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Thoughts on doggy day care

Discussion in 'General Dog Forum' started by BabyBadger, Apr 12, 2018.

  1. BabyBadger

    BabyBadger New Member Registered

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    Just wondering what your thoughts are on doggy day care?
    Pup is 18 weeks and doing really well. He's got on brilliantly with other dogs, he runs and plays but is respectful. I did post before about him playing a bit 'hard' with my mum's dog who is also a puppy but she's the only one he does this with and it has much improved since they've both got a bit older.
    Pup goes to work with my partner most days and any days he can't go he goes to my mum's. I thought it would be good to introduce him to doggy day care in case he can't go to either, like a really hot day for example.

    Do they generally like it? Do you think it's ok for him to go once in a while or is it better to have him going once a week so he's used to it?
    I have to admit I'm a bit precious about him so would hate for him to go and find it a bit much or have a bad experience or learn to bark!

    Any thoughts and experiences please :) he doesn't HAVE to go so want to make sure it's right.
  2. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    I think it's like a lot of things, the quality can vary enormously. And regardless of the quality, some dogs seem to love it, others not so much. Can you try going along without him and observing how it is run? You don't want him to be overwhelmed but you don't want him understimulated too. Ask the qualifications of the staff (canine first aid for example) and the ratio of staff to dogs. Maybe speak to some other owners. Then maybe trial him over a half day when you don't have other commitments so you could get him if you need to?
    leashedForLife likes this.
  3. Josie

    Josie Administrator Administrator Registered

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    I agree with @JoanneF - I think daycare is great but you’ve got to find the right kind.

    My boy is 10 and our dog walker only ever walks 4 max at a time which suits him perfectly. He wouldn’t cope well with a large group.

    On the other hand I also know someone who walks larger groups and the dogs have an absolute blast with each other because they are young and want lots of fun!

    I think you can get dog day care that is based in a big inside area with pens and they have lots of dogs there but I would avoid this personally.

    Dennis went out with our walker yesterday and he went to his friend Fred’s birthday party! I think it’s great for them to go out and have fun with others (as long as they’re right)
  4. leashedForLife

    leashedForLife Well-Known Member Registered

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    I'd go observe at any local dog-daycares that permit it - explaining U are a prospective customer.
    [Generally this means being on the outside of a window, as they don't want non-owners or non-staff interacting with dogs not their own.]
    Watch for bullying that's not instantly interrupted by a human, mob scenes where mayhem breaks out, or snarking between dogs that's ignored - play involves bendy bodies, wagging, & loose movement. Aggro has much-more body tension, STILL tails which may be up or down, & hard facial / eye expressions with lots of direct eye-to-eye gaze.

    Good daycares have an approx 10 to 1 ratio of dogs to staff - more profiteering operations may have 20 or even 30 dogs per staffer, which is impossible to properly oversee, let alone "control". Humans are not ideally suited to monitor dog interactions, as we miss lots of key-info simply b/c we're too tall & not face-on, but far above their level; we miss facial signals & other crucial messages, & only see the blatant later behaviors.
    Keeping the # of dogs to be monitored reasonable is critical to being able to prevent, or at least interrupt, rather than merely react after the fact.

    Good daycares also won't drop a newbie in at the deep end, & expect them to swim! - they'll introduce a new dog individually to another dog that they KNOW to be sociable & tolerant, then to another dog solo, & finally bring back intro #1 to have all 3 together briefly, & see how they get on.
    Impressionable pups or undersocialized adults both need special care when coming into a dog-daycare, while highly-sociable, experienced adult dogs can cope much better & are able to recover quickly from brief bad encounters. Even the best staff can't prevent EVERY snarky interaction - dogs can have bad days or be irritable due to pain, lack of sleep, etc, just like ppl.

    - terry


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