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Discussion Starter #1
I'm looking into enrolling Ace in doggie day care. Colby isn't much of a "dog's dog" and I doubt she would really benefit from it. I found one near us that is family-run and mostly outdoors at a 200+ acre farm (as opposed to one of the indoor concrete type) and it sounds really promising. I think Ace could really benefit from the social aspect of day care, but I'm nervous because I've never enrolled a dog in one. Any insight/advice?
 

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I don't take mine but will once I start college. I think it is a good place for a dog to be socialized and better than a dog park. But, only if they have enough workers for small groups of dogs. I know for me I will be picky when choosing one. I would only like one person to have to watch a max of 5 dogs or less. If there are two people then ten dogs together at once.


I would take Ace(thats who your taking right?) for a trial run,first. First start out with you being there with him seeing how he interacts ect.. then take him for an a hour or two and see how he does. then go longer ect..
 

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at the daycare I work at we tell people thats its like the dog park minus the stupid people lol unlike a dogpark, we can pick and choose which dogs play with which dogs, and you dont have to worry about clueless owners.

you can take him for a trial run half day first, I would absolutly not stay there with him though, dogs react COMPLETLY different when their owners are around, so if you are there this tells the daycare people absolutly nothing about how your dog fits in, and could put the other dogs in danger if your dog gets protective of you.
 

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What I mean with "go there with your dog". Is take your dog there and while on a leash and not with other dogs, you view how the workers work with dogs and let your dog meet the workers,maybe. I know that is what I would do, because I want to see how the people work with dogs and how they are around my dog.
 

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It really depends on the daycare and the staff. Have you taken a tour of this facility yet? Make sure it looks and smells clean. Watch how the staff interact with dogs. Do the dogs looks stressed or at ease?

I've worked in two daycares and while I find flaws with both of them, I will always recommend daycare for social dogs. Also, I wouldn't assume that Colby wouldn't do well. I work with plenty of dogs that aren't "dogs' dogs" but all they need to do is coexist peacufully with the others. My favorite BC rarely plays with the other dogs these days. I play fetch and stuff with him off and on all day.
 

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Bella LOVES daycare!! All I have to do is say "daycare?" and she gets all wiggly and excited =) I wish I could afford to take her every day.

The place I take her is great - not huge, but the owners & staff are very caring, friendly and know what they are doing. I know she is in good hands. One time Bella didn't eat her lunch, and one of the owners let me know. He says "she ALWAYS eats her lunch! So, I thought you should know." Everything was fine, but it's that type of daycare I want my Bella at =)
 

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Biscuit goes to daycare about once a week, depending on circumstances. She loves it. Our daycare is the kind scorned above, where it's just a bunch of dogs in a series of rooms with a few people watching them. They don't have small groups (although they do separate the puppies) and they don't have crates for naptime or whatever. I know some daycares have that, maybe it's a good thing, maybe not. They have beds around the edge of the main room and in one other room, and there's an outdoor space where they set up a kiddie pool during the day. I have never seen the inside aside from webcams because they don't let owners tour the facility, let alone stay there with the dog - they claim it would rile up the dogs too much. Probably true.

We had to do a 2-3 hour socialization test before Biscuit was "admitted" to the program. They gave us a little report card about her behavior.

I do agree that it's like a big dog park without the stupid people and aggressive/unsocialized dogs. The handlers know what they're doing (I've watched them deal with an overstimulated dog on the webcam and I agreed with what they did).

Bottom line, despite the drawbacks of the setup, on balance I like daycare. Biscuit always comes back happy, tired, and smelling clean. The staff all know her and I've watched them playing with her on the webcam. I think for energetic, social dogs, it's a great thing. Just make sure you keep evaluating over time whether your dog still likes it!

Try to get a referral from someone you know and trust. Also, to the OP, for an outdoor daycare I would be a little concerned about security. What's the fencing system like? How do they divide up the 200 acres? I.e. where do the dogs actually spend most of their time?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I appreciate all your responses! With regard to Colby, I'm a little concerned that she doesn't meet the criteria of most day cares that I've come across. She's extremely friendly toward ALL people, but she usually just ignores other dogs when off leash (unless they try to take her ball--which I assume would be considered resource guarding) and on-leash she can be very reactive, though we are working on it. So like I said I'm not sure she would benefit from a socialization standpoint...which really is my main goal. Unfortunately for her no ammount of fetch would be enough and I doubt she would come tired...more like wired.

Thanks for the tips on 1/2 day visits. I'll have to talk to the trainer this week and see if she can make any recommendations. I didn't even think about web cams. I'll have to look into a place that has them!
 

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I'm similar to Hamandeggs, Jubel goes once at most twice a week to day care. The day care we use is all indoor with four different rooms that separate the dogs based on size, play styles, and energy levels. All the dogs are crated or put in suites from 12-2pm for a nap/rest time. They did about a 15-20 minute behavior evaluation before he was approved to attend, I started with a half day as I was nervous how he'd behave. He's been going since sometime around late Sept/early Oct last year and it's been great. They do have web cams set up but I'm blocked from viewing them at work so I never get to make use of them myself.

I've got the same question as Hamandeggs... with 200+ acres of farm land and it's mostly outdoor. How are the dogs separated/grouped? How large are the play areas, how many dogs per area, how many people per dog? With that much land I'd worry about how they can keep an eye on all the dogs, which I guess mostly depends on their layout and the answers to the previous questions.

Large and outdoors does not go straight to good in my head. I'd kinda like if my day care did have an outside option but I don't think any of the ones close to me do. I'm okay with it all being indoors and climate controlled. He gets plenty of outdoor time with me so it's all good. All he needs to be happy and play is enough open space and a well matched doggie friend.
 

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I was thinking the same thing. 200 acres is a HUGE area. (I didn't think MD was that big...LOL) They'd probably need at least two people per acre to keep an adequate eye on the dogs and be able to reach them if a scuffle happens....unless the land is separated into a kazillion smaller enclosures. Maybe only 50 acres is dedicated to the daycare....? That would still be a lot of area to cover.

I'd love to see that place!
 

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I had assumed that the daycare the OP mentioned doesn't actually use the entire 200+ acres. That's a lot of land. First thing I'd be worried about with that is escape artists. And the second thing is the over the top excitement that happens when you let a group of dogs into a large outdoor area. My last daycare had a huge "yard". It was probably half the length of a football field. It was the most dangerous play area in the entire daycare because it was so huge. If a fight happened at the opposite end of the yard, I had to run my butt off to get there and break it up. Dogs that get the zoomies or love to play chase would end up with a dozen dogs tailing them and getting WAY too amped up.
 

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What I mean with "go there with your dog". Is take your dog there and while on a leash and not with other dogs, you view how the workers work with dogs and let your dog meet the workers,maybe. I know that is what I would do, because I want to see how the people work with dogs and how they are around my dog.
lol, ok that makes more sense! I have just had people want to use the daycare like their own personal dog park before, taking their own dog out with the groups to try it out, so the second I hear advice that sounds like that, Im like "whoa, hold up!" lol.

I also would not brush off Colby right away, we have plenty of dogs who's owners think their dogs just wander around and dont actually play with the others because they show no interest around their owners, just as an example I attached 2 pictures from my daycare, the border collie in the pics, his name is Max and his owners thought all he would do is wander around the yard(which was fine with them, they were just working in town and didnt have a yard) and hang with the people, they were quite suprised to learn that Max most certainly did play and interact with the others dogs. he had never had any interest in such things around them.

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Discussion Starter #14
From the few pictures I've seen, it looks like the acreage is broken up into smaller enclosures and I also don't think they use the entire farm. I just started researching it and I get excited when I hear about acreage, lol!

I guess it is possible that Colby would play with other dogs, but I think it's extreeeeemly unlikely. She's literally OBSESSED with toys/balls and will go around collecting them and bringing them to the people to throw. So, if there were no toys around then there's a chance she would play with other dogs...maybe.
 

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ya, there wont be any toys laying around at most daycares lol, we HAVE toys, for the dogs that cant play with others, but we never ever ever have toys laying around with several dogs..good way to start a fight!
 

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Many daycares don't allow toys because of the possibility of fights/resource guarding.
ya, there wont be any toys laying around at most daycares lol, we HAVE toys, for the dogs that cant play with others, but we never ever ever have toys laying around with several dogs..good way to start a fight!
SWEET! LOL, maybe she can go!
 

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From the few pictures I've seen, it looks like the acreage is broken up into smaller enclosures and I also don't think they use the entire farm. I just started researching it and I get excited when I hear about acreage, lol!

I guess it is possible that Colby would play with other dogs, but I think it's extreeeeemly unlikely. She's literally OBSESSED with toys/balls and will go around collecting them and bringing them to the people to throw. So, if there were no toys around then there's a chance she would play with other dogs...maybe.
I think it's worth a half-day try! She might absolutely LOVE it! And dogs sometimes act differently when human parents aren't around. Maybe she needs a little "teenager" time away from home =) I say talk to the daycare people and see how you feel about it.
 
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