At Pawderosa Ranch, we value our team members immensely. They offer years of experience and specialized training that ensure your dog is lodging in the most comfortable, secure and customized atmosphere possible.
To shine some light on the individuals making Pawderosa Ranch the top choice for owners in and around San Antonio, we interviewed Baelyn, our Enrichment Coordinator. She oversees the team and dogs involved in group play as well as provides forms on mental enrichment for the individual pups in our care. Here’s the rest of the conversation.
Question and Answer with Enrichment Coordinator, Baelyn
What special certifications or trainings do you have?
Other than learning from my amazing management team, I am currently certified in Pet First Aid and CPR, OPCLC Level 1 & 2 Training for Pet Care Facilities, OPCLC Managing Group Play, AKC ABC’s of Dog Breeding, ASPCA Dog Bite Prevention and ASPCA Disaster Response Program. I am always trying to further my knowledge on dog behavior and training methods.
How long have you been with Pawderosa?
I have been with Pawderosa for over a year.
Walk me through a normal day for a dog lodging at Pawderosa.
The dogs at the Ranch are woken up before the sun even comes out to go potty and start greeting their friends. Our enrichment specialist will start their activities first thing in the morning to establish manners from the start. Each play rotation is full of mental activities such as:
- Follow the Leader – dogs take a walk around our outdoor play yards following their “leader,” walking as a pack
- Group Obedience – the ranchers work on strengthening their sits, downs and stays with the distractions of fellow ranchers
- Gate Control – teaching our ranchers patience and not to barge through the door ways
We also spray new scents in the yards like coconut, cinnamon, lavender and so on, keeping the dogs’ minds occupied and exploring. After each rotation, the dogs are taken to their bunks to unwind before the next play or potty rotation starts. During mid-day our pups start expecting their all-time favorite ranch biscuit which is made by the wonderful owner of Pawderosa herself. By the end of the day, after all the mental activities including bubble chasing, tennis ball fetching, scent sniffing and wrestling friends are complete, the ranchers are so worn out that they can’t wait to return to their bunks into the arms of our canine care specialists who are ready to cuddle and tuck them into bed.
What is your favorite part of working at Pawderosa?
I love a lot of favorite things about Pawderosa, from all the amazing dogs I get to spend my day with to the fact that I really love how honest we are with our clients. From the very first day, the ranchers are evaluated in the play yards, and our pet parents should expect a full run down on exactly how their dog plays while not in the presence of their moms and dads. This will help both the pet parents, the new ranchers and us here at Pawderosa make the most out of all the unique services that we offer.
What are some of the most frequent questions (and answers) you are asked by guests?
We usually get asked “How do you ensure safe group play?”
Not only do we divide the play yards by size, but we also take into special consideration each individual dog’s play style. All of our dogs that would like to participate in group play are put through an evaluation process. This is a three step process performed by our enrichment specialists, who oversee and monitor safe group play. The first step in the evaluation process is staff interaction with the dog, this shows us how trusting our new rancher is with new people. We make notes of each individual dog and adjust our process according to that dog’s needs. Some dogs may need to build confidence towards us and others are eagerly waiting to play. The next step is to introduce our new rancher to one of our more experienced, low-energy ranchers. We want to get a good feel on how our new rancher feels about the social setting before placing them into an appropriate play yard. The third step is finding a play group that fits their comfort level and play style.
We’ve had several ranchers start out with the lil’ doggies before gaining the confidence to romp around in the big dog yard, and we have even more ranchers that have been coming here since puppyhood who have learned from their fellow playmates on proper behavior while in the play yard. Whenever we notice a change in behavior with our rancher’s play style, we go over it with our parents, keeping notes on any environmental changes at home like a big move or a new baby that can stress a dog out. This is why we keep open communication with our pet parents ensuring safe group play.
What distinguishes Pawderosa from other dog lodging / dog boarding facilities?
We do not discriminate against dog breeds, which is a huge difference in Pawderosa as compared to other facilities. Our staff also goes above and beyond in working with our dogs. We want to see the improvement on socialization in the off-leash setting.
How does the team seek to help the dogs with separation anxiety?
Depending on the severity of the dog’s anxiety, we’ll try a few different methods. For the kind of dog that just doesn’t want to be alone, a staff member will take it for a personal walk in the facility calming it down. Or for a home-sick rancher, rotating toys and blankets from home and extra cuddles usually helps. We always keep our clients updated on their progress and work on a plan from there.
What should a potential dog owner expect to see in Pawderosa’s exercise / play programs?
For their dog to come home not only physically tired but mentally tired as well. A well-balanced dog needs mental stimulation just as much as they need physical. Pawderosa Ranch gives them a healthy dose of both.
Come in and meet some of our staff in person and tour our facilities. We specialize in a custom tailored environment that is more similar to a luxury hotel than a dog kennel. Contact us today to book your dog’s stay.