Scheduling, Payment, and Pricing Changes (Feb 2018)

Beginning February 25th, A Walk in the Park will be transitioning how we manage scheduling to a new software called Gingr. We will also be updaing our pricing. Here's everything you need to know!

Transitioning to Gingr
If you've booked any service with us in the past, we ask that you create an account on Gingr using the email or phone number that you have on file with us. 

If your email has changed, please use your old email and then update your information within Gingr. We want to make sure that all the information entered is correct. Please do not book any appointments before February 25th – the day we fully transition to Gingr

If you're new to A Walk in the Park, please create an account through Gingr (and again, please don't book any appointments before February 25th).

Existing Clients – Outstanding Invoices
We will transition from Clover, (the system we are using now), to Gingr and by February 28th, Clover will be turned off. Therefore, it's important that any outstanding invoices be settled before the end of February.

New Payment Information – No More Invoicing
One of the biggest changes in our new system will be that you will have to pay at time of service or buy packages through Gingr in advance. Invoicing was causing problems on our end that we hope to remedy with advanced payments.

Booking and Reservations through Gingr
Booking daycare or overnight stays will be available as reservations through Gingr. Other services like grooming and training, will be listed as a service. You can book grooming and training separate from day care of course, but remember that it is listed as a service on Gingr.

For daycare we will be offering packages, either for full or half days. With the introduction of packages there will be a small increase in day care fees, but you will still be able to bring your dog for full-day daycare as well as half-day daycare at their current prices if you buy the 10 day package. Please make sure you pick up on time for half days, or the charge will convert to a full day as our scheduling through Gingr is pre-programmed and will begin tracking time when your dog is checked in. 

Payment Privacy
Gingr will allow you to securely store your payment information without giving our staff access to that information. Please remember that payment will be due at time of service, so if your dog needs to be brought home, we need payment before we start driving. We will be able to take payment over the phone or use the information stored in Gingr. 

Monthly Transport Subscription Service
With Gingr, we will offer a subscription service for monthly transport. Signing up for a transport subscription will feature automatic payment at the beginning of every month. Using this subscription, the price for the pass will stay the same and you can sign up and cancel anytime (however, the pass will still be valid for the calendar month). There is also the option to buy a monthly pass as an add-on service for $28 – this pass will be valid for 30 days and starts on the first day of use.

Overnight Stay Changes
Overnight stay pricing will not change, but there are some changes in the check out time:

  • Checkout time will be 11am on the last day of boarding.
  • Dogs picked up between 11am–3pm will be charged the half-day daycare fee of $17
  • Dogs picked up between 3pm–9pm will be charged the full-day daycare fee of $27
  • We close at 9pm sharp, so if you don't pick up before that time, you will have to come back the following morning

Daily Hour Changes
And one last change will be our daily hours. Starting immediately, we will be open 6am to 9pm daily. We are getting more and more people who are bringing their dogs for the day on Saturday and Sunday and we want to make it more convenient for them to drop off and pick up their dogs.

Since our staff arrives at 6am and leaves at 9pm, it's not that difficult to make that change. Between 9pm and 6am, we do stay with the dogs, but we won't be able to answer the door. Please don't knock on the windows when you're late – we won't be able to answer the door and you will be upsetting the dogs!

Thanks in advance for your understanding as we transition to Gingr:)

Why you probably should not use a shock collar on your dog.

There are a lot of training methods out there and a lot of opinions on how you should train a dog. It seems like dog training almost has been caught up in the culture war with people being very passionate about their beliefs. I don’t want to get caught up in that, I just want training that is scientifically sound. 

One school of thought that keeps falling in and out of favor, is the idea of dominance. There was the idea, that wolves were led by an ‘alpha’ who basically told everyone what to do. However, scientific research into wolf packs has shown that their relationships are much more complicated and basically discredited the dominance theory. 

Another school of thought was inspired by Behaviorism, the study of how we respond to stimuli and how we learn. The popular training method that came out of this is positive reinforcement training. 

The use of a shock collar falls in the first category. You punish unwanted behavior and force the dog to restrict his impulses. Sometimes a sound is used to warn a dog, like in an invisible fence collar, but the sound represents a threat: the next step is a shock. Some people say it’s effective, some people are abhorred by this. Now there is a study that sheds some more light on the use of these collars.

In the study* dogs were divided into different groups and trained with and without the use of shock collars. The researchers found no significant difference in the immediate results; dogs seemed to be following commands just as well having been trained with or without these collars. But they saw signs of stress in the dogs that had been trained with the collars.

Also, when the owners were asked if they were confident continuing the training, the owners that had been using positive reinforcement were very confident that they could continue, whereas they owners whose dogs had been trained with a shock collar were much less confident. And here lies the rub. Average dog owners will probably not be as capable using these collars, getting the timing right and they might be tempted to overcorrect if they don’t get the desired response. 

Use of these collars can have devastating effects in dogs that are having anxiety and fear issues. Dogs can shut down or become aggressive. I’ve personally seen dogs become aggressive after being trained with these collars and I strongly recommend people to stay away from them. It’s a lazy way of training, your dog is not some kind of device you can control with a remote. Having a well behaved dog means you have a strong bond with your dog, based on spending time and working with your dog. It’s based on trust, not on fear. 

 

*”The Welfare Consequences and Efficacy of Training Pet Dogs with Remote Training Collars in Comparison to Reward-Based Training”, published in peer reviewed scientific journal Plos One, conducted by researchers at the University Of Lincoln in the UK.