Archive | February, 2015

The Good Dog Spot Valentine’s Pawty Makes The News!

Yes, you heard right, our Annual Valentine’s Day Pawty made the news this past Friday!

Were you able to you see your pup on tv?

Check the video out here

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WGGB) — Puppy love was in the air today at The Good Dog Spot in Chicopee.

They held their annual Valentines party.  All dogs at the day care exchange valentines which were treats and snacks.

They even got to make heart shaped valentines themselves!

“We dip it in a little bit of safe paint and then put their paw print on the paper,” explains Shannon O’Connell, Senior Pet Care Specialist.

“They love it just as much as the staff does,” she says.

The pups were even treated to an ice cream social.

February is National Spay & Neuter Month. What You Need To Know:


Benefits of Spaying and Neutering

By Carly O’Malley

Senior Pet Care Specialist and Social Media Coordinator – The Good Dog Spot

Ph.D. Student – Animal Behavior and Welfare Group – Michigan State University

What is spaying and neutering?

The terms spay, and neuter, refer to the procedures used to physically alter your pet so that they are unable to reproduce. ‘Spay’ refers to the procedure for females, where the ovaries, uterus, and fallopian tubes are removed. ‘Neuter’ refers to the procedure for males, where the testes are removed.

What are the physical benefits of spaying and neutering?

Spaying and neutering protect your pet from serious, life-threatening diseases, such as ovarian cancer, pyometra, and testicular cancer. The risk of your female pet developing mammary, ovarian, and uterine cancer increases with every heat cycle. Neutering your male pet significantly reduces the risk of testicular cancer. Altering your pet also reduces their risk of contracting other diseases or injuries related to mating, fighting, and roaming. Your female dog will not have a heat cycle after being spayed, which means no messy clean-up for you.

What are the behavioral benefits of spaying and neutering?

The most basic biological drive for all living things is to pass on genes to the next generation. This leads to behaviors meant to secure resources (mates, food, and shelter) such as roaming, fighting, spraying, marking, aggression, breaking out of homes, and other problem behaviors. These behaviors are hard-wired and controlled by hormones. Altering an animal helps control the hormones, and the behaviors. Unaltered animals can be distracted and moody, making them more difficult to train. Males can smell a female in heat from miles away, motivating them to get to her in any way possible, including breaking out of houses or yards.

Why don’t you allow unaltered animals in daycare?

Unaltered animals really only have one thing on their mind. This makes them hard to manage in a daycare setting. Having unaltered animals in the group also affects the behavior of the other dogs, fixed or not. The pheromones given off by the unaltered animal cause behavioral reactions, raising the energy level of the entire group and making it more likely that fights will break out. Even the most even-tempered dogs can become unpredictable and aggressive in this situation. TGDS has allowed unaltered dogs on a few occasions, but typically they need to be considered a red dog no matter how well behaved, and need special playgroups. We often need to keep in mind which dogs are in the next room as well, to ensure everyone’s safety.

The most important reason to alter your animal:

The single most important reason to get your animal spayed or neutered is so that you do not contribute to pet overpopulation. 3-4 million pets get euthanized every year in shelters because there are simply no homes for them. Responsible breeders guarantee a home for every puppy or kitten they breed.

The Daycare Games are Back!

The Good Dog Spot                                                                                                                                          Contact: Elizabeth Staples
Managing Director
January 30, 2015




Just Like the Olympics, only it’s for the Off-Leash Pet Care Industry!

Chicopee, MA – Let the games begin! The annual Daycare Games for the off-leash pet care industry kicks off this Sunday, February 1st! The games invite dog daycare centers around the nation to partake in a friendly competition to test their staff’s dog leadership skills. The competition is open to members of The Dog Gurus*, an organization which provides educational resources for off-leash Dog Play.

Each daycare will enroll in a class based on the size of the facility. With eight or more employees, The Good Dog Spot in Chicopee will be competing in the Large Class.   Staff members are split into levels based on their experience as a dog handler and then they compete in three different events throughout the month.

The events include:

  • Dog Recall: the percentage of dogs in the playgroup who come when called;
  • Group Sits: the number of dogs in the playgroup who will sit at the same time on command; and
  • Managing the Gate Boundary: the number of dogs who wait calmly at the boundary line of an entry door/gate.

After each event, just like the Olympics, gold, silver, and bronze medals are awarded on an individual level to staff members.  In addition, each facility is recognized for the overall medals their staff were awarded.

“This is a great opportunity for our dog daycare facility to introduce our knowledgeable staff to the community and recognize them for their hard work,” shares owner Elizabeth Staples.  “This is a chance for our team to test and practice the skills used every day with their daycare groups.  Plus it is fun to compete with other facilities.  Most importantly I believe is the need to educate the public about the importance of basic off-leash pet training to socialize dogs where appropriate.”

Results are calculated and posted weekly so facilities can see how they rank amongst each other. The overall winner of each class will be announced at the end of the month.

For more information about The Daycare Games or The Good Dog Spot please log on to



*About The Dog Gurus: Co-creators Robin Bennett and Susan Briggs have over 25 years’ experience as operators and consultants in the dog daycare industry. They are accredited with many resources including a 16-modeule training program for off-leash play based on their best-selling book, “Off-Leash Play: A Complete Guide to Safety and Fun”. They continue to create resources for the professional pet care industry with the goal of keeping all dogs safe.

Pet of the Month: Albert!



About Albert:

Albert is a very fun loving, happy go lucky young man! In the six months that he has been a part of our daycare program, he has grown and matured tremendously! During his first few visits to daycare, he was a crazy pup with lots and lots of energy. He loved to play with all the other dogs and sometimes found himself getting into trouble for being unable to control himself when over excited. His attention span when working with staff during group training sessions was very short and he would often get impatient and jump on the staff when he felt they were too slow handing out the treats.

In a very short amount of time, however, Albert has grown into a well mannered young man! He now only has short burst of energy first thing in the mornings and has gotten very good at regulating his own play, giving himself breaks before he gets over excited. His manners with the staff have also improved dramatically! He now is a star pupil during group training sessions and listens intently for the next command. While he still gets a little excited and jumps on the staff occasionally, he has also made tremendous progress in that area as well! Albert can usually be found palling around with his many best friends or where ever there is a camera!

Closed Tomorrow: Monday February 2nd

Chicopee schools will be closed tomorrow, in following our Snow Policy, The Good Dog Spot will be CLOSED tomorrow.

We will be calling all grooming appointments tomorrow to be rescheduled.

We apologize for any inconvenience, please stay safe and warm everyone!