You might wonder if your laid back or people-orientated dog will enjoy daycare. Here are 3 reasons why less active pups not only like dog daycare but also thrive in it.
1. Social Engagement
A social structure emerges in dog daycare where each dog plays a role in the pack (sort of like cliques in high school). For example, at Fitdog, we have: “Hall Monitors” who chase or bark at dogs they believe are not following the rules (dog or human); the “Lounger’s Club,” dogs who spend the entire morning snoozing together then perking up later in the day; “Kings of the Mountain,” dogs who sit on top of the play equipment and watch all of the action below; “Social Butterflies,” who interact with everyone regardless of breed or disposition and are generally liked by everyone; and “Instigators” puppies that are still learning social cues who try to gain the attention of other dogs by barking in their faces and nipping at their feet (these pups are sort of like the Freshman class).
Each clique satisfies each dog’s personality and level of desired participation in the pack setting. Terrance Walker, the Club Manager at Fitdog, says “Connection to a pack group gives them security, confidence and purpose” Take for instance the Loungers – they rarely play, but each of them enters the play area with excitement and quickly goes to their spot with their friends.
2. Mental Enrichment
Passive participation in a playgroup gives dogs mental stimulation through watching others. As Terrance points out, “Watching others go bananas and play is very simulating in a positive way, just as one would watch TV or live sports.” You can tell when sedentary dogs are having fun by the way they watch the crowd, usually with their heads perked up at attention.
Dogs who were once active but now have physical limitations due to age or health issues tend to remain close to the action and bark in order to participate. They might not be wrestling or running around, but they are definitely enjoying themselves.
3. Human Interaction
People and dogs have lived together for thousands of years; dogs look to connect with their two-legged friends for a companionship that goes back millennia. Dogs have favorite staff members they like to chill with, and as long as they are near a person, they feel happy.
Some dogs just really love to come in and get belly rubs and scratches from their favorite Club Rep. Who wouldn’t love a place where you get an unlimited supply of back rubs?