Sending any dog to a boarding facility while you travel is stressful. When your dog is known to be aggressive, your stress level may be even higher. You worry that your dog may hurt another dog or human or that he may not get adequate attention because caregivers are afraid of him. Here are some ways to make sure your dog has a good, safe experience at the boarders in spite of his more aggressive nature.
Choose your boarding facility carefully.
Don't board at the first facility you come across. Spend your time researching different facilities in the area. Here are some qualities to look for in a facility that stands a better chance of handling your more aggressive dog safely and wisely:
- A large number of staff per dog. Stay away from places with only one or two people on staff at a time.
- Spacious kennels. Ideally, the kennels should have a lot of space between them so your dog does not feel like his territory is being encroached upon.
- Individual walks. Some kennels will only exercise dogs that can walk with other dogs. Look for a kennel that will take your dog for walks alone, even if you have to pay more for this option.
- Educated staff members. Facilities that hire experienced animal handlers will have people on staff who are better at reading dog body language and dealing with aggressive dogs. Ask how the facility selects and trains their employees.
Try some calming sprays and ointments beforehand.
Many pet stores sell pheromone sprays that will naturally calm your dog. However, they don't work for every dog. Purchase one of these sprays in advance so you can try it out to ensure it works well for your dog. You may have to try a few brands to find one that works. There are also pheromone ointments that you apply to your dog's nose. Once you find one that works, bring it with you to the boarding facility so the employees can apply it to your dog's cage, coat, or nose as needed to keep him calm.
Tell them, in as much detail as possible, how to calm your dog down.
As the owner, you've probably figured out the best way to get your dog to calm down or back off. Maybe you have to back away from him, or perhaps offering a treat helps. Write these instructions down so you can give them to the boarding facility. Be detailed so they know exactly what to do if your dog begins acting aggressive. If you have further questions, contact boarding facilities like Sally Terroux Dog Training.