Just like people, dogs have different personality types. Some are very strongly motivated, some are more laissez-faire. Some are very outgoing, and some are shy. Some are very energetic, and some are naturally calm. Some are sensitive and react quickly, and some are very nearly Zen masters.
Genetics, early experience, and training can certainly shape canine behavior and emphasize certain desirable personality traits in your furry friend. Despite our best efforts, sometimes it’s hard to understand or anticipate our dog’s reaction to a situation or environment. In these cases, we can inadvertently exaggerate less desirable traits, increasing stress on both ourselves and our pets.
Often, pet owners turn to a doggy daycare such as Scampers for assistance. Sometimes, we meet a dog who is simply not comfortable with the heightened social dynamics of a doggy daycare. They may be introverted, anxious, very breed-standard (in the case of working dogs), or particularly dominant or submissive, which can make daycare more challenging than fun. We are implementing new training and education standards based on the latest scientific research, but we are not (always) miracle workers.
To ensure your pooch’s happiness in a daycare setting, make sure to offer plenty of exercise and mental stimulation at home. Dogs certainly go home tired after a long day of play and social exercise at daycare, but they also need one-on-one work with their family to build confidence and learn to deal with frustration or challenges. Even a few minutes a day can help them gain skills necessary to successfully navigate the excitement of a doggy daycare playdate.
If your pooch is acting out at home or at pick-up time, speak with Linda, Stina, or myself about positive reinforcement behavioral modifications, or ask about finding a trusted trainer or consulting with a veterinary behaviorist.