Frequently Asked Questions:
Placement in the groups is determined by our lead guardians, or by a manager. Occasionally, there will be a dog that will appear slightly taller or wider than the average small dog, but whose temperament or advanced age makes him a better candidate for the small group. Also, larger breed puppies may be included in the small group until they have developed adequate social skills to run with the big dogs.
If his size group is playing he might be outside, or in a time out if he’s been cranky. Time outs do not last very long, however. There are also small areas in out playrooms that the camera cannot see.
My dog is boarding and disappears for awhile mid-morning and then again mid-afternoon. I assume he’s having his meal, but I know how fast he eats at home! Why is he in his kennel for much longer than it takes him to eat?
Energetic play right after eating may be factor in causing a condition called bloat. This condition is also known as gastric torsion, and there are many theories about what causes it. Bloat is most often seen in deep chested, large breeds, but can occur with less frequency, in any breed. Bloat involves a “twisting” of the stomach which does not allow food to come in or out, and causes a buildup of gas (thus the term “bloat”). Fortunately, bloat is rare and play is a very important part of a dog’s life! However, resting after meals may help prevent this condition. It also helps those who get so excited to be back in the group after eating, that they promptly return the meal to us!
Every once in a while the dogs are removed from the playfloor and the lights are dimmed. What’s up with that?
This does not happen very often, but here’s what it’s about. If we have a “disagreement” between a couple of the players it is felt throughout the group, just like a crowd altercation is felt in a group of humans. If this occurs, we put everyone in a daycare kennel, dim the lights and turn on the softest music we have (they love the “Doggy Lullabies!”) This calms everyone down and gives them a chance to think about playing nicely:) This is especially important to the more “sensitive” players, and usually lasts only about 10 minutes. (Note – since the introduction of our new rest/activity schedule, we have not had any type of incident where the group time out was necessary. This type of time out is becoming a thing of the past!)
It sometimes appears that the guardians are ignoring the dogs that may come up to be petted – shouldn’t they be giving the dogs some affection?
Our guardians are discouraged from a lot of interaction with the dogs in the form of affection petting or particularly, lifting them off the ground. First of all most dogs are around people all day, and daycare is the place for dogs to meet dogs. Secondly, showing a lot of attention to one dog can create jealousy, which in a group of enthusiastic dogs can cause tension. The guardians are basically observing the groups rather than interacting with them. Picking up dogs (this is hard to resist in the small dog groups:) elevates the status of that particular dog, which may not sit well with the others. Those with more than one dog have probably seen the competitive nature dogs have for attention in their own homes. Now, think of how many dogs we are dealing with in the group!
Lucky Dog has a program of organized dog activities in our dog groups. These activities were designed by our trainers to provide stimulation, exercise and learning without causing conflict. A few of these activities are bubble chase, tennis (using plenty of tennis balls for everyone), basic obedience skills and follow the leader.
We have tough professional strength Kongs that we use in the groups for play. If for some reason we have a dog that is defensive about the toys, or is trying to hog all the toys for himself, we take them out of the group to avoid trouble. We also engage the dogs in structured activities (bubbles, frisbee, ball toss,follow the leader, etc.).These activities keep the dog’s minds working along with their bodies. Our huge playfloors allow plenty of room for these activities, and every dog has equal opportunity to participate.
We have a unique dog daycare program schedule, advised by canine experts, and developed by our trainers. This schedule offers the dogs a more natural activity cycle than the constant play schedules you see at other facilities. Click Here For More Info.
Lucky Dog’s outside areas are concrete and pavement. Why not have a grassy area for the dogs to play on?
This is a good question, but one that has an easy answer. Sanitation and maintenance. You may notice that with even one dog your back yard it can look pretty rough. Dogs and dog urine are very hard on grass. Even if we put grass in, it would soon die, and we would be left with a dust bowl – not good for dogs or our guardians. Also, you cannot sanitize dirt. Certain canine viruses can live in areas with a dirt base for up to 10 years! Our cement and concrete can be power washed, sanitized, deodorized, and is basically the safest most hygienic surface you can use under paw. Some dog owners think their dogs won’t potty unless they have grass. I assure you, this is not the case. Sometimes dogs on leashes get into a habit of preferring grass when you are walking them, or in their back yards. However, once a dog catches the scent of other dog’s eliminations, and they know this is the spot – believe us….they go!
Collars and tags are worn on all dogs visiting Lucky Dog, while other facilities do not allow them. Why is that?
Although we have never had a dog escape from either Lucky Dog location, I personally feel it is irresponsible to remove all identification from individual dogs. While it is true that there is a remote possibility of dogs collars can get hooked together, this is not a common occurrence. Also, collars help our guardians separate and control dogs when necessary, and tags help new employees learn the dog’s names faster!
I notice that sometimes the dogs will relieve themselves on the playfloor rather than outside. Will playing at Lucky Dog negatively affect my dog’s housebreaking?
The answer to this question is, no and here is the reason. Dogs don’t think of “home” or your “house” as a series of walls and a ceiling. Dogs instinctively do not like to soil their own dens. Home to a dog is the place where he interacts with other pack members, namely your family. There are strong “family smells” in your home. So, dogs “smell” home – the concept of a certain internal space being home is not clear to them. There are no family smells at Lucky Dog, and the dogs do not get the impression “not to go” the way they do in their homes. We always encourage the dogs to potty outside for increased indoor sanitation, but the occasional variation on this routine will not affect housebreaking.