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This is the last newsletter of the year. Next year we will be starting our ninth year at the ranch. Looking back, we’ve gone through so much growth and we have learned so much along the way. Our top priority has always been the well-being, happiness, and growth of your beloved dogs.

In general, dog daycare has become so popular and has seen such a massive growth. There is a dog daycare on every corner now, it seems like. But a change is happening as we learn that the all-day-play model is not for every dog and actually can negatively impact some dogs. Today, we'd like to address some common criticisms that dog daycares often receive, particularly from trainers, and share how we've set up a model that may be less convenient for owners but greatly benefits our dogs.

Overarousal: One common criticism is that dogs can become overaroused in daycare settings, leading to behavioral issues.

Lack of Structure: Critics argue that some daycares lack a structured environment, which can be chaotic and stressful for dogs.

Development of Bad Manners: High arousal levels can sometimes lead to the development of bad manners and poor behavior.

Our canine companions deserve more than just a place to pass the time while their pet parents are busy. Our mission is to provide a nurturing environment where dogs not only have fun but also learn valuable skills that help them navigate the real world. Here's how we've designed our daycare to address these criticisms and meet our goals:

Scheduled Arrival Time: To avoid overarousal and ensure a structured environment, we request that all dogs arrive by 9 AM. This allows us to have all dogs exercising together and prevents excited arrivals in the afternoon that could disrupt the relaxed atmosphere for dogs already in their downtime.

No Half-Days Offered: We do not offer half-day options because dogs benefit from a full-day experience. Half-day arrivals can disrupt the groups and create unnecessary excitement, which is not conducive to learning or a harmonious daycare experience.

Structured Activities and Relaxation Periods: Throughout the day, we provide a balance of structured activities and relaxation periods. This helps dogs learn to pace themselves, reducing overstimulation and preventing the development of bad manners due to high arousal levels.

Playgroup Separation: We separate dogs into different playgroups based on their personalities and play styles. This ensures that your dog can find suitable playmates and enjoy a positive social experience.

Basic Manners Training: Our experienced staff works on fundamental skills with your dogs, including sitting, coming when called, and waiting. These skills are not only essential for your dog's safety but also help improve their overall behavior and builds relationships and helps with communication.

Remember, our daycare is not merely a drop-off point. It's a place where your dog can grow, learn, and have an enriching experience. We believe that investing in your dog's development pays off in the long run, and our goal is to send them home with not only a wagging tail but also improved skills and manners.

Thank you for entrusting us with your furry family members. We are committed to providing the best possible care, and we look forward to continuing this journey of growth and learning together.

If you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to reach out. We value your feedback and are always here to assist you.

Warm regards,

Dirk and the Team at A Walk in the Park

Dirk Broersma