Doggy Daycare

Here at Aim High K9 we offer doggy daycare for our clients.  I used to think it was just a fad and a silly idea.  I have come to realize though, the benefits of doggy daycare.  People take their dogs to daycare for various reasons.  Some are gone long hours for work and don’t want to crate their dog that long or even leave them loose at the house.  Some dogs have some bad seperation anxiety and can’t be left alone without severe stress.  And there are some people who just want their dog to have some play time and socialization during the day.

After running the daycare here for about 2 years now I find that I like the results that my clients are getting from it.  I have 1 dog that comes 5 days a week and has been doing so for over a year.  He is a great little dog and I have paired him up with various other dogs of mine and dogs in for training.  They run and play and get lots of exercise.

I get a lot of the daycare clients saying that their dog is super tired after a day here and they love that they get tons of exercise and are happy and tired at the end of the day.

Our daycare is not cage free as some others are.  Awhile back I was talking to a friend in the business about offering daycare.  They offered cage free at their facility and she told me they would end up with dogs getting over tired and that ended up in arguments and squabbles between the dogs.  Think about it, what if you have a dog like my GSD Kasey who wants to run and play with everyone for hours on end.  And then you have maybe an older dog like our senior citizen here Eddie.  Eddie could maybe be active for around 20 min and then she would need a break.  But with no cages there is no down time and Eddie would not be able to get away from Kasey who just wants to play constantly.

So I explain to people that we do not offer cage free.  We run the daycare very similar to our boarding.  The dogs get their own kennel run which is indoor/outdoor and then they get time in the yard to run and play during the day.  Once we get to know the dog  then we pair them up or have them in a small group to play.  Even when the dogs are in the kennel they are still active and getting good exercise, they are not just laying and sleeping.  We do get them to “rest” when we go inside and have lunch or take a break, then it’s back out in the yard and everyone is always bouncing around in the kennels again.

With some of the cage free day care facilities they require temperment testing before you can sign your dog up for the daycare program.  Also many places will not accept unaltered males and females in for daycare.  With the set up that we have we are able to take dogs that do not necessarily get along with all other dogs and dogs that are not spayed or neutered.  As with all things check out the day care facility you are considering for your dog and make sure it is a good fit for you and your dog.

Crating your dog?

Recently someone sent me a link to an article about crating dogs.  The article was against crating dogs for any reason and said it was cruel.  Let me say this right up front, I believe that a crate is a very useful tool.  But like any tool it can be misused.

I have heard people say that they will never use a crate.  I have heard that it is wrong to crate a dog.  I have heard that if you are a good dog owner then you should not have to crate your dog.  That you should be able to train them so they don’t need a crate.  Well I believe that most of these comments have come from people with very limited dog experience.  If you have owned two or three well behaved dogs in your life then maybe you have never needed to crate your dog.  But some of us have owned “special” dogs and have needed to crate them.  When I say needed to crate them I mean that literally, for their own safety.  I have owned multiple dogs in my life.  I have had some that “needed” to be crated at different times in their lives.

I was given a GSD when she was about 1 year old.  She had grown up outside in someone’s fenced in yard.  She had no idea what the house was all about.  She had no house training.  If she needed to go potty she would just squat and go.  Now would anyone in their right mind just leave this dog loose in their house while they go to work or the store??  I am a pratical person, I can put a dog on a feeding schedule and have a good idea of when they need to go to the bathroom.  But I cannot predict what that same dog will do when left to her own devices.  Eat a pillow?  Chew through  a wall? Tear up an entire room of carpet.  Smash through a window to get a squirrel?  Open the fridge and eat the entire contents?  Anyone of these scenerios is perfectly plausable and some I know have happened to people.  So yes for the safety of the dog I crated her when I was gone.  Often she would come to work with me and stay in a crate and I would walk her when I had a break and on lunch.  The point being that it was not cruel to crate her for her own safety.

Now the article I read mentioned having a pet sitter/walker come to your house if you were going to be gone for an extended amount of time.  I am guessing this would be an average 8 hour workday. Well guess how long it takes a dog to eat a couch pillow??  Not long.  So you leave the house and within 10 min your dog has done something that could potentially harm or kill it and you have the dog walker scheduled to show up 3-4 hours later.  Turns out they could show up and find your dog in serious pain from eating something they shoud not have.

The GSD that was given to me has come a long way, today she is laying on the couch with me sleeping soundly.  She is obedience trained and off leash trained.  She loves running in the yard and playing with other dogs. She has gotten to the point where  I will leave her loose in the house if I am going to be gone less than an hour, but she still has a propensity to put things in her mouth.  She seems to just be investigating her surroundings but still she could pick up something that might harm her if swallowed.  So when I am gone for a while out grocery shopping or something she is either crated or in a kennel.  To me it is a perfect way to manage her and make sure she stays safe.

When she was given to me it was a “you take her or she is going to the pound” situation.  So the alternative to having to crate her is much worse in my opinion.



Hanging out on the couch