Upset - Layla can scale a fence (doggy day care) - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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Old 09-02-2010, 09:39 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Upset - Layla can scale a fence (doggy day care)

I am still really upset due to an incident this morning as I dropped off Layla at doggy day care. The usual woman (owner) wasn't there, and the person working seemed overwhelmed that there were three of us dropping off dogs at once.
I said to the woman, "Layla is still very freaked out by other dogs," just to remind her. They have yet to put her in with others, wisely wanting to introduce her slowly.
What does the woman do but take Layla by the leash and put her in a run right up against the yard where most of the (big) dogs are. Of course, all the dogs come to the fence. Layla gets totally freaked out, and the next thing I know, she is scaling the chain link fence and she's over it. Had she not scaled the fence, she would have been stuck in there, terrified.
The woman says, "Hmmm..I wonder where I can put her?"
WHAT?
I said, "Please take her inside. She can stay inside."
I had to get to work.
I'm glad I found out my girl can scale a fence when I was present, but I'm really upset by it and very worried about her now. I'm really disturbed about the judgement of this woman, also. I had just told her Layla is freaky around other dogs -- to place her right up against 7, 8, 9 + dogs was just....not thinking.This is totally different than our usual drop off experience.
I have a call into the owner. I'm not sure she has an escape-proof run with a "roof" on it. Not sure what to do. I thought I had finally found "the" place.
Sigh.
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Old 09-02-2010, 10:15 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I would have thought the run would have a chain link roof, many of them do. But that wouldn't have solved the problem of the contact with all those dogs. Like you say it's a good thing you found out before she was left there alone and escaped when no one was looking! Geez, what a crummy way to start your day. Hopefully the owner will make sure this never happens again
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Old 09-02-2010, 01:11 PM   #3 (permalink)
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As a good doggie daycare owner, she would quickly make some changes to accommodate dogs who can scale any fence. Just the fact that I told my doggie daycare owner that one day my puppies will be taught to scale a 6 foot fence as part of their training, she is already preparing the outside yard. They haven't had any dogs escape thus far and I wouldn't want either of mine to be the first, especially knowing the daycare is on a major road.
As far as the flustered intake girl, I would have a conversation with the owner about if they go thru any type of training after being employed on how to handle all types of situations.
I LOVE my doggie daycare place but interviewed about 10 before making a final decision, sometimes it just turns into a process. I hope this gets resolved for you quickly!
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Old 09-03-2010, 10:37 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Why are you taking a dog who is freaked out by other dogs to doggy daycare? If she dislikes other dogs to the point that she will scale a fence to get away from them, she is not a good candidate for doggy daycare and she certainly isn't having any fun.
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Old 09-03-2010, 01:38 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Why are you taking a dog who is freaked out by other dogs to doggy daycare? If she dislikes other dogs to the point that she will scale a fence to get away from them, she is not a good candidate for doggy daycare and she certainly isn't having any fun.
That's the whole point. I'm unwilling to have a mature dog who has major fear of other animals. She goes to doggy daycare to slowly expose her to other animals. She has only been in an area with one other dog, and that is an 8-month old puppy who is smaller than she is. She is normally not placed right up against a whole yard full of dogs. One of the major points of my post is that the worker did something UNUSUAL by placing her next to the yard full of dogs.

Keeping her at home with my two other dogs is not the solution.
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Old 09-03-2010, 02:18 PM   #6 (permalink)
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That's the whole point. I'm unwilling to have a mature dog who has major fear of other animals.
Which is why I question why you would want to take her to doggy daycare if she is afraid of dogs.


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She goes to doggy daycare to slowly expose her to other animals. She has only been in an area with one other dog, and that is an 8-month old puppy who is smaller than she is. She is normally not placed right up against a whole yard full of dogs. One of the major points of my post is that the worker did something UNUSUAL by placing her next to the yard full of dogs.

Keeping her at home with my two other dogs is not the solution.
The solution would be very gradually exposing her to other dogs in a controlled setting with lots of rewards. Group classes could be a good start, even if you just go and sit at the sidelines and feed her extra good treats. Going to a park where dogs are on lead would be another idea.

Leaving her some place with strange people and strange dogs in an group play setting is not providing a positive experience with other dogs and it is not helping boost her confidence. All you are doing is repeatedly giving her a reason to believe that it is scary and stressful to be around other dogs. At daycare not only is she in close proximity to strange and can't get away (well I suppose now she has learned she can get away) but she has the added stress of you abandoning her at this place for extended periods of time.

I worked at a doggy daycare for many years. Daycare is best for high energy dogs who are gregarious with people and other dogs. GSDs are very oriented towards their families and for most being left somewhere with strange people/dogs is not their idea of "fun", even if they are well socialized, confident dogs. No way would I put a dog who is already fearful of other dogs in a daycare or dog park setting. Daycare gives you absolutely no control over what is happening to your dog while you are not there, what sort of interactions your dog is having or what your dog is learning. There is a risk of behavior issues developing in dogs who regularly attend daycare or dog parks including on leash aggression, which your dog is already at a high risk for due to her fear. There are much better ways to "socialize" a fearful dog but of course, they all require that you work with the dog.
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Old 09-03-2010, 02:31 PM   #7 (permalink)
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AgileGSD, normally you are right on but I think you are missing one very important thing that JazzNScout has been saying.... her dog has never been place so close to all the dogs before and is not usually put in with a group of dogs.

I think (if I remember correctly from reading her other posts) that the owner of the daycare is taking time out daily to expose her to other dogs slowly and that the frazzled worker screwed up by placing her so close to the other dogs.
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Old 09-05-2010, 09:25 AM   #8 (permalink)
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AgileGSD, normally you are right on but I think you are missing one very important thing that JazzNScout has been saying.... her dog has never been place so close to all the dogs before and is not usually put in with a group of dogs.

I think (if I remember correctly from reading her other posts) that the owner of the daycare is taking time out daily to expose her to other dogs slowly and that the frazzled worker screwed up by placing her so close to the other dogs.
Exactly. Layla is not regularly being placed with or near other dogs. The only dog she has been with is an 8 month old puppy that is smaller than she is. The owner is a behaviorist with over 20 years experience who has specifically said to me that it is critical at Layla's age for her not to have a traumatic experience with other dogs.

Layla loves going to doggy daycare. We pull up, and she's "there." If this in general was not a pleasant experience for her, I'd pull her out. For her, now, it's all about the people. She loves the people and the play and the attention, and her experience there -- along with other things like her puppy classes and going to work with me -- has made her do a complete (positive) turn-around with people, who she was fearful of not too long ago.

I had also wanted to do this with her as a puppy so that we don't have boarding issues (anxiety and upset) later, like I have had with all of my other dogs. So far, so good. I could leave her here for boarding and she would feel like all is ok.

This was one isolated, odd incident.
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