Who Is Watching Your Dog?
Our close-knit staff has something very special in common with our clients. We love their dogs! We look forward to spending time with our buddies who come in regularly and are always excited when we see faces that only visit for boarding and daycare once or a few times per year. We know their little idiosyncrasies–their favorite games and toys, favorite play equipment and spots, if they are a fan of the bubbles, pools, and sprinklers. We also know what they’re communicating to us and to the other dogs with their body language and vocalizations–in fact we study it! This helps us to make sure that they are having a wonderful and safe time while they are with us.
You may have met our founder, Rayne, or have gone through training classes or private training with Lori. You also may be familiar with our Manager of Daily Operations, Leigh, our Assistant Manager of Daily Operations, Emily, or other members of our team that you interact with when you drop off or pick up your pups. What you may not know is that we actually have over 30 employees (and growing!). You may only catch a glimpse of some of us when your dog is going in or coming out of the playrooms or maybe you just see us on camera.
Whether it’s a nudge for one more pet or a full body wag when they see us, they melt our hearts. We laugh while sharing stories with each other about the funny and adorable things your pups do while they are with us. We love watching them grow and celebrating milestones, and share in your pain during the harder times. We know how important your dogs are to you and want you to know how important they are to us. We are grateful that you can feel at ease while your best friends are with us and we wanted to tell you a little bit more about our awesome staff. You can see us here!
All of us participate in ongoing training and education so that we can best serve you in providing a fun and safe playroom environment. We have staff levels that are indicated by the colors of lead (leash) that we always carry with us while working.
Team members that carry blue leads are Assistant Dog Handlers. To earn a BLUE lead, we must:
- Shadow a Dog Handler or designated staff member in all areas of the Lodge for training & monitoring.
- Watch Calming Signals by Turid Rugaas as an introduction to dog body language
- Read Off Leash Dog Play by Robin Bennett and Susan Briggs
- Learn all procedures and processes
- Begin to identify dogs who could use additional training to help them positively interact with dogs and people in the playroom and at home
- Complete the Ultimate Puppy Toolkit
- Complete two 8 part courses with observations and examinations. These courses were created by the authors of Off Leash Dog Play and are:
- Knowing Dogs 101: Dog Language
- Knowing Dogs 201: Group Play
To advance to the Dog Handler position and get our ORANGE leads, we:
- Have at least 300 hours experience in playrooms
- Are capable of managing up to 20 dogs in playroom alone.
- Are able to manage individual dog entrances and exits.
- Are able to identify dogs who could benefit from additional training to help them positively interact with dogs and people in the playroom and at home. Additionally, we are able implement an individual training plan for these dogs developed by a trainer.
To earn our LIME GREEN leads when we become Senior Dog Handlers, we:
- Have at least 1000 hours experience in playrooms
- Are capable of managing up to 25 dogs in playroom alone.
- Are capable of approving/rejecting new dogs during evaluations, excluding the various bully breeds.
- Are able to balance playrooms and initiate dog rotation as needed.
- Are able to identify dogs who would benefit from additional training to help them positively interact with dogs and people in the playroom and at home. Additionally, we are able to discuss and implement an individual training plan for these dogs developed with a trainer.
- Must complete at least one of the following Dog First Aid requirements:
- Certification from pet first aid course
- Two years’ experience as a Veterinary Assistant
- Vet Tech degree
- Complete Continuing Education
- 5 hours of courses, seminars, books, training DVDs, etc. approved CNL’s owner or General Manager
Our highest staff level is Daycare Director. A Daycare Director has a tri-color – GREEN/TAN/WINE lead. So far, we have one employee that has earned their tri-color lead! In addition to all of the requirements of the prior leash levels, a Daycare Director:
- Has at least two years of experience in playrooms
- Is capable of approving/rejecting new dogs during evaluations, all breeds.
- Has completed at least 25 hours of Continuing Education