Aggression Problems and Your Dog
Few people associate doggie day care with aggression problems; after all, daycare is a place for happy-go-lucky dogs, right? However, many canine behavioral experts disagree with the advertised virtues of day care, on the basis that they can cause – as opposed to prevent – aggression in animals. Listed here are three reasons that day care can contribute to aggression issues in your dog.
When dogs are at dog daycare they are generally expected – and encouraged – to play non-stop. Even when a dog decides to take a break, he or she either cannot find an area to rest due to overcrowding, or the animal is roused to play by other pets or humans. Down time is necessary for dogs, even for the most active and playful pets. When doggie daycares do provide rest breaks, the overstimulation caused by barking dogs can add an additional level of stress to your pet’s day. Dogs that are stressed out, tired, and fearful are the ones that are most likely to become reactive when they have had enough.
Too Many Personalities
In a perfect situation, dogs at daycare would be paired with animals of similar size, age, socialization, play style, and training. In practice, however, this scenario is not feasible in most situations. Therefore, your well-trained, well-socialized dog might find him or herself in a play group with an untrained, unsocialized, under-exercised, and over-stimulated animal (or ten). When overcrowding is not an issue, these animals will naturally form smaller groups. However, the variation of personalities in conjunction with overcrowding, which is typical for most doggie day cares, can result in personality clashes with no way for the bullied dog to escape. The end result is a fearful animal that learns to lash out – both at home and around other dogs – when he or she is uncomfortable.
Becoming a certified animal behavioral specialist or dog trainer requires years of schooling and countless hours in the field. Many doggie daycares are staffed by well-meaning animal lovers who are not be well-versed in recognizing the signs of stress, anxiety, fear, and dominance in animals. Additionally, many day cares have poor dog-to-supervisor ratios, meaning that one person is in charge of too many animals. Therefore, dogs quickly learn that in order to receive attention from a human, they must behave in an extreme manner. Snapping, growling, snarling, and other dangerous, aggressive behaviors become the sole way for animals to communicate their emotions, while lesser (but equally important) signals such as a tail between the legs or uncontrolled trembling go unnoticed.
A traditional dog boarding facility is recommended in place of a “Doggie Daycare” for more than just avoiding the aforementioned issues that may arise. Facilities such as Bull Valley Retrievers in Woodstock, Illinois offers dog boarding and is aware of all the issues that may arise from a stay at a daycare facility. Joe Scarpy (Owner and Trainer – Bull Valley Retrievers & Kennels) says “We get new boarding clients all the time that tell us about the horror stories at daycare facilities that they have been to… I also tell training clients that one of the worst things you can do is take your dog to a Doggie Daycare, it’s doing nothing but negating all the training that you have done to this point.”
For more information on Dog Boarding, Dog Training or related training products, visit Bull Valley Retrievers or call Joe Scarpy directly at 708.341.2576
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