Our dogs enjoy the hikes more than any other activity. They just love it and its an excellent way to stimulate them, help them bond with the staff (if they are new) and allieviate any first time anxiety. When you sign up for North of Woof! Boarding you will be asked to fill out a questionnaire that covers things such as recall and walk behavior, prey drive, food motivation levels etc so that we have a good handle on how they would do on a hike and what is the best set up for them to hike. There are several options for hiking boarding dogs for safety: Off Leash (for dogs with excellent recall and no flight risk), Dropped Leash (For dogs who need a little reinforcement but are generally well behaved we use a 30 to 50ft long leash clipped to a harness to enable reinforcement but still give them some freedom), or on leash (for dogs who are not able to go off leash but are good walkers, we walk them on a waist leash or a 15ft leash depending on each dogs hiking behavior). Every new dog is taken on their first hike on a held long leash and we test to see how they respond to recall etc. When boarding there are so many factors that can affect recall (both positively and negatively), so don't be surprised if your pup exhibits different behavior than they would with you, we are experienced in all of these situations and work with your dog to get them the best set up possible.
We post pictures of our boarding dogs regularly to give owners an opportunity to check in to see how their pups are doing. Sometimes this can be affected by things such as weather (being pelted in the face by snow or rain doesn't always make for easy picture taking :)) if we have a couple of nervous dogs that require extra attention, or we just got a lot of blurry action shots (getting dogs to pose is never easy!), but generally speaking we try and put up pictures daily, if not every other day. You can check out the North of Woof! Album here.
North of Woof! Boarding operates with lower numbers to ensure quality care. Normally its between 9 to 12 dogs boarding at any given time. During the holiday periods and long weekends, this number goes up slightly but so does the staffing. Many of boarding dogs are veteran boarders or Woof! Day Camp regulars, not having a constant rotation of new dogs but rather a balance of first timers and repeat boarding dogs make larger groups much more relaxed and gives the staff the opportunity to give the first timers a little extra attention.
The only thing owners need to provide for their dogs when boarding is their food, collar & leash.
Boarding is busy, with many dogs coming and going on a daily basis. To keep everything organized, securely stowed away from other dogs etc, we have a bin system to store, protect & organize all boarding dog items. We ask owners to refrain from bringing things such as beds, blankets, toys, chews, treats. When owners bring more items than we are able to store within our system, that system breaks down and items may not be returned, food can get disorganized and dogs may not recieve their medications etc.
For toys/blankets etc, we cannot guarantee that your items will go home in the same condition they were provided; so we ask that you don't bring them. Things that smell like home do not provide your dog with additional security (if anything it makes them more anxious), so keeping them safe at home is best. Treats, chews and toys are can be problematic to provide should there be a dog with resource guarding issues in the group.
Owners are provided with a "How to Pack" Information sheet, (which you can view here) each and everytime they board to provide all owners with the information they need when preparing their dog for their boarding.
We have all the good stuff your dog will need to be comfortable and enjoy their stay with us, bowls, toys, treats, topper, dog beds, blankets etc, are all items we keep on hand.
If your dog is participating in North of Woof! Boarding, please ensure they are on a preventative flea and tick from thaw to freeze (March to November). Especially in the fall and spring months, the temperature of your dog is vastly warmer than the temperature of the ground and these little pests are better able to identify a warm host. We spray inside the facility for fleas and do thorough cleanings but there is no dog to dog protection or ability to protect them while they are in the fields - we do check for ticks but they can be missed, so taking the precaution to keep them flea and tick free is extremely important. If you're dog is found to be hosting fleas (not one but several) during their stay, you will be charged for a flea bath for your dog and an $100 cleaning fee. We understand that some ticks are not affected by Flea and Tick treatment. As such, if your dog gets a tick, we will remove it and inform you and save the tick for testing. There is no cleaning fee as ticks do not jump/replicate in the same manner as fleas.
Because we don't kennel or separate our boarding dogs to give them the most home style boarding experience possible, we have very strict rules about aggression and flight risk dogs. The Assessment Day prior to the commencement of any first time boarding is designed to identify any potential behavioral issues that may affect our ability to integrate and properly care for a dog within our boarding pack. Dogs can get into little 'mini' tussles here or there; those do not dictate that a dog is aggressive, often times these are first day anxiety induced or just over-excitment. Our staff is well trained in identifying and managing the regular things such as the occasional over-excitment fight, limit setting behavior (dogs snapping off other dogs who are not reading their cues), anxiety or initial fear aggression etc; but if a dog is overly prone to these issues or has serious resource guarding behaviors or dog aggression issues, we may not be able to oversee properly because we do not separate the dogs. However, since not all things may be identified during an assessment; there are additional fees of $55 per day should any issues arise that require a dog to be separated from the pack during their boarding. These fees are there to ensure owners are forthwright and responsible about providing accurate information to Woof!. If you believe your dog may be at risk for any of this behavior let us know, many thing are manageable but if they aren't, we are happy to recommend facilities we know and trust that would give your dog a better boarding experience, and you a stress-less time away.
Woof!'s Boarding Farm and Day Camp is a 50 acre operating hay farm in Schomberg, Ontario. The fields grow hay from spring through fall. We have a forested area, apples and pear trees and three ponds. During the hay growth seasons, we cut walkways through the hay so that dogs have pathways to run comfortably, but we have found that the dogs LOVE to bound through the high grass as well. This may mean that they come home with some 'schmutz' if they have long fur.
We do regular burr and coat checks at North of Woof!, but this does not entail a full body brushing or coat maintenance. If your dog requires regular brushing to avoid matting, you may book additional Brushing Services to assist in maintaining their coat while here. If your dog's coat is already matted, we may not be able to provide the service (we do not dematt coats as it is incredibly painful for your dog) but you will not be charged if we can not complete the service.