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Discussion Starter #1
Hello, I was just wondering what people's experiences are with doggy day care. We are considering putting our 10 week old puppy in daycare 1-2 times per week, but wasn't sure if it's the best idea. I have heard that puppies can pick up bad manners or that they can have a bad experience and be fearful of things?

Thanks
 

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In my opinion 10 weeks old is too young. In fact I actually think it's too young for most daycares to even accept her. Most don't accept puppies under 4 months old because they need a certain number of vaccinations. You should bring your pup to some puppy classes or play groups to get socialized however.

But in terms of daycares you do need to judge them individually. Watch how the staff handles the dogs, and what sort of dogs go there. What dog experience does the staff have? Some dogs can have bad experiences in daycares, but some love it. It's similar to dog parks, although not as chaotic. And I did see that your dog was somewhat hyper and a bit crazy. A dog like that might not do well in daycare because the other dogs might get angry with her, or her bad behavior might get exacerbated. I have put my dog in daycare a lot but recently stopped doing it as much. They allow her to jump on her and give in to her demand barking, and that's a pain in the ass for me.

So I'm not sure if you wanted this for extra exercise for her or what, but if that's the case I'd maybe just get a dog walker or someone else to come visit her a few times a week when you're at work.
 

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Agreed. 10 weeks is way too young. I started mine at 6 months, and even then I started leaving him for three hours at a time before transitioning him to three days a month. Basically daycare is a "reset" for him to just spend 12 hours of playtime and crazy and letting out steam. Outside of that, I keep him in a bubble until he is perfectly behaved.

Not all day care is alike. The best ones are ones that not only have playtime and running all day, but also have included training sessions and activities like agility and nosework or swimming or hiking a couple times a day to exercise their mind and challenge them. Where I live, those daycares are exorbitantly expensive and I'd never be able to ever afford them. The regular one I send him to, which is just a day of playtime, is fine for my needs - but in the long run, just spending all day around dogs all day everyday, they say, leads to an excess of cortisol (at least that's what my trainer says).

I like daycare a lot, but it's definitely not a long term thing for me.
 

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I can't say I'm a fan of most. I've heard of some good ones, but for the most part they just seem to create wacked out overexcited dogs. I've seen dogs attacked and harassed and taught bad manners and it's not something I would ever do for my dogs. My dogs wouldn't enjoy it at all anyway. I expect my dogs to sleep and behave when I'm not home, and if I truly didn't have enough time for them that I had to send them there, I would probably just not have dogs.

But if you were to do it, 10 weeks is way too young.
 

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10 weeks is way too young. It will probably be overwhelming, have her play with trusted older dogs or other young puppies, plus if she is there for a long day she may get sleep deprived, even when she is older just send her for short periods at first.

We switched daycares with our dog when she turned one as we wanted a more rounded and less crazy experience. We now use a crazy dog loving couple who take the dogs on hikes, and to dog runs and their house and backyard. They have taken her on all kinds of adventures.

A long day full of play with a lot of other dogs is great for some dogs, but not so great for others.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for your opinions :) I work 3 nights a week so I was thinking of using day care once a week as an option to make sure she is well exercised on the day I sleep all day, but now I'm thinking I'll need to find another option... is a dog walker a possibility for a puppy? Or do you think that would overwhelm her?
 

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A dog walker sounds perfect. Make sure you give them close instructions and the walk should be just like a walk with you.
 

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Well a puppy that young shouldn't be walked in areas where strange dogs should be again, until 4 months old. But a dog walker could come and play with the dog in a yard or even exercise the puppy in the house and make sure they go potty outside.
 
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oh, I forgot about the vaccines.

What was your plan for the puppy before the adoption? PS you can sleep all day and so will the puppy! They sleep a lot at that age and have short bursts of energy.
 

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Thanks for your opinions :) I work 3 nights a week so I was thinking of using day care once a week as an option to make sure she is well exercised on the day I sleep all day, but now I'm thinking I'll need to find another option... is a dog walker a possibility for a puppy? Or do you think that would overwhelm her?
I would look into places that offer, dog walks, day care, puppy visits and boarding. This way you can move your pup up the various stages with the same group of people and dogs. Make sure that you check the places out thoroughly and ask a bunch of questions. The place you pick should have an assessment with you and your pup that should last at least 30mins. They should walk you through every step of your dogs care and get your input on how you do certain things with your dog. You'll want to make sure that they only use positive reinforcement and are open with you.

The puppy visits are great, they come by and take your pup out for a pee and will play with them for 20-30 mins. You can have them come by once or twice on the days that you need them to. And once he gets all his vaccines you can move up to day care and/or group walks. I would caution to be super selective with who you pick to walk/visit/daycare your pup.

That's how I started with my pup. He got puppy visits once a day on the days when I couldn't get home to let him out at lunch until he finished his last set of shots. Approx. 4 months old. Then he moved on to daycare once a week. My schedule the last month or so has gotten crappy so I recently added a walk once a week as well to make sure that he gets out a bit during the day to play.

I unfortunately had to split between 2 companies because of service areas. He goes to day care at a place that is on my way to work. And his dog walker is from a different company that services the area I live in. I am moving in the next few months though so looking forward to having the same guys deal with his daycare and walks.

Hope that helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Before I got her, I was planning on getting up every few hours (when I slept during the day) to let her out, thinking she woukd sleep when i wasnt around. I've never had a puppy this young before, so I was unprepared for how difficult it would be to get her to sleep.
 

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I am of mixed opinion. I think some of them are excellent places that are very enriching for dogs, but the good ones are hard to find.

My husband and I work full time during the day with relatively long commutes. A normal day has me leaving at 7am coming home at 6pm. My husband's schedule changes daily, however, and he can leave as early as 4am and come home as late as 6:30pm.

Our newest addition, Ember, does not like to be crated during the day (she sleeps in her crate at night and has no problems - she goes right in as soon as she hears the sleep music put on and waits for her dried liver treat that she only gets when she's in the crate). During the day if she is in there she tears apart her bed. When we tried gating her off in the kitchen instead, she chewed up the cabinets, baseboard, and dug holes in the walls. I started to look at doggy daycare places and could only find one that would fit my crazy commute schedule, and so I began to take her there. I am not 100% happy with it. It really depends on who is working. Some of the techs really try with the dogs and Ember comes home totally happy and relaxed, sleeping right after dinner, pretty much. Other days she comes home just as crazy as always and I am of the mind that they just kennel her for most of the day as she can be a handful if you don't work with her. One day I was able to pick her up early, while they were still in the daycare room, and I saw about 20 dogs in there with one tech just meandering around with his arms up, while 5 of the dogs - Ember one of them - just jumped up and down barking like crazy trying to get to his hands.

For us, doggy daycare is almost a "necessary evil". I don't have any other option as she has to be crated if we aren't home, and they don't allow people in to the house that aren't my husband or me, so we can't have a friend over or a dog walker in to let her out and take her for a walk during the day. Right now I try not to take her more than 3x a week, but even that I think is too much. I think she is much happier at home (just not in the crate) and it's confusing to her since I only take her and not Riley (since he has extreme stranger-danger issues).

There is one daycare that I would love to take her to that many of my friends take their dogs. They are one of the better places, that have onsite trainers and play with the dogs, take them for walks - they even have a doggy pond for the warmer months. I think because they have actual trainers onsite that I would even be able to take Riley. But unfortunately they are too far away and I can't make it there during their drop off and pick up hours.
 

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My dog training place has boarding + day care, too and separates them by age and size. They are super clean and really friendly and let you tour the facilities. I've come unannounced before and it's always super clean. They accept dogs pretty young (they must have their required shots), but they clean after every play group and keep the younger dogs together and away from older dogs. They also always supervise the play groups and have live webcams running.

I assumed this was the standard for all doggie daycares, but that's not the case! Other places aren't as clean or safe, so make sure you choose carefully. Pax has been going since 16 weeks old and he loves it.
 

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@storms226 why don't you find a sitter on Rover? That way you can get someone for the same price (often less) to provide sitting during the day, and they're in a home/family environment with individual attention?

To me the daycares are useful just to give them dog socialization and lots of playtime. But if I just need someone to watch him and walk him I use Rover.
 

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@storms226 why don't you find a sitter on Rover? That way you can get someone for the same price (often less) to provide sitting during the day, and they're in a home/family environment with individual attention?

To me the daycares are useful just to give them dog socialization and lots of playtime. But if I just need someone to watch him and walk him I use Rover.
I haven't heard of that site before, checking it out now! Thanks! :)
 

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Roscoe goes to daycare once a week and he absolutely loves it. As soon as he hears the magic words "Let's go see your friends", he's psyched! They have nanny cams, so I check in on him multiple times throughout the day and enjoy watching him play and burn off all of that excess energy. The lady who runs the daycare is the trainer we took puppy classes with and I already knew and trusted her when he started daycare.

I think each dog is different and their unique personality and needs must be taken into consideration when making any kind of decision like this. For us and Roscoe, once per week is good. We don't plan on doing it his entire life, but right now, with his puppy energy and terrier curiosity and mood for mischief, it fits our lifestyle and keeps everyone happy. :)
 

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I just registered for doggie daycare today. I toured several doggie day cares looking to place my 8 month old Norwegian Elkhound 2 days a week. One half day and one full day. I live in an area that has a lot of options when it comes to doggie day care.

I found one that I really liked that is positive reinforcement only, they have a great staff to dog ratio and the have a full day evaluation process.

I definitely agree with the others that 10 weeks is too little for daycare but a pet sitter or walker sounds like a great option!

This is also a really random suggestion and totally depends on where you live, but I live pretty close to several college campuses and when my dog was still a puppy and I didn't feel comfortable sending her to daycare I would hire a college student for several hours a week to come play with my puppy. I don't know who loved it more Koda or the student!
 

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@steen1121 that place sounds excellent!

I did end up finding a different daycare that was also very close to my house and I absolutely loved it... and so did Ember! As soon as I turned down the drive she started getting excited and when I opened the door to let myself out she was right behind me. The previous place I took her to did not elicit even close to this level of response. But the new place had a HUGE outdoor area and they had enough space to separate the dogs by size/age/energy level. The other place was indoor only and small, so all dogs lumped together in the room.

I am working with a behaviorist/trainer though on some issues with both dogs and she was able to learn from an employee that Ember has been allowed to bully other dogs and bark incessantly. She has advised me to stop taking her, at least until we can get a good handle on her issues.

I am hoping to start taking her back though, as she really did look forward to it. But instead of 3x a week I'll just do 1x.
 

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I much prefer rover.com. I probably wouldn't take a 10 week old though
 
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