Dog daycare is a terrific program for an active puppy. A daycare program that blends different breeds and ages gives puppies a broader experience. Sometimes, however, the transition from a smaller puppy socialization class to a larger daycare group can be overwhelming for a growing pup.
Holiday House Pet Resort & Training Center is introducing a new daycare program designed for puppies up to one-year-old. Daycare Scouts Winter Camp will be held on Saturdays from January through April 2023.
Currently, puppies up to six months old can attend one of two puppy social hours held on Thursday and Friday evenings at the resort. The addition of the Daycare Scouts Winter Camp to the resort’s popular daycare program is a transitional step for puppies moving from socialization to a regular daycare setting. The class is designed to help boost a puppy’s confidence which helps foster positive reactions to new experiences, and feel more comfortable in a larger group setting.
“Our Saturday Scouts Winter Camp is the perfect opportunity for puppies to continue socializing with other puppies and to meet several adult dogs. It’s a gentle introduction to a daycare program since the Saturday daycare group is much smaller than that of our weekday program,” said Ro Riley, daycare manager at the resort.
The structure puppies crave
Puppies will learn manners and appropriate play styles from the pet care counselors and benefit from the mentorship, so to speak, of the adult dogs. The Saturday program will feature a highly-structured day that greatly benefits puppies.
“Puppies crave structure and consistency. Each Saturday will include a consistent schedule of free play, enrichment activities, and appropriate rest periods. But we also take into consideration the individual needs of each puppy—some may enjoy playing in the group a little longer, and some may need additional time for rest,“ explained Riley.
Puppies over six months old that are unneutered will be part of the VIP Scouts group with one-on-one activities or small group play sessions. The first Saturday that a puppy attends the Scouts Winter Camp will be an Introduction Day to the group.
The enrichment activities provide mental stimulation and skill building to foster learning—which is perfect for puppies getting ready for a training program. Activities include:
- Sensory puzzles
- Cognitive tasks
- Physical exercise
When should puppies start daycare and training?
Should your puppy attend dog daycare? Yes. As long as vaccinations have begun, your puppy can participate in social activities, daycare, and professional training programs. Many puppies that graduate from the puppy social hour program enroll in the Play & Learn training program at Holiday House Pet Resort. The training program blends the socialization and enrichment activities of dog daycare with multiple, daily customized sessions with the trainers.
What should you expect on the first day of camp?
The first day of camp usually arrives with a little nervous anticipation and slight hesitation to enter the group. But four paws in, the fun of our new Scouts Winter Camp began for several puppies. By the end of the first day, the reaction was unanimous: The pups and staff loved camp!
Each Saturday session will include enrichment activities designed for three types of skills: mental, physical, and life.
“We’ll start each session by introducing the life skills activity so that we can practice throughout the day. Our first life skills activity was “recall”. Recall focused on name recognition and getting the dog to come when called,” said Ro Riley, resort daycare manager, adding, “The life skill activity will be shared with the pet parents so they can practice with their dog at home.
Developing the cognitive activities involved building a custom-made sensory board with activity panels. “Mental exercises are just as important as physical exercises. While thinking of new experiences for the dogs, the concept for our sensory board was inspired by videos I watched of kids using sensory boards. Why couldn’t we do the same for the dogs? The type of sensory board I envisioned for the dogs was not something we could buy, so we designed our own,” explained Cheryl Lindley, director of daycare and training programs.
Cheryl approached the resort maintenance supervisor Adam Comisak with her idea. Adam custom-built the rotating board with interchangeable panels. Cheryl and Ro designed multiple activity panels based on the cognitive skills they wanted the dogs to experience.
Additional life skill activities will include SIT, WAIT, and learning about boundaries with people and other pups.
“Introducing the dogs to new activities and toys over the next few months will keep them interested and excited to play. The staff will also continue using activities and toys familiar to the dogs to boost skills and confidence. As Cheryl and I get to know the pups that attend camp frequently, we’ll be able to tailor activities to match their needs,” said Ro.
Call 215-345-6960 to learn more about the resort’s different daycare and training programs, and to enroll your puppy in the Daycare Scouts Winter Camp.