In the morning, staff will greet you in reception and help you to finish off the paperwork required. From here, a staff member will walk your dog down to our daycare and begin the introductions. During the week we are unable to take owners into the daycare with us due to health and safety and also as it unsettles the dogs who we are working with. There are two view points that you may look through if you wish however the outside areas are not viewable from here.
Each dog has his or her own named space to hang leads, jackets or keep breakfast/lunch. You are more than welcome to bring your own breakfast or lunch to keep up with normal routine. Dogs are fed individually but please alert us on your application form if your dog has any allergies so we are aware.
At the end of the day when you collect your dog, you will be greeted by staff who will call staff in our daycare to get your dog ready for hometime! This process usually takes 2-3 minutes and 4-5 minutes in peak times. We have a pick up zone which you are welcome to wait at or a member of staff will bring your dog to reception for you. You will also receive information on how your dog integrated with our pack, how they behaved, played and interacted with others.
For your dog
Your dog’s first day will begin slowly, they will be introduced to the pack so as not to be overwhelmed. We have multiple areas so we will decide which your dog is ready for first. If your dog is quite shy, it may be that he/she spends some time in a relaxing area with some of our more mature clients until they feel more comfortable to go into the main play areas.
Our slow introduction process allows dogs to feel comfortable, not overwhelmed. We don’t believe in just throwing your dog in with the group and letting them "sort it out". This can be quite traumatic for a nervous dog. We have different dog areas and we are consistently monitoring your dog to understand where they are most comfortable. In the relaxing areas, dogs enjoy a more chilled out day and have short periods in the main play areas with their group.
Remember, dogs are not playing checkers at Barkleys, they are being dogs. Wrestling with teeth and claws is normal dog play so please be aware that minor dog injuries may happen at day care. Dogs use their teeth like humans use our hands. They grab each other by the necks in play, use their paws to grab each other and steal toys and play with one another. Occasional scrapes and nicks, can happen; if you are not comfortable with your dog engaging in play and the risks associated with such activity, day care is not a good option for your dog.
We have dedicated team members diligently watching over play time and maintain a strict introductory assessment in order to maintain a safe pack. Our staff are trained to prevent issues from arising and use tools and distractions such as voice commands and time out. In the event a health emergency does arise, you will be notified immediately. If necessary your dog will be treated at a local vet at the owner's expense.
We feel the benefits to dogs from attending dog day care far exceed the risks.
Dogs come to day care to have fun! However, in order to maintain a safe environment they also need to play by the rules that are set for them. We believe that it is important for dogs to have structure in their play time. Through the use of basic command practice and positive reinforcement methods, the dogs learn that good behaviour brings rewards (play, treats, verbal and physical praise). While appropriate behaviours are reinforced, inappropriate behaviours are disciplined, through the use of time outs or loss of play.
By consistently applying these techniques, we can help ensure that every dog has a fun and safe experience while at day care. This may also mean that not all dogs are suited to the day care environment. Please do not take this personally as this by no means states that you have a “bad dog”, our main concern is for the well being of all our dogs and staff by providing a positive safe environment. We have a 7 session trial period for every dog which gives them time to settle and staff a good amount of time to assess whether your dog will be suitable for our pack long term.
Day care provides a wonderful learning environment for puppies. Puppies are closely supervised and by mixing with well-adjusted older dogs, they naturally learn respect, manners and other social skills they need in a dog's world. Day care helps puppies develop into calm, happy, relaxed adults while older dogs learn from puppies too as puppies teach them patience and tolerance.
Safety and hygiene
The safety of all dogs is top priority:
- There is a human pack leader with the dogs AT ALL TIMES.
- Prior to entry, all dogs are temperament tested in our introductory assessment to ensure the safety of all dogs in the facility.
- Dogs will be grouped based on size and temperament.
- Dogs get excited when playing with other dogs – we have a timeout area for any dog that is getting too excited.
- We have a strict cleaning schedule to ensure our facility is clean and healthy for your dog.
- Internal and external fencing will keep the dogs within a safe environment at all times.