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Discover Fauquier August 2017
16
Liberty Hill Pet Resort:
The Stuff
Are Made Of
The year 2004 was a fortuitous one for all
pets, but especially for dogs. Why? It was
the year that Mary Ann Robertson opened
Liberty Hill Pet Resort, a pet boarding
facility and a veritable vacation getaway
for dogs of all breeds, ages, sizes, and
temperaments. From doggy daycare to
obedience training classes to dog sport
activities, Liberty Hill specializes in catering
to the specifi c physical, emotional, and
social needs of our canine counterparts.
"When we first started, we offered
swimming and obedience training," says
Mary Ann. "We have expanded to provide
boarding, grooming, day care programs,
agility classes, and popular dog sports,
like dock diving and barn hunts."
If you've never heard of a barn
hunt, it's currently enjoying a
moment in the spotlight as
the number one growing
dog sport. As much
as we might like
it if our dogs
were perfectly
content to
keep us
company
w h i l e w e
w a t c h T V ,
dogs are happiest
when their minds and
bodies are hard at work.
For centuries, dogs were
bred to excel at certain tasks,
such as hunting, herding cattle,
guarding, and tracking. Liberty
Hill's barn hunts allow dogs of all
breeds and ages to compete in an
exciting hunting game featuring a maze
of hay bales that hide long plastic tubes
containing live rats--the objects of the hunt.
The rats are actually beloved pets, and
are completely protected and unharmed
by the dogs. Much to the pride of their
owners, the dogs that fi nd the rats fi rst are
rewarded with ribbons and toys. But the
larger purpose of the sport is to provide
a fun way for dogs to exercise, socialize,
and keep their minds engaged and active.
Whether your dog loves the thrill of barn
hunts or dock diving--another extremely
popular program for dogs with energy to
burn--or simply taking a nap on the 13-acre
property's shaded front porch, Liberty Hill
boasts ample outdoor time. "The time we
spend outside with the dogs is one of our
biggest draws," says Mary Ann. "They're
never bored! We guarantee at least two
hours per day of outdoor play, as long as
weather permits."
Boredom, Mary Ann explains, creates
anxiety that breeds bad behaviors, like
chewing on furniture and compulsive
hole digging. When dogs exhibit these
behaviors, it's a sign that they need more
attention and exercise. "Exercise lowers
a dog's stress levels," she says. "Many
dog breeds are designed to work out
every day, so a lack of exercise can
lead to behavior issues. Our daycare
and swimming programs are popular
because they channel their energy in
positive ways." The result? Dogs
go home happy.
In addition to classes that
meet dogs' needs for
physical and mental
exercise, Liberty
H i l l o f f e r s
classes that
train dogs
t o b e
responsive
a n d w e l l -
behaved. "A
well-trained dog
is a joy to live with,"
says Mary Ann. "It
can be frustrating for
pet owners when a dog
doesn't know how to answer
commands. People find that
when they commit to obedience
training with us and continue that
training at home, it leads to long-term
good behavior."
Rather than delay training, pet owners
can enroll their cuddly new puppies in
Liberty Hill's puppy training classes. Every
Saturday for six weeks, Mary Ann and her
staff work on socializing, bite inhibition,
and other behavior guidelines that mold
puppies into well-mannered dogs. "We
teach clients how to prevent some of the
behavior issues that arise when dogs
are older," says Mary Ann. "This leads to
strong owner-pet relationships." To learn
more, call
(540) 437-7297.
~ Caitlin Scott
Doggy
Dreams
Liberty Hill Pet Resort:
The Stuff
Are Made Of
Mary Ann Robertson
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