BnR’s Pup Parent Handbook
Welcome to Bark n’ Roll!
Thank you for checking out Bark n’ Roll. We provide a customized experience for every dog and his or her parents with emphasis on appropriate social interactions, training, enrichment, rest and of course fun. Our skilled and dedicated staff gives your dog the highest level of care in a safe, fun and interactive environment.
History of Bark n’ Roll
Bark n’ Roll was the creation of North Reading native Francine Coughlin. She has a film degree from Boston University and spent her early career living in London and Los Angeles working in the production and development side of film and television. While living and working in LA, she was fortunate to work alongside some of the most talented clicker trainers in the world as well as some of the most incredible animals. She began to volunteer at various dog shelters and rescue centers, finding this to be an incredibly rewarding and fulfilling use of her time. In 2010, after moving back to the East Coast, Francine decided to dedicate her professional life to her love for all things canine and Bark n’ Roll was born!
Bark n’ Roll has gone from a single walker with a vision to a multi-service, all-inclusive, flourishing business of equal parts professionalism and heart. She is a proud “mother” of four rescue pups, Teeny, Nelly, Finnegan and Bettie, and one lovely human daughter, Ophelia. Francine is an ABC (Animal Behavior College) certified dog trainer (Honors Graduate), a Certified Behavior Consultant (International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants), an American Kennel Club (AKC) Certified Canine Good Citizen (CGC) and S.T.A.R. Puppy Evaluator. She specializes in behavioral modification training work with even the most challenging of pups, who she finds are commonly misunderstood by their humans. Her goal is to bridge the communication gap between our two species.
Francine has donated many hours to working with shelters and rescues and has taken in fosters to spring them from the shelter system and train and socialize them to make them more adoptable in order to find their forever families. In 2017 she founded BnR’s Rock n’ Rescue, a non-profit rescue organization whose driving motto is to “rescue all the dogs,” and with so many hands helping and such a far reach, she believes they just might!
Canine Culture at Bark n’ Roll
At Bark n’ Roll we treat all pups as if they are our own. We focus on manners, reinforcing positive behaviors and discouraging negative ones. For example, dogs are asked to sit before earning freedoms, they are not allowed to jump on people, and digging is only allowed in appropriate areas. We truly strive to bring out the Rock Star in your dog.
We use a variety on positive reinforcement techniques to mark good choices. One of these techniques is referred to as “kibbling” which is exactly what it sounds like. A pup is rewarded for making a good choice by receiving a kibble.
Read more about the kibble we use daily.
Your pup’s day is a structured one. This is not a free for all where staff act as lifeguards. Pups are worked into groups, practicing their cues and manners along the way and handsomely rewarded by joining their friends in a day full of social interaction and tons of fun.
The staff plays exercise and enrichment games with the dogs throughout the day to stimulate them mentally as well as physically. There is plenty of wrestling, romping and play. We use positive reinforcement techniques and promote structured, appropriate play. Bark n’ Roll is committed to developing a partnership with parents. We will be honest and proactively communicate with owners about their dogs’ behaviors and interactions during their time with us. Dogs, like people, have good days as well as bad and we feel it’s important for parents to know this.
Dogs are grouped according to a variety of factors including size, behavior, play style, and age. We keep our group sizes manageable and fluid. All play groups are supervised by group leaders and a shift manager as well as a daycare training program manager, who move between groups. Our group leaders are singularly focused on the dogs in their care. Group leaders are in constant communication with the shift and training managers allowing for adjustments in the groups throughout the day. We maintain a ratio of Group Leaders to dogs in their care keeping the group sizes small and more manageable ensuring the safety, individualized care, and training standards we believe are essential to the success of any canine group social experience.
While boarding with us, pups spend their days in the appropriate social group and their nights in custom state-of-the-art tempered glass enclosures.
Our facility was designed for the safety and comfort of the dogs, as well as for ease of use, functionality, and cleanliness.
We have four play areas, two outdoor and three indoor. Our main indoor space comprises over 3,500 square feet separated into three play areas and one peaceful boarding area retrofit with easy to clean and sanitize materials including custom epoxy flooring (providing gentle grip for doggie paws and durable enough to withstand our rigorous cleaning routine). Our two outdoor play spaces are located along the left-hand side of the building and to the rear of our building bordering the beautiful and peaceful woods. A 6-foot chain-link fencing surrounds the play space with pea stone covering the ground. The entrance to the play space has two gates so that you may open one to enter the play space without opening the gate to the play space until the outer gate is closed for maximum security. The outdoor space also features playground equipment and doggie pools for use during warm weather as well as access to fresh water for drinking, playing and cleaning.
Our suites were custom built by Mason Company for our facility maximizing resting space for each dog. The walls and doors are solid, constructed with a waterproof, scratch-resistant material that is easy to clean and sanitize. The doors are made of tempered glass with built-in venting for air flow as well as built in food and water bowls that can be changed without opening the enclosure door. The suites provide the dogs with their own space while they stay with us and they are cleaned after each use. The dogs are able to smell and hear each other and get a sense of community but are not able to see each other or interact. Being able to see other dogs while not being able to interact can lead to negative behaviors in our furry friends, most notably Barrier Frustration. By creating a visual barrier we eliminate the potential barrier frustration and our dogs are noticeably more comfortable.
Our gate plus door system throughout our facility is an added safety measure, assuring that all dogs remain in the area that they are assigned to.
A Typical Day at Bark n’ Roll
We start by taking the boarding dogs out for bathroom breaks/playtime while we clean their suites and begin intake for daycare and boarding. Dogs are not simply placed in groups, but are worked into group by completing several steps that work both their mind and decision making skills. Dogs are asked to calmly wait in their enclosures, stand or sit when their enclosure is open, walk appropriately on lead, wait at each entrance and enter spaces in a respectful manner. The goal of these exercises is to allow the dogs to make proper choices and learn to value their human counterparts. We bring the boarding dogs in for breakfast and allow an hour for their stomachs to settle before we add them to our existing groups for playtime. Throughout the day the dogs are rotated between our indoor/outdoor play areas as well as taking nap time in the suites at midday. It is important for dogs to have periods of play and periods of rest. We will also implement breaks to lower arousal levels of high energy dogs that play to their own detriment. Dogs that do not do well in the suites will be allowed to rest in a play area. At midday, we feed any dog that has lunch and after they have eaten and their stomachs have settled we add them back into the group rotation after a quick potty break. As daycare dogs depart we condense our groups and clean the vacated play areas. In the evening we again feed the boarding dogs, allow their stomachs to settle, and then bring them out for bathroom breaks/play/cuddle time before going to bed for the night.
Your Dog’s First Day
When you arrive, we will review your paperwork and have a brief discussion about your dogs’ individual needs. A staff member will secure your pup with a lead and return your leash and/or harness to you. Once you leave we will slowly introduce them, one by one, to dogs of different sizes and play styles. We are trying to get a sense of the group in which they will be the most comfortable and have the most fun. We evaluate your dogs’ behavior, body position, signals, and how well they read/interact with other dogs. We let your dog “tell” us that they are comfortable before adding other dogs and before adding them to a group. Once they are comfortable we will add them to their group for a fun day. If they are not comfortable we will make recommendations to help them become more comfortable that may include training or short “acclimation” sessions on slower days. It is important to note that some dogs are not daycare candidates. We will always recommend what is best for your dog.
We will update you midday on how he or she is doing and send home a printed evaluation sheet with our notes at pickup.
What should you bring for your dog?
- Your pup!
- Collar and Leash – Our policy is that all dogs arriving and exiting the building remain under leash control. We discourage any interactions between dogs in the parking lot or lobby and ask that parents honor this policy by keeping dogs under leash control until turned over to a Bark n’ Roll employee. Collars and leashes as well as other accessories or flea and tick collars left with your dog for the day will be stored in assigned cubbies until pickup. Any clothing or accessories worn by your dog will be removed prior to your pup joining a group unless previously discussed with a Bark n’ Roll employee.
- Food (optional) – If your pup is accustomed to a midday meal or snack, you are welcome to bring a lunch or treat for them to enjoy during our scheduled nap time. Please, make sure all baggies or containers are labelled clearly with your pup’s name. Frozen Kongs may also be purchased for an additional fee.
We ask that all items be labeled with the dogs first and last name with a type of permanent labeling, such as permanent marker or sturdy tag. If items are received unlabeled, staff will label the personal belongings with permanent labeling. Please do not remove our labels if your pup will be returning to us.
1. Your pup (of course)
2. Collar and Leash – Our policy is that all dogs arriving and exiting the building remain under leash control. We discourage any interactions between dogs in the lobby and ask that parents honor this policy by keeping dogs under leash control until turned over to a Bark n’ Roll employee. Upon drop-off, a Bark n’ Roll employee will secure your pup on a lead and return to you your pup’s leash and harness for you to take with you.
3. Food – All boarding pups are required to bring enough food for the extent of their stay. Food must be in a secure bag or container with clearly written or typed feeding instructions included. Additional snacks are also welcome. We ask that owners refrain from rawhides, bully sticks, marrow bones and any other potential choking hazardous items.
4. Bedding – If desired, parents can bring specific bedding. Otherwise, our own bedding will be provided.
5. Toys – All toys and comfort items will be inspected by staff and only allowed with dogs if it’s determined that they are safe to use unmonitored.
We are happy to administer any medications that your dog requires (including injections) at no additional cost. Please discuss your dogs medication needs with us prior to his/her stay.
Help your dog recover from Daycare/Boarding
While with us, your dog will likely be very active and stimulated both mentally and physically. This increased stimulation can sometimes cause stress for your dog. Stress can be both positive and necessary for development, or negative and have the potential to suppress the immune system, causing temporary behavior changes and/or increased arousal. Temporary behavior changes can occur as a result of unfamiliar surroundings. We mitigate issues by asking owners to allow dogs to acclimate with some exposure to our environment prior to any long term stays. We will recommend the duration of the exposure that we feel is best for your dog.
Eating habits can change when staying away from home and dogs will often eat food differently. They may eat every morsel and put on a few pounds. Some dogs lose weight even though eating well or lose weight by not eating enough. Time spent at Bark n’ Roll can be very exciting, and some dogs lose weight from exercise as they run, wrestle, and bark with the other dogs, having a great time. Boarding dogs often leave the facility exhausted but happy, and sleep a lot the first couple of days they are home. Daycare dogs, though super frisky when they see you, often are fast asleep in the car by the time you drive out of the parking lot.
Help prepare your dog for daycare by establishing a routine on daycare days. Help them recover by providing water, food, and allow them to rest. Monitor their food and water intake. Too much of either can cause problems.
Help prepare your dog for boarding by getting them acclimated to our facility. Depending on the dog, we will recommend the duration. Maintain your routine on the day of drop off as much as possible. Bring the dog in first and then bring his/her belongings once they are released to a Bark n’ Roll employee. Plan your packing in advance so as not to break out the suitcases the day before your trip. Help them recover by providing water, food, and allow them ample rest. Monitor their food and water intake. Too much of either can cause problems.
In-Home Services at Bark n’ Roll
If your dog is not a “daycare dog” or “boarding dog” or you would like to do a combination of services, BnR offers a variety of in-home services in YOUR home to suit your needs, where your dog feels most comfortable. Whether you need help during work days or vacation pet- sitting, our caring, trained and insured and bonded staff can provide daily walks or jogs, potty visits, multiple sitting visits or overnight in-home sitting stays. We provide complimentary meet & greets in your home prior to providing in-home services. Our staff is able to maintain your routine for consistent, stress free care of your best friend. Advanced reservations are encouraged if you are going on vacation, to ensure we can accommodate your dates and a non-refundable deposit may be required to hold your dates should you book overnight sitting with us.
Training Programs at Bark n’ Roll
We embrace the opportunity to help dogs fit into their human families and the outside world. Dogs are special members of the family, usually bringing fun and happiness but sometimes they need a little help with their manners – that’s where we come in. Our philosophy is to use positive reward-based training. When dogs figure out that a certain behavior will earn them a reward, they are generally very happy to repeat it. Many different classes are offered from puppy classes (AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy Course) to Canine Good Citizen (AKC C.G.C.) to special courses for reactive dogs (“Punky Pups”). One-on-one private lessons are also available both at our facility and at the dog’s home. Please see our training page for schedules, registration forms and more information.
While doggie daycare has great benefits for your dog, there are some health concerns that you should be aware of. Just like in a child’s daycare, dogs that attend daycare or board here at Bark n’ Roll are susceptible to “bugs” that are making the rounds in our area.
While the vaccinations that we require your dog to have do well to protect your dog from the more serious illnesses, dogs will occasionally pass along Bordetella (Kennel Cough), Giardia or the “Puppy Warts” virus (typically in dogs under 1 year of age). Naturally, dogs that are socializing have a greater risk of catching a common canine communicable disease. It should be noted that while we take great care in maintaining a clean/disease-free environment, parents should be aware of the risk.
All dogs attending Bark n’ Roll must be free of fleas and we highly recommend that dogs be on a monthly flea and tick preventative. If fleas are evident upon intake, we will provide a flea bath at the owner’s expense.
We highly recommend having a yearly fecal exam to check for parasites, worms, etc. If we observe worms in a dog’s stool, we will collect a sample, isolate the dog, and notify the parents immediately.
Please do not send your dog to daycare if you notice that he or she is not feeling well. Signs of illness may include lethargy, coughing or hacking, sneezing, upset tummy, loose stool, and visible warts/growths in the mouths, on the eyes or on the paws. It is important to be sure that everyone does their best not to expose other pups to these illnesses. If we see obvious signs of communicable illness upon arrival, we reserve the right to refuse service until a vet has cleared your dog. If we suspect signs of illness while in our care he or she will be isolated from the group and kept comfortable until you are have to pick him or her up. We do not officially diagnose illness so you may want to consult a vet to be on the safe side, and we will need clearance of illness for your dog to return to daycare.
Please inform us of ANY allergy your dog might have, be it food, environmental or topical. We will discuss exposure procedures with you.
When dogs play at Bark n’ Roll, they wrestle, run, jump, and chew on each other and generally “rough-house.” Nicks, cuts, scrapes, and errant tooth punctures may happen during this play. We take great care in grouping dogs so they will all get along, as mentioned in the “Canine Culture” section, though occasionally there will be a disagreement or fight. Our staff is trained on how to safely and quickly diffuse and separate dogs in that situation to limit injury. If your dog is involved in an altercation or injured, we will provide care for your dog immediately and inform you as soon as we are able. We want to remind you that we are not responsible for any costs associated with injuries related to dog play while under our care. All costs must be assumed by the owner of his or her dog should an incident occur. Of course we do everything possible to prevent incidents, but we are dealing with animals who are quicker than us to move as well as change their moods.
Bark n’ Roll, Inc. requires that all dogs’ vaccinations be up to date. Copies need to be provided on or before the dog’s first day and updated before past due for as long as your dog attends our programs. Required vaccinations are as follows:
- Rabies: after 12 weeks of age
- Distemper/Parvo Combo
- Bordetella, or Kennel Cough Vaccine
We also highly recommend a yearly Fecal Exam (to check for roundworm, hookworm, whip worm, giardia, coccidia, and tapeworm) and flea and tick preventative maintenance.
- All dogs must be spayed or neutered at 7 mos of age unless otherwise discussed.
- All pets need to be under leash control on the premises indoors/outdoors and we discourage any interactions in the parking lots or lobby. Your pup has groups of friends that we carefully organize and manage and you risk the safety of your dog/others as well as yourself/other humans when interacting on your own.
Monday – Friday
7:00 am – 7:00 pm
Saturday and Sunday
Weekend operating hours are for boarding dogs only and by appointment only. Same operating guidelines pertain to the following holidays: New Years Day, Easter, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day. New Years Eve and Christmas Eve will have shortened daycare hours. Please inquire if interested in daycare on those days.
Tours are by appointment only to ensure the safety, comfort and routine of the dogs in our care as well as our human clients. While we encourage tours on weekdays starting at 7:30 pm until 9:00 pm, we will always do our best to schedule a time that works for you.
Drop-off/Pick-Up and Lobby Hours/Etiquette Policy
While dropping off or picking up your pup, we ask that you come into our lobby fully. Please, do not group into the small entryway. Pups thrive on space and not allowing them space or forcing interaction while on leash and with their family can quickly become a recipe for disaster. We strongly advise refraining from greeting other pups on leash or with their families. While pups can be the best of friends off-leash and in group, the same cannot be said when they are with their loved ones and restrained by a leash.
During inclement weather or any time actually please ring the bell, let us know you’re there, and feel free to wait in your car. We will bring your pup to your car as your very own doggie valet service if you’d like!
While staff is on the premises before 7:00 am, they need this time to attend to our boarding guests as well as to set up the facility for the day ahead. Please adhere to our strict drop-off window of 7:00 am — 9:00 am and pick-up window of 4:00 pm — 7:00 pm Monday through Friday and 8:00 am — 10:00 am drop-off window and 4:00 — 6:00 pm pick-up window on Saturday and Sunday. Windows are subject to change on holidays or other special occasions with notice. If we are able to arrange a different window for you when requested we will, but an additional fee may apply.
There are several ways that you can make reservations for your dog at Bark n’ Roll. Our preferred method for reservation requests is via Time To Pet, our on-line portal, by 5:00 pm the evening prior.
If you need to make a last minute reservation, please give us a call (978.604.2949) to ensure availability.
We do have a daily capacity that we strictly adhere to in order to maintain our small playgroup size for the safety and well-being of the dogs and employees alike. If our capacity has been reached on a day you are trying to make a reservation, your request will be denied and an explanation included. You will be added to our waitlist and contacted if a spot becomes available.
If a request has been submitted, until you receive a confirmation, the request has not been approved.
We are also able to enter standing reservations (i.e. every Mon and Wed). We can schedule these for as far in future as you like. This is the best way to guarantee your dog a spot for daycare on a weekly basis. Please, let us know if you would like to setup a weekly occurring schedule for daycare.
We also maintain a waiting list for daycare spots on days that are fully booked. If you cannot bring your dog on a day that you have reserved, please let us know as soon as possible so that we can give your spot to someone else. The full fee of the service will be charged to your account if you do not cancel a reservation prior to the day of service without an explanation.
Early Drop-off/Late Pickup, No-Show Boarding
Arrangements can be made for Early Drop-off/Late pick-up within a reasonable time window for an additional $10 fee. Please speak with a Bark n’ Roll Representative to schedule. If you fail to pick up your dog by closing and we are unable to contact you we will feed your dog and move him or her to boarding for the night. You will be assessed a “No-Show” full boarding fee and the food cost in addition to the normal boarding fees for the rate period.
Due to increased demand for boarding over Holidays and School Vacations we will ask for a 100% non-refundable pre-payment in order reserve any dates that include a major holiday and/or school vacation.
We invoice via email through the Time to Pet Portal. Once we email your invoice you will be able to access it on the portal as well and pay online via credit card or ACH (directly from your bank account). You may also pay in cash or check in person or by mailing payment to PO Box 524, North Reading, MA 01864. Checks should be made payable to Bark n’ Roll. If payment isn’t received by the due date on your invoice then you will be charged a late fee of $25 each week payment is late with the first late fee posting the day after the invoice due date. We require all Daycare and Boarding clients to keep a credit card or ACH payment method on file on the portal so that we can run your card after services are rendered unless otherwise discussed. An invoice will still be emailed to you for your records.
Bark n’ Roll works closely with several local rescue organizations including BnR’s Rock n’ Rescue. We promote adoption through these rescues and work with them to foster and train dogs while they wait for their forever home. If you are looking for a new pet, we highly recommend these organizations. If you would like more information, please contact us.
The nature of working with dogs is quite physical and requires our 100% attention and energy. We are mostly email-based in our communication for this reason. Please email us should you want to set up a time to schedule a phone call. Otherwise we will answer/return all calls as soon as it is possible and safe to do so.
Our facility is located at 211 Main Street (Rt. 28) North Reading, MA.
Parking is available in front of our building as well as in front of 209.
Please DO NOT PARK at neighboring businesses or you will risk being towed.
BnR’s Owner/Behavior Consultant Francine Coughlin is always happy to schedule a time to talk with you. Please email Francine if you should want to connect.
Please fill out and send the form below to us acknowledging that you have read and understand the information and the policies contained herein.