Things I learned from working at a doggy daycare.
Some of the points I'm making in this article do not apply to every doggy daycare. However, one must be aware of potential problems when looking for a safe place for their pup. Visiting the daycare and asking the right questions should help the owners to find the perfect fit.
- What happens if dogs don't get along?
- Is there a screening process in place to ensure that aggressive dogs are not permitted to play with others?
- Are the dogs crated? If so, for how long?
- What training does the staff receive when hired?
- What happens if one of the dogs is diagnosed with a contagious disease, are the other owners notified?
#1. The staff is given a spray bottle to stop unwanted behavior, which includes fights.
Let's face it, you better have something other than a spray bottle if you are going to be watching a group of 20 dogs. I had a strong enough personality to handle two dogs who might have chosen to start a squabble to tell them off and redirect them, but I found the water-bottle a laughable alternative.
#2. Little dogs can cause big trouble.
One Fox Terrier would cause more havoc than all of the "problem" breeds combined. I'm still not certain why that dog was allowed to come in time after time, despite the fact that he bit everyone's ankled, tried to boss around every dog that stood above his shoulders (which is prevalent majority), and would undoubtedly be separated from the crowd within minutes of his arrival.
#3. One Newfoundland can produce enough drool to make 10 dogs look like they just came out of a shower.
As lovable as these beautiful dogs are, I knew right then and there that I will never want to own a Newfoundland. The shedding! The drooling! It also turned me off of ever considering Fox Terriers (read the point #2).
#4. "Scary dogs" are not scary.
The Dobermans, the Akitas, the Pitbulls we had in our group, never caused problems on my watch. Additionally, the company I worked for provided space for Rottweiler rescue dogs, and that was the first time I got a chance to work closely with this breed. I fell in love with one of the dogs, and if I wasn't s college student struggling to get by with no time on my hands, she would have been my dog. Missy was the gentlest, sweetest dog you'll ever meet. Ten years later, I'm a proud owner of a sweet and gentle Rottie of my own.