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Choosing a Doggie Daycare

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Doggie Daycares
When it comes to choosing a daycare for your dog there are so many options out there. Being a dog trainer for the past 13 years I get questions often about how to choose a good daycare so I decided to write about it. My friend and fellow dog trainer, Judit Arroyo-Czachor put together a list of questions to ask when considering a daycare for your dog.
The goal of sending your dog to daycare is so they can get some exercise and social interactions. As appealing as that sounds, just make sure your dog would actually enjoy daycare. If your dog does not enjoy playing with other dogs or is scared then daycare is probably not the right option find a reputable dog walker instead. 


1. What is your schedule like? Do dogs take naps? If so, where? If crates, are they in the play lot or in another area. Can I request naps? (Working in daycares for 16 years I am a big fan of breaks throughout the day and having them play a few hours at a time). 
2. How does your staff handle fights? Altercations? (Warning signs: shock collars, spray bottles, hosing them etc)
3. Who trains your staff, and how long is training for new staff? What type of things do they learn in the training?
4. Is there a training program? If so, what is your training philosophy? (This will give me an idea of the approach in general since most of the time their training applies to daycare.)

Things to look for and ask
1. What % of the day is my dog playing with other dogs, resting, and sleeping?
2. What play style does my dog have?
3. Does my dog prefer people over other dogs?
4. If there are fences, what percentage of the day does my dog stay by the fence? Does my dog bark at dogs or people passing by the fence?

Things to consider
1. When picking up your dog, what is the excitement level and how long does it take for your dog to calm down? 
2. How is the dog the next day? How tired is your dog after daycare?

It's all about a balance with daycare. There has to be a balance between play, rest and sleep. If there is too much play, it's too stimulating for the dog, The dog should not be passed out for 24 hours or more. They were not bred to be "on" for hours on end. Many times I encourage owners to ask for naps or shorten on the day. A dog should be left tired after daycare but will be able to function. 

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