TAKE YOUR DOG TO DOGGIE DAYCARE OR A BOARDING KENNEL? WATCH THIS FIRST!
Whether it be your dog trainer, dog walker, dog daycare, or boarding kennel always ask those whom you entrust with the care of your dog what they would do in the case of a dog fight, dog attack, or other worst-case scenarios.
At what point will they step in and stop dog bullying and aggression with other dogs? When do they step in when the bullying or aggression involves a human? It happens at dog parks all the time, but dog fights and dog attacks can and do happen anywhere, no matter how well facilities screen dogs. Who is screening the dogs – a dog trainer or a staff member with questionable levels of experience? How many dogs does the facility turn away or do they push to include dogs who are nervous, scared, or aggressive because it is more money for them? How do they handle dog-dog aggression? How about dog-people aggression? Do they know how to deescalate aggression? How about dogs, like the one in this video, who are overstimulated and are in prey drive?
This video is from a dog care facility in Addison, Texas. It may be painful for some to watch although no serious harm comes to handler or dog during this clip. Even though the facility markets that their handlers train the dogs in basic manners during every stay, this handler doesn’t have a clue how to handle this situation and a lot of questions are left open after watching the video.
Why wasn’t the dog removed from the group before it escalated into bullying the handler and knocking her on the ground? Now, I say bullying because what I see here is prey drive and typical bully behaviors during the beginning of the clip. Why didn’t she correct the dog in a meaningful manner or take meaningful means to physically control the dog? Is she not allowed to correct the dog because the facility touts “pack leaders” and “confident, assertive, and positive” training methods? Where are other staff members to help this handler? During the entire one-minute clip with the man filming and yelling from behind the glass window, we do not see (or hear) any other staff members.
Handler safety should always come first. Always. Followed by dog safety.
All she had to do was grab the collar and pull up, additionally she could then twist the collar if needed. She would have immediate control over the head, prevented herself from getting bit, the dog would have calmed, and she could have gotten away if she really needed to. Like I said – handler safety first.
I have seen firsthand more than my share of dog facilities with inadequate screening processes and untrained staff because they choose to hire “dog lovers” to care for the dogs… no experience required.
Some who even disregard recommendations to not allow the dog to attend daycare or board because during screening it presented a risk to other dogs or people. It results in dangerous situations for dogs and humans alike.
On the same note it applies to owners who use site/apps to find people to board and walk their dogs and the only requirement to open your “business” on these sites/apps is a love of dogs and a house.
It is so important to know who you entrust with your dog. What training has the staff had? How often to they renew or expand their training and handling techniques? What their protocol for the various situations discussed above? Ask questions! Talk to staff in charge of caring for your dog – not just the face at the front desk. Educate YOURSELF in training and handling techniques and hope you never need them.
Dogs are dogs and things can and do happen. Empower yourself and make sure others who care for your dog are also knowledgeable and trained.
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Text copied from the Valorzen Canine Training instagram profile @valorzen_canine_training
Written by Tameesha VanEtten