Big Changes at Canine To Five!



Over the past few months, the teams at Canine To Five’s doggy daycare and overnight boarding facilities in Metro Detroit have been learning a new way of managing our four-legged play groups thanks to our friends at Pack Pro. This new way includes increased engagement with our dogs, less nap time in a kennel, brain games, obedience cues, and… treats!


Our entire staff is eager to introduce these new positive methods to help our four-legged friends stay busy and engaged, learn better behaviors, have more fun, and get rewarded for it! Each team member will be trained and certified before practicing these new methods, and we expect this will be complete by December, 2023, for our Midtown Detroit, Eastside Detroit, Ferndale, and Commerce Township locations.


What does this mean for pet parents?

  • Over the next few weeks, your adult dog may receive treats throughout the day while we practice these new methods, similar to how we run our Puppy Preschool program
  • No worries for doggies on a diet, we use a low calorie, dry lamb & rice dog kibble, and just give 1 piece at a time
  • If your dog has lamb or grain allergies, let us know and we will ensure they do not receive treats
  • If your dog struggles with resource guarding food around other dogs, they may not be successful in group with this new change; We will not be giving large quantities for dogs to walk away with and feel the need to guard, but throughout the day we will be practicing giving treats to dogs in a side by side semi-circle as we do with puppies to increase focus and engagement

Things you’ll start to see us practice:

  • New techniques such as “Stay Out Of My Bubble” using chalk circles on the ground, waiting patiently at the gate, group sits, and brief timeouts using large crates in the playrooms instead of long naps in the kennel rooms
  • New verbal commands with hand cues such as sit, down, off, wait, place, and “that’s enough” for excessive barking
Our goal for this new method of group management is to not only benefit each dog by curbing any undesirable behavior and helping them be more successful in daycare, but to also provide more fun and structured accomplishments for our staff! We look forward to our team being more like a doggy coach than a doggy referee!



Our experience with Pack Pro has also introduced us to a wonderful new enrichment program for our furry friends. Similar to Private Play where there is a place for your pup to spend the day away from the pack, this enrichment program offers more interaction and fun, and less isolation. 

By the time we are all settled in with our new way of group management in December, we will have changed Private Play to the new Pawsitive Enrichment program! This program will still be for dogs who do not jive well with the group setting, but will now offer the opportunity to have playdates with others, they will see other pups during their playtime, and we will have brand new enrichment activities for them to enjoy throughout their day.

Enrichment activities will include:

  • Walking on a Treadmill (will be slowly taught how!)
  • Food Puzzles
  • Obedience Sessions
  • Scent Tracking
  • Doggy Playdates (will be evaluated for this)
  • Agility Courses
  • Rotating Seasonal Enrichment Activities
  • & Much more!

This means “Private Play” will be open to any dog who would enjoy the benefits of structured and dedicated enrichment, exercise, and socialization!

The Pawsitive Enrichment program could be for your dog if they:

  • Seem bored in daycare
  • Are overwhelmed with group play
  • Are okay with seeing other dogs, just prefers not to interact with them
  • Are over 9 months old and not fixed 
  • Need a comfy place to not be on their feet all day

Program Rules:

  • Must be between 12 weeks and 13 years old
  • Must be up to date on all vaccines
  • Does not need to be fixed, but females cannot be in heat or pregnant
  • Must not exhibit any unsafe behaviors such a resource guarding or reactivity
  • Group Play dogs can participate in Pawsitive Enrichment activities during their day for $15/session; Pet parents can also opt for Pawsitive Enrichment instead of Group Play

Our team is thrilled to be spending more time enriching the lives of our Private Play pups and giving them the opportunity to have a four-legged friend during their stay.



Q: Can I supply my dog’s treats from home for you to use in group instead?

A: No; We want to ensure all dogs receive the same value treat in group. Imagine if everyone was getting kibble, but one dog was getting hot dogs! This rule will help prevent resource guarding.


Q: What is resource guarding?

A: If you’ve ever seen your pup become rigid over their favorite toy or bone, staring down any other dog or human who comes close, you might’ve witnessed resource guarding. The term describes a behavior where a dog attempts to assert their ownership over something: toys, beds, treats, a shared water bowl, even a favorite human. Subtle signals include becoming stiff or freezing, which can escalate to showing teeth, growling, lunging, snapping, and biting. Resource guarding is an unsafe behavior that is not allowed at Canine To Five.


Q: How will you make sure my dog with allergies doesn’t get treats?

A: We will make sure all our dogs with allergies wear special paper collars throughout the day to indicate they cannot receive treats.


Q: What commands will you be practicing with my dog?

A: We will be practicing commands paired with hand signals consistently across all locations. These commands and their hand signals include:

  • Sit – open palm facing up
  • Down – open palm facing down
  • Off – turn your body away if they are jumping on you, walk towards the dog if jumping on an object
  • Back/Out – walking towards the dog, gently pushing them back to get them out of neutral zones or out of your personal bubble snapping your fingers as needed
  • Come Here/Right There – speaking in a positive/exciting tone
  • Wait – open palm facing out with fingers pointing up
  • Place – point to the desired structure or place
  • That’s Enough – to curb excessive barking

We will also be using these marker words to let a dog know when they’ve done something right, or not quite what we’ve wanted them to:

  • Positive Marker – “Yes” to praise positive behaviors, paired with a treat
  • Negative Marker – “Ah-Ah” to stop negative behaviors
  • Release word – “Okay” to end an exercise


Q: My dog hates being in a crate, will they need to be crate trained?

A: Our goal is to keep all dogs out in group and engaged throughout the whole day. We will only use crate time for dogs that have difficulty listening or calming down on their own. This will tend to be our teenagers, dogs under 2 years old, and will be for brief 5 – 15 minute intervals to help them reset. If your dog is under 2 years old and has a hard time settling, it will help them be successful in daycare to crate train at home. Dogs will need to be calm and quiet when crated in the playroom.



Eager to join in on the fun? Here’s what you’ll need to start:

  • Your pup must be at least 12 weeks old
  • They must have their DHPP, Lepto, Bordetella, and Rabies vaccines (Rabies by 18 weeks old for puppies)
  • Puppies over 9 months old must be spayed/neutered to participate in our pack-style environment; Unaltered dogs may continue to join us for Private Play

If your dog is eligible to start, click here to fill out our new client inquiry form and our Canine Concierge will get in touch with you to go over next steps!

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