This article is about why using a doggy day care can be useful, not whether it is better or worse than a dog park… I know there are some out there love dog parks and take their dogs regularly, but let’s face it, dog parks are only great for certain dogs! Not to mention they are only great when the owner actually pays attention to their dogs and as we have all probably seen, many owners are the problems in dog parks! That all being said this article concerns my thoughts on doggy day cares and why they can become a big part of your dog’s education… So off my soapbox and on to the article J
When I was in college I took Spanish each semester, in fact I even tried a conversational class my senior year. Let’s just say that by that time I had a pretty good grasp on the language… However as life continued and I got a job, got married, had kids and so on, my skills in Spanish began to fade away! The fact is I did not use those skills and over time forgot them… What does my lack of remembering how to conjugate a past present form of an “AR” verb in Spanish have to do with dogs? Well honestly a lot.
In many ways dogs are the same; way we bring them into our home and their socialization stops we don’t take them out into the wonderful world of distraction and allow them to meet new and  unfamiliar dogs and slowly they forget how to speak dog! They forget what a play bow means or what it means when another dog yawns or licks its lips (stress signal). Dogs have a very distinctive way to let other dogs know they are uncomfortable and unless they stay in practice they will forget how to relate to other dogs…
This is where a good doggy daycare comes in!
You need to find a place that will
1.      Allow you to tour the facility
2.      Has ample staff for the playgroups
3.      Limits both size, temperament and number of dogs per play group
4.      Has an educated staff (or even better a trainer on staff)
What you don’t want is
1.      A room  full of dogs (more than 10) allowed to just mingle
2.      Groups of dogs that are allowed to interact without temperament/energy level evaluations
3.      A place which expects one person to observe huge groups of dogs by themselves
4.      A place where the daycare area is a small piece of concrete where to many dogs are expected to interact in tight proximity
If you don’t do your due diligence in picking out the doggy daycare you alone could be making your dog worse, but if you choose wisely after a short period of time you are going to have a more tired (in most cases better behaved, tired dog is a good dog) and a dog that speaks his native language quite well and enjoys time spent with his own kind…
(Another aspect of a great doggy daycare is one that will tell you, your dog is not cutout for daycare without thought of their bottom line)
A final word on wearing out your dog… I had a really nice client recently who was an elementary school teacher enlighten me on Gym and Recess in schools…
What she said really stuck with me, “Gym and recess are not there specifically for the kids, in fact they are also there to burn off energy and make the kids more focused” With that being said ask yourself what you are doing to keep your dog more focused?

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