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Last fall I attended the Aggression in Dogs conference in Providence, RI, where I sat in on a fascinating presentation on street dogs and the differences in levels of anxiety and aggression between these dogs and pet dogs. One population of street dogs that is of particular interest are the dogs of Bali and just by chance I got to see these dogs for myself.

The street dogs of Bali have been the subject of a fascinating study, comparing their behavior' and attitudes with dogs that are kept in homes.

Did you know that the street dogs of Bali have taught us valuable lessons about the significance of early socialization? This groundbreaking study suggested street dogs raised with freedom of choice and continued exposure to their environment exhibited remarkable behavioral improvements. These dogs were found to be less excitable, less reactive, and better adapted to various situations. This study highlights the crucial role of early life experiences in shaping a dog's behavior and emotional well-being.

Just like humans, dogs also go through different stages of life, and their social needs evolve as they mature. While puppies require early socialization to develop into well-adjusted adults, continued socialization is essential for dogs as they grow older. Enrichment-based daycare allows dogs to interact with other dogs and humans in a controlled and supervised setting, promoting positive interactions and reinforcing their social skills throughout their lives.

Enrichment is at the heart of our daycare program. By exposing dogs to new situations and challenges, we offer them opportunities to explore, learn, and grow. Our approach emphasizes giving dogs the freedom to choose whether to participate in activities or not. This choice empowers them to engage at their own pace, which can lead to increased confidence and reduced anxiety.

At A Walk in the Park, we understand the importance of choice in a dog's life. Just like humans, dogs have preferences and comfort zones, and we respect their individuality. By offering them a range of activities and play options, we allow them to make decisions that suit their personality and energy levels, fostering a sense of control and reducing stress.

Contrary to common misconceptions, continued daycare attendance is just as vital for older dogs as it is for young pups. As dogs age, they may become more susceptible to fearfulness and anxiety. Our enrichment-based daycare plays a crucial role in mitigating these issues by providing a supportive environment that challenges their minds and bodies. Keeping their brains active and engaged through mental stimulation and socialization can significantly alleviate fearfulness and promote a happier, more confident demeanor.

We understand that as dogs get older, they might slow down physically, but their need for mental stimulation remains strong. Daycare is not just about burning off energy; it's about maintaining a healthy and balanced lifestyle for your furry friend. Our enrichment activities cater to all ages, ensuring that senior dogs enjoy a fulfilling and enjoyable experience that keeps them young at heart.

At A Walk in the Park, our mission is to create a joyful and nurturing environment where your furry companions can thrive and make lifelong memories. Thank you for entrusting us with the care of your beloved pets.

Dirk Broersma