Here is the Wags & Wiggles Guide to the positive reinforcement tools we use in our dog daycare play areas.
Most dogs need help adjusting to a new environment like dog daycare. The lack of socialization for dogs in the last year is becoming evident as people are starting to go back to work and need to find a place where their dogs can be happy. Wags & Wiggles uses various positive reinforcement tools in our dog daycare to help dogs adjust to becoming social.
To manage the dog's stress while they learn to be social, Wags & Wiggles uses various positive reinforcement tools.
Waggers are very passionate about their dogs and watch our popular webcams. We will often hear, "What is my dog wearing"?
- Thundershirt: These vests are vet-recommended and have an over 80% success rate! They give the impression of a light swaddle as you would do for a baby. It creates a soothing sensation and relaxes the dog. There is no restriction, and dogs can play with them while wearing the shirt.
- Quick Trains: Dog daycare at Wags & Wiggles is unique. While some daycares throw things (cans with pennies) at dogs to control them, we use treats. Every staff members wear a Wags & Wiggles bait pouch and rewards cues like Come, Stay and Leave It.
- Peaceful Pups: Some stress or behavior problems in daycare arise from overstimulation. Dog's don't need to play for 12 hours straight without a break. Naptime is an important activity at Wags & Wiggles. It can be requested by the owner or implemented by the staff. Naps are usually 1 hr long. Some dogs need multiple naps a day.
- Adaptil: Adaptil is a spray that we use on dog's collars, bandanas, and bedding. It sends “comforting messages” to help puppies and dogs feel calm and relaxed in stressful situations.
- Calming Ovals: This type of leash walking technique can turn an excitable dog into calm, attentive dogs. The staff member walks the dog in an oval pattern very slowly until the dog stopped pulling and matches the human's pace.
There are more positive reinforcement tools we use in our dog daycare.
- Lavender Spray: some days the play areas are just more hyped up than others based on the mix of dogs. Lavender spray distributed with a spray bottle throughout the play area has an instant calming affect on dogs.
- Go To Your Mat: the beds in our daycare aren't just for lounging. We train the dogs to lay down on mats or sheets when they are getting too rambunctious. Some dogs have "all go" and "no stop". Teaching them to lay in groups on mats helps them learn they can be calm around each other.
- High Ratio of Staff to Dogs: do all these tools sound like a lot of work? They certainly are! That is why Wags & Wiggles has the highest ratio of staff to dogs than any other daycare in Southern California. It takes enough hands on deck to provide these tools for all our dogs.
- Gentle leaders: this headcollar works like magic to help control a dog who bites too hard during play, gets over the top with their friends, or "herds" the dogs too much. Some dogs will have more problematic behavior in playgroups because of their breed or genetics. Herding dogs aren't bad dogs, they are bred to control other animals with their mouths. The gentle leader provides feedback in the form of pressure points to help control these behaviors. We have time limits for using these headcollars in daycare however dogs can still play ball, chew on toys, and play with their friends wearing a gentle leader.
Dog Daycare can be a wonderful experience with the right facility that has a deep understanding of how to change behavior. We would love to meet your dog and see if dog daycare can enrich their lives. Schedule your Meet and Greet!