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 Dog Camps

Dog camps are often an excellent way to explore new dog activities. Dog camps vary widely. Some are intended as vacations with your dog. Other dog camps cater to people already competing in a dog sport to improve their skills. Seminars tend to be more academic in approach. This page will list some you may wish to explore:

Getting Away With Your Dog

Thinking about getting away for a vacation? What's stopping you? Ah, you don't want to kennel your dog but taking your dog along is such a hassle! Why not consider a vacation spot created with you dog in mind? Head out to a dog camp.

Pet owners have an increasing desire to vacation with the family dog. This desire creates new business opportunities: the dog camp. A dog camp is a vacation spot with your dog firmly in mind. It is more than just a dog friendly environment. A dog camp provides activities specifically intended to include your dog. One advantage of a dog camp is the opportunity to socialize with like minded people. You and the others all have a common interest in dogs.

What is a Dog Camp?

Dog camps differ in their focus and structure. Even the term "dog camp" can lead to some confusion. Sometimes the term "dog camp" refers to a specialized form of pet boarding. The dog stays, you go. In other cases the term "dog camp" refers to an opportunity to vacation in a pet friendly environment with varying degrees of focus on dog specific activities and education. In this article the term "dog camp" refers to the dog and its human attending together.

A vacation of activities with your dog builds your communication and relationship. One of the exciting things about a dog camp is the opportunity to dabble in a variety of activities. You will have an opportunity to see and participate in activities you might not even have heard of and so would not have searched out on your own. If you have ever said "I'd like to train my dog do to tricks ... but who has the time?" a dog camp offers the perfect opportunity to make that goal while on a relaxing and fun vacation. Take a seminar in clicker training then have fun putting that new knowledge to work as you relax and play.

Your dog may be city dog but he is still a dog. The opportunity for your dog to engage his natural instincts in lure coursing, tracking, earthdog, herding and similar activities can open your eyes to a whole different view of your dog. Dog camps often offer fun activities that have everything to do with plain fun and nothing to do with formal training. Enjoy a costume party or learn how to draw your dog. Go for a swim or a hike. A dog camp can be more than just good fun for your dog. It can also offer you the opportunity to learn more about your canine friend. So you might want to look for a camp that offers educational seminars on dog behavior, training techniques, canine massage, acupuncture, healthy eating and more.

What Kind of Dog Camp?

Some dog camps are vacation oriented with a variety of both formal and informal activities and recreation. Another variety offers an opportunity to focus on improving competitive skills. Other dog camps are a blend between vacation and improving pet manners.

Most Dog camps involving both dog and human are limited to specific session times. A camp might offer only one, or several sessions a year. Sessions typically will range from several days to a couple weeks. Only a few dog camps are open on a flexible schedule basis.

Be sure to look at the skills and philosophies of dog camp staff. Decide whether you are looking to match or expand upon your own dog training style. Perhaps this is the time to try some new methods, but be sure you will be comfortable with the style. What is the education and background of the staff at the dog camp? Are they merely providing the accommodations, or are they providing behavior, training or health guidance as well? Is there a veterinarian on the premises? What about their background makes you feel that they can deal well with a timid dog or an aggressive one? Do they appear to have both the training and experience to bring out the best in your dog and to protect the safety of all participants?

Pick an environment that will respect the needs of your dog. Some dogs are comfortable with other dogs and do well in a primarily off leash environment. For these dogs, dog and owner can enjoy the relaxed leash free environment. Dogs that are either shy or bullies will benefit from carefully throughout off leash opportunities but most of their (and your) day should be free from stresses of intimate dog to dog interaction. A well run dog camp that understands both leash aggression issues (dogs with issues are often worse on leash) and dog socialization issues (some dogs really do need their personal space) can make the experience a real benefit to your shy or overly bold dog. With good experiences in a more controlled environment your shy or overly bold dog may graduate to being comfortable in the leash free environment, or may be not. Your dog is who he is. Offer him the opportunity to grow but respect him if he isn't a social butterfly.

Camps vary on whether they are primarily day events, more like a concentration of seminars, or accommodation oriented where the experience includes social activities, meals, relaxation and accommodations. What are the accommodations? Does the camp provide housing? Do you need an RV or tent? Can you stay in a local hotel or inn.

Does the camp provide meals for the humans? Is there a single menu provided to all at the same time (mess style) or is it restaurant style? Mess style service is great for socialization and reduced tensions but may be a challenge for those with special dietary needs or who prefer more choice in structuring their day.

What are the restrictions? Will your children be welcome? If so, are there appropriate activities for your children?

Pay attention to the rules and location of the camp. Do you want an opportunity to go out for a nice dinner or night on the town? If so, be sure to look for a camp where you can kennel your dog while you are out and that is located conveniently to your dogless activities.

Find out how many people return after their first experience. The most successful camps will have camp regulars who return nearly every year. A 75 percent return rate is a good sign.

A dog who is comfortable with other dogs and well mannered will give you the broadest range of acceptable dog camp environments. Owners of dogs who are a little more shy or a little less tolerant of rude dogs will do best to look for something more structured and with well educated staff to ensure a safe and fun experience.

Does the camp have any requirements for dogs to be vaccinated or screened for health issues? Is proof of current rabies vaccination required? If other vaccinations are required are titers acceptable?

Other Dog Vacation Options

You want to vacation with your dog but maybe you aren't so interested in dog sports and seminars. Maybe you just want to hike and swim or relax in your room with a good book in peaceful surroundings. Or maybe you want to engage in just one activity, perhaps a canoe trip or river rafting. You can find these kinds of dog friendly vacations on the trips and hiking pages.

Camp Winnaribbun

On the shores of Lake Tahoe, Nevada Campers have the opportunity to participate in obedience, agility, herding, tracking, nature talks, massage therapy, wonderful campfires with smores and storytelling and much, much more.

Camp Unleashed

Located in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts this camp offers several sessions throughout the year. Activities include relaxing, hiking, swimming, sampling dog sports, learning canine massage and more.

Camp Dogwood

Camp Dogwood takes place in Ingleside, Illinois.

Camp Dogwould

Near Perth, Ontario this camp offers a bit of everything, Tellington Touch, Reactive Dog Modification Class, Obedience, Fun Games & Tricks, Flyball, Agility, Freestyle, Rally and more.

Barking Hills Country Club

Where every human must be accompanied by a dog. A place for owners and their dogs to work, learn and play. Activities include obedience, lure coursing, agility, flyball & carting. Also active in Pet Assisted Therapy programs and can be a resource for your group or facility.

Camp Barking Hills

Camp Barking Hills in Hackettstown, New Jersey is a weekend camp for dogs and their
owners to play, learn new things and explore a variety of activities they might not
have had the opportunity to experience. Camp Barking Hills wants to give people the
chance to explore activities and sports with their dog in a relaxing atmosphere.

Dog Days of Wisconsin Summer Camp

A place where you can relax and have a good time with your dog. Participate in one of the scheduled activities or just watch the sun set on a hill with crickets chirping around you ... all with your canine best friend at your side. The camp is at Camp Helen Brachman located near Stevens Point, Wisconsin in Portage County, about 140 miles northwest of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Canine Camp Getaway of NY

Annual June dog camp at the Roaring Brook Ranch in Lake George, NY. This camp offers a variety of dog activities and seminars.

Camp Gone to the Dogs

Perhaps the most well known of the dog camps. This Vermont camp offers a week long session with introductions to flyball, herding, agility, clicker training, canine nutrition and more.

The Dog's Camp

When last visited this web site did not provide full access. Swannanoa, North Carolina Increase your skills and knowledge so that when you get home you
will integrate this information into your ongoing training and performing activities.

Glen Highland Farm

Morris, NY. Glen Highland Farm offers a variety of experiences from a simple on-your-own getaway to a six day group camp to a camp for kids and assorted mini-camps and seminars.

Bark!Here Dog Camp

Located in North Texas It is a scheduled three day weekend with your dog.

Wag It Camp  

Based in Lincolnville, Maine the focus is on agility competition skills

Gunflint Lodge - Dog Lover's Weekend

Northeastern Minnesota

Paws and People Camp

Bozeman, Montana scheduled for a single weekend it offers hiking, canine trail etiquette, wilderness first aid and other outdoor fun.

Puppyworks Events Calendar

Puppyworks sponsors educational events for nationally and internationally known dog trainers and behaviorists to educate dog trainers, behaviorists, breeders, veterinarians and dog enthusiasts about innovative, creative and humane methods in practice today. Puppyworks

Dog Scouts of America

In addition to a camp program this is an activities based organization.

Maian Meadows Dog Camp

Gig Harbor, Washington

Dog Paddling Adventures

Enjoy paddling, hiking and winter adventures (whether a beginner or experienced), while at the same time enjoying a bonding experience that is truly unique. Share the beauty of Ontario's finest waterways.

4-H Paws n Pals

In Western Maryland this is a camp program for kids and their dogs - or they can borrow a dog if they don't have one of their own.



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