REQUIREMENTS                TO JOIN

 

1. MEET-AND-GREETS

 

Location of Meet-and-Greet:

It is most successful if you are able to meet me at the Needham dog park while I am there with a playdate group. This gives you and your dog a chance to meet the pack, while also observing how I manage the playdate groups.


Alternatively, we can meet in your home if you cannot get to the park while I am there. I will bring a member of my pack for your dog to meet!


Reason for Meet-and-Greet:

I will determine if your dog will be a good fit for the group based on your dog’s:

     1.  Friendliness toward me during

           initial encounter;

     2.  Willingness to get into my car 

           while you are present;

     3.  Friendliness toward the rest of my 

           dogs at the park (or a dog from 

           my pack that I bring for the meet-

           and-greet if we meet in your 

           home).

 

2. DOG'S AGE

 

Due to the fact that these are play-groups, it is not recommended that a dog over the age of 10 join the groups. Most of the dogs in my groups are between puppyhood and age three, which means high-energy play, and lots of on-the-ground wrestling. Older dogs tend to show discomfort with this, and can even act out aggressively to get them to stop playing. 


Additionally, dogs can show signs of cognitive decline with age just as humans can, which can often lead to behavior changes that include confusion, anxiety, hallucinations, not recognizing people, and aggression. That level of unpredictability is not safe for the group.

 

3. VACCINATIONS

 

Your dog MUST be up-to-date on ALL veterinarian-required vaccinations. You must provide proof of all vaccinations upon joining the group.

 

4. TEMPERAMENT

 

Your dog MUST be friendly with ALL dogs (male, female, fixed, unfixed, puppy, older dog, etc.), as well as ALL humans. NO EXCEPTIONS.


This is a PLAY group. Absolutely NO aggression is tolerated, and is grounds for immediate and permanent removal from groups.


Please see the detailed descriptions of aggressive behavior and how it differentiates from rough-play behavior below!

 

5. ENTRY PAPERWORK

 

Prior to joining groups, you are required to fill out entry paper work that will be given to you during the meet-and-greet. 

Enrollment form:   - basic information (name, age,          breed, address, etc.)   - The vet office you use   - Your dog's health history   - Temperament/Behavior   - Vaccinations   - Your preferred schedule

Policies and Procedures:   - Required tags on your dog's collar   - Cancellation policy   - Weather-related cancellations   - Procedure for an injured dog    - No tolerance policy on aggression

 

AGGRESSION: IMMEDIATE REMOVAL FROM THE GROUP

 

An aggressive altercation is defined as when a dog engages in the below listed aggressive behaviors, WHILE ALSO displaying the aggressive body language described below.


Aggressive body language often includes, but is not limited to:

    - standing rigidly with tense muscles

          as if "on guard."

    - raising the hair on its neck and back

    - maintaining an erect and upward 

          pointing tail that is NOT wagging

    - elongating its neck toward the sky to 

          make itself look taller

    - broadening its shoulders.


These are the brief warning signs of a potential oncoming attack. This body language alone is NOT grounds for dismissal from The Manda Pack, LLC. The body language MUST be accompanied by the aggressive behaviors described below in order to warrant removal from the group. 


Occasionally, a dog may display aggressive body language when it is nervous about a new dog or person arriving at the dog park. In this case, if the body language is temporary, and does not accompany aggressive behavior, the dog does not need to be removed from the group – this type of situation is typical for a dog who is tentative, cautious, or nervous, and they are not being aggressive.


Aggressive behaviors often include but are not limited to:

    - When a dog lunges at another dog or 

          person

    - bears its teeth

    - growls

    - barks loudly and rapidly in a way that is 

         more intense than typical barking

    - claws or scratches at another dog or 

         person

    - mouths/bites/nips another dog or 

        person

    - A dog’s lack of response to human 

        intervention, such as verbal commands, 

        blocking with objects or body parts, 

        physically restraining, pulling, or 

        gently pushing the dog.


While engaging in these behaviors, your dog must ALSO be displaying the body language that signals aggression (which looks different from body language during rough play, as described below).


Playful Body Language, which is required of BOTH dogs:

    - bodies are relaxed (not rigid or 

         tense)

    - tails are wagging

    - hair on the neck is NOT raised


Playful Behavior includes: 

    - the dogs take turns being on top, or 

         laying belly up

    - the dogs take turns chasing, and being 

         chased

    - the dogs take turns playing tug-o-war.

    - circling or hiding behind large obstacles

    - performing a "play bow," where a dog 

         thrusts its front legs forward onto 

         the ground, while keeping their 

         backside in the air - this signals the 

         desire to play. Their tail can either 

         be wagging or erect in this situation

    - staring at each other waiting for the 

         other to perform a play bow to 

         initiate play

    - fluctuating between these 

         aforementioned play behaviors. 


Rough play: If the dogs are displaying body language that is consistent with play as mentioned above, they MAY display these behaviors and it is NOT considered aggression.


    - wrestling

    - bearing teeth

    - growling

    - barking

    - groaning

    - mouthing each other

    - nipping each other

    - scratching.


If a dog is engaged in rough play, they can be stopped more easily with human commands, blocking, pulling, etc.






 

WANT TO JOIN THE PACK?

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The Manda Pack, L.L.C.

Needham, MA, USA

(440) 477-1037

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