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Summer Camps for You and Your Dog

If you and your dog enjoy off-leash parks, traveling and outdoor activities, dog camp is for you!

Good socialization and play skills make dog camp more fun for everyone. Your dog should enjoy playing with — or at least be neutral toward — other dogs and people. Young dogs should be able to read cues from other dogs and older dogs should be able to tolerate jostling by faster, younger dogs. Small dogs should be comfortable around big dogs. All dogs should be willing to share toys, and possibly cabin space.

Solid, basic obedience skills — sit, stay, coming when called — are critical for off-leash games, heavy-duty play, hikes, swimming and other activities. Good manners help everyone relax.

Research dog camps to determine which best meets your vacation goals. Some focus on competitive agility and obedience, others on off-leash games and hiking, and some are quite rustic. Then, sign up and give dog camp a whirl!
 

It’s all here. The classic summer camp experience you remember from childhood — swimming, hiking, boating, rustic cabins, campfire songs and lots of socializing — tailored to four-footed guests. That means days packed with agility, flyball, Rally-O, lure coursing, dock diving, clicker training, freestyle, even painting, not to mention well-earned naps. Two-footed campers can bone up on animal communication, Tellington TTouch, canine massage and much more. Each camp has its own flavor, style and emphasis, but here are a few favorites: Camp Dogwood, Ingleside, Ill.; Camp Gone to the Dogs, Stowe and Marlboro, Vt.; Camp Unleashed, Asheville, N.C., Berkshires, Mass., and Sequoia, Calif.; Camp Winnaribbun, Stateline, Lake Tahoe, Nev.; Canine Club Getaway, Lake George, N.Y.; Dog Scouts of America, St. Helen, Mich.; Happy Tails Daycamp for Dogs, Fennville, Mich.; and Maian Meadows Dog Camp, Lake Wenatchee, Wash.

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This article first appeared in The Bark,
Issue 65: Jun/Aug 2011
Rebecca Wallick is an attorney and a Bark contributing editor; she and her dogs live in Washington.
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Submitted by Amanda | February 23 2012 |

For anyone who is thinking about attending a dog camp for the first time, I say go for it! Bark magazine lead me to attend my first dog camp last year at Maian Meadows Dog Camp in WA. Thanks to people I met there I learned about flyball and now participate in that activity with one of my dogs. I am now a convert for dog camp. Can't wait for this year!

Submitted by Kim | January 21 2014 |

where is this place? How much and when is it open?

Submitted by Karin | November 11 2013 |

Camp isn't just for adults and their dogs! Adventure Unleashed has a summer camp for teenagers and their dogs in Ohio. www.adventureunleashed.org

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