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Old 12-08-2012, 11:16 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Gustave's first daycare experience

Just picked up Gustave from his first day at the facility we finally selected for him. He is so tired, currently asleep, never thought I'd see a day when he goes to bed at 8pm

Our experience was mixed. So, first we did his evaluation. They left him in there for 15 minutes and their behaviorist observed. I know a friend's very good mannered dog was rejected coz they decided he played too rough, so I was nervous. They said Gustave was good though. The daycare section has glass walls so I could watch. Gustave wasn't interested in the other dogs, but he wasn't fearful either. He just stood there. That has been his reaction to dogs we meet for the most part, he just stands there. This is also our main reason to send him to a daycare, so he can play with other dogs. I am scared his indifference might translate to fear/aggression so we are doing what we can.

We left him there for a good amount of time and his report card says he was shy at first but then started socializing 'a bit'. The daycare people also said he walked well (WHAT! NO PULLING??). They think he should get more social as he gets more used the place.

I, on the other hand, did not do so well. I missed him SO much. Our second reason to send him to daycare was to give him time away from us. Ever since I've gotten back from India Gustave doesn't like it when I go away. He whines and cries till I come back. Even me walking away from his pen is not something he takes without crying. I don't want to leave him alone at home for more than 2-3 hours, so we thought it will be nice for him to go away from us but still do something fun. We think we are gonna try it next week again to see how he likes it this time.

I have no complains about the facility itself, I just wish he actually played with more dogs. Maybe some dogs never do? Is it possible for a dog to be indifferent towards other dogs? Oh well, I'll keep you updated. Sorry if this post has no point, just wanted to share.
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Old 12-08-2012, 11:26 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I think some dogs take time to warm up to a situation and some dogs are more into dog-dog playtime than others. I think you're doing a great job trying to socialize him to new situations and it sounds like the daycare facility is good so far. 6 months old is a crucial point in a puppy's development as it is the beginning of the second fear imprinting stage so I do believe continued POSITIVE experiences will help continue to grow Gustave into a confident dog. He is very lucky to have you as his mommy!

Also, I do think Obi and Gustave are due for a play-date
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Old 12-08-2012, 11:36 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I agree with everything Marisa said. You are doing what is in his best interest, so don't worry. He may be a little shy at first until he gets to know the others and hopefully, he will warm up before you know it. Maybe he's like 2 y/o skin kids are...they may play in the same room and play side by side and with the same toys, but they don't always actually play together. Gustave may also just have the personality where he wants to observe the situation before he decides if he wants to be a part of it. Sounds like he's a smart boy to me! Since he is with you so much, I'm not surprised that he's a little shy in a strange place without you. It was just his first time. Hopefully, as he gets used to the place and other puppies, he will become more comfortable with them. It's good for him to learn to feel secure without having you with him all the time. So, pat yourself on the back because you're doing a good thing for him.
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Old 12-08-2012, 11:36 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thank you for the reply, Marisa. YES, play date soon!! We should resurrect the Balboa park maltese meetup plan. I emailed Zooey's mom just now too.

I guess I'm a little nervous about what kinds of experiences he has. I have been to the daycare several times and the dogs always look relaxed or playing together nicely. I think by making sure they don't allow even slightly aggressive dogs in there (even though my friend thought it was a bit unfair, since her dog isn't really aggressive, he just plays rough), they make it easier for themselves. It is also only for small dogs. They have about 2-3 people in there with about 8-10 dogs. So reasoning says his experiences should be positive, but so hard to not worry. I don't know how parents send their skin babies to school! I can just hope I've made a good decision and nothing goes wrong. Fingers crossed.
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Old 12-08-2012, 11:39 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leila'sMommy View Post
It's good for him to learn to feel secure without having you with him all the time. So, pat yourself on the back because you're doing a good thing for him.
YES! That's ALL I want to get out of this daycare business.

Thank you for the reply and your kind words!
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Old 12-08-2012, 11:40 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Sounds like Gustave had a good day and the daycare facility sounds wonderful. I think it's just like with children that some are shyer than others, some just jump right in to play with a group of others playing and others have to sit and watch and observe before they will play with a group. I think your doing wonderful and only have Gustave's best interest at heart.
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Old 12-08-2012, 11:47 PM   #7 (permalink)
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One thing that I see as a good sign about this day care is that they DO turn away any puppies that seem to be too aggressive, even if it's playing. That says to me that they're not just trying to make money, and really do it for what's best for the puppies, or else they wouldn't be so picky. However, I do feel sorry for the puppies that get turned away. Hopefully, their owners will get some training for them so they will later be allowed to join groups like this one.
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Old 12-09-2012, 12:39 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Oh I'm so happy for Gustave!!

I know it's hard to leave them... I used to have to keep busy the few hours Gus went every week... but it really was great for him.

It's good they evaluate their play styles and do not allow dogs who play too rough. Gustave will learn how to play nicely with other dogs without being rough since he is still a puppy

He is just going to blossom! So exciting
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Old 12-09-2012, 12:56 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Thank you guys! Your replies are helping me get over this anxiety. My husband thinks Gustave probably had a great time and can't wait to go back while I'm over thinking this.


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Old 12-09-2012, 11:31 AM   #10 (permalink)
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It is just like sending your children off to pre school or kindergarten.. You know it's best for them, but it makes us worry. it sounds like Gustave is just checking the place over before he really begins to play and interact!! Smart fluff!!
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