Join Date: Nov 2017
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Our puppy has separation issues and we ended up not really crate training so I was really worried about boarding. I decided to board him at a daycare instead of just a kennel and he did really well. He was fine being crated at night even though he’s not usually crated at home.
I think the most important thing is developing a relationship with the person/facility you use. I know a lot of people who’ve had terrible experiences with daycares, and a lot of time that’s legitimate. The place I take my dog is small, allows open play that is supervised by multiple people, and they provide a variety of different types stimulation depending on the weather and the dogs they have that day. You can tell just by looking at the yard that the people who work there are actually engaged in what they’re doing because they have a variety of play structures and surfaces, covered areas and open areas, different types of shade - and it’s always moving around. They know my dog and me well. On the other hand, I tried a new place closer to a part of town that was brand new and seemed really fancy and ultra clean and when we picked up our dog after only an hour and a half and he ran out terrified and peed all over me and the floor - and no one had any idea if anything had happened.
I’ve also had really good luck with using a dog walking app. I’m sure there are lots of people on there who aren’t great, so you can’t just let the app do the screening for you, but it might be a starting point to find someone. I live in a college town so it’s an especially good resource for reliable students who want a dog fix. I met both people our dog stayed with in person and he went for short day visits to make sure it was a good fit.
Before we brought home our puppy I really thought people were way too overprotective of their dogs in this way. I learned very quickly that in some ways I have to be even more careful with my dog than I do with my kids because there’s a real divide between the “old school” way of handling dogs and the “new” way - someone who would never even consider spanking someone else’s kids may still be comfortable using aggressive techniques and throwing around words like “alpha.”