Can I enroll in Daycare for just one day?
At On Command we offer Day Boarding for out-of-town visitors who just need services temporarily.
DAY BOARDING RATES
$35/day for one dog
$60/day for two dogs
Day Boarding allows you to enjoy your day, while your dogs are safely boarded. Dogs are walked every few hours and kept in a climate-controlled kennel.
Woof! Dogs, listen up!
We are excited to be ranked in Northern Nevada's Best of 2015 for Best Pet Boarding and Best Doggie Daycare.
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Special congratulations to CeCe, for winning Best Pet Groomer--we are so proud of you!
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What are the benefits of doggy daycare?
Dogs as pack members
It is important to start by discussing the philosophy behind the dog’s need to be a part of a pack or group. Dogs instinctually have a pack mentality, meaning they learn rules/boundaries from interactions with one another and understand how hierarchies are established within the group. They instinctually know how to communicate with each other; however, it is from a young age that a dog observes and develops skills like how to play, how to interpret another dog’s mood, and how to respect elders. They desire interaction with their own species and we humans cannot take the place of a dog’s need for canine companionship. For these reasons, dog parks and daycare facilities are great options that allow the much needed dog socialization that we humans can’t provide.
While in this “pack,” a hierarchy quickly establishes and shortly dogs distinguish who the alpha is. It’s valuable to point out that alpha doesn’t always imply aggression; it simply means dominance. As humans, we can more easily substitute the word confidence in place of dominance. The more socialized to people, places, and things your dog is, the more confident they can be in a group environment. Anyone with a feisty dog can tell you that size, sex, breed, nor age has anything to do with who becomes the leader. Within the pack, dogs play, submit to others, exert their dominance (even during play), try to “romance” and even discipline their fellow canines. An example of dog discipline can be seen when a rowdy puppy jumps in an adult dog’s face, only to be greeted with a growl, letting the puppy know, “I don’t want to play.” The puppy signifies that they’ve gotten the message by either rolling over to expose their belly (submitting) or simply moving away. With a few exceptions (i.e., two unneutered males vying for a female dog’s attention or a dog resource guarding against other dogs), approximately 80% of dog “fights” do not lead to injures. The goal in each dog’s perspective is to communicate a message, NOT inflict injury.
Doggie Daycare vs. the Dog Park
The greatest difference between daycare and the dog park is the controlled environment. Here at On Command, the staff members/kennel techs assume the position of “alpha” or pack leader. The dogs in daycare quickly learn to recognize kennel techs as the leaders of the pack. We, as a staff, are able to create the best playgroups based on dog size, play styles or temperaments, age, etc. Techs are always present in play groups to insure the safe interaction of all dogs. Furthermore, through the evaluation process with a trainer, we learn the dog’s personality and can find the play group best suited for them.
Interactions at a dog park do involve a certain associated risk. One such risk in visiting dog parks is the increased chance of infection or disease. Dogs aren’t required to have basic vaccinations at the park, unlike a daycare facility that would. It is also common for dog parks to have sources of water within the park (pond, creek, etc.) that can harbor disease, especially if the water is stagnant. Tall grasses are also prime habitat for ticks, fleas, and mites, all of which can be harmful to your dog(s). With this in mind, dog parks can provide a great outlet for physical activity and social interaction, but “swim at your own risk.”
Steps to Ensure Safety
Daycare Evaluation- During the evaluation, a staff member takes time to discuss with the owner the dog’s social history and any potential problems or concerns they may have. Our next step is to introduce the new dog (one at a time) to other dogs in daycare. We are very selective about the dogs we introduce first, using those that attend daycare frequently and do well amidst a variety of personalities. As the dog acclimates to its new surroundings, the staff keep a watchful eye for a signs of discomfort or anxiety that may result in aggression. Posturing is to be expected and a new dog may emit a nervous growl to let the other dogs know that they need space. Repeated group exposure helps the trainer and staff find the appropriate group for the new dog. Overt aggression, lunging, or snapping at other dogs is never tolerated in daycare at On Command. If these behaviors are observed, the trainer will discuss training programs as options to break such habits.
Similar Sizes & Age- In the dog world, size doesn’t always matter. Dogs of all sizes have been known to get along and have a great time together. However, for the safety of everyone, playgroups at On Command are built based on dogs of similar size. It is no secret that dogs of smaller size have a higher chance of accidental injury when play with big dogs. For this reason, we prefer to error on the side of caution by not allowing the mixture of different sized dogs. Age is also a crucial factor considered when creating play groups. Younger dogs (≤ 4 months) can be a range of sizes depending on their breed. A 4 month old Great Dane and a 4 month old Shih Tzu can be drastically different in size, but equally inexperienced in dog socializing. At On Command we see a high population of dogs aged 3 months to 1 year, bursting with energy and still learning the proper ways of play. We’re conscious of these differences and never push a young dog to play with adult dogs before they’re ready.
Behavior Reports & Log Books- Even after a dog has been through and passed the daycare evaluation, our monitoring doesn’t stop there. Kennel techs keep a very thorough log of any behavioral problems they observe from a dog. We note any scuffles, rough play, time-outs, or inappropriate behaviors. Scratches or abnormalities found on any dog are detailed as well. Daycare for dogs is a lot like the playground for children. Bumps and bruises do happen. However, if a dog’s behavior becomes a safety concern, that dog is restricted to “alone play” away from other dogs and these issues are discussed with the owner. Again, we may recommend training as a solution to any behavioral problems so that the dog can continue to play in daycare.
Monitoring Playgroups and Keeping Play at a Safe Level- Dog play comes in cycles of play, rest, play, drink water, rest. You may notice groups wrestling around, or at other times sleeping, or even lounging around. It depends on which part of the play cycle that group is in. Most of the dogs that come to On Command love to play, and hard, in which play can become rowdy. Kennel techs make a concerted effort to ensure that the play/excitement level in each play group remains under control. We teach the dogs to observe certain rules and boundaries (i.e. not jumping on the gates/fences/kiddy-walls, not barking at each other through gates, not jumping on people, etc.). Respecting these rules ultimately ensures that all dogs at On Command will be happy and safe.
Worst Case Scenario
The greatest question on some people’s minds regarding daycare is, “Can my dog be injured?” The best analogy to describe how safe doggie daycare really is would be to compare it to letting your child play on a playground. Your child may fall off the jungle gym and sprain an ankle, can catch a cold from another kid (playgrounds don’t require vaccine records like we do), run into a bully, get a scratch from rough housing, etc. Most people wouldn’t think twice regarding such contingencies. Unless you keep your child in a padded room (or a crate in your dog’s case), you have to be ready and responsible for accidents like these. So then why does it seem so different when it happens to dogs? Dogs don’t play with hands; they play with their paws, claws, and teeth. If your dog is a playgroup regular, you may occasionally see a scratch or two. However, it is rare for any major altercations to occur and the few injuries that do happen are actually the result of play.
The reality is, doggie daycare is a safe, supervised, and a fun environment for your dogs. Many could say safer than your backyard. While keeping the playground analogy in mind, bumps and scrapes do happen from everyday interactions and play. However, there infrequency should relieve any stress or concern and our track record is among the best.
On Command has always and will always pride ourselves in providing the highest level of care for your loved ones. Here, your dogs will not only be safe and well cared for, they will also have FUN and sleep well at night. Your dog’s growing excitement level from a couple blocks away to actually pulling you through On Command’s doors is a testament to that! We love and appreciate all of our customers, both human and canine. Please don’t hesitate to ask any questions about our policies or procedures at any time.
How often does my dog get walked and where?
When a dog stays overnight with us they will get walked multiple times throughout the day. The first walk is at 5:30am and the last walk is around 9:30pm. During the day the kennel techs walk the dogs every 2-3 hours. The dogs are walked on leash by a kennel tech in our backyard that is surrounded by fencing. If your dog also participates in daycare or has passed our daycare evaluation, and is spending the night with us, they will get daycare time during the stay (no “fees” attached).
I have two dogs, will they get to stay together?
We have many families that have two, three, and even four dogs who board with us. For this reason, we have kennels of varying sizes to accommodate all party sizes. Our typical kennel size is 5’x6’, we have suites that are 9’x9’, and many other kennels of differing sizes, including 2 kennels that are 5’x11’. Conveniently, our overnight prices stay the same no matter what the kennel dimension. So in that case, your dogs will be boarded in the same kennel with plenty of leg room.
What should I bring for my dog when they board?
The most important thing for boarding is proof of vaccinations from a licensed veterinarian. Required vaccines are Distemper/Parvo, Rabies, and Bordetella. Bring enough food for your dog’s scheduled stay and a couple extra meals for any unexpected delays. If your dog requires any medications or vitamins please pre-measure dosages and provide administering instructions on drop off. A couple of toys of no monetary value and some treats are always welcome. We do not keep your bowls, leashes, or collars, we supply our own.
Barking can be a very tough habit to break and can require a lot of patience on the owner’s part. Dogs can bark for many reasons; boredom, because the neighbor dog is barking, they want you to play with them, or they’re alerting you of an intruder/stranger (which often times is just the wind blowing a tree branch up against the garage). Either way, it can be a nuisance to both you and your neighbors. We find that most dogs bark while the owner is out, so it’s crucial to break this habit when you are present and from the instant the habit begins. Once again, corrective measures like verbally saying “No” can work (through the reinforcement of an obedience class), spray bottles of water, or even bark collars can help. If you are interested in the bark collar approach we would recommend properly introducing this collar to your dog so that they understand what it means when it’s on them. We have bark and electronic collars at On Command and we’re available to help and guide you through the uses of these collars.
There are two big reasons dogs turn to chewing; if they’re puppies, they may be teething, but for most other dogs, they’re just bored. And if you leave a dog to entertain itself, unfortunately they may chew up that new couch you just bought for the living room. There are temporary fixes for this problem, like putting the dog in the backyard or bringing them to a daycare facility, but neither really teach the dog that chewing is not okay. Much like the jumping habit, try to find an effective means of correcting the dog if you catch them in the act. Showing them that this behavior is not accepted by telling them “No,” maybe spraying them with water (as long as they don’t like water), or using a startling method can work. But if they only chew when unsupervised, I would suggest confining them or restricting them from the object they like to chew on while you’re away. Pet stores also carry repellent sprays that have a bitter taste to them. By applying them to the surface that’s being chewed, your dog may be deterred from chewing on it. Obedience training can help the dog develop a level of respect for you and your possessions, but most importantly, establish the value of using the verbal correction “No.” With an obedience class, “No” will be used to redirect a dog if they don’t sit or down, but can then be useful in all troublesome areas.
The recall or “Come” command is one of the most difficult commands for dogs as it requires the most respect from your dog. Dogs love being off leash. Whether you’re out for a hike or at the dog park, they know that often times when they are asked to come, the owner typically puts them on leash in an attempt to leave that fun place. So it’s easy; from the dog’s perspective if they never come, they won’t have to leave. The best way to encourage the recall is with positive reinforcement. Physical and verbal praise when the dog does return to you. Also, practicing this command on leash helps define what you expect from the dog so that when the leash isn’t present, they still know what’s being asked of them. My suggestion is to start this recall process on a 5’-6’ leash by asking the dog to “Come” and if they don’t, reel them in like a fish and enforce the action. Once the dog is proficient at that distance, graduate to a 20’-25’ long line and repeat. Once proficient there, practice with some off leash recalls. Group training is great for this command because it teaches your dog to “Come” even in a distracted environment, around other people and dogs.
875 Greg Street
Sparks, NV 89431