We don’t like to think about that, but it’s true, dog daycare isn’t the right place for every dog.
This doesn’t mean that a dog that doesn’t excel at dog daycare is a bad dog, it just means that it’s not an environment in which that particular dog does well. Remember that sign in our lobby, “all dogs are good dogs”? We believe that. We truly do.
Case in point: We have a former client whose dog tried daycare on several occasions and it was just too much for him - we’ll call him Blitzen to protect his sweet innocent reputation. We tried Blitzen in large playgroups, small playgroups, one-on-one play with dogs, one-on-one play with staff using balls and other toys, and he was just too overstimulated each time and became too much to handle. When we encounter this issue with a dog, our first line of defense - after we try them in different scenarios at Good Dog - is to recommend working with a trainer.
We have a handful of trainers to which we refer dogs who need more expertise and attention than we can provide. In most cases, those dogs come back to give Good Dog another try and it works out - we can work at using some of the tips the trainer suggested in working with the dog, too. In some cases, it turns out that daycare isn’t a good solution for caring for that particular dog.
In the case of Blitzen, that was what happened. His owners decided that it wasn’t worth the risk and stress of bringing him into Good Dog. What they were seeing outside of the daycare setting was a good dog making great strides at improving his behavior. We still socialize our older dog with Blitzen because they became friends outside of Good Dog. Blitzen also does well when he plays fetch with his owners, he’s great on a patio while his owners are having a beer, and he excels at hiking - turns out, he’s a dog that loves the outdoors and he is a dog that just doesn’t belong at daycare. Blitzen is a good dog.
PHOTO CREDIT: Photo by Simona Kidrič from Pexels. View her work on Instagram.