Inhumane Treatment at Good Dog Hotel & Spa

Mel and I left Rosie at Good Dog Hotel and Spa at 5345 N Winthrop in Broad Ripple for kenneling and day care Friday and Saturday. Rosie is a 50-pound Lab mix. She’s very active and strong, and she hasn’t had any formal obedience training yet. Mel shared all this information with Good Dog when she completed the application a few weeks ago.

After our experience this past weekend, I don’t have the warm and fuzzies about Good Dog. Based on my observations of how the Good Dog staff handled Rosie, I don’t believe their staff has enough experience to handle an aggressive, untrained dog like Rosie, despite their assurances otherwise. I thought it was odd that they never asked us what commands Rosie knows. I realized it’s because their staff didn’t try to communicate with Rosie. Instead, they slipped a leash around her head and dragged her, choking, down the hall.

When we dropped Rosie off I told Mel I was concerned that she might be neglected by the staff because she’s such a handful. I could easily see how their young adult staff might be tempted to leave Rosie in the kennel rather than deal with such a boisterous dog. Unfortunately, my suspicions were confirmed. Rosie wet her crate on the way home. She went potty three more times in the backyard.

The folks at Good Dog assured us that Rosie was taken out every 40 minutes during day care, which lasts until 3:00. Bullshit. We picked Rosie up around 3:40. I’ve spent every day with Rosie for the past two months. I know her potty habits.

My position is that Good Dog misrepresented its services when they told us they could handle an aggressive dog who had no formal training. Dragging and choking a dog is inhumane. Not allowing a dog to go potty is inhumane. Rosie is a good dog, and she deserves better than Good Dog Hotel & Spa.

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57 Comments

Filed under DogBlog, The way the world works

57 responses to “Inhumane Treatment at Good Dog Hotel & Spa

  1. Melody

    To further clarify, the leash they dragged her down the hall with was not attached to her collar. They just looped it around her neck. It was one of those plastic rope-like torture devices they use at shelters– meant to be temporary. When you adopt your dog, you buy it a comfortable collar and leash, no? It’s especially important to have the right collar and leash system for a large, strong dog with a high pain tolerance like Rosie. She’ll choke herself to death before she’ll slow down, so the right tools can both help you control her and keep her from hurting herself. You’d think they would have used the tools we made available to them when we checked her in.

    Also, Rosie’s crate is her den, and she has never peed in it– not once in two months, even before she was potty-trained. It takes a lot of neglect to make a dog pee in its den.

  2. Katie

    Wow you guys I am so, so sorry for making this recommendation – I feel really bad. We’ve never, ever had anything like this happen there with Mister (clearly we’d not be taking him back all the time if we had or passing along recommendations). I see your points about them (not) being about to handle Rosie. Mister is a low-maintenance, mellow dog by his large breed’s nature who for his 120 pounds can use a regular collar and leash system. I am really dissapointed in them! I would try and get your money back.

  3. Katy

    Is there a reason you guys never call me? Joe and I had a similar thing happen to Charley when he was a baby. I recall that we PAID Best Friends for extra play time with him and he still came out like he hadn’t been outside once with poop on his feet. This is why I swear by Tender Loving Pets. I understand why they used a leash like they did – when used correctly they do give you more control and most vets use them, too. TLPets may not have an outdoor area, but those dogs are treated like family and the owner and staff know how to deal with every kind of dog. They invite in the hard cases that I foster and work on socializing and training them. I really think you should consider stopping in there for a visit. On daycare days, the dogs will hold their pee just like when you are at work!

  4. Katie

    We’ve had multiple bad experiences at Best Friends. Mister always had to potty really, really bad after we picked him up there and he always seemed odd/weird when we picked him up like he was mildly traumatized. He’s a mellow dog but he is emotionally needy like all Pyrs and does need attention and we don’t think he ever got it at Best Friends. TLPets sounds like a good option for helping train and socialaze. I still feel really bad about Good Dog and Rosie – we’ll have to bring her some special treats or something…

  5. jill

    Sorry to be busting in late, but I wanted to get the word out on my experience at the Good Dog… My dog is 23 pound boston terrier. Easy enough. The first time I left her there, she also peed herself on the way home and had a bladder infection. The second time (i know, why a second time!) she was dragged down the hall with dried poo all over her. The teenager that drug her to me said that she must’ve just had an accident. Yeah right. I was disgusted and felt horrible for my poor helpless dog.

  6. Jill,

    I highly recommend Barkalounge in Beech Grove (http://barkaloungedaycare.com/). We just dropped Rosie off there about 30 minutes ago. She loves it.

  7. G-LOVE

    I wanted to share with you all what happened to my year and half year old Yellow Lab at Good Dog Hotel and Spa.

    I must admit that I was a little bit in awe of the place when I first went there as it was nicely painted and the dogs we met in the lobby were nice enough and my dog really loved going and playing there.

    In hindsight it appears that there is no supervision at this place, my dog has been there three times and she has come home sick three times. Unfortunately the last time she came home she was not well at all. She was vomiting and would not eat. My wife and I took her to the vet and they wanted to get fluids into her ASAP; she had lost several pounds. The doctors theory was that she had an intestinal blockage and he would need to operate.

    Well, they did find a blockage and we are positive that she obtained object that created the said blockage at the Good Dog Hotel and Spa. It was a 3 to 4 inch piece of a rubbery bone which we have never had anything like at our house and this is the only place other than our house where she would have gotten something like this.

    She is now at the vet fighting for her life after undergoing bowel resection surgery because of the lack of supervision she recieved while she was there.

    We should have known better after having her come home sick twice from there, now unfortunately we are looking at a mountain of Vet bills and we are not even guaranteed that she will live.

    My advice to you is that you avoid this place. If you do decide to use it, you may be putting your pet’s life on the line.

  8. G-love,

    Wow. Thanks for sharing your story. I certainly hope that your dog recovers. I suggest you file a complaint with the BBB. As you can see from this post, a number of people have had bad experiences at Good Dog in Broad Ripple. I think we need to funnel those complaints to an organization that can respond to them. I don’t know if there’s a city organization responsible for managing inhumane treatment, but that might be a good way to go, too.

  9. That is awful, G-Love! Do you have any recourse against Good Dog? I hope you’re going back and reading whatever agreements you signed with them when you started taking her there.

    Rosie has not been back since the bad experience we had with them. We are now taking her to Barkalounge Doggy Day Care in Beech Grove, where we can actually observe the kind of treatment she’s getting via Web Cam– not that we’d need to. They are great there.

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  11. I hate complainers over stupid stuff

    You guys are way of tract with your acusations and make it sounds as if none of these problems have happened before at other dog places……

    I have three dogs and have been to many places and these things happen to all of them…

    As for your precious dog on a leash ROFL you get thoes same leashes when you go to the vets office… You make your dog sound like such a wuss when you talk about how she was choking to death…

    Last time i checked thats what a chocker coller was for… I have an akita that is very well trained but when someone that he doesn’t know pulls his leash he “chokes” cause he will not heel to them… Well maybe just maybe this is the same problem… A dog that knows nothing will not just leave his master unwillingly… Your supposed “CHOKE” that you talk about is really not a choke… Do some research its takes alot of pressure to choke a dog…

    As for the dog bone in the intestinal tract i am sorry about that that is actually an issue that should be adressed.. Probably shouldn’t have stuff like that lying around….

    As for the comment on the dog that came home sick last time i checked its called Kennel Cough.. No matter how much you wash and clean a kennel… 1 SICK dog can infect the rest… HOW do i know this well hell my gf is a three year vet student at Purdue University.. Basically my point is stop whinning about such small and remedial small stuff that you can find anywhere….

    As for your dog peeing itself in its crate…. Well last time i checked happy dogs when they see their masters sometimes tinkle when they are happy… On top of that last time i checked if a dog has been around other dogs and lots of them male or female they will sometimes pee to remark their terriotry… I mean geezes i love my dog and everything but last time i checked animals had this thing called instinct…

    It just amazes me that people sit here and bash stuff before they even research it.. I am not pissed that you love your dog, but there is a fine line between loving your dog and pampering your dog like its a human.. First off you are paying for a service that involves a bunch of dogs getting together and playing… Well here is a thought.. WALK YOUR OWN DAMN DOG if you are going to complain… I have had no problems with any place that you have mentioned above and yes i have been to most of them as my work causes me to move between here and bloomington…

    It just pains me to see people complain about such small things when all of this gets done. It comes down to this… Either A.) Walk your own damn dog
    or B.)Just shut up and pay for your spa time… You obvioulsy forget that your animal walks on 4 legs and you are the human… REALITY CHECK … Its a dog they have a natural instinct.. they are built ford tuff.. Stop making your dog out to be such a pussy and get over it…

    • brandy & joe

      I don’t know if you run the place or just work there, but when I pay hundreds of dollars to leave my 2 dogs somewhere for a few days, I expect that place to treat my dogs better than they get treated at home! It cost nearly the same amount to leave my dogs at this place as it did for our hotel room in California! I assumed that my dogs would have so much fun that they would be too busy to miss us! Especially with all of the extras we paid for! Instead they were stuck in an expensive concentration camp! We have every right to be pissed off!

  12. I notice you didn’t leave your contact information.

  13. BeagleMom

    I also had a not-so-great experience with Good Dog Hotel. I took my 2 older Beagle girls there for a weekend, and when I picked them up they howled and howled and were overly excited to see me. It took them a long time to settle down. At first, I just assumed that they were indeed happy to see me. But the next time I had to kennel them, I took them to my vet’s office. However, when I picked them up they were extremely calm and acted like they didn’t care if they stayed longer or came home with me. What a difference in their behavior! I have no doubt that for whatever reason, they were very stressed at the Good Dog Hotel and that is enough to keep me away.

  14. Hey “I hate complainers over stupid stuff,” – I take issue with the credibility in your post when you make comments like “stop making your dog out to be such a pussy” and won’t post your contact information. And your statement “It just amazes me that people sit here and bash stuff before they even research it..” – several people posting here are quite knowledgeable about dogs and I can tell you that proper research shows that a kennel that keeps things sanitzed properly and is militant about the dogs’ vaccinations (meaning they mandate bordatello vaccinations and actually check them with vets or administer them) won’t have kennel cough issues. A kennel that walks dogs regularly also won’t release dogs back to their owners in a state where they will potty all over the place. It’s one thing to tinkle out of excitement, it’s another to pee all over a crate because they have not been let out for several hours. I think the point here is not that people are complaining and uneducated but rather that when you pay for a service you expect to get it as promised and several folks have had issues with Good Dog that qualify as poor service and bad treatment of the dog. If you think being drug around, getting kennel cough, ingesting a piece of a toy that causes a life-threatening blockage due of lack of supervision and peeing excessively when you pick the dog up are all normal post-boarding and day care events, I sure feel sorry for your poor dog.

  15. Carrie

    Chris and I just left our two dogs at Good Dog. One is a choc. Lab, and the other is a 75 pound mix breed. We had great experiences with the hotel/spa.

    Dogs are sensitive to their environments. Their stomachs can get upset just riding in the car. Perhaps you should have gone back to the kennel with your dog, to reassure them that it is okay, like Chris and I did.

    I highly recommend Good Dog to everyone. Furthermore, the leads you are are describing are not “torture” devices, and are NOT used all of the time, nor are they left on the dog. Please note that they did not use leads on Hershey and Max, we used our leashes and collars to take them back to the kennel, where they were left with their name tags on. I do not see it at inhumane to use the lead to walk them outside, then promptly remove it when they are brought in.

    Give me a break regarding Good Dog! I went in an researched several different kennels before using Good Dog. By far, they were the best. I took a tour of the facility and spoke with several of the staff members. They were by far better than Camp Bow Wow. Also, you should know if your dog has a tendancy to eat things. Labs are notorious for eating everything they see. After living through that experience with Hershey, while he was being supervised BY ME, his owner, you should know not to leave the dog in a kennel where he/she is NOT going to have a baby sitter watching them 100% of the time with something that they can eat!

  16. As stated before, we never had a bad experience at Good Dog, just average experiences. However after taking our dogs to the Barkalounge Day Care (to clarify, I don’t own the Barkalounge or work there so this is not some kind of biased statement), the care and attention they get there versus Good Dog cannot even be compared. The people working at Good Dog are not mean, just ambivalent and in some cases I think too young to be responsible. Barkalounge has no-crate boarding and a staff that love and care for my dogs like their own. The communication and care is just far superior at Barkalounge – everyone that works there loves dogs. And I meant to post a comment earlier but my friend Dana just picked her lab mix up from Good Dog a week ago after a 3 day stay there including day care and she was completely infested with fleas and had licked herself raw on both her hind legs as a result. The dog had never had fleas before. The flea infestation was so bad she had to be dipped immediately so she did not develop further skin issues. Good Dog did not alert Dana who finally noticed when she got home and her main complaint was that when she called to complain, they were completely indifferent to the issue. A kennel should make sure they are not infested with fleas at a minimum!

  17. Carrie,

    I’m glad to hear that you did your homework before choosing Good Dog. I’m also glad that your dogs have had pleasant experiences there. I got the impression from your post, however, that you blame the pet’s owners for the pet having a bad experience at Good Dog. I’ll be the first to admit that Mel and I had no idea what we were looking for in a daycare when we dropped Rosie off the first time. But I can assure you that we learned very quickly what we didn’t want after a few visits to Good Dog.

    When we took Rosie to Good Dog, they removed her collar and leash right away. They wouldn’t let us walk her to the kennel. Instead, they slipped a noose around her neck and dragged her down the hall. Say what you want, but I still maintain that’s inhumane treatment.

    One day we left her Gentle Leader head harness on her thinking it would make it easier to handle her. They left the harness on her all day long. She had rub marks on her face from the harness.

    Every time we took Rosie to Good Dog, I left with this aching feeling in my gut that they didn’t know how to handle her. I know I was right because Rosie has blossomed since we started taking her to Barkalounge. Brigitte and her staff strip Rosie’s collars and leash off her as soon as she gets in the door. She follows them as dutifully as she follows me. I didn’t see anyone at Good Dog make any effort whatsoever to bond with Rosie or earn her trust.

  18. Erin

    Hey, I just heard about this blog and was reading all the aweful stories. I was one of the groomers there from march 2005 until april 2006 and I will tell you the things that have been said on here about Good Dog are probably true. The staff there are very ignorant for what their job titles are. The owner goes through employees like its nothing, and the ones that are hired are young no common sense, no knowledge of how to walk a dog let alone train one or even clean up after them. alot of them had no previous experience with dogs period. from my experiences there i say the owner is all about herself and having money to get a make over every other week or a vacation. i left there under unfriendly circumstances but i would not make this stuff up to just be spiteful. i will have to write back and give a couple of my stories but i got to go now. thank you all for starting this blog, people need to know its not all its cracked up to be over there. thank you.

  19. Jan

    We took our Italian Greyhound to Good Dog for a weekend. She was shaking like a leaf when we picked her up. I had never seen her shake like that. She was so happy to see us once we got in the car it was crazy. It wasn’t until later in the evening that I notice she had two puncture wounds on her hind leg. The wounds were big enough to have bled and were scabbed over. I called Good Dog and told them about the wounds. The girl stated she would have a manager call me. She did several days later. I asked if she could have gotten it in the kennel or if it had happened during daycare on friday. She said she would check into it. I have never heard from them again. Our dog also slept like she had not slept the entire time she was there and if you know anything about Italian Greyhounds, they love to run and play and then will crash for a bit but then want to run and play some more. I thought maybe it was just a freak accident and another dog got rough while playing but I just can’t imagine they did not see her bleeding and now after reading this I won’t be taking her back to Good Dog. I will find someone to stay with her or she will travel with us.

  20. Wow. Thanks for the comment. Injuries can and do happen at every daycare. The few times that Rosie has been injured the staff at the Barkalounge have pointed it out to us. It’s not that you don’t expect injuries; it’s that the staff should be observant enough to a) apply first aid and b) take necessary action such as separate the dogs.

    In our case, Rosie plays hard. She split her ear open once, which is an awful place to have an injury. Brigitte told us about the second we walked in the door and made sure we knew how to care for the wound. I’m pretty sure she even called us to make sure Rosie was alright.

  21. Laura

    I just stumbled upon this website while looking for the number for Good Dog! We have taken our two Jack Russel Terriers there twice before, and I think everything has been okay. We were planning on leaving them there again a the end of the month, but now I’m not sure. Does anyone have any experience with Puppy Playground? Thanks for the comments.

  22. Laura, I haven’t heard anything about Puppy Playground. We take Rosie (and soon Buffy, too) to Barkalounge Doggie Daycare (http://www.barkaloungedaycare.com) in Beech Grove, where we have had great experiences. Rosie is actually there today. She goes twice/week. You can check them out on the doggie cams to see how they’re doing.

    Just from Puppy Playground’s Web site, it looks like the animals get more amenities and better care than they do at Good Dog. I love the idea of an always available outdoor play area– and that they are cage free. It gives me pause, however, that they ask that your dog not be aggressive with food or toys b/c I don’t know any dog (who comes in contact with other dogs) that doesn’t occasionally have problems with at least one of those things. It seems like they’re abdicating some responsibility to you as the pet owner there so that if something happens they can say it’s your fault. It’s something I would ask about when you call them.

    Things are going to happen. It’s just a matter of when. The important thing is that the daycare provider knows how to handle it when spats occur. At Barkalounge, they use water bottles to squirt the animals if they get too aggressive with one another, and they practice occasional time-outs in crates. Time outs never last more than 20 minutes or so. Sometimes they separate animals that aren’t getting along into playgroups in separate rooms.

  23. KerryAnn May

    Its beena long time since someone asked about Puppy Playground but I thought I would chime in. I love, love, love Puppy Playground. But more importantly, my dog loves it!! He’s a 10 year old Shepard mix. Deb Meno is the owner and she is a dog trainer also, so she has a wonderful way with the dogs. She’s also there like all the time. So it has very good oversight.

    It’s true that the dogs have access to an outside area, snow, sleet, rain, etc. It’s there for the dogs no matter what. During the heat of summer, she even puts a kiddie pool with water out there! The inside is fully air conditioned though, so no worries.

    I am not sure why any daycare would take a dog’s collar off. That’s ludicrous. What if something happened?? A dog loose with no tags?? I hope they are ALL microchipped!

    Speaking of which, Deb always leaves the collars on. This summer she even partnered with a animal welfare group (Circle City Animal Allies) to bring a low cost ($15 per pet, free registration and free updates) microchip clinic at her daycare on a Saturday to provide that service to her beloved customers.

    Puppy Playground is good for owners and dogs!

  24. Deb

    Hi there, my name is Deb and I am the owner of Puppy Playground. I invite all of you to come and check out my facility– we offer doggie daycare, boarding, training and grooming and are located on the NE side of Indy on 65th ST, just west of Binford. http://www.puppyplaygroundindy.com

    We average 50-60 dogs per day and are open from 7A-7P Monday thru Fri and have additional weekend hours for those dropping off and/or picking up for boarding. While here, the dogs have free roam of the 8000 sq ft playground where they can run and romp with their friends. There is an outdoor fenced in area off the playroom where they can go in and out whenever they please. Today lots of dogs were out soaking up the sun!

    We do require proof of vaccinations for every dog, have all dogs over 6 mo be spayed/neutered and be on year-round flea and heartworm preventative. In the same spirit, we do require every dog who enters daycare to undergo an evaluation to make sure there aren’t signs of aggression or dominance issues. We believe in being proactive and want to have everyone come in healthy and leave healthy.
    Thanks!

  25. Kelly

    I took my dog to Camp Bow Wow in Carmel a couple of weeks ago for an intro session. I filled out the front and back of a legal size questionnaire about the dog. With the introduction having gone well, they then took the dog out to the pen to “play” for a few hours.

    When I returned, they told me that my boy’s back legs shook, that he marked and that he was aggressive toward another dog. It was CLEAR that they had not listened to my concerns about his arthritis in his hind knees, had read NONE of my comments, and knew nothing about herding breeds. To top that off, when I asked about the agression toward the other dog, the girl admitted the other dog was very dominant and was rough housing mine… Camp bow wow went on to suggest that he would not be a good candidate for day care (but sent me home with a “diploma” saying he passed and could come to play anytime- HUH?) When I explained AGAIN that I wasn’t looking for regular day care but rather for a place to board the dog where he would be free to play rather than cooped up all day like at Best Friends (where they also nickel and dime you to death for administering meds, walks etc). I had explained what I was looking for when I made the appointment- again they clearly were not listening. Camp Bow Wow, Carmel appeared to be looking to build it’s day care business and weren’t interested in boarding dogs that were not going to attend day care regularly. (thanks Bow Wow, but I tend to enjoy entertaining my dog myself when I am home!)
    My point is this, you have to question the heck out of these places, make sure they are questioning you too, not on some stupid form, but get them to look you in the eye and do it. There are many website that list all kinds of questions you should ask. Also, try to arrive to look at the day care when people are dropping off or picking up dogs. Ask for references- ask specifically to speak with owners who have dogs there that are of a similar temperament to yours….if they know their dogs and have listened to you description of your dog, they should be able to make those connections easily. Happy Hunting!

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  27. Karen

    At one time, I would have whole-heartedly agreed that this facility went above and beyond its mission statement. Sadly, I will now do my best to discourage any caring dog owner from taking their pet to Good Dog Hotel and Spa for any reason.

    We had been taking our two dogs to Good Dog Hotel and Spa for over a year. They would go to daycare at least once a week, and they were boarded in the hotel on three separate occasions. Our experience with the staff in the daycare and at the front desk had been a positive one, with one unfortunate exception. The woman who we would see most often, and who we assumed to be in a position of management, always came off as cold and distant to both people and dogs alike. Although the staff of Good Dog Hotel and Spa strived to remember their repeat customers’ names – again both human and dog alike – this woman would ask if it was our first time after months of our being a weekly visitor.

    We were so happy with the service and staff at Good Dog Hotel and Spa, that it was easy to overlook feeling negatively about one staff member. The other staff seemed to love our dogs, and the facility was sparkling clean. Thinking that we were being oversensitive – because both my spouse and I were treated coldly by this woman on many separate occasions – I asked two friends about their experiences with her. Unfortunately, their experience was the same as mine. But so what, right? The dogs were happy to go to daycare each week, and we were happy with the grooming and hotel services.

    However, we have noticed a huge staff turnover in recent months. There seems to always be a help wanted sign in the window at Good Dog Hotel and Spa. Then we noticed that the quality of service declined. Our dogs would come home with split, bleeding nails. Some of the newer staff members were unnecessarily rough with dogs. There is almost always water or urine on the floor of the lobby, and it smells as you walk in like it never did before. Now the self-service bathing station is too gross for us to consider using. Once the staff would call me during the day to let me know if there was an issue with one of my dogs, and they always give us a report at the end of the day about our dogs (even about which dogs were their playmates.) More recently I would find my two high-energy, medium-sized dogs sequestered in the puppy area with no explanation.

    We noticed that Good Dog Hotel and Spa became more popular since we had first started taking our dogs to it. It seemed that as the number of customers grew, the number of restrictions increased, and the service declined. As we continued to receive poor customer service from this particular woman, our concerns also grew.

    I decided to address this issue on our next visit. I asked the woman if she was in a supervisory or managerial role. When she confirmed that she was, I praised many of the staff members and our overall experience. I then explained that I was concerned about how her treatment of us as customers was different, and not as pleasant, as that of those staff members. Before I could explain further how we felt the other services had declined and then talk about possible solutions, she became defensive. She went so far as tell me she struggled with the issue that I brought up and needed to take medication for it. My heart went out to her, but my concern about this person leading a team that would care for my dogs while I was away grew.

    She then took my dogs into the daycare area. My spouse watched through the observation window as she sobbed to her staff members (and in front of all the dogs in day care) about what had happened. One of the staff even stepped away from the dogs he was caring for to come and take a look at me through the window. I was uncomfortable, but still only concerned about whether change could be made to bring Good Dog Hotel and Spa back to the quality that we had become accustomed. As she returned to the lobby desk, I could see that she was crying. Again I felt compassion for her, but she refused to continue working with me to check my dogs into the hotel and instead asked two separate staff members to finish up with me. She then left the room, but other staff members who I presume she also told her story would come out of different areas in the facility to take a look at us.

    At this point, I could not be reassured that my dogs would receive the quality of care that they needed. The staff was not putting the dogs’ “welfare and happiness above all other business considerations.” I asked that my dogs be retrieved. Yes, this meant canceling our travel plans for the evening, but it was better than the alternative. It cost us some money to do this, but it was worth it.

    I then asked how many days were remaining on my 10-day pass, because I wasn’t sure that I wanted to bring our dogs back at all. The man who told me he was the hotel manager asked another staff member to check on this and refund the balance of the pass to the credit card I used to purchase it. I hadn’t decided I wanted a refund, but I guess I was getting one anyway. Was I being kicked out of Good Dog Hotel and Spa? When I explained that I had paid cash for the pass, the staff member told me that she could refund the cash amount. The hotel manager again stepped in and told me that this large amount (only $80) would need to be sent by check. If I thought the woman before him had been rude, it was unmatched by his treatment of me at that point. I did receive a receipt from the kind staff member who took my information for the refund, and I hope I do receive it. It will be one positive experience that I hope will take away some of the pain that we experienced at Good Dog Hotel and Spa.

  28. Ragamuffin Mutt Lover

    I have been a customer of Good Dog for over 2 years now, and have been highly satisfied with the level of care and concern they give to my very active terrier/poodle mix. There are good reasons why this facility now usually operates at full capacity and has wait lists. The dogs are well cared for, and I believe customers like me who are happy with their services continue to spread the word about them. I have spoken to many people at the Broadripple Dog Park and other places who are also highly satisfied with their services.

    After I adopted my dog, I was first taking him to Puppy Playground, which is closer to my home, but he returned from two consecutive kennel stays with health issues (a bad eye infection upon pickup where one of his eyes was almost closed shut and was “goopy”, and later an apparent kennel cough and gastrointestinal issues — both which required vet follow up and costs). While I realize these issues could have been caused from other exposures, I had never had problems like this with my dog before. And twice in a row was enough for me. Additionally, the owner Deb did not seem willing to accommodate for some of this behavioral needs that I had told her about in advance. When one episode occurred, she did call it in to me, expressing concern. But she did not offer any suggested remedies, which I found odd given that they partnered with a training facility in the same location. I was also concerned that they did not allow a complete tour of the facility when I asked.

    By comparison, when I took my dog to Good Dog for a tour, I explained to their manager (who remains there) that my dog was energetic and excitable. She assured me that they would observe him in playcare first before kenneling him. They showed me all areas of the facility — where they prepared the food, where they took the dogs to “go,” the kennel area, etc. He did great in playcare, and came home happy but tired. In continued kennel stays and daycare days since then, I have always found that my dog was well cared for. In one early stay, a young employee needed to administer medicine to my dog in a special way (eye medication as a carryover from the issue he had after staying at Puppy Playground). He could not have been better in how he handled this. And, yes, he still works there.

    My dog averages about 2 days or daycare a week and probably about 30 days of kenneling a year. In over two years of active time at Good Dog, my dog has never acted like he needed to pee immediately when he came home from kenneling or daycare. In fact, if I pick him up from Good Dog around 5:00, I can come home assured that he will not need another potty break until bedtime. I have not had ONE incident that gives me cause to believe that they are not giving the dogs frequent bathroom breaks (I was told about every hour or so when in daycare). He also has never come home with any bites, scratches, chewed paws, etc. I also get him groomed at Good Dog and feel they do a fine job.

    My dog is now a “regular” at Good Dog, and is well known by the staff, I have ALWAYS felt that he was treated with care and compassion. He has some special needs, and I have made special requests, and they have responded to all of them very well. I believe they have learned his behavior very well from his repeated stays at playcare and kenneling. Due to his high energy level, he is able to jump their 4 foot separating fences that keep dogs of certain types and temperaments together. Rather than acting like this makes my dog more difficult to “manage” in daycare (which I’m sure is somewhat the case), they seem to embrace his energy and enthusiasm. I have had many employees tell me “Oh, I love your dog” and I trust that they mean it and carry it through with their actions. I have been called proactively once or twice when they felt he was having an “off day” there (nothing was wrong. He just was not as playful as usual).

    While there has been some turnover of good employees, this is to be expected from a business that employs several relatively young employees. MANY of their core staff has been there the entire time I have taken my dog there. They know me by name. Once my dog walks inside and we walk toward the playcare area, he is very eager to follow the employee to the door where he will be let inside to PLAY! There is no separation anxiety in the least. Of course, he is always glad to see me at pick up time.

    Of course dog owners need to do their research in choosing daycare and kenneling facilities. I believe if you ask around, you will learn that there are MANY people who are very loyal and appreciative customers of Good Dog. I honestly do not know how I could care for my dog without their help. Perhaps happy customers just have less motivation to blog …

  29. Get real

    If your dog is aggressive, that is your fault for not properly taking care of her and training her. You can not fault staff for your neglectiins as a pet owner.
    Furthermore, maybe she was nervous and/or stressed out at the kennel because she hadn’t been out in a social situation before and that led her to changing her potty habits while you were gone.

    It sounds to me like you are a neglectful owner and haven’t taken the proper steps to take care f your own pet. Don’t make everyone else guilty f your shortcomings. My dog is a rescue who gets nervous in new situations an she loved the Good Dog staff. They are so sweet an caring with her and I’ve noticed a huge change in her dog park habits since going there as well.

    Maybe you should read some books about proper dog raising and consider a rock next time.

    • simonesmom

      Wow. Assume much? As the original post stated, Rosie had not yet had any formal training, a fact that was conveyed to the staff at Good Dog prior to leaving her. In fact, she’d JUST been adopted from the Humane Society, so she is a rescue dog like yours. We were brand new dog owners. That was ALSO conveyed to the Good Dog staff. They told us they could handle a situation they could not. Period. Since then Rosie has had plenty of formal training and has been successful at Barkalounge Doggy Daycare, where her special needs have always been taken into consideration.

  30. Amy

    Every dog owner needs to have their animals vaccinated and treated for fleas before they allow their dogs to interact with other dogs. Wether it be at a kennel, daycare, dogpark, dogwash, etc.
    Frontline or Advantage should be administered year round. This is a list of shots your dog needs:

    DHLPPC:

    This is a combo vaccination that covers numerous diseases with one injection. What do all those letters stand for?

    •D = Distemper:
    Distemper is a nasty virus that is highly contagious, occurs world wide, and at one time was the leading cause of death in puppies. Young puppies are more susceptible to the virus then adult dogs. You may see signs of an upper respiratory infection with a high fever, the dog may also have neurological signs. This disease is often fatal. •H = Hepatitis or Adenovirus-2:
    This is spread by contact with the urine and feces of infected animals. The virus causes liver and kidney damage, animals that survive may have chronic illness. Symptoms include but are not limited to: fever, lethargy, anorexia, abdominal pain, and bloody diarrhea. •L = Leptospirosis:
    This disease affects the liver and kidneys and is deadly. Animals with this disease are contagious to other animals and humans. A positive dog should be isolated and the caregiver should wear protective clothing and gloves. The disease is spread through contact with urine of infected animals. Dogs with leptospirosis may show signs of lethargy, dehydration, jaundice, and fever. •P = Parainfluenza:
    This is a virus that causes an upper respiratory infection. Dogs usually contract the disease through contact with nasal secretions of infected dogs. •P = Parvovirus:
    This virus attacks the intestinal tract and causes severe vomiting and diarrhea. Parvo is highly contagious, dogs contract the virus through contact with an infected animals stools. Without treatment dogs become dehydrated and weak and often die. This virus is very common and puppies who are not properly vaccinated are often afflicted. Rottweilers and Doberman Pinschers seem to be at greater risk for parvo. •C = Corona virus:
    This virus attacks the intestinal system similar to parvovirus. Infected dogs suffer from vomiting and diarrhea and dehydration. Keep your pet vaccinated and your yard clean to protect your pet.
    Bordetella:

    This is an upper respiratory infection also known as kennel cough. This infection is usually not fatal but is a pain to get rid of. The infection can spread quickly through boarding and grooming facilities and any place dogs congregate. The vaccination can be in the form of a nasal spray or injection. The injection form will need a booster in one month. Your veterinarian can help you decide if this vaccination is necessary for your dog.

    Lyme Disease:

    This is a tick borne illness. If you live in a wooded area and have a large number of positive Lyme disease cases in your area you should consider this vaccine for your dogs. The deer tick must stay attached to your dog for one to two days in order to transmit the illness, so checking your dog daily for ticks will help prevent Lyme disease, also use a good tick preventative like Frontline and Preventic Tick Collars.

    Symptoms include but are not limited to: fever, swollen lymph nodes, and loss of appetite. Talk to your veterinarian if you think your dog should be vaccinated against Lyme disease.

    Giardia:

    Giardia is a parasite that lives in the intestines and can be passed into the environment through the stools of infected animals. Dogs become infected with giardia by drinking contaminated water. Humans can also be infected. At risk dogs would be those who live primarily outdoors, hunting dogs, or dogs who may come in contact with ponds or creeks. If you feel your pet is at risk then talk to your veterinarian about vaccinating against giardia. This vaccine needs boosted 3 weeks after the initial dose then given annually.

    Rabies:

    Rabies is a virus that affects the nervous system and is always fatal. There is no known cure for rabies, to confirm a case the brain tissue must be examined. In the United States raccoons, skunks, bats, foxes, and coyotes are the main wild animal hosts for the illness. Symptoms generally include behavior change, difficulty swallowing, hypersalivation, depression – stupor, and hind limp paralysis.

    The disease is spread through the saliva of infected animals and can be transmitted through a bite or an open wound. Vaccinated pets who are exposed to rabies should be re-vaccinated and observed for 90 days, un-vaccinated pets exposed to rabies should be euthanized or kept isolated for 6 months. Keep all pets current on their rabies vaccinations – this will protect humans and animals.

    I have been to the facilities at both Good Dog and Best Friends and they are similar to any other daycare I’ve been to. Most daycares do hire young people to clean out the cages and take the dogs out because it’s kind of a “crappy” job. The wage is low, young people get better jobs and go to school…that’s why there is a lot of turnaround. They take off the collars you bought your dogs so they won’t get diry, wet or damaged. The dogs go from the lobby to the kennel and the rope collar/leash is easy to slip on/off your pet. It doesn’t hurt your dog. I have a friend who put a prong training collar around his own neck before he ever but it on one of his dogs and he said it didn’t hurt. Do your homework…research and take your dog where you feel comfortable. But don’t trash someone’s business because you may not have taken all the necessary steps to ensure the health and hapiness of your pet.

  31. simonesmom

    Amy, we take our dogs to Barkalounge Doggy Daycare in Beech Grove, where they do NOT hire young inexperienced people to clean cages and take dogs out. The work is all done by older, experienced dog lovers/trainers. They’re professionals. And thanks, but after research, we DID find a facility where we could trust that our animals’ health, happiness, and welfare would be best served. And that facility wasn’t Good Dog.

  32. simonesmom

    Also, wth is up with the vaccination info? It’s completely off topic. Good info yes, but I can’t figure out why you put it here. I almost deleted your comment b/c I figured this was spam, but then I realized you didn’t include your web address, so I’ll leave it. Thanks, I guess.

  33. Amy

    The reason I posted this information was because Katie said her dog got fleas. If you use year round flea preventative medication your dog won’t get fleas when exposed to other dogs.
    “As for the comment on the dog that came home sick last time i checked its called Kennel Cough.. No matter how much you wash and clean a kennel… 1 SICK dog can infect the rest…”
    that is the reason I posted the vaccinations. you have to get the bordatella vaccination if you are going to expose your dog to other dogs, whether it be at a park, a daycare or whatever. The dog owner must take preventative action and not leave it up to the facility.

  34. Lisa

    I took my dog to Barkalounge and didn’t care for it. My dog got bit deeply on the back. The same day he got bit on his floppy ears and the staff didn’t call me nor clean his bleeding ears. Probably because they didn’t notice it because they throw so many dogs into one or two rooms. Plus the whole building spells of urine.

    For over a year now I take my dog to Barkafellers on Madison Ave near Greenwood. It is a fabulous place with animal loving staff members. They group dogs appropriate to size and energy levels. The owners ran a cleaning business in the past and the place shows! It is beautiful with indoor and outdoor play areas.

  35. brandy & joe

    I WILL NEVER RETURN TO GOOD DOG-EVER! We had a very similar experience with this place. They told us to take our dogs real leashes and collars home and looped those wimpy little “ropes” around their necks. I was worried that my dog would escape the whole time we were out of town. The employees were not the most congenial, either. My two dogs (a 15 lb Shihtzu and a 40 lb Shepard-pit mix), looked like two prisoners being released after years of incarceration. We paid for extra treats and extra playtime for each dog, I highly doubt they ever received it. When we came to get them, they made us wait almost 30 minutes b/c they were walking them. Well, I doubt that too, both of my dogs peed and pooped on the way home. I don’t see how they can walk so many dogs with those crappy rope leashes. I also couldn’t believe they told us to take their real leashes, collars, and harnesses home with us! I think my dogs were scarred for life against kennels, especially the pit-shep mix who was only about 5 mos. at the time. He now has terrible separation anxiety (he didn’t have it before I took him to “Good Dog Hotel”. Luckily, the Shihtzu seems okay. Trust us! Please take your dog somewhere else, preferably somewhere with web-cams, so you can be sure your dog is being treated right and they are getting any extras that you pay for!

  36. brandy & joe

    I agree, Good dog has a very, immature, incompitent staff. They neglected my dogs completely!

    Oh, and to the person who wrote the “I hate complainers over stupid stuff”post. I have 3 pit mixes now, and I’ve never needed a choke collar, EVER! Maybe you shouldn’t have any dogs if you can’t train them without choking them. Do you know that choke collars can crush an animal’s wind-pipe? Obviously not! I really hate ignorant pet owners!

  37. brandy & joe

    When I showed up to pick up my dogs (they were there about 5 days) , I expected to see them playing in the main play area. I looked and they weren’t in there. Instead, I was told they were supposedly on a walk (they both peed and pooped in the car, on the way home, and again after they got home). Did anyone else have the same issue? Were ANY of your pets in the play area when you picked them up after an overnight stay?

  38. for dog collars, i think the best one are those leather dog collars.,,

  39. leather dog collars seems to be the best, they are also very sturdy and last longer .`*

  40. Amber

    I came across this post and had to comment..I think everyone is entitled to their opinions and not everyone has the same experience..so if you love the place then keep going and stop bashing others for disagreeing with you! No one will ever really know what goes on behind closed doors..sad but true

  41. Arwan Smith

    Every time i visit here, the’re always a good topic, thanks making excellent post.
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  42. Virginia

    After reading a lot of defense and offensive post about different daycares, I thought I would share my experience. I do believe that it is difficult to determine what places really are “bad” daycare or boarding facilities, as most people who write comments usually had a bad experience. So far, I have only taken my dogs to one place, Good Dog. I do not take my dogs to daycare regularly, but usually take them to the dog park. My 2 dogs are very social, but one is a little less trusting of strangers and does not do well in new anxiety provoking situations, such as the vet, pet store, etc. I boarded them this past weekend and also had them do daycare during the day since they love to play with other dogs. I knew my boy would be fine as he gets along with everyone and anyone. But my girl, with apprehension was nervous and didn’t want to be taken back to the kennel when I dropped them off.

    I can admit I was anxious, but the staff was very friendly and understanding of my concerns. They were also very understanding because at the time I wasn’t 100% sure if I was going to be back in town on Saturday or Sunday, but they were willing to let me book only one night and then call them to let them know if they needed to stay and extra night.

    When I came in to pick them up, I half expected them to be so ecstatic to see me and get out of there since they had never been boarded or played in daycare before. But they were very happy, but very tired. The staff told me that they did well in daycare and had a lot of fun playing. And ever since I got home both of them have been sleeping.

    I can say that I was a bit worried about how often they would get potty breaks, as I am home most of the time and my dogs ring a bell to let me know they need to go, and they wouldn’t be able to do that. But to my surprise, they didn’t have to go when they came home and have been sleeping since.

    I’d say my experience was positive, but I know not everyone’s will be. From what I can tell the staff is young, but not teenagers. They also seemed to know what they were doing. I looked at the website before I booked and I noticed some of the staff has been there around 2 years, and I did remember seeing a few of those listed on there website there.

    I get the feeling that when this blog started 5 years ago, Good Dog was not in as good of shape as it is now. I believe ownership and/or management was changed, and from what I can tell its for the better.

  43. Jeez

    I actually worked for Good Dog for 3 years. From 2008-2010. While some of the stuff said here is true, just as much is greatly exaggerated. While they do use rope leashes, it doesnt harm the dog at all or make it any less of a leash. The dogs were never treated bad or neglected, but i’ve seen multiple people, including managers, skip dogs on walks just because they wanted to go home earlier. I never worked in the daycare but the staff there was always so friendly and really loved the dogs. It’s the shady managment there that made me leave. It’s incredible how shady this place is. They play favorites all the time and if you’re not in their ‘circle’ then you’re shit out of luck. The actual manager knows nothing about dogs and lets the other supervisors get away with whatever they like. The only reason he’s there is because he has money and is friends with the owner. I left because of how unjustly they treat the lower employees and their only need being to make money and be lazy. They dont truly care for the dogs. All i know is, i’ll never take MY dogs there.

  44. tess

    I worked here as well and I would be the first to say that the management only truly cares about getting a pay check at the end of the week and not about you dog!!! They come in at 7:00am and stand around talking while your dogs have not been out to potty in 12 hrs for an hour before they start walking.And they say they give 4 or 5 potty walkes a day.NO THEY DONT. You should all ask how long is that walk.Not even 2 minutes per dog. And if David the one on one guy is not there your dogs don’t get one on one but you pay for it! This is just some of the things they do. I could write about this place for days. They should be shut down. Most people only care about what a place looks like and not about what really matters,that being the care of your dogs! WAKE UP INDY READ ALL the reviews on this place.Google it.

    • Juve

      i could not agree more with tess. i quit there a year ago and it’s crazy to see that they STILL conduct themselves the same way. getting to work and waiting an hour or so before walking the dogs who have stayed there over night. she’s right about david being there and you paying for the service whether he gets time with them or not. it’s rediculous that the place is still running. the management only cares about getting paid and putting on a front for the public.

  45. Pissed Off Woman

    Michelle the manager treated me horrible. Refused to board my dog and hung up on me. Very unprofessional incompetent manager. Sam her manager didn’t resolve the issue and the owner would rather not deal with the issue, I was told. I was left tring to find a place to board my dog at 7pm at night and had a 8am flight the next day for vacation. Manager advised she had extensive notes on my dogs last stay, and that since we paid in advance the system messed up and she couldn’t manually calculate that. Not sure if this is her incompetence or lack of experience with customers. She was rude, abbrasisive, and refered to my dog and I as a inconvience. Michelle provided no solution, nor did her manager Sam. After asking her to speak softer to me, and if I could drop him off 10 minutes early, she hung up with no explanation. I called back and she refused the call. Called from another phone and it was answered everytime, and hung up on me. I was just getting more info on my dogs stay and she became hostle. I was originally advised the early dropp off wouldn’t be an issue, she mentioned she fired that girl, probably was the only customer focused person there. Michelle refered to herself as the GM, several times, as if you’ve never spoken to someone titled that before, not sure if she was repeated her title due to herself being incompetent or if she was simply just letting me know she was not budging on being polite or no one could tell her to change the way she was talking to me. Very rude and unhappy with my experience. I will not take my dog there again and will reach out to all individuals I know against this business, un less they provide a solution and apology. Pet’s and their owners don’t need to be treated like this, too many options out there to choose from.

    A simple apology would of been appreciated from Michelle. That is free! Also, in a customer service industry one would think hospitable professionals, that rep. the company as a GM would treat guests with respect.

    • Juve

      Woooooow, I can’t believe they’re still like that. When I was there 3 years ago they acted like that. Crazy that nothing has changed. Doesn’t help that Michelle and sam are dating. Thay way they can treat customers like crap and just have eachothers back on everything. After leaving, I still board my dogs elsewhere

      • Exem

        Good ol’ good dog! Same shit from years ago. I could go on forever but I’ll share my positive and negative experiences from my employment

        Pros:
        The staff who handle your dogs genuinely care and love dogs.
        It’s a pretty clean facility.

        Cons: – where do I begin?
        The managers Sam and Michelle are dating .. No way to contact a manager about any situation considering they’re the only two and they Are bed mates.
        Michelle is a crazy, power hungry bitch who has to take medication to level out her moods – and you can definitely tell when she hasn’t taken enough.
        Sam started screwing Michelle at 17 when she was in her 30’s – creepy enough
        The staff is very young as everyone said, and although they love animals and care .. They’re very inexperienced
        Also, as pointed out, no reason to learn anyone’s name.. They usually quit after a few months. Can’t imagine why?
        Oh! And good luck getting to the owner of you have any issues because he has no voicemail, and the emails plus the “notes” all go through Sam and Michelle first – convenient right? 😉
        Also, they use bleach to clean since it’s cheaper than any cleaner safe for dogs, so don’t be surprised if your pooch comes home with water eyes and sick. I’m sure you know how you feel when you are cleaning with bleach, now imagine that for a week!!
        Also, as stated before, if you’re not on their good side GOOD LUCK!
        P.S
        The head groomer is a convicted felon who did 3 years in federal prison for stealing money from the food stamp office. He’s in a halfway house right now for doing cocaine and failing a drug test. The Managers know but understand since they like a little powder here and there sometimes too!!

        WELCOME TO GOOD DOG!!

      • juve

        May I ask when you worked there? Maybe we know eachother…

      • Sherm

        Sounds like same ol’ same ol with Good Dog. I worked there for a year about 3 years ago. I’d never recommend anyone board there dogs anymore. I will say, when I was there, there were a few people, specifically in day care, that did genuinely care about the dogs, but as others have said, most everyone is young and has little or no formal training with handling dogs with different temperaments.

        If you like supporting local businesses who take care of their employees, Good Dog is not the place for you. If you weren’t in the special social club, you got talked to, asking if you were “serious” about the job if you were late or called in sick once or twice. People in their special group could come in hungover, two hours late, and be on their phone the entire time they were there and no repercussions for those people. There’s no talking to Sam and Michelle. They never talked to you about what you were doing wrong, but would “punish” you by cutting your hours to almost nothing if you were doing something wrong. Lots of promises of promotions and raises, but when it came down to it, you might get one raise, a $.25 raise if you were lucky and they’d act like it was this huge deal. OH and not to mention the “employee tips” (not groomers) that employees literally saw none of. Thousands of dollars went through that front desk in the form of tips, and no one had any idea what they were going towards because they sure as hell weren’t coming to us.

      • juve

        Yeah I ended up having my hours cut down to 4 a week because of Sam and Michelle having a disagreement with me outside of work lol it’s a joke. So I just ended up leaving one day mid shift and never looked back. I truly feel bad for the people who take their dogs there. They have NO idea how badly their dogs are being taken care of

  46. MSH

    Aggressive is one thing but leash train your dog is a basic pet owners responsibleility.
    I have had my dogs there many times and never a problem.
    I blame the dog owner.

  47. Your opinion is very true I use to work for them the dogs barely get potty breaks they are stuck inside all day with nobody playing with them you are waisting your money taking your dogs there belive me when I say they are much better places in Indy with way better staff where you get more for your buck and better care for your dogs the manager of the dog hotel isn’t a very good guy either rude mean to his staff and not friendly with the dogs trust me don’t take your dogs there

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