If your pup has never been to see us before, we require a registration day prior to membership enrollment. This is an opportunity to make sure we all get along and is helpful for your pup to become comfortable with us and our unique structure.
Registration day morning is the only time we require drop off - shuttles can be utilized there after. Please plan to be here for 20-30 minutes after your scheduled drop off time for your paperwork review, a tour of the facilities and to clarify any questions either of us may have.
Registration day requires a non-refundable $50 fee at time of booking. This fee covers the day of Day Camp, administrative costs, our risks during the additional testing, and your shuttle home in the evening should you be within the service area and elect to take it.
We ask that all pawrents have a contingency plan in place for the day - if your dog struggles within our environment, you will be expected to pick them up immediately upon notification. Should your dog do well, we will wait for your pre-arranged pick up time or shuttle them home in the evening. Plan to have another 15+ minute chat in the evening where we will discuss in detail with you all of our observations and notes throughout the day about your individual dogs strengths and weaknesses within our set up.
Request our two brief registration forms & an evaluation appointment by entering your information below!
More about registration day:
During evaluation your dog will be tested in a variety of situations to make sure they will have a beneficial experience from and are capable of respectfully interacting within our unique environment. We do not require but highly encourage guests within our service area to try the home shuttle service at the end of their first day as it provides us a chance to see how your pal handles it and also instills a positive association with the bus taking them home.
We begin testing by watching your friend’s ability to respond to basic requests. This consists of taking them to a yard by themselves and seeing if/how they respond to their name, “Come”, “Sit”, etc. This also gives your pup a chance to explore a little, get their nerves out, pee on a few things, and calm down from initial arrival. Towards the end of this cool off period we also test your pal’s ability to be handled if necessary. This portion consists of handling their collar, leashing them up, brushing their sides, picking them up (yes, even large dogs.) and handling their legs, feet, mouth and tail to see how they respond.
The next step in the process is to overstimulate your dog and see how well they do self-policing their behavior. This usually consists of running around, vigorous petting, and general stimulation followed by a quick break and seeing how quickly they settle again.
Only after we are confident with your dog’s ability to be safely handled in an emergency and their ability to respond to basic requests and overstimulating environments will we consider introducing them to another dog. It is extremely rare, but possible that a dog may never make it past this stage.
If we are comfortable proceeding, we will try a slow introduction with another dog of similar size and demeanor. If everything is going smoothly we will introduce a second dog into the group, gradually adding different personality types. Eventually, your dog will be integrated into a group of up to 15 dogs ranging in size, age, and energy level. This dynamic changes depending on our daily roster. Our staff will always be directly at hand monitoring to ensure group cohesion.
Throughout the day, we will be observing your dog's ability to give and interpret body language communication signals. There are positive and negative signals that dogs use to communicate with each other. Your dog should be able to communicate if they reach their comfort threshold and respect those requests from others. The intricacies of dog to dog communication are heavily based on context and far too in depth for this letter. If you would like to discuss them more please let us know!
At some point in the day we will also put your dog into one of our boarding bunks and leave them alone while we take everyone to the other room. We are observing your dogs ability to self-soothe and noting if we should be concerned with any separation anxiety overnight.
Unfortunately, we are not the right environment for every dog and always have to consider the individual contribution that will be made to the overall group dynamic when accepting any new guests into our family. One dog struggling in our environment can set the mood for the entire group.
A dog may be disqualified from our program for a variety of reasons, some of the most common of which are: being unresponsive, resistant to handling, giving improper communication signals, generalized anxiety, and extreme cases of separation anxiety. This is by no means an indication of a “bad dog” and should not be interpreted poorly. Sometimes we are not the best match and that is ok. Should this be the result, we will have an open and honest dialogue with you as to why we are not the right fit and do our best to provide as much information as we can to set your pup up for success in the future.
Please remember that your pup will be continually evaluated every time they visit and there is a chance of being rejected from the program at a later time due to newly developed behavior. Dogs are constantly evolving creatures and there is a possibility of aging out of the enjoyment of what we offer.
We do our very best to make sure all dogs are treated as family and that they leave us a better dog than they came.