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  • Eric Wegner

What does a typical day look like at Coolwag?

Updated: Dec 30, 2020

New prospective client asked what does a typical day look like at Coolwag?

Here goes:

Around dawn while the birds chirp outside, the dogs wake up. We greet each dog by name and give them a little praise and pat on the head. The lights are turned on and we let the boarding dogs out for the morning potty break.

Dogs move out in single file and roam the fence line; sniffing the ground until to find the right spot to do their business. Normally, it's totally silent, no barking, no excitement, no play - all business!

We lead the dogs back in and we prepare the breakfast meals. Then we "Load the Rooms." Each dog has their own room for mealtime, no sharing food!

Our frequent visitors know exactly what's happening and are eager to go - Feeding Time. We guide them to a room and give them some praise. Dog feeding time is always a training moment. We ask each dog to sit and give us a glance of eye contact. Then, we pet them and give them time to eat and digest.

While dogs are eating, we do another round of cleaning and sanitizing, and fill the cleaned water bowls and pools to get the yards ready for the day. The Coolwag Dog Amusement Park is about to begin!

The daycare and boarding clients start arriving and are greeted by our Front Lobby person who logs the dog into the computer. Dogs are excited to come in and start playing with their friends and we use this moment as a training opportunity. We ask each dog to Sit at the gate before entering. The Back Lobby person leads the incoming dogs to the proper play groups.

We check the schedule for dog obedience or sport training sessions. We check the bathing schedule for the day.

Then the dog fun begins. These dogs are social creatures and they love to play and run around with other dogs. We separate dogs into playgroups based on size, age and temperament (our industry term that means the confidence level of the dog and their play style). We pay close attention to each dog to ensure they are in the best play group.

Coolwag playgroups include:

1. Bigs: the Great Danes, German Shepard, Labs, Dobermans, Huskys, Cane Corso, etc.

2. Middies (the medium size): Border Collies, Australian Shepherds, Doodles, etc.

3. Littles & Pups: Pugs, French Bulldogs, Beagles, Terriers, etc.

4. Tinys: Shih Tzu, Yorkies, Maltese, mini Poodles, etc.

Coolwag is an open play facility. It is an Enrichment-Based model of daycare / boarding with off-leash play and no dogs in cages or rooms. Each playgroup is run by a trained Dog Handler who is the leader of the pack. Prior to employment, all employees must pass a drug screen, reference check and background check.

> The universal enrichment we offer is group play. We also provide the following enrichment games: puzzles, scent work, fetch and chase, swimming, manners/obedience, bubbles and other fun activities. Sometimes, we combine two or more enrichments at once, based on each dog's interests, skills, and their parent's requests. Example: Dock diving combines swimming and fetch.

During the day, the Dog Handler plays with the dogs, gives comfort, performs group obedience and of course, loves on the dogs. They are also responsible for keeping the yard clean and sanitized.

Around mid day, the dogs are given a nap rest break. A small percentage of the dogs receive lunch if requested by their parents. Then, back to open play and picture time. We have professional photographers on staff who take pictures and video of your wild and crazy dogs in action or just laying around. Every evening, we post the pictures and videos to social media. There may be a time where you do not see a picture posted of your pup. This could be due to various reasons such as, out of focus, blurry pictures from the dogs having fun or the time frame of the visit did not match up with the photographer's schedule. If this is the case, you can always call, text, or email us, and we will send you some pictures of your baby!

Near the end of the day, parents come to pick up their dog kids. The dogs are excited to see Mom or Dad and we use this as another training moment. Each dog is asked to Sit at the gate before going home.

The boarding dogs are led to their rooms for dinner. Everything is logged into the computer; medications administered, how much they ate, any special treats, etc. After dinner, one last trip outside for a potty break, then it's in for the night.

Every dog gets led to their doggy den to relax with a stuffed kong after a long day of play and learning. Based on the owner and pup's preference, we may have them participate in a slumber party model with our night handler who will sleep with them. It is like a home setting, the parent watches TV, listens to music or reads a book. We do the same at Coolwag and it gives great comfort to the dogs.

The dogs know a Human is there to help with any loneliness and protection. About 85-90% of the dogs prefer the Slumber Party model, but there are 10-15% of the dogs who like the Cave environment and prefer to be in a isolated room.

In the morning, we get up and do it all over again, 365 days a year!

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