Thursday, September 1, 2011

Daycare Woes

Those of you who have seen my posting on my Facebook page know that I had a bit of an issue with the daycare where I've been taking Todd.  When I arrived there on Tuesday to pick him up, he had on a 'no bark collar.'  When I asked why he was wearing one, the girl told me that it was because he'd been barking constantly.  I have to admit I was taken back by their putting one on him, but tried to not make too much of an issue about it.  The staff member told me that they'd tried squirting water at Todd to get him to stop barking, but he just played with the water--Which he does.  Then it was mentioned that they MIGHT use a small shock collar on him if he continues to bark all the time.  When I was told that, I remained polite, but made it pretty clear that I really felt that this type of correction was inappropriate to use on such a young dog. I was then told that  Scotties can become incessant barkers and that it was the only way to teach them not to bark.  Needless to say, I was upset by this whole thing.

Not having a place to leave Todd, I took him back to the daycare on Wednesday.  The whole day all I could think about was the bark-collar, and how I am Todd's owner and his best advocate, so of course I felt guilty all day and worried about him.  Last evening when I picked him up I asked if the bark collar had been used.  They told me that it hadn't but that Todd had spent part of the day alone in another room, and part of it with another terrier mix.  More guilt thinking that he was by himself.

For several other reasons, I had already been considering taking Todd to another daycare, and this past Monday I set up a consultation with a new one for next week.  All of this just confirms what I've been thinking and feeling.  But it's also a reminder to follow and act on my instincts when it comes to the care of our dogs and to remember that I'm their voice when someone is trying to quiet theirs.


  1. Welcome to the world of terriers! They bark when they are stimulated, the reason for daycare and socialization is to mix it up with other dogs.....geez people, he is vocal for the very reason he is at daycare. No such thing as a quiet doggy day camp. Yes Kim, find him people that get it. No excuse for a shock collar. I am appalled by that, as I'm sure you were.

  2. Todd is so lucky to have you. I hope the new daycare works out for ya'll. If I were near you, Sophie and I would keep Todd everyday for you. I have never owned a no bark or a shock collar. Sorry, but I think that is just horrible.

  3. scotties are terrible yappers
    they are more verbal than most and apart from a constant and funny
    "arrrooooo" can bark for England when they see something they dont know or understand

    good luck kim

  4. I have never heard of such a thing! That is shocking! Definitely find him a new daycare.

  5. Shock collars on a puppy ? Admire you for being so restrained .

  6. Oh, Kim! I'm so sorry to hear this! When I had my first family Scottie we encountered a similar situation, my father arrived early to pick him up from the groomers and he was hog tied!! I remember it took all that my father had not to unleash his furry. Unfortunately this grooming business is still in business. I'm glad that you're trusting your instinct and finding another place. Good luck! 

  7. This is heartbreaking! You are right, you know your dog better than anyone. You do what you know is best for him!

  8. I would not have been so restrained. At what age will he be able to stay at home?

  9. Kim you are RIGHT to be disturbed, I cannot believe there is still so much ignorance in this country when it comes to our treatment of animals!!! All the idiots need to do is watch Cesar Milan's show and they would learn acceptable and appropriate ways to train a dog, with compassion and respect. They are lucky they were dealing with you and not me because I would not have been polite and probably would have been outside their facility with a placard picketing the next day.
    Sorry to get so fired up but I am a very outspoken advocate for those who have no voice!
    I was crying thinking of poor sweet little Todd, so innocent and filled with the joy of life (barking) having those brutes trying to beat his spirit down. Shame on them!
    Thank God you took him somewhere else. Love you Todd!
    Tina xo

  10. If these people do not see any harm in the shock collar or solitary confinement for Todd, then who knows what else they might feel would be an 'appropriate' thing to do. Good luck on the new place! Todd's so lucky to have you...

  11. I hope you find a better place for him soon. I understand how you feel,I have switched groomers for my dog several times after feeling they were rough with my little dog.

  12. I agree with KT and Lady Terriers can be yappy ! I used to train dogs for other people in a training facility for years and they were the noisiest of them all lol Our Miggy has Wheaton terrier in her and she likes to be heard as well lol ! Hope you find a good daycare for Todd ! Have a great day !

  13. Wow just wow. He is young for that sort of correction. It seems to me at the very least they should have asked your permission before either squirting the water or using a bark collar. (I am not totally opposed to either method, but like you, I would be concerned about allowing just anybody to correct my dog).

    Glad you got it worked out and found another place.

  14. A "quiet" doggy day care? Those people are in the WRONG business! Something else is going on there, happy dogs will yip and bark at things, it should be EXPECTED!

  15. And they work in DOGGY daycare?! Dogs bark, end of.

    Poor little Todd - I can totally understand your reaction (mainly one of disbelief I should imagine). You're right about gut reactions to situations - but sometimes it's difficult to listen to your heart when the 'experts' are telling you otherwise.

    Hope he has better luck at the next place, so you can work without feeling the guilt.


  16. Those people are worthless. What is the point of doggie day care if they just put him in a room alone? You have given us all something to think about. Thanks for sharing.

  17. Oh my. I would be livid. I completely agree with you about the bark collar, and it sounds like the day care people don't care what you think about it.

    I couldn't agree more about us people taking our responsibility as our dogs' voices and guardians incredibly seriously. Sometimes, it's not easy... especially when you have to do something like pull a dog out of day care. I once had to pull K out of an emergency vet clinic, with her IV still running, while I drove around trying to find someplace else to hospitalize her. In retrospect, I feel really good about what I did but it was very awkward and unpleasant at the time.

    As an aside, citronella bark collars exist (made by "Premier") but I think that Todd may even be too young for one of those. If you can find a good day care that's willing to patiently distract him from his barking, it probably can prevent it from becoming a habit.

  18. oh lordie...I can't believe they did those things to that precious pup
    Don't you wonder what he was thinking as they did them?
    good for you for finding him better care...
    hug for you...I know you are sick about this...another hug

  19. OH jazzi barked her head off the first couple years. It drove us crazy but we kept getting after her and telling her No and now she is ok. For her, it was a puppy thing. Hope you find a better daycare for Todd


  20. Good for you for finding him a new daycare, I would not have put up with a shock collar either. There are far better ways to train a dog not to bark, like clicker training and tone training and treats to encourage both methods!

  21. I'm still mad at them. Dogs bark and if they don't realize this, then they are in the wrong business. No type of restraint should be used on your dog - even a citronella collar - without your explicit permission. Scotties have a bad rap and obviously the people at that daycare have bought into the hype they have heard about them. I could go on and on but I have 4 Scotties trying to kick the soapbox out from under me!! AARRROOO!!

  22. poor rambunctious pup. i hope the new place will suit him better!

  23. The terrier mixes who live next door to us always alert US, the big guard dogs, when it's time to bark! That being said, when they are quieted by their humans, they always comply!

    Special rottie hugs are being sent to our little buddy Todd today.

    -Gizmo, Bart and Ruby

  24. Puppies bark when they're excited, when they're happy, when they're frightened. Puppies have just found their voices and they use them. I can't believe they used a bark collar without consulting you and the idea of a shock collar on a young pup is awful. They could do permanent damage to him, making him afraid or even aggressive. I would remove him, but I'd also let them know that their techniques are unacceptable.

  25. Ugh. There's got to be a better place.

  26. Hi sweetie, Hi is just so darn cute and so young. I'm thankful that you are checking out another place-this just doesn't seem right and as you said, you are his voice. Our granddog-a Bichon-Poodle mix barks constantly when she is at the kennel but they don't put a collar on her although it drives them crazy. Give him an extra treat for me tonight.
    Hugs, Noreen & Reggie

  27. Isobelle's lady here: I would be livid. I would want to be consulted prior to any disciplinary action and putting a no bark collar on a young pup is a short cut that I would NOT have tolerated. Squirting water at a terrier is rather laughable. I've had a conversation with my Dad numerous times because he feels that swatting with a rolled up newspaper is a great correction tool. I said, "Dad, you swat a terrier (in my case JRT) with a rolled up newspaper and you'll have shredded newspaper."
    I'd remove him too - to a place that understands terriers.

  28. Just the thought of someone putting a shock collar on that 'woe be gone' weeney face made Mommy tear up.

    Good on you for following your gut!

    Bobo and Meja (and Mommy)

  29. I am very upset and appalled to know that the staff from the daycare center are using shock collar on Todd. I mean, c'mon...Todd is WAY TOO YOUNG for that device! He's what... 4 or 5 months old??? Sheez.

    It's a shame that I am not staying next to you or else I wouldn't mind looking after him. I hope you'll find an ideal doggy daycare (you did the right thing) and please give him a big hug for me.

    The Missus

  30. ... and I will NOT TOLERATE anyone who discipline Homer without my permission. Period.

  31. That place sounds dicey. Puppies get excited and bark.

    Scotties usually, at least in our experience, bark at something....and don't JUST bark.

    It's very hard when you have to leave him somewhere, but if there is an alternative, go with it. You're right, you're his voice.

    XXXOOO Daisy, Kendra & Bella

  32. So, any way you can quit your job and be a stay at home mom? Just asking... :)

    I truly hope you find a caring and understanding place for little Todd.

  33. Just out of curiosity, how much does Todd bark at home? I just was wondering if it is a problem at home. Just seems strange that he is there for socialization and they isolate him! It is concerning that they don't seem to have a problem with the collar. Does make you wonder what their attitudes are about taking care of the dogs. Do they interact with the dogs? So grateful you are
    Todd's voice.

  34. Oh yes... terriers love to bark. Guess that's why we have stuck to the larger breeds, although our new little girl, Izzy, seems to be a bit vocal. Hoping she will outgrow it. Poor Todd. Not sure I agree with the concept of a no bark collar either. Any friends you can leave him with??

  35. Have you ever been in a room full of people and the noise level is deafening? Maybe shock collars would quiet it down some! LOL

  36. Poor little Todd!
    I wonder what else they are doing to him.
    That sounds like abuse to me!
    They should have set their rules up front of what they do at thier facilities.
    If it was a child this was happening to,, the parent would feel the same as you.
    I am sure you were biting your tongues to keep from screaming,

  37. I`m glad you are going to find him a new daycare.It sounds as though these people have too many dogs to care for.Todd needs extra attention because he IS a puppy with spirit & his own personality.phyllis

  38. i can not imagine how you felt - i can not believe someone would think it was ok to start to use a shock collar w/o talking to the owner first. that is absurd. i would certainly would of been upset to say the least. and you are so right - you are todd's best advocate. good luck w/ the new place. i hope it works out.

  39. WEll Todd, I am just appauled. (IS that how you spell it) My Vickie is embarrased for her fellow doggy day care people.

    My vickie agrees with a lot of the comments. It is wrong for them to take it upon themselves to correct your barking.

    Besides, a Doggy Day Care is supposed to be fun, not scary and that sounds scary...

    My Vickie does tell folks that they should watch their puppies behavior once they start coming to day care and if they see a new behavior start that is NOT a good one, that they should talk to her.

    Cause sometimes we can learn bad things from other dogs. She says sometimes Day Care is Not right for some dogs.

    But it is never because they bark. Us dogs need to be able to bark now and again, just as long as you don't do it at home too much. Gosh that is why you go to day get that wild side out of you so that you can learn good behavior when your home.

    My Vickie says I need to stop talking now. I sure wish you were here. We would let you bark, and then I would Play with you until you were too tired to bark, then My Vickie would love and pet on you because you were quiet.

    OK, I am stoppingnow....really Vickie, I am


  40. Poor Todd. I am glad you are getting him out of therre!

  41. I wouldn't like that at all!


  42. I can't believe this daycare wouldn't ask your permission to use the collar! (Which then of course you could have told them NO!) Poor pup! And if you wanted him to be in a room all day by himself, you could have left him at home!!

    Not to worry, I know you will find a new daycare centre that has the same values as you.

    Good luck Kim!
    xo Catherine

  43. Oh my gosh, Kim! Hearing about the bark collar makes me so angry. I wish you were close by so I could be your daycare provider. He would love it here with my girls!

  44. wow I guess it's likes slapping your child when in daycare when they can't behave themselves, no one would stand for that either,


  45. Well done you Kim!! It's so hard isn't it? Our two are barkers, but out of excitement usually, not malice and to think of them being punished for it is horrible. Terriers can be more verbal than other dogs, only ever having had retrievers before this came as a bit of a shock to me. Your instincts are usually right I'm sure and Todd will find his place, he's already found his voice ;-) He is such a lovely boy! Di xxx

  46. Oh Kim - I am heartsick for you and Todd. What happened at that day care facility is so very wrong on so many levels. Frankly, I would have considered calling in the authorities...those bad people have overstepped their bounds by a mile. May you and wee Todd find an excellent facility that understands terriers!
    Buzzy, Little Pip, and da Mum

  47. Yes Kim, I am glad you are 'looking around' for another place. Dogs need to bark and each breed is different. It is THEIR way of communicating a fear, a response and a greeting.
    It is difficult when you have lots of dogs in one place all with different needs. Sophie was at a place for ten days last month and she 'ran into difficulties' regarding her 'alpha' nature. Two female Goldens also had alpha natures and there were a couple of 'battles'. Sophie being smaller, lost. She was isolated from the pack.
    When we picked her up she was so glad to see us. She was 'different' for a few days at home but is slowing getting over the experience of isolation.
    So you are smart to stay aware of what is happening to Todd. He is young and very vulnerable/impressionable.Good luck.

  48. As I said on facebook, they definitely had a lot of nerve doing something like that without your permission. I certainly hope that you find that this new place operates differently.

  49. Poor Todd!! So glad you are looking for a new day care for him. I have heard the Scotties are barkers, is that true?? does he bark much at home?? He is so cute!!
    Thanks for your visits to see me!!!
    xx, Tinker & Fern

  50. Todd is such a beautiful dog. He's so lucky to have such a wonderful owner who loves him.

  51. Kim, I'm sorry you had to go through this, you do present excellent advice though. As a dog owner if I feel something is not right, I just don't do it. I don't care what the "professionals" say, if it doesn't seem right to me, then it's not right for my dog. Sampson and Delilah stopped going to daycare because they were always in crates. WHAT? Yeah, my dogs can stay home and NOT be crated. Why am I paying money to crate them. Thankfully that daycare went out of business and I am waiting for our new center to open so they can go back again. In the meantime it means I have to walk them every day but I don't mind. I love spending time with them.

    Good for you for standing up for Todd!!

  52. Wish I lived close by...I would LOVE to puppy-sit for Todd....of course, you would never get him back! :)
    Todd and I love you!!!!

  53. Always, always, always follow your instincts. They will not steer you wrong. If you feel as if something is out of sync or not right, most likely that is exactly the case, be it with dogs or children. Everyone offers lots of advice when raising kids and/or dogs, and I have always listened, but in the end I took my own best advice that my instincts told me, and found them to be correct. ~Debby

  54. Oh no! SHAME on them for putting a no-bark collar on Todd! They should have called you at least, to let you know what was going on. I would definitely not want to go back there if I were Todd. Poor baby! I'm so sorry you both had such a horrible experience. :(

    I hope you find a more caring daycare. :)

    Have a wonderful holiday!

    Woofs & hugs, <3

    ~Bailey (Yep, I'm a girl!)

  55. I would go with your feelings and look elsewhere also!
    What is your facebook page if I might ask? Mine is Jennifer Linkenmeyer Wildes........ look me up.