How do your temperament evaluations work?

We schedule temperament evaluations Monday through Friday at 8 a.m. or 9 a.m. When you first arrive, we'll chat with you about your dog and spend a few minutes getting to know them. We'll then introduce them to one or two dogs to start. Assuming that all goes well, we'll take your dog into the playgroup that seems most appropriate and slowly introduce them to the pack.  

You can expect to be here for about 30 minutes, but your dog is required to stay for the entire day to give them time to settle in. Pick up time is between 2:30 and 7 p.m., but we recommend waiting until at least 4 p.m. so we can see how your dog handles going-home time. 

WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR DURING A TEMPERAMENT EVALUATION?

Cage-free daycare is a great way to socialize and exercise your dog, but it’s not the right fit for every dog. Our top priority is the safety and happiness of the dogs in our care, and our temperament evaluations are designed to assess how your dog fits in with the pack.

Some of the things we look for include:

  • Signs of aggression: Because of the way our daycare is set up, we aren’t able to accommodate dogs who don’t get along with other dogs. We also look for resistance to or aggression toward human interaction to ensure we can safely handle your dog.

  • Anxiety level: Some first-day jitters are normal, but a dog with extreme separation anxiety may hurt themselves trying to escape, make themselves ill with stress, or snap at a dog or human out of fear.

  • How your dog reacts to being handled: In order to keep the energy of the group at a safe level, we need to be able to verbally and physically direct the dogs in our care.

  • Your dog’s body language: Are they overly submissive or dominant? Do they give clear cues to other dogs? Do they guard resources like water bowls, humans, or space?

  • How your dog reads other dogs’ body language: Dogs have their own intricate language, but some dogs have trouble reading cues, which can get them into trouble.

  • Your dog’s play style: Do they choose appropriate playmates and demonstrate equal play or do they police other dogs and/or act as a third wheel? Are they able to regulate their play or does a human need to continually intervene to calm them down?

  • Arousal level: Some dogs love to play, but they aren’t able to control their impulses or calm themselves down. When dogs get too amped up, that’s when we get into the danger zone. Likewise, some dogs get overly aroused by other dogs’ spikes in energy and may try to jump in on scuffles.

  • How much individual attention your dog requires: Our handlers oversee the safety of a large group of dogs, so if one dog requires an inordinate amount of attention, it may put the rest of the group at risk.

At the end of the day, we’ll give you honest feedback about how your dog did. However, in some cases, we may need them to visit a few times before we’re able to make an accurate assessment.

Please remember that we aren’t judging whether your dog is “good” or “bad” or whether they should be able to socialize with other dogs. We’re simply looking at whether our specific environment is a good fit for them.

Do you have breed restrictions?

Here, Doggy! does not have breed restrictions. Our assessments are based on how the individual dog adapts to our environment.

Your dog's stay with us

Will you feed my dog while they're at daycare?

If you're dog usually eats a midday meal, you can bring their lunch when you drop them off and we'll be glad to feed them. Please note that we do not feed dogs breakfast or dinner unless they are boarding with us.

Will you play fetch with my dog?

For some dogs, there's simply nothing better than a game of fetch. If that sounds familiar, you can add a game of one-on-one fetch to your dog's day for $15. 

Why do you time out dogs?

We use time outs and breaks as a way to maintain the calm and safety of the group, and to help teach dogs good pack manners. Our handlers are trained to read dogs’ body language and look for subtle (or not-so-subtle) signs that a situation could get out of hand. 

Time Outs

Time outs are generally brief and are used to curb “nuisance” behavior, such as:

  • Excessive barking

  • Mounting

  • Jumping

  • Not listening to another dog (e.g. when a dog tells them to back off)

  • Being a third wheel or policing other dogs’ play

Breaks

Breaks are meant to calm dogs down and may last for several minutes. They can also help change up the energy dynamic of the room if there are lots of active dogs and we feel the arousal level is getting too high.

Generally, dogs’ play sessions should last only a minute or two before they take a break to “check in” with one another. However, sometimes dogs aren’t able to regulate themselves, which can turn a fun play time into a dangerous one. If we see this happening, we’ll give them a break until their arousal level comes down. In some cases, breaks offer dogs the chance to take a much needed rest or nap.

We also take dogs on walks around the yard in order to distract them from whatever stimulus has amped them up.

Naps

When dogs are at daycare for a whole day, it’s important for them to take rests. Though we can’t force a dog to go to sleep, some dogs need a little help taking a rest during the day. Similar to toddlers, younger dogs often don’t realize how tired they are, so sometimes we’ll intervene by putting them in a time out area or even taking them out of the room for a while to help them settle down.

What are the blue houses in the red room used for?

The blue houses that you see in the Red Room are designed to give dogs a quiet den-like area to rest and are also used to time out dogs who may need a break from the stimulation of the group. By removing the stimulation, we’re often able to interrupt the disruptive thought pattern, so when they come back out, they don’t go back to the same behavior. However, some dogs may need several time outs in order to break the cycle.

Dogs are den animals and most enjoy small, enclosed spaces. However, if a dog shows any signs of distress when they’re put in a house, we’ll immediately take them out and use one of the other time out areas instead.

Rest assured, the houses have ample airflow and are spacious enough to comfortably fit large dogs. 

Booking daycare and boarding

What are your hours?

Weekdays

  • Drop off is between 7 a.m. and 11 a.m.

  • Pick up is between 2:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Weekends

  • Drop off is between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m.

  • Pick up is between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Please note that we cannot accept drop offs after the cut off times because it disrupts the energy of the pack.

Do I need to reserve daycare ahead of time?

To ensure we’re properly staffed for the day, we ask that you sign up for daycare online ahead of time (the night before is fine). If you need last-minute daycare, please call us first to ensure we have space. 

What happens if I signed up for daycare but no longer need it?

We understand plans can change. However, to ensure you aren’t taking space away from someone else, we ask that you please cancel your visit online or by calling or emailing us. If we don’t hear from you, you may be charged for the day.

Can you accommodate last-minute boarding?

Though we try our best to accommodate our customers’ needs, we can’t guarantee that we’ll have space for last-minute boarding, especially on weekends and holidays. In order to maintain the safety of our boarders, we have to limit the number of dogs we can take in overnight. If we’re full, you’ll be placed on a waitlist and contacted if a spot opens up.

If you’re a new customer, and your dog has not gone through our full-day temperament evaluation, we are unable to provide last-minute boarding. In some cases, even after a dog has passed our evaluation, we may require them to come back for daycare (or even a trial overnight) before boarding for an extended period. This is to ensure your dog’s comfort and well-being in our cage-free environment.

Do you allow early drop off or late pick up?

We are generally able to accommodate early drop offs and late pick ups; however, space is limited so you must contact us ahead of time. There is a $20 early drop off/late pick up fee.

The earliest drop off we can accommodate is 6 a.m. and the latest pick up is 8 p.m. After 8 p.m., your dog must board for the night.