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Enrichment Daycare
Frequently Asked Questions

  • What if my dog isn't thriving at daycare?
    The ultimate goal of Summit K9 is to provide services that enrich dogs' lives and assist owners in living their best lives with their pets. Though it is rare, if a dog enrolled in daycare is struggling to relax after and showing signs of significant stress after the first few sessions, daycare may not currently be in the individual dog's best interest. If our staff decide that this is the case, we will reach out directly to discuss alternative options that might be a better fit.
  • Where will my dog be housed?
    Dogs in this program will be housed in crates. Most dogs will stay in high quality Ruff Land Kennels, though some may be housed in high quality, covered wire crates. Giant breeds (Danes, Saint Bernards, Newfoundands, etc.) will be housed in large wire crates appropriate for their size.
  • How long will it take for my dog to advance through the levels?
    That depends on many factors. Most dogs will be able to progress to become Yellow Dogs within a matter of weeks or months, unless they struggle with significant problem behaviors or underlying issues (i.e. severe anxiety, fearfulness, genetically based insecurities such as resource guarding or certain forms of reactivity, etc.). Dogs that are enrolled in more days per week and those whose owners who are consistently attending supplemental training through group sessions or private lessons and practicing introduced skills at home will see the quickest results and therefore the most efficient movement through the levels. There is so much variety in dogs, from motivation levels to focus to confidence, and some dogs will learn more quickly than others. Variety is normal, and we are always happy to communicate why your dog has been assigned a specific level, and what a realistic possible timeline for advancement may be!
  • What is a "Quiet Kennel" and how does Summit K9 implement it?
    Summit K9 strives to maintain a “Quiet Kennel.” Excessive whining, barking, howling, spinning, scratching, and pacing are all signs of stress in dogs. This program is designed to value quality over quantity, and we will be working with each and every dog to promote a calm and happy state of mind while kenneled. In contrast to most traditional large kennels and daycare programs, dogs in our care are not left in prolonged states of overstimulation, overexcitement, or anxiety in their kennels between working and socialization sessions. In the rare event that a dog enrolled in the program is struggling during rest times, we will work directly with the owner to create a behavior plan to address the root issue, or discuss alternative options that may be of greater benefit to the individual dog.
  • Does my dog need to train with specific tools, such as prong collars, e-collars, or halters to participate in daycare?
    Generally speaking, no. All dogs in daycare will be regularly handled on slip leashes to initiate introducing a tactile communication system through pressure, and to ensure maximum safety of the dogs in our care. Beyond slip leads, we make recommendations regarding specific tools on a case-by-case basis, dependent on the owner's goals, the dog's needs, and the owner's preferences. It is our responsibility to provide owners with direct and honest feedback regarding what will best help them achieve their goals and allow them to experience the most freedom with their dogs, and outline the potential costs and benefits of any recommended approach. However, it is a strong value of Summit K9 to respect owners' freedom to choose how they would like to move forward with training without judgement. That being said, this policy excludes the use of gear and tools that mitigate the risk of a potential threat to the safety of others. For example, dogs that pose a bite risk may be required to be muzzle conditioned, and dogs that are not fully e-collar conditioned will be required to be on-lead unless otherwise contained in order to remain in the program. Training is not one-size-fits-all, and there are often many methods that can be taken to achieve a single goal. Our trainers are continually expanding their skillsets to provide a wide range of approaches to find solutions that best meet the needs of our clients. Tool decisions will always be discussed directly with the owner prior to introduction, and we will work as a team to strategize the ideal solution for each and every dog and owner pair.
  • How will I receive updates about my dog's progress?
    We will regularly post updates to our social media accounts, usually in the form of instagram stories, so that owners can see first hand how their dog is responding to daycare. Though these updates will be posted regularly, every dog may not be posted every day of daycare. We will notify owners of any concerns, and provide brief updates at pick up, however, we will not provide step-by-step instruction on at these times and do not provide report cards for daycare services. We will go over key skills and speak directly with owners about their dogs' progress during group practice classes or private lessons, if enrolled.
  • Why do we utilize crates?
    Dogs enrolled in this program will be housed in high quality crates during rest times. We have chosen to structure the program in this way for a few major reasons. ​ They promote a healthy state of mind. Crates take advantage of our dogs’ natural denning instincts, and when properly conditioned, crates provide the dog with a relaxing, safe space to rest. They are transferable. During daycare, we are able to build conditioned relaxation skills in the crate. Aside from benefiting your dog while at daycare, this skill can be incredibly useful in your daily life. Once your dog has learned to relax in and enjoy their crate, you now have a transportable “safe space” that you can provide your dog anywhere. Whether it is traveling in the car, staying at a hotel, or camping, your dog will have a safe and familiar “piece of home” wherever they go! ​ Dogs enrolling in the program must be crate trained, or at least have minimal crate anxiety. Dogs that display excessive stress responses or cannot quiet in their crates may be required to enroll in supplemental training prior to enrolling in Enrichment Daycare.
  • My dog is not crate trained, can they still attend Enrichment Daycare?
    Dogs must be able to quietly crate during rest times at daycare. Dogs that are not crate conditioned will need to build that skill prior to enrollment. We can, of course, provide assistance with this through our Private Training program, and are happy to share online resources to help owners jump start this process! Some dogs may require a slow intro to crating at daycare. For these cases, we will work directly with owners to create a strategic plan to slowly introduce dogs to daycare and set them up for optimal success! ​ In the rare event that a dog enrolled in the program is struggling during rest times, we will work directly with the owner to create a behavior plan to address the root issue, or discuss alternative options that may be of greater benefit to the individual dog.
  • Can I drop my dog off or pick them up outside of set pick up and drop off hours?
    No. We maintain this policy to ensure that all dogs participating in this service receive the full benefit of the program, and to prevent ensure that staff members can keep their full attention on the dogs in their care throughout the day. Exceptions are occasionally made if the weather presents travel hazards or if the owner is experiencing an emergency situation. If such a scenario presents itself, Summit K9 staff will reach out to discuss a plan.
  • When can I drop off and pick up my dog?
    Drop offs: 7:30am - 9:00am Pick ups: 4:00pm - 6:00pm **Dogs must be dropped off and picked up during these time windows in order to ensure that all dogs are receiving the full benefit of the program! No late drop offs or early pick ups!**
  • I want to learn the handling skills necessary to fully translate my dog's training in Enrichment Daycare to their day to day life with me. How can I gain this knowledge and these skills?
    A key tenet of all Summit K9 programming is the importance of owner education. Though owners may see some beneficial behavioral changes from participation in our daycare program alone, they will not gain the full benefits of enrolling their dog in training programs without learning to apply the skills outside of our facility. For this reason, we provide supplemental training classes specifically for our current and past program participants, so that we can better promote the transfer of these skills into owners’ everyday lives! We will also be creating additional events and programs that will provide more opportunities for owners to get to know each other and practice together. We believe that we have built a truly special community of dog owners, and it takes a village to create truly well-rounded, properly trained and socialized dogs. We look forward to continuing to grow that village through supplemental programs that extend beyond the dogs’ time spent in our day programs! Regular group practice opportunities will be offered exclusively to established clients, and daycare clients are welcome to schedule standalone private lessons at any time to receive intensive one-on-one coaching and feedback. ​
  • What happens if my dog needs to miss a week or two?
    Though dogs are enrolled in the program on a rolling basis (meaning that a dog secures their weekly spot until they choose not to reregister), we expect that dogs will occasionally miss a week here and there if the owner is out of town or has other scheduling conflicts. Missing a week or two occasionally will not cause a dog to lose their spot in camp so long as they provide the required 7 day notice before missing camp, however, frequent cancellations and absences may result in suspension from the program so that an owner on the waitlist that is able to consistently enroll their dog in camp and utilize that spot. Dogs that have been assigned level 3 or higher that are on the waitlist or that are unable to consistently enroll in day camp will be added to our Fill In list and will be invited to register for temporary openings created when consistently enrolled dogs are taking a break week.
  • Is there a discount for enrolling multiple dogs?
    We do not offer discounts for multiple dogs at this time. Spots for this program are extremely limited, and each dog enrolled receives significant one-on-one attention and care during their time with us. In order to maintain the highly individualized quality of the program, rates are set per individual dog, regardless of whether they are registering from the same household or separate ones.
  • My dog struggles around new dogs or people. Can my dog still attend Daycare?
    Many dogs that exhibit reactivity, fearfulness, or confidence issues are still eligible for Daycare. However, dogs enrolled in daycare must be safe for staff to handle, and muzzle training may be required in certain cases. We not not accept dogs exhibiting human aggression into Enrichment Daycare programs, and may refer clients struggling with these issues to specialist training programs to best serve them. However, dogs that require mild to moderate special handling and structure to socialize with other dogs and people may be well suited to this form of day programs. New dogs set the pace for their advancement through the program. Our first priority is building comfort and confidence one-on-one will all staff members, followed by a purposeful integration into group activities.
  • Will my dog's behavior improve at home?
    In short, yes! By participating in this program, your dog will learn skills and establish a structured lifestyle that generates more consistent, calm, and reliable behavior. Your dog will experience significant mental and physical outlets throughout the day, resulting in a fulfilled, naturally tired dog following their time at daycare. HOWEVER, dogs are contextual learners, meaning that if the handling at daycare and the handling at home differ significantly, the dog will not present the same behavior both at home and during their time spent at the Summit K9 facility. In order to gain the full behavior benefits of the program, owners will need to either attend the offered Summit Skills Club, or register for supplemental Private Training sessions to learn the handling skills required to generate deep and lasting behavioral growth in their dogs. Although the Enrichment Daycare program is built on a foundation of skill building, is not designed for intensive one-on-one behavior modification. As this is a socialization and enrichment focused group program, dogs in the daycare program will not work on individualized behavior goals outside of our core basic behaviors (crating, calm on cue, sit, down, place, come, and heel) and general dog-dog social skills. Owners seeking intensive behavior assistance should register for a training specific program, such as Day Training, Private Training, or Board & Train.
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