All of our methods, policies, and guidelines at The Houndry are in place for the sole purpose of providing a safe play atmosphere for dogs. We want to be a place you can trust and rely on, and we therefore take this responsibility seriously. We love and appreciate each of our clients, but we do not “play favorites”-the following guidelines apply to every dog at all times at The Houndry. We also believe in transparency with our clients, and we will always be open with clients about their dog's behavior-good or bad, as we feel this is what every client and their dog deserves.
Each dog in play has passed a temperament evaluation, ensuring the best social environments possible for our attendees. That being said, we also understand that we are dealing with animals which still have unpredictable moments, regardless of how careful we try to be. Whether or not each dog has played in social settings in the past will be taken into account, but this information does not guarantee each dog will pass their evaluation at our facility.
We do not have breed restrictions at our facility. We choose to evaluate each dog carefully, with each breed’s qualities in mind, deeming them “social” or “nonsocial” based on their behavior and interactions with the other dogs in our play groups.
During daily play, positive reinforcement is always our preferred approach. However, we use squirt bottles of water, clapping or stomping to make a loud noise, and whistles to distract and diffuse problematic situations. We try not to physically intervene unless necessary, and this might include using a leash to harness a dog, scruffing a dog, making them sit/lie down, or a similar action. We also institute timeouts to allow time for a dog to relax and reset before carrying on with play. As stated above, we love to praise the dogs in our care, but we are ultimately trying to keep the safest environment possible for them to play in.
We generally operate on a “three strikes and you’re out” system. Incidents are considered on a case-by-case basis, but we also take into account the involved dog(s) behavior record with us. Any incident or show of aggression is taken seriously and counted as a strike on the dog’s record. Once a dog has been involved in/started three incidents, they may no longer be allowed in social play. We do not take aggressive behavior lightly, and cannot allow it in our efforts to maintain a safe atmosphere.
If an incident is severe enough, including but not limited to drawing blood or causing injury to another dog or staff member, this will result in expulsion from social play groups, if not daycare as a whole, regardless of past behavior.
Once a dog has passed their evaluation and been accepted for attendance, The Houndry gains implied consent to use a dog’s name and any images or videos taken in The Houndry’s care for any media, advertising, illustration, trade, training, or promotional materials.
*We ultimately reserve the right to dismiss any dog from attendance for any reason at our discretion.