Group Daycare:
Group daycare is suitable for all dogs who have passed our thorough temperament test with a trained evaluator. All breeds are welcome and inclusion in the large group will be based on safety of all dogs first. Groups are divided and assigned daily by dog size and play style. Dogs who show any signs of persistent dominant behaviors, persistent “policing”, reactivity, excessive “herding” behaviors, or aggression of any kind will not be able to play in the large group. The large groups often consist of 10 or more dogs per play session depending on the day.

Individual Daycare:
Group play isn’t for everyone and that’s OK! Some dogs prefer to have their activities with people instead of other dogs and our individual daycare program is for them. All individual daycare dogs will receive three one-on-one interactions with a caretaker throughout a full day, including two potty break walks on our nature trail and one individual off-leash play time in our super fun playschools. For those that don’t prefer off-leash play of any kind, an extended nature trail hike can be substituted.

Specialized Mini Groups:
These groups are intended for dogs who do not feel comfortable in the larger play groups or for owners who prefer a more structured day for their pups. These groups are perfect for those who have had very little to no previous group interaction and could use a slower and safer introduction to socialization and confidence building in a play setting. While there is no guarantee that these groups will result in your dog being comfortable eventually joining the large group, that will be the goal if preferred by the pet parent. These specialized days will still include the three daily activities included in individual daycare plus two one-hour off-leash play sessions with a group of 4 or fewer pups (depending on the personality and play style matches) and a much smaller staff-to-dog ratio than the larger group for increased interaction and monitoring.
*Reservations for mini groups are requested one week in advance so personality-matched groups can be planned.

  • Completed daycare application.
  • Completed daycare consent & waiver (PDF)
  • Passed Temperament Test / Behavior Evaluation with one of our daycare staff members.
  • Proof of valid and completed series of Rabies, Distemper, Bordetella and Canine Influenza vaccinations. If any vaccinations expire, they must be updated before your pup can play again.
  • Negative fecal parasite test within 1 year of joining group and maintained annually thereafter.
  • Regular use of monthly flea, tick, and parasite prevention.
  • Good general health without signs of active illness including sneezing, coughing, gagging, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, lethargy, etc. Any dog that begins exhibiting these symptoms while in our case will be immediately removed from group and kept away from other dogs until their pet parent can take them home.
  • We allow unaltered/intact males and females under 6 months of age. Between 6 months and 1 year, allowance will be strictly based on behavior of your dog and the reactivity of dogs in group to an intact dog (they smell different!). No intact males or females will be allowed after 1 year of age.
  • If a pet has not played with us in more than 3 months, we require a behavior re-test to ensure nothing has changed with that pups behavior.
  • Live viewing online camera feeds for daycare parents to view their pet playing throughout the day.
  • Unlike many of our competitors, we do not enforce strict pick-up and drop-off times.
  • We have strict requirements for vaccines and general health (see requirements).
  • We have thousands of square footage of play areas with artificial turf, safe play equipment, group-approved toys, shaded rest areas, and pools during the warm weather.
  • All surfaces, including artificial turf, are decontaminated fully at the end of each day.
  • Open air play areas allow for constant fresh air flow.
  • Everything we do, we do with safety first in mind.
    • Just like people, dogs can become overstimulated and annoyed when they are stressed or tired. Some daycares have an open area environment where the dogs can roam freely all day. At Pender, we believe allowing dogs to have their own space and time to decompress, in between play sessions, is the best way to keep everyone happy and safe. We provide breaks in between each of our play sessions where every dog will go back to their individualized space for some much deserved and needed rest. By allowing them to disengage from the constant play, we minimize the risk of negative interactions.
    • Our play groups are divided by the size of the participants and then by temperament and play style. We believe this is the best way to keep all dogs as healthy, happy, and safe as possible.
    • Many places will have 30+ dogs in a single room with one care attendant. At Pender, we use a 15:1 dog to care attendant ratio for maximum observation and safety.
    • We follow strict industry guidelines for dog behavior evaluations before adding any new participant to the group. We do not allow any dogs who show any signs of extreme stress of potential aggression, regardless of breed, age, sex, or background.
    • If a pet has not played with us in more than 3 months, we require a behavior re-test to ensure nothing has changed with that pups behavior.

Dogs are social animals by nature. They generally enjoy being around each other and play is a great way for them to be able to express themselves.

Some benefits of bringing your dog to the Pender Pack Off-Leash Program:

Exercise: Group play is a wonderful way to exercise your pet. Getting to run, chase, and wrestle with their friends from group will provide much needed exercise. We have a fully covered outdoor pavilion that is equipped with doggy safe turf, which they can play under while outside; rain or shine and not get dirty.

Mental Stimulation: Even if your dog is more likely to hang out on the sidelines, daycare is a great chance for them to be mentally stimulated. Instead of staying at home in a crate, they can be outside in an interesting environment. Being around other dogs and watching them interact with each other is fascinating. In fact, watching other dogs can be just as tiring as playing with them. At doggie daycare, there are new smells, new friends, and a new environment to explore!

Socialization: Group play can play a huge role in having a well-adjusted dog. Starting our Pender Pack Off-Leash program as a puppy is an awesome opportunity to get your pup accustomed to different dogs, people, and environments. As stated above, dogs are social creatures and being exposed to other dogs on a regular basis is a good way to ensure they continue being social. If they are lacking proper socialization and confidence skills, they may become dog reactive or fearful in the future.

Quality Time: Our daycare attendants are constantly monitoring and assessing the rooms in our daycare area. We aim to keep a safe and healthy level of stimulation so all dogs feel secure and confident enough to play. We help dogs during group play feel comfortable by encouraging appropriate interactions and redirecting inappropriate behavior. We also encourage proper leash manners and reinforce any commands you might be working on at home. Some commands we highly recommend be worked on at home are sit, down, and come. It’s also important your pup knows and responds to their name!

Group and individual daycare hours are from 7am- 7pm Monday – Friday and you are able to drop off and pick up anytime inside those hours.

We do allow pick up and drop off outside of these hours, however that would incur a late fee of $10 for every half-hour outside of our regular business hours.

There is also the option to drop off for either a half-day or a full-day of daycare.

  • A half-day = 5 hours or less from check-in to check-out
  • A full-day = More than 5 hours from check-in to check-out

Between each of our play session, all dogs receive a private rest time. Rest times are held inside our Annex building, which is temperature controlled.

Group play times are held in our four-season pavilion, the surrounding areas, and our large, individual play schools.

Our play groups are divided by size and then by temperament and play style as this is the best way to keep all dogs healthy, happy, and safe.

The Pavilion has heaters for the colder months and has fans, misters, and pools during the summer months. Since we are outside and the pavilion is not 100% temperature controlled, we base the play times around the weather. Inclement weather may cause sessions to be delayed, shortened, or cancelled.

In the event of cancelled or shortened sessions, dogs will be given a walk so they can still do their business and get out of their run.
Current play times are seasonally based and will always be posted in the Daycare lobby. Pack parents will be informed of any major changes as soon as possible.

Times, frequency, and length of sessions are subject to change for the safety and well-being of all our pack members.

Your pet’s first day of daycare is their temperament test day. This is a first impressions day where our attendants will introduce your dog to the daycare environment to see if they’re comfortable and enjoy being around other dogs.

Every dog is different. Some dogs will warm up to new environments right away, while others take their time to gain confidence and get comfortable enough to show us their real personalities. Please keep in mind that your dog might act differently with us than they do with you (this means that just because you take them to the dog park regularly does not automatically mean that group play will be the right environment for them).

After observing your pet’s behavior for the day we will talk with you about how your pup did and how we will proceed. The temperament test will determine whether or not the Off-Leash environment is right for your dog.

Please keep in mind that the temperament test is an initial determination of acceptance or failure. Sometimes a dog’s initial temperament does not reflect their temperament/behavior once they are comfortable in the environment; due to this fact, evaluations for group are always ongoing and for some dogs group play does not always remain a safe fit for them. We reserve the right to
remove a dog from daycare if their behavior is posing a safety risk to our other guests and/or attendants. If your dog does not pass their temperament test or their behavior in group shifts from green/yellow to yellow/red, we will try to help by recommending training and we can always reevaluate once behaviors have improved.

Lastly, the temperament test is only your dog’s first time being introduced to a bunch of new environments, people, and dogs. If it does not go well the first time, and you want your dog to play in group, it might be better to give your pup some time to adjust to the environment by coming to daycare a few times for our individual care and then trying the temperament test again.

When your dog comes home from the first day, they may seem extra tired, super thirsty, or both -this is very normal. It takes a bit of time for dogs to adjust to the level of play and mental stimulation group play offers. As mentioned in a previous section, their paws might be tender or they may experience loose stool due to the high arousal and excitement of being in a new environment.

As always, please feel free to reach out to us if you ever have any concerns or questions.

Some ways you can get in touch with us:

Pender Pet Retreat Main Phone/email – (703)-631-9590 / info@penderpetretreat.com

Going to work or just heading out of the house for the day? Let your dog play!  Choose from either
individual daycare or have your dog join the Pender Pack with off-leash group daycare at our state-
of-the art facility.

Single Day 5 Day Package 10 Day Package 30 Day Package Best Deal
Full Day Group Daycare $41.00 $38.95 / day $36.90 / day $34.85 / day
1/2 Day Group Daycare $30.00 $28.50 / day $27 / day $25.50 / day
Full Day Individual Daycare $41.00 $38.95 / day $36.90 / day $34.85 / day
1/2 Day Individual Daycare $30.00 $28.50 / day $27 / day $25.50 / day
Specialized Mini Groups $45.00 $42.75 / day $40.50 / day

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