Daycare Acceptance Requirements
The ‘Purpose’ of our daycare is to provide dogs a place to play with other canines during the day that is emotionally and physically safe at all times!
Being that our daycare is not a boarding kennel, our dog daycare service is NOT for one day drop off services where the owners will away and unavailable, for any reason, to be immediately contacted by daycare staff to come at a moment’s notice to pick up their dog for the reasons as outlined in this Daycare Acceptance Requirements.
Our dog daycare service is only for clients who regularly bring in their dog on a long term basis (at least once per week). Dogs are accepted to our daycare, on a long term basis, only after they have proven to initially meet our Daycare Acceptance Requirements over 3 different days of assessment. Even when dogs are accepted on a long term basis, they are continuously assessed to assure they continue to meet our Daycare Acceptance Requirements in order to continue to attend our daycare.
Our dog daycare service is a separate entity from our dog training service. Therefore, our daycare service is not to provide training to dogs that have behavioural and socialization issues such as reactivity, aggression, or any other concerns as outlined in our Daycare Acceptance Requirements. If your dog requires training for these issues, we are more than happy to provide the training for you during our schedule training classes and/or private sessions
Training a dog in a daycare that do not meet our Daycare Acceptance Requirements can exacerbate behavioural/socialization issues, and can be very emotionally traumatic to your dog. It can also cause unnecessary dog fights, which can be harmful to your dog, the other dogs, and to our staff.
Also, our daycare is kennel-free, so if your dog, does not meet our Daycare Acceptance Requirements, , it can actually have a negative impact on your dog’s emotional and physical well-being when together in the same area for long periods of time with several other dogs.
It can cause your dog extreme anxiety, stress, and fear when (s)he simply prefers to be in a setting where there are not a large number of dogs constantly around her/him.
Many dogs are introverts and feel safe only when there are no other dogs near them at all, or only one dog that they know very well, and/or when they are only with their owners in the safety of their own home.
Many older dogs (especially senior dogs) become less tolerant of being in daycare with a large number of high energy dogs for long periods of time. A dog can be quite comfortable for several years in a daycare, but as (s)he ages, that level of comfort can change, causing the older/senior dog to start showing signs of anxiety, stress, and fear in that same setting.
There are many dogs in general who tolerate daycare for the first few days, weeks, or even months of daycare, but then become overwhelmed, anxious, and stressed each time they come in. This can happen for various reasons as each dog is unique.
Several dogs don’t do well with long days of daycare, but they do well with only half days. It is an option we give clients, especially when their dog gets anxious and stressed at pick up time (starting at 3 pm until closing) when owners are coming to take their dogs’ home. We will openly discuss this option with you, of having your pick up your dog between 3:00 – 3:30 pm if your dog is stressed with the longer days.
Daycare can also be overwhelming for certain puppies. These puppies are much more comfortable playing one-to-one with a similar energy-type dog in their own home, a friend’s home, or a dog sitter’s home where there are very few other dogs. Another option is a dog walker where they only have to be with a small number of dogs for a very short period of time. They then get to go to their own house to rest until their owners come home. We will openly discuss these options with you if your puppy is not happy being in daycare.
Also, many dogs have only been exposed to a large outside, off leash environment where playtime is for only 1 – 2 hours at a time. They then get to go home to rest for the remainder of the day without the presence of multiple other dogs constantly around them making them over-stimulated, over-tired, and over-whelmed.
When these dogs come into a daycare, especially a kennel free daycare, they may have a negative experience when having to play with several dogs in an enclosed environment, for very long periods of time (up to 10 hours at a time). These dogs haven’t learned how to regulate self-tiredness and/or self-soothing in a constant high distraction setting. They can become over-stimulated, over-aroused, and aggressive in play causing possible dog fights. These dogs do best playing in an off leash setting. We will openly discuss this with you if your dog is not a good fit for daycare.
We, at Raising Canine, respect these various types of dogs. We recognize it causes them incredible stress and anxiety to remain in a daycare setting, and that continued exposure only exacerbates their symptoms.
When dogs are experiencing high levels of negative emotions, they are releasing large amounts of stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol, which are not meant to be sustained repeatedly, nor sustained for long periods of time. It is detrimental to the emotional well-being of the dog to keep them in a situation that is causing such a negative response.
Also, dogs are pack animals that respond to the emotions (energy levels) of other canines around them. When dogs exhibit high levels of anxiety, stress, and fear in communal areas, such as kennel free daycares, it causes the other dogs in daycare to become abnormally anxious; stressed; fearful; agitated; frustrated; reactive and/or aggressive. This can cause unnecessary dog fights with undue injury and trauma to any of the dogs and/or staff.
This information is based on the scientifically proven studies, research, books, papers, education, experience, and expertise of world-renown animal behaviourist and dog trainers such as Patricia B. McConnell, PhD.; Dr. Ian Dunbar, PhD, BVetMed MRCVS; Karen Pryor; Suzanne Clothier, to name a few.
We care about your dog and all the dogs at Raising Canine, so we are constantly assessing their ‘canine body language’, calming signals’, and ‘mental status’ indicating whether or not they are having (or creating) a positive or negative daycare experience for themselves and/or the other dogs. We want your dog’s experience and all the dogs’ experiences to be a positive one only. We do this for the sake of your dog.
We also make many attempts to ease the anxiety, stress, and fear of dogs by ‘interrupting and distracting’ higher energy dogs away from them. As well, we do ‘consent tests’ to determine if the anxious dog is actually consenting to play with the other dog who is pursuing them.
We place the anxious dog into different pens with lower energy dogs and/or into the quiet room with a blanket, a toy, water, and bone or some kind of chew stick (as approved by the owner).
We also let these dogs stay with staff in our office and/or at the front desk. They are given beds, water, bones, and toys to provide comfort.
We, the staff and volunteers, will spend some time on a one-to-one basis with anxious dogs such as holding them, cuddling them, massaging them, playing with them. Unfortunately, we have several other dogs and many other responsibilities to attend to, so we are unable to sit with only one dog for extended periods of time.
As a last resort, we put a Thundershirt, (a calming shirt) on the dog or a Tellington Ttouch wrap to alleviate her/his anxiety.
Every day, we have quiet time from 1 – 3 pm where we turn off all the lights, play soft music, burn calm inducing incense, and sit quietly with the dogs giving them massages and cuddles to give all the dogs the opportunity to rest and calm down. This is done to prevent over-tiredness, over-stimulation, heightened anxiety, and possible dog fights from these states of mind.
When all of these attempts are proven futile, and a dog or puppy is still showing signs of anxiety (panting; pacing; incessant barking; chronic whining; inability to drink water or eat food; disinterest in interacting and playing with other dogs and staff; inability to relax and rest quietly; becoming reactive toward the other dogs such as air snapping and/or actually connecting and losing bit inhibition; we then make the assessment that the dog is clearly indicating (s)he does not want to remain in daycare.
Should your dog present with any of these mentioned behavioural issues, we will call you immediately to pick up your dog immediately so (s)he can return to the security of her/his home environment and thus no longer be emotionally stressed.
We don’t judge or blame you or your dog if (s)he is not a good fit for our daycare. It is not because we don’t want your dog. Instead, it is because we completely understand and appreciate that your dog is clearly ‘communicating’ (s)he doesn’t want to be in daycare!!! (S)he WANTS to go home and we want to honor that!
Also, if your dog does not meet Raising Canine’s Daycare Acceptance Requirements, there are many other wonderful care alternatives such as dog walkers and dog sitters that have a very small number of dogs together at one-time. We will openly discuss these options with you.
Also, if your dog does present with behavioural/socialization issues in daycare, as well as, at home, and/or in public, we are more then happy to off you to our specialized dog training classes and/or private sessions if you so choose to.
We want all dogs to be comfortable and happy in our daycare having a positive experience while here and is reason for our Daycare Acceptance Requirements as stated below!!
For dogs to be accepted and kept at Raising Canine’s Daycare, they must meet the following Daycare Acceptance Requirements.
- Have appropriate canine play behavior such as self control of hyper-vocalization (no incessant barking) with bite inhibition (no biting and no grabbing of skin) while mouthing
- Have emotional confidence to self-control excitability and arousal levels as to not create anxiety and stress for the other dogs and staff (no chronic barking, whining, howling, pacing, panting)
- Have ability to read calming signals of dogs who need space boundaries
- Have emotional confidence to stay calm and manageable at all times throughout the day such as drop off time, playtime (indoors and outdoors), lunch time, quiet time, toy time, pool time, snow time, and pick up time
- Have ability to share toys, water bowls, treats, and attention from staff while other dogs are near (no resource guarding)
- Have ability to handle long days before owner picks up. Can self control tiredness by self soothing (does not become over-tired and overwhelmed with chronic barking, whining, howling, pacing, panting)
- Be potty trained
- Have control of marking (for male dog who chronically mark our facility
- Have control to not incessantly mount other dogs
- Be polite and well-mannered toward other dogs and staff at all times.
We have created Raising Canine’s Daycare Acceptance Requirements to uphold the ‘Purpose’ & ‘Mission Statement’ of our daycare!
Therefore, we cannot accept/keep dogs with:
- Generalized anxiety
- Separation anxiety
- (Hyper-vocalization) Incessant barking
- Inability to read other dogs’ body language, especially ‘Calming Signals’
- Unmanageable high energy, over-stimulation, and over-arousal levels that overwhelm and over-stimulate the other dogs
- Inappropriate canine play behavior such as ‘Bullying’ or rough ‘off leash play’
- Inability to self-regulate tiredness, thus preventing ability to self-sooth during playtime, quiet time, drop off time, and pick up time
We also require all dogs, over 6 months old, be spayed or neutered, with no exceptions. Again, this is for the safety and comfort of all our dogs. Un-neutered males can present with aggression, constant mounting of the other dogs causing fights, and frequent marking of the daycare walls, and fences. Un-spayed females can arouse male dogs, including neutered males.
All dogs and puppies are required to have up-to date vaccinations including kennel cough and treatment for fleas and lice. Puppies must have at least second round of vaccination shots. Again, this is for the safety of all the dogs that attend our daycare.
It is Raising Canine’s policy that we do not accept the following breeds for daycare, but we absolutely do accept them for all our training classes and private sessions:
Pitbulls (all types); Rottweilers; Chow Chows; Boxers; Dobermans; Cane Corsos, and Bull Mastiffs.
If you would like a further explanation of this policy, please feel free to contact us and we will gladly explain.
Thank you so much for understanding and respecting our Daycare Acceptance Requirements. If you do not wish to have your dog attend our daycare because of our Daycare Acceptance Requirements, please let us know in advance and we will respect your decision.