6045 Pillsbury Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN 55419

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Tools of the Trade

Here at Urban Hound Playground we are always looking for ways to further our dog knowledge so that we may provide the best possible daycare experience for our dogs. Recently, we have started using a variety of new tools in the playrooms both to aid dogs struggling with stress and anxiety, as well as discourage undesired behaviors. When dogs are stressed or anxious it is not uncommon to see behaviors such as whining, barking and marking in excess. Some of the new tools we have implemented, which you may have noticed some of the dogs using on Facebook, include belly bands,  cloud collars/donuts and Thundershirts.

Belly bands are a tool we use when a dog is showing excessive marking habits (i.e.  repeatedly peeing on play equipment, the fence, water bowls, etc…) The belly band is a soft band that goes around the stomach and covers the genital region. The belly bands are removed when the dogs go outside and replaced when dirtied. A disposable pad is placed inside of the band that is changed throughout the day, as we never want dogs to be sitting in their own urine all day. Belly bands are used for the health and hygiene of both dogs and staff, and serve as a reminder for the dog that marking inside is an inappropriate behavior.

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                    Sheldon models the belly band.                

Cloud Collars/Donuts are essentially a blue neck/travel pillow that velcros around the dog’s neck. Donuts serve a few different purposes including preventing small dogs from squeezing through the fencing and escaping from the playrooms, as well as soothing stress and anxiety. Excessive barking is often a signal of distress for dogs. We have found that the donuts work very well in soothing anxiety and reducing barking. We much prefer this method over items such as bark collars, as the donut has a soothing element involved as opposed to just a correcting element. While we do have bark collars, they are only used in very rare cases and would never be placed on a dog without speaking with the owner beforehand. Donuts are also seen as the new age "cone" and can be used for dogs who are recovering from surgery.

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Elle wearing the donut next to her playmate Freyja. 

Finally, we have recently stocked up on Thundershirts. While many of our clients already wear Thundershirts to daycare, we like to have them on hand as well. For those that are unfamiliar, Thundershirts are a soft, snug vest that velcro around the dog and serves to reduce anxiety and stress. The Thundershirt essentially “hugs” the dog and the simple pressure on the torso and back often eases anxiety for most dogs.

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Notice Nora's relaxed posture as she wears her Thundershirt.

Here at Urban Hound Playground we are always trying to make the daycare and boarding experience as positive for the dogs as possible. If you have any further questions or concerns about these new tools please don’t ever hesitate to call, email or ask us in person. If you would like more information about the tools as well as where you could purchase them yourself please check out the links below.

To learn more about belly bands click here.

To learn more about Cloud Collars/Donuts click here

To learn more about Thundershirts click here.




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"The Urban Hound is the perfect home away from home for a dog like me to play, stay and have fun all day! I can't wait for more furry friends to come join me here at the best dog play zone in the Twin Cities. I look forward to meeting all of the new hounds that will spend their time here, and I am certain my dog-loving family will make your dog's time at the Urban Hound a wonderful adventure!"

Gus V.