Doggie Daycare Focuses on Meeting Dog’s Psychological Needs, and You Should Too
Beginning January 1st, doggie daycare and training facility Hounds Town USA will begin taking calls from people who purchased or adopted dogs for Christmas, looking for help. The rush of the new addition will be over, and the reality of having a new puppy or adult dog in the family will hit. Many people will be looking to return or re-home the dog; some will look for help with training and addressing issues in the home. Countless “Christmas dogs” will get returned because they didn’t meet the expectations of their new family, or they’ll simply get abandoned.At Hounds Town doggie daycare, the focus is ALWAYS on meeting every dog’s psychological and behavioral needs first. For owners, this means making a commitment to the dog on a variety of levels, just like one would a child.
Here are five tips from the doggie daycare to help avoid a mis-match this holiday season:
1: Understand the Commitment.
Dogs are not a fad; they are living, breathing beings who deserve a loving and loyal permanent home. Discuss the 10-15 year commitment that comes with getting a pet with the adults in your home. Children should not be involved in making decisions about getting a pet. Never get a pet for a child, or expect the child to take on responsibilities of dog ownership. It will only set you up for frustration when two weeks in, your child has lost interest. Dogs are also costly. Consider vet and medical, daycare and boarding, training, and grooming expenses up front and work them into your family’s annual budget.
2. Set Boundaries from Day 1.
Dogs are denning pack animals who are required by the laws of nature to insert themselves into the pack of humans they will be joining. In their world, there needs to be a leader for them to be comfortable and to “survive.” Set boundaries and rules in your home from the day the dogs comes home, which includes designating a safe space in the form of a crate, for a dog to retreat to. For the first 90 days, the dog should be in one of two places: under your supervision, or in his crate. Do not allow dogs to jump, sleep in human beds or on couches, bark incessantly, or nip. Once the dog learns the rules of the home, the management system for the dog can change.
3. Respect a Dog’s Space.
No dog wants his space invaded any more than us humans do. Dogs only have one way to resolve any conflict, including a perceived threat, and that is with their mouths. Most dogs don’t intentionally bite people to cause harm; they act out of perceived necessity of removing the threat. The number one victim of dog bites are children, because children run, jump, and act erratically. When not managed properly, children can unknowingly instigate dogs by invading their space. Teach children (and adults) to respect a dog’s space.
4. Don’t Anthropomorphize.
Dogs are not humans. They have very different needs than us. As social pack animals, most need regular interaction with other dogs to live a balanced and happy life. Although they have been domesticated, their brains have not evolved much and it’s crucial that pet owners understand that the dog does not always need or want what we think they do.
5. Appreciate the Dog for Who He Is.
If you’re thinking of getting a dog to be your child’s playmate, or as a companion for another dog in your home, you’re getting a dog for the wrong reasons. No dog should be expected to be something he isn’t, or to meet the expectations that we set for them. Instead, he should be appreciated and loved for who he is. The reality is, this may not be in line with your vision of the dog. Look in the mirror and determine your true incentive for adding a dog to your family.
Hounds Town USA’s 7 locations in New York and New Jersey offer fully interactive doggie daycare, overnight dog boarding, and dog grooming. Behavior training is offered at Hounds Town Ronkonkoma. Visit www.houndstownusa.com for more information.