Welcome New Friends to The Smiths!
At the bottom of this page you will find directions on how your dog can become a member of the pack at The Smiths, however...
Before you contact us, please read the following guidelines. This could save you considerable time and effort in determining if The Smiths is the right boarding or day care provider for your dog.
The Smiths accept:
- socially friendly,
- healthy and active
- most elderly and special needs (determined on a case by case basis),
- large and small breed
domestic dogs that enjoy:
- playing outdoors
- being with other dogs
- taking walks in the morning
- taking naps in the afternoon
- an amiable relationship with caretakers, and
- a very predictable routine…
The Smiths have created a unique environment that plays host to
an established canine culture... that means we have
- dogs that are “pack neutral” (not too dominant and not too fearful)
- dogs that take direction well through being oriented to the pack
- dogs that do not engage in demanding, nuisance barking or “barging” behavior
- dogs that can feel settled and sleep well in a crate or pen
- dogs that know how to play safely with other dogs or are content during open play time (napping, walking, exploring, more playing etc.)
The Smiths do this work as a lifestyle… like living in a home and family that happens to have a lot of dogs. The reason this is so successful and works well for so many dogs and their families is because we have developed
a naturalistic approach to living with dogs… everyday, in big and small ways, we provide the 8 things that dogs need the most in order to feel like a happy dog.
- migration – our big dogs take long action-packed walks every day while small dogs run and play in their own special and smaller area
- exploration – dogs discover all kinds of great things in the meadow and become familiar and comfortable with their surroundings, other dogs and their caretakers
- protection – the dogs are kept safe from severe elements and from inappropriate canine behavior
- nutrition – the dogs eat just like we do at home because our customers provide their own food.
- predation – while dogs are playing, they run, stalk, chase, fetch, retrieve and often “go to ground”, following their noses on scent of all kinds of interesting things
- vocation – when the dogs play and respond to caretakers, they express their natural instincts for guarding, herding, protecting, and hunting
- socialization – we engender a sense of participation and belongingness, orienting the dog to the pack and helping our guest dogs feel comfortable and confident
- affection – dogs have learned that love for humans is their surest means of survival and happiness… we intend to reciprocate as much as we can.
Caution and Care Concerning Breeds, Temperament and Socialization Skills
The Smiths Dog Lodge appreciate the unique qualities of all dog breeds, however, there are breeds that we do not normally accommodate for a variety of reasons. These include:
- Pit Bull Terrier
- Cane Corso
- Bull Mastiff
- Staffordshire Terrier
- Most German Shepherd Dogs
- Doberman Pinscher
- Chow Chow
- Caucasian Shepherd
- Some Weimeraners
- Wolf Hybrids
We perform a careful assessment of every dog that we include in the pack. We realize that early puppyhood training and individual temperament are vital factors in determining the behavior of a dog in the context of a pack. We ask a lot of questions while seeking to understand your dog’s personality and history of socialization. We take responsibility for harmony and integration in the pack by sometimes encouraging a dog owner to seek services elsewhere. This happens rarely, but when it does we are careful to explain our reasoning and purpose for making such a decision.
- The Smiths Dog Lodge does not provide rehabilitation services for dogs that demonstrate moderate to severe behavioral problems including aggression, excessive fear, separation anxiety, nuisance barking, threshold-barging, food aggression, escape artistry, moderate to severe impulse control problems in guarding, herding, or other forms of instinctive/reactive behaviors that result in biting or nipping; these include:
- Fear or Defensiveness
- Protection of Property
- Reactivity to Pain or Sickness
- Dominance Assertion
- Predatory Instinct
How to Become a Client at The Smiths Dog Lodge
Here’s how your dog can become a member of our pack: Use this checklist to make the process quick and easy… you will benefit from having everything completed prior to our assessment of your dog.
- Paperwork to bring to your assessment appointment: Print out and complete a Client Information Form (click here) and current vaccination records for each dog (please do not combine multiple dogs on one form).
- Scheduling the Assessment Tour: E-mail Nancy Smith at email@example.com and request an assessment tour for both you and your dog and to make your tentative reservations.
- Tour: We require the client information form to be completed prior to your assessment tour. We arrange for all of our new clients to meet with us for an informational tour while we assess your dog and address your questions and concerns. You will see the entire facility where the dogs eat, sleep and play. You will be able to see the pack during their nap time and visit with The Smiths working dogs who live, work and play with our guests everyday.
- Vaccinations: 1. Rabies 2. Distemper 3. Bordatella 4. Canine Influenza: all are required prior to your first boarding or day care dates and must be documented by your veterinarian and provided to The Smiths Dog Lodge on an ongoing basis. Please do not assume that your dog has "all his or her shots". Canine Influenza vaccinations are often overlooked when dogs are visiting the veterinarian for updates. FAX to: 719-481-2628 or SCAN to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Prepare for your dog’s stay by reading the simple “What to Bring” list (click here) and carefully following the instructions. Our rates (click here).
- Make your Reservations: After your assessment tour, if you are confident that The Smiths is where you would like to board your dog, return home and e-mail Nancy at email@example.com. We will confirm your reservation request asap. Here is a good sample of a quick and easy reservation request:
Rover Jones (dog's full name)
Drop off: Friday, January 5, at 7:45am
Pick up: Wednesday, January 10, at 4:15pm
Judy Jones (your full name)
- Other information or questions can be included in the reservation request e-mail, however, please keep it as simple as possible.
- James is almost always available for time to chat during drop off and pick up time. Feel free to discuss your questions or concerns at that time.
- Checking in: When your dog is boarding at The Smiths, Nancy will be your designated point of contact. Her cell phone number is provided to all established clients. If you have a change of plans or want to check on your dog, please e-mail or use the cell phone number provided.
- Please do not use telephone communication to make reservation requests. All reservation requests are taken by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org