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What is your Dog Learning in our

Enrichment Play Daycare Program

 

We do lots of different activities every month.  Is your dog really learning and growing with all of this?

Short Answer – YES!!!

Everything that we do or do not do in our Enrichment Play Program, is for the benefit of you and your dog.

A good Enrichment Program provides mental and physical stimulation that meet your dogs innate needs.  It incorporates dog specific behaviors such as sniffing, foraging, chewing and tasting.

It should challenge dogs and encourage them to think and problem solve in a positive FUN way. Enrichment gives your dog a fuller life, reduces anxiety and stress. When dogs are engaging in enrichment activities that include their natural behaviors it actually reduces their pulse rate and releases domanine in their brain! Dogs know when we are setting up for Enrichment activities and even just the anticipation becomes a reward in iteself!

ALL dogs need Enrichment. Enrichment provides an outlet for a dog’s normal dog behaviors that they may not be able to do at home.

We also use Obedience commands every day and your dog knows them.

Do not let your dog tell you otherwise!

We encourage you to do these at home. At first, your dog will not do them for you, be patient and consistent.

Requiring your dog to do obedience commands gives your dog boundaries and a base of communication and your dog learns to respect you.

Dogs and kids need boundaries for safety and even though they may act like they do not like them, in the long run, they really do like boundaries.

Why?  Because they really do want to do good.

 

What does my dog learn with the bones available up front? 

  • Well, this is a chewing behavior that redirects and calms.  At drop off and pick up time, dogs can get anxiety and stressed just because they are coming in or going home and they are excited.
  • Having the bones to go to, redirects that over stimulation into a calming behavior.  The dogs LOVE those bones.
  • Why is this important?
    • Dogs learn to calm down on their own after a while and get in some good chews!

Did you know, We stop at doors and make dogs sit and wait until we say ok

  • Why?
    •  All dogs should respect open doors and not bolt or push through them.  They could end up loose outside, they could knock someone over and injure them, and more.

 

What does my dog learn when you take photos?

  • Patience, Trust, Sit Stay, Down Stay
  • We position them and they learn to stay that way (they may be positioned at your vet’s office for certain things – blood draw, x-ray, etc.)
  • We use Watch me – we point to our eyes and they learn to look at us.
  • Why is this important?
    • Well, dogs are like teenagers, if they look away, they are like I do not see you therefore I do not hear you and will try to ignore you. Eye contact means business!

 

What does my dog learn when you give different treats or things they have never eaten before?

  • They learn that new things are pretty good!
  • In most cases, owners may never have dogs try different things.  This just helps your dog learn that new things are good in a safe environment.
  • We are using their AMAZING taste buds.  In the wild, dogs would try all kinds of things.  Their same dog food everyday may be good for them, but their tastebuds get bored.
  • Why is this important?
    • Using their normal dog taste buds for new flavors, textures, etc fire up those brain cells and create new pathways in the brain.  They reawaken those taste receptors.

 

What does my dog learn at Nap Time?

  • We use crates at nap time
  • All dogs know commands kennel/crate.  They learn to settle down and relax.
  • When we are letting them out of crates, they are not let out if they are barking or crazy, they must settle and wait to have us open doors.
  • Why is this good?
    • Crating in itself is a dogs safe place.
    • With any daycare program naps are a must. Naps and downtime in a safe place are essential.  Too much play and stimulation can make a dog angry or stressed. Which can lead to fight and anxiety.
    • Dogs need 12-14 hours of sleep per day and puppies need 18-20 hours.
    • Crating gets your dog comfortable in a crate.  If ever your dog must go into an animal hospital and stay overnight for ANY reason, they will be crated.  If they are relaxed and just go to sleep, they will not be thrilled with their stay but will be okay.  If they are ill, a dog that is not anxious or stressed will heal faster.
    • Also, if ever you need to evacuate or stay at a place that will require your dog to be crated, you want them okay with it.  No barking, whining, etc.  This will help you, your dog and any one around.
    • Crating may also be a protection, protecting your dog from surrounds, another dog or person.

 

What does my dog learn with all the different National and International Days of….?

  • We introduce new and different items that your dog may have never seen before, like a blow up alligator or horse!!
  • Why is this important?
    • By letting them explore these new and strange things in a safe environment and then get something yummy as a treat reinforces them to check things out in a safe environment rather than to be anxious and scared.  They learn new things are not scary!

What does my dog learn when doing scavenger hunts or puzzles?

  • They learn to trust their noses and use their brains to figure things out
  • Why is this important?
    • Dogs used to have to fend for food and figure out how to get their food in the wild.
    • Today, everything is handed to our beloved pets.
    • They do not have to do much of anything to make sure they are fed.
    • By teaching them to use their noses and then they have to figure out how to get those treats once they have located them, fires up those brain synapses.
    • Every time your pup finds a treat that they have had to figure out how to get, reinforces that they can do it!!


What if I see my dog not participating in some activities?

  • It maybe your dog is new in our program, having a bad day or just does not feel like doing it.
  • Some dogs may watch other dogs to learn.
  • Some dogs learn quickly and some dogs learn in a few months.
  • We never force a dog, it is at their own pace.
  • Some dogs really do not care for some activities and never do them.
  • It is all okay


We do discourage inappropriate behaviors and reward good behaviors

  • Inappropriate barking, excessive barking, demanding barking, etc. 
    • These are types of barking we discourage and encourage you to discourage this at home as well
    • There are activities that are appropriate for barking such as the herding ball, etc.
  • Jumping on People 
    • We discourage any jumping on people with small or large dogs.
    • If one dog is allowed to jump then all try to jump up for attention at the same time and this can be dangerous and harmful to us.
    • Please do not take offense if we discourage your dog from jumping on us.
    • However, we do encourage you to also discourage jumping on people.  This can be dangerous and harmful to you in some situations.
  • Humping –
    • this is never allowed as it creates the possibility of a dog being very unhappy about this.  Please discourage this at home as well.

We create a positive and safe environment for all dogs. Doing activities in a positive arena, changing things up a bit with new activities and experiences, your dog is learning a MULTITUDE of things.

They are learning so much more then what we may even know.

The big thing is CONFIDENCE.

Every time your dog is rewarded by praise, hugs, treats, they are learning they are GOOD.

This makes them want to learn MORE.

This makes for a HAPPY DOG!

This makes for a HAPPY OWNER, as you can feel confident in knowing that you are doing the VERY best for your dog enrolling them in our Enrichment Play Program.

 

 

 

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