Your dog is a hoot at private gathering and a dream with small children, but when it is time to visit the dog park — yikes! He yanks at his leash and barks wildly at every dog that passes. The experience can be embarrassing and potentially dangerous. As a result, many dog owners become reluctant to bring their pets out after their canine demonstrates such behavior.
The Whole Dog Journal says many canines suffer from a significant lack of exercise, stimulation and social time with their own kind. Like learning to share and to be polite in human children, dog-to-dog social skills are not instinctive.
Day care can be a great way to wag two tails with one bone— especially for pet parents with overbearing schedules.
Dogs are social creatures with communication techniques and interaction cues that are different from humans. It is important dogs develop their interpersonal skills through fraternization with other dogs.
A dog with poor social skills can become a threat to those around them. Playtime with other dogs allows your pet to develop the skills needed to interact properly with new dogs and people.
PetCareFacts.com says day care provides our four-legged friends with healthy opportunities to socialize with other dogs of various sizes, and monitored socialization generally helps mellow a dog’s temperament.
The Whole Dog Journal says enrolling your pet into day care once or twice each week can give your dog the perfect outlet for his energy, give him the social and dog-play time he covets and relieve you of the oppressive guilt of not being able to take him out for moderate to high intensity workouts.
How to know if your dog is a good candidate for daycare
If you’re looking to send your dog off to day care, we suggest conducting an honest evaluation of your dog’s personality and behavior before making a move. Although we believe every dog will enjoy our day camp program, we understand dog day care is not the right option for every dog.
Is your dog nervous and eager when playing with other dogs or downright terrified?
If your dog doesn’t enjoy interacting with other animals, he’ll likely find day care a very unpleasant experience, and his dislike of dogs will probably become worse. The Whole Dog Journals says total immersion into dogdom is not an appropriate behavior modification or management plan for dogs who are intimidated by their own kind.
Is your dog an aggressive breed or simply aggressive?
We never discriminate against breeds often labeled as aggressive such as Pit bulls, Rottweilers and Boxers. On the other hand, we understand some dogs — no matter their breed — have high prey drives that make it difficult for dog-to-dog interaction. Pushing an aggressive dog into pup playschool can reinforce this behavior because it gives the canine and opportunity to put his instinctive desires into practice.
Does your dog dislike being left at home alone or is he suffering from intense separation anxiety?
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals list the following symptoms as the most common signs of separation anxiety in dogs. It is important to note these are only signs of separation -anxiety or -distress if demonstrated when the dog is left alone or separated from their guardian.
Symptoms of Separation Anxiety
- They experience uncontrolled urinating and defecating.
- They go into persistent barking and howling.
- They chew on objects such as door frames and window sills.
- They dig at doors and doorways.
- The general destruction of household and daycare center objects.
- They fight aggressively to escape the house or daycare center
- The walk or trot along a specific path in a fixed pattern. Some pacing dogs move around in circular patterns, while others walk back and forth in straight lines.
- They eating all or some of his own excrement. This habit is also known as Coprophagia.
Is your dog becoming less dog-playful with age?
It is common for dogs to become less interested in socializing with other dogs as the years pass. And of course, geriatric dogs and those with medical conditions shouldn’t be forced into the intense activities offered at most daycare centers.
The first step to enrolling your dog into daycare
If your dog has energy to spare and loves active play, day care can be a great and safe option for building their social skills!
Leading pet care providers strongly recommend selecting a camp with a fair assessment process such as Camp Bow Wow’s interview day , which gives your dog a free chance to try his paw at day care before becoming fully committed.
Always be sure to choose a day care with an environment that facilitates the physical and emotional needs of your pet — whether or not you decide to register with us.
Keep in mind transitioning your pet into a more dog-social lifestyle can sometimes be a little bumpy at first. Don’t get discouraged if your dog growls or even cowers from the other dogs during the opening stages.
Lastly, dogs who are often isolated and only have interaction with their own family tend to be more high strung and vocal when meeting other people or animals. Be sure to introduce your dog to other canines that have been socialized if you decide to take baby steps and organize a one-on-one play date with a neighborhood friend. Pairing two unsocialized dogs together can lead to trouble.
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