Original Published on Sep 08, 2022 at 08:06
By SAMANTHA JOHNSON, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Opening a doggy daycare has long been a dream of Adam Jones and his wife Victoria Duxbury, who have been training dogs since 2009.
On Tuesday, that dream became a reality when the pair opened the doors at All Dogs Great and Small.
“This was a dream of ours right from the word go, this was something we always wanted to do,” said Jones.
It took a few years for life to work itself out but in the past year-and-a-half their dog training classes have taken off in Medicine Hat.
“They are very popular,” said Jones. “To the point where the classes fill up within 36 hours of being announced.
“We cater to just about everybody in town. Many of our dog owners asked us where we took our dogs. We didn’t really have an answer for them. The more people asked, the more we thought we should do this. It works really well for us because we know lots of our clients’ dogs and have earned that trust with the dog and the owner.”
Many people got dogs during the pandemic but could be finding it a struggle to fit everything in now that working from home is no longer the norm.
“We are really hopeful that by offering a space like this we can get that dog to meet its social needs and help alleviate the strain on those situations,” said Jones.
There is about 5,000 square feet of indoor space for the dogs to use. Close to 3,500 square feet of outdoor space will also be available once fencing arrives and is installed.
The way the space is laid out, and depending on the size of the group, the fencing can be adjusted as required. Thus, dogs who aren’t getting along or need a timeout can be separated from the others. Dogs can also be separated based on energy levels, such as senior dogs away from puppies.
Jones and Duxbury do all the dog training classes outside at different spots around the city, such as Kin Coulee, Saamis Tepee or city hall. The idea is to train dogs in real-world environments with real distractions. The classes are for everyone, with dogs ranging from puppies to seniors.
“It’s a good opportunity for dogs to learn from other dogs. We offer puppy classes as well, but I find the puppies learn better with older dogs in the class,” explained Jones.
The cost for classes is $450 for six weeks, with two classes per week. The price also includes a free day of doggy care plus six drop-in classes.
Once someone registers on the website, medhatdogs.ca, they can book online or buy package deals. The daycare opens at 6:30 a.m. and closes at 6 p.m., offering a client close to 12 hours of dog care for $26. Half-days are also available, and discounts apply for more than one dog, with the second dog 50 per cent off.
Watch the All Dogs Great and Small website or Facebook page (medhatdogs) for details about the grand opening, which will be held near the end of September.