Ruffing It

Camps designed for dogs and dog lovers make a splash.


Jack Russell TerrierAccording to a recent DogChannel poll, more than 25 percent of you take your dog on vacation. And while a majority of these trips typically revolve around human activities, an increasing number of people are heading to camps designed exclusively for dogs and dog lovers.

For $450 to $1,300 per person, campers enjoy activities such as agility, obedience training, swimming and hiking, in addition to traditional camp offerings but with a twist: campfire nights include dog treats, and talent shows feature dog and owner performances. One camp even bestows doggie merit badges in a variety of Boy Scout-worthy activities.

If this sounds like fun for your family, act quickly: camp reservations fill up fast.

Camp Dogwood
Chicago, Ill.
Upcoming dates: May 26 28; October 6 9

Just for fun: Nightly movies, talent show, arts and crafts workshops, backpacking, doggie Olympics and canine massage workshop.

Traditional activities: Agility, behavior training, lure coursing, rally-o, swimming, and health and behavior workshops.

Camp Gone to the Dogs
Putney, Vt.
Upcoming dates: June 4 10; Sept. 3 9; Sept. 10 16

Just for fun: Skateboarding for dogs, dock diving, drill team, costume party.

Traditional activities: Herding, breed-handling classes, obedience, Canine Good Citizen test preparation.

Dog Scout Camp
St. Helen, Mich.
Upcoming dates: June 19 24; July 17 22; Sept. 15 - 17

Just for fun: Dogs earn merit badges in 60 different activities including water rescue and backpacking; panhandling classes teach dogs how to perform fundraiser tricks like taking a dollar bill from a donor.

Traditional activities: Obedience, tracking, agility, terrier steeplechase, clicker training.

Dog Days of Wisconsin
Milwaukee, Wis.
Upcoming dates: August 18 21; August 25 28

Just for fun: Doggie makeovers, arts and crafts workshops, dog trick contest, sunrise canoe trip, water games, aromatherapy workshop.

Traditional activities: Rally, obedience, agility, therapy dog evaluation, tracking.

Posted: April 27, 2006, 5 a.m. EST


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Amee   Keene, NH

6/20/2009 8:21:08 PM

Camp Gone to the Dogs is the most positive place on earth! My dogs and I look forward all year to our week there and reap the benefits of that week all the rest of the year--friends, great training experiences in all kinds of activities, and a "tails up" philosophy that gets us past the tough times. Thanks for including this great program in your list of camps.

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cindy   egg harbor township, NJ

1/26/2009 7:08:47 AM

Actually THE BEST DOG CAMP is at Glen Highland Farm in upstate NY with 175 acres to explore and play and enjoy - it's really a doggie paradise. The trails are immaculate and basically tick-free! And, it's all off leash. You can go to the Getaway Camp for a long weekend on your own, enjoying the spectacular place or to the big camp, Canine Country Camp where you'll meet other dog lovers and learn agility, tracking, water sports, herding, animal communication and a lot more. Two different country vacations for you and your dog...we go every summer and absolutely love
Check out
There is NO place like this. People come from all over the country to enjoy this experience.

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Mark   Syracuse, NY

8/1/2008 2:59:31 AM

If you have ever wondered about attending a dog camp with your best friend then wonder no more.I have discovered the best kept secret this side of the

Its name is Camp Unleashed and is located in the Berkshire Mtns of Mass. A 4 day, 3 night escape where dogs and their owners embark on a weekend of pure

Take it from one who knows. I have been to Camp Unleashed the past two years with my girls Shelby and Greta a 2 1/2 year Chocolate and 1 1/2 year Black Lab respectively. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine a place where dogs can have the freedom to be dogs. swimming,hiking,playing and learning. two-legged and four-legged friends on one big happy bonding experience.

if you are a true dog lover sign up for a weekend at camp unleashed RIGHT NOW!!! Me and the girls have met what will certainly be lifelong friends at Camp Unleashed.

I cannot praise Annie, the founder of this place enough for giving true dog lovers what they will certainly remember during those long "dog days" of summer and the rest of the year.

visit and see for yourself what you will experience surrounded by others just like yourself who's utmost satisfaction is gleaned from seeing their best friends meet new friends while having the unrestrained time of their

14 1/2 miles of hiking trails; lakes and ponds to swim in and classes and activities ranging from obedience, agility, and frisbee to dog massage techniques, rally-o and canine

do as little or as much as you want. what you won't want to do is miss this opportunity.

i will be making my third trek to Camp Unleashed the first weekend in September. Unfortunately that weekend is sold out. The Director limits the number of dogs that can attend to 50 to keep things manageable and fun for all.

Due to the word of mouth excitment this place has generated through its exposure this past March on the Rachel Ray show on the Food Network the director has added another session for the last week in September with spots still available for those who wish to attend.

If i had the vacation time i would sign up to come back just two weeks after attending just because i know from experience how much my girls love every aspect of camp

Trust me, i am not a spokesperson for the place. i'm just a dog fanatic that cannot contain my enthusiasm for such a wonderful

please check it out online at and see for yourself.

better yet sign up today and start planning your trip. your and your loved ones will be glad you did.

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