As dog owners, we all know the struggle of leaving our dogs at home all day and then trying to make time to attend to their play and exercise needs at night.
Urban Dogs provides a fun, safe, all weather environment where you can drop your dog off and we will fill their days with activities, naps, hugs, treats and plenty of dog social time - so that at the end of the day, you pick up a happy, pooped pup!
Urban Dogs is recently under new ownership, and is run by a team of crazy dog enthusiasts, so you can rest assured your dog is well cared for. This team includes a qualified dog behaviourist, a dog trainer, a vet nurse, as well as other well-qualified canine professionals and of course all the team are dog lovers.
Urban Dogs have an open environment, which means you can watch your dog settling in with their friends every morning on drop off. We believe this is unique for a doggy day care in NZ.
We are proud to not only offer a quality day care facility for dogs, but a community of like-minded, dog-loving people.
So far, we have taught over 400 dogs to swim – making sure our furry friends are safer when out and about with their families.
Urban Dogs realises that not all pooches are lucky enough to have owners and we give back to the community by supporting dog, as well as having a doggy donation box in their reception, every year Urban Dogs runs a Christmas Dog Food Drive and collect around 200kg per year of food to help feed the welfare dogs at Christmas. We also keep the community safer by delivering dog safety talks to children.
Leanne has always had her dog in day-care since he was a tiny puppy. As a big believer that socialisation and daily love, leads to a happier, healthier pup, when Leanne got the opportunity to swap her management role with running a day-care business, she jumped at the chance.
Leanne has a background in accounts and management, which she will put to
good use here at Urban Dogs, along with her love of dogs of course. When Leanne is not hanging with all your fur-babies, you can find her mowing the lawns at her farm, on the ride on mower named Bruce... which she is very fond of... even if she has broken it a million times.
Kerry has no formal dog training, other than what she considers a certificate in dog loving, which she passed with an A++. Kerry has a background in marketing, sales and admin, where she has spent the last few years in senior management.
Most of Kerry’s spare time is spent hanging with her rescue pup Poppy. Their favourite hobbies are having a good walk and sniff around the neighbourhood and naps in the afternoon. Kerry is very excited that she can now extend that dog love to all of the Urban Dogs family!
Jo van Wyk BApSci
PA to MANAGING DIRECTOR
Jo has completed a Bachelor of Applied Science - majoring in Animal Management and Welfare and has a real passion for dogs.
Jo has volunteered for Guide Dog Kennels, Urban Search and Rescue, and Land Search and Rescue, and holds a Workplace First Aid Certificate. Jo is also a puppy walker and breeding stock guardian for Guide Dog Services New Zealand.
Jo does a mix of caring for the dogs in day care and keeping the all important admin side of the business ticking along.
SENIOR DAY CARE SUPERVISOR / DOG BEHAVIOURIST / TRAINER / VET NURSE/ CUSTOMER SERVICE MANAGER
Sam has completed a Certificate in Canine Behaviour & Training, Certificate in Animal Welfare Investigations, Dog Control and Animal Care.
Sam has been teaching dog training, behaviour classes and consultations for 10 years, was an animal control officer for 6 years, spent 8 years working as a vet nurse and has tutored the Canine Behaviour Training course. Sam has assisted the Regional police training officer in dog training classes for members of the public, has conducted assessments for potential police dogs and has completed temperament assessments for drug detection dogs. Her passion is ensuring that owners are educated in understanding their dogs behaviour so they live a happy life together.
RECEPTIONIST / CUSTOMER SERVICE
Amanda has been a client of Urban Dogs for 2 years and has enjoyed bringing her dog Luna so much she wanted to join our team.
Amanda has completed a Bachelor of Commerce with Double Major in Marketing and Information Systems and has Sales, Customer Service, Marketing, Administration, and Office support experience. She spent 3 years working in Singapore where she gained more marketing, sales, and relationship management skills.
Amanda was enticed by this opportunity to work in Urban Dogs where she could apply her skills and gain more knowledge about dog behaviours and their unique personalities.
Kerry is part way through obtaining a Bachelor of Applied Science, majoring in Animal Management and Welfare. These studies have seen her travel to the Bornean Rainforest to study the jungle wildlife.
In her spare time, Kerry enjoys learning more about her passions: natural science and animals. She also loves exploring New Zealand and all it has to offer.
Kerry has joined our team as the morning receptionist, and looks forward to getting the best out of both the admin and doggy worlds.
DAY CARE SUPERVISOR
You may recognise Olivia as she was a casual team member when we first opened. Since then she has travelled and worked in an office, however, she decided dogs were her passion and came back to Urban Dogs full time.
Olivia immigrated to NZ from the UK. Her office skills are useful for the admin side of the business. Olivia is a keen photographer and loves taking pictures of the dogs throughout the day and sharing these with our clients. She has a happy Golden Retriever called Bailey who enjoys coming to work with her and an older, retired Border Collie called Sam.
URBAN DOGS SHERIFF
Louie AKA The Sheriff, has 1 mission in life.. and that is to make sure all the Urban Doggos are doing the right thing! There are rules people, rules!!
Louie is a small dog with a big heart and plenty of attitude.
Louie's hobbies include, napping, sleeping and lying down... that is when he is not bossing other pups around of course.
Poppy is a very excited rescue pup from Australia, who has almost completely lost the accent, but still struggles with the colder days. She can always be relied upon for a good hearty hand, face, foot lick for both humans and other pups alike.
Poppy's greatest 'talent' is that she can jump high enough to lick unsuspecting folk on the face from a sitting position in one single bound... Her mum is less fond of this trick..
DAY CARE SUPERVISOR
Jenny is originally from the UK where she grew up on a farm gaining experience working with all sorts of animals. She also worked in a large kennel facility in the UK for 5 years.
Jenny immigrated to New Zealand to be with her partner and originally worked in a pet shop in Browns Bay. She has joined our team and has a passion for dogs. In her spare time Jenny enjoys horse riding, belly dancingSewing and crafting and maintaining a fit and healthy lifestyle.
DOG SAFETY AMBASSADOR
Teddy Bear is a rescue dog and was adopted by lovely parents Donal and Mandy. Teddy Bear started coming to Urban Dogs in 2013. He often helps us out at marketing events and did such a great job we offered him a position on our team. Along with our dog trainer Sam, he now visits local schools and day cares and teaches children how to be safe around dogs, particularly how to approach a dog and where to touch them. He even has a cartoon colouring picture so that kids can remember the safe touch zones. You will also see his smiley face on our doggy school bus window.
CHIEF ROPE TESTER
Dallas is a bull terrier and is a strong personality. She enjoys coming to work with her mum Sam because dogs are pack animals and like company. She loves catching up with the team and having belly rubs. Dallas has a very high play drive and loves testing out the durability of toys. Her favourites are rope toys, spikey gorilla balls and chuck it balls. Chuck it balls have succeeded the tough toy test.
PUPPY IN TRAINING
Logan is our newest doggy addition to the Urban Dogs family. He is very playful and loves chewing on all the wonderful toys he has. He has a keen nose and lots of energy to burn and enjoys enjoys learning puzzle and treat games.
Logan enjoys coming to work with his mum Jo so he can socialise with lots of dogs and learn good manners and have a enjoy a good play which tires him out for the evening.
CHIEF BALL TESTER
Luna has enjoyed coming to Urban Dogs for the past three years. She loved it so much in fact that she encouraged her mum Amanda to join our team!Luna loves running around and chasing the Chuck-It balls with all her friends. She is a very well socialised friendly dog who helps out with the pre-play assessments for new dogs.
HEAD OF CUDDLES
Bailey is a playful and very happy dog. He loves everyone, both human and canine, and is always up for a cuddle or belly rub.He is a keen swimmer and loves attending our doggy swimming class with his friends at day care.A lover of all toys but tennis balls are his absolute favorite.
Supporting dogs out in the Community
Here at Urban Dogs we believe in supporting those who are doing great things for dogs in our community.
“You don’t need super powers to save a life – just a compassionate heart and a willing spirit” - unknown
Are large dogs separated from small dogs?
Dogs are grouped in order of size and temperament. It is important for small dogs to interact with big dogs and vice versa as when their owners take them out and about they can’t control who they run into. However, at Urban Dogs mixing is done very carefully by our qualified team who know dog body language and the groups are ALWAYS supervised. We would absolutely not mix a large high energy dog with a small low energy dog.
Will my dog learn to bark more?
No, it’s actually the opposite at Urban Dogs, we often get told how quiet the facility is. In fact, the meter reader says we are the only doggy day care on the North Shore he doesn’t have to wear his ear muffs into. There’s 3 main reasons dogs bark - over excited, bored or under stress – for the comfort of all dogs, team and our neighbours we don’t allow excessive barking. A little barking while playing is accepted and a bit of excited barking on drop off (dogs just love coming to day care) and when seeing their owners on pick up (dogs just love their owners) but that’s it. Our trainer will work with the parents of any excessive barkers.
Are the dogs constantly supervised?
Yes – dogs are supervised AT ALL TIMES by our trained team. Click here to find out more about our team.
Will my dog get on with the other dogs?
All dogs must pass the pre-play assessment before being accepted into Urban Dogs. Our qualified team are constantly reading the dogs body language and moving the groups around so that all dogs are comfortable and having fun. For example, the puppies will be with other puppies to burn off their energy.
Is there an area designated for dogs to lie down?
Yes, there is plenty of bedding, we also have “Mat time” in the middle of the day. For relaxing we have the following areas: Relaxing Seniors Area (RSA), the movies and 2 chill out areas. Our qualified team are consistently reading the dog body language and grouping dogs so that are dogs are happy. If a rowdy puppy is annoying the older ones they will be separated. We have 8 different areas for this as well as separate day beds so your puppy will get regulated rest time (as they don’t know how to regulate their own play) and your older dog will get to relax without being annoyed.
Can you offer training for specific problems with my dog?
Yes, we have a very qualified trainer who offers 1-1 or group training. Click here for more training info.
What is the policy on food and snacks?
We do offer our guests snacks throughout the day, so please let us know if your dog has any requirements we are happy to accommodate.
Dogs are usually fed in the morning and evening before and after day care, however if you have a young puppy or older dog that requires an extra meal in the day, we are happy for you to provide this - we feed all dogs separately. Dogs do have to rest for 15 mins before and after being fed for medical reasons so we ensure this is done at day care too.
If you are bringing your dog’s lunch or snacks with them please clearly mark with their name (just like children’s lunches).
Toileting - where do they toilet?
We have designated areas for the dogs to toilet – most dogs use these areas as the other dogs have also gone there, if there are any accidents our team clean them up straight away ensuring they dry the area so it's not a slip hazard.
My dog hasn't been to dog day care before - I'm nervous but want to give it a go?
It’s fine to feel nervous when trusting your furbaby into the care of others. Our qualified team
will look after your furbaby and let you know how they settle in. We want you and your dog to feel comfortable when using our services, so we offer your dog’s first day free so you and your dog can try us out with no cost or obligation. Your dog must pass the pre-assessment first which we also don’t charge for (this can be done on the same day as the first day trial if pre-arranged). You are more than welcome to come and drop by as many times as you like before your first day. If you’d like to only do a half day that’s also fine.
Will they make friends? Will they get bullied?
Most dogs make friends easily, they are grouped with other dogs who have the same interests and temperament so they all get on.
Will my dog get fleas at day care?
It is part of our terms and conditions that all dogs must be on a flea treatment programme. Fleas don’t jump from dog to dog, fleas jump onto environments like grass, bedding etc. Here at Urban Dogs we have a strict day care cleaning schedule which includes washing all bedding and doing a thorough clean of the facility daily.
Is fresh drinking water available?
Absolutely, water is available at all times, however your dog may still be thirsty after day care. Please be aware of their water intake as excessive amounts may cause an upset stomach or other problems.
Are vaccination records required before enrolment?
Yes – for the health and safety of all our team and dogs we have some pre-play requirements please see the rules and regulations page for more info. We have a vaccination management system so you can be rest assured for ongoing safety of your dog.
How are dogs disciplined for bad behaviour?
Dogs come to day care to have fun, but in order to maintain a safe environment they also need to play by the rules we set for them. We believe that it is important for dogs to have structure in their play time. Through the use of basic command practice and positive reinforcement methods, the dogs learn that good behaviour brings rewards (play, treats, verbal and physical praise). We have found that by using positive reinforcement methods, the dogs actually want to learn and are eager to please us. While appropriate behaviours are reinforced, inappropriate behaviours are disciplined, through the use of time outs or loss of play.
Our qualified team are constantly reading the dog’s behaviour and are trained to catch problems before they arise as we want to ensure all dogs have a fun and safe experience while at doggy day care. If a dog is acting up we look into why – there are many different reasons so we tailor our response to the problem. i.e. if a dog is tired and grumpy we will let them chill out in the RSA or behind reception away from the other dogs for a little while. Just like with children when a dog gets too excited or tired they can play up. We always offer training if there are any issues. To ensure the safety off all dogs and our team naughty behaviour can lead to suspension or being expelled.
Please keep in mind not all dogs are candidates for dog day care. Some dogs do not do well in this environment. Please do not take this personally as this by no means states that you have a “bad dog”. Our primary concern is for the wellbeing of all our guests by providing a fun, safe environment.
What is on your floor?
For hygiene reasons, we have had the floor coated with a non–absorbent epoxy based coating. This coating has had rubber (recycled from car tyres) sprinkled into it to be non-skid this is for the safety of the dogs when playing. We chose rubber over sand as sand can be harsh on the dog’s paws – the rubber is also low impact and noise absorbing. We choose not to use matting as it is unhygienic.
Do I bring toys?
We have loads of dog toys in every shape and size. All toys in the dog play area must remain neutral to avoid possessiveness. We also don’t allow external toys into day care for hygiene reasons.
Do I get a discount for multiple visits or more than 1 dog?
Yes, we have discounted rates depending on how often you use us and we offer same family discounts – see our rates page for more info.
What happens if there is an emergency with the dogs?
We have a vet nurse onsite and 5 other team members are pet first aid certified including dog CPR. We have relationships with local vets should the need arise. We have procedures in place in case of emergency, these are all detailed in our application form.
What does your pre-play assessment involve?
Our qualified staff perform all our pre-play assessments so we can provide the safest day care experience possible. We test for dog aggression, separation anxiety, confidence levels and toy possessiveness. We will communicate the results to you and come up with an action plan on how to best integrate your dog into our doggy day care. If your dog passes the initial assessment they will be invited to stay for a trial day – this could be a couple of hours if your dog is a bit nervous or if the environment is new to him/her. It is important to us that your dog has a positive introduction to day care, if your dog is overwhelmed, stressed or unhappy the staff will be able to give you advice on if they can overcome this. A gradual introduction to the facility may be suggested, this may not be that convenient for you at first, however sets your dog up to succeed within the environment. If your dog is not suited to doggy day care we will also tell you this, we want all dogs that come to Urban Dogs to be happy.
What if my dog fails the pre-play assessment or is suspended?
If your dog is quieter by nature and didn’t enjoy the cage free group environment or if your dog fails the pre-play assessment, it doesn’t mean your dog is bad. This unique group environment may just be too overwhelming for them. Some dogs just need a little extra training and socialisation before coming to day care – our in-house trainer can help with this. If you dog is older we recommend that they take advantage of our RSA (Relaxing Seniors Area).
What if my dog is injured or gets sick?
Remember that even normal dog play may result in some type of injury. It is not a common occurrence but it can happen. Just like a child can fall or trip at school. All injuries and illnesses are prevented to the BEST of our ability. If this occurs, you will be notified when you pick up your dog if it is minor, you will be notified immediately if the problem is severe. If there is an emergency and vet care is needed, we will transport your dog to our local vet – all medical costs are the owner’s responsibility.