Sleeping with a Stranger

My thoughts on cage free boarding kennels.

Let me first describe what I define as a cage free boarding kennel.

more then one dog from a different home left UNSUPERVISED or UNATTENDED with dogs they do not live with. This could be during the day or overnight stay.

The post that I made on Facebook and the topic now for this article came up in conversation during an assessment.

I assessed a dog last week, whom was both human and dog aggressive. This means that under the right circumstances, this dog has caused harm to a human and a dog in its lifetime. He wasn’t walking around foaming at the mouth, to an inexperienced eye, the dog might have just looked a bit stressed.

The owners began to tell me how they had left this dog at a cage free boarding kennel, twice I believe, with amazing feedback from the kennel owner, “ Little Junior loved his sleepover with his new friends”.

I immediately looked at my client in shock, thinking to myself how dangerous it was, not only for her personal dog, but for the other dogs this guy “slept with”. This women did not lie about her dogs behaviour to the kennel owner. She was very honest and open with them about his bite history with people and dogs. Which BTW isn’t usually the case, most owners will lie or omit the truth when it comes to their “Little Juniors”. They did a quick assessment and BOOM, this dog was a candidate to join and have cage free sleepovers.

I will end the story there with this client and her situation, you can imagine once I went into details about the dangers of this concept, she realized it was not a great idea.

When the Lights Go Out

The concept to me doesn’t even sound luxurious, it sounds humanized to the fullest. Lets take a bunch of predators, and throw them all in a room together for a sleep over, unsupervised and unattended. What could possibly go wrong??

This is completely unsafe and unnatural. Remember this word, this word is the most important word out of this entire article, UNNATURAL .


This is something EVERY dog owner struggles with, we talk about it with our clients everyday and I will say it again in this article. Your dog does not need to be friends, with every dog it meets. FACT! SERIOUS FACT!

Did you know kennels are stressful environments?

SO stressful. The smells, the sounds, the dogs, the people, the room, the air, everything about a kennel is stressful to your dog.

Do you know how your dog responds to stress?

They either become shut down to the environment or they become reactive to the environment. If they become either of those things, do you really want them unsupervised or left unattended with a bunch of dogs they don’t know?

Do you know how long it takes to break up a dog fight?

Well, when there isn’t anyone around, a LONG time !

Do you know that dogs die in cage free boarding kennels?

Unfortunately being in the dog industry, our gossip involves different topics then most. This is an absolute fact and I really wish it wasn’t but it is true.

Do you know how quickly a dog, being a predator , can kill another dog?

Faster then you can pull them apart.

Did you know that even dogs from the SAME home can cause each other serious harm, even death in a boarding kennel?

This is due to the levels of stress and frustration the dogs deal with in those environments.

I wanted to keep this article short, and really just voice an opinion, because some people really do not understand the risks. The client I mentioned above was so thankful for my honesty and really had never thought of the risks.

I hope this article helps shed some light on the concept of dogs sleeping with strangers and what happens when the lights go out.

All the above for me personally, is why I would NEVER risk leaving my personal dogs or my clients dogs lose to sleep with strangers. This is not worth the risk of my family members or your own.

We have some amazing boarding kennels to chose from whom do not leave your pets unsupervised or unattended.

The importance of crate training your dog will be my next topic. As I know many of you chose the cage free option because your dogs cannot be confined.