Saturday, May 21, 2016

What Your Doggy Daycare Wishes You Knew

People who leave their dogs at doggy daycare or boarding facilities, on behalf of all the people working at such establishments, I would like to ask you, our beloved customers, to please STOP WAVING AT YOUR DOG FROM THE OTHER SIDE OF THE FENCE.

boy chihuahua in pink
I get it when you're coming to pick your dog up. It's cute when you see your pup drop whatever he's doing when he hears your voice, like a small child running from their friends at the playground to greet their mommy or daddy. The thing is, he can't get to you right away, and he almost certainly finds this distressing. You, as the human half of this partnership, understand that your dog will have to wait until a staff member retrieves him for you. Your dog, however, just knows that you're RIGHT THERE and he can't reach you. It's not so much like a preschooler running from the monkey bars shouting "Hi Mommy!" as it is a preschooler bursting into tears because Mommy is just out of reach.

I don't get it when you're dropping your dog off and try to get his attention and wave goodbye. Seriously, stop doing this. Either your dog is getting comfortable and starting to enjoy his friends, or he is taking a few minutes to acclimate and settle in. Neither of these processes is going to be helped by forcefully reminding him that you, his favorite thing, are now out of reach. You wouldn't pull your toddler away from a fun game with a babysitter to make a big fuss about how you're walking out the door, at least if you wanted to avoid tears. Do you expect your dog to wave back and then go back to bouncing around with his pals? Nothing makes a happy playgroup sour faster than someone realizing that they are stuck in here while their owner is out there.

Trust me on this, do your big goodbye kisses before you hand the leash over, and save the big happy reunions till your dog can actually touch you. Your dog loves you a whole lot, and he's infinitely happier and safer when he can focus on the daycare environment rather than his proximity to the Best Human Ever. More than likely he isn't just whining in anticipation out there, he's actually having an emotional meltdown. Meltdowns aren't exactly safe when the other kids sometimes ask "What's wrong?" with their teeth.


  1. Amen. We had a malinois almost jump a wooden fence to go see her owner one time.. told him to never do that ever again.