At the end of the day, the people who seem to be causing the most harm, besides those that don’t take dogs anywhere. Are the people who want to constantly control dogs 100%.
I am not talking about dogs running free through the streets. I am not disrespecting the valid need for dog trainers. But I could be talking about people who only want to train their dogs to do tricks, but don’t socialise them.
What I am writing about is people interfering with the daily need for dogs to communicate with other dogs, with freedom, in open spaces, then being allowed to separate and go home.
If you don’t get what I am talking about, then you may be surprised to hear that I am against many so called ‘doggy day care centres’.
The case against doggy day care centres
The brochures seem ideal. Like a holiday resort for dogs. Lots of happy smiling dogs, with carers who almost look like nurses and doctors. Can this panacea exist? Sadly, rarely no.
The dog service industry is poorly regulated at best. And many people in it are not there by choice. They are poorly paid and overwork. In the extreme.
The reason I give dog park great support is that it gives a dog freedom of association. Learning how to approach a dog from a far. How to select a play partner or when not to play. To explore large open areas of nature, check out smells and basically have a mini hunt walk.
The doggy day care ‘t have a choice, they can’t get away.
Even in a very social room, after the first 30 minutes of sniffing each other, there is very little else to do. Boredom OR a high level of anxiety sets in.
There is no rule as to how what type of dog will react which way, but it is rarely a positive reaction.
Sure the dog day care centre managers are there in theory to stop fights, but can they entertain the dogs for 8 hours. Are they paid enough to care?
I can tell you how it went for my dog the first two and last times I took my dog to one of these expert care centres. They came home completely wired, and at 2 or 3 in the morning a few weeks apart, they vomited from stress. What stress you might ask? Consider an intelligent dog, doesn’t matter if it is dominant or submissive, it will still be thinking a lot about why it is in the room, and how the other dogs are going to react to it. Does it need to continually need to dominate to protect its place in the pack, or should it become submissive to avoid confrontation. If it submits too easy, will it become the day care centre bitch.
Do you like that analogy. this is doggy gaol. Where a dog with any level of intelligence will keep having to look over its shoulder to make sure it is not going to get doggy ‘shived’. Sure, less aware dogs will probably go the bored route, but does that give the dog a good day out?
What about the dogs that aren’t really social, how do they react to this confined forced socialisation for a whole day? Anxious and scared is the best description, but by the time they get picked up they have had eight hours of cortisone leaking into their body, their stress hormones are saturating every part of their body, and they are over it. They will perhaps sleep soon when you get them home – and many owners will mistake the dog for having a ‘great day out’. No this sleep is from fatigue, not from a good day out.
Perhaps this has given you a different insight into what some people e try to sell you as a great dog solution. Turns out that it is just an easy solution for owners who want to ease their conscience and are ready to be convinced in a lie, because it is easy.
Just my opinion… but its something to think about.