Follow-up on the Cobber-Daycare situation (and crating question)

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Follow-up on the Cobber-Daycare situation (and crating question)

This is a discussion on Follow-up on the Cobber-Daycare situation (and crating question) within the Puppy Help forums, part of the Dog Training and Behavior category; So it's now Monday and I spoke with the daycare owner. I basically told her that I'd spent a lot of time over the weekend ...

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Old 03-17-2014, 02:08 PM
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Follow-up on the Cobber-Daycare situation (and crating question)

So it's now Monday and I spoke with the daycare owner. I basically told her that I'd spent a lot of time over the weekend thinking about everything Tyler had said when I picked Cobber up Friday evening and (a) he checks out fine medically, and (b) the vet and other folks I've talked this over with agree Cobber needs a break. I decided to keep him home this entire week (!) and then, if it's okay with the daycare owner, will take him back next Monday and see how it goes. Maybe just Mondays, maybe even Mondays and Wednesdays.

So her response to all this is that's totally fine, she's glad to hear it's not a medical/physical problem, she's happy to work with me and Cobber to figure out whatever schedule works best, etc. She did say that he has great mornings, so if he could do mornings only that's another option. The problem there is that's really hard for me to swing in conjunction with work. The other thing she said was "A lot of it is that he is growing up to have what we call 'Terrier 'Tude'. So hopefully some days off during the week will help out with that."

I realize that I can't say it's not "Terrier 'Tude" because he is a full-blooded Terrier and even my half-Terrier years ago displayed some of the same aggressiveness (little dog, bit attitude) that's being described. At the same time, Cobber's breeder warned me not to restrict myself to thinking of him in terms of just being a Terrier because her feelings are that Aussie Terriers in general and (of course) her bloodlines are happy, outgoing, friendly companion dogs first and foremost.

So I can't tell a doggy daycare owner, who sees scads of dogs every day, that she shouldn't label my dog, especially because she may be right about it. But I admit it sort of bothers me as a stereotype or an excuse for bad behavior. Personally I still haven't actually seen him behave the way that Tyler described.

Anyway, my question might seem strange, but since I've only crated Cobber for the day twice before in the year I've had him, I wondered if I need to reconsider where the crate is. I currently have it in the bathroom, the one room in the house without a window, so it's somewhat dark all day. My reason for choosing that room was that if he somehow got out of the crate, he would be in a room where he couldn't do too much damage before I got home.

But the crate's very sturdy, so I'm wondering if it would be more pleasant for him to have it out in the main livingroom area where he can at least have daylight, watch the cats roam around, see out a couple windows, etc. Is more visual stuff better or worse for a crated dog?

[note: This is a different crate than the plastic-sided one he sleeps in at night next to my bed. The day crate is all wire and large enough for him to move around, have food and water dishes and a couple toys and chews.]

Thanks!
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Old 03-17-2014, 02:21 PM
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Most dogs spend their days at home sleeping. I'd keep him in the quietest area.

ETA, I don't think it's stereotyping to describe a dog's genetic traits. Many terriers do have a tendency toward dog aggression. My JRT was decidedly different in his dog to dog interactions than any dog I'd previously owned. It's one of the things I love about terriers but it requires an owner who is aware of it and who understands that their dog might not be a good candidate for a lot of dog interactions. It all depends on the dog and the other dogs involved. Being a terrier is never an excuse for bad behavior but some people do use it that way. I worked hard to socialize my JRT and he got along with other dogs but he would not have done well at a dog day care. Too much stimulation.
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Old 03-17-2014, 08:20 PM
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Thanks, I'll continue with the day crate in the bathroom.

I'm starting to think there's a lot about terriers I don't know... Cobber's been well socialized (at least I thought we'd been working hard on that) since I got him at 8 weeks, but obviously now that he's no longer a puppy, things are changing. I just never worried about any of this with my other dog, the heeler/terrier mix. He was just a great dog regardless of breed traits. With Cobber, I keep running into people saying, "Oh, well, he is a Terrier..." I suspect that I'm doing what I usually do, which is way overthinking things because I'm surprised by what happened recently.

I'm interested to see how he and I both do with this week off from day care
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Old 03-17-2014, 09:02 PM
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Originally Posted by CobbersMom View Post
Thanks, I'll continue with the day crate in the bathroom.

I'm starting to think there's a lot about terriers I don't know... Cobber's been well socialized (at least I thought we'd been working hard on that) since I got him at 8 weeks, but obviously now that he's no longer a puppy, things are changing. I just never worried about any of this with my other dog, the heeler/terrier mix. He was just a great dog regardless of breed traits. With Cobber, I keep running into people saying, "Oh, well, he is a Terrier..." I suspect that I'm doing what I usually do, which is way overthinking things because I'm surprised by what happened recently.

I'm interested to see how he and I both do with this week off from day care
Stereotypes generally exist because there really is an element of truth to them LOL. I just watched a TED talk the other day called "Stereotypes are funny because they are true!". It actually was pretty funny

Terriers were bred for specific tasks, mainly vermin hunting. So a well bred terrier should be expected to have certain traits that would make him/her excel at that task. Like I said in my previous post, I don't think that any of this means Cobber is a bad dog. Sometimes you have to accept that they are the way they are. I don't mean to excuse bad behavior, but you have to have realistic expectations for your breed. I can't expect my BC to never stare things down, or stalk, or herd. It's instinct. I will never eliminate the behavior. But I can manage it, and I do have control over him for the most part.
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Old 03-17-2014, 11:07 PM
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Originally Posted by CobbersMom View Post
Thanks, I'll continue with the day crate in the bathroom.

I'm starting to think there's a lot about terriers I don't know... Cobber's been well socialized (at least I thought we'd been working hard on that) since I got him at 8 weeks, but obviously now that he's no longer a puppy, things are changing. I just never worried about any of this with my other dog, the heeler/terrier mix. He was just a great dog regardless of breed traits. With Cobber, I keep running into people saying, "Oh, well, he is a Terrier..." I suspect that I'm doing what I usually do, which is way overthinking things because I'm surprised by what happened recently.

I'm interested to see how he and I both do with this week off from day care
Honestly, someone in our neighbourhood had an Aussie Silky Terrier (not sure what cobbler is?) but at around that age, hoo… he was a well-socialized dog but he was just at a point in development where the presence of other dogs totally overstimulated him. Even meeting me for the 50th time he would just keel right over, spread-eagled on the ground, weeing a puddle all around him. It really didn't settle down for a few years. Lexy is very much the same way, minus the peeing; sometimes simply meeting another dog (even if they're not down for playing) will set her zooming around the park as soon a the dog moves on its way. Both very social and submissive dogs but I have no doubts that both of them would go totally mental in the presence of another dog after about 30, even 20 minutes.

But the story ended this way… Angus (the silky) and Toby got along famously as Angus matured over the years and even now Toby, who really couldn't care less about most dogs, pines if he sees Angus go past the window on his daily walks. Angus is the only dog Toby gives a flying poop about-- definitely his BFF
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Old 03-18-2014, 07:15 AM
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Thanks! I don't mean to sound so stubborn or clueless. Most of this is my own issue -- I thrive on structure and this entire change in routine has basically ripped out a major support beam that I counted on. Cobber is home in a crate today, and he's probably just fine. I'm the one who's a wreck and totally stressed out because this is not how my days are supposed to go...

To be honest, I would absolutely love to get to where I was with all my other dogs -- I go to work, the dog stays home and sleeps, I come home and we spend the evening together. Cobber's over-the-top energy from the first moment I got him threw me for a loop and this day care thing was like a miracle, and I've gotten totally used to that support system being in place. I'm just going to have to adjust and it will most likely be a lot harder for me than for him. I keep projecting, because I know how happy he is every single morning when I drop him off there -- he absolutely loves that place and the dogs and staff. So if it's just going to be mornings, then that's what we'll do. Once we have a new routine in place, I'll stop being so stressed about the whole thing.

I don't think any parent wants to hear that their kid is suddenly the class bully. It's just been a shock even if he is a terrier.
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Old 03-18-2014, 07:40 AM
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I've actually always found terriers to be great with other dogs...just not cats or other small animals. I'm not really sure why people think terriers are bad with other dogs. They can be independent, but that doesn't correlate with aggression.
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Old 03-18-2014, 04:37 PM
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I'm wondering if the daycare facility would be able separate Cobbler from the other dogs in the afternoon and possibly crate him at their facility. Then he'd have the best of both worlds: morning playtime coupled with afternoon rest.
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Old 03-19-2014, 03:14 PM
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Definitely worth asking. I know we did something similar with some of our client's dogs who had health concerns (bad hips, prior surgeries, etc). Or with our longer-term fosters, we'd give them a day or so a week in a quiet room to themselves so they didn't get burnt out on other dogs. That would at least spare you the drive home during lunch.

Or even just let them know that you're fine with him being rotated into and out of a crate at the group handler's discretion -- the person who's in the room with him likely has a much better understanding of his immediate needs than the business owner, and they have a vested interest in keeping him from getting too stressed out. I don't know how their location is set up, so it may or may not be feasible for them to accommodate that.
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Old 03-19-2014, 04:19 PM
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Thanks for the suggestions, everyone! I still have lots to think about and talk to the owner about on Monday. At least I have my regular pet-sitter (for the cats) on board to give Cobber a mid-day run/walk/play tomorrow and Friday, so I won't have to figure out a way to get home from work. That's a huge relief! Then next Monday, I'll take Cobber to the daycare for the full day. If that works, then maybe he can still do full days, just one or two a week. If he has a great Monday morning but not a great afternoon, then I'll figure out something else. I don't know if they can offer a break opportunity for Cobber in afternoons. Interestingly I looked at the daycare website and noticed this in the overall "why use our service" description:

In addition, we help dogs understand when another dog is not in the mood to play, redirecting their attention and/or matching them with other equally playful dogs.

I know that's not a license for Cobber to be bad because there's also a comment about not taking aggressive dogs. But I think they don't totally want to lose Cobber and me as customers, and I'm relieved that they'll help figure out what works best.

I really appreciate everyone's input!
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