Daycare for Different Ages
Julie Jacobus
Assistant Dog Daycare Manager

Daycare is one of the best options for anyone who works, goes to school, or just wants to help their dog socialize, as well as keeping their mind and body fit. But how do your dog's stages of life mesh with an open play environment?

Between the ages of 7 to 17 weeks, puppies are in a critical socialization period. At this stage, they need to be introduced to as many people, dogs, objects, and environments as possible, in a positive way, to help avoid fear or apprehension issues in the future. Daycare can be a great, controlled environment for learning these important social skills, under the supervision of professionals. Puppies continue to learn socially acceptable behaviors from their peers, as well as older, more seasoned players.

The next stage is the juvenile stage, where puppies are learning their places in your family, and the world at large. They are little sponges, soaking up everything, so pleasant experiences are highly important.

When your puppy is between six to eight months, they begin adolescence- even if they are neutered. Much like teenagers, they test boundaries, and start showing even more independence. It's critical to have proper supervision of play at this stage, as bad habits such as bullying or mounting can be dissuaded, and better forms of interaction instilled.

After a year and a half to two years, your puppy is a full-fledged adult. Continued socialization and reinforcement training is important; these traits are like a muscle, they need to use it or lose it.

As your dog sails through adulthood, the senior years are ahead. While it is normal to see a decline in play, daycare can be an excellent way to keep your older dog active physically and mentally.

Open play is a great resource to help your dog from puppyhood to their golden years!