Behavioral Considerations at Dog Boarding Facilities

Behavioral Considerations at Dog Boarding Facilities

A common concern for dog owners interested in boarding their furry friend is the safety of their dog while at the facility. Because there are many dogs together in one place, it can be worrisome to think about a possible injury inflicted by another dog. It’s important to know how the facility monitors the dogs in their care and if they know how to handle behavioral issues.

Boarding facilities will often offer a free temperament test before allowing a dog to stay daily or for a vacation, and this is for the safety of all the dogs as well as the staff. Of course, there will be the occasional scuffle, but be sure to ask the facility how they handle these scuffles and other behavioral issues that show up at their door. Safe play can quickly turn into a problem if you’re not aware of the warning signs. Staff at boarding facilities must be trained on what is appropriate and what is problematic.

Training Needs

Formal staff training is necessary for safe dog boarding. This includes understanding the body language of dogs, leadership skills and taking control of various situations, group and play management, and how to appropriately step in should a problem arise. Staff members should be consistent in their management and practice proactive measures more than reactive. Common issues to watch for include:

  • Mouthing or biting
  • Barking
  • Jumping
  • Rough play or aggressiveness
  • Humping (other dogs or humans)
  • Eating feces (own or others)
  • Highly anxious or reactive

Dogs come with all sorts of personalities and behaviors, just like us! Most of us miss the cues when a dog goes from playful to unsafe. But a quality boarding facility should have trained their staff to monitor these subtleties and know when to step in and stop the behavior before there’s a problem. Some dogs may have impulse control, others may feel too stressed out to be in an enclosed area with a lot of other dogs. These traits don’t mean the dog is a “good” dog or a “bad” dog, it just means they need to be appropriately addressed in doggy daycare.

Never Be Afraid to Ask Questions

Be sure to ask your potential boarding facility how they manage harmful pet behavior. You’ll also want to ask if they separate large and small breeds and how they manage giving treats, food, and other resources. If your dog is staying overnight, find out if they share a space with other dogs all night or if they get their own kennel/room (and if you can request a specific space for your dog). Ask about temperament tests and what they look for in those tests. And, if your dog fails that test, don’t get upset. It’s for the safety of your dog as much as it is for the others. You don’t want your dog to spend days in a situation that is harmful for them. On the Spot Play and Stay is a safe place for your furry friend, and our trained staff welcomes all questions regarding their care.