Gaah! Doggy day care staffed by fools, or what?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Rosalind, Jan 19, 2009.

  1. Rosalind

    Rosalind Songster

    Mar 25, 2007
    Today my Great Pyrenees went to get a follow-up appointment at the vet's. DH and I had a scheduling misunderstanding, and dog ended up in day care for half a day. Which is fine, we like him to be socialized with other dogs occasionally. The thing that had me sorta uneasy and considering a different vet/day care is that at this place they have about 100% turnover every 9 months or so. It's a big chain of vets, and they move the vets around frequently. The day care, who knows where their people go, they never seem to last all that long. Maybe the pay is lousy?

    But I'm SO annoyed right now. Either they don't know how to discipline big dogs or they don't care. Every time we've had him in day care, the past three times, he comes home and he's EVIL. We drop him off, and he is a good dog whose only instances of selective hearing occur in the presence of squirrels. When we pick him up, suddenly he's jumping, nipping, challenging, pulling on his leash, doesn't listen to a word we say. DH said the last time he was dropped off, right there in the play room a big Newfie tried to do the nasty to him. DH scowled at the lady (who is supposedly one of their trainers!) and she just shrugged and said, "it's a dominance thing, it happens." When I get him home and attempt to re-establish discipline, he clearly thinks that if he just stops for two seconds to give me a big smile, then goes back to being a jerk, it'll all be OK.

    Today both he and our other dog got bones. Per their usual antics, they had to steal each others' bones several times over, then wrestle over the same bone. To re-establish who was in charge of this rodeo, I took the bone they were wrestling over. The other dog, being good, immediately backed up and sat down. The Pyr, who had been in day care, turned around and bit me on the head. We're not talking, a gentle nip, I mean, "grrrrr!" *chomp* and I had to check to make sure I really wasn't bleeding. He got stood over and held firmly until he submitted, of course, and he did submit quickly, but What. The. Heck? How does he go from the sweet boy who pulls a sled, warms my feet and babysits chickens for me to giving me a good bite, in a few hours at the day care?

    Do dogs really learn that quickly how to misbehave? Does it honestly take only a few hours of non-discipline? Does it come from interacting with a lot of other dogs, many of whom are likely poorly trained? Or is this something squarely on the shoulders of the day care dog-sitters? Seriously, I am not a big person and when dogs that outweigh me decide to give me a real challenge, I am in big trouble. This isn't a chihuahua trying to nip my ankle, this is a Big Dog and the consequences for bad behavior are severe. If this is a thing I should expect from him playing with other dogs, then I need to keep him away from other dogs. If this is a thing I should expect from lousy dog-sitters, then I will find another dog-sitter service.

  2. chickenpiedpiper

    chickenpiedpiper Songster

    Aug 4, 2008
    New Durham NH
    believe it or not, it has little or nothing to do with the staff. Most of the staff at those places monitor the dogs, but do not do much more! I would be willing to bet that your nice big boy gets to be the dominant at the daycare, and LIKES it! Soooo, when he gets home, it is hard to shift gears and be subordinate again... He wants to be the alpha dog, and that is VERY natural!

    And I know it is distressing, but the 'doing the nasty' to another dog is actually a dominance thing! I know that we hate it, (especially guys who own male dogs) but it is doggie language, and does not distress them nearly as much as it does us!

    Your boy is acting out in a normal and healthy way (to him) You need to take precautions). He is overstimulated, and excited, and unless you are willing to make daycare a regular part of his routine, so he can learn to better shift gears, you will just need to be a bit more ongaurd when he comes home from the rare visit.

    It can be tough, but it really isnt a persons fault, it is just doggie language, which unless you are fluent, can be pretty unintelligible!

    Good Luck!
  3. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

    Oct 2, 2008
    I think it might be from being in a "pack".
  4. gypsy2621

    gypsy2621 Songster

    Jun 29, 2008
    New Hampshire
    This does not sound like a disipline issue at all , I bet 10 to 1 he was being abused.
    Dogs in my oinion do not go from sweet well mannerd to evil biting the hand that feed them in only a few hours with out something bad happening.
    I certainly would be throwing a leve 10 over this situation.Personally I would dis own that day care/vet center in lue of a decent vet and day care.
    Very scarey when a huge dog like this goes off his pins.
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2009

  5. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

    Oct 2, 2008
    Hummm...hadn't thought of that angle. Good point.
  6. Wolf-Kim

    Wolf-Kim Songster

    Jan 25, 2008
    Having worked at a boarding kennel myself, I have to say that the chances of your dog being abused are slim to none. It just doesn't happen that often in veterinary hospitals.

    Do they not know how to discipline your dog? Of course they do, they just don't. Every single dog owner has a different perspective on discipline, so yes, dogs get away with MURDER in a veterinary hospital and boarding kennel. If you've worked in a vet office or any boarding kennel, you have TONS of animals that come in and you just want to train them because they are so disobediant/obnoxious that they drive you nuts, but they are not your animals. You must view them as children, when you drop your kid off at daycare, do you want the daycare to disclipline your child "their" way without asking you? Same with our puppies.

    Your puppy has not been abused, he's just been a bit over-stimulated. Take the calmest dog in the world, take him out of his home and let him play with a bunch of strange dogs in a strange place and he'll come home excited and rambunctious. Being around that many other "strange" dogs, gets their pack drive going.

    He's just wound up when he gets home. I've seen sweet, calm, laid back dogs spend a few minute in the vet office and be around all the "new"(smells, people, dogs) he knows he has the advantage and the opportunity to change his "rank".

    Just keep on training him, and I would suggest you taking him out more often. Take him to the dog park, to Petsmart, out in public, schedule play dates with other animals, I bet he acts the same when he's out of your hands anywhere. Think of it more of a goal in his training. He's just being a puppy. This is why highly trained dogs, must be trained in as many scenarios and locations as possible. Start taking field trips with your pup, his behavior/training will improve! Make him act his proper self around other dogs less trained and more rambunctious than he. Think of him as a child. Your child may act perfect at home, but take him to a huge birthday party ,filled with kid jacked up on soda, cake, and icecream, at Chucky Cheese and he's bound to loose his mind. Take him to places like Chucky Cheese and make him behave on a regular basis, it won't be an issue and he'll be much more well-rounded [​IMG]

    Last edited: Jan 19, 2009
  7. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Crowing

    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    Every time we've had him in day care, the past three times, he comes home and he's EVIL

    I'd say it's time to stop putting him in that situation.

    A Pyr is supposed to be a Guardian dog. They dont need to be "socializing" with strange dogs, and it's a GREAT way to pick up diseases.
    Those dogs wouldnt be at a Vet's if they werent sick.​

  8. ccshambhala

    ccshambhala Songster

    Sep 8, 2008
    I agree with the posts about it being an alpha dog thing. He was playing rough all day and having his dominance tested and he spent that time asserting his dominance. The fact that you have another dog in the house makes it that much easier for him to be slow coming back down from the "high" of being with a large group of dogs and being overstimulated.
    I don't believe your dog was being abused - nor do I believe that the dogs he was socializing with were there because they were sick. Your vet undoubtedly has kennels for isolating sick dogs - and for those dogs that do not do well in a pack setting.
    I would recommend talking to your vet about what they have observed while he is there. I would also recommend mentioning your problems at home and asking if you could bring him in and observe him with the other dogs so that you have a better understanding of his behavior when you take him home. Since they have a trainer there they might even counsel you on his reactions - and since you are concerned about what is happening there - they might even do it for free to allay your concerns.
    We can assume anything - it is better to go directly to the source rather than speculate - you may still disagree with their methods and choose not to go anymore. You hopefully will come away with a better understanding of what exactly is happening and how you feel about their involvement (or lack thereof) in it.
    Best of luck - hope you talk to them!!
  9. chickenpiedpiper

    chickenpiedpiper Songster

    Aug 4, 2008
    New Durham NH
    Quote:I feel very strongly, having both worked in a daycare, and a vetrinary situation, as well as owned and trained dogs for over 30 years, that your dog was not abused.

    As I stated before, I feel he was acting out in a irritatingly normal big dog fashion. He didnt hurt you, but he did try to dominate you, or perhaps even play with you, as he would have another dog or equal. Believe me, I know it is scary when a big dog acts out, I have a Great Dane, and he can be protective of me when Rob is not around, and sometimes the change is so fast, it surprises me, even when I am looking for it!

    Dog language is different from people language, but sometimes it is just dog language....

  10. bwebb7

    bwebb7 Songster

    Aug 16, 2008
    Brooksville, Fl
    I was also thinking that he was having a ball being the biggest kid in school.
    I think he just needs to br limited in his freedom when he gets home-no treats until he re-aclimates to the pecking order at home.

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