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Frequently Asked Questions

Do you currently have room for new pack members?

The Dogwood pack is currently full. I am always happy to add you to my wait list. If you are interested in Dogwood

Dogs, I recommend getting on the list now. It is typically a wait of 2-12 months. Preference is given to puppies

between 5-9 months of age, and to well socialized dogs over age three. Adolescence can be a challenging time to

introduce new dogs, especially males neutered on a later schedule. Availability for large breeds is limited.

Preference is also given to those in the heart of my service area: Columbia City, Lakewood, and Seward Park.

How many dogs are in the pack?

We have 15 dogs scheduled daily with one pack leader present, 25 with 2 pack leaders present.

How many employees do you have?

Currently we have two pack leaders:

The business owner, Lisa, who has been running Dogwood Dogs since 1999.

Shayla, who joined Dogwood Dogs in the Summer of 2022.

How long have you been in business?

Lisa started Dogwood Dogs in 1999 and will celebrate 25 year business in on November 1, 2024! When first founded,

the business was called Pup's Play and Lisa used local off leash areas. The business was incorporated as an S-Corp in 2006.

In 2010, Lisa purchased the Dogwood land and changed the name of the business to Dogwood Dogs.

Where is Dogwood located?

Dogwood is located in unincorporated Redmond, on the border with Sammamish, not far from Marymoor Park.

How long will my dog be away from home?

Our active time at Dogwood is always at least 1.5 hours, and typically 2-3 hours. Transit time from our last stop to the woods is approximately 22 minutes. Pick ups generally take about 1.5 hours, drop offs a little longer (depending on how much paw washing needs to happen.) So how long your dog is away from home depends on where he/she is in our pick up route. First dogs picked up (in Columbia City/Seward Park) are gone 5.5-6.5 hours; the last pick ups, in Broadmoor, are typically away for around 3-3.5 hours. We begin pick ups between 9-9:15 a.m. and all dogs are typically picked up by 11:30. Drop offs typically take place between 2:30-5 p.m. Timing can be a bit squishy, but dogs are guaranteed 1.5 hours of exercise minimum and we only have outings under 2 hours when the weather is really bad.

How are dogs transported to Dogwood?

Shayla drives a 2018 Toyota Tacoma with a canopy on the truck bed. Most of the pack rides in the bed, but several dogs always ride up in the cab with Shayla. New pack members always ride up front to begin. The canopy is well ventilated and secure.

Lisa drives a 2015 4Runner and takes the smaller group, and usually has new dogs in her pack for the first several weeks.

Can you describe the Dogwood Land?

Dogwood is a 12 acre heavily wooded forest with a year-round creek.  It is a healthy 100-110 year-old forest with lots of animal life for the dogs to investigate. The property is very hilly and our walks are more like hikes. The street entrance of the property is gated. Dogwood is surrounded on all other sides by 80 acres of undeveloped King County open space. These boundaries of the park are un-fenced. There are two major roads nearby. Dogwood is wilderness, and all the inherent risks present in wilderness land are present at Dogwood. Wildlife know to be in the area include, coyotes, bears, and cougars.


How do you keep track of all those dogs?

The Dogwood business is about relationships, mutual respect and trust. We feel love and respect for all of our pack members, and they grow to have respect for and trust in us. We are very careful about how we introduce new pack members, always allowing plenty of time for everyone to get comfortable. It's easy to keep track of the dogs because they want to be there, together and with us. Dogwood is their time to be doggy, to be with their friends and have experiences that are fun, stimulating and that keep them healthy. We have regular "check in" spots throughout the forest, where we pause to have treats and make sure everyone is with us. That said, our playtime is very active and full of exciting smells, and the forest is dense. There is a possibility that a dog may become separated from the pack. Dogs who are prone to wandering or are more excited by following scents than by social activity are not a good fit. We have 7 GPS trackers that attach to a dog’s collar and track their location very precisely on our cell phones. New pack members always wear one of the collars for at least the first few weeks. Every dog wears a collar with our business name and cell phone numbers on it. Dogs also all wear bells, so that we make plenty of noise to alert local wildlife to our presence. The bells also help us to track dogs auditorily when they are close by but out of sight (behind trees usually.) We request that all dogs also have a Seattle pet license and an ID with your contact information.


Are you insured?

Yes. We are insured by Pet Sitter Associates. There is a $500 deductible for any injuries that occur during off leash play. Please be aware that off-leash play does involve hazards. While the dogs in our pack are social and non-aggressive, accidents do happen. Since we began using the Dogwood land, incidents from dog conflict have been almost non-existent. But due to the uneven ground and the varied landscape of the woods, sprains and strained muscles are more common than they were at public off-leash areas. Injuries occur rarely, but when they do occur you are financially liable for any veterinary bills incurred.

What is your cancellation policy?

Dogwood outings are invoiced in a tuition style structure. Details Here.

Clients receive credit for cancellations given with adequate notice (described below.) Clients may hold 3 credits at a time.


24 hours notice required for the cancellation of any single regularly scheduled outing. If we do not receive 24 hours notice (by 9 a.m. on the day previous to the scheduled outing) you will not receive credit.


One-week notice required for the cancellation of more than one regularly scheduled walk during the same working week. If you do not notify us one week in advance you will receive credit for  ½ of the regularly scheduled walks. If we receive less than 24 hours notice, you will not receive credit.


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