My Dog Was Kicked Out of Day Care

Dog Daycare is Not for All Dogs

When you decided to bring your dog to day care did you think there was a chance you would  be asked not to return? It happens to the best of us!

We make every effort to help dog owners socialize their dogs and burn off excess energy during the day. There is a screening process and a check-list of assessment items that lead to a final written evaluation. Sometimes the evaluation doesn’t go well and we have to deliver the honest truth. We strive to help customers understand that some dogs are not right for “off leash” group play. Sometimes dogs don’t enjoy playing; they are too nervous, too pushy, don’t have good dog communications skills, or they prefer people more than dogs. It’s just not fun for them to be with a group of dogs running around and playing.

As a dog owner, try not to take it personal if your dog does not pass the temperament test or is removed from day care. We want the best for your dog and hope you don’t over analyze what is wrong with your dog or think your dog is bad. We also don’t want you to be hostile toward us for delivering the disappointing news to you.  I suggest other exercise options, instead of group play,  like hiking, swimming, treadmill, daily walks in your neighborhood, group obedience class, agility, etc. Structured exercise is a great way to tire your dog while engaging them mentally.

Well, they say misery loves company. My own dog is not allowed at my dog day care. Funny huh? Here is the reality of the situation. She doesn’t enjoy day care and she is not good at playing with other dogs. It’s not possible to train her to like group play and it’s probable that she will never like it. I can condition her to tolerate other dogs and become less reactive but it is not what she wants. Pushing a dog into group play, that don’t enjoy it, can be a liability for the business and the dog owner. Dogs that are not comfortable can get snappy and resentful towards other dogs. It is likely someone will get hurt when we force our want for socialization upon the unwilling dogs. I have accepted that my dog is socially awkward and I don’t expect her to be a social butterfly. She would rather go for a walk with me than face a group of running dogs in a yard. That’s it. It’s simple. My dog is not bad, she is not weird, she is not a social outcast, I don’t feel sorry for her, she just doesn’t like group play.


By | 2017-02-20T15:40:50+00:00 July 3rd, 2016|Advice|

About the Author:

Marti Michalis is the owner of 2 Ruff House Pet Resorts in Southern California and a speaker for the International Boarding & Pet Services Association. She is a Certified Dog Trainer, CPDT-KA, and a professional member of The Association of Pet Dog Trainers. She spends most of her time assessing dogs and helping owners with temperament testing and behavior modification.