I'm at work right now, taking a break from the noisy four-legged crazies. Spent the first half of my day up in Grooming, and now I'm in Daycare until 5:30pm.
When you work at a Doggie Daycare, you have to be prepared to spend most of your day doing a lot of yelling. :-P That's pretty much all I do here - I'm either yelling at the dogs, or puffing myself up and repeatedly putting them in their place, because most of them are all big puppies and adolescents who still need a lot of manners drilled into them. I mean BIG puppies. Some of our regular Daycare clients are all large breeds, 1 to 2 years old. We have two big Rhodesian Ridgebacks, a Great Dane/Greyhound mix, a Malamute/Shepherd mix, a big Rottweiler, a few German Shepherds, an Italian Mastiff, (aka Cane Corso) among others.
"DON'T DO IT!"
"Charlie! Stop yelling!"
"Rogue, don't eat that!!"
"Wilbur, stop humping Oliver!"
"Shantie, NO TEETH!!"
"Bruno, leave it!"
"BENTLEY, NO TEETH! No hackles!"
"Guys, too rough!"
"Hey... I'm watching you..."
"Don't you make me use the mean voice..."
*GETS SQUIRT BOTTLE*
*FINGER POINTS AND GLARES*
The finger point and glare works really well. :-P
On occasion we do roll the dogs, though that's something that most trainers don't ever recommend to their clients. But we do it, with the dogs we know will submit easily, if they're really getting out of hand. You have to really know what you're doing, be confident, and have the right energy to be able to get a dog to chill out and stay in a calm-submissive position for you, especially when they're in such a high-stimulus environment. And we are breaking up fights all the time - it starts as play, and then gets quickly out of hand, because they all get frustrated with each other and have tantrums.
It's amazing to me how may times I've had to use all of my physical force to push away a huge dog, like Bruno, or Taco, or Rogue... like *really* have to come down hard on them, and then most of the time they just roll over on their own. Most of the time I can just block them, walk into them to move them away, or use the squirt bottle (though Rogue, our Rottie, tries to eat the water...).
Other times we either get a prong collar and leash on them, and march them around the room, or make them do puppy push-ups. Or when they're really bad, they get tethered to the fence for a time out, or they get put in the back kennel for a bigger time out.
Daycare is not all just about punishing the dogs, though. They get lotsa lovin' too, when they're actually being good. ;) But at least they don't take anything personally. It feels kind of good to be back in charge of a pack of dogs again. They do actually respect me as Alpha now, and don't test me nearly as much as they did in the beginning, which is good (cos they learned I never let them get away with anything).
Today we have 16 dogs, and all of the big guys are being monsters. Big lugs - I love them all, but MAN ARE THEY BAD!!! O____o I've had to learn how to become a bigger whirlwind than them, in order to keep the peace. No wonder I'm so damn tired after work every day! Crazy dogs.