Behind the Scenes - Daycare Evaluations

We take great pride in our thorough evaluation process. Every dog in our daycare has been through the same fair and balanced evaluation. We ensure that each canine is not only a good fit for our playgroups, but we also maintain a safe and fun environment for all.

We begin our evaluation by meeting you in the lobby and interact with your dog to see if they are receptive to meeting new people. We observe the body language and reactions to being in a new environment and seeing other dogs on leash. As we lead your dog to the playgroup, we are watching to see if he is afraid to leave you, or is he excited to meet the new dogs?

When your dog enters the playgroup, the other dogs are crated. This gives your dog a chance to check out the area and get familiar with his surroundings. We call him to see if he is responsive to his name, and observe whether he remains by the door, trying to exit. After a few minutes, we let out a dog similar in age, size, and possible play style and observe their behavior; does your dog want to sniff and interact with the other dog? Is he ready to play, or does he need more space? If the initial greeting goes well, we'll try introducing different dogs - an older dog who may not want to play, a rambunctious puppy, or adolescent upstart. We try to add in up to eight or ten dogs and gauge whether your dog becomes fearful or is comfortable in the environment. If the dog is comfortable in the environment, then he has passed the evaluation and is invited to join one of our daycare groups.

The evaluation is only a snapshot or first impression of your dog. Often we need more than 30 minutes to get to know your dog, and your dog may need more time to get to know us, and settle into the environment. We may observe behaviors during the eval that we may want to continue to observe over time with each subsequent visit. The evaluator will share with you their observations from the evaluation and make recommendations on how often or how long you should begin enrolling your dog in daycare. Our goal is to be transparent regarding your dog's behavior in our group setting and if daycare is not the right fit for your dog, we may make alternative arrangements (ie dog walking) or we may suggest training classes or private consultations that may benefit your dog.