Category Archives: Blog
How long have you worked here?
Why did you choose to work here?
Getting a job here was actually a happy accident. I had been working as a kennel attendant at another facility and noticed that there was very little structure when it came to behaviors, training, leash handling, etc. My dogs went to daycare here already and one of them did training a few years back so I reached out to Laurie in hopes to learn some more training skills and she offered me a job!
What did you expect it to be like?
I expected to gain a ton of knowledge about dog behavior and interaction and I have done just that! I’m much more confident handling dogs of all temperaments, even my own!
What has surprised you the most?
I was surprised with how much I thought I knew and how much I really didn’t. I didn’t think socialization was as vital as it really is. But I’m pretty sure I learn something new that surprises me every day.
What do you like best about your job? I love it all but I look forward to seeing dogs’ progress here. Dogs that come for training and leave with confident owners. Even dogs that come for daycare who start off nervous, not knowing how to play and now get dropped off so happy to be here 🙂
What do you like least? It’s really hard to see a dog that does so well here, go home and regress. Knowing what I know now, owning a dog takes consistent work and effort!
How long have you worked here? Going on 4 yrs here. Monday – Friday I’m on the floor supervising the dogs at Doggie Fun & Fitness. On Saturdays I assist w/ training classes. I also help on the road with the Quiet Dog Daycare workshop.
Why did you choose to work here? Typical answer- simply love animals.
What did you expect it to be like? Can’t say i had any clear expectations of what the work would be like, came from a CNA job, thought i was just transferring caring for humans to caring for canines.
What has surprised you the most? Puppies are hard!! And do not stop moving!! And do not stop piddling!! It is a lot more physical job than most people would guess.
What do you like best about your job? Best thing is seeing the shy/nervous dogs come out of their shells and live without stressing.
What do you like least? Worst thing is once in a great while seeing those dogs that can’t just be comfortable around their own kind. It is definitely a rare occurrence, but heart breaks for them.
I haven’t been able to practice this for a few days… I got further than before, however I didn’t have all my tools (prong & ecollar) with me. If I had I could have gotten further today. It was the first time he was out of the crate not eating looking at the cat, laying down, so that is good progress. His face wasn’t relaxed though.
That’s our next milestone to be achieved.
Annyong is learning to stay close to me, and not trip up my daughter riding her bike. By keeping the distance short I’m now working on getting his attention with a distraction-his kid! He’s doing amazing! Low level e-collar (8/100) is usually not even felt by people. I can’t feel until an 8 & some people can’t feel until a 12. And when you do feel it, it feels like a tickle “I think I felt something”. Hardly shocking. Yes, they go up high, but I don’t use them that way.
You can & should have a dog to be proud of.
Would you like to have a Dream Dog?
So as you can see I’m not rushing anything. As a matter of fact I hadn’t thought of introducing them until I noticed Monday my cat wasn’t hiding any more. That indicated to me the dog wasn’t sending off a dangerous vibe anymore. So each day this week I’ve been feeding them closer & closer, challenging Annyong’s impulse control & focus. I want him to choose to make good decisions, not tell him all the time what he should be doing “come sit down stay” blah blah blah. (video below)
Could I have moved this along faster? Did I have to wait a month, 5 weeks to be exact? Sure I could have brought him to the cat or the cat to him. What would have happened? Dog would have lit up (like he did on day 1) & cat would have ran. Dog would have gotten harsh physical correction to override his strength & intensity on the cat. (This dog was almost impossible to handle when I was just training him under his previous owner). So I would have been forced to be heavy handed with him had I rushed things ahead of their timetable. Cat would have hid longer. Both animals would lose trust in me.
So by going at their pace I’m able to achieve more. Better results with softer handling. They are speaking to us all the time. Are you listening?
How long have you worked here? 5 awesome years TODAY
Why did you choose to work here? An ex coworker from my old grooming shop where I started my trade was an employee at the time.
What did you expect it to be like? I was originally hired as a groomer and had a good idea of what to expect in that aspect, but as for the daycare and training? I had no idea.
What do you like best about your job? Seeing the positive impact we have in dogs and people’s lives alike.
What do you like least? Stepping in poop.. most of the time I laugh about it.
Should I crate train my puppy? by Michelle Gillis of Doggie Fun & Fitness
I hear this all the time…
“I feel bad leaving him in there”
“It’s so mean!”
“I wouldn’t want to be in a cage”
“I want him to sleep in bed with me”
There are so many good reasons to crate train your puppy. Before I start listing reasons, try to shift to your dog’s perspective.
Human Perspective: a crate seems like a jail cell meaning punishment
Canine Perspective: a crate is a safe place to sleep
Crates are a safe place for a dog to hang without being bothered. For families with young kids, it’s necessary. Who wants to take a nap with an unpredictable toddler on the loose?
These are the reasons to crate train…
Housebreaking problems usually start as a few accidents. This can turn into a habit that can last through adulthood. If those accidents were not cleaned up properly, we are now blurring the inside/outside the house line. We have to teach a puppy that the smell of urine belongs outside. This is where the crate comes in…
Puppies like to pee/poop away from where they hang. The crate is a small version of your house. Your teaching him “you don’t poop where you hang”. When he gets older, he will see the house as his crate and never have an accident.
I recommend Natures Miracle for clean up
Puppies are curious which can lead to mischief.
- Chewing through live wires
- Chewing and choking on objects
- Eating/swallowing dangerous objects (corn on the cob swallowed whole.. $5000 vet bill)
- Eating/chewing poisonous items (ant traps, odor eaters, anti-freeze)
Crating for small amounts of time at a young age teaches your pup to tolerate being alone. If your pup is constantly with someone, they will panic when left alone.
Anyone who has a dog with separation anxiety will tell you how awful it is.
Your life will revolve around managing it and it takes a lot of work and help from others to fix.
Signs of separation anxiety
- Dog will follow you room to room
- Whining/barking when out of view (excessively)
- Watches you constantly
When left alone…
- Scratched trim in doorways, damage to windows
- Puddles of drool
- Frantic panting, wild wide eyes, pupils dilated
- Persistent barking until hoarse
NOT signs of separation anxiety
- Chewing furniture, shoes, toys
- Sleeping when you come home/ or excited/happy to see you
Grooming, Vacations, Emergency Vet Visits, etc.
At some point in in your dog’s life he will have to be put in a crate. Grooming, boarding, vet stays, can be stressful enough, adding crate stress can make things challenging.
“When can we stop using the crate?”
I think 1-½ years old is a reasonable goal but every dog/situation is different. Some high-energy dogs need it for much longer. I recommend using it for many years if you spend a lot of time with your dog, mostly to prevent separation anxiety.
So…. crates are good!
Lets stop applying our human perspective and start looking at things through the canine perspective. We earn our dogs respect that way
Crates should always be used in a positive way, never used for punishment. Seek a professional trainers advice before forcing a nervous/fearful dog.
How long have you worked here? I’ve been in the DFF family for about a year and four months now.
Why did you choose to work here? I happened to drop off an old classmate for their interview and decided on the spot to apply. I really lucked out on such an amazing opportunity!
What did you expect it to be like? Barking, no structure, stressed dogs being ignored and played off as “dogs being dogs”.. things I have seen at other facilities I’ve both worked at and applied to.
What has surprised you the most? How realistic and prepared we are in our approach to daycare/training/communicating. So many other facilities I have been to are filled with anyone off the street and consist of structure-less “playing with puppies” (i.e: complete chaos).
What do you like best about your job? The impact that we have, not only in the lives of our clients and their pups, but on their relationships and bonds with each other. It wakes me every day. And all the kisses 🙂
What do you like least? Believe it or not, going home is the worst. I find myself going about my day and thinking “I could be with the kids ruffing it up right now…” “I wonder what they’re up to” “I miss my job” *insert tears here*
Annyong has been with me just over a month now. I’ve been following my own protocols to the letter: Crate & leash only for at least 2 weeks- inside & out of the house. He’s been out of the crate on drop leash, proving he will listen to me if I say his name. I give commands on leash & practice his obedience. I have taken him in fenced in yard & practiced on drop leash name & recall, coming back to me with high value food reward, coupled with a low level e-collar (5 works good for him usually). He has been doing AMAZING. Except…. he still wants to eat the dreaded evil cat! (video below)
On the first day here, the cat walked near his crate, probably not even noticing him. The dog blew up & he hasn’t been in the area since. Now whenever the dog catches a glimpse of the cat, he lights up, but milder & stops almost instantly. Over the last week or so, the cat has been joining us in the living room again, on the opposite side of the crated dog. (When I have him out of the crate, I make sure the cat is behind a closed door. #1 keeps him safe, #2 keeps dog from losing focus). Remember: avoid what you can’t control, train what you can. One of the first times I had dog out of crate, showing him how to relax & chill with me, the cat wandered out & he went to an intense focus I couldn’t break him out of. I had to end the session as he was past the point of coming back to a calm enough state he could be out.
So now that the dog has settled in & is under better control & making better decisions, I see if I can get his attention when the cat is in sight. I wish I’d recorded this from the start, as the cat was only a few feet eating to begin with. Annoying showed interest, but didn’t freak out. Because he didn’t freak out, the cat didn’t run. Because the cat didn’t run, the dog didn’t freak out…you get the picture. So I pulled out the video & recorded keeping his attention while the cat was in the background. This is a first. Them being in the same area together. At one point you may notice his ears go forward & he gets a little intense, I tap his e-collar (level 15 for this, probably could have gone lower). He chills & goes back to eating.
I will continue with this now daily until I can control the dog’s attention & intensity around the cat. As I progress, I will bring him toward cat, call him away (on leash
& ecollar), add some movement on the cat so it doesn’t trigger dog past the point I can control his attention…
I haven’t seen the dog mean harm to any person or dog yet, even though he came to me after breaking out of a fenced in yard & attacking 2 dogs & going ballistic when company came (previous owner). And wanting to eat their cat. I’ve seen him slip out of my car & charge at a dog on day 3 with me & run right past the dog & lay down. Most people would have been upset it happened. I was relieved he didn’t do anything. It proved he didn’t want to harm anyone as if he wanted to, he would have. He’s a good dog. And he’s mine. And I love him. Stay tuned.
1.How long have you worked here? For about a year and a half
2. Why did you choose to work here? I chose to work here because Laurie trained my old dog about 10 years ago and my new dog had just come through the DFF training program. He was enrolled in the daycare and I thought that I would enjoy working with dogs. I started out cleaning at night and letting the boarding dogs hang out with me while I worked. Now I work in the office on the weekends, still let the boarding dogs out a couple of nights each week and cover other shifts when needed.
3. What did you expect it to be like? I expected that the dogs would just be running around playing while I cleaned. I was definitely wrong on that assumption. I found out very quickly that even while I was cleaning I still had to pay attention to what they were doing and how they were getting along with each other. I always had to be aware of the “energy” in the room.
4. What has surprised you the most? What surprised me the most was how hard it can be dealing with multiple dogs at the same time. They each have their own personality and they all don’t respond the same way to the same things. For example, some dogs will follow you anywhere if you have treats while others prefer affection and still others do better if you ignore them and let them come to you. You always have to be aware of their body language and what they are trying to tell, not only you, but the other dogs in the room.
5. What do you like best about your job? The best thing I like about my job is being able to watch dogs grow and become the best they can be. Our trainers are so great at sharing their knowledge with us so we understand exactly what is happening and why. I get to sit in on some training sessions and get to handle dogs with all different temperaments. To see a dog go from being reactive or scared to a confident and happy member of the pack is an amazing experience.
6. What do you like least? The thing I like least is when I see a dog make a total transformation and then their family doesn’t follow through with the training homework and the dog regresses back to what they were. It’s a sad thing to watch.