Our New White Squirrel II cabin


Sneak peek interior of our new White Squirrel II cabin. Bring the pups and let them enjoy their own private, huge, fenced yard. It also features a Maxx Therapeutic hot tub (under the stars!), wood burning fireplace and luxury memory foam mattresses. We don’t discriminate against any breeds, so all are welcome here. Contact us soon to book your stay.













This is such a quiet, peaceful, and relaxing place. Extra touches have been put in place by Nan to make Dogwoods Retreat a home away from home for both you and your pet! We stayed at Tree Frog and would love to come back. The beds are so comfy and the hot tub has a view of the starlit sky. We could see the sunset, sunrise, moonrise, and Orion all from the deck and windows! Everything you need is fully furnished, from towels to coffee to dog bowls and dog beds!!! It is very close to many sites and Nan’s recommendations were great! We loved Dupont State Forest! All we can say is WOW and THANK YOU!

Sarah K.


Walking WIth Our Dogs


How can we learn to walk with the dog?  Enriching our connection is the key.  Proper equipment can be helpful but is not the total answer.  I prefer to use front clip harnesses to help teach dogs to walk with out pulling, as they are less aversive than head collars and prong collars.  If I want to increase the connection with my dog on a walk, that needs to start even before we get out of the door.  It is good to teach dogs the word “wait”. That means stop until you are given permission to move forward.  If we let our excited dogs blast out the door then we are already disconnected from them.  If they have to wait, for permission, they will be looking at us in connection.  Once we are out the door we have to stop once again to close the door, and the dog connects with us again, asking to go forward.  So if we slow down the start of our walks, to get connected, we will have a better walk with our dogs.  I like to practice a few sits at the beginning or recalls if I am working on a longer leash.  Waits and u-turns are useful also.  Really “tune in the radio” before we set off on our hike.  Make it fun and rewarding to connect with you by bringing a pocket full of yummy treats to reward your dog if he comes back to you to check in of his own accord or does a nice recall.

Happy walking with your dog!

Ayla Long on the DuPont State Forest, Fawn Lake Trail

Nan Long, CPDT-KA
Now And Zen Dog Training

Enjoy Winter Time At DogWoods Retreat


Winter is a great time to visit DogWoods Retreat and you might even get lucky and catch a bit of snow.  Take advantage of our off season rates, seasonal winter activities and the very best sunrises of the year.  You can enjoy solitude on the hiking trails and waterfalls during our quiet time.  Give us a call today for availability in our dog friendly vacation cabins and make your reservation for some winter fun!






Nan Long is now a Certified Professional Dog Trainer- Knowledge Assessed


We are pleased to announce that Nan Long has passed her boards and is now a Certified Professional Dog Trainer-Knowledge Assessed.   Book a training session during your stay at DogWoods Retreat and get the help you need.

The Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT), established in 2001, is the leading independent certifying organization for the dog training profession. The CCPDT is the leader in the development of rigorous exams to demonstrate mastery of humane, science-based dog training practices. Thousands of dog training professionals worldwide maintain the CCPDT’s certifications as a mark of high professional distinction.


Fun at Fawn Lake Today!


We took a beautiful walk at DuPont State Forest Fawn Lake today and found Picasso’s paint brush had touched it.  A quiet, reflective place with only Ayla and us enjoying it. The colors are starting to peak and the results are nothing less than stunning!  Just 10 minutes from our wonderful dog friendly cabins.





DogWoods Retreat Fabulous Fall Colors!


We are so lucky to have our location in the forest and we love fall.  There’s nothing better than a crisp morning walk thru the foliage of the forest. All seasons are beautiful here so book a dog friendly stay with us today.  We welcome all breeds, temperaments and sizes of dogs.  






Our Fall Adventures Starting Soon!


Fall color on the Blue Ridge parkway is starting soon up in the highest altitudes. Here in Western North Carolina we enjoy one of the longest lasting foliage shows in the world. Come stay in one of our dog friendly vacation rentals and see for yourself, we still have a couple of openings. More pictures to follow on our DogWoods Retreat Facebook page and website over the next couple of weeks, so stay tuned for our adventures.

Happy Fall!
Nan, Will, Sharon, Willow and Ayla





Fall Is In The Air!


September is right around the corner and a wonderful time to visit DogWoods Retreat!  A quieter time at our local parks and town, you will enjoy the pace.  Our dog friendly cabin rentals are each privately fenced for safety and fun.  You can hike DuPont State Forest, Ceasars Head State Park And Table Rock State Park in South Carolina or head up on the Blue Ridge Parkway for some spectacular views!  They are all within minutes, not hours from our vacation rentals.  At night enjoy a relaxing hot tub under a star filled sky, a campfire or a fire in the fireplace.




Aversive Training Methods for Behavior Modification In Animals


I recently came across an article written by the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior.  Called the AVSAB Positiion Statement, it is based on scientific studies (not your neighbor or popular television shows)  and they present facts regarding the use of punishment for behavior modification in animals.  Yes, that E-collar or electric collar some trainers like to use is actually an electronic shock collar.  Prohibited from being used in many countries and with good reason.  The risk to your dog far outweighs any benefit you might attain. 

We allow all dogs to stay at DogWoods Retreat, regardless of breed, size or temperament.  Our dog friendly cabins with their large private fenced yards make it a joyous vacation for all!  If you have some issues with your pup you’d like some help with you can schedule an optional training session with our Now And Zen Dog Training.  We never use these old schools training methods and can get you the help you need during your stay with us.  Please call us today to discuss our positive reinforcement training options.