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Old 22.03.2016, 09:24
Ays Ays is offline
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Advice on Dog Day Care Please

Hi,

May I ask your help and advise for dog day care providers in Zurich City, ideally not too far from Zurich Enge.

This will be my first dog, could anyone please advise me on what I should look for from a dog day care center and I should keep in mind?

thank you
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Old 22.03.2016, 11:39
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Re: Advice on Dog Day Care Please

Some random thoughts, based on my experience with good dog carers - and on some of the horrors I have seen as I have evaluated some folks who turned out to be not so good:

1. Does the dog care provider actually know what he/she is doing?

This should be a given, but I am continually shocked at how little understanding of canine behavior some dog carers seem to have.

You should look for a carer who has both hands-on experience and theoretical knowledge. That hands-on experience should be with a wide variety of dogs, not just their own dog. A carer should be able to discuss in detail their skills, challenges experienced and met, their philosphy of training. Yes, training - because every interaction with a dog is a training event. I am surprised at how few carers understand this.

It should go without saying that a carer should only follow a postitive training philosophy, that the carer specifically pledges never to use aversive techniques: No use of fear, pain, threats or intimidation.

Any mention of the use of aversives, of dominance, etc. - Walk away!

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2. Is the care provider compliant with the education requriements to run a dog care business?

Depending on the type of care provided and the number of dogs cared for at a time, a dog care provider must have:

The federal SKN classes if caring for 5 or fewer dogs.

The FBA, if caring for 6-19 dogs

The eid. Tierfpleger diploma, if caring for 20+ dogs.

In the last two cases, the provider must also be registered with the cantonal Veterinäramt.

Unfortunately many dog care providers are not compliant. It is up to you to verify compliance. Ask for the providers' certificate, and in the case of caring for more than 5 dogs, contact the Veterinäramt to verify registration.

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3. Is the dog care provider appropriately insured?

Again, depending on the type of business, insurance coverage needed will vary. Many small scale providers mistakenly believe that the owner's insurance will cover - this is not always the case, especially if the carer is taking the dog into their own home. You need to discuss insurance with the provider, and then verify that both they and you have adequate coverage. Speak to your own insurer to verify as well.

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4. Will the carer care for your dog alone, or will there be other dogs cared for at the same time?

If the carer is caring for more than one dog you should investigate his/her plan for integration into the group. Watch how the carer manages the group, including flash points and resource control. Watch how the carer assesses your dog's comfort on meeting the group, watch how the carer watches the group during the introductory phase. Ask pointed questions to determine the carer's skills in group management. And of course, is the carer able to effectively manage the dogs both individually and as a group?

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5. Who besides the carer will be on premises, who besides the carer will interact with your dog? You need to check out all involved especially if there are children present.

Children in the carer's home are a special case - again, you need to ask pointed questions. How dog savvy are the children? Will the children be supervised with the dogs at all times? What measures are in place should the carer need to turn his/her attention away for a moment? And again - discuss liability!

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7. Physical accommodation.

Are the premises secure and absolutely escape proof? Check out the fence yourself. To be on the safe side, check with the police to see if there has ever been a report of a dog lost or escaped from the premises.

As you enter the property, watch how the carer manages your entry with an eye to security. When the door is opened, are all the resident dogs already behind a baby gate? Is there a foyer to provide safe entry? Is the entryway narrow, as in a flash point for canine greetings? If so, watch how the carer manages this.

Look around the dog area - is it clean? What sort of dog beds are provided? Do the dogs all share beds? Ditto toys - how are resources (and resource guarding behavior) managed?

If your dog is uncomfortable around any of the carer's floors or stairs, watch how the carer reacts, ask how he/she would go about desensitizing your pup.


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8. Ask about feeding routines - again, how is this managed with multiple dogs or with children present?

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9. Where will the dogs play during the day?

How 'dog friendly' is the garden/play area? Are there poisonous plants in the garden, is there a constant water source? Is stagnant water left standing anywhere? What would happen if your puppy decided to dig up the carer's prize begonias? Again, discuss liability.

What supervision will there be when the dogs are playing outside? Will the dogs every be left alone outside? (The answer should be 'no'.) Does the carer have the ability to separate play areas if two dogs do not get along?


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10. Ask at the Gemeinde/Police if the carer has ever had a noise complaint lodged against them. This is not a negative wrt the carer, but will give you an idea of the neighborhood. You don't want your dog staying at a place where neighbors might threaten the dogs.

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11 . What plans does the carer have in place in the event of an emergency? Does the carer have transportation to get a dog to the vet ASAP? Which vet practice will the carer use in an emergency? How far is it to the vet? (A carer without access to transportation to handle an emergency should be avoided IMO and IME).

If the vet is someone other than your own vet, you absolutely MUST make an appointment with that vet to introduce yourself and your dog, bring all your medical records along, and sign any authorization needed for emergency treatment - and sign a limit to the carer's decision making authority if needed. (As in, would you allow the carer to make the decision to euthanize your dog?)

All this must be explicitly discussed and written down in your contract, including how finances are handled in the event of an emergency.

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12. What kind of questionnaire does the carer fill out with a new client? A carer should at a minimum include the following in his/her background questionnaire:

Contact details for you 24/7
Basic dog details - age, weight, height, breed/mix, identifying marks, sex, whether castrated/spayed or entire.
Medical history, in detail. Contact details for primary vet. If your dog is on meds, this should be discussed fully.
History of treatment for parasites.
Vaccination history.
Basic commands the dog has learned. Further discussion of training to date, training plans in place, management routines.
Behavioral issues with the dog.

(And here the owner must to be completely honest and frank. If your dog has issues, please go over this history in detail, including triggers and management routines.)

If a carer does not have a background questionnaire - that is IMO a sign of lack of understanding of the responsibility undertaken.

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13. Walks:

Does the carer walk the dog alone or with others? Does the carer comply with the cantonal/Gemeinde regulations for the number of dogs walked? Does the carer allow dogs off lead? What security measures does the carer take when dogs are off lead? Where does the carer walk the dogs, and where does he/she allow them off lead?

Ask pointed question about management when out and about, particularly about how the carer would handle other dogs interactions with the dogs in his/her care.

Has the carer asked you about your preferences for your dog's walks, and is the carer willing to comply?


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14: What kind of reports/feedback does the carer give you, and how often? And, is the carer contactable the entire time the dog is in his/her care?

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Of course, a dog carer should bring allof the above up on his/her own. You should be looking for these things, but any carer who doesn't bring these issues up, or have these kinds of practices already in place should be looked at with additional scrutiny.

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15: Very important: How does your dog react to the carer? How does your dog react to the other dogs or other people present in the environment? If you sense your dog is uncomfortable, take that to heart!

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And last but definitely not least : Does the carer truly, madly, deeply love dogs? This is the first requirement for getting into the business.

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You should always schedule introductory visits before leaving your dog with the carer. First the initial meeting; if you think all will go well, visit again, watch how your dog reacts, watch how the carer interacts a second time. If all goes well again, schedule a short stay - one hour or so. How does your dog react when you pick him up? Next schedule a half day stay - again watch your dog's reaction.

Go on trial walks with the carer - watch how he/she watches the dogs' body language with an eye to management.

During one of the trial stays, and randomly throughout the time your dog is with the carer, arrive unexpectedly to pick up your dog. This gives you a chance for further evaluation.

If the carer is working in your own home, ask a neighbor to keep an eye out and let you know of any concerns.


Not a definitive list, but this should get you started thinking about what makes a good dog carer...

Good luck!

Last edited by meloncollie; 22.03.2016 at 12:55.
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Old 22.03.2016, 14:05
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Re: Advice on Dog Day Care Please

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Hi,

May I ask your help and advise for dog day care providers in Zurich City, ideally not too far from Zurich Enge.

This will be my first dog, could anyone please advise me on what I should look for from a dog day care center and I should keep in mind?

thank you


Dear Ays,


I apologise in advance if I have the wrong end of the stick, but from your previous post about asking for help to find either a Labrador or a Jack Russell terrier and this one asking about day care, I feel I must mount my high horse!


Your question comes across suggesting that you plan to get a puppy and then send it to day care every day whilst you go to work, if I am wrong I apologise.


If you don't have time for a dog then don't get one! It is not about you but the dog.


If it gets sent off to day care every day then who is it going to bond with? who will it listen too? Is the carer going to continue with training every day, will they have time? Will your puppy/dog thrive in such a situation or will it suffer? Apart from these questions and all those points mentioned above by MC have you considered the cost? Day care is around 35 chuffs in these parts, no idea about Zurich, but I am sure it wouldn't be much different.


I am sorry to put a damper on this but I just felt it needed to be aired.


Dismounted and horse stabled.
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Old 22.03.2016, 16:47
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Re: Advice on Dog Day Care Please

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Your question comes across suggesting that you plan to get a puppy and then send it to day care every day whilst you go to work, if I am wrong I apologise.
Good catch, CB!

I wholeheartedly agree with CB, Ays - if you are getting a puppy someone must be home 24/7 for the first many months, with some puppies even to a year plus.

Even when you adopt an older dog you must plan for a settling in period of several weeks/months before you leave the dog. As CB points out, you must establish that bond first, without that time to bond you are facing a steep uphill climb to get even basic training done.

Perhaps if youtell us a little bit more about your plans, we can then make suggestions based on our experiences...
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Old 09.06.2021, 14:19
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Re: Advice on Dog Day Care course FBA-tierbetreuung for more than 5 dogs

Hello guys, does anyone know if its possible or where i can find a course fba-tierbetreuung to do. Cause im not a german speaker yeat and every place i asked for that, just told me its in german or swiss german. Does anyone know where i can get the course in english? Even a private one? I have a bussines with dogs and switzerland and i really need that. Thank you for the help
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Old 09.06.2021, 14:54
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Re: Advice on Dog Day Care Please

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Hello guys, does anyone know if its possible or where i can find a course fba-tierbetreuung to do. Cause im not a german speaker yeat and every place i asked for that, just told me its in german or swiss german. Does anyone know where i can get the course in english? Even a private one? I have a bussines with dogs and switzerland and i really need that. Thank you for the help
Zodar, the FBA courses are only given in German and French (ETA: and Italian) - not surprising as these are Swiss professional qualifications. Just in case you haven't yet found the official website, it's here:

https://www.tierpfleger.ch


Do you speak any German, French or Italian?? If you speak a little, you could contact the organization and ask for samples of the course material, see if you are up to it.

If you don't speak a Swiss language well enough to pursue the required courses, then the alternative is that you will need to hire someone who holds the FBA (if caring for 6-19 dogs) or the Eid Tierpfleger diploma (if caring for 20+ dogs) to run your business.

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How many dogs are you planning on caring for at one time?

FYI, a change since this thread was started: The SKN courses were abolished in 2017, and with it the federal requirement for anyone caring for up to 5 dogs to have taken those courses. So you could start small, restricting your business to 5 dogs or fewer.

But you still need to know a fair bit of how things work in Switzerland before you hang out a shingle as a dog care business. It would be difficult to start a dog business in Switzerland if you do not know Swiss regulations and expectations - you need to know 'the Swiss way' to be in a position to provide the care your clients would expect.

Towards that end, I'd suggest taking the NHB (National HundehalterBrevet) courses, theory and practical. These are designed for dog owners, but could provide you with at least a basic certificate prior to starting even a small dog care business with a limit of 5 dogs. There are a few providers who offer this course in English, including EF's own CherryTree. You could PM her for more info.

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Do be aware, though, that dog law is not only federal but also cantonal and community. You will need to also comply with cantonal regs - especially in BSL cantons - and community regs, the most difficult of which can be gaining planning permission to run a dog business in your area due to noise regs and neighborhood objections.

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Even if you start small, you really need to have at least basic functional German (or French or Italian, area dependent), or hire someone who does. Think about how you'd go about understanding business licensing, insurance, and most importantly ability to respond to an emergency.

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Not to rain on your parade, but these are things you should consider. And while you are thinking... take a German (FR, IT) course!

Or better yet, join a Hundeschule. I learned most of my 'everyday' German while taking dog classes. My German is still faulty, but thanks to nattering on with my trainers and classmates my 'Hundisch' is pretty darn good.

---

Wishing you all the best with your venture!

Last edited by meloncollie; 09.06.2021 at 23:14. Reason: Forgot about Italian... oops.
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