Use a Happy Method  to Drop Off Your Dog for Boarding

Dog boarding can be a very happy experience and a wonderful, adventuresome vacation for your dog.  Dropping off your dog in a low-key,  calm and positive way, helps your dog view boarding as a wonderful element in his life.  Afterall, there are all sorts of canine friends to meet & greet, great socializing plus romping good adventures.  Especially in a quality, responsible kennel-free boarding facility, dog boarding should be fun.

However, dog boarding can be scary as well. Your dog watches every move you make and if you are nervous or stressed then your dog will pick this up on your breath & through your actions. Directly as a result of your stress, your dog will start out boarding being stressed and nervous.   As your dog watches you walk away from the gate and drive away in your car, he may be left crying, whining and howling in fear.  But this doesn’t have to be the case; dogs can experience total enjoyment at being left for boarding.  Often we actually see dogs pull their owners out of the car to get into our gates.

There are several helpful things that we recommend to help your dog in boarding..   First, if your dog has never boarded before or hasn’t been boarded in over a year, take your dog to daycare between one to three times before boarding him. After a few daycare experiences, your dog will understand that you are not leaving him forever, but will return to pick him up.  He will have a chance to relax and enjoy the friendship of other dogs.

Second, when boarding we recommend that you say goodbye to your dog before you leave the house rather than at the gate as you’re leaving.  A calm, quick, low-key hug and goodbye at the gate is just fine but a large, mellow-dramatic goodbye “poor baby, I’ll miss you” with lots of hugging and kissing just as you are leaving basically conveys to the dog something is wrong. As a result, the dog is left stressed and scared as he watches you leave.

Third, each time you  drop off your dog for boarding, give your dog a favorite treat just before you get out of the car and say “good play”.  Never give your dog a treat in front of the other dogs since food is one thing that can set off an argument between dogs.    The way you pick up your dog is equally important.                      

See our article on How to Pick up Your Dog From Boarding.