The ‘Purpose’ of our daycare is to provide dogs a place to play and socialize with other canines during the day that is emotionally and physically safe at all times!
Our Weekly Attendance Policy:
Dog Daycare service is only for dogs:
- Who are brought into daycare on a consistent and regular weekly basis (At least one day per week
- Who have met our Daycare Acceptance Requirements following an initial 3-day period, and then continuously assessed every day after that
- Whose owners understand and agree that they will be available to immediately pick up their dog upon a moment’s notice, should they receive a phone call from one of our staff, that their dog is not meeting our Daycare Acceptance Requirements and/or has medical issues
Our Dog Daycare service is not:
- A place where dog owners are going to be unavailable during the day to immediately pick up their dog at a moment’s notice, should they receive a phone call from one of our staff, that their dog is not meeting our Daycare Acceptance Requirement
- A random attendance with lengthy absences in between
- An automatic acceptance after regular attending dogs has been away from our daycare for 2 months or more. The dog’s owners will need to re-register their dog for daycare of which the dog will be reassessed to see if they meet our Daycare Acceptance Requirements
- A place for dogs with behavioural and socialization issues
Our Daycare Acceptance Requirements:
Our dog daycare service is a separate entity from our dog training service:
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 scheduled training classes and/or private sessions.
Training your dog in a daycare that does not meet our Daycare Acceptance Requirements can exacerbate behavioural and 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.
Our daycare is kennel-free:
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 (off leash or at home) where there are not a large number of dogs constantly around her/him for long periods of time.
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.
Older/senior dogs (especially senior dogs) acceptance of attending daycare can change:
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.
Any puppy’s or dog’s acceptance of attending daycare can change at any time:
There are many puppies and 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.
Many puppies do extremely well with daycare and can start attending as soon as they have their second round of vaccinations. But for certain puppies, it can also be overwhelming and too scary. Many puppies are introverted, and are much more comfortable playing one-to-one with a similar energy-type dog in their own home, playing with a dog they know and trust at a friend’s home, or a being at a dog sitter’s home where there are very few other dogs. Another option or introverted puppies is a dog walker where they only have to be with a small number of dogs or just the dog walker, for a very short period of time. They then get to go back 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.
Long days of daycare:
Several dogs don’t do well with long days of daycare, but they do well with only half days. Which is 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 hours. It is an option we give clients, especially when their dog gets anxious and stressed at pick up time (starting at 2:30 pm until closing) when owners are coming to take their dogs’ home. We will openly discuss this option with you, to have you pick up your dog between 2:30 – 3:00 pm
Off leash experience is different from daycare experience:
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. 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, reactive, and/or aggressive in play causing possible dog fights. These dogs do best playing in an off leash setting of which they are accustomed to. We will openly discuss this with you if your dog is not a good fit for daycare.
The negative impact on dogs who do not meet our Daycare Acceptance Requirements:
We, at Raising Canine, respect all dogs. We recognize and understand that daycare experiences can causes certain dogs, incredible stress, anxiety, fear, hyper-excitability, and over-arousal for many reasons. Continued exposure to these reasons, will exacerbate their symptoms and cause them incredible psychological and physiological damage.
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 social animals that respond to the emotions (energy levels) of other canines around them. When dogs exhibit high levels of anxiety, stress, fear, hyper-excitability and over-arousal in communal areas, such as daycares, kennels, off leash parks, it causes the other dogs 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. This concern is also pertinent to our 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 in our daycare to be a positive one only. We do this for the sake of your dog and reason al dogs attending must meet our Daycare Acceptance Requirements
We are constantly managing the environment in our daycare:
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, toys, 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, 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.
Necessity to protect the dogs that don’t meet our Daycare Acceptance Requirements:
Should your dog not meet our Daycare Acceptance Requirements, 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 does not meet our Daycare Acceptance Requirements. 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 than appy 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 while having a positive experience, and this is the 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’ of our daycare.
We cannot accept/keep dogs with:
- Generalized anxiety
- Separation anxiety
- Hyper-excitability (unmanageable high energy)
- Over-arousal due to being with a large amount of dogs
- (Hyper-vocalization) Incessant barking
- Whining, howling, pacing, panting
- Inability to read other dogs’ body language, especially ‘Calming Signals’
- Hyper-excitability and unmanageable high energy,
- Over-arousal that overwhelm and over-stimulate the other dogs
- Inappropriate canine play behavior such as ‘Bullying’, rough ‘off leash play’, incessant loss of bite inhibition
- Inability to self-regulate tiredness, thus preventing ability to self-sooth during drop off time, playtime, lunch time, quiet time, toy time, and pick up time.
Neutering and Spaying:
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; Cane Corsos, and Bull Mastiffs.
We no longer accept these breeds into our daycare after we witnessed several separate incidents where these particular breeds attacked other dogs (unprovoked), causing severe physical damage and emotional trauma to the attacked dogs, the owners of the attacked dogs, and Raising Canine’s staff.
The last incident was with a Pitbull Breed (an American Pitbull Terrier), that attacked, (unprovoked) a senior Sheltie, so severally that several of the Sheltie’s muscles were pulled off bones. The Sheltie also had over 450 stitches from the multiple tears and rips on top and underneath skin. It took 3 staff members to remove the Pitbull from the Sheltie. The vet stated that if the staff had not intervened, the Sheltie would have been killed based on her assessment of Dr. Ian Dunbar’s Dog Bite Scale.
It was following all of the numerous attacks by the aforementioned breeds, over several years, that we made the decision to no longer accept them into our daycare.
It is not because we made an unfounded, random, unjustified policy based on hearsay and stigma of these breeds, but rather a decision made upon multiple first hand, personal and professional experiences, that occurred within our daycare.
Also, because of this experience, we feel passionately that dog owners of these breeds require professional dog training assistance, thus we have always, and will always, accept these breeds into our training classes.
Thank you so much for understanding and respecting our Purpose, Weekly Acceptance Policy, and Daycare Acceptance Requirements.
If you do not wish to have your dog attend our daycare because of these, please let us know in advance and we will respect your decision.