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Old 01-21-2013, 12:54 PM
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AdrianneIsabel AdrianneIsabel is offline
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Default Your ideal daycare and dayschool programs

As many know I ran a program with both daycare (playdays) and bootcamp (dayschool) in Las Vegas. It was successful, effective, and fun, but not without its imperfections.

Now, since moving to Oregon I was hired as a day trainer with the goal of cleaning it up and starting a day school program.

This is a great opportunity and something I love to do but I've been putting it off until after we were stabilized in our house. We're still sleeping in the livingroom and barely a dollar from broke but we're close enough that its time to start planning.

I would love any opinions you guys have in helping me not only replicate the previous program but make it even better.

As a recap in Vegas we took dogs in anytime between 7a-6p on weekdays, dogs would rotate in xpens while we trained except for selected and appropriate group play. We had three treadmills, fitpaws equipment, and could work on anything from basic manners to agility and behavioral work. We offered half days and full (4hours was the break) as well as packages for better rates if paid up front. We sent each dog home with a report card that stated what they did, how they did, and what we proposed for the future.

Here we take dogs front 7a-9a and then pickup can be from 2p-6p. Half day is 9-2 and we offer rate packages as well. We crate dogs upon arrival and then we walk them one or two at a time to work on leash and door manners, we walk at 9, 1, and 4, the rest of the day is currently free play with moderate manners reminders (barking, impulse control, learning to back off when asked, group sits and downs, redirection, etc).

Ideally the owner of the business would like to keep the day training (daycare with basics) as is. She has a strong client base and aside from improving it by returning to its mission statement (the trainer I took over for loved the dogs but encouraged overstimulation and a general lack of control) she's happy with it.

Alternatively she would like me to get the dayschool program up and running as we have had a lot of interest and also feel it will reach those not suitable for so much group play throughout the day.

So... After reading where we are at what is your input? Things you've seen work? Things you've seen not work? Things you haven't seen but would like to?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 01-21-2013, 12:57 PM
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CharlieDog CharlieDog is offline
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I have a whole post about this but it's at home and I'm on my phone and not lol. I'll definitely post when I get home though.
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Old 01-21-2013, 01:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlieDog View Post
I have a whole post about this but it's at home and I'm on my phone and not lol. I'll definitely post when I get home though.
Thank you!

I should add, the goal for day training was and is to send the dogs home tired and with a bit of practice on the basics. The goal of bootcamp/day school is/will be to send the dog home tired and having worked on and hopefully having made progress in whatever custom program the owner has requested.

Some of the odd goals I have worked with are training dogs how to play appropriately, working on some fear/obsession sensitivities, and weight loss programs but the majority of my clients were and probably will continue to be pet owners needing the edge taken off on exercise and or training.

Also, we got a ton of reactive dogs in Vegas that needed work on impulse control and their owners needed training on management after seeing that yes, in fact, it is possible. I'm not positive we'll have the same number of reactive dogs here but it is something I would like to offer help for should the clientele exist.
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Old 01-21-2013, 01:46 PM
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This may be a dumb question but I've never had a dog in daycare nor do I know much about it.

I think all the training sessions/bootcamps you were suggesting sound great, but I'm wondering if the owner can factor into this at all. I, as an owner, would want to know how the dog was being trained and have optional classes where I'm present and can get training alongside my dog. I know not everyone can do that, but I would love to come in once a week or so and learn what my dog is learning. I love group classes!

Is that sort of thing/option included in your daycare packages?
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Old 01-21-2013, 01:58 PM
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The idea for this type of program is for those both unable or uninterested to do group classes and those who're honestly intimidated by them. Several clients in Vegas were received after finding group classes over stimulated their dogs and they needed to be desensitized to the building, other people, and the idea of training alongside other dogs before they could function enough to learn.

A great bonus has always been the fact seeing us work their dogs gives an owner the confidence to stop saying "my dog could never do that" or "I am sure he could but I have no idea how to get there". It gave many owners the confidence that was needed to break the fear cycle in which an owner expects their dog to react as they have done so many times previously so they tense up and thus a dog reacts.

We always encourage continuing with homework and group classes. Many have said having the edge taken off truly helps the owner relax and learn in classes as well.
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Chili Brigades Brover 5/23/14 -

Arnold CGC TDI FD 6/29/04 - 07/05/13
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Old 01-21-2013, 04:26 PM
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I've only had Gwen in 'daycare' once when we went on vacation. She was there for 10 days. I don't think she was neglected or that the place was bad, but my biggest complaint would have to be...

They didn't tell me anything. She did 'fine'. This might seem obvious but if I'm taking my dog somewhere, I WANT to know what happened. Was she bad? Were there ANY issues? I'm not going to yell and say my dog is perfect. But if she has issues, I need to know about them. I'm assuming you keep your clients up-to-date on what's going on, but just thought I'd mention it. It's important.

I'm sure I'll think of some other obvious ideas later.


It sounds like a really good program so far. It's awesome that you care what people want in a day care and are going beyond "Well your dog will get some play time". Good luck with everything!
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Old 01-21-2013, 05:07 PM
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Okay, well I'm on the verge of a headache/migraine again, and can't find the stuff I had written up, but basically, when/if I ever have that type of job again, or just get fed up and open my own, what I'd like to do is offer a sort of click a trick type deal, or teach a trick, ect, obviously I'd most likely be clicker training/luring for these but offering to teach your dog simple things while they're there for daycare/daycamp training.

Like, things the owner can't/won't/has no idea how to teach and really just basic behaviors, like touch (nose touch. After Oz, I'm never teaching a paw touch first again) roll over, pivot on a book/into heel, back up, watch me, ect. Just things that are really simple to lay the foundation work for, things that engage the mind and are relatively simple for the dogs to grasp, and then once the dog has those down/the client is pleased, offer a different package for building on that sort of thing. Teaching leg weaves, crawl, ect

Basically, offering a stupid pet tricks class, but things that the client wants their dog to do, and would be delighted to show off once the dog has learned them. Ideally, they'd pay for a class where they themselves would come in and also learn how to handle the dog and get the dog to work with them as well.

Other things I've thought would be cool to teach to client dogs in a limited one on one environment and based on the dog would be sit pretty, blowing bubbles in a water bowl, the hot dog retrieve (honest do Dog, I think any client would be absolutely BLOWN away if their dog did that) maybe basics for canine freestyle stuff like the backwards leg weave, hopping forwards and backwards depending on the dogs body type, ect.


Um, I'm SURE I'm forgetting quite a lot, but I can't remember anymore. Let me know what you think! I've been thinking for a very long time about opening my own center eventually, and these are things I've thought about lol
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Old 01-21-2013, 05:12 PM
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AdrianneIsabel AdrianneIsabel is offline
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We definitely did tricks, our owners loved it and you're on the right track. Thanks for the tip, it's a reminder of what to offer to the owners.

I had a lot of dogs learning to set back up a ramp/wall plus two mastering the handstand. I also had several pushing and one riding the skateboard. It's funny how many owners are like, thanks for the essential leash skills but OMG SKATBOARDING!? I HAVE TO SHOW EVERYONE! lol

Come work with me, we're on the same page.
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Chili Brigades Brover 5/23/14 -

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Old 01-21-2013, 05:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdrianneIsabel View Post
We definitely did tricks, our owners loved it and you're on the right track. Thanks for the tip, it's a reminder of what to offer to the owners.

I had a lot of dogs learning to set back up a ramp/wall plus two mastering the handstand. I also had several pushing and one riding the skateboard. It's funny how many owners are like, thanks for the essential leash skills but OMG SKATBOARDING!? I HAVE TO SHOW EVERYONE! lol

Come work with me, we're on the same page.
Haha, awesome, I didn't even think about skateboarding, but wasn't sure if handstands 2o/2o type stuff would be too complex or more of a niche type deal than the other stuff. I'd love to come work with you lol, get me a job

Enzo two most requested tricks are the jump into my arms (not easy with a 48lb Labrador, but sure to wow a crowd) and touch. Touch is seriously everyone's favorite trick in the world. "OMG you mean she'll follow my hand around and touch it wherever I put it!? What about if I hold it reallllly high up?" And at this point they have, and have already told her touch and she's about 3/4ths of the way into her leap to touch their hand. The delight on their faces is ridiculous.

Never mind that she can do a Rally serpentine weave off leash perfectly, walk through a crowded trial without batting an eye or pulling on the leash, but the fact that she'll touch when asked is MIND BLOWING.

I laugh at that simple thing every day.

I'm not sure what the client base there is and what the most prevalent breed of dog is there, but things like treiball (sp?) herding type stuff would be a lot of fun, even if the dog isn't a herding breed, even Enzo will chase those huge balls around and nose bop them. I know the more complex things like agility handling really require more commitment on owners part, but perhaps teaching some of the obstacles would be a hit. I know if I was paying for a doggie daycare and they offered a class to teach just weaves, or a jumpers course, I'd be all over that.
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Old 01-21-2013, 05:31 PM
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AdrianneIsabel AdrianneIsabel is offline
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We did a ton of foundation and "for fun" agility, we marketed it as working the mind and body as well as offering a step in the right direction should they choose to pursue the sport. I would like to offer this again as well.

Oregon is fun, do it. :P
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Sloan von Krigbaum IPO1 CGC BH CD NA NJ PD MJ-N RATI RATN 3/7/10 -
Shamoo NJ-N RATI RATN 3/1/98 -
Phelan du Loups du Soleil CGC RATI 6/15/13 -
Chili Brigades Brover 5/23/14 -

Arnold CGC TDI FD 6/29/04 - 07/05/13
Backup CGC HIC CD SRD SJ-N RATI 12/29/09 - 07/05/13

You were amazing, we did amazing things.


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