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One off doggy day care to socialize(9 Posts)
So we have. 10 week old Cocker Spaniel puppy.
He's had all his vaccinations and so will be ready for first proper walk in about 2 weeks.
I'm wondering whether it's worth putting him in doggy day care for a couple of hours a few times to get him used to other dogs?
Where we live it's quite 'out in the sticks' and so whilst he likely will come into contact with other dogs on his walks it won't be very many.
My friend owns a doggy daycare company and is absolutely fantastic with them. I was thinking of asking her to take him for a couple of hours on the odd Saturday to meet the other dogs etc...? Maybe meet some friends we can go on walks with outside of there too.
My dog went to a dog walker for daycare at 12-13 weeks and goes there every week. If you are happy with the setup then yes sounds good as long as they observe the dogs so the interactions are good.
Another way to get your puppy used to other dogs is in group training courses.
@BiteyShark great thanks I think I'll look into it.
I may even see if I can stay with him whilst he's there, I'd like to see how he gets on.
He's with DP all day in the week so would only be for a few hours on a weekend to make some friends!
Or would it be better for him if I wasnt there do you think?
Training is also something I'd like to look into definitely.
The principle is fine, but make sure it's not of the "free for all" variety. A daycare where your tiny cockapoo finds itself being jumped on by an overexcited 9 month old labrador is going to be scary for your dog and ultimately counterproductive. Some vet practice puppy parties and badly run puppy classes present the same issues.
When looking for dog training, make sure you go to someone who is well qualified. The industry is completely unregulated and there are some awful dog trainers out there. You need to find someone who teaches exclusively using positive reinforcement. Run a mile from anyone who talks about alpha dogs or pack leadership, or "balanced" dog training (a term which means they're equally happy to use punishment as positive reinforcement). Ideally the trainer will be APDT accredited or part of Dogs Trust Dog School (which is semi national)
Do you have any friends with sensible older dogs or puppies of similar age who you can go and visit?
Hard to say whether it's best to be there or not. Perhaps go along for the first time then if you are happy then perhaps leave him alone afterwards. My dog is fine at daycare but he has been going since little but in new situations is braver when I am around but that's because of previous experiences that have knocked his confidence.
I think it's also a balance so whilst it is good for them to have doggy friends and learn good manners I also didn't want my dog thinking it was ok to run up to other dogs when out walking. So at daycare and training he could 'socialise' but when out walking I ended up worked on him sitting and focusing on me rather than other dogs and when he would do that I then relaxed the rules and let him interact with dogs if he got my permission.
Mine has been going to daycare three days a week since he was four months old.
But it's a small family set-up in a home. There's a maximum of six dogs a day and three minders. He's often been on his own with a minder if the other dogs have been too boisterous for him. Alternately, they take older dogs off alone sometimes so the younger ones can play.
I think you need to go and visit and see how they cope with a young puppy, because their needs a very different to those of an adult dog.
Thanks all, some food for thought!
As it's someone I know I might be able to get away with just popping round for a little while to say hello and seeing how he is.
I'd like to find an enclosed space also to work on his recall before taking him anywhere.
I think daycare can be a great way for a puppy to learn how to interact with other dogs. It does need to be run by someone who knows what they are doing, who will monitor interactions etc.. Reading dog's body language and understanding their behaviour towards one another takes skill and experience.
It really helped my Labrador learn how to play nicely. It also meant he was used to the setting and was very happy to go- so now he trots off happily to see his mates if I need Dog care for a day or during a holiday.