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Sleep Aggression And Boarding


Guest summernights
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Guest summernights

My work is having a fancy gala on Friday night downtown, so DH and I decided to make a night of it and stay in a hotel. Since it's only for one night, we decided to board Gem at a new pet hotel that just opened up downtown instead of her normal spot (a greyhound farm about an hour+ away).

 

While reading through the rules for the dog hotel, one caught my eye

We do not allow dogs that have caused injury or shown aggression towards humans or other dogs

 

Gem has sleep aggression, and we discovered this about a month or two after we adopted her when, while she was asleep, I gave her a full-on hug and she bit me on the lip. It wasn't a bad enough bite to warrant going to the ER, but it bled and looked like hell and now I have a little scar. My bad, obviously...the phrase "let sleeping dogs lie" obviously came from someone like me :rolleyes: She normally will growl, bark and snap briefly when startled awake, then you can see her fully wake up and get kind of sheepish like "oh, did I do that thing again?". We manage it by talking to her when she's asleep to wake her up, and I can't remember the last time that it happened. It also seems to have gone away as she's gotten older.

 

I'm worried that when I disclose Gem's sleep aggression, the dog hotel may turn us away. Technically, she has caused injury and shown aggression towards humans, but only under the specific circumstance of bothering her while she's asleep.

 

Am I making a bigger deal out of this than it should be? :dunno

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Guest FullMetalFrank

I think you will be OK. At the kennel I work for, we are pretty well-versed in dog behavior and no one would do something like hug an unfamiliar dog, etc... I would let the staff know she does not like to be approached while asleep (which will not likely happen in the kennel, because the dogs will be awake at turnout time!) The way our kennel works, the dogs get turned out into individual runs or social groups if they are known to the staff to be social and always under supervision. While they are out, we do room service and prepare their breakfast; then we go get them and bring them back inside to their kennels one by one. They eat, and an hour or so later the process is repeated except they have a longer turnout for social or individual play. Then their evening meal is prepared, kennels serviced, we bring them back inside to eat, they have last turnout for potty, then it's back inside for the night. The possibility of a dog being approched while sleeping by the kennel staff is pretty non-existent.

 

Since the business is new, I might ask about the staff's credentials and make sure they are managed by a certified kennel operator. You can ask for a tour of the facility and they should be willing to give you one.

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I think you will be OK. At the kennel I work for, we are pretty well-versed in dog behavior and no one would do something like hug an unfamiliar dog, etc... I would let the staff know she does not like to be approached while asleep (which will not likely happen in the kennel, because the dogs will be awake at turnout time!) The way our kennel works, the dogs get turned out into individual runs or social groups if they are known to the staff to be social and always under supervision. While they are out, we do room service and prepare their breakfast; then we go get them and bring them back inside to their kennels one by one. They eat, and an hour or so later the process is repeated except they have a longer turnout for social or individual play. Then their evening meal is prepared, kennels serviced, we bring them back inside to eat, they have last turnout for potty, then it's back inside for the night. The possibility of a dog being approched while sleeping by the kennel staff is pretty non-existent.

 

Since the business is new, I might ask about the staff's credentials and make sure they are managed by a certified kennel operator. You can ask for a tour of the facility and they should be willing to give you one.

excellent advise, and it's only for one night!

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Guest lasharp1209

Yep I came across a similar phrase when I was signing Blade up for basic obedience class. He has bitten both my husband and myself in the past due to high-value resource guarding, and some space aggression when he's lying down. He is much better now, but I didn't know if I should disclose that or not, so I understand how you feel. I knew it wasn't something that would happen during training class, it is stuff that happens at home where he is comfortable. And in your case, I would certainly not think it applies to sleep aggression. I wouldn't worry about it.

 

Plus... ALL dogs can bite, if circumstances allow. Anyone who would bother your dog while she is sleeping shouldn't be working at a boarding kennel.

Edited by lasharp1209
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