Dog Daycare Woes

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Ocelot0411
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Dog Daycare Woes

Post by Ocelot0411 » Mon Feb 23, 2009 8:02 am

Right all I am having a bit of a mare at the moment and need your advice. My work circumstances have changed fairly recently (this is also the reason why I don't contribute to this board anywhere near as much as I would like anymore) and since then I have had to go into the office full time. There is a strong possiblily of me getting my previous arrangement back (I used to work from home two days out of five) but this will not be until Sept.

As I am now out of the house for 5 days a week I thought that the best thing for Ellie was doggie daycare, i.e. I pay for someone to have her in their home where she has company all day and is walked twice.

Now for those of you that know us, you will know that Ellie has a sock eating habit. This has landed her in the vets twice so far and as such my home is now a carefully controlled sock free zone (they are always behind closed doors). Now I did tell the dog daycare this before she went and had to tell them again, in no uncertain terms, when I found pooped out socks on the garden.

Anyway to cut a very long story short Ellie's sock eating habit finally ended in surgery last Wednesday night when the vet removed two socks from her small intestine. Neither of these socks were mine. So as you can imagine - end of day care with that person.

So my dilema is this, do I risk a different daycare in a home environment or do I simply have a dog walker come to my house twice a day. At least in my own house I can control the enviroment. However, that is not what I want as I would much rather Ellie has company all day

Two other things, firstly am I asking too much to expect someone to ensure she can't get her paws on socks in a home environment? To be fair Ellie is a determined and clever girl. I have caught her raiding my wash basket before now and ever since it has had to live inside my fitted wardrobes. You really do have to be on the ball to keep her away from them.

Also perhaps more importantly, can anyone think of a way I can train her out of this. She will bring me things and give me things no problem, but socks for some reason are a different matter - she will even swallow them if you are in a different room to her. I am really stumped by this one and deeply concerned and distressed about the whole thing. I just feel that the harder I try to do what I think is best for her the more it back fires on me. :cry:

joji732
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daycare

Post by joji732 » Mon Feb 23, 2009 12:44 pm

I don't know where you are located, but are there any day care situations in a boarding kennel facility? I know here in the states we have quite a few kennels that offer daycare as well. I actually bring my Rusty to the local Petsmart, which has a PetsHotel. They have what they call "day camp," which is group play for most of the day, with several play breaks in the kennel cages in the back. Obviously, not being in a home environment, the sock problem is a non-issue (Rusty loves them, too!). Just a thought.

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Nettle
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Post by Nettle » Mon Feb 23, 2009 1:03 pm

You can't train her out of this.

Another more responsible day carer would be ideal (did the first one pay your vet bills? I hope so) but the home environment safety depends on how responsible the new person is. It isn't exactly difficult to keep socks and dog apart: you could even do that in my chaotic home. :roll:

A dog walker twice daily would be a good alternative and give you peace of mind. Why not try that first?
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Post by emmabeth » Mon Feb 23, 2009 11:46 pm

I think I would be inclined to try her at home being dog walked a couple of times a day.

At least then you KNOW youve taken every precaution to keep socks and the Doberpig seperated - I have to say despite her finesse at sock-theft, I wonder how much attention shes reallllllllly getting if someone who is paid to keep her safe AND knows about the sock thing, is still giving her opportunity to pinch socks...

Also.... it is surprising how much they DONT do during the day (obviously when walked and trained and amused the rest of the time)... The only purpose i serve during office hours is as personal Door Opener and Biccit Provider... the rest of the time they sleep!

Ocelot0411
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Post by Ocelot0411 » Tue Feb 24, 2009 5:56 am

Thanks for the replies all.

Firstly joji732, I am in the North West of the UK. It would seem to me that you are someway ahead of us in the US in terms of dogcare facilities, lucky old you. They do have places like this in the UK but, as sods law would dictate they are near the city I used to work in (Manchester) and I now work in Liverpool. That said we do have an office in Manchester so I think I might ask if I can work there two days a week so then we could have say Tuesday and Thursday at 'doggie camp' and Mon, Weds, Fri, as two x dog walker. That might be a good interim solution.

Nettle - no she has not paid the vets bill, nor did she offer. It currently stands at £500 but we are going back this evening for a check up, so you can add the cost of that to it too. Good job I am rich eh? ROFL :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: I wish!! Otherwise I wouldn't be at flaming work in the first place! Sigh.

Also why do you say I can't train her out of it? I take your word for it obviously, but I am a bit surprised. Why do dogs do this in the first place then? I have looked it up on the web but get different views everywhere I look. A lot of them say its attention seeking, but I don't really buy this as she will do it when you can't see her. Also Ellie is hardly attention starved, she has my full attention most of the time (whether I like it or not!! :roll: ).

Emmabeth, thanks for your reply and I know you are right about the fact that they don't do a fat lot all day. Ellie used to lounge around for most of the day when i did work from home and would sometimes resent being taken for a walk if it was cold or raining. I guess I have 'guilty mum syndrome'. My current circumstances are NOT the circumstances I had when I first got Ellie. If I had of had a job where I was in the office 5 days per week I wouldn't have entertained the idea of getting a dog, but circumstances change and often beyond our control. In this economic climate I am very lucky to have a job and now that Ellie is already here, I am afraid she isn't going anywhere, even if I have to live off bread and water to pay for the daycare / dog walker. Just one thing I remember you telling me about people you know in the Manchester area that did daycare, is one of them in Radcliffe and if so is it 'Goody 4 Paws'?

For now, I have got a dog walker coming to her twice a day and grandma (my mum loves that - not :wink:) is Ellie sitting all day on a weds until I get a more permanent arrangement. So its not too bad at the mo, but nonetheless far from ideal.

I must say I feel rather vindicated by the fact that you all seem to think that keeping socks away from her is not too big an ask. I didn't think it was either, especially not when you are being paid £17 a day to look after a dog. It cetainly isn't an issue for me, but I guess it depends on your priorities....

Ocelot0411
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Post by Ocelot0411 » Tue Feb 24, 2009 5:56 am

Thanks for the replies all.

Firstly joji732, I am in the North West of the UK. It would seem to me that you are someway ahead of us in the US in terms of dogcare facilities, lucky old you. They do have places like this in the UK but, as sods law would dictate they are near the city I used to work in (Manchester) and I now work in Liverpool. That said we do have an office in Manchester so I think I might ask if I can work there two days a week so then we could have say Tuesday and Thursday at 'doggie camp' and Mon, Weds, Fri, as two x dog walker. That might be a good interim solution.

Nettle - no she has not paid the vets bill, nor did she offer. It currently stands at £500 but we are going back this evening for a check up, so you can add the cost of that to it too. Good job I am rich eh? ROFL :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: I wish!! Otherwise I wouldn't be at flaming work in the first place! Sigh.

Also why do you say I can't train her out of it? I take your word for it obviously, but I am a bit surprised. Why do dogs do this in the first place then? I have looked it up on the web but get different views everywhere I look. A lot of them say its attention seeking, but I don't really buy this as she will do it when you can't see her. Also Ellie is hardly attention starved, she has my full attention most of the time (whether I like it or not!! :roll: ).

Emmabeth, thanks for your reply and I know you are right about the fact that they don't do a fat lot all day. Ellie used to lounge around for most of the day when i did work from home and would sometimes resent being taken for a walk if it was cold or raining. I guess I have 'guilty mum syndrome'. My current circumstances are NOT the circumstances I had when I first got Ellie. If I had of had a job where I was in the office 5 days per week I wouldn't have entertained the idea of getting a dog, but circumstances change and often beyond our control. In this economic climate I am very lucky to have a job and now that Ellie is already here, I am afraid she isn't going anywhere, even if I have to live off bread and water to pay for the daycare / dog walker. Just one thing I remember you telling me about people you know in the Manchester area that did daycare, is one of them in Radcliffe and if so is it 'Goody 4 Paws'?

For now, I have got a dog walker coming to her twice a day and grandma (my mum loves that - not :wink:) is Ellie sitting all day on a weds until I get a more permanent arrangement. So its not too bad at the mo, but nonetheless far from ideal.

I must say I feel rather vindicated by the fact that you all seem to think that keeping socks away from her is not too big an ask. I didn't think it was either, especially not when you are being paid £17 a day to look after a dog. It cetainly isn't an issue for me, but I guess it depends on your priorities....

Ocelot0411
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Post by Ocelot0411 » Tue Feb 24, 2009 5:57 am

Aaaaaaaaaaaargh!! The forum is on the blink again - who hasn't fed the wheel running, forum working - mice again??

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Nettle
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Post by Nettle » Tue Feb 24, 2009 6:27 am

Why you can't train her out of it - because the only way would be using severe aversives and even those would be more likely to train a far worse behaviour in than this one out.... also you (we) can only train a DO not a Don't-Do. You can teach the dog that socks bite but then she might move on to knickers....

She chooses socks because socks for her, despite the best of laundering, smell full of pheromones. They spend all day on our FEET. They are soft and comforting. They are easy to chew in to a big slobbery ball and....whoops, where did that go?

Having found something that releases endorphins and satisfies her comfort needs therefore providing a huge reward, she isn't going to give it up unless for something better - to chew up and swallow? or if the socks start to "attack" her eg by use of electric collar or similar nasty device - and that would leave the gaping void that the sock-chewing filled, and then some more to counter the severe aversive.

Having this sock dependency is like smoking is for humans - but your dog does not connect the sock-comfort with the surgery afterwards. She has no incentive to give them up. She might get the same amount of release from chewing bones, but that situation isn't clever in a doggie daycare environment.

Therefore this is a matter for management not training. :wink: You manage very well, but there is no hope for numpties (for our non-UK readers, a numpty is a stupid idiot).


Your daycare idiot should have insurance. If your dog has insurance also, give your company all the details and let them slog it out between them. This is why we pay those big premiums. (well, you do - I don't insure mine).
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Ocelot0411
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Post by Ocelot0411 » Tue Feb 24, 2009 7:50 am

Yes you are right, I do pay big preminums (just under £30 a month) so I will do as you suggest. Thanks for that :D

I must say I did wonder about the smell of socks but satisfied myslef that it wasn't this as she likes clean ones too, but silly me 'think dog' as they say and of course a spin around the washer isn't going to remove the smell. Actually that makes Ellie a minger as my feet honk :lol:


I see your point on the training thing, I was thinking of 'booby trapping' her with a sock soaked in something bad tasting, but as you say she will probably just move on to other things. Never mind, its not that difficult a problem to manage in my view. I have read that the other most common thing for dogs to swallow is stones, not that would be more difficult.

Thanks again for all your help. :D

danabanana
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Post by danabanana » Mon Mar 02, 2009 10:09 am

I know what you mean about circumstances changing!

I haven't been able to walk my own dog for the past month, she's been in daycare recently too. It's not at a person's home though, it's at a dog training centre with an indoor and an outdoor bit... they take up to 12 dogs (all assessed before let loose on the rest) and spend all day running round like loonies, playing ball, chasing each other etc.

Teagan comes back so tired and happy, she's going to hate it when I can start exercising her myself again!

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Post by danabanana » Mon Mar 02, 2009 10:12 am

Oh - and no socks in sight!

I pay £15 per day so slightly cheaper too x

she goes here: www.oakwood-canine-services.co.uk

I know you're the other side of the country but is there nothing similar?

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Mattie
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Post by Mattie » Mon Mar 02, 2009 11:00 am

spend all day running round like loonies, playing ball, chasing each other etc.
I don't think this is a good idea, dogs need rest periods, they need to learn to rest, like everythin else they won't rest unless they are taught to.

Running round all day will also get them over fit which can cause problems, look at how easy athletes get injured because of their fitness. It is lovely to think that a dog can do this all day but they also need their mind exercising. A dog that is too fit is also trouble if you can't get them out for any reason, they are jumping off the walls.

I realise that there is a good reason for your dog to go there at the moment so not having a go at you.
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Noobs
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Post by Noobs » Mon Mar 02, 2009 11:21 am

I agree, Mattie. I am not criticizing anyone here, just mentioning that I know someone whose dog was at daycare 4 or 5 days a week, all day. Even with a 2-hr nap mid-day it may have been too much stimulation for the young dog. I admit I was jealous that I couldn't do the same for my dog, and that there were times in cold or rainy weather that he was bounching off the walls. But even when he has his moments in the house he still spends lots of time napping even when we're home all day. There's just not enough structure, IMO, at an all-day daycare.

Ocelot0411
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Post by Ocelot0411 » Mon Mar 02, 2009 12:40 pm

There are places like this near me and I did consider it, but to be honest I have decided against it for now.

The main reason is simply Ellie's personality. I think she would be overwhelmed by so many other dogs running free around her. One or two then maybe but anymore than that I think would intimidate her.

I think, as with most things its horses for courses. If Teagan enjoys it and seems happy than that's great, I would certainly say its a much better solution than having her on her own all day. It is of course ideal for a sock eating hound like mine as she can't get herself into trouble somewhere like this, but I just tink at the moment Ellie is a bit too shy for it. It may be something I reconsider though so thanks for letting me know your view on it Danabanana.

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Mattie
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Post by Mattie » Tue Mar 03, 2009 4:13 am

Ocelot, there may be someone near you who will be pleased to walk Ellie for you during the day. There are many active pensioners who have lost their dog but don't feel able to take another on who will be delighted to borrow a dog for walkies.

The main problem with doggie day care is the lack of mental stimulation and too much physical stimulation. Only a couple of weeks ago a friend was having problems with her 15 month dog, she had 2 hours off lead running every morning and afternoon and a shorter walk evenings. I suggested she cut down on the pysical exercise and played mind games or have short training sessions instead. The result, her dog is so much better behaved now, better mannered and seems much happier and less stressed.
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