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Discussion Starter #1
Since you all know we've got the new puppy now, I was just wondering if any of you have experience with doggie daycare.

Ava went to her first day of daycare today. She's wiped out! Been sleeping for almost 3 hours now. Do you imagine that she'll be sore tomorrow after playing with other dogs for 6-8 hours?

Has anyone here ever taken their dog to daycare or know anyone that has? I thought it would be good for her for socialization and to have something to do while we are at work. We just paid a dog walker to come in the middle of the day with our last dog, but I thought for a puppy, staying at home all day would be kind of crappy. On the other hand, I don't want to force her to be exhausted all night or to have to play all day. It's expensive too, so I'd rather not waste the money if it's not a good thing.

I'm paranoid i know, but any comments would be greatly appreciated.
 

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My mom took her dog to doggie day care. She was 7 though. She seemed to be fine, but because she was a little older she wasn't too much into playing with the other dogs.

We were going to take our puppy, but haven't had the need to yet. I work a mile from the house so if need be I can come home and let him out. He does love going to the dog park and playing with the other dogs though. He is exhausted when he comes home from there.

I don't think it is a bad thing that she is exhausted. Puppies sleep alot anyway, plus she probably played all day :D

If you are worried or the cost become too high maybe you could alternate between the day care and having someone stop in and let her out and walk her.

We were fortunate with our puppy that my schedule is pretty flexible and my boss loves dogs. I pretty much worked my schedule around my BF's so the puppy was never home for too long alone.

Are you crate training her?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yes, we are crate training her. I'm doing it because I was told it was helpful, but I'm not sure what the main intent is.

Our other dog was never crate trained but was still very well behaved and was left in the house with our full faith that she'd never touch anything that she shouldn't. So, I'm not sure what the crate training thing is all about really, but we ARE doing it since everyone seems to recommend it.

The price isn't really a concern, I just don't want to do it if it's not beneficial. It's $22.00 per day, but I can buy it in packages of 10 for $18.00 per day. Our dogwalker is $12.00 per day anyway, so....
Maybe we will alternate though, maybe 3 days in daycare and two at home during the work week or something. I just don't want her to feel overwhelmed or anything. Plus, I'm beginning to wonder if 5 days a week 8 hours a day in daycare (though she's playing the whole time - so it's good time away from home) may cause issues with our housetraining, etc. She's doing great with all of that, but I don't want it to set her back.

Our main idea behind the daycard was socialization as well as giving her something to do. Our beloved Rottie was the sweetest thing ever with us, but was not friendly with other dogs. We want to be sure Ava is socialized properly so we can take her to the dog parks and the dog beaches along the lake in the summer.
 

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It is definitly a good idea to socialize her now. Day care is a good way to do it. You could take her to a dog park anytime too. My BF started taking our puppy when he was a few months old.

I learned of crate training many years ago. My family had a dog for 13 years. Which my parents got when my mom was pregnant with me. When we had to have her put down we said we would never get another dog. Of course a month later the family decided that we wanted another dog. We got a german shepard puppy. She was a handful. She ate everything in site. She loved the bitter apple. We sprayed it on everything and she kept eating it 8O After eating a couch, a end table, wood window sills, tile, carpet and numerous other things. My mom decided the garage was where she would stay when we weren't home. The she ate the door frame to the house 8O So my mom read to put mouse traps on what they are eating, they snap and scare them. The puppy ate the mouse traps!!!! We finally learned about crate training. What a miracle. Ever since then we have crate trained every dog we had. My sister crate trained her dog when he was a puppy(10 years ago) and we crate trained our puppy when we got him. It is considerbly easier to potty train if you crate train. Not to mention you don't have to worry about them getting into anything and destroying it or hurting themselves. The concept is that the crate is their "special" place. Our dogs have always went and layed in their crates when they weren't being locked in. You just leave the door open and you find after a while they go there to relax, etc. Not to mention that they obviously do not want to go to the bathroom where they lay or sleep (helping the potty training). Just make sure you have the crate blocked off so it isn't too big for her and the calculation is...they should be able to be crated for their age plus 1 month. When they are old enough or trained enough (you will know when) they don't need to be locked into the crate. We actually left our puppy home today out of his crate, but baby gated in a couple of rooms for what was supposed to be an hour...after rescuing a dog on the freeway it turned into longer. When we got home he was laying in his crate sleeping :D

Look into a baby gate if you don't have one already. That thing has been a god send. At this point he is 9 months and could easily clear it, but he hasn't figured it out yet. It is nice to be able to restrict him to an area sometimes.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you so much for all that info. on crate training. It makes a lot more sense to me, and also explains why she can make it through the night in the crate with out going to the bathroom but sometimes doesn't make it an hour after I've taken her out. :roll:

We have 2 baby gates. We have a long hallway that we gate off on each side, our bathroom is right in the middle of this hallway so we have left her with access to the bathroom and the long hallway for periods of an hour or so with a lot of success thus far. We've actually done that 3 times and each time there was no mess and she was sleeping when we got home. Come to think of it, she WAS sleeping in her crate. I guess it's working!

She's at daycare again today, we'll see how it goes. I expected her to be sore today after all that, but she perked right up this morning and was wagging her tail all the way into the facility. :D

Oh, and I read your story about the dog on the highway, that was so nice of you to help that poor puppy. It especially touches my heart now that we have our puppy who was a highway rescue as well! If it weren't for people like you, who knows what could have happened!
 

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Doggy daycare, thats the business I want to start up, as theres nothing like that over here!

All the socialisation is going to be great for Ava, but my only concern is that she should not really be playing non-stop with adult dogs for 6 hours without plenty of breaks, especially with her being part Rottie. I simply deem that as far too much exercise for such a young large breed pup, and it may not do any good for her joints. Lots of play with puppies is fab, as they tend to tire out together and sleep, whereas adults have a lot more stamina.

Also, I do hope the daycare doesn't just let dogs of all sizes and personalities 'get on with it', especially where pups are concerned. It could only take one intimidating experience to scar Ava for life...

Ems x
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Excellent point about her being part rottie and her joints, etc. - We know the joys of hip dysplasia and joint problems of the Rottie's all too well from our last dog. I never even thought about that in this instance though.

The dogs are seperated by temperment and size, they consider her to be too young and too small to roughhouse with the "big dogs" so she's in the section with the large breed puppies along with beagles and other smaller breeds. Not necessarily sure they are ALL pups though. Hmm... :?

I think I may call our dog walkers today and start them into the "rotation". Maybe we will do 2 days daycare and 3 days dogwalker, or vice versa. This way it's not TOO much time in daycare, but still allowing her to socialize.

If anyone other than us was reading these posts, they'd think I was a nut job! Thank goodness for forums for all of us animal lovers.
 

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I was just discussing this on New Years Eve (rockin party we had :roll: ) and one of the people at the "party" worked at a vet clinic that also did Doggie Daycare, so she was explaining how it worked, and it sounded great. The dogs had breaks, and then "playtime," and the owners could pay extra for individual time like walks and swimming. She said a lot of owners said it helped them immensely because they didn't come home to a hyper, anxious dog that'd been locked up all day.

I don't know that I'll ever be able to afford to take my future dogs to Doggie Daycare, but I think it's a lovely thing for those who can.
 

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Welp, for all the reasons that everyone has listed above, I still think doggie daycare is a good thing. I also think I may be finding a different one!

I picked up Ava today and when I got her home I noticed something red on her elbow. I picked up her arm and the entire inside of her arm (armpit I guess) was CAKED and COVERED in BLOOD. It took me nearly 15 minutes to get all this dried blood off before I could tell what it was from. Hmm, two perfectly planted canine teeth marks! Okay, okay, I thought, I knew this was part of the deal, it's possible for her to get a bite now and then, but this was a HARD bite, it looks pretty bad. Not like infected bad (though with my luck, I'm sure that's coming soon), just a pretty bad bite....and it doesn't look like it came from a pair of puppy teeth either. :?

I called them to inquire about the bite and to ask WHY in the world I was NOT advised that she got injured when I picked her up. I was placed on hold and the woman got back on the phone and said she had checked with all the trainers and no one saw anything happen and no one saw anything wrong with her when they did their "routine checks" after playtime. Well then...someone wasn't doing their job now!

There is NO way they could not have heard her scream when this happened. I barely stepped on her foot the other day by accident and you would have thought she was being murdered. This must have made her scream. Then, to tell me that they did their routine checks of all the dogs and no one found it is appauling. I'm not kidding when I tell you her entire inside of her arm was caked and covered with blood. If they really checked the dogs there is no way you could miss it.

All I got was an apology. So, I told her that her apology was pretty empty and that simply saying she was sorry didn't make me feel any better about my little puppy having such an injury and her staff neglecting to notice it. I told her it was Ava's 2nd day there and to run into a situation like this is very discouraging. I also said that I didn't think I would bring her back there again. Though i just pre-paid for a package of 10 visits and it's not cheap! She asked for me to give them one more chance and promised that she'd talk with her staff and make sure everyone paid extra special attention to Ava and that from now on they will ALL be more thorough in their dog checks after play time.

How discouraging. I've heard nothing but great things about doggie daycare from many people and day 2 and I've already got to deal with this.

Boy, this is just not my day~
 

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I would be extremely wary now... :?

At a local doggy day care a few months ago, two dogs ganged up and killed another one in just a matter of minutes. Play aggression can get out of hand very fast. How many people are monitering the dogs? Do they have a required human:dog ratio? What do they do if dogs seem to be roughhousing too aggressively? Do they redirect the dogs, or give them a quiet space? These are all questions that should be answered to your satisfaction before she goes back.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
They claim to have 3 trainers in with the dogs at once. They also say that when playing gets too rough, the dog gets a time out. They have a separated kennel that the dog will go hang out in until they feel that he's cooled off. I took a tour last week before bringing her there for the first time yesterday. I was impressed with the staff, the cleanliness the huge facility and the answers I received. Now, I just don't know if I'm hearing the truth.

Oh and they have a webcam of the dogs so you can watch online, but it was broken today. That stinks!
 

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Oh, I already called our dog walkers and told them we had a new puppy. We hadn't used them since March when Sugar started getting really sick. They were very excited and are coming over to meet Ava in a little while.
I'm going to have them take her out two times tomorrow. At 11am and 2:30pm. It will only end up being one walk a day in a short while, but being that it's her first day home alone I want to make sure she's given the opportunity to get some exercise and keep up with her housebreaking habits.

Sheesh! What a day!
 

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That sucks :( It seems like there is no way they couldn't have noticed that something happened to Ava and it is very irresponsible to not tell you about it. Let us know how everything works out tomorrow with the dog walkers visits.
 

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I can't believe nobody saw the incident if the dogs are always supervised. If Ava does get infected, they are liable for your vets fees?

Ems x
 

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No, they aren't. Which sucks, but it's part of the risk I guess.
It's the same thing at a regular daycare or at a school. If your son gets punched in the face at school, you can't sue the school for the medical fees. You could go after the boys parents, but in this case I don't even know who did it...and it's not worth it to fight someone over a $200 vet bill.

I did call the vet. Since we know exactly what happened and we know that whatever dog bit her is up to date on vaccinations, etc. (because it's a rule at the daycare facility) she said to clean it up and keep an eye on it. At this point we wouldn't do much else.
 

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Okay, well I spoke to the Manager of the doggie daycare last night and went back down there for another tour and some more insight as to what could have happened and what the policy is there.

Bottom line is that accidents can and will occasionally happen and it's just really crappy that ours happened on her second day. The thing I had the most trouble with is that I had to find it myself and that they were not aware of it and didn't tell me about it. I explained that to her and she agreed with me 100%. She said the staff is supposed to be checking all the dogs and she has already talked to all of them and they will all be making sure they do the checks properly and thoroughly.

She directed me to the webcams for some more security - which are up and running again. Volunteered to bring Ava in the office with her and some other staff members when the bigger dogs are mixed in and agreed to give her some more kennel time alone periodically through out the day. They also gave Ava a little goodie basket with a bunch of chewies and stuff inside. They asked for another chance and promised to be very carefully watching her, etc.

I agreed, as I feel like they WILL watch her more carefully after the stink I caused about everything. I'm only going to do it short term though, I assume after a few visits their diligence will slip back into comfort mode, etc.. I must say, when I pulled in the parking lot, Ava was wagging and wagging her tail and when the trainer took her back, she started running and shaking her little butt in that excited puppy way. So, I know whatever happened, didn't scare her at least.

There is another doggie daycare MUCH closer to my house, that a girl at work just gave me a great referral for. I'm going to check that out this weekend. Then maybe next week Ava can start there.

The dog walkers are going to come either every Tues. and Thurs. or every Mon., Wed. or Friday. I haven't decided which yet, but we'll alternate between them and doggie daycare.

Thoughts???
 
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