Starting your FREE FIRST DAY!
First days are scheduled in 30 minute increments, Monday through Friday, beginning at 7am and ending at 9am. Only 3 new dogs are permitted per day. We cannot accommodate first day appointments on weekends or past 9am.
Please be on time for your first day and do not be excessively early or late, as we schedule these very carefully and you may inconvenience other dogs and people if you come in at the incorrect time. Please do not put another dog’s evaluation at risk by not being punctual.
If you need to reschedule, there is no cancellation fee.
*In order to properly evaluate your dog and to give them a chance to settle in comfortably, we require that your dog stay with us for at least 5 hours on their first day, but they are welcome to stay longer.
PART 1: TEMPERAMENT TEsT
Your dog will first be introduced to our resident working dog, an 8 year old Siberian Husky. He is a very experienced temperament tester to dogs of all sizes and ages. Gentle, inquisitive, and sensitive and respectful of social cues or fearfulness from other dogs.
Many dogs will immediately be friendly, playful, or neutral with Sirius. However, he’s most useful for sussing out possible aggression and evaluating levels of stress or fear. For those dogs who may be defensive or fearful, we want to see that they can control themselves in a stimulating situation: air snaps, growling, teeth baring, etc, show us that they know how to communicate their boundaries to other dogs without actually harming them. We can work with that to improve comfort levels and social skills. Sirius also screens potentially aggressive dogs to prevent them from coming into contact with client dogs. Poor Sirius!;)
If Sirius is not available, another suitable and skilled tester dog will be on duty.
PART 2: BEHAVIOR EVALUATION
MEETING THEIR PLAY GROUP
Next, your dog will be introduced to their matched play group slowly, at their speed. It helps if owners leave as soon as possible during this time. It’s too much pressure and very distracting and stressful for many dogs when they are expected to acclimate to a completely new environment while they know their parents are right outside.
We monitor new dogs to ensure that they interact with their environment, which can be anything from running to explore and sniff, or a dog who observes intently from a “safe” area. A dog who completely shuts down is too stressed to be able to learn to enjoy daycare. Dogs must also display self-control and good responsiveness with signals from other dogs and human handlers even when at the peak of their excitement and play.