What is Dog Day Care 101?

"Dog Day Care 101" is a short term program for dogs who are not ready for day care just yet. They have potential, but they need a little help with one thing or another before they are ready.

Why we created 101
What we do

At Day Care 101, we set them up for success. The program is designed to be short term and focuses on the fundamentals necessary to thrive in a Day Care setting or Dog Montessori School. Once the fundamentals are mastered, the sky's the limit! 

Program Details
Have questions? Ask us virtually

Fundamentals We Focus On:

  • Confidence Building
  • Overcoming Shyness and Fear
  • How to Play with Others and Have Fun
  • How to Share Toys
  • How to be Independent and Rest
  • Potty Training
  • Studying for the Montessori School Behavior Assessment

Day Care 101 Program Goal

Teach the dog what he needs to succeed in a regular dog day care setting, in 4-8 sessions, depending on each dog’s individual needs. This is simply a goal, not a requirement. We want the dogs to make progress at their pace, so we aim for 4-8 sessions for an improvement towards our goal, but we do not rush, force, or end the program arbitrarily after 8 sessions, and it can be extended on a case by case basis.

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What’s the difference?

Day Care 101 Dog


Montessori School Dog

Wary of new things Confidence Approaches new things happily
Considers other dogs scary Shyness Considers other dogs friends or is indifferent and prefers humans
May want to but doesn’t know how to play with others or do activities Social Cues Has a play style and enjoys compatible play partners or humans or activities
May be hesitant but does not resource guard Sharing Knows there are plenty of toys, treats, and attention for everyone
May have mild separation spectrum issues, but is working with a certified separation anxiety trainer and is in the final steps of their recovery journey – the issue is being alone. Independence Can remain calm and peaceful for an hour without people or dogs present
May have mild trouble settling in a group setting for a full hour - the issue is self regulation/focus. Rest Is able to rest and settle in a group setting to benefit from an hour of structured rest
May show mild signs of stress for brief the first 5 minutes of confinement in a properly fitted nap condo for the lunch and nap hour - the issue is confinement Enclosure Knows that a nap condo is a great place to relax or do a puzzle and they can feel safe even though the door is closed
May become mildly vocal when another dog or human passes by on the other side of a gate/fence/window/door Barrier Barking May notice a dog or human passes by on the other side of a gate/fence/window/door, but dog not vocalize, pursue, or become stressed
May still have indoor accidents Potty Training Knows that there is a specific place and an appropriate time to use the bathroom
Isn’t quite ready for a day care setting Has all the fundamentals down and is ready

What’s the difference?

Day Care 101 Dogs vs. Montessori School Dogs


Wary of new things vs. Approaches new things happily


Other dogs are scary vs. Considers other dogs friends or is indifferent and prefers humans


May want to but doesn't know how to play with others or do activities vs. Has a play style and enjoys compatible play partners or humans or activites


Guards toys, food, or attention vs. Knows there are plenty of toys, treats, and attention for everyone

Independence & Rest:

May have separation anxiety, cling to staff, or become upset alone vs. Can enjoy the benefits of a nap alone

Potty Training

May still have indoor accidents vs. Knows that there is a specific place and an appropriate time  to use the bathroom

Is it a good fit?

The 101 program is perfect for:

  • Covid 19 Pandemic Dogs
  • Dogs who have been recently adopted (but home at least 2 weeks to adjust)
  • Dogs who are shy or skittish
  • Dogs who have mild separation anxiety and are referred to us by a Certified Separation Anxiety Trainer CSAT
  • Dogs who have supportive parents who are trying to help their dogs get the bit of extra help they need to resolve issues to be successful in a day care setting

The 101 program is NOT the best fit for:

  • Dogs with separation anxiety that need a doggie day care service - Day Care 101 is only offered one day per week for a half day, and attendance is required on the schedule we set to be able to participate
  • Dogs with separation anxiety who are looking for a cure in Day Care 101 - curing separation anxiety requires a holistic approach and comprehensive recovery program with support in every aspect of the dog's life. Day Care 101 can be step in the process for those working with a certified separation anxiety trainer (CSAT), but it is not a cure
  • Dogs with more than two behavior concerns that prevent them from passing the Dog Montessori School Behavior Assessment - if the dog has 1 or 2 issues, we can resolve that in 4 to 8 weeks at Day Care 101, but if the dog has more than 2 issues, it is not a fit.
  • Dogs that have bite histories with dogs or humans
  • Dogs with resource guarding behaviors
  • Dogs that would be considered "unsafe" for any reason in a public Dog Park
  • Puppies < 6 months old
Puppy Head Start for Puppies <6 mo
Private Dog Training & Behavior Assistance

Meet the Founder

About Patrick

Patrick founded Patrick's Pet Care in March 2012 as a dog walking company in the Columbia Heights neighborhood of Washington, DC. His values for operating a pet care business are based on a genuine love of animals, a commitment to do the right thing, and a personal approach to meeting the needs of all the animals and people who depend on Patrick's Pet Care. A core pillar of this philosophy is a firm belief in corporate social responsibility standards. Patrick believes all employees deserve to be paid a District of Columbia living wage, receive health insurance coverage, and paid time off in order to provide the best care to our clients. Fundamentally, Patrick aims to create thriving relationships between people and their canine companions, using science and consent based methods without fear, pain or force.

Patrick is a certified force free dog trainer, certified fear free dog groomer, and a Certified Professional Animal Care Operator (CPACO).

Ready to Start?

New Customers

Basic Requirements
  • Referral from Montessori School after not passing our Behavior Assessment OR Virtual Admissions Interview with one of our Trainers, after a referral from an Animal Behaviorist or Certified Dog Trainer
  • No resource guarding behaviors
  • Age: 6 months – 12 years
  • Weight: 8-85 lbs
  • Vaccinations: Rabies; DHPP / DAPP; and Bordetella
  • All dogs Must be spayed/neutered
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Locations & Schedules