Why Would My Dog Be Kicked Out of Daycare?
When it comes to doggy daycare, one of our pet parents’ biggest worry is their dog getting kicked out of the playroom. Every Canine to Five client is hoping for their dog to have fun, be social, and have enriching days while they are busy at work; But as much as we want our four-legged friends to love daycare, it is ultimately up to each dog’s social preference.
It’s easiest to compare a dog’s social preference to that of a human’s. Some folks thrive in enormous crowds like music festivals or night clubs, while others would rather curl up in the corner of a low-key cafe, or stay in and watch Netflix. Our dogs have unique preferences about when, how, and in what context they socialize with others, too. Doggy daycare is most like a music festival; A relatively fast-paced, highly-stimulating environment with a lot of opportunities for socialization. So, just like a big crowd can be overwhelming for a particularly introverted person, daycare can be overwhelming for dogs who prefer to be alone, or only hang out with a few close friends.
At Canine to Five, we put a big emphasis on training our staff to read canine body language and behavior in order to understand what our doggy friends are trying to communicate. Our staff assesses each dog’s needs and preferences based on what they tell us, rather than what we think they should want. We are flexible, and we understand that daycare can’t be a one-size-fits-all experience for every dog in our care, that’s why our dog daycare facilities in Detroit and Ferndale have many different playgroups that suit different social needs.
- The Puppy Program caters to our youngest pack members who are still learning to socialize
- Playrooms 1 & 2 are dedicated to dogs who love the fast paced social experience
- The Serenity Group is reserved for those who prefer a calmer place to mingle
- Tiny Town gives our smallest friends a safe place to play without the big dogs cutting in
- The Senior Lounge allows our oldest pack members to stay social in a more comfortable, intimate space
While many of our dogs are able to enjoy, or at least tolerate, the level of stimulation and socialization that daycare provides, some are simply too uncomfortable to flourish even in our calmest groups, and with all of the advocacy our staff is able to provide. It is at this point that a dog is dismissed from the playroom and invited to Private Play; An individualized daycare and boarding option designed to provide the same fun, social, and enriching experience pet parents hope to give to their dogs – just with human friends instead!
When a dog is dismissed from the playroom, it is simply because they have expressed to us that it is not where they want to be. This can be on their first day evaluation, or after attending daycare for months – or even years. We never want to force a dog into a situation where they are so stressed or fearful that they begin practicing unhealthy behaviors every time they’re in the playroom, especially if it starts to become a safety concern. In no way is a dog “bad” for using all of the communication tools they have at their disposal to express that they are uncomfortable. That is why we are here! To help advocate for your dog and find out how to best suit their needs.
So the next time you hear of a dog getting kicked out of daycare, remember that it doesn’t mean they aren’t great with other dogs, or that they’re a bad dog, it just means that they aren’t comfortable in large crowds – and that’s okay!
Megg Ellis | Canine to Five