Q – What kind of training and experience do the daycare staff have?
A – All of our staff including daycare tutors, walkers, and administrators, are sent through the Dog Trainer Foundations course at the Karen Pryor Academy where they obtain a solid understanding of “force free” training and how to read canine body language to avoid punishment techniques and reinforce positive behaviour. They are also Canine First Aid certified and some of our tutors are experienced veterinary assistants.
Q – What is the dog to daycare staff ratio?
A – Three fully trained, full time tutors can care for a maximum of 32 dogs in daycare. That’s roughly a 10:1 ratio.
Q – Do you separate large dogs from small dogs?
A – Yes, we separate dogs into 2 different pens based on size, temperament and energy level. This allows the larger dogs who want to play to do so while letting the little playful ones and the snugglers to enjoy a slower pace.
Q – Do you use crates, and if so, how are they used?
A – Yes, the use of crates is optional and they may be used for naps and time outs for dogs who need to be redirected from an undesirable behavior. They are not used as punishment and crates are reinforced as a positive place. Timers are set during nap time, (as per your request), or for a 5 minute time out to ensure that no dog is left in a crate longer than they are comfortable with.
Q – Do dogs go on walks during the day and how long is each walk?
A – Yes, since we treat our daycare as our home, all dogs are given a minimum of three walks throughout the day followed by an evening pee break. Each full walk is roughly 20-30 minutes long so they get plenty of time to enjoy the fresh outdoors (rain or shine). On top of that, puppies get an additional 3 scheduled pee breaks to help set them up for success with potty training. As per city by-laws, a maximum of 6 dogs are walked at a time and only compatible dogs are walked together to ensure that everyone enjoys their time outside.
Q – How often do you clean your daycare facility?
A – All potty accidents are cleaned up immediately and the daycare is cleaned from top to bottom nightly. Floors are soaked nightly to ensure the highest standards of cleanliness and hygiene using a non-toxic blend of vinegar and dog safe cleaning solutions.
Q – What procedures are in place in case of an emergency/injury with my dog?
A – All of our staff are Canine First Aid certified and some have extensive experience as veterinary assistants. First Aid will be administered immediately and if necessary, your dog will be transported to our vet for care. We will notify you or your emergency contact immediately and take all necessary precautions until you arrive.
Q – What training Philosophy do you follow?
A – We believe in force-free training which is based on positive reinforcement. We do not believe in dominance theory and punishment based training. Much like people, dogs exhibit general patterns of behavior but not every dog learns at the same pace. Through training at the Karen Prior Academy, our focus is to understand what works best for each dog. By taking a positive, open-minded approach, we are able to bring out favorable behaviors in each dog and reinforce these behaviours with adaptable yet consist training.
Q – How do you screen new dogs coming into daycare?
A – Each individual dog must pass a 1 hour assessment before being approved for daycare to ensure that only dogs who are social, friendly, and suitable for a daycare are enrolled. Assessments are held on Saturdays and are an hour in length. One of our staff members will assess your dog’s behavior and body language in daycare and on a neighborhood walk to ensure they are comfortable and at ease while interacting with our staff and other dogs. Should your dog not be the right match for our daycare, we are happy to offer alternative options for you.
Q – What breeds do you accept?
A – We accept all breeds and do not discriminate against certain breeds as all dogs must pass the same assessment criteria. That being said, we are trained to identity breed-specific mannerisms and will closely observe dogs that exhibit certain behaviors during their assessment. Following the assessment, we may recommend half days to start and a few tips and tricks to set everyone up for success.
Q – What are your vaccine requirements?
A – We accept titers in place of vaccines, but require that all dogs be protected against Kennel Cough, Distemper, and Parvovirus. We also require some form of flea preventative treatment (traditional and holistic or allopathic options are accepted).
Q – Will my dog have any down time?
A – Playtime is monitored throughout the day to ensure that all dogs are enjoying their time in a healthy and appropriate manner. To avoid overstimulation, play is interrupted for mental exercises (and lots of healthy treats). At your request, we can also set aside time for scheduled naps. Puppies also have a specific schedule of play-potty-nap-eat-potty, to help them learn how to appropriately regulate their energy. Should your larger dog require a fair amount of down time we will put them with the smaller, lower energy dogs for a bit of rest and relaxation.