Paradise Ranch Pet Resort: Where The Fun Never Ends
By Kathy Hosler
Photos provided by
Paradise Ranch Pet Resort
“My dog is having a better vacation than I am!” That’s the comment that Brian Kneier and Kristyn Goddard, the owners of Paradise Ranch Pet Resort, hear all the time.
I don’t think that anyone does it quite the way we do,” says Brian. “We care for the pets in a complete resort style while they are in a true home environment.”
In 1995 Kristyn owned a kennel in Texas where she discovered that the pets were often stressed during the boarding experience. Barking, pacing, and gastric upsets were not unusual.
That’s when Kristyn had a revolutionary idea. Instead of keeping pets isolated and locked up, she wanted to allow them to socialize and interact together, and to be cared for in a real home setting. At that time, it cost about ten dollars a day to board a dog at Kristyn’s kennel. Kristyn decided to offer her clients the opportunity to board their dogs in her own home for thirty dollars a day. “Soon, my house was full, and the kennel was empty,” said Kristyn.
Kristyn relocated to California and searched for the perfect setting to open a cage–free boarding, daycare, and training center. She found it, and in 1997 the Paradise Ranch Pet Resort opened its doors.
Paradise Ranch Pet Resort is located in Sun Valley, California, just 15 minutes from Burbank and 20 minutes from Los Angeles. It sits on a little over an acre of property. The entire resort is an oasis of safety, fun, and relaxation for its canine guests.
A system of double wall fencing surrounds the entire property. The outer wall is six foot high cinderblock, and the secondary fence is lightweight wire. The entire inside and outside perimeter of the property is beautifully landscaped with a hedge of tropical plants, bamboo and palm trees. Instead of fences, you see lush, beautiful jungle around the border of the resort. An intercom system at the front gate allows pets and their owners to enter—and that’s when the fun begins.
There are two homes on the property. The dogs romp all day long in the different play yards and the water park, and at night they sleep slumber party style in the actual bedrooms of the homes, while being supervised by their ‘pack leaders’ (human caregivers).
Paradise Ranch is a totally cage-free, all-inclusive resort. “It was really important to me to create an environment where the animals are not stressed out,” said Kristyn. “We have a plaque titled ‘The Process of Enrichment’ displayed at the resort. It says; ‘Enrichment is the promotion of the psychological and physical well–being of an animal in an environment that provides them with behavioral choices, exercise, socialization, and the absence of stress.’”
Every dog is evaluated before it is accepted as a resort guest. The Labrador Lagoon is where they evaluate the dogs. During this time, the owners wait in the living room of one of the homes, where they watch the process on closed circuit TV. This gives the owners the opportunity to see exactly how their dog acts when they are separated from them.
Kristyn found that if you evaluate every dog first, then follow the steps of careful introduction, pack socialization, and consistent leadership, a balanced pack can be created and maintained in a boarding facility 24 hours a day, which is the key to the success of the Paradise Ranch formula.
“We screen every dog before it boards or becomes a day camper to make sure it is socialized and gets along with others,” says Kristyn. “If we observe any problems and the owner still wants their dog to be a guest at the resort, the dog must go through our socialization training program.”
Once they are accepted, a dog can enjoy all of the fun activities the resort has to offer. When Paradise Ranch first opened they had a bone–shaped pool for their guests to enjoy. It was so wildly popular that they soon created an entire full-featured water park for their guests.
Kris and Brian designed and oversaw the building of all of the water features. “Bora–Bora Beach was our first water park attraction,” says Brian. “It has a large beach-entry pool with life-size dolphin fountains at each end, and features doggie–sized over–the–water bungalows. The bungalows are designed for dogs to play on or under, or to just relax on, and the dogs just seem to love romping and playing in this water feature for hours.”
“Next, we added a dock diving pool, that we call ‘The Plunge’” Brian adds. “Big and small dogs alike love it.”
“Then, Kristyn wanted a wave pool,” Brian says as he flashes a big smile. “I didn’t know how I was going to accomplish that, but I went to work brainstorming, and soon Waikiki Beach became a reality.”
Brian designed and built a huge barrel that fills with water. He concealed it behind a beautiful waterfall. Once the barrel is full, it tips to empty and it creates a wave that comes out the bottom of the waterfall. And it sounds just like the real surf at the beach.
Paradise Ranch has a webcam system that operates 24/7. Clients access it through the internet and see what their dogs are doing and how much fun they are having. There are multiple cameras in every play yard and water feature, and in every room.
In addition to the water park, the resort has several yards filled with play equipment. The dogs are rotated throughout the day into the different areas. This gives them a chance to explore and experience all the fun activities and get plenty of exercise.
After a fun filled day, the tired canines go inside to relax, watch some TV, and have a slumber party in the designer–decorated rooms.
Technology plays a big part in the success of the Paradise Ranch. In addition to the webcams, photos of their pets can be emailed to owners in real time. Their website, www.paradiseranch.net is highly optimized and very findable. They have a Facebook and Instagram presence and their Yelp reviews help bring in new clients.
Brian knows that customer satisfaction is best achieved when you exceed their expectations, and his personal motto is “The secret to success is doing what you have to do better than you have to do it.”
The phenomenal success that the Paradise Ranch Resort has enjoyed is proof that Brian and Kristyn’s hard work and ground breaking ideas are the ‘wave pool’ of the future. And that future certainly looks bright for this dedicated couple who have lots of ideas for new adventures. They now offer consultations to anyone who would like to open and operate a cage–free resort.
Recently, Kris has begun designing women’s bathing suits and resort wear with matching suits for pets (www.paradiseranchdesigns.com). Now everyone can look their best when they spend a day in Paradise!