Doggie day care and dog parks have been introduced in the last decade or so to people who buy into the doggy-parent baloney.
Your dog is a dog, not a furry kid. He is a canine, in the same grouping as a wolf or wild dogs. These are domestic dogs and there are some differences. But the species is the same. Now, what do we know about wolves and wild dogs? They are pack animals. You will say, but of course, I know that. Of course you do. But lets look at a pack.
Dog/wolf packs usually begin with a pairing of a dog/bitch. She separates, often with the young male to have a litter of puppies. Those puppies grow up into adolescents and she is pregnant again. And again. The most independent/dominant pups move out of the pack and form their own packs with a strong bitch. Middle of the road dogs, run and hunt with their dam and sire, and the omega pups, grow into being the babysitter-type dogs.
But the point is the dogs run, hunt with, play with dogs in their own pack. Order is established and then forgotten about. Only in times of change, injury/illness is there a disruption in the pack order. The male marks his territory, and other dogs stay away. If another dog comes into the territory there is generally going to be a fight. It depends on who's who in the pecking order. Makeshift packs of semi-domesticated dogs, might incorporate outsiders into the pack.
Dogs who are alpha, walk around like their poop doesn't stink, and every other dog just accepts that that dog is the king of the mountain. Few if any fights. Beta dogs, are the wanna-be alphas. These are the dogs that fight for status and to keep their status. Like if the alpha dog dies, a beta dog may be put into the position of leader, and that dog, because of his lack of confidence, will be challenged and dethroned most likely. Beta dogs fight. Omega dogs often are like welcome mats. Many dogs will attack an omega-type dog. These are like the kids that are bullied wherever they go. Something about them, just makes them targets.
In the pack structure, there is a place for alphas, betas, and omegas. And when the pack is stable, there is not a lot of fighting.
Now lets look at doggy daycare. Daycare is for pre-school age children, because throughout life, children have to function with a variety of people all the time. They will have to function with peers, with teachers, employers, customers, professionals, etc. So to socialize them, and help them thrive as a member of society, we send them to school, and often pre-school. When we go to work, we cannot put them in a cage, they need constant supervision, while hopefully learning/exercising their mind, body, and social skills. It is imperative for children to grow physically, mentally, and socially if parents want to get them out of the basement and on their own someday.
Your dog is never going to be "on his own someday." This is why you are an owner and not a pet-guardian or pet parent. His instinct is to pack up, and his pack is his family. It can include Grandma who doesn't live with you, but who sees him all the time, all the humans in the household, other dogs he lives with, and maybe the cat or the bird or the guinea pig. Maybe, your dog decides to protect the old lady across the street's home too (Princess did.) And maybe your dog is fine with the two little dogs or big dogs next door.
But unless the doggy day care is properly staffed (unlikely), with people who understand dog-psychology, body language, etc., and the group of dogs is stable -- that is not changing all the time, it is an extremely stressful situation for young dogs. And neutered dogs often have as many, if not more problems than intact dogs. Not sure why that is, but over and again, the dog in the dog park that causes all the problems is a neutered dog.
The good news is that your dog does not need doggy day care or dog parks. And, behavior can improve without doggy daycare. On the one hand, the dog's brain and body are exercised during the day while you are working, and he may otherwise be sleeping in his crate or kennel. On the other hand, at best the dog is running, playing, indulged, and at worst constantly stressed for a long period of time. So when you get them back, they may be tired, over-tired, or relieved to the point where they are now able to act out. So sometimes you have really bad behavior when they come home. Or, more likely, you have a dog that reacts when they see other dogs. They either think that every time they see another dog, it is amusement-park-play time; or it is time to bully or be bullied the other dog.
Those of us who show, want a dog that is confident in situations where there are other dogs, preferably neutral. We don't take them to puppy kindergartens where there is free-for-all play times. We do not generally take them to dog parks or doggy day care, because our dogs play with us, and we want them to ignore other dogs for the most part. Which makes us ogres.
The new, improved PETA imposed pet guardianship ideology, tries to make people think that they need to take their dogs to doggy day care, to stimulate them when they are not home. To take them to dog parks, so they can play with other dogs. This is untrue and in many cases unkind.
We should not be "humane" to dogs. They are not humans. It is terribly disrespectful to treat a dog like a human. They are beautiful, and spectacular creatures, dogs. To try to make humans them, to treat them as humans, is putting expectations on them that they can't and shouldn't realize. If you want a human, make one, adopt one, connect with one. If you want a dog, treat it appropriately to its species. It doesn't mean you shouldn't house train the dog, and train it to walk on a leash and to be comfortable around other people/dogs. But we are going beyond training and living with a domestic animal, and trying to make them little people.
Ok, I know this isn't your fault. It is the fault of the Humane Society of the United States and PETA and the AR movement. We need to take our dogs back.
Heidi Ho, Odie
Joy-Joy, Bear Cub, Hepsi-Pepsi
Cujo2, Karma Chameleon
Ramona the Pest, Kojak -- who loves you baby?
Tiny Tinnie, Susie's Uzzi, Kaiah -- The Baby Monster.