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Killa and Tekno
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I recognized that Tekno could use more socialization with multiple breeds of dogs and some calm adult dogs to supplement the puppies he meets in kindergarten. So I set up an eval with a local doggy daycare that accepts dogs 4 months and up. Seeing as a 4 month old dog can’t safely play with many dogs, I thought this meant they were well versed in slow socialization protocols for young dogs and puppy vocabulary...nope. I knew something was wrong when I walked in, the bearded man at the front asked me if I took Tekno, my barely 5 month old, 3lb poodle to dog parks. Um no sir, do you think Im trying to kill him?? I let him know that dog parks are too out of control so no we haven’t visited them but I feel like he should’ve inferred that by Tekno’s age, size, and relaxed temperament. Meanwhile I look over at the dogs “playing”, which amounted to a bunch of bored looking dogs and bored looking watchers planted in one spot towering over the dogs without speaking. The dogs were mostly sitting perfectly still and not interacting...ooookay(?) I think to myself, that’s weird. Also there was no play equipment, just concrete floors and fences. Terrible setup for dogs that need to hide a bit and ones that like to play on toys. So we proceed to this “evaluation” and this dude walks my precious, terrified puppy past the adult dog play area and into a gated area where Tekno can still see large breed adults and Tekno’s face is just like “fuuuudge this!” He sticks close to the bearded guy for safety and takes it in. Tekno is being incredibly brave this whole time and immediately puts his trust in a new human without a second thought. The watchers proceed to add one dog at a time to the gated area, Tekno is still scared (of the large dogs he can see, not the small dogs with him) but greets nicely and allows every dog to sniff him without so much as a peep or snap to tell them to stop sniffing his face rudely. So this continues and then they add one those stumpy miniature poodles that proceeds to b-line towards him quickly and so naturally he runs, the dog chases him, he goes to the bearded man and barks at the dog to back off. The bearded man quickly picks him up even though Tekno was communicating very well with the pushy dog by saying “Im uncomfortable, please give me space”. The man brings Tekno back to me after this 10 minute “evaluation” and says that Tek isn’t aggressive at all but that he needs to be more confident before he can be accepted at the place for daycare and it’s like hello, that’s why Im here-so that he’ll be more confident. I kind of just give an okay and walk out. Not the place for us. It seems like they just wanted dogs to sit in the room, not talk, not move, and any sign of doggy communication was considered aggressive. I know for a fact that Tekno is all bark. In his puppy kindergarten when the big dogs play too hard with him, he makes a ton of noise with absolutely no teeth. Im very proud of the way he lets others know when and how he wants to be played with and if a daycare doesn’t understand that it’s perfectly normal than they can shove it 😡 ugh so annoyed from that experience. I found him a new place with R+ trainers and age curated play groups, hoping they allow play and communication and don’t freak out at the slightest twitch o.o
 

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That sounds awful. I'm glad you found a place that you feel you can trust. It is so hard to put your baby under somebody else's watch. Most dogs will react hesitantly when they are mobbed by new dogs especially in unfamiliar territory.
 

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I'm glad you, and even they, recognized this place was a horrible fit for your needs.

When Pogo was a baby I checked out a daycare near me. One of the helpers was shuffling along, bored, casually knocking a small dog between her feet as though she was dribbling a soccer ball. The dog didn't seem distressed, but jeepers. Why would I want someone teaching my dog to play by running between my feet?
 

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Actually that guy did you a favor. He realized that the setup is not right for your dog. I think thats a good thing. Also you didn't feel comfortable with the set up and it really doesn't sound like the best anyway. I'd take it as a win.
 

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Puppy socialization can be so difficult in normal times - COVID makes it even harder. We had to walk away from an AKC puppy class (after paying) when it was evident that the instructor wasn't really into socializing the dogs.

We ended up with a great trainer at Petco of all places.

You're right to be the judge of what's right for your dog.
 

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Yuck big time. I am glad you got out of the first place unscathed and that you found someplace that sounds better.

Dianaleez The chain stores can be very variable in quality but if you find the right one it can be as good as any other place. We took Lily and Peeves to puppy K and their next level class at a Petsmart where the instructor was the local area's head trainer of trainers. She was marvelous.
 
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