FAQ (403)

Frequently asked questions

At what age should I bring my dog to try daycare?

As soon as your puppy has taken all the required vaccinations, you can bring them to our daycare. We have puppies as young as 4 months old. Puppies have lots of energy and especially benefit from socializing in a pack setting.

Does my dog need to be spayed or neutered to come to Happy Dogs? 

Dogs 9 months and older must be spayed or neutered. In fact we recommend that you spay or neuter your dogs at 6 months, unless otherwise advised by your vet.

What is the benefit of daycare versus my dog only getting walks?

Walks are great for bathroom breaks and brief stints of exercise. For some dogs, that is enough. For many dogs, however, daycare provides important benefits. They get mental stimulation from not being alone all day. They enjoy social interaction from playing freely off-leash with other dogs in a pack setting as they would in nature. And they get as many hours of physical activity as they need, often mixed with naps and rest time, leaving them ready for a calm evening at home with you. All of this is provided in a safe and clean environment that is comfortable and bright all year round, with the supervision of highly-trained staff who referee play and monitor every dog’s well-being. Remember it’s not necessarily either/or — a combination of walking and daycare may be the best weekly routine for your dog.

How do you hire and train your staff?

Glad you asked! They are special and are hired and trained in a special way. See this personal note about hiring and training our pack leaders from Jennifer, the owner.

How do you keep your pack well behaved?

We take care of our dogs by using a proven pack leader approach based on dog psychology and natural pack behavior, as opposed to artificial methods like spray bottles, leashes that physically punish a dog, or cages. Our highly-trained staff use calm and assertive presence to assume the role of pack leader within the pack — it’s like being a “human alpha dog.” As a result, dogs don’t fight each other for dominance; instead they feel secure and play freely, knowing their pack is well cared for by the pack leader. Of course, there are occasional dogs that don’t respond well to the pack setting — that’s why all dogs have to pass a temperament test with the pack before joining.

Do you separate the dogs by size?

We group our dogs based on temperament rather than arbitrarily separating them based on size. This way, dogs who prefer to rest and relax get to have a calm space while active dogs can play together freely. The fact is, some small dogs prefer playing with larger dogs and vice-versa. Dogs are very social animals and thrive from being together regardless of size. All shapes, sizes and breeds are welcome to be members of our pack as long as they pass our temperament test and get along with the pack and our pack leaders.

My dog only “goes” outside. What do they do at daycare or boarding?

Dogs treat our indoor dog runs just like the dog runs at the park and will go freely without having to wait or hold it in, just like in nature. We clean up after them according to our “30 second rule.” Importantly, dogs can tell the very clear distinction between a communal run like ours and your home where they know not to go.

What’s your safety record?

Happy Dogs is one of the safest places anywhere for dogs to play together. Our numbers over many years back up this claim. We have a 99.98% safety record, meaning only 0.02% of visits results in a dog injury needing vet attention — typically a wound from rough play that will quickly heal with cleaning and antibiotics. Put another way, on average that’s about once in thirteen years of non-stop daily visits.

How do I get started with daycare or boarding?

Easy! Register here and we’ll email you with next steps, which include reading and agreeing to our member handbook, providing vaccination records, and scheduling a (free) behavioral assessment. You will also have the chance to email us questions or book an onboarding phone call.

Does the price of boarding include daycare as well?

Yes, the nightly price for boarding includes daycare during the stay. You can check in as early as you like before the first night without any additional daycare charge. On the day of check out, if your dog stays past 10am (or 11am on Sundays), there will be an additional daycare charge (or a previously purchased daycare package will be applied).