Everything you’ve always
wanted to know about…
Group nature hikes
Are all dogs off leash?
No, but most are! We work with the dogs to see if they’ll be ok off leash. Most dogs like to do the “pack” thing, so even if your dog doesn’t listen the best they eventually can be off leash with us. We leash up all the dogs that we’re worried about not listening before we get close to the end of our hikes. We recommend all dogs who join us to have a tracking device on their collars. We have partnered with Fi but there are many other options such as, Whistle, Apple Air tag, etc. Eric or another Active Dog staff member will definitely go over all off leash questions at the meet and greet.
When are you open and what time are the hikes?
We are open 365 days per year. The only days we do not have regular scheduled services are Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. We only hike the dogs who are boarding with us on those days. A majority of our hikers take their packs to hike at either one of our two large parcels of land in the Pawling, NY area, or to our farm in Bethlehem, CT. We now own over 650 acres of land that we use for conducting our pack hikes. An average day is roughly 9 AM to 1 PM, with pickup ranging between 8-11 AM and dogs will typically be home between 12-3 PM. We send a message out each morning to let you know of our ETA. Weekend hikes take place midday in order to meet all of our clients’ needs.
Our office hours are:
Weekdays- 7 AM until 7 PM
Weekends- 8 AM until 3 PM
How often do most people send their dogs out on hikes?
On average, most clients send their dogs out 2-3 days a week, typically following a MWF or Tu/Th schedule. Some clients opt to send their dog(s) seven days a week, while others opt for one. We strongly recommend our hikers join us a minimum of two times per week, preferably on a recurring schedule. This gives your dog the opportunity to become familiar and comfortable with several staff members, as well as gain familiarity and friendships with the same pack of dogs each week. Just like children, routine and consistency is key for dogs. We believe when they join us regularly it makes for a safer environment for everyone!
How are the dogs transported to and from their hike?
All Active Dog staff members are provided with either an AWD, Toyota Sienna, a Mercedes Metris, or a Ford Transit Connect Cargo Van. The dogs stay in the rear of the van during transportation to and from our lands. Staff members may leash up any dogs in the back that aren’t the best in the van. They also may put smaller dogs in the front seat with them.
How large are the group hikes?
Most of our hikes are between 8-12 dogs.
How do you pick up my dog if I’m not at home?
Most Active Dog clients provide us with one of the following: a hidden key location, an unlocked door or a garage code. Whatever you are most comfortable with.
A ton of fun! Most of our client’s dogs can’t wait to jump into the van after they’ve gotten a couple of hikes under their belt. Some dogs even wait by the door each day waiting to go!
Do you only take larger dogs on your group hikes?
No. While most dogs are on the larger side we also take smaller dogs as well.
What if my dog isn’t spayed or neutered? Can they still go on the group hikes?
Yes, as long as they aren’t upsetting the pack. Un-spayed female dogs are generally not an issue, but they do need to take a 3 week break from our group pack hikes while in heat. Typically, when male dogs hit anywhere between 7-12 months in age, they become “teenagers” and other male dogs will view them differently. We often see marking, excessive mounting, bullying, etc., which means it’s time to take a break from the pack hikes until your dog is neutered. We do offer private hikes and dog walks to help clients with their dog care during these times.
What does a typical day look like for my dog if they go on a hike?
An Active Dog staff member will pick up your dog along with others and take them to one of our private parcels of land for a 1-1.5 hour long hike in the woods. He or she will send a message in the morning with a pickup window, as well as post either a video or photos online for you to view at your convenience. Post hike, all dogs are taken back to their respective homes, tired, socialized and happy. Most dogs are typically out of the house for 3-5 hours.
Who will be taking my dog on hikes?
Get to know all of our hikers by going to our Staff Page! Your dog will get to know 2-3 of our hikers, depending on how often they join our pack hikes. We like for the dogs to be comfortable with more than one hiker, that way whenever someone is on vacation, they still have a familiar leader!