How do your temperament evaluations work?

We schedule temperament evaluations on weekday mornings 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. 

If we have concerns about your dog’s interactions in the pack, we may separate them and call you for an early pick up.

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.

I see that you aren’t currently accepting high energy dogs. How do you determine whether a dog is too high energy?

If during the evaluation, we find that your dog gets the group riled up, needs a lot of handler attention/time outs, and/or doesn’t regulate their play or take rests on their own, we may not be able to accept them at this time. This does not mean that there is something wrong with your dog or that your dog wouldn’t do well at Here, Doggy! in the future. It’s simply a safety precaution. We need to be able to handle a large group of dogs, and if we have too many high energy dogs in one group, it can become chaotic and unsafe.

What is a conditional pass?

If your dog has been through our temperament evaluation and received a conditional pass, it means that we weren’t able to determine whether Here, Doggy! is the right fit for them. Sometimes it takes a few visits for dogs to settle in and for us to see the full spectrum of their personality. If this is the case, we’ll set up a schedule with you and provide updates with each visit. At the end of the agreed upon period, we’ll let you know whether we think this is the right fit for your dog.

I tried to schedule my dog, but the site says they haven't passed their temperament evaluation. What does that mean?

There are a few possible reasons for this:

We forgot to check the box (whoops!). If your dog recently passed an evaluation, we may have forgotten to check the “passed evaluation” box while setting up your account. Just give us a call or email us and we’ll fix it for you.

Your dog conditionally passed our evaluation. We leave the “passed evaluation” box unchecked in your dog’s account until we’ve determined whether Here, Doggy! will be the right fit. To schedule a day of daycare, please call or email us.

Your dog hasn’t visited Here, Doggy! in over six months. It’s important for us to know the dogs in our care. If you’re looking to board your dog and they haven’t been here in over six months, they’ll be required to come back for daycare first. This is to help us get reacquainted with each other and to make sure Here, Doggy! is still a good fit for them. If you’re just looking to schedule a day of daycare, give us a call or email us, and we’ll get you set up.

My dog doesn't get along with other dogs. Can they still attend your daycare?

Unfortunately, we aren’t able to accept dogs who don’t get along with other dogs. Because of our cage-free environment, we don’t have a separate area to isolate dogs. 

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.

Why is your required neutering age so young?

We do this for your dog’s safety. We understand that six months may seem young to neuter your dog; however, we’ve noticed that other dogs often react badly to unfixed males starting around six months. The unneutered male’s behavior may also lead to conflict with the other dogs. We know every dog is different, but unfortunately, we are not able to make exceptions to this rule.        

Your dog's stay with us

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

If your dog usually eats a midday meal, you can bring their lunch when you drop them off and we'll be glad to feed them. The dogs are fed in separate feeding areas, so there is no competition for food. Please note that we do not feed dogs breakfast or dinner unless they are boarding with us.

Can you give my dog medication during boarding. What about injections?

We are able to give medication such as pills, topical creams/ointments, and eye or ear drops; however, we do not give injections. 

Do you provide toys and treats for the dogs during the day?

We do not have toys or treats in our playgroups. Some dogs can get possessive/aggressive when there are toys around, so we avoid the risk by keeping toys out of the play yards. The one exception is on our Astroturf field where we play fetch with rubber balls. If a dog is ball aggressive, they will not be able to go to the field, but they will still have a plenty of dogs to play with in their playgroup.

The reason we don’t do treats is similar. Some dogs are food aggressive and it would be dangerous to bring food into the group. Also, many dogs have allergies and we don’t want to risk making someone sick by giving them something they shouldn’t have. If you’d like us to give your dog treats, you can bring them from home and we will provide them during lunch time (dogs are separated for lunch).

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.

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.

Why do you require dogs to come to daycare before boarding?

We know not all boarding facilities require daycare before a sleepover, but because we’re cage free, we really like to get to know the dogs in our care. We've found that it generally helps boarding go more smoothly when a dog has gotten to know the staff, the routines, and the rules of daycare first.

Some of the reasons we require dogs to attend daycare before boarding include:

  • They show signs of anxiety during their evaluation. It’s in their best interest to come to daycare in order to get comfortable prior to an extended stay.
  • The dog is young and still learning proper doggy social behavior. To set them up for a successful boarding, they need time here to learn the rules. Likewise, young dogs who haven’t been away from home before may become anxious during boarding. The more time they spend with us, the more natural staying here will become.
  • We’re not sure that Here, Doggy! is going to be the right fit for them. We may need them to come back a few times in order to make a determination.

Does my dog have to attend daycare while they are boarding?

All dogs who board with us must also attend daycare during the day. While some boarding facilities have individual rooms/kennels for dogs to stay in, we are cage free, meaning the dogs socialize with one another throughout the day in one of our four main play areas. 

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 most cases, even after a dog has passed our evaluation, we will 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 occasional 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. during the week and 7 a.m. on the weekends. The latest pick up is 8 p.m. during the week and 7 p.m. on weekends. After that, your dog must board for the night. 

Do you provide parking?

We have a parking lot attached to our building. However, space is limited, so we must restrict it to drop off and pick up and can’t allow customers to leave their cars long term.