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Murphy from our Dog Photo Gallery
Dogs Camps Can Be a Popular Getaway for Dogs and Their People

With about 24 million people per year nationwide traveling with their family dog, it may not be surprising that there are over 20 dog camp sessions offered throughout the United States and Canada. A dog camp is not a kennel where you drop your dog off while you go on a vacation. It is a planned group event where everyone brings their dog and the majority if not all of the itinerary revolves around dog-friendly activities that you and your pooch can participate in together. Some dog lovers come to let their already well-mannered pooch socialize with other four-legged friends, some to teach their dog a new trick or a new sport, and some just to give their dog a chance to be a dog on a perfect "just for dogs" getaway. One of the big advantages at a dog camp is that all of the people attending either have a dog or are dog lovers and everyone participating can share and enjoy the common bond of canine companionship.

The length of a dog camp session ranges from one day to one week and revolves around dog-centric activities. Some of the most common activities are agility, flyball, obedience training, games, tricks, swimming, hiking and canine massages. Many camps even offer painting, dancing and costume parties all of which includes the participation of your best friend. While it depends on the actual camp you go to, the majority of dog camp lodging is typically not at a hotel or even a motel, but instead dorm style lodging which is reminiscent of a summer camp atmosphere. But if you want more privacy, most of the camps can recommend a nearby pet-friendly motel. Of course whether you opt for the dorm style lodging or staying at a pet-friendly motel, your pooch gets to sleep in the same room with you. One big caveat for families with kids is that if you have children under 18 years of age, some of the dog camps do not allow them.

For folks who enjoy letting their dog run off leash, the majority of dog camps allow the opportunity for your pooch to be leash free. Some camp operators request that dogs be on leash during the class but then off-leash the rest of the time and some camps request the opposite. Any camp that does allow dogs off leash does require that your pooch be under your direct control. All of the camps assume that the canine attendees are generally well-socialized and comfortable around other dogs. But on the other hand, if your dog needs a little more socializing, dog camp might just be the place to go. Check directly with any dog camp you might be interested in as to their policies on this subject.

If after checking the list of dog camps below you find there is not one in your area, here is another idea. Dog Scouts in Michigan offers to bring the camp to you just about anywhere in the United States and Canada. You can host a weekend "Mini-Camp" in your own area. Dog Scouts will provide a director and core staff and you can provide the location and some local talent like agility instructors, tracking experts and other similar trainers or demonstration experts.

Many people that attend dog camp usually go back again the next year. So whether you enroll in a dog camp or start your own, be aware that you might just be starting an annual tradition for you and your best friend.

LIST OF DOG CAMPS

CANADA (total of 4+ sessions)
Ontario

UNITED STATES (total of 17 sessions)
California
Illinois
Michigan
New York
North Carolina
Vermont
Wisconsin


CANADA

Ontario

Dog Paddling Adventures
177 Idema Road
Markham, Ontario L3R 1A9, Canada
905-477-2493
http://www.dogpaddlingadventures.com
Sessions for 2004:
varies, but usually at least 4; multiple dates in Jan-Mar, multiple dates in Apr-Jun, summer dates and fall dates TBA. Sessions are one day to one week long.
Sessions:
group and individual
Leash requirements:
Off-leash is encouraged. Dogs will be off-leash on trips and hikes.
Camp size:
About 10 in a group or make your own individual session
Camp Activities:
skijoring in the winter, hiking in the spring and fall, and canoeing adventures in the summer.
Lodging:
Tent camping except during the winter when log cabin lodging is provided. Dogs sleep in your room.
Food:
One day trips include a meal and snacks. Multiple day trips include all meals. Bring your own dog food.
Vaccines or other dog requirements:
Contact them directly to see if proof of vaccines are required.
Rates:
$100 per person for one day activities, about $350 per person for 3 day getaways. Higher rates for one week getaways. Rates include your dog.

UNITED STATES 

California

Camp Winnaribbun
P.O. Box 50300
Reno, NV 89513
775-348-8412
http://www.campw.com
Sessions for 2004:
3 sessions; 1 each in June, August and September. Sessions are one week long.
Location of Camp:
Located on the shoreline of Lake Tahoe set among 33 acres of pine forest with a private beach.
Sessions:
group
Leash requirements:
varies, but in general there are off-leash times or activities.
Camp size:
varies, but in general 70 people and 100 dogs
Camp Activities:
Depends on the camp session, but in general includes hiking, swimming, lure coursing, training, crafts, pet obedience, psychocybernetics, agility, health, frisbee, carting, free time for relaxation and sightseeing, barbecue, games, tricks, contests, camp t-shirt, dog bandana and more.
Lodging:
Multiple-occupancy rustic cabins with shared bathrooms. No motorhome space available. For more privacy, off-site pet-friendly accommodations are nearby (deduct $100 from camp fee).
Food:
Breakfasts and lunches plus barbecue. Summer Camp session provides 3 meals per day.
Vaccines or other dog requirements:
Contact them directly to see if proof of vaccines are required.
Rates:
$950 per person. $100 non-refundable deposit per person is required.

Illinois

Camp Dogwood
3540 N. Southport Avenue
Box Number 178
Chicago, IL 60657-1436
312-458-9549
http://www.campdogwood.com
Sessions for 2004:
4 sessions; February (indoors), May, July and October. Sessions are 3-4 days long.
Location of Camp:
Ingleside, IL, near Fox Lake in the Chain-of-Lakes region of Illinois.
Sessions:
group
Leash requirements:
Usually on leash during most classes and off-leash between classes, on hikes and on the beach.
Camp size:
Up to 100, usually around 60-85 people and 1 to 2 dogs per person. About 25-30 staff members with their dogs.
Camp Activities:
Agility, behavior and training, lure coursing, rally obedience, herding, water sports, frisbee, tracking, carting, backpacking, games, tricks and tips. Schedules are usually flexible and you can choose most of your activities. Camp is held on private property that offers 180 acres of fields, woods, wetlands and an adjoining lake with beachfront.
Lodging:
On-site private or shared dorm-style lodging and/or cabins with shared bathrooms. Dogs sleep in your room.
Food:
All meals and snacks provided. Campers can bring extra snacks and a cooler to keep in the room. Bring your own dog food.
Vaccines or other dog requirements:
Rabies and DHLPP proof of vaccinations OR for people who choose to vaccinate their dogs less frequently, bring your dog's titers results (blood tests showing adequate antibodies). Fecal sample test results from your vet showing okay results. Dogs should be free of fleas.
Rates:
$400 to $650 for a weekend (extra charge for herding class, CGC test and one-on-one training session). No children under 18.

Michigan

Dog Scout Camp
5068 Nestel Road
St. Helen, MI 48656
989-389-2000
http://www.dogscouts.com/camp.shtml
Sessions for 2004:
3 sessions; 1 in June and 2 in July. All camps are 6 days long.
Location of Camp:
Maple Valley Conservatory in the Northern Lower Peninsula in Michigan. Camp offers 80 acres with hiking trails and a large pond with a beach.
Sessions:
group
Leash requirements:
Off-leash is allowed if your dog is under verbal control (after the first camp meeting). There is also a large fenced area for people who feel they cannot let their dog off-leash.
Camp size:
30 campers per dog camp.
Camp Activities:
Activities may vary per camp, but in general they offer agility, flyball, backpacking, water rescue, IMPROV obedience, the art of shaping, herding, sledding, frisbee, search and rescue, freestyle, carting, tracking, lure coursing, painting, swimming, boating, hiking, and more. Learn topics like wolf behavior, canine conditioning, first aid, dog massage, knitting with dog hair, telepathic communication, and making your own dog cookies. Also the opportunity for your pooch to earn merit badges (extra charge) and become a Dog Scout. You and your dog can participate in as much or as little as you want. There are no strict schedules.
Lodging:
Dorm-style in large open rooms which accommodate up to five (same sex) campers in each room. Private rooms are available for couples and families. Off-site lodging is also available. Dogs sleep in your room.
Food:
Includes three meals and a snack each day. Special arrangements can be made for vegetarians.
Vaccines or other dog requirements:
Need to provide a health certificate for your dog showing up-to-date vaccinations (or titers test - blood test results for vaccine anti-body levels if you choose to vaccinate less frequently), heartworm check, fecal exam and overall general health. The health certificated is required 30 days before camp.
Rates:
$750 per person (includes one dog). Additional dogs (and spouses with no dog) can be brought to camp at a reduced rate.

New York

Competitive Edge Sports Camp
Dogs of Course
c/o Dana C. Crevling
128 Glen Avenue
Upton, MA 01568
508-529-3568
http://www.dogsofcourse.com/cesc/about_camp.htm
Sessions for 2004:
1 session; June/July. The session is five days long.
Location of Camp:
Storm King School (private boarding school) in Cornwall-on-the-Hudson in New York. The 85 acre campus is in the mountains and overlooks the Hudson River. Facilities include a fenced lacrosse field (safe dog area).
Sessions:
group
Leash requirements:
varies, but off-leash usually during class and during your own free time hiking or swimming.
Camp size:
varies but for agility training, groups are usually broken into a one instructor per 10 campers ratio.
Camp Activities:
Agility training for those just getting started or those preparing for national competition. Learn agility fundamentals, sequencing skills, intricate handling, problem solving, and games strategy. When you are not practicing agility you can hike or swim off-leash in certain areas or try tracking, flyball, rally-o, and canine disc. The camp also offers social night and games. In regards to the agility lessons, the main training field is in the sun, so all campers need to bring their own shade/tenting, especially if you intend to crate your dogs. There will be a large shared tent for you and your dog to relax or wait under, but no pens or crates are allowed under the large tent.
Lodging:
Coed dorms with community bathrooms. For co-ed dorms systems will be put in place to insure privacy. Rooms are not air-conditioned. Dogs are welcome in the dorms. For more privacy, try a request to stay at a nearby dog-friendly motel.
Food:
Includes 3 big meals a day with both meat and vegetarian choices. Pizza delivery is also available or you can drive to nearby restaurants.
Vaccines or other dog requirements:
Contact them directly to see if proof of vaccines are required.
Rates:
$1150 or less depending on occupancy rate or if you stay off-site.

North Carolina

The Dog's Camp
Catherine Mills, Director
121 Webb Drive
Marshall, NC 28753
828-649-3691
http://www.thedogscamp.com/
Sessions for 2004:
1 session; September. Camp is one week long.
Location of Camp:
Blue Ridge Mountains near Asheville, NC. At the Claxton Farm, a 600 acre working farm with hiking trails and a pond.
Sessions:
group
Leash requirements:
Leashes required except for during certain classes or training lessons.
Camp size:
varies, but averages about 50-60
Camp Activities:
Agility, canine acting, canine photography, communications, confirmation, evening activities, flyball, herding, lure coursing, obedience, obedience judging, tracking, your dog's body and the T-Touch.
Lodging:
Holiday Inn with a block of rooms reserved for dog camp attendees. Dogs sleep in your room.
Food:
Includes breakfast, lunch and the Friday evening banquet.
Vaccines or other dog requirements:
Contact them directly to see if proof of vaccines are required. Limit of 2 dogs per person. You are required to clean up after your dog. Dogs must be quiet in the hotel rooms. All dogs must be crated when left unattended.
Rates:
$1125 per camper ($975 + $150 non-refund. deposit) plus lodging at the Holiday Inn ($59/night and $50 one time per stay pet fee).

Vermont

Camp Gone-to-the-Dogs
P.O. Box 600
Putney, VT 05346
802-387-5673
http://www.camp-gone-tothe-dogs.com/
Sessions for 2004:
3 sessions; 1 in June and 2 in September. All camps are one week long.
Location of Camp:
The June camp will be at Marlboro College in Marlboro, VT and the September camps will be at the Mountaineer Inn in Stowe, VT
Sessions:
group
Leash requirements:
Dogs need to be leashed in training and trafficked areas. There are many opportunities for off-leash when in the fields and woods.
Camp size:
June camp up to 200 participants, September camps up to 120 participants.
Camp Activities:
They offer 25 to 50 activities per day, depending on the camp. You choose the quantity and specify activities you and your dog want. Or you can just sit around and relax. The activities depend on the camp you choose, but in general they offer beginning through advanced agility, obedience, retrieving, clicker training, lure coursing, tricks, games, flyball, freestyle dancing with dogs, K-9 disc, tracking, hunting, herding, doggie swimming lessons, skateboarding for dogs, jump rope for dogs, guided off-leash walks, contests, doggie costumer party and leash making. Workshops and Demos are available including Acupuncture, Acupressure, Tellington Touch, Carting/Weight Pulling, Canine Massage, Spinning Dog Hair. Lectures include behavior problem issues, CPR and first aid for dogs, cancer in dogs, discussion on yearly shots and if they are good for your dog, and search and rescue. In addition, September camps offer gondola rides for both you and your dog.
Lodging:
June camp: Dorm lodging (single, double, triple rooms), woodsy cabins (4 rooms and shared baths), or for more privacy (and air conditioning) they list nearby dog-friendly motels. Dogs sleep in your room. September camps: Lodging at the Mountaineer Inn.
Food:
Included. All you can eat choices, including vegetarian meals.
Vaccines requirements:
Contact them directly to see if proof of vaccines are required.
Other dog requirements:
Doggie poop must be cleaned up right away, dogs cannot be left loose and unattended in your room (they recommend crates or small exercise pens), dogs are not allowed in the dining room, dogs should not bark excessively.
Rates:
With on-site lodging the cost is $1,150 per person or less depending on single, double or triple room. With off-site lodging the cost is $900 per person or less. Up to 2 dogs per person are allowed. No children under 18.

Wisconsin

Dog Days of Wisconsin
235 S. Greenfield Avenue
Waukesha, WI 53186
262-521-2005
http://www.dogcamp.com/
Sessions for 2004:
2 sessions; both in August. Camps are 3-4 days long.
Location of Camp:
Camp Helen Brachman in central Wisconsin near Stevens Point, about 140 miles from Milwaukee. Camp is on 200 acres and on the shore of Pickerel Lake.
Sessions:
group
Leash requirements:
contact them for details
Camp size:
varies, contact them for details
Camp Activities:
May vary by camp, but in general they offer beginning and intermediate agility, waterfront games, lure coursing, TTouch, flyball, Ice Age trail hike, tracking, first aid for you and your dog, barks & crafts, tracking, treat cooking, dog sledding, grooming, arson investigation, rally obedience, packing with your dog, nutrition, games and more. Other activities include walks among the pines, playing ball or frisbee, photographing your pooch, dress up for the Costumer Contest or just relax and unwind with your best friend.
Lodging:
Dorm style and a limited number of private rooms available. There is also a dog-friendly motel nearby. Dogs sleep in your room.
Food:
contact them for details
Vaccines or other dog requirements:
Proof of dog vaccinations are required in advance. Dogs not allowed in the lunchroom. During meals your dog can be in a crate in the cabin, tethered to your bed, or if all of the dogs in your cabin get along, you can work something out with your cabin mates.
Rates:
$495 or less depending on lodging options.

 





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