Why Doggy Daycares Save Lives
Dogs running together on the lawn
I work for a friend of mine at her doggy day care.
Most of you live nowhere near me, so I feel like I can generically plug good doggy day cares out there everywhere!
The truth is that doggy day cares can be life savers!
And, there are many good doggy day cares out there!
For instance, 90% of those of us who work there are already well established trainers. So we don’t allow the dogs to jump, pull us, pounce other dogs in crates, and we make the dogs sit before going in and out of doors.
And, when the place gets busy because dogs are coming and going, we utilize long lasting treats to give them something to do other than get mad and bark at one another! We want our students to go home better dogs than they came in.
We also have strict rules, no corrections, corrective collars or anything of that sort.
Most of our clients use easy walk harnesses, but some just have great leash manners because we are always prepared to reward good and attentive behavior.
And, we make it our business to ensure that all dogs get out to play, and get the occasional naps they need, because even dogs can get aggressive when they are too tired.
Even dogs who can’t play (because they are sick, injured, or aggressive) still get one on one time or long walks.
But, I would caution you, that not all doggy day cares are created equal.
Not all doggy day cares employ regular trainers.
Not all doggy day cares keep dogs from barging through crates, keep them in heel position, or care when they jump.
In fact, some doggy day cares have incompetent people working for them who are not trained or skilled with dogs and dog behavior.
And, some of the dogs in some of these places rarely get out to play or interact with anyone or anything.
It is critical that you make appointments for a tour and drop by a few times, unannounced. And, I always poke around, ask to use the bathroom and make sure that for the most part things are clean.
Any animal business can have it’s stinky moments but a good vet, kennel, or doggy day care is mindful of keeping things as clean as possible.
I also like to watch the interaction of staff with the dogs.
Some doggy day cares even have webcams (although we don’t) this would be a great way to ensure that everyone is monitored while handling the animals!
But if you look, search, do your research, ask for many different references, then you will find a great place.
Why I Love Them
I love them because our clients bring us tightly wound up dogs, and they return to piles of tired doggy fur.
Imagine going to work or school for the day and feeling exhausted.
When you get home, you have a responsibility to make sure that your dog is fed, watered, exercised, trained and in some cases massaged.
When a dog is dropped off at day care, they are exhausted while you are exhausted! After some food, water and a brush up lesson on obedience they are probably going to beat you to sleep.
And, without this exercise some of these difficult dogs would be taken and dropped off at shelters and euthanized to to space and high exercise needs or what we see as wild behaviors.
These Are great Places for most people and Their Dogs
We even have an older couple (in their 70s) and they have a giant Rottweiler that they drop off to play with his friends. Then they pick him up when he is tired.
They aren’t off working all day, in fact they are at home all day, but they also know they don’t have what it takes to exhaust a 1 year old Rottweiler.
So we do the work and exercising for them, and they reap the benefits.
He isn’t in the trash, he isn’t eating their sofa, he isn’t chasing their cat; he is curled up on his bed snoring because he spent most of the day tackling and being tackled by his friends.
Remember anytime you let dogs play with other dogs, there is a risk of injury or even death!
But, in most cases (baring those horror stories which I am sure exist and which is why you must be careful in your initial choosing process), it is a win win situation for everyone, especially if your dog likes other dogs.
The owners are tired, they take a tired dog home and their dog gets to work around other dogs and people all day.
We even have a dog that has severe separation anxiety(actual real separation anxiety), who unfortunately also doesn’t like other dogs.
His parents were turned into their home association because of the constant barking all day.
So now, he comes and gets long walks, gets training with us trainers and has a much better day! He is even becoming less reactive and aggressive with other dogs!
Does he bark? Sure, he does! But he gets a lot more interaction than he would if he was at home in his crate all day!
I can’t imagine that his people would be able to keep him if he was at home barking all day, especially after the home owners association gave them an ultimatum. And, this particular dog has been placed and returned 4 times. And, with each time he is returned the likelihood of him making it out alive is decreased.
So if you are tired, your dog is exhausting you when you come home, or barking all day when you are gone then consider doing your local homework and finding a great place for him to stay while you are away!
I have been a professional dog trainer and pet sitter for over 20 years. I am a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, through the international Certification Counsel of Professional Dog Trainers. I have trained and worked with police, Schutzhund and personal protection dogs. I trained Assistance Dogs in a men’s prison and ran my own nonprofit organization to take adult dogs from shelters and to train them to assist children and adults with disabilities, at no charge to my clients. My nonprofit organization and I were nominated for several awards of merit and even made the front page of the Denver Post. I was a veterinary technician for many years, where I learned about all aspects of health and preventative medicine. I have trained and worked with exotic animals and cheetahs. I introduced a temperament testing program in my local shelter and sat on the board of directors. I volunteered with my dog “Mr. Snitch” and helped local children learn to read. I have attained obedience titles and several blue ribbons. I am constantly in search of ways to continue my education and excellence when it comes to animals, their behavior and their health.