daily, which she adores. My husband is confident and the dogs that are trained by this trainer Ive met are happy healthy pets/gun dogs, I’m just turning into a huge ninny about her transitioning to a kennel life for a 3 weeks at a time. I did set my foot down at what many do, 3-4 contiguous months to 3 weeks on and off . (We will get to visit and join in on weekends) . I have totally over anthropomorphized this as “will she think we’ve betrayed her?” The trainer says Labs adapt very quickly and in his experience all have been very happy and loved the training and getting to be with the other dogs. She is in a small group of same age (4 total) pups of 8 mos , one a male sibling from her litter and two “first cousins” and the field leader is her Sire. I guess I’m looking for any reassurance here. I can’t imagine a day without her yet we have an acre only to work on and she needs the training as he genes have expressed themselves already....she has plunged in after a duck once as we were walking at my brother’s ranch and there are several small ponds, for instance. Another bonus she’ll be training at different sites so as to not expect all sites look like one . But I know it’s very small bits the first weeks. So I’m thinking of the rest of the day. They get exercise and interaction time so everyone thinks I’m being silly at feeling guilt. The few times she’s boarded overnight she apparently had great experiences but never for more than one night. I know it sounds silly but will she feel abandoned or will she be so stimulated doing what she was bred to do? She is very clever and I have zero doubts she’ll love the training, but in Dallas the gun dog schools are out in the country and all boarding/full immersion only. I invent trails to follow with a treat at the end and games suggested by this site or recommended sites. She even invents things herself, grabbed our garden hose and took it to the watering pitcher, wondering why it would not fill, for instance, grabbed our swimming pool net and tried to scoop leaves like we do and will throw up a ball, grab a tennis Racquet by handle and truly tries to hit the ball. (Daughter is a National/ international tennis player, 14 yrs old so there are racquets everywhere). All indications point, and the trainer concurs that “it’s time”. Many here take dogs earlier at 6 months but this trainer likes a little older and all adult teeth in. So that was a long winded post to ask anyone who has sent their beloved dog to gun dog training , was the experience good? Thanks for indulging me. We take her in two days and I’m starting to freak out though I know it’s necessary. Thanks in advance and apologies for being a ninny. I have never had a gun dog and my husband did his due diligence finding this trainer/breeder and she’s an utterly amazing, sweet, happy go lucky exuberant Lab. I should have no worries but yet I do.