Yes! This is why we orient the dogs on the first visit to begin or continue their socialization in a new environment. We supervise each new combination of canines while they inspect each new member to the group one by one, a slow smooth process we successfully and intentionally do with every new dog.
The dogs sleep together in separate kennels in our cozy and climate controlled BUNKHOUSE. It is also where we feed dogs communally but separately, so no food aggression occurs but it keeps everyone on the same schedule.
Ernie’s Doggie Dude Ranch is housed at Holland Wildflower Farm in Elkins. It is the home of Bob and Julie Holland who are primary caretakers, and hosts for the dogs. We are 12 miles from Downtown Fayetteville taking Hwy 16 East along the White River. You can find us best on GPS Doggie Dude Ranch, 290 O’Neal Ln, Elkins AR 72727. There are no signs until you pull up behind the white house and see our Welcome sign with instructions to call us to unload or pick up your dog.
Yes! Our Bunkhouse is air-conditioned and is super chill, and warm and dry when needed. And if any dog prefers to stay indoors we allow that. So all couch potatoes welcome.
After morning meal (7:30-8:30am) and afternoon meal (3:30-4pm) we get the dogs together for group walks outside the ranch. The acres around it are unfenced fields that we walk along toward the stream on mown paths. We ask your permission on the Reservation Form for your dogs to be walked on-leash on these daily adventures. This is the highlight and we do it twice per day. We also spend time playing ball or other activities that are catered to what dogs like to do. Our groups are settled after activity time for the afternoon or evening in their play areas. Any dog who wishes to be indoors will have a cozy spot in the bunkhouse or will join his group outside to chill.
Dogs eat better when they have their own space, and they also sleep much better in their own space. For their safety and comfort we prefer everyone have their own space. They spend minimal time in the kennels so we feel it is best to give them their own space at down times.
We are a free play boarding facility in a secure, secluded rural setting. While we have a cozy climate-controlled bunkhouse for eating and sleeping and getting out of inclement weather, the focus is playing outdoors with handlers and other dogs. Our one acre fenced play area is divided to accommodate dogs into play groups according to size and tolerance of other dogs. The Ranch sits in the middle of 25 acres of unfenced meadows and a stream that we walk the dogs along on their leashes every day. Our goal is to create a calm setting with dogs at the focus to teach them to trust us and to be social with other friendly dogs.
Some dogs are just learning social skills, and others are overly social and must learn manners.So we group dogs according to size, temperament and tolerance level for other dogs. Our goal is to exercise and socialize dogs into groups that relax and become calm as they proceed from morning activities to afternoon activities.
What Do I Bring With My Dog to the Ranch? (Re: Feeding, Sleeping in the Bunkhouse, Medicines etc.)
The only thing required is a firmly fitted collar and leash. Harnesses are of limited use for us, so be sure s/he has a collar of some kind while at the ranch. We don’t need food bowls unless they are needed to control eating too fast; no chew bones or fluffy beds. A small toy or blanket is ok to bring. We supply the dogs a clean fleece blanket and they sleep on a soft vinyl floor in the bunkhouse.
About feeding: We feed Diamond Maintenance kibble, which contains various feed grains. This food is included in our pricing. We also give the dogs rawhide bones and other treats. Dogs do love our treats and kibble BUT IF YOUR DOG IS ON A REGULAR DIET ROUTINE or GRAIN-FREE DIET, you should most definitely bring enough food for the stay with us. Include the instructions on how much to feed. Sudden changes in a dog’s routine diet can be hard on the dog’s stomach. Please advise us of any allergies, or special feeding requirements or restrictions. Any medications will be administered and charged per day $3-5 per day depending on the administration needed.
All dogs who are current on vaccinations for their age, are welcome after they have been approved (Orientation Day). If your dog is mature* or over one-year S/HE MUST BE NEUTERED. In the case of intact males at about 9 months, they usually become unpopular in dog groups. We say spay when your dog is mature. *Females after their first heat, and males when they begin to show signs of breeding behavior. There are many reasons for this in a free-play setting. Occasionally we make exceptions but we DO NOT ACCEPT ANY LIABILITY for unneutered dogs. Dogs who do not get along with our handlers or other dogs are not approved to board. Bring us your friendly dogs; free play boarding is for friendly dogs only.