Life With Yuna -
8 Month Update:
Yuna's Report Card

I also do wonder what Yuna’s opinion is of daycare herself. Hopefully she doesn’t see it as her being abandoned, and treats it like a vacation!

April 30th, 2019

So at the time of this post I am still on vacation, but here’s this month’s update on Yuna!

A yellow Lab smiling with her Mickey Mouse pillow.

As I am on vacation and unable to attend for her, a big chunk of this month was preparing for her own vacation at a local boarding facility.

This time, I decided to try new kennel in my area–Downtown Dog Lounge (DDL).

Around the middle of the month, we scheduled an evaluation with DDL to see if she’d be a good fit for their services.

We were very satisfied with our experience there on her evaluation day, which was a full day of daycare with the staff at DDL. Throughout the day, DDL sent me updates via text and capped it off with a “report card” to summarize the day’s evaluation.

This update will be devoted to dissecting this report card to see how we can improve Yuna’s behavior going forward!

Leading Up To Evaluation Day

Yuna had previously boarded with another local facility, The Barking Lounge. Her evaluation there went smoothly and so I didn’t really have any doubts that Yuna would fail DDL’s evaluation.

Yuna is quite the mellow dog at home. She never barks, never really bothers you, and just likes to lay around and sleep away the day.

A dog resting on a comfy looking blue bed.
Zzz... do not disturb.

She is a different dog outside, however. Upon knowing we’re heading outside, she’ll instantly get extremely excited and wag her tail like there’s no tomorrow.

When meeting new people and dogs she also tends to get overexcited. If she likes you, there’s a decent chance she’ll try and jump on you during the first few minutes of your interaction.

However, that dies down and she usually reverts to her calm self.

This is exactly what I expected from her report card. Let’s take a look at her actual review was!

Yuna’s Report Card

Yuna's Report Card after completing her evaluation at Downtown Dog Lounge.

This was an excellent opportunity for me to review Yuna’s behavior as observed by a professional dog handler. There’s quite a few good insights here!

Comfort Level

Yuna’s overall comfort level was very high. This was a great sign and made me comfortable trusting DDL with Yuna for 10 days.

Yuna never gets aggressive around well-behaved dogs, so this fell according to my expectations.

Comfort Level Comments

The comments note that she was very excited to meet new humans and dogs. Typical Yuna.

It also mentions she was “learning her boundaries with others which caused some social tension.”

That one was a little less expected. From my experiences with Yuna at my dog-friendly office as well as at dog parks, Yuna is usually the one who will approach every single dog to sniff their butt, but then back off and not do much else.

I don’t really see her overstepping any boundaries at dog parks, though it may be different in a new environment with a LOT more dogs.

So this was definitely an interesting comment to me, and I’ll have to observe the webcams to see this for myself.

Behaviors of Note

Piloerection – the erection or bristling of hairs due to the involuntary contraction of small muscles at the base of hair follicles that occurs as a reflexive response of the sympathetic nervous system especially to cold, shock or fright.

Basically, the mohawk thing that you observe in some dogs.

I have definitely seen this a lot in Yuna’s everyday interactions with other dogs on the street. I am not sure exactly what kind of emotional response triggers it, but I don’t think it’s ever one out of fear or aggression. Usually I’ve just assumed it was due to curiosity and her burning desire to meet every dog on walks…

A yellow Lab looks happy meeting another black dog at the beach.
Yuna meets a friendly dog at Cannon Beach, OR.

Rapid tail wag. Yuna’s tail goes off like there’s a battery-powered motor somewhere inside there, so no surprises there… and not sure how that could be fixed.

Panting. Also very expected of her.

Corrections (verbal). No doubt she possibly needed to be told to not jump on other people and sit still before getting to enter the park.

The rest of the comment mentions her overstimulation, which I fully expected as well. Yuna is just always super excited when entering new environments and usually needs some time to familiarize herself with it before she can cool down.

I’m sure that after more time spent at DDL she’ll start to be more calm.

Obedience

Ah, so this is the big one. It’s good for me to be fully transparent and objective about this section so I can improve her going forward.

Sit

Great to see that Yuna passed her sit test with flying colors. This is probably the result of me telling her to sit a lot in all the outdoor photos we take.

A dog posing nicely in front of a brilliant blue sky, wind in her ears.

Waits

She was marked as “trying” for waits. I think that’s about where I’d put her as well.

Yuna is decent at understanding what “stay” means in certain contexts. While she’s sitting or laying down, she’ll usually stay very well, even if outdoors.

However, if she’s standing or performing some trick (i.e. paws up), she doesn’t seem to understand “stay” in that context.

In addition, I can see her breaking a stay in an exciting environment full of dogs such as a kennel, so we’ll have to continue working on this.

Recall

Out of the four categories here I would definitely say that recall is Yuna’s worst.

It was both surprising and not surprising to me that one of her comments was that she didn’t respond very well to her name.

Indoors, she is very good at coming when she hears her name. She definitely gets super distracted whenever we are outside though.

The classic scenario while we’re out on walks is that when she finds a bush she wants to sniff, she will do anything in her power to sniff it thoroughly.

No matter how much you try to call her name, she tends to ignore you and will continue sniffing to her heart’s content.

A closeup of a Labrador's wet snout.

Also, if she’s off-leash and still in her overexcited mode, it’s hard to get her to recall once she starts chasing after another dog, goose, or squirrel.

I completely agree with this evaluation of Yuna’s recall.

Boundaries

This was covered before and it’s good to see that she’s trying, but there’s definitely some behavioral improvements to be made.

Touch Test

No sensitivity found–Yuna definitely likes to be petted everywhere.

Play Park

Yuna is definitely social and friendly.

I thought it was funny that the comment was “small attempts at play” because there’s no more accurate way to describe this.

Yuna does some funny things and is kind of an awkward turtle sometimes in her interactions with dogs.

Cabin Comments

Calm in the kennel–100% expected.

Conclusion

Overall, I thought this was a pretty accurate evaluation of Yuna. I hope she’ll improve over the course of her stay and she familiarizes herself with the staff and her fellow doggy playmates.

I also do wonder what Yuna’s opinion is of daycare herself. Hopefully she doesn’t see it as her being abandoned, and treats it like a vacation!

A portrait of a dog looking happy wearing a black and white Mickey Mouse bandana.

A huge thanks to DDL for keeping her company for these 10 days.

Though I’m on vacation, we’ve still got daily updates and useful tips for dog owners on Yuna’s Instagram! You don’t want to miss them.

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