Doggy Daycare can be an important part of a dog’s socialization and exercise. It can also be super convenient for pet parents who want to board their dogs while on vacation or at work and a real necessity for those who don’t have a yard.
But not all dogs do well in daycare, and they may be asked to leave. It happens. Different dogs enjoy different forms of play, and some may be considered too enthusiastic for daycare.
So, what do you do if your dog gets “the boot” from doggy daycare?
What Should You Do?
Take the following tips as starting points. If one doesn’t work, try another that will address your doggy daycare dropout’s needs.
- Don’t panic. If your dog otherwise behaves well, is great with your family and other dogs, and just doesn’t do well in daycare, there is nothing wrong with your dog. Some dogs just don’t like daycare.
- Look for a different daycare. Just because this daycare wasn’t a fit, doesn’t mean there’s not a daycare that will work. Different breeds and temperaments enjoy different forms of play.
- Try a dog park. Some dogs only need to run around and play for 20 or 30 minutes. After that, they tire and can get cranky. Being in a daycare for several hours might just be too much for them. A short trip to the dog park with their favorite human may be all the interaction they need.
- Schedule a doggy play date. Do you have a friend with a similar-sized or twin-tempered pup? Set up a play date in the back yard. Your dogs get exercise and socialization, while you can catch up over coffee.
- Try a dog walker or sitter. Lots of dogs prefer the comfort and privacy of lounging in their own home. If you’re out for the day, your pup might simply need someone to come by and give them a walk to take care of business and make sure everything is okay before they get back to snoozing on their favorite rug.
- Move on. Maybe your dog simply doesn’t like daycare, and there’s nothing you can do to change that. Robin Bennett, a renowned dog trainer says, “Far too often we try to force our pets into environments they may not like. And when we do, the dog suffers.” Not every dog likes off-leash play.
Dogs Are Individuals
Dogs have their own personalities and needs. If your dog experiences daycare issues, it might be a setback, but it doesn’t have to be a huge problem. Think of it as an opportunity to get to know your dog better and find a more suitable situation for them.
For example, I have a Bulldog. She can be overly focused on one dog and not get the hint that another dog doesn’t want to play with her. It doesn’t always go over well. They’re called “bullies,” after all.
When one daycare couldn’t handle her, I was upset and thought it was the end of daycare for my pup. A few days later, I found a new daycare that understood the needs of Bulldogs — they had eleven who visited regularly. They were also a few miles closer and a few dollars cheaper.
Best of all, my pup loved it there. So maybe it worked out for the best.
By the way, when I told a friend about our daycare expulsion, she suggested letting our dogs play together and seeing how it would go. Her endless energy Pittie pup is a great match for my Bulldog who loves to wrestle. Now we have our own dog park daycare several times each week. That’s a very happy ending!
Have you had a difficult dog daycare experience? What did you do? How is your dog now? I would love to hear about it in the comments below!