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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-03-2015, 11:07 AM Thread Starter
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Doggie Day Care

Im wondering if people can share their opinion/experience about this new fad.

I recently got McCoy involved in a national chain day care facility. I chose them because they have a recognized name, and they offer live streaming webcams so you can check in anytime.

Its not what I expected. The facility is basically is a warehouse sectioned off into separate "rooms" where they sort dogs based on size/temperament. I usually take McCoy on rainy days. He gets home, drinks a gallon of water, and passes out for the night.

However, I've watched him on the webcams. Rarely do I see dogs "playing." All I see is 20 dogs in a room sort of walking around, not really doing anything. There is an attendant in there who usually just walks around and offer little to no interaction with the dogs.

Is this normal? I expected to see 20 dogs caught in a mosh pit of frolic and play.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-03-2015, 12:06 PM
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If you are talking about Camp Bow Wow (sounds like it), they don't allow the dogs to play. If they start to play, they get a hose squirt from the high-pressure garden hose the employees are always carrying. They claim they need to keep the dogs in a non-excited state to prevent problems from breaking out. This is likely true as they have 20-30 dogs in a group, with (as far as I can tell) just one employee supervising them. The walking around "little to no interaction" is a actually technique to keep dogs from getting possessive of the one person in there.

I use them when we travel with dogs, when they are in my destination city and we want to sight-see for the day (it's a convenient place to drop the dogs off). The care they provide is fine, but my dogs still need to blow off steam with some real exercise or high-speed fetch after we pick them up. All they do is mill around in a group of other dogs all day (kind of boring).

I personally think of Camp Bow Wow as a very middle-of-the-road corporate "mcboarding" place. It's a franchise system, so they're all the same. When your dogs pass the entry exam for one of their locations, you are in their central system for the whole chain, so it's really useful for travel with dogs. It's NOT playcare. Nor is it truly the "high end" of that world. It's extremely expensive for a very low employee to dog ratio--but they are competent, keep the dogs safe, and are more enjoyable for the dogs than a day in a kennel.

I have used far, far better playcare facilities for boarding. Here's an example:
I Dig My Dog: Cage Free Dog Boarding, Pasadena, CA
It's been around for many years, it's owned by a good trainer, and she focused on hiring employees with serious dog backgrounds (training assistants, vet techs, and animal behavior grad students)--even though she had to pay more than minimum wage to get them! She had multiple employees in the play yards, multiple play yards grouped by size and play style, and "chill out zones" for social dogs that don't have the energy to play. The "rough and tumble" rowdy adolescents are allowed to play their way with other dogs who love to play that way. The "soft and gentle" dogs are with their kind. The fetchers are all in a group with balls constantly flying all over the place. The dogs had a seriously good time: fetching, swimming in the beach entry pool, romping. My dogs loved that place, and they came home happy and worn out. That kind of place is very, very hard to find and special.

Last edited by Magwart; 11-03-2015 at 12:09 PM.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-03-2015, 12:13 PM
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In my opinion, what you saw is the better of the two scenarios you describe and I'm frankly surprised. I would expect the mosh pit scenario at a typical day care. I'd imagine it is probably a mosh pit at times, but maybe the owner/manager/attendants actually know something about dogs.

I personally would not take my dog to a group type day care. I would consider a day care if he had is own room and didn't interact with other dogs. I have the same stipulations for when I board my dog.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-03-2015, 12:58 PM
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My dog goes to doggy daycare. It's more of a play type environment. I have a social butterfly of a dog, and she loves it. There are something like 3-4 employees in each play area, and the dogs are separated by size and I think temperament/play style as well. There are a lot of dogs running around, but they're keeping close tabs on them. They have outside playtime as well, weather permitting.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-03-2015, 02:16 PM
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I've used one and love it. I checked into three and didn't like the first two, which were free-for-all style. The one I selected is family run. They have four different rooms, they screen carefully and the dogs are watched by someone at all times. I don't care if my dogs play. They get enough of that at home. I want them to run as if they were in a large pack, to sniff and greet a variety of dogs and to come home tired and sleepy. I won't take a puppy until 5 months, so they are old enough to handle it. The one I use puts puppies in with medium sized dogs so they aren't outsized and they can pen off the largest room into two if they need to pen the puppies together. It still gives them enough room to play in a safe environment. This is my choice over a dog park. The water spray is no big deal, unless they use vinegar. I wouldn't go to a place that sprays vinegar water into their eyes. You get what you pay for in daycare.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-04-2015, 10:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WateryTart View Post
My dog goes to doggy daycare. It's more of a play type environment. I have a social butterfly of a dog, and she loves it. There are something like 3-4 employees in each play area, and the dogs are separated by size and I think temperament/play style as well. There are a lot of dogs running around, but they're keeping close tabs on them. They have outside playtime as well, weather permitting.
This is what we do for Kona. She goes to daycare every Friday and has a BLAST. They send me pictures throughout the day and she has friends she sees every week. Once a month they have a pool day on the weekends. Our pup comes home happy and tired.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-04-2015, 04:41 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magwart View Post
If you are talking about Camp Bow Wow (sounds like it), they don't allow the dogs to play. If they start to play, they get a hose squirt from the high-pressure garden hose the employees are always carrying. They claim they need to keep the dogs in a non-excited state to prevent problems from breaking out. This is likely true as they have 20-30 dogs in a group, with (as far as I can tell) just one employee supervising them. The walking around "little to no interaction" is a actually technique to keep dogs from getting possessive of the one person in there.

I use them when we travel with dogs, when they are in my destination city and we want to sight-see for the day (it's a convenient place to drop the dogs off). The care they provide is fine, but my dogs still need to blow off steam with some real exercise or high-speed fetch after we pick them up. All they do is mill around in a group of other dogs all day (kind of boring).

I personally think of Camp Bow Wow as a very middle-of-the-road corporate "mcboarding" place. It's a franchise system, so they're all the same. When your dogs pass the entry exam for one of their locations, you are in their central system for the whole chain, so it's really useful for travel with dogs. It's NOT playcare. Nor is it truly the "high end" of that world. It's extremely expensive for a very low employee to dog ratio--but they are competent, keep the dogs safe, and are more enjoyable for the dogs than a day in a kennel.

I have used far, far better playcare facilities for boarding. Here's an example:
I Dig My Dog: Cage Free Dog Boarding, Pasadena, CA
It's been around for many years, it's owned by a good trainer, and she focused on hiring employees with serious dog backgrounds (training assistants, vet techs, and animal behavior grad students)--even though she had to pay more than minimum wage to get them! She had multiple employees in the play yards, multiple play yards grouped by size and play style, and "chill out zones" for social dogs that don't have the energy to play. The "rough and tumble" rowdy adolescents are allowed to play their way with other dogs who love to play that way. The "soft and gentle" dogs are with their kind. The fetchers are all in a group with balls constantly flying all over the place. The dogs had a seriously good time: fetching, swimming in the beach entry pool, romping. My dogs loved that place, and they came home happy and worn out. That kind of place is very, very hard to find and special.

Thanks for your response, and you are right. Very good insight into their operation.

But I wonder why is he so tired when he comes home? McCoy is a VERY high energy dog. There is no way 5 hours of standing around sniffing can tire him out. My only guess is that being there stresses him out so much he comes home and crashes? On the other hand he knows what "want to go to camp today?" means and is very eager to go......beats me to the door to leave the house.

I wish he could talk.

I bought a package of days so I can use them for rainy days.

And based on the other responses I will surely have to check out the other options in my area.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-04-2015, 05:05 PM
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McCoy, dogs play, then rest, then play again. Your dog is doing something that yires him out.
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