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Doggie Day Care Facilities and Dog Parks have exploded in popularity in the last 20 years. They have been promoted to help socialize dogs as well as to provide exercise. But are they good for all dogs? In this webinar, we’ll take a look at the types of social environments that are created in these facilities, and explore whether or not they make good sense for dogs in light of what we know about normal dog social behavior. Some questions/issues to discuss include: Does the size and the complexity of the space influence the behavior of the groups of dogs? We’re thinking of a dog beach or very large dog park compared to a typical urban dog park or space at a day care. Are dogs really “equipped” to handle interacting with large numbers of other dogs all at once? Do their normal communicative signals allow for that? How can we help dog owners evaluate whether a group setting is beneficial for their dog? Not only proactively (should I take my dog there?) but also reactively (how is the dog doing when he’s there?) If parks and day cares aren’t the best settings, how can we create settings for smaller groups, or even pairs of dogs to interact? Are dogs that don’t get much, if any, play time with other dogs experiencing a detrement in welfare? How important is it for dogs to have social time with other dogs? Because there’s not much research into these questions, in this webinar we’ll do things a little differently. We’ll have an open discussion of dog parks and day cares where you’ll have an opportunity to express your own opinion as well as provide examples of how you’ve seen them used and/or used them yourself.
Sponsor:Animal Behavior Associates
Speaker(s):Suzanne Hetts, Ph.D., CAAB and Dan Estep, Ph.D., CAAB