Day Care Confusion
With new dog day care centers popping up all over the place, deciding where to take your furry baby can be confusing, and even overwhelming. The day care center you pick has a big influence on the health and well -being of your dog, and you're wise to be very careful when choosing.
Class student Angela Lijewski recently wrote to us and said, "We had wanted to bring him to Trainer's before, but it was so far out of the way... now I wish we would have. But better late than never."
Angela had been taking her Olde English Bulldog, Cooper (pictured on the left), to a day care that was more conveniently located near her house. "I didn't really like the director lady from the beginning, but just thought, oh well, he likes it," she said.
Unfortunately, Angela's suspicions were right on the mark. She recently wrote to us and told us that this other day care had recently had their "third strike."
Angela received a phone call that Cooper had tried to bite one of the staff at this day care center.
"To make a long story short, I found out they were dragging him around by his collar… they would grab on and pull him around (he goes in to a sit-like position)," said Angela. "Of course, Cooper wasn't happy and was trying to bite her so she called me. She didn't explain it that way on the phone but she `demonstrated' to me what was happening when I got there.... I was so mad."
Luckily, Angela pulled Cooper from this environment before any more damage could be done. She had recently graduated from Trainers Academy's puppy and intermediate training programs, so she immediately registered him to start coming to us for daycare too. Angela knew that the way he had been handled there was completely inappropriate - and the reason for his behavior.
"We're doing what we should have done and are coming to you! The person I spoke with when I called was wonderful," said Angela. "Even if I didn't know you or the place, I definitely would not have had
any doubts bringing my dog there."
Because our day care policy reflects our classroom teachings, we don't use any techniques that are forceful and confrontational… such as dragging them by their collar (which only instills fear, and
"It's sad that so many of these dog day care places are popping up, run by people with very little, if any knowledge of dog behavior" said Trainers Academy, LLC President, Lisa Patrona, Dip CBST, CPDT-KA, ACDBC. "We've heard countless stories from students and daycare clients who've had very similar experiences." "It's really unfortunate...what's worse is they've been told that their dog is "dominant", "alpha", or "aggressive." Basically people are led to believe that incidents are the dogs' fault as they're blamed and labeled for mistakes the staff at the day care made, such as improper handling, and/or putting the dog with the wrong playmate/s, etc. I shudder to think how many people believe what these places tell them, and think that it's their dogs' fault, and that they have a "bad" dog."
Read the letter at this link, for another example of a day care experience gone wrong for one of our regular clients. http://www.woofology.com/chopy.html
With so many dog day care centers to choose from these days, how do you decide which environment is right for your dog?
Do your research!
Be sure to visit the facility, and talk with staff. Ask them about their knowledge of dog behavior. How did they learn about dog behavior/body language? How do they organize play groups...if at all. NOTE: dogs should be matched by play style and temperament - NOT on size alone.
Don't be seduced by the look of a facility. The trend these days is to have "themed" daycares with cute décor…all of which is nice and very appealing to a human, but has nothing to do with the knowledge
and experience level of the staff, which makes all the difference!
Another popular trend is the "crate-less" day care center. While appealing to some humans, there are many very good reasons to choose a center that crates between walks and playgroups - the most important being
safety. Just like people, not all dogs will get along with every other dog they meet - and they shouldn't be expected to.
Also, rest periods between play are important to your dogs' well-being. For starters, she'll play more when she's in groups and come home even more tired. Crate time also creates structure and can help her feel better about the experience if she has to be crated while at a kennel or boarding facility, or even more importantly, during a stay at the veterinary hospital.
Day care should be more than just fun for your dog; it should enrich his life, and yours too!
Trainers Academy, LLC Daycare creates well-organized playgroups to ensure that each dog will be properly matched with playmates according to his or her temperament and play style, while providing structure and rest periods. Your dogs' best interest is always the priority, so every dog has the best experience possible!
If you're interested in our DayCare program give us a call, or visit our website for more information.
Sign up to receive Woofology's Tip of Week via email: firstname.lastname@example.org