Your Dog's Home Away From Home. Truly.

Photos by Nicole WALKER

It is my mission to give pet owners peace of mind that their dog is being cared for in a safe, secure, and accommodating environment.  

My first dog on my own, Chesnee, laying on a brick in remembrance of my first family dog, Haylee. Haylee was given to us at eight weeks old from a high school senior classmate of mine, Niki Doedens (NLD). Sadly Niki passed away shortly before high school graduation in a car accident. Haylee was put to rest in 2014. "You can't make footprints in the sands of time if you're sitting on your butt. And who wants to make buttprints in the sands of time?"

My first dog on my own, Chesnee, laying on a brick in remembrance of my first family dog, Haylee. Haylee was given to us at eight weeks old from a high school senior classmate of mine, Niki Doedens (NLD). Sadly Niki passed away shortly before high school graduation in a car accident. Haylee was put to rest in 2014.

"You can't make footprints in the sands of time if you're sitting on your butt. And who wants to make buttprints in the sands of time?"

It's truly a dream come true to call dog-sitting my full time career. While dogs are my livelihood and way of life, dogs have also been my way of giving back. I am truly blessed for the amazing relationships I have built through this dog-sitting dream. 

Walker Ranch is licensed and insured and completes a property inspection by Domestic Animal Services once per year. I have dog training experience, am an AKC CGC Evaluator, and am up to date and certified in Pet CPR and First Aid. Walker Ranch also has surveillance cameras, a security system, and monitored fire alarms. 

While life still exists outside of dog-sitting (well, hardly) each day is dedicated to the dogs to ensure they can live life as close to their normal routine as possible receiving personalized attention and love in a home environment with a controlled number of dogs. 

Communication is a top priority and I enjoy being able to communicate with dog owners to make sure their dog is as comfortable and as stress-free as possible while staying at Walker Ranch. 

 

Nicole Walker
Cell: 262-689-4428
Email Nicole


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Is Walker Ranch a Good Fit for Your Dog?

 The first step in ensuring Walker Ranch is a good fit is to provide the required paperwork and schedule an assessment. Safety and a dog's well-being is a priority at Walker Ranch so all dogs are required to complete an assessment before being accepted into daycare or overnight accommodations.

Requirements
1. Completed Application (must be received 12 hours in advance of assessment)
2. Up-to-date vet records
(must be received 12 hours in advance of assessment)

Assessment
2.0 hours
Cost - $30.00 per dog

 *Walker Ranch is breed & size restrictive. All dogs are held to a high standard. If dominance, aggression, lack of control, excessive barking/whining or the inability to get along with others is observed once under care at Walker Ranch, alternate arrangements will be recommended. Walker Ranch is never willing to compromise the safety of any humans or dogs.

Benson, a regular at Walker Ranch for daycare and overnight. 

Benson, a regular at Walker Ranch for daycare and overnight. 

Times:
Please be courteous & respectful by showing up on time. You MUST notify dog-sitter of time changes, especially if you are running late (by 5 minutes or more). Failure to notify sitter will result in a $50.00 late fee due at departure. Continuous miscommunications or failure to notify sitter will affect future acceptance for lodging for your dog(s).

MONDAY-THURSDAY: Earliest Arrival 7:30AM / Latest Departure 7:00PM
FRIDAY & SUNDAY: Window for Arrival or Departure BY APPOINTMENT ONLY as available
SATURDAY: Window for Arrival or Departure 8:30AM-9:30AM /  CLOSED FOR AFTERNOON/EVENING ARRIVAL & DEPARTURE!

CHECK IN BEFORE 3PM is full day charge / CHECK IN AFTER 3PM is half-day charge
CHECK OUT BEFORE 11AM is a half-day charge / CHECK OUT AFTER 11AM is a full day charge  

***Ranch Rules:

  1. NO retractable leashes. Please bring your dog on a 4 or 6 foot leash. 
  2. With regards to your arrival/departure time, whether you are running five minutes or five hours behind, please notify me immediately. Dogs are rearranged based upon other dogs coming in and out – and also everyday schedules (this is a seven day per week commitment!). It is important I can plan accordingly!
  3. Please do not bring the entire food bag for your dogs stay. Usually pre-measured meals are best, or a smaller bag that can be scooped from.
  4. Please ALWAYS check your dog to ensure he or she is flea and tick free. 
  5. We are breed restrictive and size restrictive. In addition, dogs that are human aggressive or dog aggressive are not tolerated. Dogs need to have the ability to get along with other dogs (or at least be neutral).

Take Advantage of Safe & Healthy Products

  • Add to your dog's stay
  • Order for at home
  • We deliver or ship!

**********Pricing: Click on the picture and hover over. Detailed information and pricing will come up.

Send me a message with your order! You will receive an email confirmation and total.

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It's Not Just a House, It's a Home.


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The Outdoors
Walker Ranch is licensed and insured and has an indoor and outdoor property inspection completed by Domestic Animal Services once per year.

The outdoor run is fenced in and dogs are never left unsupervised outdoors. The outdoor area is kept clean and well-maintained.

Settler taking a dive to retrieve his tennis ball. 

Settler taking a dive to retrieve his tennis ball. 

It's Not Like A Home, It Is a Home.
Walker Ranch takes on a limited number of well-behaved dogs neutral or social in temperament. To ensure the safety and well-being of each dog, it is important dogs can feel comfortable with the ability to relax and not be surrounded by constant barking or anxious behaviors. Since Walker Ranch is a primary residence, there is almost always someone on-site (with the exceptions of life commitments or errands). 

For safety there are also surveillance cameras and monitored fire alarms. 

For upcoming dates of closure please visit the Overnight Care page. 

A Business Built on Integrity.

Walker Ranch combines a dog friendly host-home environment with a controlled number of dogs. Dogs are under the supervision of a professional with dog training and behavior experience.

Overnight Rates
1 Dog     $60.00/day
2 Dogs     $100.00/day

3 Dogs     $150.00/day

*Extended stay discounts begin at 10 days or longer.

Please note that all payments are due in full at the time of arrival. All dogs must successfully complete an assessment before being accepted. 

2016 dates of CLOSURE:
Monday 7/4: 4th of July - NO arrivals/departures. NO DAYCARE
Monday 7/11: NO DAYCARE
Wednesday 7/13: NO DAYCARE
Friday 8/26-Sunday 8/28: CLOSED
Monday 9/5: Labor Day - NO arrivals/departures. NO DAYCARE
Saturday 9/10-Sunday 9/11: NO arrivals/departures (bookings accepted)
Thursday 11/10-Wednesday 11/16: CLOSED
Monday 11/21: NO DAYCARE
Wednesday 11/23: NO DAYCARE
Thursday 11/24: Thanksgiving - NO arrivals/departures. NO DAYCARE
Monday 11/28: NO DAYCARE (due to Thanksgiving traffic)
Saturday 12/24: Christmas Eve - NO arrivals/departures
Sunday 12/25: Christmas Day - NO arrivals/departures

2017
Sunday 1/1: New Year's Day - NO arrivals/departures
Friday 1/6-Sunday 1/8: CLOSED for maintenance
Sunday 4/16: Easter - NO arrivals/departures
Wednesday 5/17-Monday 6/12: tentative dates of closure

Where a Dog Can Be a Dog.

Dog daycare can be a truly wonderful thing. It is an excellent solution for the cultural changes that are negatively affecting our family pets such as small yards, or long work hours disabling families to interact with their dogs how they should. If you are unsure whether your dog would enjoy daycare, Bark At Us and ask for an evaluation to help you decide if daycare would be a fun and enjoyable experience for your individual dog.

Daycare Rates
(Monday/Wednesday & Thursday; Thursday's October-April Only)
Half day - $25.00 (with dog training $35.00)
Full day - $40.00 (with dog training $50.00)
A daycare pass is required to participate in the daycare program.
Purchase 10 or more and SAVE!

Daycare Arrival/Departure Times
Earliest Arrival 7:30AM
Lastest Departure 6:00PM

For daycare closure dates, please visit the Overnight Care page.

Sherlock chasing Brody at daycare while Max stands by.

Adult to dog ratio & group size: According to many canine behavior experts the dog to adult ratio should be no more than 15:1. In our case at Walker Ranch, it is less than 10:1 (information is according to the ASPCA guidelines). There should never be more than 10-15 dogs to any individual group no matter where you go. 

Accreditation:  Unfortunately there is no qualification driven accreditation organization for non-veterinary dog care facilities. However, in Collier County, Domestic Animal Services does inspect Walker Ranch to ensure the accommodations are well-maintained and safe. 

View the facility from the dogs perspective:  Is it safe?  Is it secure? Is there proper supervision?  Do the other dogs seem to be having a good time? Are there plenty of places and times set aside to rest? How long are they in a crate each day? We want clients to ask questions and feel confident in leaving their dog to be cared for at Walker Ranch. 

Undesirable behavior management policies:  Discipline at many dog facilities is shocking!  You should always know what the policy is on discipline and ask exactly how it is enforced.  Walker Ranch uses positive reinforcement and is force-free.  Facilities should NEVER use harsh corrections.  

Education and developmental stimulation:  Does the daycare offer a day-training program?  What about dogs not in the training program but just the daycare program?  What programs are in place to ensure your dog isn’t just spending the day being exercised physically but also mentally and emotionally? Many people think the more they work their dog physically the more tired the dog will be. This is not the case and it is exactly why we choose to spend time working with the dogs mentally so they are also working on manners and learning to work with us. It is important dogs respect us and learn the rules and boundaries at Walker Ranch. Working with them one on one is a great opportunity for that. We also encourage our clients to educate themselves and always keep their dog involved in a training program or activity. 

Caregivers ability to communicate and act on the dogs’ communication:  You should feel comfortable with the humans at your dog daycare.  Staff education in dog behavior and body language is so important!  Again, look for a place with an individual with training experience or dog behavior experience.  All staff should be trained in the latest scientific findings in dog behavior and body language and should be well versed in the science of positive reinforcement. At Walker Ranch it is important for us to always keep a close eye on each dog. We want the super social dogs to be super social together, and some of the more neutral dogs to know they do not have to hide or be worried about being bothered all day by other dogs. 

Consistent schedule of activities and development:  Your dog daycare should be able to give you an exact schedule for the pets in their care.  There should be organized play, education, cleaning, feeding, etc.  These schedules and policies should be easily and openly communicated by staff members to pet owners. We have a very clear and consistent routine. Dogs get an adequate amount of time to interact and be outdoors as well as interact and relax indoors. 

Keeping with your philosophy of dog rearing and care:  It is so important to ask good questions and we encourage you to ask us.  Dog daycare facilities should only employ positive reinforcement and force free tactics.  Anything else is antiquated and scientifically proven to be harmful to your dog both physically and emotionally.  It is so important to not just ask if it’s a positive reinforcement facility but to ask exactly what that means.  How do they praise?  For what?  How exactly do they discipline and for what behaviors?  Do they know why their reinforcement and disciplinary policies work?  Can they explain them to you based on the latest scientific studies of animal behavior and cognition? All of these questions and concerns are welcomed and we want our clients to know exactly what expectations we have of each dog that stays with us and why. 

Temperament Evaluations: Every reputable doggy daycare should have a behaviorally sound temperament evaluation system. This is one of the largest weaknesses in many facilities. Ideally, this evaluation will take place over several hours so the dog is not rushed in his interactions or meetings with the existing dogs. A reputable doggy daycare facility should be able to tell you exactly how this evaluation takes place, why the person doing the evaluation is qualified to make an assessment, and what is and is not appropriate behavior throughout the evaluation. It is not enough to simply test a dog for aggression; it should be openly communicated to the dog owner if the dog is simply not having fun, overwhelmed, stressed, or unhappy. A reputable doggy daycare will let an owner know if daycare is not best suited for your dog simply based on the fact that your dog is stressed and not having fun, not simply for aggression. At Walker Ranch our half day of daycare assessment allows us to see your dog indoors and out. We like to see your dog with other dogs and without any dogs present. Some dogs may be stresssed or nervous coming in to a new environment and we never want to force a nervous or stressed dog into a more stressful situation where they become too overstimulated or overwhelmed. 

Harvey and Max during daycare!

Harvey and Max during daycare!

When Will My Dog Be Trained to Be Perfect?

Dogs have amazing cognitive capacities that are often untapped. From basic manners through walking loosely on a leash, engagement and focus is key! Walker Ranch is happy to provide force-free basic training as part of the daycare and overnight accommodations. Walker Ranch also has wonderful recommendations for dog agility training as well as group classes with local dog trainers.

Chesnee participating at Sun Coast Agility located in Naples, FL. 

Chesnee participating at Sun Coast Agility located in Naples, FL. 

For more information on dog training, please "Bark At Us!"

Taking the Lead While You're Away. 

30 minute walk     $30.00          $50.00 (with loose-leash skill work)
45 minute walk     $40.00          $60.00 (with loose-leash skill work)
60 minute walk     $50.00          $65.00 (with loose-leash skill work)

One dog per walk only. Rates are based upon a dog that is trained to walk on a loose-leash. For dogs needing loose-leash training, the block of time will go towards skill work to help accomplish loose-leash walking skills. There are separate rates for dogs needing training. Additional fees may apply depending on distance.

If you are interested, please contact Nicole for more information.

 

Posh Paws by Wendy

While Walker Ranch does not offer on-site grooming, there is a pet-taxi service provided by Posh Paws for a variety of grooming services with Wendy at her shop! 

Wendy is highly recommended by Walker Ranch and is the only groomer Walker Ranch has used since opening in 2012.

Services Include:

  • Complete list coming soon!

To book an appointment with Wendy during your dog's stay at Walker Ranch, please contact Wendy directly and she will coordinate with Walker Ranch. You may text her call her at: 239-450-8072.

Available at Walker Ranch:

  • Nail dremel - $15.00
  • Ear cleaning - $5.00 

 

TESTIMONIALS

We are so happy to have found Walker Ranch! Nicole provides a clean, safe, and fun dog friendly environment. As soon as Tahoe sniffs the air on their street, he knows where he's headed, and can hardly contain his excitement! We know he is happy there! Not only does Nicole love the dogs, but they are also very easy to work with. Like most people, I have a very busy schedule, and it is refreshing to find people like them. They are always reliable and flexible, which makes life a lot easier. We look forward to continuing a great relationship with Nicole, and Tahoe looks forward to many more exciting "vacations" at Walker Ranch!


Ok, I'll admit it....I'm in love with my dog. I've never had children but if having Lightning is any indication of what it would be like, then it's probably a good thing that I never had any, since everyone would most certainly consider me a "head case" because I would be so overprotective. Loving one's child, or in my case, loving one's dog is not in itself a bad thing, but it does create some problems. One of those problems is what to do with your most precious possession when it becomes necessary to leave that possession in the hands of another. Fortunately for me and Lightning, and Nicole at Walker Ranch appeared on the scene in the nick of time. Being a pilot, I am by nature of my occupation, absent quite often, and sometimes my absence can stretch into days. When the person I trusted the most to care for Lightning was no longer able to provide for Lightning in my absence, I was in a panic. I needed a worthy sitter for Lightning and I needed one quickly. I knew the Walker's from the agility classes that we both attended and knew that they were starting a business of watching pets while their owner's are absent. Ben and Nicole advertised their services as a "home like atmosphere" rather than your standard kennel type of boarding. That seemed to be the ticket, although I was still nervous about the situation. I went over and spoke with Nicole and she assured me that Lightning would be cared for like their own dogs, Chesnee and Settler. We did a "trial run" one afternoon, as Lightning can be a little "protective" of me. It was obvious that Nicole knew exactly what she was doing and I felt as if I had found the perfect place to care for my trusted companion. Now all the worrying (well most of it, anyway ) is behind me. It's obvious that staying at Walker Ranch is a treat for Lightning, as she is bouncing off the walls of my Mini and whimpering in anticipation, all the way to "The Ranch" when she is going for a stay. I feel as if Lightning has gotten the added benefit of socialization as she seems much more behaved now when she is around other dogs and I am with her. On a recent week long stay, Nicole was kind enough to text me updates and even send an occasional photo of Lightning enjoying herself, usually in front of the TV. I can't tell you what a relief it has been to be able to use the services of Nicole at Walker Ranch. If you are looking for a quality, conscientious, trustworthy sitter for your most beloved family member, look no further. The only warning I would give you is, be cautious.....your pet MIGHT not want to come home with you after a fun-filled stay at "The Ranch".

 

I have to say a big THANK YOU to Nicole at Walker Ranch for taking such good care of Foster for us while we were out of town. I admit that I was more nervous about leaving Foster than he clearly was! He loved the smells and feel of the outdoors to stretch his legs and loved being in the home and treated like one of thier own rather than in a kennel somewhere with non-stop barking! I was worried he'd be sad and miss us, but from all the pictures and updates Nicole sent me while were gone, it seemed like he was having the time of his life! We are going away again for a week this time and I feel so much more comfortable knowing that he will be loved and welcomed at Walker Ranch and that he will have a great time "at camp" while we are away!"


"Walker Ranch is my puppies’ home away from home. We are the parents to a golden retriever, Sammy and a Yorkshire terrier, Lucy. My husband and I travel a lot and Walker Ranch is the only place I trust with my babies. I love that they have so much outdoor space for them to play and they are not put in a cell at night like other dog boarding places. They get to sleep in their own beds so they feel right at home. I know that Nicole treats my babies like their own. There is no other place like this around!"


"Thank you Ms. Walker! We referred a potential hotel guest with a dog to Walker Ranch recently because we have a no pet policy here at our hotel. They checked out your website and Facebook page and were sold. They then booked our hotel and a week at Walker Ranch. Both our hotel guests and their dog raved about their Naples vacation. Thank you for being a good partner. We love referring guests to Walker Ranch!"


Nicole at Walker Ranch have cared for Brutus, my Chihuahua-Terrier rescue pup, on numerous occasions. Brutus had a tough early life and is usually extremely nervous about staying away from home for any amount of time. Not the case with Walker Ranch. The attention and care that he receives from Nicole had convinced Brutus that Walker Ranch is his home away from home.


I've tried several dog sitters and doggie camps but Walker Ranch is the ONLY one that my dog Chloe runs through the doors and is ready to play! It makes life so much easier knowing she is in such good hands (she is a bit finnicky and requires much attention) and enjoys herself! Voted #1 in my book!!


Our dog Zoey has been a "camper" at Walker Ranch on a number of occasions. Whenever we return to pick her up, we know she is happy to see us but, we also know that she is disappointed she is leaving. I think this is a true tribute to the care she receives from Nicole. They treat each and every dog as if she or he is their own, and we know they love their animals! Zoey has the opportunity to run and play outside on a regular basis. She also gets to hang out in their home in the evenings. It is truly a home away from home. Zoey has such a great time that I would consider taking her to the Ranch even if we were not going away. She has that much fun while there! I would not take Zoey anywhere else!