Read this if you LOVE DOGS!

Many thanks to Denise Buzzelli, Executive Director of the

Piscataquis Chamber of Commerce,

for the excellent article she wrote about her love of dogs,

also featuring Fresh Air Dogs.



Click HERE to read it!



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Fresh Air Dogs to Hand Over the Leash

Notice to all Fresh Air Dogs and their humans:

As many of you know, we were blessed with a grandson 18 months ago. He lives in Durham, is a true joy and we love spending time with him every chance we get. We are also expecting a granddaughter later this month who will live in Casco. Our hearts are about to bust! We knew that the time would come when we would have to make the transition from Russell & Cynthia, the “Dog People,” to be able to be full-time, close by “Pap Pap” and “Nana” … best titles we’ve ever had!

We have prayed long and hard about what to do and when to do it. God has showed us that it’s now time for us to prepare to hand over the leash to someone who will remain committed to having an awesome place for dogs to learn, play and stay in a safe, clean, fun and friendly environment. Even though our client list has grown steadily from 2010 to 2017, there are more amenities that could be added to provide additional avenues for growth for a new owner; i.e., grooming, retail, etc.

Fresh Air Dogs is a well-respected brand that is recognized statewide and we value the goodwill created through our trusting relationships with our clients. We want nothing more than for Fresh Air Dogs to continue to serve our existing clients and grow for years to come. We are certainly willing to provide support and training to the new owner to ensure a seamless transition. If someone comes to mind that you think would be perfect Dog People, please encourage them to contact us for more information.

Many thanks to all of you who have contributed to our success over the past 7+ years; we couldn’t have done it without you.

Russell & Cynthia Scott
EmmaJean & Barkley
April 14, 2017

Click HERE to see some of our Memorable Moments (and property pix) posted on Facebook over the years.

Click HERE to see the online listing for our property/home/business.

Click Fresh Air Dogs 2017 for a description of the business and more details.

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Be Prepared!

Don’t let this happen to you …

You’ve made arrangements for a friend or family member to take care of your pup while you go out of town for a few days … at the last minute they tell you they can’t.

You’ve never left your dog before and something comes up that all of a sudden you have to go out of state, or have surgery, or …, or …, any number of things.

What to do? You can call Fresh Air Dogs (207.564.2604) and, if your pup has visited here at least once before, chances are we can take your pup (our existing clients always come first). But … if your pup hasn’t visited, we require a Daycare day before we schedule a sleepover.

Why, you ask? Because we are not a kennel … your pup sleeps in our home with us, our two dogs and our client’s dogs. We just want to make sure it’s going to be a good fit … for all of us.

So, if you want to be prepared … just in case, complete the “Meet & Greet” form and schedule an initial Daycare day … you’ll be glad you did!

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We know, we’re a little crazy …

We know, we’re a little crazy. Most dog people are … a little crazy, that is.

When we created Fresh Air Dogs, we wanted a to create a place where we would WANT to leave our dogs when we needed a place for them to stay, a place that they would also WANT to go. We wanted to create a place that replicated their home and routine as much as possible … AND, included lots of fun and playtime with furry friends. We believe we’ve done it! And … with the 700+ dogs who have visited us in just under the 6 years we’ve been open (we’ve only had 11 days with no dogs here!) … we’d say you think we’ve done it, too!

We’ve learned a LOT in the past six years … about … being self-employed, running a business from our home, living IN the business, hiring staff, knowing which dogs are a good fit and which ones would be better suited in another environment, what things we can be flexible about and what things we can not, and the list goes on and on.

As you can imagine, we have also sacrificed a LOT as well … our own personal space, down time (we’re “on” 24/7/365), and wear and tear on our home to name a few.

It has provided many rewards, too, of course! We’ve met so many great people in our local area as well as people from away … we’ve been able to have lots of puppies these past six years (who doesn’t LOVE puppies?) that we’ve watched grow up into great family members … we’ve helped many families get over some rough spots with challenging dog behaviors and seen their dogs become much calmer and friendlier canine citizens … we’ve been able to meet hundreds of dogs and shared our home with them (some for a night or two and some for several weeks) … we’ve also been able to help out in the hard times … being here for a dog being rehabilitated from surgery, or providing the special care that a dog requires at the end of their life … having those hard conversations about ‘when’ is the right time to let go and say good-bye to a beloved dog … and being here to talk with and provide comfort after a pup has crossed the ‘Rainbow Bridge.’ Fresh Air Dogs has been much more than ‘your dog’s favorite place to learn, play and stay’ … for us, it’s also a been a labor or love, a ministry …

One of the things that we’ve had to tighten up on a bit over the years is our hours … for us, the dogs and for our human clients. Since we are a service business versus a 9-5 store-type business, we’ve had to make it very clear ‘what happens when’ … and, in so doing, things run like clockwork! Since our business is also our home, it is that much more important that we set clear expectations. It’s how we keep our sanity … even though we know, we’re a little crazy …

Friendly Reminder: Living in our business requires that we plan our meal times, dog meals, staff hours, dog nap time, appointments, hot tubs, bed times, etc., therefore, off hours ‘drop ins’ (before 7am, between 9am-4pm, and after 6pm) just don’t work. We’re willing to make special accommodations, when necessary, with advance notice. Feel free to make a request, we’ll do our best to serve you. Thanks for your understanding, folks … much appreciated!

Russell & Cynthia Scott


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Hate puttin’ your pup in doggie jail?

We got a call this morning from a well-meaning person from Boston offering to help us with online marketing for Fresh Air Dogs. He said we would get a lot more Facebook ‘likes’ and ‘shares’ if we posted something that invited people to share their boarding kennel horror stories. Then, he said, we could respond with how what we offer is different, and of course much better, than that.

That may be a very effective way for to create a stir, but not something we want to be part of. There is enough crap on the internet without encouraging people to spew more hate and discontent. I politely thanked him for the offer and explained that we are full up most of the time and don’t pay for advertising and consultants to drive our business. From day one, we have wanted our business to grow organically with satisfied customers telling their family and friends about us in person and on Facebook.

Thanks to all of you, we are finishing our 6th year in business with hundreds of local dogs and puppies and their owners skilled in positive reinforcement Clicker training, nearly 700 daycare and overnight guests from all over Maine and beyond, 1400 Facebook ‘likes’ … hundreds of videos and thousands of photos of dogs playing, sleeping and having an awesome time during their stay.

For those of you who don’t know … Fresh Air Dogs is NOT a kennel, we offer training, daycare and in-home lodging. Yes, in-home … in OUR home. We actually live in the dog house! Dogs are not confined to crates or kennels, some sleep in our bedroom and a few make it into our king-sized bed! We have a large fenced-in back yard for pups to play with gates which can be closed when we want to separate the dogs or left open as we see fit. We also have gates inside our home which are open most of the time and can also be closed at feeding time or when we have dogs here that prefer their own sacred space.

There is a human being or two here with the dogs 99.9% of the time (sometimes we need food!), 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We never close for vacation or holidays. We hire excellent staff to be here with the pups during the day and so that we can get away for our own R&R from time to time. If you are ever in need of a place for your dog to stay while you are away, for a day or an extended stay, we invite you to check us out. Browse our website and complete our “Meet & Greet Request Form.” We’d love an opportunity to show you and your pup(s) around and answer any questions that you have.

If you have already used our services, we invite you to ‘like’ and ‘share’ this post with other dog-lovers/owners. It is our hope and belief that as we do our utmost to provide a healthy, safe and positive environment for all our furry friends, that you will, in turn, promote our business so that Fresh Air Dogs will be available for years and years to come.

We welcome your testimonials any time and appreciate each and every one of our human and canine connections. If there is anything you could suggest that would help us to improve our services, we encourage that feedback as well.

We’re here to serve,
Russell & Cynthia Scott

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Free Posters to Download (Thanks, Dr Yin!)

There are so many great free resources available online … if you’re a visual person, here are just a few of the posters available on Dr. Sophia Yin’s website, click the links below to download.

Body Language of Fear in Dogs
Recognizing the body language of fear and anxiety in dogs – this poster clearly illustrates both the overt and more subtle signs of fear and anxiety in dogs

How to Greet (and How Not to Greet) a Dog
One of the most common dog-bite scenarios occurs when people greet and interact with dogs incorrectly. Fortunately, learning how to properly greet a dog is as simple as being aware of the types of human greetings that bother you; the same types of greetings bother dogs. Learn how to greet dogs appropriately and which interactions to avoid.

How Kids Should – and Should Not – Interact with Dogs
These two posters together show kids and parents the types of interactions they should AVOID with dogs as well as the types of play and interactions that are appropriate.

These are just a few of the posters on Dr. Yin’s site … many more posters can be found HERE … check ’em out!

More Posters:

Learn to Earn
Operant Conditioning
Dr Yin’s Top 10 Dog Training Tips
Puppy Socialization Checklist
Bite Levels in Dogs
Dog Park Etiquette
7 Things All Dogs Need

Fresh Air Dogs – Your dog’s favorite place to learn, play and stay!

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2014-01 News

Click 2014-01 News for the PDF version.

Fresh Air Dogs – Your dog’s favorite place to learn, play and stay!

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Guess who’s training who this week?

Russell is in Maryland this week attending Peaceable Paws, an intensive, internationally-acclaimed Intern Academy on dog behavior and training, getting a thorough understanding of the basics of how dogs think and learn. He is training Tiki, a pug from the Humane Society of Washington County. Peaceable Paws owner, Pat Miller, CPDT-KA, CDBC, is the Director of the Peaceable Paws Academies, and an internationally acclaimed trainer and seminar speaker, training editor for the Whole Dog Journal, and award-winning author of several books on dog training and behavior. She launched Peaceable Paws in Monterey, California in 1996 and has been at the Maryland 80-acre campus since 2004.


Training Tip – “Selling” Your Cues*

When you are communicating with your dog what you want him to do, be a salesperson.

Put just enough excitement into your voice so the dog is interested in what you are teaching. This is especially important if you are working with a dog that has perhaps been trained harshly in the past or is a little shy.

Keep in mind that some dogs may lose focus if your tone is too excited, so be observant and adjust your approach accordingly.

A good salesperson sizes up the client, then closes the deal.

Good day, good dog!
Russell Scott

*CUE: A signal, such as a word or action, used to prompt another event; a reminder, prompting, hint or suggestion.

Fresh Air Dogs – Your dog’s favorite place to learn, play and stay!

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Training Tip – Catch ’em being GOOD!

Willow and Emma sitting politely in front of the gate between the kitchen and the living room.

Parenting, whether human children or furry four-legged pups, all boils down to keeping an eye and ear tuned in all the time and praising lots more than correcting them.

I remember when Russell and I took a parenting class back in the 80’s and the instructor asked the group if our focus was on catching kids being good, and making a big deal about that, or — are we more apt to stay away from them (so as not to interrupt them) and only rush in when something bad happens.

How many times per day do you catch your dog(s) doing something good and give them a treat for that?

I have a daycare dog here today, Miss Willow, and she likes to try to rush through any doorway before me — so — I’ve been treating her for sitting politely BY the door, whether it opens or not. It only took me doing this a couple times for her to understand that SITTING by the door is much better for her than CHARGING the door.

Bottom line:  this kind of PAWSITIVE attention is really fun, for us and the dogs, and much more rewarding than negative attention. Kids and dogs alike will get attention from us any way they can; by giving them most of our attention when they are doing behaviors that we like, they are less likely to act out.

Please let us know if you found this information helpful, whether with your kids or your dogs.  If there are other things you would like to learn more about, please send us a note and we’ll be happy to address it here! If there is something you need help with right NOW, give us a call at 207.564.2604.

Happy training!

Fresh Air Dogs – Your dog’s favorite place to learn, play and stay!

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2010 – What an awesome year !!!

It’s been quite a year at Fresh Air Dogs!

We wish to thank all our doggie guests for helping to make our first year an awesome year!

We’ve had a lot of fun and enjoyed meeting all of you very much.

To those of you who told others about us, thank YOU, too!

Check out our 2010 – YEAR ONE STATS

– 360 days with doggie guests (only 5 days with no dogs!)
– 117 dogs that came to play (2009-12/17/2010) — names listed below
– 6,000 hours of group play/pack behavior supervision
– 7 states dogs came from – FL, GA, MA, ME, NH, NJ, PA
– 34 Maine towns dogs came from: Abbot, Bangor, Beaver Cove, Blanchard Township, Bradford, Brownville Junction, Corea, Corinna, Corinth, Dexter, Dover-Foxcroft, Eustis, Falmouth, Greenville, Greenville Junction, Guilford, Hampden, Jay, Kennebunkport, Lagrange, Levant, Milo, Monson, Parkman, Readfield, Ripley, Rockwood, Sangerville, Sebago, Sebec, St Albans, Stetson, Union, Wiscasset

We have completed installation of our fences and gates; plans for 2011 include converting an area of our heated garage into a Dog Wash Station where you make an appointment to wash your dog. We’ve had numerous requests for grooming and have made arrangements for a Groomer to be here periodically as well.

I’ve been posting pictures, videos and all kinds of assorted doggie stuff on our Facebook page, and our YouTube Channel.  Please “like” us on Facebook and check out our YouTube Channel, if you haven’t already. You may just find a picture or a video of your dog on those sites.

Fresh Air Dogs has a 2011 Calendar which features many of the dogs who visited us this past year; they are available for $20, if you would like one, let me know. We also have Fresh Air Dogs tee shirts for $10 and Fresh Air Dogs bandanas for $5. Let’s all spread the word about Fresh Air Dogs in the coming year!

I have kept a running list of the testimonials we have received to give prospective clients a glimpse of our client’s and their dog’s experiences. I have posted many of them on Facebook and our website.  If you have something that you’d like to share about Fresh Air Dogs that you wouldn’t mind me posting or using in advertisements and press releases, please jot me a note, send an e-mail, Facebook message or give me a call.  You can also post them on Facebook or in the ‘comment’ section on this site; feel free!  It’s “word of mouth” (yours) that has really helped to grow this business as quickly as it did this past year and I appreciate it very much.

Mark your calendar! Our next 5-week Basic Dog Obedience Class starts Monday, March 7th at 6pm (the location will be posted on our website and Facebook soon).

Thank YOU all for helping us kick off a very successful year!

We have loved every minute of getting to know all the people and dogs who have visited us.

We hope to see our 2010 guests back in 2011 and many newbies, too!

We wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Russell & Cynthia Scott

Yappy Howlidays!
Franklin & Hannahbelle, Barkley & Emma

Many thanks to all our 2009/2010 Guests:

Emma (aka Moxie)
Jenny A
Jenny K
Lady H
Lady Q
Maggie B
Maggie M
Mary Jane
Max D (l)
Max D(s)
Molly B
Molly W
Ruger A*
Ruger M
Tucker B
Tucker J
Tucker S

*These pups crossed the Rainbow Bridge this past year … we’ll see y’all on the other side.

Fresh Air Dogs – Your dog’s favorite place to learn, play and stay!

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To give or not to give, that is the question.

Don’t be tempted to give (or accept) a “free” dog (or any pet for that matter) as a gift. Even animals that are “given” away are far from free. There is 24/7/365 care for 10+ years, food, supplies, training, regular vet bills and more if the pet becomes sick or is injured. Deciding to add a four-legged friend to one’s family is a big decision that should not be made lightly. So many times after the “cuteness” of that sweet little puppy wears off around Valentine’s Day, Animal Shelters start filling up with the pups that are still peeing on the floor, barking, jumping, chewing, the kids aren’t feeding/watering them anymore, etc.  All these things, and more,  should be considered well in advance and discussed thoroughly before adding a pet to the family.  We’ve gotten lots of dog-related calls over the years from people looking for a dog, trying to get rid of dog, wanting advice about their dog, etc.  Here’s two of those calls:

I had a family call here earlier this year that had just gotten a “free” dog they found listed in Uncle Henry’s.  While on the call, I could hear the dog barking very loudly the whole time while someone else was screaming, DOWN! DOWN!”  in the background.  They didn’t have transportation to get the dog to the Dog Obedience Classes we were getting ready to start and also had some physical limitations that made it impossible to get the large dog outside and exercised as much as it needed.  They asked me what I thought and I told them that I thought they had chosen a dog that would be better suited with another family that had lots of room for the large dog to get out and about to play and run around.  I advised them to call the previous owner to see if they would take the dog back and, if they were to get a dog, to get a very small, older, trained dog that would be happy to be inside most of the time and enjoy being a lap dog.  They should also FIRST decide how much money they had available to set aside a budget for food, vet bills, etc.

My niece called me last year to see about getting her mother, my sister, a puppy for Christmas.  I advised her NOT to get a living thing, but a book instead.  My sister loves books, but most important, I thought my sister should read up on the hundreds of dog breeds available to determine, for herself, what breed would be best suited to her family and lifestyle and all that goes into the care and raising of a puppy into an awesome family pet.  I don’t know if she got that book for Christmas or not, but I do know that she ended up adopting a stray kitty, Punkin, that she found on one of her hikes.  Even though this little kitty was free, she had several health issues that needed to be attended to right away that were not free.

We so wish, for the humans and the pets, that people would put the same amount of thought and consideration into getting a pet as they would about having or adopting a baby, it would make it so much better for everyone involved. Do your research! There are thousands of websites out there to provide you with all kinds of things you should consider when giving/getting a pet. Click HERE for just one of them.

Fresh Air Dogs – Your dog’s favorite place to learn, play and stay!