Our live webcam streaming sets Dogtopia apart from other daycare centers. It is so much fun to spy on your furry friend while they interact, exercise, and have an exciting day with their friends! With the amazing capabilities of live streaming comes the age-old question of, “what just happened?” It’s not uncommon to see situations that don’t quite make sense from an outsider’s perspective – today, we’d like to discuss a few things you might see on camera, why they’re happening, and what it all means!
As I’m sure every pet parent has witnessed, whenever our pups reach a certain level of excitement, they tend to put their tail ends to the floor and kick it into high gear! When you watch pups zipping across the room at such speeds, it’s entertaining to see, but could also easily escalate into situations we don’t want in the playroom. A good rule of thumb when it comes to playroom behavior is that high energy levels = risky business. By this we mean, any time one or more dogs are participating in play or activities that increases the overall energy of the room, it makes it that much more likely for that energy to quickly turn into behavioral issues. Because of this, whenever pups reach the ‘zoomies’ stage, our Canine Coaches will take steps in order to de-escalate the situation and help the dog return to a more manageable level of energy.
Three Step Redirection
The method our Canine Coaches are trained to utilize when it comes to managing the energy of each and every pup is a process called 3 Step Redirection. This is a tiered process that involves three separate, escalating redirections designed to best calm a pup. When a Canine Coach notices a pup engaging in inappropriate play behavior, they will move the dog away from that engagement and ask them to sit. This is to help the dog focus on the Canine Coach and distract them from the behavior we’re attempting to discourage. After a brief sit, the Canine Coach will release the dog back into play and continue to monitor. If the same behavior continues, the Canine Coach will use their slip lead to redirect the behavior and walk away from the situation with the dog at their side. Again, this is another method used to attempt to distract from the problematic behavior and give the pup a chance to find another outlet for their energy. After a lap of the room, the Canine Coach will again release the pup back into play. If the behavior still continues despite both attempts at redirection, the Canine Coach will then utilize one of our home-style crates to give the pup a break away from the action for several minutes. The utilization of these three steps can help calm the energy of a playroom immensely and serves to create the safest environment possible for all pups and their playmate
Crate Breaks and Rotations
The most important thing every pet parent should know is that if they see their pup in a home-style crate, it is not a punishment or a negative experience! The crates are an education tool used to teach pups when it’s appropriate to take a break from rough play or unwanted behaviors. When used correctly and consistently, the crates can help pups learn to self-regulate and take their own breathers – when a dog reaches that point, you’ll see them lay down in the playrooms, on the ramps, or relaxing off in their own corner. This is a huge sign of behavioral maturity! Now, instead of the Canine Coaches needing to redirect their attention and actions constantly, the pups know when it’s time to step away from the play to avoid escalation.
Our crates are also utilized when needed for a process called “rotation.” Even though every pup in our facility has passed our evaluation and temperament testing, it’s impossible to expect them to get along with every dog that joins our pack, much the way we as humans don’t always get along with one another and shouldn’t be forced to! If we ever notice two dogs aren’t getting along and exhibiting behavior that could potentially escalate into something other than appropriate play, we will place them on a rotation; this ensures each pup gets an equal amount of playtime, while simultaneously ensuring they’re not being put into any potentially compromising situations! This is the safest and most efficient way to ensure every fur-baby is having the most exciting day ever!
At the end of the day, what we’re looking to create is a safe, mentally and physically stimulating environment for your pooch. To do this, we have to ensure playroom energy stays at a manageable level and will take the steps necessary to regulate that energy through Three Step Redirections, crate breaks and rotations. While zoomies are fun to watch, they’re potentially detrimental to the overall safety of the playroom! This is the case for rough play that goes on too long without interruption, mounting, hyper-fixation, and a whole host of other behaviors our Canine Coaches are trained to spot and mitigate. If you ever are unsure about behaviors you’re seeing on camera, or the steps being taken to resolve that behavior, never hesitate to reach out to Brookie, our resident Pet Parent Relationship Manager. She will happily answer any questions you may have and expertly guide you through the how and the why! Her number 512-902-0150, and she can also be reached via email at [email protected].