Garfunkel/Garfy/Garth took a big step in his socialization today – he went to doggie daycare!
While Garfy has always been a little nervous around people, especially men, he LOVES other dogs and has the prefect temperament to enjoy romping around with with a bunch of rowdy dogs all day. He is a younger guy and a big goofball and very tolerant – he doesn’t take anything personally and goes with the flow.
After a really great visit with my sister and her boyfriend this weekend where he accepted them into the house almost immediately and cuddled with them on the couch while they were here, I decided he was ready to give daycare a try.
Of course, while he loves dogs, there are dog handlers at daycare as well (an important part of any daycare!) so he would have to learn to accept a few people while playing with new doggie friends. Lucky for him he tends to be better in a neutral area than when people come into the house so with understanding staff who were briefed on his issues and a plan in place, he went to his first day of daycare.
I will be off to pick him up soon, but I have chatted with the staff and watched him on their live cameras and by all accounts he is doing very well! He was a bit nervous at first but walked up to the female dog handler I had him meet initially without much hesitation and immediately warmed up to the presence of other dogs. He has spent most of his time in the small dog area where he can’t get body slammed and knocked over but sometimes he does like a good chase and wrestle so I’m sure he will move onto the big dogs as he gets more comfortable.
This is a great step for him and I’m happy he is doing so well. Of course, even if he hadn’t, it wouldn’t be the end of the world… not all dogs are cut out for daycare. But for a dog that needs new experiences and to gain confidence, a well run daycare can be a wonderful step.
P.S. You may want to check out my shelter’s Facebook feed tonight… I will be on site as our cruelty investigators and rescue drivers spend the (very cold!) night in a doghouse to bring awareness to the outdoor dogs that have frozen to death and struggle through the night. Learn more here.