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It’s easy to assume we know our dogs because they are so familiar to us, but the reality is often far more complex and fascinating.

Most dogs worldwide aren't pets—they're street dogs, living without a single owner but often cared for by many in the community. Stephanie Rousseau and Turid Rugaas, in their enlightening book "How to Raise a Puppy," reveal how these dogs raise their young. In these communities, puppies are nurtured by multiple adult dogs and rarely leave their mother’s side, receiving constant care and companionship.

In stark contrast, many pet dogs are separated from their mothers and siblings at a very young age, spending much of their time alone. This can lead to significant issues like separation anxiety, and even dogs that don’t show overt symptoms may suffer from social pain due to physical separation from their family.

Linda Michaels, in "The Do No Harm Dog Training and Behavior Book," introduces us to the Hierarchy of Dog Needs. This framework includes not just the basic needs of food, water, shelter, and exercise, but also emphasizes emotional, social, and cognitive needs. Dogs require security, trust, consistency, and the ability to bond with people and other dogs. Play, force-free training, and mental stimulation are critical for their well-being.

At A Walk in the Park, we’ve designed our programs to meet these comprehensive needs. We’ve moved beyond traditional dog daycare and boarding models to create an environment where dogs feel secure, loved, and mentally stimulated.

Our membership model is crafted to provide consistency and routine, making our facility a familiar and safe space for your dogs. This approach allows your dog to form strong bonds with both our staff and other dogs, reducing stress and promoting emotional well-being. In this comfortable environment, dogs can let their guard down, engage in play, and learn new skills.

We understand that all-day play can lead to physical exhaustion without adequate mental stimulation. That’s why we alternate social play with a variety of enrichment activities. These include:

  • Sensory Enrichment: Introducing new sights, sounds, and smells.
  • Cognitive Enrichment: Puzzles, snuffle mats, and hide-and-seek games.
  • Exploration: Access to novel environments.
  • Relaxation Time: Enjoying stuffed Kongs or listening to staff read.
  • Training Games: Bonding with staff and learning new skills.

This structured approach ensures that dogs remain engaged, mentally stimulated, and happy. For our boarding program, we practice social sleeping, where dogs can snuggle together under the supervision of our staff, eliminating the stress of isolation and fostering a sense of community.

Our commitment is to create an environment where every dog’s emotional and physical needs are met, helping them thrive in every aspect of their lives. If you’d like to learn more about our unique programs and how we can support your dog’s overall well-being, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Warm regards,

Dirk and the team at A Walk in the Park

Featured Items:

The Do No Harm Dog Training and Behavior Handbook: Featuring the Hierarchy of Dog Needs®

The Do No Harm Dog Training and Behavior Handbook: Featuring the Hierarchy of Dog Needs®

 

How to Raise a Puppy: A Dog-centric Approach

How to Raise a Puppy: A Dog-centric Approach