So I have been taking Titan to Doggy daycare since November. The only reason I decided to try it out was because a friend of mine went to this particular one and said she loved it and her pup always comes home tired.. He doesn't play with other dogs much.. He isn't aggressive or uncomfortable, quite literally doesn't really care. He has had certain doggy friends that he will chase and actually play with but it's rare. I thought maybe this would give him a reason to interact with other dogs. He doesn't NEED to and this wasn't something I was trying to force, just wanted to see if he may start playing if given more of an opportunity.. plus it would tire him out which is always nice. Not that I can't exercise Titan, we do anyways, I just thought it would be nice for him to not be home alone all day since me and the BF work full time.
Anyways, did a couple trial days.. he seemed to come home tired, always wanting to lay down for a quick nap.. (then back to our normal routine) Thought this meant he was playing a lot while he was there. I asked every time, how did he do.. the girls all insisted that he had so much fun and played with all the other dogs fabulously! Titan chases his tail when he is anxious or doesn't otherwise know what to do. He does this (if you haven't read my other threads) normally in new environments until he's comfortable.. just like our new house, did it for about 2 days and stopped and is just fine now. Mind you we DO NOT let him do this. We understand it is unhealthy and have come a very long way in preventing this. Well I brought that up to the ladies there and that if he does it that he needs to be told "enough" then reengaged with either play or a few OB commands. They agreed and have been "doing it" every since. Saying every time I ask that he has stopped chasing his tail as much, if at all.
Well a few days after his muscle spasm incident, after being cleared with the vet. I took him to there and asked the guy that works there to make sure he doesn't play hard because of the incident. (this place is also a vet clinic so I did make them aware of his health issues) He said "well he doesn't play much anyways, so I'm sure he'll be fine.. Well that struck me odd since the girls there always tell me how much he plays. And this guy has been there since Titan has started going so I know he's not just new and not there frequently.
So today.. being the second day back since his spasm.. I picked him up and asked that same gentleman to be honest with me and tell me what Titan does all day.. He literally said "He chases his tail all day." Point blank. I asked if they stopped him and he said they try but he just does it the whole time. Said there are 2 dogs that come that he loves and actually does play with them but they aren't there frequently like Titan. Then I asked if he plays at all with other dogs and he said never. Then I asked in his opinion (just because i was curious) was it worth it to come 3 days a week if all he does is chase his tail and try to play with the hose when they clean.. He said he wasn't sure and that if anything, he gets out of the house. I thanked him for being honest with me and left.
So this is what it looks like to me.... Titan does not like doggy daycare.. as I can tell by his tail chasing. That tells me that he is not comfortable there and is in an anxiety driven mental state the entire time he is there... which would explain the exhaustion when he comes home. Heck, I would be mentally drained if I spent my entire day on the edge of an anxiety attack too. Part of me feels incredibly stupid that I believed them, I knew better. During the trial days I was going to see if he played and appeared to enjoy it, if he didn't I wouldn't have even worried about taking him there. But being that they seemed so genuine about him having fun, I thought, maybe this was what he needed. This could explain the sudden reversal in some commands, the even more intense ball drive, etc.. Just UGH, I'm mad at myself but even more pissed that these people let my dog chase his tail for 3 fricken months and didn't tell me about it KNOWING that was a huge concern for me!!!
sorry... not sure what I expect to hear from you guys, but I just needed to vent to someone who could understand my frustration.
I am not taking him back. We will just ramp up his physical activity, like we were doing before. It's not a big deal (about the exercise thing) just pissed that I let my poor baby be in that situation for that long thinking he was actually excited to be there!!