The dogs and staff of The Grinning Dog are looking for a team member to work with us in our dog boarding and daycare programs. Job includes, but is not limited to: overseeing animals while boarding, walking, feeding, administering medications, overseeing playgroups, monitoring animals for illness and stress during their stay, general facility housekeeping, computer use and various duties around the kennel. QUALIFICATIONS
US work authorization (Required)
High school or equivalent (Preferred)
Experience: 1 year (Preferred)
Morning shift (starts at 6:30 am)
Driver's License (Required)
Computer literate (Required)
Feeding and medicating dogs and monitoring their general health and mental/emotional wellbeing
Create and supervise compatible and safe buddy pairs or groups of dogs in play areas
Lead small groups of compatible dogs on field and pond adventures
Communicate with human clients in a respectful, friendly and supportive manner
Manage gentle and careful pick-up and drop off transitions
Organize dogs’ belongings, client requests and pertinent information
Use kennel software, answer phones
Overall cleaning of kennels and facility (daily and weekly/monthly deep clean)
Bathing and nail trimming of dogs when needed
Disinfect facility and play-yards
All staff are required to work some major holidays.
We’d love to meet you if you are experienced in handling dogs, have excellent people skills and would enjoy being part of a small team of funny, smart, hard working and kind women. We are endlessly curious about what makes dogs tick and are fascinated by the human/canine, inter-species relationship. Some of us have been “in dogs” for 30+ years, so there is lots to learn if you keep your eyes and ears open. We encourage the professionalization of this industry via Professional Animal Care Certification Council (PACCC) certification and emphasize Continuing Education.
This is a physically demanding position requiring you to be on your feet most of the day, bending, lifting, walking dogs of all sizes, some of whom may even scratch or nip occasionally. Even though we are responsible for lots of cleaning, direct care and some office work, we are outdoors much of the time in fields, woods and by the pond. In warmer weather, you’ll likely end the day tattooed with muddy paw prints, some bug bites and wind-blown hair. During the winter, you might find yourself snow-shoeing or cross-country skiing across the NaturePark followed by a pack of very happy dogs. You’ll end those days grateful for your down parka and ready for a hot cup of tea and dry socks back in the kennel! But, it’s not all flowers and rainbows….
THE FINE PRINT
People often come into this industry expecting it’s fun and relaxing to "play with dogs all day” and it is - some of the time. Sure we get to snuggle with dogs, but a day in the life of a pet care professional also includes cleaning (a lot!), scooping poop, bathing dogs, more cleaning, feeding, medicating pets, chatting with owners, picking dog hair out of your sandwich, problem solving and more.
Working here requires a reasonable comfort level with all kinds of canine bodily fluids (Yuk!). Dogs are sweet and fun, but a lot of working with dogs is observing and interpreting what comes out of them (are they ill or not?) and a willingness to clean up after them -over and over. We are proud that The Grinning Dog doesn’t smell “like a kennel”. The sanitation of our facility is up to the staff here. And we have extremely high standards to meet. So we all clean - a lot, and some of it is kinda’ gross.
While we run a remarkably quiet, calm kennel, there are days that feel noisy and overwhelming and you feel like you are juggling complicated dogs and needy people and the ringing phone. Those are the days that the vacuum is inevitably broken, the wifi is down, we are out of garbage bags, it’s raining, you forgot your lunch, had a fight with your loved one and got a flat on your way in. You’ll still have to keep it together - your coworkers and the dogs need you to “keep calm and carry on”.
Some days, it's hard to stay focused. Yep, sometimes (truth be told) watching dogs for hours is boring. However, watch them we must. It is vital that you ALWAYS know where they are, what they are doing and how they are feeling. Attention to detail and the nuances of their body language is imperative. You can’t disappear into FB on your phone if boredom kicks in. Entertain yourself by cleaning, teaching a dog a trick or just ask for help, but you must stay engaged and attentive.
Top priority (after care of dogs!) is the owners….. The responsibility for other people’s pets is enormous. Working here requires excellent people skills. We have zero tolerance for neglected, offended, upset clients. It’s a really high priority here. This job appears to be all about the dogs, but it’s also all about the owners. If you want to work with animals because humans aren’t your thing, then a job at Sea World would be a better fit! All the dogs you’ll work with have owners on the other end of their leads. A big part of the work of caring for companion animals is caring for their humans as well.
The Grinning Dog team works well together and have a friendly, respectful work environment. We spend a fair amount of time with each other, so naturally share parts of our lives, but personal drama stays out of the kennel. Good boundaries keep things running smoothly. We all depend on each other to be reliable, ON TIME (please note CAPITALIZATION!), flexible and willing to step in to help out if someone is in a crunch, sick or super busy. We are all-rounders and work in all aspects of the business, as would you, eventually, as well. We require that you have previous professional experience working with dogs, but we will train you to our standards and expectations and help smooth your transition into your new role.
We are being so thorough with this job description, because a successful fit when you are working in a small business really matters to day to day quality of life for all of us. It’s like fitting the right dog into the right playgroup!
Please provide Cover Letter and Resume. No phone calls or drop ins.
We do not allow smoking anywhere on property.
We do check references
We do drug test
We are an equal opportunity employer and consider all qualified applicants equally without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran status, or disability status. COVID PROTOCOL All staff must be vaccinated or masked. Clients drop off and pickup curbside. Clients and staff are masked during indoor tours.
Contact Alison at firstname.lastname@example.org
What Our Clients Are Saying
"Alison and her staff provided exceptional care to not only my dog but also to me..." A. B.
"The best. Alison and her staff are terrific. My dog, Rem, hadn't spent any time boarded before we got here and he loved it there. I don't know how the dogs are all so calm, but they are. I'm lucky this is near by me. " Betsy N.
"We miss him, but we never worry about him when he's there. Wonderfully competent crew. Beautiful surroundings." Bruce K.