Socialisation is not instant, it has to be consistent, safe and positive.
Attending a well-respected puppy playgroup is a fantastic foundation for introducing puppies to other dogs and situations, however, your puppy needs to have regular outlets for socialising with other dogs and environments.
Socialisation is an on-going process throughout a dogs life, providing mental and physical stimulation to your dog.
Socialisation is not simply allowing your dog to sprint over to another dog in the park, nor is it when another dog charges over to your dog to say hello. These un-structured environments can cause anxiety and stress for our pups.
Helping your dog become an excellent communicator
Dogs attending well-run and structured daycare/ group class/ specific training classes, positive environments for dogs to learn how to act appropriately around fellow dogs, whatever their age.
If a dog is exposed to other people and canines that are excellent communicators, it is highly likely that they too will become excellent communicators themselves, and maintain a relaxed, comfortable attitude when in new situations.
Having your dog attend daycare, can also transfer their well-mannered behaviours to outside of daycare, in your home or when out on your own adventures.
While a lot of socialisation is phrased towards puppies, adults too are constantly learning new social skills and adding to their behavioural inventory. During daycare dogs will encounter new dogs of all shapes, sizes and play-styles, which will help shape your dogs adaptability, which is a great thing! Counter-conditioning can also be used to positively reward previously stressful stimuli, and overcome the developed negative associations that some dogs have unfortunately developed for any given situation.
Daycare provides the opportunity for dogs to create positive social relationships
Importantly, dogs are social animals and daycare provides them opportunities to build canine friendships that means they are excited to come to daycare every week to see their best friend.
Some dogs immediately form a strong bond, and some dog’s take longer, but all dogs friendships are based on positive shared experiences. This is why we advise regular bookings for daycare allowing a natural development of social competence through consistent positive social experiences.
At our daycare we have dogs ranging from 3months old all the up to the golden oldies. This provides us with a unique position where our older dogs become ‘mentor dogs’ to our younger pups, helping the puppies learn appropriate canine etiquette by observing what good behaviours are and learn the correct way to act. This is a fantastic way to allow dogs to learn naturally, without forcing the behaviours we want our dogs to learn!
Learning to listen during high distractions
Our daycare’s socialisation isn’t restricted to just letting dogs play with other dogs, but also that they respond to us (we use 5 basic commands; come, wait, sit, down, stay) when around other dogs and other fun activities going on around them.
Socialisation also means that dogs are able to concentrate around distractions. This means that when outside of daycare your furry family member will improve their ability to listen when you need to, as they are more comfortable around distractions.
I believe that all dogs should have the opportunity to attend dog daycare from a dog well-being perspective. There are too many positive reasons to count that advocate for dogs attending dog daycare/ group pack walks/ community social meet-ups, and this is why dog daycare is becoming more popular in the UK.
With a greater understanding of dog behaviour and dog psychology we are able to offer suitable environments where dogs thrive, and are allowed to show off their personality; with both the dogs and the owners benefiting!
11 Acres Doggy Day Care
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