As the owner of two large breed dogs, I keep a list of pet and dog-friendly destinations all over the world. Pet-friendly hotels, dog-friendly vacation home rentals, dog-friendly restaurants and outdoor dining in NC, US and Worldwide.
The website I use for Pet-Friendly hotels and vacation home rentals for US destinations is called Pet-Friendly Travel: http://petfriendlytravel.com
When travelling out of the United States, the website I found to be the most helpful for Worldwide destinations is Dog Friendly. It's super useful for searching the City by City guides to find dog-friendly beaches, dog parks, outdoor dog-friendly dining and restaurants, as well as campgrounds all over the world.
Over the past 2 and a half years of living in Durham, NC, my 2 German Shepherds and I enjoyed meeting and having fun with some wonderful dog owners and their furry friends. We've also of course frequented some local pet-friendly businesses in the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill who have gone the extra mile for our family and dogs on many occasions. Now that we're moving out of NC, I wanted to share these resources which I highly recommend to any local dog owners in in the Triangle Area.
The Teamworks dog pond in Youngsville NC is where Aleethea, Souvlaki and I had so much darn fun this summer!! It is where Aleethea jumped off a dock for the very first time ever, and also where Souvlaki learned to swim! We've spent lots of hot summer mornings at the dog pond, then when we arrived home my dogs would drop to the floor and be knocked out in a deep sleep for hours! The owner of Teamworks is a professional Dog Trainer of many, many years, whose credentials are astounding. Michele is also the author of The Sentry Dog, a book about "territorial aggression, a common dog behavior problem. Dogs that bark at people or other dogs through windows, doors, and beyond fences..." Michele is amazing, a wonderful person and we have so many great memories of her and days enjoying her property with my GSDs. Michele and the Teamworks facility is rated "The Best of Raleigh" in Dog Training in 2009, 2010 & 2011.
If you live in the NC Triangle area, and you have an aggressive dog, who you absolutely love and want the best for -- please look Michele up. She will work wonders with you and your fur baby.
I've seen too many aggressive dogs while living here in NC. I know of several dogs who just over the past couple of months who were part of a dog pack - and frequented one of the local dog parks together - who appear to suffer from territorial aggression. And they were all female! The dogs belonged to a few different owners, and were all dogs who I had initially thought were friendly. I would see them hanging out at the dog park together - but last week the dogs were suddenly aggressively barking and showing their teeth in public. Other dog owners mentioned it had been going on for a couple of months now, and it got to the point where many other dog owners didn't want to visit the dog park anymore. They said it was as if those female dogs were feeding off of each other's aggression, because while alone - the individual dogs wouldn't bark at their masters. But once they got together at the dog park and other locations, the dogs were mimicking each others behaviors, and essentially training each other how to be more and more aggressive and frustrated as time went on. At the dog park, the aggressive dogs would bark at me and other people who appeared at the park's entrances and whenever someone left they would bark at the parking lot exits. Ultimately one day a few of the dogs pointed their aggression directly to their owner - and all the while in a public and hosted location! As if that property actually belonged to them, which clearly it did not! So sad that their problems have escalated to that point. Those dogs had been coming to the dog park together for years, and I even gave some of them water, and snacks, and even food at one time or another. But it's as if they were no longer individual dogs - and instead they are now a pack of aggression. I felt so bad for the dogs, they seemed very confused and lonely. They obviously had forgotten how to be friendly, and had no real understanding of how to act in public via basic dog park manners. Maybe they needed to be walked more often, or were acting-out because they needed more attention. Surely the barking and showing of teeth and public displays of aggression was clearly not the way to go about obtaining what they wanted, but the poor things just needed help. Even in addition to the barking and showing of teeth, they showed many more signs of major issues of aggression, which must've been underlying and brewing for a very long time. I honestly could not believe their sudden unruly behavior. These dogs were so sweet at one point. I kept looking for drooling of the mouth and other signs of rabies, because surely they must've caught something and need to be medicated immediately! Really, I hope each of those dogs receive the training and help that they each need in their lives, because they've already been banned from the dog park! And everyone is on the lookout for them in the neighborhood - just in case further action needs to be taken by local businesses that they frequent. It is really very sad, and I am sure so limiting for the owners and the dogs alike.
There is also a new dog-friendly facility opening up in the Durham-RTP area called Lap It Up which is soon to be an indoor "canine swim (and activity) center. A year round water playground for your dog, so you can hang out for the day, an evening, or just squeeze in a few moments to get the energy out." to enhance "the human/animal bond through controlled activities and games..." It will feature "a maze that you and your dog can use and many other fun activities". My energetic GSDs and I were anticipating this facility's opening all year long. I was so looking forward to taking Aleethea & Souvlaki to the Grand Opening! My plan was to wait for the perfect cold and rainy day to take my pool-loving furry beasts for some fun and games, play in the giant maze together, and for some swimtime too. It would've been hilarious and such fun, I'm sure. According to their website, Lap It Up is scheduled to open this Fall (but we're relocating very soon). See their Facebook page for contact info. Although the facility isn't open yet - they truly sound to be planning a fantastic place to hang out and play with your beloved K9s. So I hope you go check it out, and have fun for all of us!!
And before I go, I want to share with you some more doggy links that I've found very useful over the years. Some are local businesses who have gone the extra mile for us on many occasions - and I highly recommend them, and also some very helpful dog resources on the web:
Professional Dog Training (group/private), dog swimming pond: http://teamworksdogtraining.com
Local Dog Events (various local counties): http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/K9connections
Outdoor Group Playtime for Dogs (daycare), and non-crated overnite boarding: http://sunnyacres.com
Natural dog foods and treats: http://unleashedmutt.com
Goodbye and I wish you all the best!
With love, our GSDs. ^..^__~ ^..^__~ ^..^__~