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Puppy expelled from daycare

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by rks1234, May 24, 2018.


  1. rks1234

    rks1234 PetForums Newbie

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    Hi everyone,

    This is my first post on here, hopefully it's in the correct category.

    Basically, I wanted some advice about an incident that happened when my puppy went to daycare a couple of days ago.

    He's a 5-month-old whippet puppy and I wanted to try him out at a local doggy daycare to not only get him socialised with other dogs, but to also give me a chance to get work done. I take him to the local park every day where there are many different dogs of all ages, sizes and breeds. He goes off the lead and gets on fine with each and every dog, we've had no incidents as of yet and definitely no aggression from him. We also take him to see my friends dog and both our parents' dogs regularly who he gets on fine with (even the first time they met).

    He left for the daycare in the morning, he was picked up and put in the van with the other dogs and about half an hour later I got a text saying that there had been an incident and that he was a danger to both the trainer and the other dogs there. I asked what had happened and was told that he was playing fine and then 'just turned' on one of the other dogs and then when the trainer broke them up, he caught their hand too. So he was returned home.

    Hearing this really upset me. I'm always really proud that my pup is so well behaved not only at home but when he's around all other dogs he's met and anywhere we take him in public, for example, the local beer garden.

    Does anyone know any reason why this would have happened? I'm feeling a bit like I've let him down and not trained him correctly, especially as they said he was a 'danger'.

    Should the daycare give him more of a chance to settle in? He had only been there about 15 minutes and was probably confused as to where he was and why he routine had been changed. He's only a young puppy so he's still learning and he's never bitten me that hard. At the moment he's teething and therefore has lost his canines, so he couldn't do a lot of damage.

    Sorry about the big waffle, I'm just left feeling a bit confused and upset!

    Thanks :)
     
  2. lullabydream

    lullabydream PetForums VIP

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    My only thought is what you have seen as play whilst he's been with other dogs there has probably been several incidents where he wasn't happy, unsure and afraid where he may have run off...and this may have seen as chase to those who really aren't as savvy as they think...

    As he's grown older he's gained more confident. Naturally dogs do and being a sighthound his natural bolshy play style has started to progress...plus he's learnt no one has my back so I have to defend myself.

    So put him in a situation completely new, where he is probably fearful..since he's learnt from others and living in the natural flight or fight mode..he's fought back.

    I probably would guess doggy day care isn't the best if the person got bit it is possibly redirected aggression from the incident...

    In his situation look for a dog walker. One whose savvy about dogs, and not one who claims to be. In my opinion dogs are not naturally social and shouldn't be forced to be in these groups..so the best scenario would be a dog walker who would focus attention on just your dog.
     
  3. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

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    Sounds to me like he was overwhelmed and had had enough tbh

    I suspect it was an accident though that the handler was caught in the melee.

    TBH I would not put my sight hound in day care - it would be his worse nightmare.

    Maybe he would do better having an individual dog walk to break his day up when you are busy?
     
  4. rks1234

    rks1234 PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks for your reply!

    In regards to what you mentioned about him being unhappy and unsure whilst around other dogs, I don't ever put him in a situation where I make him socialise with other dogs (I'm not saying you're accusing me of doing that, just trying to explain), in the dog park for example, but he's the one who usually wants to go up to the dogs and his tail is usually wagging like mad. Once he gets bored, or maybe afraid/unhappy, not sure if he is, he usually comes back to us and we carry on with our walk. As well as when he's with dogs in my family, he has a place he can go to be on his own or have some time out, but generally, he wants to be around the other dogs.

    He's definitely getting more confident and getting the cheeky sighthound attitude! :)

    But yeah I take your point about maybe daycare not being the right choice for him, I wanted him to try it out and assumed that he would be ok. I'll have a look for a nearby dog walker or leave him with my parents next time. Daycare has been recommended to me by many people, but of course, it doesn't work for every dog. I was just hoping it wasn't some behaviour that I had caused by not training him correctly.
     
  5. rks1234

    rks1234 PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks for your reply!

    And yeah I guess so. Although I had hoped that he would have been given more time to settle in and get used to his surroundings.

    Great suggestion about the dog walker, I think I will try that next.

    My parent's sighthound goes to daycare and does really well there. She's a lot less sociable and has snapped at other dogs, so I thought mine would be ok. We live and learn I guess :)
     
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  6. soya

    soya PetForums Junior

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    I work at a daycare, and while I absolutely love our facility and all the stops made to ensure the comfort and safety of all of the dogs, daycare is inevitably a very stressful environment for any dog to be in. There are also a range of personalities, and honestly dogs have to have a pretty high threshold for stimulus and good impulse control in order to thrive and do well in a daycare situation. Many dogs simply aren’t suited for daycare. At a dog park your dog is outdoors, able to get away, and each owner can manage their own dog. In a daycare situation (bearing in mind I’m American so perhaps it’s different), it’s generally indoors with some facilities having outdoor facilities (mine does not sadly) and it’s 2-4 employees watching 10-40 dogs. It can be very overwhelming, and for our facility we kind of judge a dogs ability to handle daycare on how well they recover from an altercation with another dog if it arises. It sounds like your dog may have a lower threshold, may get overwhelmed easily, and also displaced on a human when it sounds like they were trying to break up a squabble between your dog and another dog, which may very well be a dog they know well and a dog that hasn’t had many or any issues in the past.
     
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  7. lullabydream

    lullabydream PetForums VIP

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    Wagging tail simply means your dog is aroused.. can be seen before dog fights too. Just to show that a wagging tail isn't just a good sign

    Most young puppies are inquisitive...the problem is the phrase 'dog park' . It really is a major problem a cause for so many problems in dogs.

    You have come to a forum where I would guess the majority here are more than your average dog owner...and understand the word socialisation in puppies is causing more problems than it should be.

    Dogs are naturally companion animals to humans rather than their own species..in multidog households most of hope our dogs tolerate each other anything else is a bonus

    Socialisation is allowing your dog to realise they share their environment with a variety of creatures, dogs included and that doesn't mean they need to play or say hello to them all. Humans are more sociable creatures and am sure people would think it odd you saying hello to everyone you past as you walked round a supermarket so why expect your dog to.

    If your dog has to run to you for protection..the sorry you have left it too late.

    For a good wholesome round confident dog, the ultimate goal is a dog neutral dog.
     
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  8. rks1234

    rks1234 PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks for your reply, it's really informative!

    I totally get what you're saying and understand completely that it can be overwhelming. This is why I chose a daycare that only took on up to 6 dogs, all of which were able to play in both an outdoor and indoor area. And in no way was I trying to say it was the daycare's fault, just trying to understand the situation and how I could avoid him acting like that again.

    I guess daycare is not for him and I'll be looking at other options, for example, staying with family :)
     
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  9. rks1234

    rks1234 PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks for your advice, I get what you are saying and maybe I didn't explain myself well enough, but I'd prefer if you would be a bit more empathetic towards me and realise that I'm trying to do what is best for my puppy, hence me asking the question. I don't mean to be rude, but telling me that I've 'left it too late' isn't particularly helping me. I'm a new owner and I'm trying to learn and bring my puppy up in the best way that I can. I was advised by the person at daycare that it would help him become less dependant on me and help him play nicely around other dogs. I don't expect him to walk up to every dog and 'say hello', I was just concerned that he had bitten another dog.

    He doesn't run to me for protection, but once he's tired/done playing he will come back to us and when I say dog park, I just mean a park we walk through and let him off the lead to play with a frisbee. Sometimes there are other dogs there and he usually wants to go up to them himself, not because we are making him.
     
  10. soya

    soya PetForums Junior

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    Ah, very interesting to hear! That sounds like an easily manageable daycare, I do wonder the specifics of what happened if your dog seems to get along on other dog / dog situations. Could have been a number of things without seeing what happened sadly
     
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  11. rks1234

    rks1234 PetForums Newbie

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    Yes definitely. I wish I was there to see what had happened, I'll have to call them up and try and get more information, that may help!
     
  12. Rafa

    Rafa PetForums VIP

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    I agree with @Lurcherlad absolutely.

    It sounds as though he was completely overwhelmed, afraid and unable to cope.

    I'm not a fan of Doggy Day Care. Too many of them are a 'free for all', where dogs are chucked into a crowd and left to get on with it.

    My Jack Russell would turn into a raving lunatic in such circumstances.
     
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  13. rks1234

    rks1234 PetForums Newbie

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    The problem is that so many people recommend it as if it's going to work for all dogs, but I guess I was silly to think that it would! I was told it would help him feel less dependant on me, but I guess that's not the case. I did, however, choose one that was small and only took on a couple of dogs, hoping that it would be best for him.

    I feel guilty for sending him there as I had no intention of making him feel that way! He won't be going again, I'll look for alternative solutions.
     
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  14. soya

    soya PetForums Junior

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    I agree completely, and I work at one. So many dogs I work with shouldn’t be there. Older dogs come to mind especially, the environment is just so stressful.
     
  15. soya

    soya PetForums Junior

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    Don’t worry too much, it sounds like you’re responsible about him!
     
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  16. rks1234

    rks1234 PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks for the reassurance! I can't help but constantly worry I'm doing what's best for him, he's very quickly become a big part of our family :)
     
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  17. Rafa

    Rafa PetForums VIP

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    I think that would be wise.
     
  18. Linda Weasel

    Linda Weasel PetForums VIP

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    No one has a crystal ball, so don't beat yourself up cos it went wrong.
    Lots of people use doggy daycare with no problem so you had no reason to think it wouldn't suit your dog. Maybe your dog wasn't even the culprit in the scenario...who knows.
    It sounds as if care on a one to one basis would be more appropriate for him.
     
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  19. Rafa

    Rafa PetForums VIP

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    Whoever is supposed to be managing the Doggy Day Care should have noticed your pup wasn't coping and stepped in before things escalated.
     
  20. rks1234

    rks1234 PetForums Newbie

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    Thank you for reassuring me, your message made me feel better about the situation!

    I wish I could have seen what exactly went on so I would know why exactly it happened. I'll look into one on one care :)
     
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