Puppy Day Care - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-21-2013, 05:43 AM Thread Starter
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Puppy Day Care

My wife and I have a nine week old GSD and we want to begin socializing her immediately. We can't get her into a Puppy Kindergarten class for a few weeks, but we can get her into daycare. We tried it yesterday and she loved it.... played great with the other puppies. Should we continue daycare for her? Looking for other's thoughts on this. Thanks!

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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-21-2013, 08:35 AM
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We had a bad experience with a dog walker that came into our house to walk Jake until he was around 10 months old. Things were fine in the beginning, but there was an incident where Jake became aggressive around 10 months old. We never got any helpful information out of them regarding the incident. This behaviour was so out of character for Jake and we took it seriously. After working with a private trainer and assessing him for aggression, the only explanation we could come up with is a combination of fear / frustration in the situation. Since they were unwilling to answer questions about the incident, I am suspiscious that they may have been mistreating him, but again I have no evidence of that. Needless to say, they have not entered our home again since that day. Fortunately by that time Jake was 10 months old and his health issues were pretty much resolved and he was eating twice a day, so there was no reason why he couldn't be alone for 8 hours while we were at work.

There are lots of great dog walkers / providers of doggy day care, but if we ever get another dog I will rethink. Your pup is at such an impressionable age that I'd want to feel pretty confident before leaving my pup with someone.

Plus, you are supposed to limit contact with other dogs / puppies until fully vacinnated.

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-21-2013, 10:57 AM
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Do they have a puppy social hour or something similar where you and the pup can go together, so you can watch and make sure it's a positive experience? At such a young age, all socialization should be positive and I'd be afraid of her having a bad experience or getting overwhelmed when you weren't around. That's just my opinion, but I would probably want to be there to make it more controlled. What age are the other puppies in the daycare? How many are there at one time? How many people are supervising? How long do they play before they have time to relax? Are they all current on vaccinations? Are there any older dogs at the daycare that might come into contact with puppies?
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-21-2013, 11:01 AM
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At your puppy's age, I would be cautious about exposing her to too many dogs/places since she hasn't completed her vaccinations.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-21-2013, 07:58 PM
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My 6.5 month old pup has attended daycare regularly since 12 weeks. She is very friendly and social because of this. I think it's a good thing; just make sure the daycare you take her to requires the dogs to have all of their shots and is kept clean.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-22-2013, 05:30 AM Thread Starter
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Puppy Day Care

Thanks everyone for the comments. We're neurotic parents so we appreciate the help. This day care center is fanatical about vaccinations, so were comfortable that she is safe. Also, they are some of the nicest people we've met...and Ginger loves them! Thanks everyone!

First time GSD owners

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-22-2013, 06:06 AM
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i wouldn't put my 9 week old pup in a day care. i would
enroll him in a puppy class. i would set up play dates
so he can socialize and i could watch him. during the
play dates the pups could walk on different surfaces,
steps, handles by different people, different sounds, etc.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-22-2013, 06:45 AM
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Even if all puppies are up to date on their vaccines, at 9 weeks old a puppy would only have their first round. Hardly considered "safe" or covered. I personally wouldn't want to risk it until 12 weeks of age and second round of vaccines, 16 weeks of age with final rounds of vaccines to be the safest. Many super young parvo patients I see have had their first round of vaccines.

I also wouldn't be thrilled with puppy interactions that I wasn't supervising. socialization does no good if you can't control that interaction. If the pups are fighting the whole time and your dog is getting bullied/dominated constantly (even in situations that are mainly viewed as "play" in the eyes of the daycare runners), could potentially lead to a timid/fearful adult. On the other hand, if your pup is constantly being the dominator and learning that attitude gets their way, then you could potentially have a head strong, harder to manage adult.

In the first couple weeks I have my pups, I like to work extensively on socialization to new environments, strange smells and sounds, etc, and working on solid training to learn commands. It isn't until 12 weeks + that I get too concerned about any kind of "group" classes or dog on dog socilization. And even then, I don't do much as far as that goes. My dogs don't need doggy friends. They just need to behave and be obedient. The only reason I personally do group training classes is to proof commands that have already been learned through private puppy training. My trainer who works extensively with working GSDs doesn't even have "puppy" classes. You start out in private training lessons and only advance to group classes to proof with distraction once everything from private training is learned.

Zeke doesn't like other dogs. He also doesn't hate them. He's indifferent and could care less, and that's kind of what I like from my dogs.

Again, just my own personal thoughts and opinions.

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