Your first time
Is this your first time you've contemplated leaving your dog at a kennel?
We know this can be difficult the first time. It can be like dropping your kid off at school for their first day.
We aim to make ourselves available for as long as you need to feel comfortable. It's important to us to understand your needs, and to ensure that we can provide the level of care you require.
We run things differently to the vast majority of other facilities. We offer extensive options for your dog to have exercise and play, whilst being very, very cautious for their safety and well being. All of our dogs sleep inside at night, and they are also brought in for an afternoon nap, and when the weather is unsuitable. We don't believe dogs should be sitting out in the hot sun, the driving rain, or a freezing wind.
Things to consider when boarding your dog
- How much exercise time do I want my dogs to have, and is there any extra charge for this.
Here the overnight tarriff ($20-$35/night) is all inclusive of extensive exercise sessions. ie: several hours each day. (Dam sessions are only an extra $5/dog/session to those dogs who "qualify" for such)
- Do the owners of the facility run the facility?
This may or may not be important to you. We believe it is critical that you meet us, and that we do the work. Jane has been a dog lover since she was knee high to a grass-hopper. She is an internationally recognised dog judge, and sends her dogs around the world to wonderful homes. Even the Obamas asked her about getting one of her dogs. True.
Royce is the big dog specialist, being in dogs for 40 something years. He's also a specialist in dog injuries and behaviour management.
Young Will has been brought up with dogs, and even at aged 2 could do things with dogs that many adults couldn't. Now at 16, he's very, very comfortable with dogs and extremely knowledgeable, although tells us that his future is with cats. Will can also help you with your dog behavioural questions.
- How experienced are the owners?
Having confidence in the owners who run the facility is going to be very important to you. See the above notes!
- Do my dogs get to mix with other dogs?
Sometimes - it depends on your dog. If your dog is well socialised and wants to interact and you give permission, then yes. If it prefers its own company, then it is more than likely the safest thing is that it has its own space. While some owners may want their non interactive dogs having an opportunity to mix with others, we know that other owners prefer their dogs to only mix with socialised dogs, rather than be an experiment for the independent of mind dogs. Our belief - is safety first.
To this end, we only let dogs interact in safe groups of 2-3.
- Do the dogs get to go for a walk each day?
Yes! As well as having time in the large exercise yards (some as large as half an acre, and others are 100 metres long), most of the dogs get to have up to 2-3 sessions a day down in the 5 acre paddock. Some will choose to go for a swim, which is especially important for those labs, golden retrievers, and the like. The dam sessions are $5/dog/session, and you can have as many or as few as you like depending what is in your budget.
Tips for first timers to Toolleen Country Retreat
Here are some handy tips that will help your first trip go smoothly:
- Bring your dog's lead to safely get him/her out of the car. No dogs off lead thank you.
- Bring your dog's vaccination certificate. Remember, they need to have had their C5 at least 2 weeks before their visit.
- If your dog is a fence jumper, let us know before you arrive. (there is an extra charge for jumpers as they require full time supervision when outside.)
- Be on time. We have limited office hours which allows us to keep our rates down.
- Don't bring your personal items of clothing for your dog (no exceptions).
- Relax. We've done this before. We've seen all sorts of different dog behaviours. Don't be afraid to be honest with us about any naughty tricks your dog has tried before. In fact, the more honest you are, the better experience we can provide.
- If you're going away for a big holiday, and you've never left your dog with us, we'd strongly encourage you to leave him/her here for a weekend a few weeks beforehand. This will make their 2nd trip here far more enjoyable for them, and you won't feel anywhere near as stressed. Trust me on this.
- We strongly encourage you to desex your pets. Non desexed pets can not have the same interaction experience with other dogs because of complications arising from hormonal situations. Many boarding facilities will no longer take "entire" dogs because of the problems involved. We charge a surcharge for all dogs that aren't desexed because of the considerable extra work involved, and we do limit the number of "entire" dogs we take during peak periods. It would be highly unusual for us, for example, to take a first time visitor during peak time that wasn't desexed. Our other clients too appreciate that most of our other dogs are desexed as well.
- Payment is required up front when you arrive (we do not take credit card, but you can place the funds directly into our account, at least 2 days before arrival). We also require a non refundable booking fee for peak times.
- If you are going to be late to pick up your dog, call us or text us - and you'll be required to pick up or drop off in the next available session. There is no option for out of hours drop off or pick up. No exceptions.
- Please let us know if something happens that you are not coming. Those that don't will not be allowed to re-book their dogs. Ever. We put a considerable amount of work prior to your dog's arrival, and often turn away other clients because of that booking.
- When visiting the facility you will be required to be accompanied at all times. No one is permitted to stroll through our yards or grounds unless we are with you. No exceptions.
- Your dog will have an enjoyable time with us. We go out of our way to make sure this happens.
- Now relax. yes, we know there are a few rules, but by telling everyone how things can run best and most smoothly, everyone will be happier. Trust me on this.