Got a dog? Send it to daycare while you are at work!
The Puppy Playpen has a location on Ellicott Street, near the Oak St. exit of the 33. Owner Robert Higgins says that most of the dogs in his care have owners who commute to work from the suburbs. It is covenient because they can drop off the dogs on their way to work, and then pick them up when they head home.
This is the second location for the Higgins; a North Buffalo location (2293 Delaware) opened in 2003–now supervised by Robert’s wife Rosanne. After the success of the first Puppy Play Pen, they decided to open a second location in the city. “We figured that there would be a lot of people living in Buffalo apartments with no yards, but surprisingly, most people are commuters that come from the suburbs and the hours seem to work great for them.”
The owners of The Puppy Playpens work off of a pack management philosophy. Both locations of the daycare welcome all breeds of dogs, and they both have a great reputation for working with dogs deemed ‘difficult’ by other puppy daycares.
“Some dogs are just not used to a pack,” Higgins says. “We like to socialize them slowly and supervise their playtime.” The daycare has two separate rooms, divided into 3 different areas for the different packs. “The room for the larger dogs has rubber floors so that it is easier on their joints.”
The owners really go out of their way to recognize the needs of different dogs. “Some dogs are instinctively working breeds so we try to find activities that fulfill their natural needs,” according to Higgins. He once took in a dog who was known to nip at the legs of other dogs. “Another daycare took that as violence, but we realized that it was a herd dog and that’s how it instinctively released its energy. We curbed that and also found other activities that fulfilled its instincts so that it can play without nipping.” Since the playpen is separated into 3 different areas, it is easy for Higgins to supervise the dogs and make sure that each dog has the safest, most pleasant experience.
The daycare runs Monday-Friday from 7 AM till 6 PM. The dogs do not have to stay from open till close, but they do not do half days because they want to create the most relaxing experience for the dogs. “The whole pack gets anxiety if one dog is picked up in the middle of the day–so the rest of them wait for their turn and pace around,” Higgins explains.
The going rate for a day at the Puppy Playpen is $24, but bulk passes are available for purchase. The best part is that a 10 session pass does not have to be used on 10 consecutive days. For more rates and information, check out their web site.
The Puppy Playpen
431 Ellicott St.