Investing in Your Dog’s Well Being
Our Enrichment Play Daycare Program is amazing for all dogs, perfect for puppies but really helps the shy and unconfident dog.
I was very fortunate to learn about animals very early on.
I learned the more time, money and effort into training your dog –
- the easier it was to have your dog in any situation,
- the more fun you would have with your dog,
- the more you and your dog were invited places because your dog could be trusted everywhere
- your dog was confident and happy
- your dog was safe because he listened with his obedience training
- and so much more
When you invest in your dog’s well being, they become more perfect year after year.
Another thing I learned quickly, if you do not train your dog, your dog will train you.
Dogs are just kids, trying to get whatever they think they want, whether it is good or bad for them. We need to teach them, what is acceptable and what is not for a healthy relationship.
We started our unique program in September 2020, in the middle of the Pandemic.
Since then, we are continually receiving A LOT of feedback from owners, veterinarians, trainers, animal hospitals, behaviorists and others in the field that they are VERY impressed with our Enrichment Play Program. We could not be more proud and happy about this.
As a behaviorist, trainer, veterinary technician and rescuer, I have thought about our program for a long time. Rachelle and I are always learning and trying new things to benefit your most beloved pups. We invest a lot of our time looking for new things that will benefit the dogs. There is not a ton of stuff out there and we have exhausted just about everything, so we try to invent as much as we can.
Rachelle, who does most of the enrichment work, has the patience of a saint and executes enrichment play flawlessly. She is by far better at it then I or anyone I know.
Dogs learn at their own pace, comfort level and how much past exposure they have to different experiences in a safe and trusting way. Some dogs learn quickly and some take a very long time. Some have motivation and want to learn and others not so much. The biggest reason dogs progress and learn is CONFIDENCE.
Dogs who are shy, who take a long time to learn or seem unmotivated, generally can be due to a dog’s lack of confidence. Dogs who lack confidence AND are not Food Motivated, in most cases will take the longest to come around.
The following are many reasons that a dog may not be developing a healthy confident lifestyle. Each reason has many factors and we will not be going in depth on these.
How a dog learns will depend on a slew of psychological things, such as
- were they weaned too early,
- did they get to learn from their Mom and siblings before going to their permanent home,
- have they been bounced around to many homes,
- are they bullied from dogs in their home (many owners are not even aware)
- were they bullied at another daycare
- were they bullied at a dog park
- were they brutally attacked by another dog or animal
- did they suffer a traumatic event
- and more
Is your dog a small breed dog (under 60 pounds full grown)?
- do you treat your small breed dog the same as you would a large breed dog
- do you carry your dog a lot rather than having your dog on leash walking himself
- do you tend to let your small dog get away with things you may not let a large dog get away with
An owner’s lifestyle can affect your dog
- have you moved a lot during their lifetime
- have you suffered a traumatic even like a fire, flood, domestic abuse
- do you live a very QUIET life
- do you expose your dog to many things like going on hikes, going on vacation, etc
- are they exposed to many different dogs of friends and play well at home
- and more
- Did you adopt your dog during the pandemic?
- Did you work at home most or all the time during the pandemic?
Do you have more than ONE dog at home?
- are these two dogs very close
- does one dog seem to dominate the other
- does one dog take things away from the other dog
- is this reciprocal or is it mostly one dog getting everything
- does one dog ‘hump’ the other
- can both dog be independent of each other
- can each dog be okay without the other
- for example – can you walk one dog and leave the other at home
- are both dogs okay with this, no crying, whining, barking, panting, pacing, etc
Have you developed a relationship that builds your dog’s CONFIDENCE, such as
- Passed a Basic Obedience course
- Passed an Advanced Obedience course
- Do you use these commands on a DAILY basis to develop structure and routine
ALL the things above will affect how fast your dog will develop trust and confidence with other experiences in life and in our Enrichment Play Program.
Building trust and confidence takes TIME and each dog is on their own time table.
In our program, we never RUSH dogs.
The pandemic has been a blessing and a curse to dogs. Many dogs have developed unhealthy behaviors, such as co-dependencies with owners staying home 24/7 for months and even years now. They have become so attached to an owner or another dog that they can not be without them. They have developed general anxiety as well as separation anxiety. They have stagnated their CONFIDENCE because the anxiety is overwhelming. These dogs need to learn and develop without their dependency on a person or other dog. These dogs are the toughest and take the longest to overcome their dependency so they can develop into an independent, happy, trusting CONFIDENT dog on their own.
Dogs LOVE boundaries, they love routine, they love consistency which are all essential for dogs. However, to grow, they all must have exposure to different things and if they have confidence, these new experiences are easier for them and can even be FUN.
Many behaviors owners have a hard time curbing, such as unwanted barking, can stem from lack of confidence as well as other things.
So, what can YOU do to build your dog’s CONFIDENCE
Coming to our Enrichment Play Daycare Program will definitely help build your dog’s confidence and trust over time.
You can come to our program without doing some of the suggestions below. We will start where your dog is right now and go from there.
Again, this will take time.
How can you speed the process up?
Coming to our program 5 days a week will be the fastest.
However, here are some other things you can do along with our program.
- Invest in a basic obedience class
- Whenever taking any training class, remember that the trainer is not there to train your dog….the trainer is there to train YOU to train your dog. YOU must be confident first to help your dog
- But you say, my dog does basic commands….okay, does he
- do it 100% of the time?
- Will your dog do all of his commands no matter what is going on around?
- Will your dog do these commands outside when walking?
- Will your dog do all of his commands when a group of dogs are around?
- These are CONFIDENCE building steps for your dog. Your dog needs to look to you, their leader for what to do.
- Remember, your dog gets their CONFIDENCE from YOU. If you are not CONFIDENT in your commands, neither will your dog be
- knowing basic obedience and doing those commands when they are asked is a SAFETY issue.
- If something happens and you need your dog to listen NOW, what would happen?
- MORE ENJOYABLE –
- if you take your dogs for a walk and they constantly bark at every person and thing, it is not enjoyable for you, your dogs or those you come across on your walks.
- Most dogs who bark uncontrollably on a walk and do not adhere to the command – quiet or no bark, it is a lack of confidence.
- Work on all commands throughout the day EVERY day.
- All dogs should know basics – come, sit, down, stay, heel, wait
- They should also know – off, no jump, quiet or no bark, leave it, drop it
- As time goes on, other things can be added
- Use commands at feeding time. Make your dog sit and wait, then say okay for the to eat. You can also use down and wait. You can give treats and use commands whenever you want.
- Be consistent in routines and training
- All dogs should be on leash outside if they are not in a safe fenced in area
- If your dog does not come when called 100% of the time when you are out and about, you are tempting fate for something to happen.
- What if I do not want to be strict
- Being strict is consistency and helping your dog to learn safe boundaries which build confidence and trust
- Once your dog understands and is consistently doing what you ask, you will not have to be as strict
- TWO dogs in a household
- Always prevent one dog stealing things from the other
- Always prevent one dog from bullying the other
- Never let any dog hump another
- Take dogs for walks or car rides separately. Start for short 5-10 minutes and gradually go longer.
- Encourage quiet – no barking, crying, whining.
- PLAYING, encourage dogs to play, especially those that seem to be wall flowers
- INVEST in an Advanced Obedience Class
- Now you can work on all commands OFF leash and when your dog is doing those commands 100% of the time, you will be golden.
- Make sure to work on all commands throughout each day EVERY day.
- Remember, Dogs LOVE boundaries. Boundaries build TRUST and CONFIDENCE.
- INVEST in your dog with our ENRICHMENT PLAY DAYCARE PROGRAM
- If you do all of the above AND come to our program, you have set your dog up for the best life.
- Our program will enhance everything you have already invested in your dog
Our Enrichment Play Daycare Program creates and builds on developing your dog’s CONFIDENCE with YOU. We work on boundaries, obedience, routine, consistency and more. We build TRUST. All the dogs learn quickly that we do not allow other dogs to bully them and we are a protector. This builds TRUST. Then we mix in new exposures and new experiences in a gentle, safe and trusting way. We encourage and praise and this slowly builds their CONFIDENCE.
As a trainer, there is nothing better than watching the lights go on in a dog’s eyes as they solve something we are tasking them with. Watching them grow and build CONFIDENCE is amazing.
Confidence can sometimes be mistaken for dogs who do things that owners think are confident, but are really a bluff in their insecurity. That is a whole other article.
Your dog’s growth and how fast that growth develops will depend on how often they come to our Program, every week.
We are blessed with the most amazing group of dogs and want to see them all benefit and gain confidence. A confident dog is a happy dog.
APOLLO and OAKLEY
We see the dogs who come every Monday – Friday grow and just blossom very quickly.
Apollo and Oakley have basically been with us every Monday – Friday, almost since we opened. They are now challenging us to come up with more challenging experiences and puzzles. Apollo started with us when he was 12 weeks old!
We want to remind you that we give significant savings for those who sign up for Monday – Friday long term.
Coming every day creates a loving, trusting consistent routine QUICKLY which is essential for your dog to learn and grow. Again, each dog will learn at their own pace and building CONFIDENCE takes alot of time.
COMING LESS THAN 5 DAY A WEEK
We understand that many people may need to choose our program for just a few days a week for many reasons.
Your dog will still benefit and grow. If your dog’s CONFIDENCE is already high, they will get into the routine really quick, run, play, get into activities and not coming every day will not be a problem for them.
What about dogs that have very LOW confidence and coming less then every day?
Just know that it will take longer for your dog to grow and build TRUST and CONFIDENCE. We go at your dog’s pace. Your dog will determine how fast they grow and benefit.
If you see your dog in photos and videos not playing as much or not getting into activities, it will take time. Sometimes, dogs will need A LOT of time. Do not be discouraged or think our program is not working. It works. Your dog is on his own time table.
Here are a few profile’s of our transformations –
Duke, a mini Australian Shepherd, is a dog who suffered trauma, bullying and no confidence when he came to us. He was very anxious.
He was in our Enrichment Play Program 2-3 times per week.
Watching him blossom over time was wonderful but he took a long time.
Every week we saw, little things that told us his confidence was growing. Around 16 weeks was when we saw the biggest change in him. He was really having fun, playing with buddies, doing puzzles and activities. Now he runs, plays, does activities and puzzles like Apollo and Oakley.
Brody is a very sweet dog but his sister rules the roost and tries to prevent him from doing anything. If there is fun to be had, she will make sure to go to him, scold him quietly (his Mom never knew the subtle gesture) so he would do nothing, then she goes and has fun. All the while Brody just lies down or stands still and watches. He can not be separated from her, because he looks for how to act and be from her. He will whine, cry, pace and becomes very anxious if she is not near him. He does not know how to play with other dogs or toys. He has NO confidence.
Brody has been coming to us twice weekly for 6 months. He is not highly food motivated so we have to let him watch and learn from the other dogs. In the last few weeks we are so happy that he has started to run around and play at the facility and his Mom has stated that he has started to do this at home! Go Brody! Brody still has a long way to go to be a strong confident boy, but he is doing it.
So, again, what can YOU do if your dog is not progressing as fast as you would like?
Well, that will depend on you.
- Basic Obedience classes
- Advance Obedience classes
- Use all commands often in every situation, this is your language
- Protect your dog from bullying and traumatic experiences
- Give your dog’s lots of opportunities to have safe experiences
- In multiple pet households, make sure that each pet is independent of the other
- And of course bring to our Enrichment Play Daycare Program
We invest our knowledge and souls into these amazing beings.
Investing in your dog’s best life is very rewarding.
Thank you for doing that.
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About the Owner, Animal Care Center of NH and Professional Pet Sitting Etc
Dorinne Whynott, is a long time animal professional. She is a successful business owner establishing one of the largest pet sitting companies in New Hampshire since 1990 and opened her life long dream of an Animal Center, purchasing a huge building and starting the Animal Care Center of NH in 2020. Click to Read her complete History.
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