Monday, March 18th, 2013
Whether you are just joining the clevercanines family or you have been experiencing freedom with your dog for years, we would like to thank you for joining our dayschool program and for tuning in to our brand new blog. In dayschool, we love your dog as much as you do, and we want to see Fido excel.
As the weeks progress, we enjoy hearing the changes you notice in your dog at home and we celebrate the growth we see in the dayschool environment as well. This blog is our chance to give you a glimpse at what goes on behind the scenes. We can share our thoughts and experiences with you here and we can highlight the great things your dog does during his or her school day.
Each week, check the dayschool page for our newest blog, which will feature photos, tips, and articles by our very own dayschool trainers.
What Goes On in dayschool?
The dayschool trainers try to update each of you on your dog’s day when you arrive to pick up your tired pooch. But what do they really do all day?
In the morning, most dogs have high energy. They have just woken up and eaten, now they are ready for playtime. As the dogs arrive, our trainers will separate them into teams, adding their name to the whiteboard. The teams will be a mix of high and low energy, big and small dogs. This assures that your dog is exposed to an overall balanced group and makes it easier for the trainers to manage playtime as well as the walk. Special thought is given as to who will play well together in pairs, and also to splitting up dogs who may try to play together on the walk, as that could be dangerous to the other dogs and the trainers.
Exercise is an important part of dayschool. We strongly believe all dogs need it, and every dog will receive an hour on-leash walk during their day. The walks go out at 8:00am, 9:00am, 11:00am, and depending on the number of dogs, another walk may go out at noon. A walk consists of between 3-6 dogs, depending on energy levels and how many dogs are booked for the day.
You may have seen the dogs clipped to the wall, awaiting their walks. This lets the trainers see the overall group and make any switches if necessary, and it also teaches the dogs patience. They must wait quietly until they are approached by the trainer, and jumping up is discouraged. Some walks may consist of two trainers, each with a pack. It can be a pretty spectacular sight for the neighborhood residents as an average of 10 well-behaved dogs march past their houses!
Once each team returns, they receive their first nap. All dogs will be kenneled for their naps with a second nap during the afternoon. Naps are an important part of the dayschool curriculum. They allow the dogs to have some time alone to calm down and refresh. This helps prevent overstimulation, keeping the atmosphere in the packshack happy, quiet, and relaxed.
While all this walking and napping is going on, the trainers in the packshack will be monitoring the remaining dogs and brushing up on their commands while they have playtime. Typically, a command will be chosen to focus on each day. We call it the “Training Focus of the Day” and you can find it written beside the teams on the whiteboard.
Picking one area to focus attention allows each dog to receive the same amount of attention on the given command, which will be worked with on-leash, off-leash, and throughout playtime. Other commands may still be utilized throughout the day, just not in a structured practice setting. This mental stimulation is spread throughout the day to maximize your pup’s understanding of the command and to provide short breaks from play, which keeps the excitement level from getting too high.
Of course, throughout the day, your dog will also get water and potty breaks, lots of attention, and of course, some affection from the trainers. Everyone loves doggy love, after all!
Get the most out of dayschool
- Register your dog in advance to ensure we have a spot for him or her, as well as enough staff to guarantee the walk.
- Ensure you give your dog ample time to eat and go to the bathroom before coming to dayschool. The more dogs who have accidents, the more time the trainers must spend cleaning up instead of working with the dogs. We like to keep the packshack as clean as possible!
- Arrive in the morning. Any dogs arriving after 11am cannot be guaranteed a walk.
- Practice at home! The dayschool envrionment is much more stimulating than that of your home. The better your dog undertands his commands at home, the more we can challenge him in day
- Bring your dog in calmly. Even if you have to do sit-stays for 10 minutes in the parking lot, the calmer your dog is upon entering dayschool, the more relaxed and receptive to a learning environment he or she will be. The way your dog enters the packshack sets the tone for the day.
Your dog is amazing. You know it, and we do too! Each week, stop by our blog to see who our star is. You’ll get to know more about your dog’s dayschool friends. You may even see your pooch showcased here!