Dogs don’t know what is coming from one minute to the next unless they have a routine. Regular day care visits help develop a sense of continuity and security for a dog. This is especially helpful for a rescue dog who is settling into a new home and learning new routines and rules. Anxiety can accompany all dogs when they leave one home for another especially if they’ve had to be in a shelter situation.
Day care can teach a dog how to read others dogs and learn where their place is with dogs.
They have to be left on their own in the presence of strangers (initially) including unknown dogs, and therefore, they learn to adapt which they will need to do many times in their life. Day care can give them the confidence to deal with new situations.
They will have to follow the direction of day care staff while busied by other distractions. At Paws to Play, we regularly call dogs out of play to practice recalls with distractions. Upon entering and exiting the day care space, we ask for sits and wait until dogs are in control of themselves before we release them. Entering a stimulating environment with a calm mind set is what we are looking for when dogs enter the day care space.
A good day care can teach dogs to have self control in an exciting environment. They can play and have fun but must always be in control of themselves. We can separate a dog and give them some quiet time to help get they’re mindset back into a positive place.
Regular visits to a well managed day care can help the shy and timid dog gain confidence and trust with other dogs.
And of course, day care can tire out that busy dog that just can’t get enough socializing and exercise from their owners. Dogs go home tired from physical activity and mental stimulation.