𝗔𝗿𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿𝗲 𝗼𝗳𝗳 𝗹𝗶𝗺𝗶𝘁 𝗽𝗹𝗮𝗰𝗲𝘀 𝗮𝘁 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗰𝘂𝗿𝗿𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝗱𝗮𝘆𝗰𝗮𝗿𝗲? 𝗛𝗮𝘃𝗲 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗯𝗲𝗲𝗻 𝗿𝗲𝘀𝘁𝗿𝗶𝗰𝘁𝗲𝗱 𝘁𝗼 𝘃𝗶𝗲𝘄𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗮𝗹𝗹 𝗮𝗿𝗲𝗮𝘀? 𝗪𝗲 𝗮𝗹𝘄𝗮𝘆𝘀 𝗮𝗹𝗹𝗼𝘄 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝘁𝗼 𝘀𝗲𝗲 𝗮𝗹𝗹 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗽𝗹𝗮𝗰𝗲𝘀 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗱𝗼𝗴 𝘄𝗶𝗹𝗹 𝗯𝗲, 𝗿𝗲𝗮𝗱 𝗼𝗻 𝘁𝗼 𝗳𝗶𝗻𝗱 𝗼𝘂𝘁 𝘄𝗵𝘆
No Viewing “For the Dogs’ Safety”?
– Nancy Kerns
As you visit facilities and interview managers and staff, observe the dogs that are present in the daycare centers. They should appear happy, not stressed. Staff should also appear happy, not stressed, and be interacting with the dogs. The environment should be calm and controlled, not chaotic, and your take-away impression should be one of professional competence as well as genuine caring for dogs. Trust your instincts. If anything doesn’t seem right, don’t leave your dog there. If staff says you cannot observe the dogs, we suggest walking away.
Many businesses are high-volume facilities, with more than 100 dogs “enrolled” in daycare on any given day.
The usual explanation for a “no-viewing” policy is that the sight of visitors can cause the dogs to get excited. It’s true that at the daycare facilities where a visitor can view the dogs at play, there are always at least a few dogs who do react to the appearance of a stranger (or their owners). On the other hand, at the facilities with (what seemed to me to be) an adequate staff-dog ratio and/or dogs separated into small groups of 10 or fewer, this didn’t seem like much of a problem. A dog or two barked; a handler spoke to them or redirected their attention; and that was that.
I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the “no visitors” or “limited access” facilities are also the highest-volume businesses I saw. By standing on my tip-toes on the stoop of the business that allowed no pre-arranged visitors, I could see over a fence for a limited view of one play yard; it contained at least 40 dogs. I could see two handlers in the area with the dogs at that time, but it’s possible there were more handlers present in areas I couldn’t see.
In my opinion, having this many dogs in a relatively small space is potentially dangerous, and puts the dogs (and employees) at risk. That doesn’t mean that it can’t be done; I worry that it can’t be done without incident — or without the regular use of aversive training methods to keep any misbehavior from cropping up, (Which could be, I worry, the real reason why some daycare providers never permit viewing or unscheduled owner visits.)
[Copied from Whole Dog Journal and absorbed as K9 Lane philosophy]