Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Doggy daycare VS Enrichment

Growing up in Kenya where most dogs were strays and through my travels to Europe, India, other African Countries, the Islands, Thailand, Cambodia and several States in the US (rural states), I have wondered what makes our companion dogs so different from those dogs living in all those other Countries. Why is it that we have trouble calling to come, why is it that our dogs display such high levels of arousal and excitement even in the most mundane situations, why is it that once upon a time dog’s were referred as “Man’s Best Friend.” Is this still our relationship today?

Through all my travels to third world Countries and rural States, I have never witnessed behaviors in dogs that would be considered problematic or dangerous, although I have found most of those dogs to be deprived of medical attention.

From a dog’s perspective, what world would he/she want to live in? One like ours, where there is not a worry in the world (from the human’s perspective) where the dog will forcefully (not necessarily by physical force, but through a life long limitation, called a leash) live a dependent life, constantly fighting his/her instincts, ability to think independently, and survive independently, or a world that embraces them as scavangers, as loyal friends, as creatures of with a sixth sense that we don’t have but sure could rely on, and most of all in a world that is there’s as well to enjoy, run, play, protect, guard, cherish, sleep and eat.

In reality it seems as though the human animal and the dog animal both have the same needs. Both animals thrive of physical stimulation, mental stimulation, excel when given an opportunity to play, learn more about themselves through social interactions, challenging games/work, and develop a better understanding of the world around them when given the opportunity to explore/travel. Both animals have an immense need for companionship.

Going back to my original question of why our dog’s don’t recall when we ask them to… why should they. If very few events in their lives present them with the opportunity to be free, and they are not sufficiently employed, they will take every opportunity presented to be free.

I think this is the most important aspect of successful pet parenting, and at the University of Doglando it is our lifestyle. We don’t just provide daycare…. care during the day while you are away. We provide enrichment. Our dogs are not just happy. Our dogs are content. Doglando is where they work, play and stay.

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