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Dog Daycare is the best Socialization Tool

dogs utilizing the socialization tool: daycare in three capacities: resting, engaging with humans, and engaging with other dogs
Why do we believe daycare is so important?

We believe daycare is important because it’s been shown to be the best socialization tool. Well socialized dogs are less stressed in new environments; common behavioral issues are less of a problem; and your dog is happier and more playful1.

Admittedly, there isn’t much quantifiable data on daycare specifically. However, there are few places outside of daycare that allow for a controlled, safe, off leash environment to allow dogs to play, nap, and learn with their fellow dogs.

The Daycare Difference

You never know what the vaccine, health or behavior status is of dogs in the dog park. Daycare requires all animals are up to date on common vaccines for easily transmissible and deadly diseases. Reputable places will also interview you on your dog’s background and conduct an evaluation with your dog.

But what about the “I don’t think my dog needs to be playing for 8-10 hours at a time” argument? Daycare gives your dog a chance to self regulate and be independent. Dogs take multiple naps throughout their time in off-leash socialization.

Anyone with a dog with separation anxiety2 knows that under stimulation can lead to destructive behaviors. Common tactics to fight destructive behaviors3 are long walks, puzzle games, and training sessions. Daycare has all those tactics rolled into one.

Here’s how:
  • The play area allows your dog to run and jump to their hearts content without risk of injury. Fewer obstacles on the play area lead to a decreased risk in injury.
  • Being around other dogs and people keeps their brains working with interesting stimuli.
    • Think of it like taking your laptop to the café to do work
    • You may be doing your own thing, but just being around other people is stimulating.
  • One of the best things about socializing with other dogs is that they learn from each other. They learn what kind of play is acceptable; when to (and when not to) engage another dog; when it might be time to settle based their peers.
  • Reliable facilities will have handlers with knowledge of dog body language. They will redirect or reinforce behaviors based on that knowledge.  

If you want to help fund research to help get more information on a socialization tool usefulness and other important studies involving dog adoption and care, check out our friends at The Dog Rehoming Project. Their team is made up of Biscuits & Bath alumni and they have some incredible resources for current and potential dog owners!

Citations

1 Nicola J Rooney, John W.S Bradshaw, Ian H Robinson, A comparison of dog–dog and dog–human play behaviour, Applied Animal Behaviour Science, Volume 66, Issue 3, 2000, Pages 235-248, ISSN 0168-1591, https://doi.org/10.1016/S0168-1591(99)00078-7.

2 Flannigan, G., & Dodman, N. H. (2001). Risk factors and behaviors associated with separation anxiety in dogs, Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 219(4), 460-466. Retrieved Jul 11, 2022, from https://avmajournals.avma.org/view/journals/javma/219/4/javma.2001.219.460.xml

3 Takeuchi, Y., Houpt, K. A., & Scarlett, J. M. (2000). Evaluation of treatments for separation anxiety in dogs, Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 217(3), 342-345. Retrieved Jul 11, 2022, from https://avmajournals.avma.org/view/journals/javma/217/3/javma.2000.217.342.xml

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