Socialization and Dog Day Care? HELP? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-29-2010, 08:05 PM Thread Starter
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Socialization and Dog Day Care? HELP?

Today at puppy class the trainer mentioned that I might want to consider a few days a week for a month or two taking Jake (15 weeks) to a doggie daycare so he can learn better skills with other dogs. He doesn't have any aggression towards people or other dogs but she said his skills on how to communicate and play with others would improve greatly by taking him somewhere to be with other dogs, that they teach each other better and faster then we can.

Please folks weigh in on this one, I am not sure how I feel about dropping Jake off for the day to play with other dogs, one would assume that other owners take care of their dogs if they are willing to spend that much money to entertain their dogs, right? And what about if the play gets too rough?

I have no experience with dog parks and have read mixed reviews on the theory of parks.
Let me add, Jake goes everywhere with me...pet stores, local parks, hiking, free outdoor concerts...and when he does see other dogs of course he is interested in playing...I need help of experienced GSD owners to help guide me here. Thanks!
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-29-2010, 08:18 PM
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In my opinion, I could care less how my dog "plays" with others...as long as they aren't reactive to others its all good. But I do have 3 GSD's for exercising/playtime. Never had a singleton dog.
If he is acting without manners it is then up to me to keep him in line, but daycare would not be in my thoughts(I am too protective). You can teach a dog how to be mannerly without sending them to a daycare. And it sounds to me that is what you are doing with the way you socialize him.
Is there anyone in your class that you could have playdates with? This would be better to do IMO, as you'd have control and be able to read body language first-hand on how Jake reacts.

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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-29-2010, 08:34 PM Thread Starter
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No, there isn't anyone to have play dates with in class. Only two other dogs in the class, two tiny little pocket dogs. I do know someone that has a 10 month old GSD, what do you think of that? Would they be ok to play around with each other? I am not liking the idea of leaving him somewhere and not watching AT ALL.
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-29-2010, 09:00 PM
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Do you know anything about the doggie daycare place? There are some where the dogs are together all day, but not all. I took Dena, Keefer, and Halo to daycare twice a week for a few months as puppies. The place I go to also does overnight boarding, and I wanted them to get used to being there and having it be a fun place for them before the time came to board them for a week when we're on vacation.

With Dena, who was an only dog up until she was 13 months old (when we got Keef), it was also so that she could be socialized in a new environment, with different dogs. When Keef was a puppy and too young to go, I took Dena instead so he could get used to being home alone, and then when he was older she stayed home and he went to daycare. Having two dogs, I wanted them to not be TOO bonded to each other, and I also thought it was important to socialize them with other dogs without the sibling dog present, particularly away from the familiarity of home.

I did the same thing with Halo, she started going twice a week at 15 weeks old, (the minimum age for daycare) up until she was 7 months old. She was also going to the off leash park with us at 15 weeks, but of course Keefer was there too. In daycare she was on her own, and I thought that was important.

At Citizen Canine, every dog has their own private room in a heated and air conditioned building. They do several play/potty trips outdoors a day, organized by age, size, and activity level. My dogs were always in the "Active Adolescent" group. Playgroups typically consist of 5 or 6 dogs, accompanied by several staff who supervise and play with the dogs. The staff are all very experienced, several of them are also APDT certified dog trainers, and some are pet CPR certified as well. I felt very comfortable leaving my dogs there all day while I was at work, and they clearly enjoyed going.

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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-29-2010, 09:05 PM Thread Starter
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I don't know anything about the daycares available here, trainer suggested I pop in the check them out and observe...
I am home with Jake and wont be returning to work until he about a year old...but I still wonder if he is too young. I do realize at some point he will have to get used to going somewhere for boarding etc, but not sure if this is what we need to get his social skills with other dogs honed. That is the issue...
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-29-2010, 09:46 PM Thread Starter
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Bump....
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-29-2010, 09:57 PM
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I don't think that is necessary, unless he is going to be playing with other dogs all the time. I've had GSD's all my life as a kid, and Wolfie is my second GSD. I never took Chiefy to doggy daycare, and I boarded him 2 to 3 weeks every summer all of his life. He did fine.

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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-29-2010, 10:01 PM Thread Starter
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I think the same, however what age did you board him? How did he do with separation? Like I said earlier I do know someone with a 10 month old GSD that we can see every few weeks....but I am afraid that dog may be too big for Jake....is Wolfie an only??
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-29-2010, 10:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jakeandrenee View Post
I think the same, however what age did you board him? How did he do with separation? Like I said earlier I do know someone with a 10 month old GSD that we can see every few weeks....but I am afraid that dog may be too big for Jake....is Wolfie an only??
Chiefy did great. We started boarding him at 7 months old. We used to ask him every summer if he wanted to go to "summer camp" and he ran for the car all excited. LOL! Yes, Wolfie is an only. He has played with 2 mastiffs that live on our street since we got him. They seem to sense that he's a puppy and they are really gentle with him.

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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-29-2010, 10:23 PM
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i think doggy day care is great...Great place for your dog to get used to being around all types of dogs and get used to you not being around every minute of the day......I have used it and have zero aggression problems...
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