Eva's Play Pups Countryside Dog Camp is so excited to announce that we have two renowned experts in dog socialization together for the first time! Chad Mackin and Jason Vasconi are presenting this incredible workshop at our 52 acre farm located in the beautiful Endless Mountains of Northeastern Pennsylvania.
Memorial Day 2017 is coming - Book your dog's camp stay early!
Though the weather outside was frightful, camp was still delightful for our furry friends! We bundled up and kept moving to stay warm and still had plenty of adventures outside during the winter months. We are now so excited to share with you some footage from this past winter taken via Drone. Thank you so much to John Lubeck of NEPA Drone! Enjoy the show!
As always and most importantly, THANK YOU for being valued and loyal clients. Many of you have entrusted us with caring for your four legged loved ones for years and others have recently become part of the Eva's Play Pups family.
Your continued support and patronage are the reason we are able to provide our one-of-a-kind Endless Mountains experience for your pets. We want you to know how much we sincerely appreciate your business.
Welcome to another one of our Guest Blogs! We are so excited to feature this article, originally published by on Labrador Training HQ submitted by Jodie Clements and written by Tara Schatz.
Car Travel Tips for You and Your Dog – To Stay Safe and Enjoy It
One of the most awesome things about dogs is they are always up for an adventure, whether it’s a ride to the post office or a cross-country road trip.
Dogs usually make great traveling companions — they don’t tell you how to drive or ask if you’re almost there. In fact, many will just take any travel opportunity to catch up on their beauty sleep.
Traveling with your dog can be fun and rewarding, but it does require some extra planning to keep them safe and happy in the car. If you’ve been itching to hit the road with your favorite companion, but don’t know where to start, this article is for you.
Should You Bring Your Dog on Your Next Road Trip?
Your dog will probably consider traveling a grand adventure, but the truth is, not all dogs, or their human companions, are always up for great adventures.
The following guidelines will help you decide if your dog has what it takes to be a road warrior.
You Should Definitely Travel With Your Dog if…
- You are willing to search out destinations and accommodations that allow dogs.
- Your dog is happy in the car and doesn’t get car-sick.
- Your pup enjoys visiting new places.
- Your dog is up-to-date on all required vaccinations.
- You don’t mind exercising your dog while traveling.
- Your dog has some basic obedience skills and is comfortable socializing with people and other dogs.
- You have the space in your car for your pup and all of his belongings.
- You’re willing to skip over destinations that aren’t dog-friendly.
You Should Consider Traveling With Your Dog if…
- Your dog is not well behaved or doesn’t respond to basic commands.
- Your travels will take you to places that aren’t dog-friendly.
- You won’t have time to give your dog the proper exercise and attention he needs.
- Your car is tight on space.
- Your dog experiences car sickness.
- Your dog doesn’t enjoy traveling.
Please Don’t Travel With Your Dog if…
- Your dog isn’t up-to-date on vaccinations.
- Your pup suffers from fear or anxiety.
- Your dog is not trained or socialized.
- Your dog has shown signs of aggression toward people or other dogs.
Socialization for Traveling Puppies and Dogs
I mentioned above that you shouldn’t travel with your dogs if they aren’t socialized.
Dogs who haven’t been properly socialized are often fearful of new situations, anxious, or aggressive. To ensure safe and happy travels, it’s important to make your dog feel comfortable in new or unfamiliar situations.
Socialization occurs when your dog is a puppy, generally before 12-weeks of age. Socializing your puppy to new experiences while he is young will encourage him to be flexible and open to new situations later on. You can read more about socializing your puppy here.
If you are working with a pup who will eventually travel with you, it’s even more important to socialize them to different environments, surfaces, and people.
Older dogs may be more set in their ways, but you can still help them make positive associations with new experiences. The key is to take it slow. Here are some tips for preparing your puppy or older dog for car travel.
- Be sure your dogs have plenty of chances to ride in the car. If they are nervous, just have them practice getting in and out of the car without going anywhere. Keep it positive, and don’t just drive to the vet and the groomer. Take your dog to the park, the woods, the lake. You want him to love car rides!
- Expose your dog to traffic. Try and walk your dog on all kinds of streets with all kinds of traffic. Find roads where the cars are moving fast, where there are lots of pedestrians, and where traffic is backed up.
- Encourage your dog to walk on all kinds of surfaces. Pavement, sand, grass, gravel, boardwalks, metal grates. You get the idea.
- Expose your dog to crowds of people. There’s a good chance that your travels will bring you in contact with lots of people. Your dog should be used to seeing and interacting with babies, kids, and people of all shapes, sizes, and colors.
Training Tips for Preparing Your Dog for Car Travel
Traveling with your dog will be more enjoyable for both of you if you can work together as a team. In order to keep your dog safe and yourself from going crazy, you should work with your dog on basic obedience and leash skills before even thinking about traveling together.
Here’s what your dog should know before any road trip.
- Come. Your pup should reliably come to you whenever you call. Even if you plan to keep your dog leashed all the time — you just never know when you’ll need it. The Humane Society of the United States has a great article about teaching your dog to come when called.
- Stay. This is another really useful command, especially when you’re getting in and out of the car. Ideally, when you give your dog the stay command, he should stay put until released. Check out this practical guide to teaching stay for more information.
- Loose-Leash Walking. A dog that pulls you around the block is no fun to walk or travel with. Teaching your dog to walk calmly by your side will make life so much more fun for everyone. This article will help you teach your dog not to pull on the leash.
While these skills are the most important, you can teach your dog all kinds of commands that will help him be a better traveler.
If you want to give your dog a well-rounded education, I highly recommend the AKC Canine Good Citizen Program. Dogs who go through the program learn basic obedience and skills to help them integrate fully into their lives as human companions.
What to Pack When Traveling with Your Dog
- Your dog’s identification tags. Obviously you won’t actually be packing them, but your dog should wear them at all times. Be sure your contact information, including a cell-phone number, can be found on your dog’s tags.
- Vaccination records. Be sure your dog is up to date on vaccinations before any trip.
- Flea and tick medication. How do you keep pests off your dog? Whatever method you choose, be sure your dog is protected before you travel.
- Food and water bowls
- Food and water
- Leashes. Pack a short leash for regular walks and a longer one for exercising your dog.
- Your dog’s bed. If you’ve got the room, your dog will love you for it. If you’re short on space, consider a travel bed like this one from Doggles.
- Treats and toys
- Poop bags
- A treat pouch for training
- A dog first aid kit for emergencies. The First Voice Basic Pet First Aid Kit contains supplies for minor medical emergencies.
Tips for keeping your dog safe and happy in the car
- While traveling, it’s important to keep your dog secured in either a crate or a safety harness. A crate should be well-ventilated and large enough for your dog to stand, sit, and lie-down in. Whether you use a harness or a crate, it’s best to get your dog used to it before you actually hit the road. Read the Ultimate Guide to Crate Training for an in-depth look into using a crate with your dog. Always secure your dog’s crate in the car so it won’t slide around if you have to stop quickly.
- Feed your dog at least three hours before a long trip to help prevent car sickness, and never feed your dog in a moving vehicle. If your dog tends to get car-sick, you can sprinkle a bit of powdered ginger on his food
- Never leave your dog alone in a very hot or very cold car. It can be dangerous, or even deadly.
- In addition to identification tags, make sure you pet is micro-chipped. This can be a lifesaver if your dog is ever lost.
- Never let your dog ride with his head out the window. He could easily be injured by a flying object.
- Bring water from home. Drinking water from a new area could upset your dog’s stomach.
- At some point, you’re going to travel with a wet dog. You may want to invest in waterproof seat covers and floor liners for your car.
Traveling with your dog may not be easy, but it can be one of life’s greatest pleasures, provided you’ve planned ahead. With proper training and careful packing, your dog will be ready for trips big and small.
Start planning your next dog-friendly road trip, and be prepared to fall in love all over again.
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You're having a baby--fantastic! And you have a wonderful four legged companion--life couldn't get any better! As your pregnancy progresses, you may be thinking, will the dog like the baby? How do I ensure that a safe relationship will form between the two?
In order to ensure that we remain the Best Country Camp for dogs in the Northeast, we have invested heavily in additional features to further improve your dog's experience with us - from the time we pick your pooch up until the time he/she returns home from vacation.
Local Businesses with the “Happiest” Customers Receive Second Annual Happie Awards. The 2015 Happie Award Winner: Best Pet Boarding Facility- Eva's Play Pups Countryside Dog Camp, Union Dale
Eva’s Play Pups Countryside Dog Camp is very selective about which trainers we agree to work with and our reasons why. Dani Santanella of Urban K9 is one of those trainers. Dani has been educating dog owners on how to have better lives with their pooches for the past ten years. She works under the philosophy that open lines of communication between the canines and their owners. Without a doubt, this can make a happy home for all.
You know just how frustrating it can be when falling snow and bitter cold have you stuck in the house all day in the middle of the winter. It can be just as boring for your dog, who would much rather go outside and play. There are plenty of ways to fend off cabin fever that will occupy and entertain both you and your dog.
“I realized that helping humans and dogs communicate better is the best way to save these amazing dogs’ lives,” Jason says. “I decided being a Dog Trainer is the path for me.”
When you peer out the window of your home and see fluffy white flakes of snow floating down from the sky, you may think about how beautiful it is. However, it is also a good time to consider whether or not you’ve really prepared for your dog to handle the harsh conditions of winter weather.
With the crisp chill of winter in the air and Christmas carols on the radio, the holidays are upon us - and with them the need to keep a close eye on all of our pets. Changes in routine, dangerous foods, and decorations which may cause injury are just a few of the things which can lead to your dogs or cats falling ill or getting hurt. Your pet should be able to enjoy the holidays with just as much cheer and contentment as the rest of the family, so to keep these few tips in mind to keep your furry friends safe.
Keeping your best furry friends safe at dog camp is just as important as making sure they enjoy themselves and have a good time when exploring the trails with their new canine friends. We at Eva’s Play Pups take a number of careful steps to ensure that all of our campers are protected when it comes to everything from interactions with other campers to a sudden bout of diarrhea. Safety is our priority and we are committed to keeping every dog staying at camp from being harmed in any way.
Ticks may be thought of simply as pesky little blood-suckers, but to your dog’s health they are certainly more than that.
All species of ticks want to attach to your dog, but for purposes of this article, we shall concentrate on the deer tick. The deer tick is the vector for an array of diseases including anaplasmosis, tick paralysis and the dreaded Lyme disease. As someone who has had a dog that had contracted Lyme disease, and actually contracted the illness herself, Natasha can tell you that this is nothing to mess around with. Lyme disease can cause fatigue, fever, muscle and joint aches - and if left untreated serious heart disease and chronic arthritis. In the case of her own dog, it also racked up major vet bills and left him completely fatigued for nearly six months. He would still eat normally and maintained most behavioral patterns, but a good six months of his 7th year of life was robbed to sleeping. He had to undergo many injections over the months to provide vitamins his body couldn’t hold onto as well as oral medications. All this came from her backyard on Long Island.
Lyme disease is found very commonly in the northeast. Actually the highest concentration of ticks in the entire country is found on Shelter Island - an 8,000 acre island-town between the twin forks of Long Island. But do not think that New York City is immune to this pesky parasite! Deer ticks carrying Lyme Disease have been collected in city parks in all 5 boroughs according to the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Even NYC dog meccas Prospect Park and Central Park have deer ticks so the city setting is not immune to these parasites.
We have been very fortunate to have never had any tick problems at Eva’s Play Pups Countryside Dog Camp. This is most likely since the property is at a higher elevation where the temperatures are cooler and due to the fact that we also have a 6-ft. fence which keeps deer off the property. However, this month has proven to us that this it is still the northeast! After years of tick free bliss we found ticks on two campers after they romped in the woods with us for a week! Yikes! We did discover that one of these furry friends had no tick protection whatsoever. However, protected or not, it is inevitable that being in the great outdoors, there is always the risk of having ticks at camp. This time of year is when ticks are especially hungry, latching on to available warm puppy bodies. For this reason, we have to and we do take precautions.
This week at camp we are working hard to make our beautiful property less attractive to ticks! We brought out the brush hog and are cutting down tall grass and brush all over our 30 Acres. It is a lot of work but well worth it! Ticks love to hang in tall grass and dark damp places, so we are simply eliminating those places. We also do a daily tick check on our client’s dogs and our own dogs. Not having seen ticks up here for years, this was not part of our daily routine - but now it sure is. So far, we have not found any pesky blood suckers on our furry friends.
What dog owners should do: Apply tick prevention to your dog’s health routine. Lyme disease is a serious disease that can cause fever of between 103 and 105°, lameness, swelling in the joints, swollen lymph nodes, lethargy, and loss of appetite. Being proactive will provide your dog the optimum protection. We prefer Advantix brand based on personal experiences (Eva’s dogs are out and about all year long in the woods and she has never found a tick on her dogs using Advantix.) We are by no means medical professionals so we encourage you to approach your vet about what products to use before making any decisions.
We are fully aware that there are dogs who react badly to pesticide ingredients common in most tick preventions. Eva herself has a senior dog who cannot be in contact with any of the commercially available flea and tick products on the market. So, what to do? While there are natural alternatives, it is unclear whether they are as efficient in repelling fleas and ticks as medications such as Advantix or Frontline. However, they are a natural non-toxic alternative and should not be discredited. We do ask at camp is that you let us know if your dog is on natural tick and flea prevention so we can take extra care in looking over your dog for his/her safety.
Should you forget to apply tick prevention before sending your pup to Eva’s Play Pups Countryside Dog Camp, simply e mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would be happy to apply Advantix for an extra charge of $20. We hope that you will find this to be well worth the peace of mind for your furry friend.
Now that we have taken all the precautions and been as proactive as possible, let’s get out there and enjoy fall to the fullest! Happy Hiking!
We hope you enjoyed our last post about preparing your pooch for a hike and that you learned some helpful tips and tricks! In Part 2 of our Endless Mountains Hiking Series, we will share with you some of the local trails in Northeast PA that Kaitlyn has scouted for us. It is important to remember, however, that though hiking with your best fur buddy is certainly beneficial for both of you, not all hiking trails love Fido as much as we do. Always be sure to do your research before hitting the trail.
1. Elevated at 1000 feet, Lackawanna State Park is one of the most popular hiking spots in northeastern Pennsylvania. With eighteen miles of looped trails devoted solely to foot traffic, fifteen miles of additional trails open for biking and other uses and an ample water supply it is a great place to hike with your dog. The best part - if you plan on spending the day at Lackawanna, there are many options as far as things to do in addition to hiking.
Have a picnic! There are plenty of picnic tables provided.
Go Horseback Riding or Mountain Biking. However, you should be mindful if you decide to horseback as many of the foot trail bridges are not built for equestrian crossing.
Fish, Boat or Swim! The park is surrounded by Lackawanna Lake and there is also a pool at the park that is open from 11 AM to 7 PM Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day.
Hunting is allowed. For this reason, you may want to keep your dog on a leash so they don’t wander off or chase something into a dangerous area. There are also signs along the park stating that while hunting is permitted, dog training is prohibited, probably for safety reasons.
Go Camping! Campgrounds and camping cottages provide those who wish to stay on site with amenities such as flush toilets, warm showers, and electric hook-ups.
Do Some Winter Activities. In the winter, visitors can cross-country ski, sled, and toboggan through designated areas of the park as well as ice-fish and skate.
2. Located not far from Carbondale, Merli-Sarnoski Park features fifteen miles of nature trails for hiking with your four-legged friend, although you must keep them on a leash. Given the park’s rural location, it’s best to bring any food and drinks you and your dog might need with you to the park. Along with the trails for hiking and mountain biking, Merli-Sarnoski Park also provides a soccer field as well as basketball and volleyball courts. The 35-acre lake is stocked with fish on a regular basis by the Fish and Boat Commission and allows ice fishing during the winter months as well.
3. While the Lake Scranton Walking Trail does not allow pets, you are very likely to see a friendly squirrel or a deer unafraid of humans passing by. This quiet and easy three-mile nature hike on a paved trail, located only a short drive from I-81, provides beautiful scenic views of the lake as you follow the path. The Lake Scranton trail is very well-traveled given its closeness to the city as well as local apartments and homes only a short distance away. You more than likely will be sharing your hike with joggers and moms spending some quality time with their little ones while pushing strollers.
4. The Pennsylvania portion of the Rails to Trails system lists many fantastic hiking spots across the state. The trails located closest to Eva’s Play Pups Countryside Dog Camp are the D&H and O&W trails, which run parallel to one another and stretch from Simpson, Pennsylvania to the New York state border. On these trails, you can catch glimpses of the Lackawanna River as well as wildlife, such as the bald eagles who nest at Stillwater Dam. You can bring your dog and hike, bike, or even ride a four-wheeler down these well-tended hiking trails. If you are a beginner or looking for an easier hike, these would be your trails. After a few minutes, once you get into the deeper part of the trail and if you’re comfortable with your dog's recall, it is safe to keep them off-leash or on a long lead. Consider bringing bottled water and snacks for yourself and your dog and also keep an eye out for wild animals which may cross your path.
5. The Keystone College Trails wind through the woods on the school’s rural campus for about seven miles, allowing for both casual hiking and a tough run. Only a half-hour drive from Scranton, Keystone College’s trail system provides a variety of terrains to chose from. The biology department even posts informational placards along the trails to identify the different flora and fauna a hiker might see along the way. There is a pretty ample water supply here for your dog, but don’t ever hesitate to bring something along for them just in case, as this hike can take up to three hours. Given the trail’s proximity to campus and the town of Factoryville, you are unlikely to encounter predators such as bears or coyotes. When you finish with your hike, you can even stop for a bite to eat at Keystone’s Giants Grill.
This list is just a start to exploring the many hiking experiences you can enjoy in northeastern Pennsylvania. Always remember to think ahead about what you might need to do or bring to prepare yourself and your pooch. And as always, be sure research any place you are going with your pup ahead of time so you can have a safe and fun hiking trip.
Article contributed by Kaitlyn Hankins
“If you’re properly prepared, the benefits of hiking with your dog are immeasurable. Hiking can be great therapy for a dog that is exhibiting boredom-based bad behavior at home such as shoe chewing, lawn digging, or gratuitous barking. Remember, a tired dog is a good dog — and hiking is a great exercise for humans as well as beasts (Source: dogster.com).”
The Endless Mountains region features some of the most beautiful and scenic hiking trails located on the east coast. Whether it’s a casual walk on a paved pathway or a more difficult hike through one of the state parks, Northeast Pennsylvania provides a variety of different options. In this article, Part 1 of our two-part blog series, we will explore how to prepare your pooch for your hike. Stay tuned for Part 2 next week when we will take you through some of our favorite hiking spots in Northeast PA!
With any trip into the wilderness, bringing your dog with you can raise certain issues which should be kept in mind. Is your dog protected against fleas and ticks? Perhaps you should consider using extra preventive? Even if your dog is protected, you might want to check them (and yourself) for ticks after hiking through high grass and wooded areas. Will your dog return to you when called, or will you have to keep them on a leash? Is there fresh drinking water available, or will you need to bring water and snacks for your four-legged friend? All of these questions should be understood before taking your dog to any public hiking ground. One of Eva's Play Pups Countryside Dog Camp's counselors, Kaitlyn, is an avid hiker. She will share some of her tips, tricks and favorite gear and products with us.
Collapsible water bowls are really helpful to have on the trail for your dog to fill either with the water that you bring for them or from the fresh water supply along the trail. You can find these from multiple brands at your local pet supply store.
“Depending on if you and your dog are avid hikers, the length of the hike you’re taking and the difficulty level, you might consider investing in a dog harness,” Kaitlyn shares. “They are available through different companies such as Ruffwear or Outward Hound and available in different sizes. Your dog can carry their own items for their hike, and even some of yours if your hiking pack is at its full capacity.”
We asked Kaitlyn to shed some more light on the wide world of dog harnesses and hiking packs. Here were her recommendations…
If your dog is a beginner hiker, she recommends using the “singletrak pack” by Ruffwear, especially if your dog is new to hiking and wearing packs. This is ideal for if you’re just needing to carry and supply water for your pooch. You always want to start light and work the weight on with each hike that you take with your dog. Never store more than 25% of your dog’s weight in their hiking pack and make sure that the weight is evenly distributed. The singletrak pack is very low-profile and comes ready with two saddlebags that hang close to the body and allow for agility for your dog while you’re out hiking. There are two 0.6 Liter collapsible water bladders included with this pack. Kaitlyn finds it especially helpful to have and fill one of each on each saddle bag to distribute the weight evenly. The stash pockets will hold leashes, doggy bags, and a collapsible water bowl. This pack is ideal for a simple day hikes where you mostly just want to carry water and simple items for your dog.
The harnesses provided on all of the hiking packs for dogs makes hoisting your dog in and through difficult places much easier for you on your hike. The “approach pack” is ideal for a beginner hiking dog and for day hikes, however, does not come equipped with water bladders as all of the other packs from Ruffwear do.
If you are looking for a pack for your more experienced hiker dog, Kaitlyn recommends “the Palisades” pack by Ruffwear. Larger hydration bladders and removable saddlebags are available on this pack for more storage room and easy crossings through water or tricky terrain. This pack is ideal for multi-day hikes and adventures for your dog and the load compression system secures the belongings in the saddlebags so they stay in place and not causing any sort of discomfort for your dog.
Another great product that Kaitlyn shared with us is something she likes to have for both the beginning and the end of a long hike. An all-natural Paw Salve is very useful for after long hikes in rough terrain, in the snow, and to have if your dog is often walked on the cement and prone to salts left over from snow plows. It is also great for dry, crusty little noses! Kaitlyn’s favorite brand is a local product from her home-state of Maine - an herbal paw balm by Pet Works of Maine. All of us here at camp prefer to use local products but we have heard wonderful things about Musher’s Secret Pet Paw Protection. It can be found either on their website but if you search locally - we are sure that your local pet supply store may have a product that would suit you and your dog well.
Hiking with your best furry friend can be an exciting and rewarding experience for both of you. Just be sure that you are prepared so that your adventure is as safe and fun as possible! Stay tuned for Part 2 next week when we will sniff out some of the best hiking in the Endless Mountains! Kaitlyn has even tested out some of the local trails to give you a good idea of what to expect for you and your furry friends!
Article Contributed by: Jennifer Matarese & Kaitlyn Hankins
Those of us with furry friends can all agree that there is nothing like watching a dog hang its head out a car window with its tongue flailing about wearing a wind-born grin.
Road-tripping with your fur baby or traveling with them in any way, shape or form is a true way to bond and share memories for a lifetime. A trip to the beach, a mountain excursion for a hike in the cool shade, and even a nice dog-friendly B&B in the countryside are all ideal for your dog to be mentally and physically stimulated during your mutual free-time. However, these trips also need to include some careful pre-planning to keep your pooch happy and safe.
1. Make arrangements so you don’t have to leave fido in the car.
We know that when the weather is warm and sunny, it is high season to take a trip with your pup. However, because of that warm weather and hot sun, we should not be leaving our dogs in the car for any period of time.
2. Plan ahead my researching dog friendly parks, beaches and resorts and practice proper social behavior. Even when you find suitable amenities for you and your pup, you must remain vigilant of other canines. Always yield to other pups coming through small spaces in hotels or B&Bs. This establishes and maintains respect. Also, keeping your side of the street clean is key. One must always keep in mind that whenever you go, you are a tourist among the locals. Keeping your dog leashed will not only keep them safe from conflicts with other dogs, but also allow you to maintain control in what is a strange, new place for your fur baby.
3. Be sure that you have proper identification for your before traveling. According to the American Kennel Club, you should carry a recent photo of your dog with you and make sure they are up to date on all their tags, including addresses and vaccinations. You should also make sure that they have a secure leash and collar. At Badass Brooklyn Animal Rescue, volunteers are taught to always walk the dog on a separate device than what their tags are on. This way, in the event that your dog takes off it will still have its tags on it’s collar. We recommend using a prong collar along with their flat collar and attaching the two using a carabiner. You may also use a harness or martingale collar.
4. Keep a routine. In the middle of traveling everyone needs to visit a rest stop, right? Well, fortunately the world is your dog’s rest stop but it is important to try and keep their routine as predictable as possible. Allow them to have bathroom breaks as often as they do at home. Feed them at the same times and always keep water handy. Even buying a spill-proof water bowl is essential for them lapping up a drink anytime they want in the car. Dogs like a routine as they already live in a world they don’t exactly understand. Keeping things as familiar as possible will allow them to relax. Bring their own food, pack a kong - whatever it takes to ensure fun.
And now - for the secret weapon - http://www.gopetfriendly.com/road-trip-planner. This trip planner works very similarly to any navigation device, but with helpful dog-friendly stops, hotels and fun activities along the way! After all, it is a vacation!
Article Contributed by: Natasha Domanski
Just picture walking into a typical day of work at the daycare:
Pups meander over to you as you walk in the door and wiggle their butts as if to say “hello”, you smile at the room of pooches and put your things down to get ready for the day. You recognize happy puppy faces as some wrestle around the room playing or wake up from a peaceful nap. You settle in and your co-worker gives you the low-down on the happenings of the day.
You squeeze through the door to be greeted by a bunch of barking, relentlessly jumping dogs. You try to make your way through the room, but they trip you up at every step. They tear at your belongings before you can make it through, maybe your cell phone drops on the floor and shatters. Their barks are so loud that you can’t hear your coworker say “hi”.
Both are alarmingly possible, but here at Eva’s Play Pups we are constantly working towards de-adrenalization, a philosophy that utilizes several methods in the dog training world that result in having a day like the first scenario.
De-adrenalization begins the moment that one walks into the room. A true pack-leader (as we call our kennel attendants) must walk into the room with an air of confidence. Without even speaking they have to let the dogs know that they alone are in charge. They walk in never allowing a dog to jump on them. We communicate this by giving a firm “NO”, and standing in a tall, upright manner. This way when something is finally spoken they have respect for your superior size and the noises made have true meaning. In these rooms one must always remain calm and purposeful when giving a dog instructions.
Dogs are incredibly tuned into their noses and hearing rather than sight. Their smell is up to 100,000 times more powerful than a human’s, and their hearing is up to a third better than ours (National Geographic, June 2014). We must use this to our advantage - we must attempt to speak their language and only make noise when necessary to maintain a calm environment. It is never really necessary to raise your voice to a dog. They hear everything whether it’s a whisper or a shout. Most trainers will encourage you to find the right pitch of your voice when in command for optimized response from a dog (How to Be Your Dog’s Best Friend, The Monks of New Skete).
Another underlying philosophy that works towards de-adrenalization is keeping low base stress level in each dog. Sometimes when a daycare is busier this is quite a challenge, but with the right methods it can be done. If and when a dog is acting up - possibly getting what we call the “zoomies” when they zip around the room at high speeds - we need to assess how this dog’s day has been progressing. Does he or she seem stressed from fear of another dog or dogs in particular? Do they seem stressed by their health? Maybe they have a sore tooth. Obviously, when humans have a toothache they are less likely to have tolerance to noise and are less able to concentrate. Why would a dog’s discomfort be any different? Maybe they are stressed because today they did not feel like leaving their comfy dog bed - we all have those days.
No matter the cause this dog with the zoomies may need a brief relaxation period. By studying their body language we can tell if they are in fact overwhelmed or fatigued. If this is the case this dog needs to de-adrenalized by taking a break in the “place” command - lying on a bed for the instructors chosen period of time. This gives the dog a chance to catch up on their labored breathing and to mentally assess how different they feel now that they are taking a moment to relax. Sometimes they just need a nudge in the right direction to calm down.
The third method we use at the daycare is leash relaxation. In this case we could have a pooch who is just not responding to commands and is so adrenalized they may not even stay still in “place”. Although, we have found when many dogs are then put on a leash they instantly calm down. This is because firstly, this is something familiar - they gain confidence because they know what to do on a leash. They also gain confidence by now being attached to a human. Since a human will now walk them around they feel the extra attention they may have been seeking and this placates them. Finally, having them on a leash keeps them mentally stimulated. When they follow the pack-leader who is holding the other end of that leash it mimics a follow-the-leader situation. Of course, this does not work for every dog, but all these methods are shopped around.
When you have a large group of dogs and things unexpectedly escalate it is usually due to the energy of just one or two dogs. If you are able to get that one dog under control the room is entirely peaceful.
In this safe and fun environment that we create at Eva’s Play Pups in Brooklyn and at the Country Boarding in Pennsylvania, the pooches are able to get down to their true spirit of socializing as a dog should. We are simply there to guide them, not to tell them how to do this.
Article Contributed by Natasha Domanski
Traveling with your best friend can be challenging – if he or she is furry and has four legs, that is. Sniffing out and selecting a perfect spot for you and your pooch for a Pocono vacation does not have to feel like a trip to the vet. Bring Fido is always a very useful online resource when scouting for pet-friendly places to stay, but we took the time to fetch a few awesome pet-friendly places in the Poconos for you!
1. Countryside Cottages provides a warm & inviting place for you (and your pet!) to come back to after a full day of activities. Countryside cottages has a pool area, spacious green fields to start-up a game of softball, an area to play a friendly game of volleyball, a recreation room chock full of games, and plenty of quiet places to just sit and relax. The property is about 20 minutes away from Camelback Mountain Resort, Camelbeach and Aquatopia, 30 minutes from Bushkill Falls, as well as golf courses, riding trails, and much more.
2. For The Ruffin’ it Type: Jim Thorpe Camping Resort is located in Carbon County on 28-acres of wooded campground with all of the modern conveniences a family could want - and the added bonus of being a pet friendly! The site hosts a convenience store, a laundry facility, restrooms and shower areas, camping cabins, a pool and wading pool. If you’re seeking some adventure, the Camping Resort is less than a 15-minute drive away from three whitewater rafting adventure sites such as the Jim Thorpe River Adventures as well as numerous biking and hiking trails. If you’re looking for a night of entertainment, the Mauch Chunk Opera House is also less than five minutes away.
3. Ledges Hotel is a historic hotel located in Hawley, PA. Built in 1890 and nestled in the rock ledges of Paupack High Falls, it was originally the John S. O’Connor Glass Factory. Ledges Hotel is also home to its own restaurant, Glass – Wine Bar Kitchen. Enjoy scenic boat tours nearby, as well as the Bingham Park Riverwalk, the Hawley Silk Mill, and much more. The hotel only holds a limited number of pet friendly rooms, so be sure to get an early jump on booking with your four-legged friend.
4. Established in 1852, the historical Hotel Fauchère is located in Milford, PA. The Hotel Fauchère offers fine dining in its own Delmonico Room, and a guest only conservatory and garden in Bar Louis. Besides their many amenities and being minutes away from the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, Hotel Fauchère goes above and beyond to cater to your four-legged friend. The hotel’s pet program includes doggie-massages, dog-walking services, and gourmet meals prepared especially for your pooch.
5. The Village at Pocono is located in the heart of the Pocono Mountains and located beside the Pocono Raceway, which owns and operates the resort. Ranked one of the 10 best hotels in the Poconos by Trip Advisor, The Village at Pocono is located near many premium restaurants, Skirmish USA Paintball, Jack Frost National Golf Club, Jack Frost Big Boulder Ski Area, Mt. Airy Casino, and much more. The Village at Pocono would love for you to “stay” in one of their pet friendly rooms!
6. OK folks – let’s be honest – you love your doggie to death but sometimes, you might want just a smidgen of alone time! What if we told you that there is a place where your dog can have a vacation too – and won’t mind spending a little time away from you?
Located in Uniondale at the edge of the Pocono Mountains, Eva's Play Pups Countryside Dog Camp is only fifteen minutes from Elk Mountain Ski Resort. With 52 acres available for hiking, playing, and swimming, your dog will get the opportunity to spend the day outside with constant supervision by trained professionals. Eva's Play Pups Countryside Dog Camp provides doggy day care as well as short- and long-term lodging. Parents can leave their dogs for the course of their vacation or drop their doggie best friend off for a so they can have time to themselves.
No matter what part of the Northeast Pennsylvania you are visiting, there are plenty of places for you and your pooch to stay and play, making for a perfect Pocono getaway!