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!
Our ‘Mission Statement’ is all dogs, clients and staff will be treated with uncompromising dignity, kindness and respect!
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 similar concerns. If your dog requires training for these issues, we are more than happy to provide training outside of our daycare hours.
Because our daycare is kennel-free, the dogs are together in the same enclosed indoor area and a fenced in outdoor area, for long periods of time, (up to 10 hours/day) it can actually have a negative impact for certain dogs’ emotional and physical well-being.
It can cause these certain dogs extreme anxiety, stress, and fear when they simply prefer to be in an enclosed setting where there are far fewer dogs with far less energy. Many dogs are introverts and feel safe only when there are no other dogs near them at all, 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 a communal enclosed area 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 the same enclosed setting with active younger dogs and puppies.
There are many dogs in general who tolerate daycare for the first few days, weeks, or even months of daycare. They then become overwhelmed, anxious, and stressed each time they return. This can happen for various reasons, as each dog is unique.
There are dogs who do attend daycare, but by the choice of the owner, the dog are absent for a lengthy period of time and returned. Often these dogs have become accustom to being at home or with only a few dogs, and therefore becomes anxious and stressed being surrounded by multiple high energy dogs in daycare.
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 and onward) when owners are coming to take the other dogs’ home. We will openly discuss this option with you if your dog is stressed with the longer days.
Daycare can also be overwhelming for certain puppies. These puppies are much more comfortable being with a small group of other canines or only their owner(s). This can be 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 for puppies and dogs of all ages is a dog walker where dogs only have to be with a small number of other canines for a very short period of time in an outside environment. They then get to go to their own house immediately after their walk to rest until their owners come home. We will openly discuss these options with you if your pup is not happy being in daycare.
Also, many dogs have only been exposed to large outside, off leash environments where the expectation of playtime is for only 1 – 2 hours at a time. They also can run away from dogs they don’t want to be near. After the off leash walk, 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 an enclosed, kennel- free daycare, they may have a negative experience when having to play with several dogs 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, high energy, enclosed setting. They can become over-tired, over-stimulated, over-aroused, and aggressive during play causing possible dog fights. We recognize these particular 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 our 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 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; Linda Tellington-Jones, Phd (Hon); Karen Pryor; 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’, ‘mental status’ and ‘play behaviour’ 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 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 where they are away from the other dogs. 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.
Everyday, we have quiet time from 1 – 3 pm where we turn off all the lights, play soft music, burn calm-inducing incense, while we sit quietly with the dogs giving them massages and cuddles. This is to promote the much needed rest and calmness for the dogs. 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 bite 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 issues, we will call you immediately to pick up your dog so (s)he can return to the security of her/his home environment. This may be for one particular day only, or it may be on a permanent basis that your dog does not return to daycare going forward. We will be open and honest with you regarding our decision.
When the Staff and/or Owner of Raising Canine calls a client to inform her/him that their dog is not a good fit for our daycare going forward, we do so based on the evidence of the aforementioned dog experts. We ultimately make this decision for the sake of the dog. It is not our intention to make the client feel, upset, angry, or disappointed with this decision.
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 our daycare!!! (S)he WANTS to go home and we want to respect and honor that!
Also, if your dog is not a good fit for Raising Canine, there are many other wonderful care alternatives such as larger, warehouse type dog daycares that provide kennels for your dog to be placed in and removed from the other dogs. There are also 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.
If your dog does presents with behavioural/socialization/emotional issues in daycare, as well as, at home, and/or in public, then we are more then happy to direct you to private dog training if you so choose to.
It must be recognized, understood, and appreciated that many dogs are simply happiest and feel safest when in the comfort and quiet of their own home and away from the hussle and bussle of active environments. They do not want nor need to socialize with other canines.
To uphold the ‘Purpose’ & ‘Mission Statement’ of our daycare,
We cannot accept/keep dogs with:
- Generalized Anxiety; Separation Anxiety; Stress; Fear:
- (Signs include regular pacing, panting, lip licking, yawning, hyper vigilance (scanning the environment regularly), trembling, hyper salivation, hiding, and Hyper Vocalization (incessant barking and/or whining), inability to eat, drink, pee and/or poop
- Inability to self-regulate tiredness, thus preventing ability to self-relax and rest (unable to lay down and settle) which can cause Generalized Anxiety; Separation Anxiety; Stress; and/or Fear
- Reactivity (Lunging, barking, snarling, biting at other dogs/staff when they come near)
- Aggression (Stalking and seeking, freeze and stare, lunging, barking, hyper-mounting,
- snarling, and biting other dogs/staff when they are not near and/or trying to move away)
- Inability to read other dogs’ body language, especially ‘Calming Signals’ by persistently barking at, trying to mouth the other dog, pawing at, jumping on, and demanding the other dog’s attention
- Unmanageable high energy, over-stimulation, and over-arousal levels that ‘overwhelm’ the other dogs (Hyper Vocalization (incessant barking and/or whining), anxious pacing, unmanageable running around initiating prey drive in the other dogs, inability to settle down at anytime especially during quiet time, demanding other dog’s attention who are trying to rest
- Inappropriate canine play behavior such as ‘Bullying’ or rough ‘off leash
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:
Pitbulls (all types); Rottweilers; Chow Chows; Boxers; Dobermans; and Bull Mastiffs.
If you would like a further explanation of this policy, please feel free to call 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, we certainly do respect your decision.