Beyond Doggy Day Care: Day 6 Recap

Wow, time sure does fly when you’re having fun (and learning a ton)!

Monday, February 13th brought us to the end of Doglando’s first ever Beyond Doggy Day Care seminar for dog daycare owners, operators, and staff. Have a look at previous roundups to learn about everything we covered:

BDDC Day 1
BDDC Day 2
BDDC Day 3
BDDC Days 4 & 5

Turning everyday objects into enriching experiences for dogs

We kicked off the final day by reviewing everyone’s homework assignments. Each attendee was given a log and they had to brainstorm ways to turn that log into an enriching experience for the dogs in their care.

I’m not going to give away their secrets, though. How would you turn a log or piece of wood into something enriching for your dog? Get creative!

After some lecture-based discussions we were lucky enough to have Judy Sarullo stop by Doglando with three new rescues. Judy is the founder of Pet Rescue by Judy, which is also where our Camp Doglando campers go to get matched with the pups they’ll work with during camp.

Judy brought Quinn, Cooper, and Bender over to Doglando. Expanding on what we learned from Ken McCort and the Behavior Assessment we conducted on Day 3, attendees watched as I worked each dog. We analyzed body language, looked for signs of comfort in new environments (like eliminating), and discussed each dog’s behaviors.

As they watched the dogs, the purpose of Doglando’s 2-month probation period for new dogs also became very clear. New dogs coming into our environment have a lot to learn, and we also need to see how quickly they recover from new experiences.

(Each new dog that enters our Enrichment Program is classified as a Red Card dog for the first 2 months of their enrollment.)

Supporting Pet Rescue by Judy

Judy runs a wonderful organization. Talk to her for even one minute and you’ll immediately notice the passion she has for the animals her and her team are saving.

If you’d like to learn more about Pet Rescue by Judy be sure to visit their website. You can even make a donation and browse adoptable dogs and cats. At the time of writing, Quinn and Cooper are available for adoption!

Welcoming Champion Pet Foods

We almost thought the Nutrition talk would have to be removed from the schedule, but Wade Allen of Champion Pet Foods joined us just in time!

Wade talked about some of the things that makes Champion so different — did you know that they know all of their farmers and suppliers personally? We sell and recommend Orijen and Acana to our pet parents because of the high quality ingredients and relentless dedication to top-notch nutrition. These pet foods are species-appropriate, and that’s important.

Wade also made a great point about how a business can live out its vision and mission: A great vision can never be achieved. Because then there’d be nothing left to work toward, and you’d have to stop.

Remember, think and dream big. That’s when the magic happens.

Getting back into our daily flow

The afternoon had us back in the yards working with the dogs and puppies. Our BDDC team worked closely with Doglando staff to learn more about the different types of activities we do throughout the day.

It also gave everyone the perfect opportunity to ask questions and get feedback while getting a more intimate experience surrounding the idea of daily enrichment.

We wanted BDDC to be as hands-on as possible, so it was great to end on such an active note!

Our original plan was to take everyone over to the beautiful Wekiva Springs area, but it was clear that everyone was pretty zonked after six full days. The group decided to stick around Doglando to enjoy a stroll through the woods, margaritas, good conversation… and plenty of leftovers! (One thing I haven’t mentioned here yet: no one in BDDC ever went hungry!).

I’m so proud of this hardworking group. Our group Facebook page is up and running, where we’ll all be keeping tabs on each other’s progress, asking questions, and sharing feedback. This event was just the beginning, and Team Doglando has plenty more in development.

Our goal is to bring enrichment and behavioral wellness to all dogs, all around the world. Thanks for following along as we make that dream a reality. If you’d like to be kept in the loop about future courses and events, please let us know by filling out the form below.

Do you have any questions, comments, or thoughts about the things we’re covering in BDDC? And don’t forget today’s question: How would you turn a log or piece of wood into something enriching for your dog? Share your ideas in the comments!