Dogs need friends of their kind, Isn’t it? A day care is not just a place where you leave your dog when you are away on work or a holiday, but it is a great place for your pet to socialize with other dogs, and have some fun, dog time together. Truth is, not all canines are same and each come with their own instincts and behaviors. It is important to understand this so that a daycare is a safe and happy environment for them, as well as for all staff and the guests.
Assess Dog Behavior
In a day care, you will have dogs of various types and personalities like – Confident, Outgoing, Adaptable, Insecure, Independent and Aggressive, but not all of them are suited for a daycare.
Which dogs should not go to a day care?
– a dog-fearful dog, who doesn’t like to be in a probity of other dogs
– an under-socialized or a fearful dog, who already is in a hi-stress environment
– an aggressive dog, who can bully others or is offensively aggressive
– a dog who suffers from separation anxiety
First step, is to assess any newcomer on the basis of above traits.
How to deal with different dog behaviors:
At the day care, attitude should be that of positive reinforcement and no-use-of force. Any harsh measures for correction or to discipline behavior must be refrained.
1) Close Observation
Keep a close watch on them – how they are interacting with each other, possibility of any conflict, any discomfort or unusual behavior. It is important to be alert at all times, as you may never know, when one erupts into a fight with another, causing serious injury.
2) Stay Confident
Fearlessly, be able to take control of the pack with a firm and a positive image. You don’t need to dominate them, but you should be able to calmly handle all kinds of extreme situations. Dissuade from any excitement or nervousness in your body language and tone.
3) Be Knowledgeable
There a numerous tactics and ways to deal with canines, especially to break fights. A knowledgeable and skilled person will be able to minimise any risk, using best practices.
– Lift the dogs by their rear legs up the ground, and then dogs are pulled apart. The dog is separated and taken to a secure place, and released. This has to be executed very carefully, making sure the dog doesn’t curl up to bite the person holding the legs.
– Aggressively tighten the dog by his collar from the back, and firmly say ‘no’ or ‘stop’ to the dog. One has to stay very calm to make sure the dog is in control, and obeys the master.
4) Minimize Risk
Injuries are nothing but occupational hazards. These can happen in any day care. Still to avoid any risks of injuries, some basic protocols to follow are:
– Dogs should be separated based on their age, weight, style and anticipated behaviour.
– The adult to dog ratio should be no more than 1:15.
– In a group, there should be only 10-15 dogs, not more
– Minimum 1500 sq ft. space should be allowed to each group
Some tips to ensure safety:
– Never grab a dog with mouth, tail, snout or ears
– Never kick, slap or punch a dog, it can make him turn more aggressive
– Never scream or get too excited as this may frighten the dog
5) Lower-down the barking
Loud and excessive barking can be very annoying. Lack of stimulation or feeling lonely could be the reasons for it. Engaging them in group activities, exercises and training will help reduce it.
If the staff is friendly and experienced, they can handle any dog, any behavior to bring you back a happy, calm and exhausted dog. A place where your dog would love to come again!