1. How do you make sure that a group of dogs of such mixed breeds and ages gets along?
We group dogs according to their temperament and need- there are always 2-3 play groups at the ranch: one for the bigger and more energetic dogs in the "Big Dog Zone", and one group for dogs that are smaller, older or prefer a more mellow pace. All dogs go on a hike every day (unless their owners ask us not to). The bigger dogs go for 2-3 miles, and the little/older ones go on two 1 mile hikes or on a 2 mile field trip to the river.We make sure that they get lots of exercise and attention. A tired dog is a happyand cooperative dog!
2. How do you discipline dogs?
First we remind them verbally to behave better, then we spray them with a water bottle, if they still do not listen we might put a gentle leader on them for a short time, which restircts their movement and helps them calm down. If all this does not work, we put them into a time-out. We also constantly discuss their behavior with their owners and each other and problem solve.
3. What is your ratio of little dogs in comparison to big dogs?
About 30% of dogs are less than 25 lbs - and get lots of special TLC because they stay in Martina's home and are with her constantly, even at night. The little dog population is actually the fastest growing group here at the ranch!
4. Why do you allow certain "bully breeds"?
We believe that it is not fair to judge a book by its cover entirely, so we temperament test and then observe "bully breeds" interactions with others closely on their intro daycare day before we accept them. We do not accept any out-of-town "bully breeds" that we have not evaluated first. The few "bullies" in our pack are actually overall very sweet and well- behaved. They make up about 3% of our dog population.
Do you accept senior dogs and young puppies?
We are glad to provide a safe and loving home away from Home for these special need groups, but are also aware that they need extra TLC and a place where they can find refuge from the hustle and bustle of our little dog pack. For puppies that is often a crate, left open during the day for them and closed at night. For seniors we have an extra room, that can be shared with just some other more gentle dogs. Seniors often like it when their parents bring them a bed from home, that smells familiar and marks a place as theirs. Please check in advance with us, so we can make sure to reserve a space in the extra room for your dog.
We ask that all puppies have had some crate training, in order to make mid day nap time and end of the day bed time easier. All dogs need to be current on their vaccinations and have the chance to come for a free playdate before they stay overnight with us.
Seniors up to 14 years are welcome if they have had prior positive experiences with boarding and daycare. Please be sure to update us on all the special meds and accommadations your dog might need. We also can only accept these dogs as new clients if they have had a chance to visit us before their stay with their parents and ideally have participated in our free play date. It is common for dogs older than 12 years to be either hearing or vison impaired. We are glad to accommadate dogs with one impairment but have found that dogs that are both deaf and blind have a harder time navigationg in a group of dogs and recommend in- home dogsitters at this time. Dogs who experience incontinence can only be accepted if their owners are willing to reimburse our team for its extra cleaning efforts. We dispense medicines at meal times free of charge, but may charge a bit extra for a third meal or medicine dispensary.
Are you a grooming facility, too?
No, we are not groomers! However, we do offer baths, nail clips, and basic grooming of paws, face, tummy etc. for our customers by request. We also brush and defurminate if you ask us to.
7. Do you foster dogs and help them find new homes?
We foster up to one dog at a time. These dogs mostly have belonged to our customers who now can't care for them anymore. Several dogs have found new wonderful homes within the Kindred Spirit Community! E-mail us if you need help re-homing your dog.