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We are approaching the end of the year and what a year it has been. Because of the Covid pandemic, we had to change our protocols and we want to thank everyone for their understanding and their continued support.

We don't see anything changing for the next couple of months, as far as the pandemic is concerned. Therefore, we will continue curbside drop off and pick up. Please follow the posted signs when you pull into the parking lot: keep left, turn in the back and pull up to the door while you are facing the street. This way there is room for other cars to pull up without blocking the driveway. Please call only once you are pulled up in front of the door. This helps us make sure the right dog is being brought out at the right time. Please don't call us in advance that you are going to pick up your dog. He or she will be playing until you get here.

When you get here, please take off your dog's collar or harness, including flea and tick collars. We will be using our leads to bring the dogs in. For safety reasons we do not want to keep leashes and collars in the building. If someone else is picking up the dog, have this person bring a slip lead with them. We can offer some for sale for those who are interested.

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Different dogs, different playstyles

We get so many different breeds of dogs to the ranch! Everyone has their own favorite breed. Often people are not aware of the background of the breed. Most dogs were bred for a specific purpose, like herding, hunting, retrieving, guarding or as ratters. Nowadays not many dogs get to perform the tasks they were bred for, but the dogs still have the tendencies we bred into them. Without an outlet for these behaviors, dogs often develop what people consider 'problem behaviors', but it's just the dog doing what we intended him to do! We are running a trial program to offer dogs 'enrichment' activities to give them an outlet for these behaviors.

Different breeds play differently. The different play styles include chasing, wrestling, neck biting, body slamming and cat like play. Not all these play styles mix well together. Herding breeds are very aware of their surroundings and like to control their space. They like to play chase, but do not like a body slamming playstyle.

Also, age is important. Puppies are very delicate, every experience has a profound impact on their further development. Adolescent dogs like to push boundaries and some adult dogs will correct them, sometimes harshly.

So every day we have to develop playgroups that will work for all the dogs present. This can be quite a puzzle, but we have developed a system of categorizing that helps us put all the dogs in the right group. However, we are currently experiencing the problem that a lot of reservation requests come in last minute, which means we constantly have to reorganize our groups. We cannot keep up with that, so we are making the following changes:

Reservations for daycare need to be submitted by 8PM the evening before the date clients want their dog to come. This gives us the time to go over the list of dogs that are attending to make sure everyone goes in the right group and that we have adequate staffing to supervise the dogs.

Of course emergencies come up. In that case, reservations have to be made by phone, so we can let you know right away if we can accept your dog or not. There will be an added fee for those last minute reservations and packages cannot be used.
We know that this might inconvenience some of you, however, please remember that we are doing this with the best interest of the dogs in mind. Every experience they have, whether it is here or elsewhere, affects their development and behavior. While with us, we want them to have the best experience possible.

Holiday Reservations

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Thanksgiving reservations are filling up and so is Christmas. Please get your reservations in on time so you don't miss out. If we haven't seen your dog in 6 months, we will need to schedule a reevaluation, so your dog can get reacquainted with the ranch. Dogs change, just like people do and the holiday season is a busy time. We want to make sure your dog is comfortable and happy while he is here, so we know they will have a good time with us.

As always, please respect our 14 day rule. If your dog has been to another daycare, lodging or training facility, groomer or dog park, please wait 14 days before you bring him to us. All places where dogs gather, including our facility, are places where dogs can pass germs or parasites. Some dogs can be asymptomatic. If everyone waits 14 days before coming to us, we can break that cycle and greatly reduce the chances that dogs pick up things like canine cough.

Dirk Broersma