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Our aim, whether for boarding, daycare, or “Farm Trips”, is to ensure that your dogs are comfortable, happy, and in an environment that is as fulfilling to them as we can reasonably create on our family farm. That being said, we are not a good fit for all dogs. Because our environment is very much a social one, dog-wise and human-wise, it is very important that our dog guests innately enjoy being around other dogs, or at least are comfortable with them. We can usually work with dogs that are shy or timid around people, as long as they are happy to be around other dogs.
Aren’t all dogs “social animals” that need to be around other dogs? Don’t I just need to “socialize” my shy dog? There isn’t a straight forward answer to these questions. There are some dogs that, whether nurture or nature, are simply not comfortable around a large group of dogs no matter how much you “socialize” them. And this is OKAY! There are far better care options for dogs that fit this description. However, we have had some dogs that were initially shy and timid with other dogs, but showed early signs of wanting to play and interact with them. These initially shy dogs, after given a deliberate and controlled play environment with select dogs, learned to LOVE the playful atmosphere here at Dog’s Day. These dogs just needed to build some confidence. But, there are just as many “shy” dogs that simply do not blossom in our multi-dog setting.
We cannot take dogs that are aggressive towards other dogs and people for obvious reasons. The most common type of aggression is known as “reactivity”. Reactivity is a broad term that refers to dogs that overreact to certain stimuli (eg., other dogs, UPS truck, new people, etc.). Sometimes, reactivity is fear-based, but can also be triggered through high energy play (i.e., overreacting to the stimuli of high energy play with another dog). Not all reactivity is a problem at Dog’s Day– while your dog may be reactive at home to the mailman, it may be a non-issue at Dog’s Day. Another category of dogs that don’t fit well into our environment are the dominant, “bully” types. Not to be mistaken for the high energy one-year-old that plays rough and doesn’t know boundaries, the “bully” actively seeks to assert his/her dominance of other dogs, and can become aggressive with other dogs that do not “submit”, or might even become aggressive with overly timid dogs (when their prey drive kicks-in). Resource guarding (e.g., food aggression, toy aggression, human guarding, etc.) is yet another category of potential aggression, and may or may not be an issue at Dog’s Day.
Generally, Dog’s Day is likely not a good fit for your dog if he/she:
Has bit another person or dog before
Has a history of fighting with other dogs
Consistently shows aggression towards other dogs (barking while on leash doesn’t necessarily count!)
Is very shy with other dogs and has never played with other dogs when given the opportunity
Is an intact female over the age of 6 months, or an intact male over the age of 8 months
If you aren’t sure whether your dog does well with other dogs and enjoys their company, or might fit into any of the “aggressive” categories, feel free to reach out to us. We will first have a phone conversation to learn a little bit about your dog, and can then take the next step, if appropriate, of setting up “meet & greet” / “evaluation”. There is a $20 fee for an evaluation.