We are happy to meet new people and new dogs! We do ask that prospective clients hear about us directly through an existing client.
Information on the process for joining our pack is below.
As much as we would love to be a home away from home for every dog, our pack works best when its members meet a specific set of criteria. We look forward to socializing your dog if it meets the following prerequisites:
1. Has lived with you for at least six months. We hope your dog has many happy social experiences with many other dogs and many other people in its first six months with you. However, before joining our pack, your dog must live with you for at least six months.
2. Is 59 pounds or less (applicable for dogs joining our pack in or after 2023). We love big mutts and we cannot lie! However, large dogs have a disproportionate impact on our yard when doing all the happy things that dogs do (running, stopping on a dime, changing direction, etc.). This size limit is simply a strategy for the sustainability of our yard.
3. Is spayed/neutered.
4. Has no separation anxiety, no social anxiety with dogs, no social anxiety with people, and no forms of aggression or resource guarding. Please see below for more information on our separation anxiety testing.
5. Has a play style that is without exception invited, embraced, and/or reciprocated by other dogs.
6. Is successfully (not partially) house-trained and has no marking tendencies.
7. Has no destructive or self-destructive tendencies (chewing furniture, ingesting foreign objects, etc.).
8. Is up-to-date on the following four vaccinations: 1) Rabies, 2) Distemper/Parvo, 3) Bordetella, and 4) Canine Flu (bivalent HN38/HN32). If your dog has not been vaccinated previously for canine flu, the canine flu vax will be administered as a two-shot series. The second shot is given three weeks after the first, and full strength of the vax series occurs two weeks after the second shot (five weeks after the first shot). We cannot care for dogs who are receiving the canine flu vax for the first time until two weeks after they have received the second shot in the two-shot series.
9. Meets our additional health criteria as detailed on our BOARDING page ("Additional Boarding Policies"-->"Health Requirements").
10. Would immediately enjoy life with a new pack and two new human friends (Tony and Dennis). Our emphasis here is on both "immediately" (versus "eventually") and "enjoy" (versus simply "be fine with"). This is our family and home, and our small scale means that each dog contributes to the vibe of our home in a significant way. We therefore welcome only dogs who can easily and immediately transition from the happiness of their own homes to the happiness of ours.
11. Lives in one of our service zip codes: 20001, 20002, 20003, 20005, 20007, 20008, 20009, 20010, 20011, 20015, 20016, 20017, 20814, 20815, 20816, 20817, 20852, 20854, 20910, 20912, 22101, 22201, 22202, 22203, 22207, 22209, 22213. Please refer to our BOARDING page to determine which pricing zone applies to your zip code ("Start Here"-->>"Cost").
11. Is comfortable riding in a car (has no anxiety or nausea). In our model of care, we handle almost all transports. We cannot transport a dog who has anxiety or nausea when riding in a vehicle. We can care for such dogs only if the parent handles transport. Please note: if we need to make accommodations for you to drop off and pick up your dog, we surcharge $50 for each reception at our home that occurs outside our standard Tuesday/Thursday reception windows. More info on the logistics of arrival/departure is available on our BOARDING page ("Start Here!"-->>"Logistics").
If your dog meets the above criteria, please complete the client information form accessible through the "Step 2" tab below. Once we have received your form, Tony will reach out with a welcome email. This email will include a photo tour of our home, our address, and scheduling options for your dog's socialization overnight.
Please use this client info form to complete a profile for your dog. To set your dog up for success, please be candid in your responses to our questions.
Once we have received your client information form, Tony will reach out with a welcome email. The email will include a photo tour of our home, our address, and scheduling options for your dog's socialization overnight.
To join our pack your dog completes a socialization overnight to determine that it is comfortable with us, our home, and our pack (and, in turn, that our pack is comfortable with your dog). For pictures of our pack, please visit us on Flickr or Instagram!
1. Tony picks up your dog at your home.
2. Your dog spends an overnight with us and our pack.
3. Tony returns your dog to your home the next day.
This format allows us to spend sustained time with your dog and to observe how your dog engages us and our pack through multiple phases of the pack’s day. During a socialization visit we limit human presence to Tony and Dennis so that the dogs in our pack interact as they naturally do at our home.
SOCIALIZATION SCHEDULING OPTIONS (pending availability)
1. Tony picks up on a Friday (11am-12pm) and returns Saturday (10am-11am).
2. Tony picks up on a Saturday (10am-11am) and returns Sunday (10am-11am).
3. Tony picks up on a Sunday (10am-11am) and returns Monday (11am-12pm).
Our small-scale, home-model of care means there are times during the natural rhythm of a day when dogs may be separated from Tony and/or Dennis. During a socialization, your dog must therefore demonstrate that it is comfortable with any of the following possible scenarios:
1) Tony and/or Dennis are in another room
2) Tony and/or Dennis are outside while your dog is inside
3) Tony and/or Dennis are away from the home altogether for transport, an errand, a run, etc.
4) Tony and Dennis are on another floor of the home during sleep at night. We should note that only our dogs sleep upstairs in our bedroom at night. We have tried “pack slumber parties” in the past, but “pack sleeps” too often resulted in poor sleep for us. To preserve our ability to get a good night’s rest, the pack sleeps downstairs together. Dogs have plenty of pals and comfy places for their sleep, and we reunite in the morning.
We cannot accommodate dogs who manifest anxiety in any of the above scenarios (whether that anxiety manifests vocally or in another form), as one dog’s anxiety impacts the vibe of our home for the rest of the pack. We are not the right fit even for a dog who “settles down eventually,” as we cannot make the pack’s experience of our home dependent on one dog’s adjustment process. If your dog has some form of anxiety in any of the above scenarios, we recommend you consider a model of care where 1) someone stays in your home to care for your dog so that no other dogs are impacted if/when your dog manifests separation anxiety or 2) a staff is large enough that human presence is guaranteed 24 hours a day.
Socialization overnights are billed at our regular overnight rate. Our rates are listed here ("Start Here!"-->>"Cost of a Stay").
We send invoices via email for online payment, and we ask that the invoice be paid prior to your dog’s socialization.
1) For dogs who have passed a socialization but have **NOT** yet stayed with us for regular boarding
We ask that your dog's first regular boarding visit occur no more than 4 months after its socialization. Boarding within 4 months of a socialization preserves the relevance and reinforces the success of that socialization. This first boarding visit must be at least two nights.
Dogs who do not board at least two nights within 4 months of a successful socialization will need to pass another socialization overnight.
2) For dogs who have passed a socialization **AND** stayed with us for regular boarding
During any 12-month stretch we ask that your dog stay with us for at least 4 nights (either in a single visit or spread across visits). We regard this as the minimum threshold for preserving your dog's comfort with our pack (and, in turn, our pack's comfort with your dog).
If a 12-month stretch occurs during which your dog does not stay with us for at least 4 nights, your dog's membership in our pack will need to be renewed. In this event, we ask that you re-complete our client information form and schedule a resocialization overnight for your dog. Following a successful resocialization, your dog will need to stay with us within 4 months of the resocialization (as described in #1 above).