What Should I Do With My Dog While I’m At Work? What About Doggie Daycares?

QUESTION:

Hi Don! I have a friend who just started following your Perfect Dog system and his puppy is already showing results! When he goes to work during the day, he leaves his puppy at one of those doggie daycare centers where the dogs are free to play in an enclosed doggie playground. Will that exposure to other dogs ruin the training he’s done with his puppy?

 

ANSWER:

Yes, absolutely, this will surely have an adverse affect on the training results. I don’t believe in “free for all” doggie daycares. The managers (and staff) of most of these places don’t set proper behavioral boundaries, and they’re unfamiliar with effective training techniques. (I’m speaking generally here; of course, there may be a small number of exceptions to be found.)

If the dog in training spends day after day mixing with unruly dogs at a daycare facility, he’s being exposed to continual negative influences that will “rub off on him” and cause him to resist many aspects of his training when he gets home. In fact, the dog will be spending more time in an undisciplined environment during the week compared to the amount of time spent at home with his owner!

If the owner is tempted to leave the dog in a kennel during the day then PLEASE discourage him from doing that, too. This is definitely not something I recommend. I only ever use training kennels for that very purpose – for training e.g. housebreaking. A crate or dog kennel should never be used as a “dog sitter.”

It would be best if the owner left the dog in a comfortable area of his house (with a doggie door to access a toileting area outside) or yard (with sufficient warm, dry shelter) and then either 1) come home at least once during the day (e.g. on his lunch break), or 2) hire a responsible dog minder to come by once a day.

The primary goal (for the owner or the dog minder) should be to give the dog at least one good exercise and play session – and, of course, some general company and affection, etc. The exercise session would need to be more than a walk. Ask your friend to review the “Exercise” section on my Perfect Dog DVDs for information on the type and amount of exercise a dog needs on a daily basis.

Also, the dog minder should be fully on board with the Perfect Dog techniques. If necessary, have your friend lend the dog minder the DVDs and even spend time regularly updating the dog minder on the dog’s training progress.

Caring for a dog is a big responsibility and every dog owner needs to do what it takes to provide the dog – that is completely dependent on the owner – with all of his daily needs. One of the most important messages I share in my book (Wake Up and Smell the Poop!) is that a dog never has a choice regarding whom he goes home with. Therefore, if you’re a dog owner, it’s up to you to make the effort to give your dog the best life possible.

Don Sullivan – “The DogFather”

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