Do the employees running the daycare have the proper training to
Is the facility clean and using the proper human and animal safe
So how and where do you start?
Most doggie daycares are free the first time you visit. It is a chance to see if your dog is somewhat comfortable being handled by people they don’t know and if they like playing with other dogs in a large group. They will typically give you some sort of report card that tells you how your dog did, who they made friends with, and whether or not they are a good fit for their daycare scene. Beyond that, to my knowledge, most daycares have the group of dogs out to play for many hours. They eventually get a lunchtime nap, and then come back out to hang out in the group until mom and dad comes to pick them up. It’s a lot like pre-school without the school part.
The Side Kick Difference
Why daycare for my dog? Daycare can be a great place for puppies and dogs to get exercise and socialize!
What is the appropriate way for my dog to socialize at Daycare? Every dog is different. That’s why is important to find a place that will tailor exercise and socialization to your dog and his needs.
How big are the play groups supposed to be? Studies show that the best kind of dog play is one-on-one play or small group play, for the appropriate amount of time for each individual dog.
What does my dog do while he is at daycare? SKDT lets the dogs choose how they would like to play. On a typical day at SKDT Daycare the dogs will enter the building and be handed to a Trainer or Kennel Technician specially trained by Carrie and Misti. They go to the appropriate size kennel or wire crate which depends on size, temperament, sociability, and training plan. We have rooms with only a few dogs for the dogs that get too over stimulated resting in the playroom watching the other dogs walk by. We typically give them 10 to 15 minutes to relax and check out their surroundings. When they can calm a bit we start playtime!
It’s all about self-control and fun! We don’t let the dogs run crazy from their kennel to the play areas because this can sometimes cause them to not look at their surroundings and in turn not read what another dog has to say. We slowly introduce each dog to one dog at a time to see who they want to make friends with, if they want to make friends at all. Some dogs do good playing and hanging out one-on-one and some dogs like to play in small groups of friends. When each dog starts to act tired or starts give distance increasing signals, he gets to go potty, if needed, and then go to his kennel to rest. The amount of play time and rest time is different for each dog. Some dogs never get tired! Those are typically our frequent flyers.
If a dog does not want to play with other dogs due to fear or can not find an appropriate play partner due to lack of self control, then it’s Trainer Time! They get to play tug, fetch, catch me if you can, wrestling match, cuddle time, hanging in the offices, or the recall game with one of the trainers. Some dogs simply do not have any interest in other dogs or playing with toys, so that’s where the trainers get to take them on a walk. This rotation will go on with all of the dogs over and over again as many times as they need it. Again….it is all about what the dog finds rewarding. If it’s not rewarding then it is no fun for them to come back.
The common misconception when trying to determine whether or not your dog likes going somewhere is…”He gets more excited than he does for anything else. It’s the only time he ever jumps on me”! Jumping can be a few things such as excitement, anxiety, the need to be listened to, or just plain rude behavior. Make sure you know which reason your dog is”soooo excited”. Your furry family member will love you for listening to what they are trying to tell you!
-Carrie Galvan CPDT