|10-21-2014 09:57 PM|
PTSD? to doggie daycare
Today was 6 month old Jett's first visit to doggie daycare. I have struggled (and adapting) to "high Beta" energy since he came to me at 6 wks old. We have been through basic puppy training with qualified trainer, and Jett is well behaved, but still needs an energy outlet. I work 8 to 5.
The options that evolved were crate with 10 min dog walker vs alone in fenced yard(with covered porch and screened room) vs doggie daycare. Action vs inactivity? That was the question and chose action of course.
I was expecting an exhausted pup for the evening, and didn't know what to think about his odd behavior. He appeared to be "catching flies", with snapping in the air. The action was not directed at me. He followed me everywhere and seemed agitated. He wasn't interested in food but drank water. I finally directed him to his crate. He felt relaxed there with door open so I retreated to next room. Every few minutes I would hear either a single bark, growl or snarl, or whimper/cry. When observed he was clearly exhausted, but when about to fall asleep, he would be startled to wakefulness, and snap in direction of hind quarters. This went on for about 90 minutes. He now finally seems to be sleeping peacefully.
WOW! do they get that weirded out about excitement? Should he go back again? Should he be older to attend? He is a LARGE puppy at 62 lbs! This is my third GSD and he is highest energy level of all. His behavior/reaction to the day was clearly disturbing to him and to me!
|04-14-2014 06:30 PM|
Koda has been going to a doggie day since he was 5 months old. He goes once a week, and absolutely loves it!
The dogs are broken into groups depending on their play styles and size. Active dogs aren't put out with say, senior dogs, that just want to lay around quietly. They have time spent outside while others are in, and vice versa.
Koda grew up as a puppy with a scotty dog puppy so knows how to adjust his play style to be around small dogs, and does very well around small dogs and they sometimes let him play in a small group of small dogs.
It has been great for him. When we go in and I hand him off to an employee, he never looks back!
Just do your homework and check things out first. Take a tour of the facility and watch the dogs at play. See how it is organized. How many employees, etc. Is it clean? How many dogs out at one time? Some are better than others.
|04-14-2014 05:21 PM|
|Slayers||thanks for all the replies!|
|04-12-2014 01:57 PM|
I work at a dog daycare but I still would not recommend one unless you screen potential businesses very carefully. We do careful temperament testing and as much, our business is smaller than the other businesses in the area. We like it that way because letting in dogs that are not highly socialized or looking for volume of dogs for profit rather than quality dogs in the playgroup is a recipe for disaster.
Most daycare facilities will take any client and then kick dogs out if they become an issue. Your dog may be the one it attacks because no one bothered to assess the temperament of the dog before introducing it to the group.
A dog daycare should be separated by energy level first, then size of dog. You don't want active young labs slamming into older, less tolerant labs just because they are the same size. Timid dogs also need a different playgroup than pushy, friendly dogs.
Ask for a tour of the playgroups. Do not consider any place that gives any excuse for why you can't. Poop and pee is going to happen but places with large areas of grass are harder to disinfect in the case of kennel cough/parasites than rubber flooring, so less grass is actually better.
I would also be wary of any place willing to take a puppy as young as yours. 7 months is the earliest I would consider for a puppy in that sort of intense play with lots of dog personalities. I would ask what the dog to human ratio is while supervising. Are the dogs ever kenneled? Is the staff aware and diligent about the needs of large breeds in terms of hip issues and growth plates?
Honestly, GSDs rarely do well in daycare, even if no business wants to admit this. They whine in corners for their owners, are constantly on edge around the other dogs and occasionally will "police" the play yard by chasing down rambunctious dogs and pinning them.
All that being said, if you have an outgoing and playful shepherd, they will have a blast. Dogs are pack animals and a good amount of them enjoy getting a chance to be dogs and interact with one another outside of the chaos that is the dog park.
Feel free to PM me if you have any questions.
|04-04-2014 03:11 PM|
Lots of dogs will bark from the other side of the fence. You're right that most times its not aggressive, and most times those dogs are very friendly and would have no problem interacting with your dog and playing.
|04-04-2014 03:08 PM|
I also took her on a walk the other day and a small dog run up to the fence and you could hear that dog just wanted to play but my GS just stopped dead in her tracks and wouldn't move at all.
We have been in contact with a trainer they are just waiting for 1 more dog to join before they start the class I wanted to do the work with her then use the day care for days when I am at work and my wife will be in class most the day then working at night.
|04-04-2014 12:26 PM|
Looks like DDC has been pretty much covered so I'll just add:
|04-04-2014 11:54 AM|
Just off the last part of her being unsure already with other dogs, I would absolutely not do this. They are not going to "properly" socialize. The idea for them is to simply let your dog play with the other dogs and get that energy out. If your dog is already unsure, I can see this escalating to more of a fear simply because they aren't going to be focusing on her specifically. Theya ren't trainers. They are usually (as I found out) just people hired to watch the dogs, yes they may love the dogs, but they are not keen necessarily on behavior.
I would work with her first on her experience with other dogs yourself. Build that bond with her. Also, just curious, how is she uneasy with other dogs and is it necessary for her to have to get along with all dogs?
|04-04-2014 11:32 AM|
|Galathiel||Even if puppies only interacted with other puppies, I wouldn't have done it with my pup. Because MY pup would have been the one teaching everyone bad things! He was overbearing and obnoxious unless he had someone that could match him. He only had one other pup that could give as good as it got and of course that was the only other GSD puppy in class. I constantly had to be intervening. Nah .. I wouldn't. I didn't have a shy, sensitive or insecure puppy obviously. If yours has even a little of any of those, it could be traumatic for them if they are paired up with one like mine.|
|04-03-2014 09:35 PM|
I would not do it. You are relying on strangers to make sure your dog has a positive experience. You are trusting them to understand and read dogs and know when your pup is over threshold.
I always want to be present with my dogs when interacting with other dogs. I have only key my dogs interact with non family dogs out if my presence once. 2 of my dogs stayed with a friend a few summers ago when a storm knocked out my power for a week and she had AC. but she is a fellow SAR handler. I trust her. I don't trust many people with my dogs.
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