Disneyland for Dogs: Inside L.A.'s Power Kennels Where Hollywood Stars Board Pets

8:00 AM 7/12/2019

by Madeleine Collins

With private suites and "pawdicures," waterfalls and vitamins baths, the town's premier boarders up the ante on peace of mind for industry owners on location or holiday. Says Katy Perry: "I want what's best for my child."

Canyon View Ranch in Topanga Canyon is modeled after Disneyland only for pups.
Canyon View Ranch in Topanga Canyon is modeled after Disneyland only for pups.
Courtesy of Randy Neece

Whether traveling on location or going on vacation, it's never easy leaving a pet behind. Consistency counts, says Jeanne Butler, a dogsitter who caters to entertainment industry owners: "Because location shoots mean weeks or months away from your dog, a familiar face or surroundings for them is imperative so they can adjust easily." Owners can take comfort that their dogs are in good hands if the kennel or boarder insists on meet-and-greet evaluations and tours beforehand, and asks about medications and special diets prior to booking. Overnight stays usually require rabies, DHLP and bordetella (aka kennel cough) vaccinations, and a puppy should be at least 4 months old with two sets of vaccinations to board. Training for dogs with issues is available at a number of these Hollywood go-to facilities:

  • Canyon View Ranch

    Topanga Canyon

    Courtesy of Randy Neece

    Former TV director Randy Neece conceived of the Ranch with trainer partner Joe Timko while at Disneyland in 1998. This 5-acre pet theme park is comprised of "Munchkinland" for small pups and "Wonderland" for active hounds. Dogs can cool off in the bone-shaped pool, waterfalls and ponds after navigating 60 feet of caves, tubes and tunnels. Eight hours of outdoor activity makes up for bedtime crating. Programs include weight loss regimens and training for aggressive dogs. Fans include Drew Barrymore, Vin Diesel, Roy P. Disney and Katy Perry, who tells THR: "As with most people, my dog is my child and I only want the best for my child." Adds Disney: "If I died and went to heaven as a dog, it would be Canyon View Ranch. The only hard part is convincing your dog to go back to your home." 1558 Will Geer Road. $70 per night; discounts start at 10 percent after 21 nights, and for multiple family dogs; canyonviewranch.com

  • Chateau Marmutt

    West Hollywood

    A climate-controlled 5,000-square-foot indoor facility where dogs get 12 hours of exercise a day, including time on the treadmill, the Chateau is celebrating its 20th anniversary this July. "A tired dog is a good dog," says owner Michelle Rivera, who has big dogs and small dogs sleep together in separate rooms. Pets are required to experience in-house daycare before boarding. Mariah Carey checked in her pack of Jack Russells when in L.A. last year; Justin Bieber is a regular; and Dakota Johnson, Channing Tatum and Halle Berry are all clients. 8162 Beverly Blvd. From $60 per night (food not included); no long-term discounts; chateaumarmutt.com


    These dog cookies look so good... I even debated trying one #dogcookies #yummy

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  • D Pet Hotels


    At D Pet Hotels in Encino, private pooch suites start at $75 a night.
    At D Pet Hotels in Encino, private pooch suites start at $75 a night.
    Courtesy of Jonny Blackstone

    D-for-Distinguished Pet Hotels caters to the pampered, with lavish upsells of pick-ups in a Rolls-Royce, "pawdicures" and vitamin baths. Following the success of the flagship Hollywood location, the 13,000-square-foot Encino branch opened in 2016 and counts Holly Peete as a fan. Pooches hunker down in one of three private suites, each outfitted with memory foam mattresses and flat-screen TVs. Should a dog require the "birthday package," a ride in a mini-Bentley to the Winston suite, a personal butler, sirloin steak or salmon filet, and a king-sized bed with Ralph Lauren sheets are provided ($400 per night). 17553 Ventura Blvd. From $65 per night; discounts vary for long-term stays; los-angeles.dpethotels.com

  • Jeanne Butler

    Santa Monica/Venice

    Butler has been pet-sitting top industry dogs for 15 years, and stays overnight in clients' homes for short-term and long-term stays, making home security an added bonus. (Butler also has a bustling dog walking business by day.) Says executive producer Rob Long (CBS' Kevin Can Wait): "I knew Jeanne was good when Illy, my Labrador, positioned herself by the window [with] a pandemonium of excitement the minute she sensed Jeanne's approach." From $100 per night; no long-term discounts; 310-866-6847 or bfsftw@gmail.com

  • LA Dogworks


    This well-ventilated indoor facility features a 2,500-square-foot park with "K9Grass," the only antimicrobial turf made for dogs. Pups up to 30 pounds can snooze on mini bunk beds with Animal Planet on loop, while two-story kennels house larger dogs, but require a bed rental if one isn't provided by the owner. Clients include Jake Gyllenhaal and Kirsten Dunst. 1014 N. Highland Ave. From $75 (food not included) per night; discounts vary for long-term stays; ladogworks.com

  • Sit & Stay Pet Resort & Spa

    Woodland Hills

    Though it provides posh aromatherapy, 24/7 spa music, and maid and linen service, this boarder is the top recommendation of dog whisperer Cesar Millan, who says Rick Garcia and his wife, Caleigh, are "the health keepers of my pack. They are the best in town." Next door to the renowned Paws and Claws Veterinary Hospital, also owned by the Garcias, the outpost provides three suite options, plus a cage-free lounge with fireplace and couch for dogs up to 30 pounds. 23210 Ventura Blvd. From $45 per night; discounts for visits over seven days and additional family pets; sspetresort.com

  • Tamar Geller

    Santa Monica Mountains

    Oprah Winfrey employs Geller as her personal dog trainer, while Ellen DeGeneres says she's "truly a dog's best friend," so it's no surprise that this former Israeli Army intelligence officer who has studied wolves in the wild also works with the pets of Reese Witherspoon, Ben Affleck, Brian Grazer, Charlize Theron, Natalie Portman, Jim Gianopulos and J.J. Abrams. "Tamar's training is unique and incredibly effective," says LeAnn Rimes. "She knows how to speak a dog's language and teaches you, the owner, how to speak their language, too,and connect on a deeper level. She's a godsend!"

    Geller personally boards and trains a select number of dogs at a time at her sprawling home, be it for a few days or a few months. "It's a training vacation," she says, adding that she welcomes working with dogs that have anxiety or bad habits. $350 per night; no long-term discounts; theloveddog.com; 310-476-7720

  • Topanga Pet Resort


    Tucked away in the Santa Monica Mountains, this secluded, 6.5-acre retreat is ideal for social and active dogs, with six-plus hours of outdoor time in the surrounding hills, trails and streams. The staff-to-dog ratio is 1-to-10, and the 6- foot-square indoor kennels come with A/C and sounds of nature pumped in. "There's a misting system in the yards," adds the resort's Gini Holtzman. The meet-and-greet includes introducing each dog to three others with different personalities to monitor interaction. Aggressive dogs needn't apply. NDAs are the order of the day, but Scandal actor Matthew Del Negro is a customer and Millan has filmed there. 1776 Old Topanga Canyon Road. From $54 per night; 10 percent discount after 14 days; topangapetresort.com

  • Camp Canine

    Santa Barbara

    Owner Mary Holand, who began her two-city-lot compound near the beach 34 years ago, counts Jeff Bridges, Julia Louis Dreyfus and Orlando Bloom as customers. "The old way of boarding was to keep dogs away from each other. We knew dogs are happier together," says Holand, who works with animal trainer ex-husband John to socialize boarders. "You can read a dog by its tail, eyes, energy and posture," adds Holand, who welcomes senior canines as well as troubled hounds. The pool and waterfalls are monitored by a full-time attendant for safety. 803 E. Montecito St. From $75 per night; long-term discounts vary; campcaninesb.com

    This story first appeared in the July 10 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.