Daycare or dog walker?

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joji732
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Daycare or dog walker?

Post by joji732 » Wed Jun 10, 2009 9:14 pm

I got Rusty back in October, and I have been lucky enough be working from home most of the time since the beginning of November. He goes to daycare once or twice a week now, especially on days when I do go into the office. The problem is, he absolutely hates getting in the car. Once he is in the car, he tolerates it, but I often have to pick him up (sometimes from the lawn, sometimes still in the house, sometimes in the parking lot at daycare on the way home) and carry him to the car and place him inside. At 25 pounds or so, it's really a chore.

On the other side of the coin, he is a Jack Russell mix, so having the opportunity to spend a number of hours in a day (approximately 7) playing with other dogs is a great use for his energy. And he really likes the people at the daycare (and they love him, too), which makes me feel good about leaving him there.

Now, the project I am working on is winding down and I will no longer have as much flexibility to work at home. So I'm trying to decide whether bringing him to daycare everyday is appropriate, or if it would be better to have a dog walker come in to take him out. I'm gone for about 11 hours a day, so it needs to be one or the other.

Rusty can also be a bit reactive to people when he's walking, particularly when people look at him. I am working with him on that, and he is improving but it is still a work in process. I also wonder how he would react to someone coming into the house when I'm not here. If I do choose a dog walker, then, I would also wonder if it makes more sense to hire a professional (approximately $18 for 45-60 minutes) or ask a neighbor with whom I can barter.

I really respect the opinions of the group that gathers here, so I am thanking you in advance for your feedback.

Fundog
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Post by Fundog » Thu Jun 11, 2009 12:25 am

A professional dog walker would know how to work with Rusty on his people reactivity and other issues, and it would lend some variety to his week, besides going to daycare on the other days. I would say do daycare 3x a week, and have the dogwalker come 2x.

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Noobs
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Post by Noobs » Thu Jun 11, 2009 8:08 am

I agree with Fundog - if you get a professional dogwalker (who's insured, etc.) with good references and knows how to deal with different temperaments (ask lots of questions when you interview!), you'll be better off than with someone who may not know how to deal with reactivity.

Also, daycare is great but I would also split 3x daycare and 2x dogwalker/petsitter (or the other way around, 2x daycare and 3x dogwalker) so your dog isn't overstimulated and doesn't get overfit by playing all day every day. It's great that you have those options, good luck, whatever you decide!

joji732
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last question

Post by joji732 » Thu Jun 11, 2009 4:12 pm

So you think it is worth it to wrestle him into the car and bring him to daycare 2-3 times a week?

maximoo
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Post by maximoo » Thu Jun 11, 2009 4:29 pm

Have you tried luring him into the car with a special treat like hot dog or chicken? He needs to associate car with something good. I have the opposite problem, my boy leaps into the car. He wld drive if his legs were long enough lol :lol: I had to train him to sit/wait till I invite him into car.

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Noobs
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Post by Noobs » Fri Jun 12, 2009 7:55 am

Maybe you could lure him with something REALLY high value, like a frozen kong stuffed with liver paste or something. And this site has basic instructions on how to desensitize dogs to cars:

http://dogs.about.com/cs/behaviorissues/a/bltip003.htm

It may take several days, and maybe on those days you could train with the car and then get the dogwalker. Then by the time you take your first trip to daycare it'll be a breeze. Or at least easier.

Marley
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Post by Marley » Sun Jun 14, 2009 11:32 pm

I have a dog walker and I have to say they (husband/wife team) are wonderful. My dog loves the special attention they provide her and it breaks up her day nicely. Whenever something odd happens they do not hesitate to let me know and we communicate on solutions.

For example my dog loves finding "trail treats" and we are now correcting her in the same manner.

She is also experiencing some leash aggression and again we are using the same techniques.

I've considered doggy daycare, however I've been concerned with her developing bad habits.

maximoo
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Post by maximoo » Mon Jun 15, 2009 6:28 am

please explain 'trail treat' technique Inquiring minds want to know :)

Marley
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Post by Marley » Mon Jun 15, 2009 9:43 am

A "trail treat" is anything found while on a trail. For example wild animal poop found while on a walk. Not something I want her to eat but she thinks its the ultimate treat.

What we (dogwalker and myself) do is if we see it before she picks it up is we use Leave it and walk a bit faster past the "Yummy(really gross) item" If she has already picked up we both use Drop it (this usually works). If she is chewing we remove it from her mouth.

As careful as I am the other day I noticed she was carrying something weird and I told her to drop it, which she did. I looked down and saw she had found a dead baby bird.

Fundog
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Post by Fundog » Mon Jun 15, 2009 10:28 am

Oh my gosh, speaking of dead baby birds... Awhile back my Annie came into the house and was signalling the kids and I that there was something outside she wanted us to see-- "Come quick!" she said. So we followed her out to where we have a huge pine tree, and found a very tiny new hatchling on the ground. It had fallen out of the nest. I picked it up, and though the tiny little heart had been beating, it soon stopped, and the baby bird died in my hand. It was sad, but I also thought it very interesting that Annie did not treat the hatchling as prey and try to eat it, but rather, came to get me, to tend to it.

Okay, sorry to hijack the thread. Just had to share. Back to dogwalkers...

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