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Shirley Rands

About me About me

Shirley Rands
Northants

Towcester
NN12 7AW
Tel: 01280 700110
@BarkingMadShirl

Barking Mad Northants
52.044232, -1.146707

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Dog Sitting / Sitters Northants

Thank you for visiting the new Barking Mad website, our dog sitting Northampton and Kettering service is unequalled just about anywhere. We know you adore your dog and want the very best for them whenever you are away at work or on holiday. We're pleased to say the times of putting your pet into a kennel and having them fed, watered and walked at set times to suit the proprietor are becoming a thing of the past. Our modern service is offered by host families and people who will look after your pet exactly the way you want within their own home.

Dogs are pack animals and you and your family undoubtedly are a part of that pack. When they don't have their pack around them this can be a stressful time for your dog. By making sure that they still have all of their personal items such as their blanket, bowl and toys around this can really help reduce the sort of anxiety they would otherwise experience. We work with you to pick the right dog sitters for your pet and ensure that while you are away enjoying your holiday that your dog is having the time of their lives too. We put together a bespoke service which puts your dog with the best carers who will really take care of your dog while you are away.

Our hosts have been hand selected by our team of experts to make sure they meet the demands of our customers. Keeping to a normal routine is important and can make sure that your dog is fed and walked at their usual time. We occasionally get poorly dogs that need medication to be given as a part of treatment, this is no problem we are happy to take care of this too & make sure they get back to full health as soon as possible.

We're Northampton and Kettering's favourite modern alternative to dog kennels with a wide variety of host families just waiting to look after you much loved family pet, our success record shows it. If you're still in any doubt then please just take a look at the reviews we have received from other customers. It's true that those who used our service before keep coming back again and again. The Barking Mad family not only covers the local area surrounding you but we also have branches all through the United Kingdom who offer dog sitting as a wonderful alternative to dog boarding kennels. For those times you require cover while you work, or take a family holiday, we can be there for you.

Certainly you will want to know how they're getting on while you are away and with our regular updates to Facebook etc you can rest assured that they are receiving the very best treatment possible. We can send you photos and detailed progress reports of how they're getting on and of course if there was ever any need to notify you in an emergency we will do this without hesitation, but do please feel comfortable knowing that our expert family of dog sitters can take care of any circumstances whatever they may be.

We think most dog owners will agree that they don't want their dogs to be left isolated when they go away. We felt our services are more positive and that's why in the year 2000 we started Barking Mad. Many people think of their dog as a part of their family, some people even think of their dog as their offspring. We totally understand this and wanted to setup a service that can provide the chance for owners to place their much loved pet into the hands of people that care and who will look after them in a proper home. People that love their dog want the very best for them and that's where we come in.

We invite you to see all of our dog loving families and carefully consider your host family before you decide to pick. Our entire process is very simple and it all begins with a telephone call or a form submission, so what are you waiting for?

Hello and welcome to
Barking Mad Dog Sitting Service

Local Professional Service

Individual Care

Peace of Mind

Alternative to Kennels

Organised Over 80,000 Doggie Holidays Since 2000

Over 70 Local Branches

Our award winning professional pet sitting service gives customers complete peace of mind. We receive fantastic customer feedback which is undoubtedly the result of our belief in developing a personal relationship with our customers – we are not an online agency - so you can be confident that once your holiday is booked, we’ll personally take care of everything.

How our dog sitting service works

It’s really important to get to know you and your dog, especially in the beginning. We’ll come to you for an initial registration meeting which takes an hour, to find out about feeding and exercising routines, likes and dislikes and any other individual needs, so that we can match your dog/s with exactly the right family. No two dogs are ever the same so please don’t worry, we love dogs of all shapes, sizes and ages, pedigree, Heinz 57 or rescue. They can sleep in the bedroom, pull on the lead, or even hide your favourite socks so long as they’re friendly we’d love to meet them.

Selecting the right home from home family is very important and your input into this process is invaluable. We understand you will want to know exactly where your dog is going, so during our time together you will see all of our dog-loving families, what experience they have and what their homes and gardens are like. All of our host families are carefully inspected by us each time we deliver or collect a dog, they are guaranteed to meet our extremely high pet sitting standards. Furthermore our hosts are at home during the day to ensure care is always provided especially where puppies, dogs on regular medication and senior citizens are concerned. If your dog is extremely sociable and you’d like him to have some company during his stay, then we can arrange a holiday with a family who have a resident dog of their own.

We provide a complete service including door to door chauffer driven transportation, a real bonus for busy customers preparing and returning from time away. The main benefit however is for your dog. Being collected from home is far less stressful and overcomes any anxiety which could be caused when left behind by you.

Our Prices

One off initial registration meeting £38
Daily boarding rate £24
Daily boarding rate for additional dogs £20 (3rd dog £17)
Collection and delivery £40
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Bailey – All ready for his holiday complete with paddling pool!


At the registration meeting you’ll receive one of our exclusive ‘Holiday Doggie Bags’ which you can pack with food, bowls, toys, treats and anything else to help your dog settle in more easily.

We even offer an unlimited luggage allowance at no extra charge!

Complete peace of mind

Host families are given a Pet Schedule detailing all of the information we gathered at the initial registration meeting and we’re on hand 24 hours a day 7 days a week to support them.

We’ll send a photograph of your dog to you as soon as he’s been safely delivered to the host. The very next day we give you a ‘rest easy’ update, so you can then sit back, relax and enjoy the rest of your time away in the knowledge we’ve got everything covered.

On the day of return you’ll receive a fun postcard from the host and we’ll stamp your loyalty card so you can gain points which will entitle you to a free night away.

The best bit for us is seeing dogs happily settled-in and comfortable with their host. We will, wherever possible, be sure to use the same family each time you book a holiday. There are no minimum or maximum time limits we’re here whenever you need us.

Earn a FREE day with every completed Loyalty Card
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Ask for your loyalty card. When your card is full you receive a FREE stay on us! (1 full card = 28 paw stamps).

Do you...

Love dogs but can’t commit to your own full time?  blue-tick.png

Would you like to be part of a dog loving business?  blue-tick.png

Would having a dog make you feel less lonely?  blue-tick.png

Would having a dog help you to get fit?  blue-tick.png

Welcome to Barking Mad

If you love dogs but can’t commit to the full time financial and emotional responsibility of having a dog of your own, or if you have a very sociable dog who would benefit from visiting guests coming to stay, then you’ve come to the right place!

Our very own host families are extremely special people indeed. They have been selected carefully and interviewed in depth at home to ensure they meet our criteria. We get to know them really well and have worked with many of them for a great number of years.

Who are our hosts
It goes without saying, all of our hosts, without exception, are absolutely dotty about dogs. Some are actively retired people who’ve had dogs all of their lives but now enjoy the freedom and flexibility of caring for dogs on holiday. Others are younger, often with a family at home, where the addition of a visiting dog is great fun for all.

How it works
We’ve done all the hard work so you don’t have to. We think it’s important that our hosts concentrate on looking after visiting dogs and that they are not exposed to, or distracted by a constant flow of potential customers and dogs coming and going. Our hosts are also protected from the awkwardness of dealing with money, insurance and paperwork, so that the enjoyment of looking after visiting dogs remains their focus.

Support 24 Hours a Day – 7 Days a Week
Looking after someone else’s dog is great fun, however from time to time you may need a little local, on the ground support and it’s great to know we’re on hand 24/7 to provide just that.

If you’re interested in joining our fun, dog loving host community to become a pet sitter we’d love to hear from you.

CLICK HERE to make an enquiry

Our fantastic host families are the heart of our business and we simply couldn’t do what we do without them. If you know someone who’d like to join us, please let them know.

Our Hosts

A small selection of our lovely host families:

Host Portfolio Lesley crop.jpgHost Portfolio Anne crop.jpgHost Portfolio Alan crop.jpg

Host Comments

Celia - 23rd Mar, 2017
"Lulu has just been to me on her fourth visit. We've both had a lovely time and it seems strange today without her. She is well known and well loved by my friends and neighbours now as well as the local dogs. We all look forward to seeing her again soon."

Jackie - 6th Jan, 2017
"We had the pleasure of looking after Pip for 2 weeks over Christmas this year! We all loved having him for his 2nd visit with us. We enjoyed the walks (even in the cold and sometimes wet) and my children loved his company too!

I would love to have a dog of my own sometime soon, but looking after dogs with Barking Mad gives me the opportunity to see how a dog would fit into our lives, what challenges it might bring and what delights too! I can test out different breeds and ages too in case I go down the rescue dog route!

Definitely a win win option."

Brenda - 6th Jan, 2017
"We recently had Molly come to stay we all fell in love with her. My dog Wiggles loved her too
She was so good and had us laughing when she showed attention to the Tv.
We enjoyed her company and will look forward to her coming to see us again.
Beautiful Girl."

Carol - 3rd Nov, 2016
"We thought the service we got from Emily at Barking Mad was very professional - the information we received on Inca prior to our having her was very precise and made our experience all the better. It was good to know she was at the end of the phone especially as this was our first time. Inca was a pleasure to have and as advised needed lots of love and attention which we certainly gave her. We look forward to the next time to host again. Many thanks."

Brenda - 26th Oct, 2016
"We recently had Scout come to stay with us what a lovely time we had scout and my dog wiggles became great friends it was really nice. Its nice that the dogs get to visit carers whilst the owners go on holday as it gives peace of mind for all concerned and the dogs are happy too We look forward to scout coming again"

Brenda - 26th Oct, 2016
"Scout came to stay a beautiful little dog we had a great time look forward to seeing her again.
Barking Mad is a lovely idea it is very important that the dogs are happy and we love it"

Celia - 4th Oct, 2016
"Lulu has just gone home after seventeen nights with me. This is the longest stay I've had but it wasn't too long. She is a delightful, easy dog to look after who quickly makes herself at home.
This is the third time she's been to me and I look forward to her next visit."

Brenda - 4th Oct, 2016
"I think Barking Mad is such a lovely idea as the dogs can visit families a bit of a holiday whilst their owners have a holiday too.

We recently enjoyed a visit from a beautiful dog Fozzie he settled into our home quite happily and we enjoyed him too.
Animals need to feel secure with no worries and fitting into a family environment makes for a happy doggie I think Barking Mad is a very good idea
I will look forward to the next vistor on four legs."

Jackie - 12th Sep, 2016
"I have recently looked after Pip for just over a week and really enjoyed it. I am looking to have a dog myself but want to be 100% sure I am doing the right thing before I take the plunge.

I love that with barking mad you get lots of help and support while looking after someone else's precious dog. If you have a problem or the dog becomes unwell you also know that help is at hand. I found the experience rewarding and it was lovely having Pip stay with us. The problem is we missed him when he was gone...

I would like to continue looking after dogs with barking mad.

Jackie"

Celia - 19th Jul, 2016
"Hugo has just had two weeks holiday with me. As a lively two-year-old Springer he was more of a challenge than I've had before but I loved it, and him. We walked many miles and I managed to loose some weight. An added bonus for me!
I think Hugo enjoyed having my undivided attention and he certainly made the most of it. I always think about how I would like my own dog to feel - happy, secure, content, and loved."

Linda - 29th Jun, 2016
"Hello I love having the dogs it gets me out and about too..I am fairly new to the neighbourhood. And I have met people that I would not have met if I was not hosting. All the dogs I have had since I've been hosting have been very good I love them all. I wish I could have some of the small dogs back I had last year!. Posted by Linda"

LindaS - 29th Jun, 2016
"I love being a host we find it encourages us to go out more and explore dog friendly places so we get loads of fresh air and exercise. We have the peace of mind that Barking Mad are on the end of a phone if we need them for any reason and its a great way of having a dog without the costs involved. Also if your lifestyle means you cannot have a dog then this is a great alternative. I would definitely recommend it as all the dogs we have had have been easy to care for and friendly, the hardest part is saying goodbye but because you know they will probably have another holiday before too long you don't get upset you just look forward to their next stay."

Anne and David - 28th Jun, 2016
"Hosting a dog gives us a lot of pleasure and is very rewarding. We have only been hosting dogs for 3 months but we're really enjoying it. It gives you the satisfaction of knowing that each dog has had a lot of love and a good home from home holiday. We treat every dog as if it was ours, taking note of the pet profile guidelines. It is a great help knowing that you have the back-up of Barking Mad should anything untoward happen, which gives us peace of mind. John has been excellent matching us with the dogs we've hosted so far."

Brian and Carole - 8th Apr, 2016
"We have been hosting for 18 months now and have come to know the regular dogs we have. The owners have requested many times that they like them to go back to the same host. We find it rewarding that they make these requests.
Nicola is always very careful to match the host and dog and this shows in the requests she gets.
Keep up the good work. A perfect match makes a happy owner, dog and host.
Barking mad prides itself on this and Nicola and her team work very hard to make this happen.
We have just got another first time little doggy today and we hope that he will want to come back again.
A big thankyou to all the team."

Celia - 6th Apr, 2016
"Archie has just gone home after his second visit. He's the most affectionate little dog I've met. Really loving, kind, and gentle. He can be a bit naughty sometimes but we suit one another well and both thoroughly enjoyed our week."

Gwen - 31st Mar, 2016
"We have just had a second visit from a lovely dog that we first met over last Xmas. Having become very fond of her the first time, it was lovely to see her again. She settled more quickly this visit, and was very relaxed. We really enjoyed our time with her, and look forward to her next visit."

Gwen - 24th Mar, 2016
"We have just had a beautiful golden labrador to share our lives with for the past nine days. He was delightful, really good around other dogs and children, and a joy to be with. I'm looking forward to having him to stay again."

Pam - 18th Mar, 2016
"We have just said goodbye to our latest doggy client and thoroughly enjoyed having him here.
He settled in straight away, was friendly and playful. We never imagined choosing this breed ourselves but he's now a very firm favourite and today the house seems empty without him. Hope to look after him again sometime."

Gwen - 14th Mar, 2016
"I enjoy doing the best I can to make sure that my doggy guest feels relaxed, cared for and loved whilst they're away from home. This is what I would want for my own dog, when I have to go away on holiday, so I find it very rewarding to provide this for other people and their dogs."

Jenny - 8th Feb, 2016
"For me, the best part of being a Barking Mad host is getting to know all the different doggie personalities and making friendships with them, particularly when my new houseguest could be feeling a little bit homesick."

Margaret & Stan - 26th Jan, 2016
"We have thoroughly enjoyed hosting a lot of Barking Mad dogs over the last seven years. We have always had terrific support from Brad and team and prior to that from Chris and Alex. In all that time we have only needed help once during a visit, for minor veterinary attention, and that was dealt with very quickly and efficiently. I think this is because the dogs are well matched to their hosts (and the hosts own dogs!) in the first place. We also use Barking Mad for our own dogs holidays."

Adam - 22nd Jan, 2016
"When we moved to Dundee we both missed not having a dog in our lives. Being a host for Barking Mad gave us the opportunity to have that again, even though giving them back at the end is always hard.
It allowed us to see how well having a dog would fit into our lives in a full time situation, and directly influenced our decision to get our own. Now we look forward to hosting other dogs for Angus to play with.
As hosts, the support you receive from Brad is amazing and the detail he goes into to facilitate yours and the dogs well being is incredible.
I would thoroughly recommend anyone who wants to have a visitor now and again, someone who misses the company of the dog but has commitments and everybody who wants a dog but is not sure if it will work to become a host with Barking Mad, you won't regret it!"

Lorna - 22nd Jan, 2016
"I have been a host for several years, I started with Barking Mad as I wanted to have a dog but visiting family in the south made it impractical, so when I am home I have a dog, I have had a great variety of dogs from a little Jack Russell to a huge mountain dog. Barking mad is great because they match dogs with their hosts in all the years of hosting I have never had a dog that I would not have again. Hosting dogs means I go out everyday, I talk to many people and share doggie stories."

Ed and Barbara - 22nd Jan, 2016
"Having a four-legged lodger for a few days is always a pleasure. Still getting over the loss of our own dog but nothing cheers you up more than another wagging tail around the house. Great support from Brad and his team. If only he could do something about this awful Scottish weather."

Kate & Graham - 20th Jan, 2016
"We live in Shirley and have local parks, woods and fields nearby. Whatever the weather we love taking the dogs out and about. They have joined us for barbecues, street parties and made visits to a local elderly care home. Our grandchildren have learned to overcome their fear of dogs by meeting our 'guests'.Having a dog keeps us fit and healthy too. Our garden is large and well fenced so the dogs can enjoy chasing squirrels!

We would love to have a dog of our own but with working full-time until recently and travelling it never seemed the right time. Having dogs for Barking Mad has 'filled the need'. We have had so many dogs to stay (and everyone a pleasure) and one in particular has come twice a year since 2008.

Tina organises things so well - she 'matches' the right dog to the right host - so everyone is happy ( most of all the dog!)"

Susan - 20th Jan, 2016
"I love being a host for dogs with Barking Mad, and enjoy meeting the different visiting dogs, and getting to know each ones individual personality."

Sandra & Terry - 19th Jan, 2016
"We love being hosts to barking mad, Terry is around most of the day, and I work 4 days a week, so we can have doggies almost all the time other than we are on our hols !!, we already have our fav’s Bruno, Bentley, Darcy , Biscuit, Ben the boxer & Gunner, and Tina will try her up most so we can have them on repeat hols, it means a lot to us as we love looking after all the little & big ones, and they all have there own little characters, we have photos of all the dogs we have had since July last year, and look forward to seeing them all again this year, and miss them when they go home, It’s a pleasure to look after doggies on there hols, & and its filled a gap since loosing a couple of our own pets last year,"

Jenny, John and Jean - 15th Jan, 2016
"Being an animal lover - I love working with Barking Mad and being a host for them. I especially like having their beautiful doggies to stay. The doggies all have their own very different characters and we have some good times filled with really good fun and laughs with the doggies that stay with us.

We all really enjoy having the pets and get out and about and sometimes on the odd occasion we take them out to other parks and places close to home. Its just like having your own pet!

I do like the events and walks that Tina at Barking Mad arranges. Its a chance to get out with other hosts and meet them and hear their tales as a host.





I recall a fete we went to lovely sunny day with lots of dogs and we all had such a great time, I recall feeling quite sorry when the fete ended."

Tracey - 15th Jan, 2016
"We have been hosting since last summer and really enjoy the experience and getting to know the personalities of the dogs, even the cheeky ones !

I particularly like walking in the fields and woods nearby with my host dogs as company, and its great exercise too.

Thanks"

Rosina - 15th Jan, 2016
"I first looked after dogs in 2005 & have kept photos of all my visitors. After a break, came back to it a couple of years ago. I have had Millie two years running & cannot wait to greet her again in July, it feels like a special friend spending her holiday with me :)"

Gwen - 8th Jan, 2016
"Sheba, a beautiful Belgian Shepherd dog, was my first experience with 'Barking Mad'. She was adorable, very gentle, and well behaved. She seemed to fall in love with my partner - maybe she saw him as her temporary pack leader - and we both really enjoyed her company over the Christmas period. Having lost my own much loved collie of over 15 years, in October, I had felt lost without a dog to love and care for - so being a 'Barking Mad' host was ideal for me. We're so looking forward to our next doggie guest, and also hope to see Sheba again at some time in the future."

Celia - 8th Jan, 2016
"My last visitor, Pip, was an absolute sweetie. A breed I've not had experience of before and a real delight. She came to me for just a few days before going on to her regular family.
She loved her bed - well actually my bed - and when she was ready to go up at night she would stand at the bottom of the stairs, with one paw on the bottom step, and stare at me until I gave in."

Elaine - 9th Nov, 2015
"We really love our holiday dogs, we like to spoil them, love them, lots of cuddles and make sure they are really happy with us, it's lovely to get the same dog(s) over and over again, they just make themselves at home, and all our dogs know where the 'treat' cupboard is.. We get such a lot of love from them and look forward to them returning."

Sarah and Stan - 9th Nov, 2015
"We adore having new Barking Mad dogs come to stay and love it even more when they return for second and third visits. Its such a pleasure to spend time with these much loved dogs and take them for walks on the beach and around the countryside. We know that when our 'crazy' Collie goes to stay with a Barking Mad host, she will be safe, happy, and much loved."

Liz - 4th Nov, 2015
"We have really enjoyed hosting our last two dogs, Nelson and Finn. As a family we enjoy meeting the new dogs and letting them be a part of our family, albeit only for a while. It is good to know if we have any issues we can just call Emily. We hope to keep hosting even when we get our own dog, (something my husband would never have agreed to until he realized how complete a dog makes a home)."

Debra - 4th Nov, 2015
"We have had a full calendar for October starting with a surprise arrival as another host was sadly taken poorly. Ruby arrived within 40 minutes of the phone call but soon settled in and became a family favorite. Then came Azi, she takes over our lives but ooh how we love her. Lastly we had Jess, an old lurcher who turned into a puppy again when it was walkies time. Each very different but all very lovable."

Diana - 15th Oct, 2015
"I have always had dogs since I was born,having lived on a farm. I cannot remember ever being without dogs. Now I am on my own it is great to have more than one dog.
I am a dog lover, plus Kali my lab just love to go on walks and have company at home.
So we are both very happy bunnies"

Nicky - 13th Oct, 2015
"I started pet sitting nine years ago for Barking Mad.

It is very enjoyable and I love the country and Beach Walks. I have to make an effort to get out with the dogs here.

I have many regulars that come year after year. Each dog has its separate character. With the pairs I love watching the integration between the two dogs.

I work for Ian Carney who pays a lot of attention to detail, doesn't mind going over things with me if I am not sure and always makes sure the dog is familiar with my bungalow before he leaves. He always promptly answers the phone and I feel that I am not alone with the responsibility of someone else's dog.

My life would be empty without Barking Mad.

Nicky, Dorset Host. Posted by Nicky"

Clive - 23rd Sep, 2015
"Having just said goodbye to our 2nd holiday dog whom we've enjoyed entertaining and looking after. We look forward to our next dog!"

Carole - 21st Sep, 2015
"Nicola and her team always go the extra mile to ensure they are acting in the dogs best interest. If there is any doubt about a dogs health she will always act accordingly so that the owners can rest assured that there dog will get the best possible attention and the owner can relax and enjoy their holiday. We have always welcomed all our lovely dogs for holidays and they enjoy their stay.
Keep up the good work and keep sending these lovely dogs for their holidays that they can enjoy.
A first class team who cares unreservably for the dogs in their care. Posted by Carole"

Debra - 17th Sep, 2015
"We have just enjoyed a lovely long weekend with Roxy the staffy. She is so well behaved we hardly knew she was there but now she has gone our home is a quieter sadder place. This is why we love Barking Mad as each dog gives us a smile!"

Sarah and Stan - 9th Sep, 2015
"We love taking our four legged holiday friends for walks through the fields and to the beach, Its a privilege to get to know the new dogs and become friends and really special when they come back to us for a repeat holiday full of cuddles and fun."

Angela - 21st Aug, 2015
"I have just become a host for Barking Mad and recently cared for my first dog, a lovely old Labrador. He fitted in so well with my own two dogs and I thoroughly enjoyed giving him a special holiday for a few days and am really looking forward to helping out again. It is something very dear to my heart and feel I am being of use to others in providing a safe and welcoming home from home for someone's beloved pet. Plus my own pets also enjoy the company."

Elaine - 21st Aug, 2015
"We love looking after our holiday dogs, they are all really lovely, friendly and usually make themselves at home straight away. We especially like to have the same dog back time after time and they always look really pleased to see us again."

Brian and Carole - 19th Aug, 2015
"Monty is always a pleasure to have in our home.. Just gone back to his home after another great holiday.
Nicola and her team are as always very efficient and friendly. Thank you to all of you.
Brian and Carole Posted by Brian and Carole"

Diana - 19th Aug, 2015
"I love having dogs I was brought up with my father's GunDogs we always had 2 or 3 at a time. A friend saw you advertising for people to look after them while a way on holiday or just for a week- end. So I did just that. I loved having Maisie also Kali loved it as well."

Cynthia - 10th Aug, 2015
"My Barking Mad dogs, many of whom come back again and again, light up my life. They are all different, with different hopes and needs, and getting to know them and earn their trust and affection is pure joy. They go everywhere with me, visiting friends, shopping, and of course on lots of nice healthy walks, good for me as well as them. Total strangers have become friends, stopping me in the street with "What's this one's name, then?" - or even, on between days, with a disappointed "No dog today?"
God bless BM, my area manager Ian, my owners, and first and foremost, all my dogs."

Celia - 4th Aug, 2015
"Rolo has just gone home after his weekend trial. He passed with flying colours. 10/10 I would say and I'm looking forward to his return towards the end of the week.

Well done Emily - you worked out straight away what sort of dogs are best suited to my situation. Quicker than I did."

Pam & Ray - 21st Jul, 2015
"After a year of being without a dog it was great to have not one but two dogs in the house. To see two little faces greeting us from their crate when we returned home was lovely. They settled in well and Emily made sure we were happy with them. Our grandchildren who live opposite were constantly here playing with them, which they adored. If only we had heard about Barking Mad when we were dog owners and didn't want to use kennels!!!!!!!!"

Filomena - 9th Jul, 2015
"Having Pebbles for a few days was delightful and Finley enjoyed the company. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of dealing with a dog other than my own and understanding her needs.
She seemed extremely happy and made herself at home immediately. All doggie friends on park enjoyed meeting her and she was in her element.
Great fun all round."

Mary - 8th Jul, 2015
"I've often asked myself why on earth anyone would want to be a host for Barking Mad. Belly rubs, staffie, Henry's smelly farts, being first out in pristine snow, pickle's snoring (how the walls vibrate), watching Starsky grow from a gangling four month pup into a well behaved teenager. I can go on and on but my favourite is sleeping on the settee on a hot afternoon having a 'nana nap' with a happy, contented pooch sleeping on my stomach dreaming of rabbits.

In 2014 I looked after 24 different dogs, most of whom returned numerous times. So far this year I've had 18 from little to large to very large (ah yes - Dudley). If I put my foot down and ask for time out to have a holiday myself then I get those puppy dog eyes from Ian (the boss) suggesting that I would love to take a dog with me. I generally succumb and thoroughly enjoy our time together.

Would I recommend being a Barking Mad host to anyone else? Having a boss like Ian who is very keen and hands on makes being a host easier. Should anything crop up he will be straight round to deal with it. I love hosting and would urge those people who are thinking about it to have a go. Where else can you wake up to a pair of soulful eyes, a lolling tongue and a wet nose in your immediate field of vision - that's enough about the old man!

Hi you folks at head office. I have spoken to Ian and he says that if you use this can you put it on both his Bath and Dorset sites please. Many thanks. Mary xx"

Celia - 30th Jun, 2015
"Having lost my beloved 15-year-old Westie last July I decided to sign up as a Host with Barking Mad towards the end of the year.
To be honest the first dog that came to me didn't really suit me and I wasn't sure I would do it again. But Emily persuaded me to have another try and I've had several dogs since which have all been delightful. My favourite, Lulu, has just gone home after her third visit.
I know she loves coming to me and I love having her."

Shannon - 27th May, 2015
"I love looking after all the different types of dogs that come for there holiday with me. I love caring for them as if they where my own. It gets me out and about meeting new people and their dogs too. All the dogs I've had come everywhere with me and even though each dog had a different personality they where all great to have. I look forward to caring for more dogs as well as caring for the same dogs that i have had."

Brian and Carole - 27th May, 2015
"Just coming to the end of another period of hosting a Barking Mad dog on holiday. We really appreciate what Nicola and her team do to connect the right dog to the right family. After having dogs all our lives the time came for us not to be selfish and home another dog in later life. Barking Mad filled that gap and we adore giving a home from home holiday to these special dogs. It's just what we wanted for our dogs rather than kennels.

We feel privileged to be a host for Barking Mad and look forward to giving the next dog with a good home, a good holiday.

Nicola and her team are very professional and give the owners and host families a very professional approach which makes a good holiday for the dogs and a lot of fun and satisfaction for the hosts.

Keep up the good work and can't wait for the next dog to come on holiday. Thank you to you all. Brian and Carole"

Brian and Carole - 29th Apr, 2015
"Beau just gone back home after having another fun holiday with us. She so appreciates the TLC we give her and look forward to having her again.."

Sue - 17th Mar, 2015
"I have loved having the pugs, a breed I've been thinking about getting. Was so nice to have a dog in the house again. All very well behaved and was nice to know Emily was always on call should the need arise. Looking forwards to my next house guest. Sue"

Celia - 10th Mar, 2015
"Lulu, a delightful little Coton de Tulear, was collected from me yesterday after a nine-day stay. We both thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and I was sorry to see her go. - Can't wait for her to come back again."

Elaine & Tony - 26th Feb, 2015
"Love looking after our holiday dogs. It's a brilliant, well run company, with people who really do care about the dogs, I would highly recommend to would be hosts or dog owners who can rest assured their babies will be well looked after."

Liz - 25th Feb, 2015
"Really enjoyed having Hamish. Appreciated the support, from Emily, with the walking issue and the fact I could call if any issues.

Next dog please.

Liz"

Hayley - 25th Feb, 2015
"Me and my family love being a part of the Barking mad team! It makes me feel happy knowing the dog isnt in kennels and instead having a fun time in the our home. Its also great for my own two dogs, it gives them the chance to make new friends and socialise with other dogs all shapes and sizes!"

VLG - 8th Jan, 2015
"I recently hosted my first little visitors from Barking Mad. I was slightly nervous having 3 at once, but I need not have been concerned, Emily was very good with lots of info about what I needed to do.
They very quickly settled in and I really enjoyed having their companionship. I loved taking them out each day and watching them play with their toys."

Shirley - 1st Dec, 2014
"It's now twelve years since I first asked Barking Mad to look after our lovely Boxer Amber.Later,we became hosts and since Amber died,Barking Mad has helped to fulfill our enjoyment of canine companionship with dogs of many different breeds and temperament.
It is lovely when we have repeat visitors,to know that their owners are just as pleased with the Barking Mad service and care of their cherished dogs as I was with Amber."

Carole and Brian - 19th Nov, 2014
"Had a wonderful three weeks with Molly she really enjoyed her holiday. Thanks Nicola you were very supportive and explained every thing needed for Molly to enjoy her stay.
Looking forward to our next visitor.

Posted by: Carole and Brian Lee on 18th Nov, 2014"

Geoff and Ruth - 29th Oct, 2014
"We love the opportunity of hosting dogs as we no longer have of our own. This is a great way of having a dog around the house without the commitment of owning a dog."

Liz - 30th Sep, 2014
"My family and I love being hosts as it gives us the chance to meet lots of different dogs and get to know them.

The house feels empty once the dog has gone but we really enjoy giving the dogs a holiday and the owners piece of mind that this member of their family is being cared for safely and for a few days is a part of our family.

It is always good to know that Emily is on the end of the phone for support and the clear guidelines from the owners let us know what the dog enjoys and what their routines are."

Bruan and Carole - 22nd Sep, 2014
"We have just had our first dog on holiday and jess was a pleasure to have. We have always had dogs but lost our last one a year ago. It was a hard decision not to have another, but our age is against commiting to owning another. We saw a local advert for hosts and Nicola from barking mad made the whole process so easy.
Its the best decision we could have made and cant wait for our next doggy to come for a holiday. They make the house a home again. We love it. Thanks Nicola."

Monica - 28th Aug, 2014
"I lost my dog after 15 yrs together , so Barking Mad is ideal for me, I so enjoy having my doggy visitors, every one of them have their own characteristics, which is so nice to discover, whether they like playing ball, or tug of war with one of their toys, and I enjoy our walks as much as they do as well. Posted by Monica Bennett"

Ruth - 12th Aug, 2014
"How does one sum up being a Barking Mad host? Fun, good loving company, enjoyable healthy exercise and sociable walks when holiday dogs are here. When they are not, then time alone to relax, visit friends, have days out, holidays etc, but soon something is missing. You can't beat doggy company! So I look forward to my next 4 legged holiday guest.

When they arrive I read their notes (what to feed, when to walk, favourite games) all the information I need to make them feel at home. Together we enjoy their holiday and I help them write a holiday post card at the end of their stay!

Life couldn't be better, especially when they come again and their body language, eyes and tail all say 'great to be back, let's have more fun.' Penny the Patterdale, Ellie the Collie, Riley and Alfie thank you for coming into my life. I'm sure you are the first of many more holiday makers who I'll enjoy welcoming into this holiday home for dogs.

When my 16 year old Bonnie went to doggie heaven recently I couldn't decide whether or not to get another dog. There were advantages on both sides, so I got in touch with Barking Mad and with help from Nicola I became a holiday home for dogs. It's great fun, varied, flexible and rewarding; The benefits of having a dog whenever you want, without being tied all the time.
Thank you Barking Mad for enhancing my life.

Posted by: Ruth Middlebrough on 9th Aug, 2014"

Mandy - 11th Jul, 2014
"I have always owned animals but current circumstances don't allow me to commit full time to the care of a pet. I missed so much not having one around, saw the advert for Barking Mad and Barking Mad took me on. It is the perfect solution! I have had the privilege of looking after some wonderful dogs, enjoying walks and cuddles with my little friends. Now I always have a doggie to look forward to, some of them stay with me regularly, which is especially fun. Any drawbacks? - having to return my little friends at the end of their holiday!

Becoming a Barking Mad Host is one of the best decisions I have ever made!!"

Mavis - 30th Jun, 2014
"I have been hosting for Barking Mad for almost six years now, and have so much enjoyed the company of some beautiful dogs of many breeds. I didn't want to get another dog of my own, so this was a perfect solution to have the opportunity of having a lovely dog for company, walks and fun, and yet be free to go away whenever I chose. As time goes by, certain dogs return for repeated holidays, which proves that a happy dog means a happy owner who entrusts their much loved pet to you. Barking Mad is a well structured company, and it is always good to know that 24hr support is on hand if ever needed."

Bernie & Susie - 24th Jun, 2014
"Although new to Barking Mad its been one of the best things we have done living on a small farm we have space and plenty of local walks to offer our wonderful friends who have stayed with us. each one is missed and we long for their return.
We have set up a gallery of our new friends and find great pleasure looking at the moments they have shared with us."

Niccola - 4th Jun, 2014
"I can honestly say that being a host for barking mad has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. It has helped me physically, emotionally and financially. After losing my own dearly loved Jack Russell I decided I couldn't have another dog to go through the pain of losing it again. Then along came Barking Mad, it must be nearly 7 years ago now and I've never looked back. All the dogs are such a pleasure and a joy to care for. You love them like they are your own and yes, you miss them when they go home but you know there will be another little one on its way to fill the space very soon . The best thing is that they do all come back regularly so your home really does become a home from home, it is wonderful when they come in and you know they are as happy to see you again as you are to see them. It really is the best thing, everything is in place to ensure you have 24hr help and support if necessary. You can specify what type or size of dog you prefer and also specify when you are available. Basically if you're happy the dog is happy and vice versa."

Karen - 27th May, 2014
"This has been my first week as a host of Barking Mad and I/we are loving
it! My first dog guest was Maisie a bearded collie cross. She stayed with us
for the weekend and was such a pleasure to look after. We had lots of fun at
the beaches and parks. We then had lovely little Malcolm a jack Russell cross.
He was very excitable but settled very quickly. He loved playing in the back garden and on
our walks where he came across rabbits, horses and even hens. We are looking
forward to getting gorgeous Bertie very soon. The house seems strange when we
don't have a doggy guest now.

Thanks again, Brad.
Karen, Brian, Nico and Dylan."

Barbara & Peter - 23rd May, 2014
"Our "visitors" have become part of our family over the years. They are as different as our children, and, just like our kids, we love them to bits. Nicola has proved to be a good friend as well as a wonderful "boss". Of course, we do spoil our dogs but they are on their holiday!"

Bev & Ellie - 15th May, 2014
"We love the flexibilty of having different dogs to look after, and we have a few regulars now, especially over half term and school holidays, they bring such fun into the house, with their own individual personalities, we shower them with love and affection (as would their owners) and get very attached - but we know they have to go home, till the next time..."

Cid - 15th May, 2014
"There are so many reasons to love having dogs come to stay with us..... we love having a variety of sizes and breeds and personalities, there's always something to delight us! My boys love having dogs around to play with, and they don't get bored with walking them or feeding them because there's always something different. We get such fantastic characters come and stay with us, they get us out and about, they fill the house with wonderful dogginess. If there's a downside, it's the sadness when they go back home..... until our next doggy friend comes to stay, that is!"

maxine - 22nd Apr, 2014
"I enquired about being a host following my friends' dog being on a 'Barking Mad' holiday. As soon as I met Tina I decided that I would like to become a host, because I was impressed by her friendly professionalism and her genuine love of meeting the needs of dogs and their owners. I have been very well matched with some delightful canine companions! I look forward to the regulars and to meeting new dogs. I have not had any problems as such, but appreciate the speed of response and action from Tina, Colin and Carol-Ann when I have needed information or help with something. I might also add that that Tina, Colin and Carol-Ann are as lovely as the dogs they bring!"

Mick and Shirley - 22nd Apr, 2014
"When we retired, we considered getting a dog of our own. We'd had lots of dogs whilst the children were young but it had been a few years since our last one had died. However, we planned to travel so thought perhaps it wasn't a sensible idea. Then one day, Shirley overheard a conversation about Barking Mad.....and the rest is history! Tina was brilliant - her passion and love for the animals was obvious and we warmed to her straight away. Very soon after, Charlotte, a chocolate Labrador, came to stay with us for 2 weeks. Charlotte adopted us and gave us all her love, attention and affection. The walks, the fresh air, the laughter we had with her were excellent. We said "goodbye" and looked forward to our next dog. Since 2011, when we became hosts, we've had lots of different dogs and return visits from a number of them. It's great getting to know their personalities and learning about them. Tina is always available to consult if there are any difficulties. If anyone is considering becoming a host, we would strongly recommend it. We've never regretted it for one moment! We've just returned from 9 weeks travelling and are desperate to meet our next four legged house guest!"

Karen and Paul - 17th Apr, 2014
"A house isn't a home without a dog in it. Our labrador, Hero loves to have a friend for a couple weeks - they have lots of fun running and playing together, then Hero gets a rest before the next doggy visitor arrives. There's something very special about a wagging tail, and a doggy greeting! We're very pleased we found Barking Mad and treat all our visitors as we would expect Hero to be treated - with love and respect."

Helen - 17th Apr, 2014
"My family used Barking Mad initially for our own dog Sally. She was an old labrador and I never wanted her to be put in kennels when we went on holiday. Tina at Barking Mad came out and totally put our minds at ease. We were shown various hosts, their gardens and all Sally's needs were taken care of. This made us feel so relaxed going on holiday knowing Sally was in the best hands, literally home from home care. She was, most of the time, homed with the same family which was even more reassuring! Sally did take poorly when we were on holiday once and we were up-dated daily by Tina and Barking Mad took extremely good care of her, I will never forget them for that. When Sally passed away a few years ago we knew we didn't want to get another dog and decided on being a host family. It really is the best of both worlds. My 12 year old son particularly loves dogs coming to stay and the love we get from them. We've had all sorts of different dogs and characters. However, as we are busy during school holidays etc, we can select when we would like to take dogs. We have the freedom now and it's so much fun. The great thing is we know we have the back up and support from Tina which is fantastic. If things sometimes don't work out Tina is there to help and even take a dog should we be unable to look after it (which is a very rare occurrence as Tina is excellent at selecting the right dog for the right host). We take lots of photographs for the owners which Tina emails to them, should they wish, on holiday. We also write a little postcard for the families so they know what their pet has been up to while they have been away. It really is a fantastic company and I couldn't recommend them highly enough. If you are wanting company from a dog but without the full time commitment then look no further than Barking Mad. Go on, give it a try.......!"

Sue and Paul - 17th Apr, 2014
"We became hosts for Barking Mad, thinking it would be good to have a dog occasionally and the exercise would be good for us, being retired we need to keep going!!
Tina impressed us immediately..she really works hard at matching the dogs to the people. We love dogs that are good fun on their walks, but behave in the house (who doesn't?) and we have had a range of young and old, big and small and lots and lots of Labradors. If there has been a problem e.g. The dog needs the vet to check something, Tina, Colin or Carol Ann arrive and take the animal to the vet. We had one dog who obviously wasn't happy, and frankly was making us unhappy, perhaps pining for its owner, and Tina took it and looked after it herself. So we never have to worry that we are stuck with an animal that we don't get on with.
Tina has become a good friend, and her team of Colin and Carol Ann are so professional and caring with the animals it is a pleasure to 'do business' with them.

If you are thinking of being a host, do try it...you have a lot of fun, I enjoy the caring for some of the older ones as well as running round with the young ones, without the responsibility of having your own animal. Posted by Sue and Paul Allcroft"

Audrey - 16th Apr, 2014
"Due to health issues I am unable to have a dog of my own. Being a host for barking mad means I can have the company and pleasure of a dog, for a period of time with out the resposibility and cost of owning a dog myself.It is nice to know that as a host I can enable owners to have a break safe in the knowledge that their dog is being cared for by someone whose aim it is to give the dog a holiday in a friendly loving enviorment."

erika - 16th Apr, 2014
"I have been a host for nearly 9 years with my husband and now I am on my own. It is an absolute absolute pleasure to have my little dogs come to stay! I have regular ones and find it a privilege to be trusted with someones pet. They are my friends and it gives me something to focus on meet other dog lovers as well.

Posted by: Erika Cockerill on 15th Apr, 2014"

Dorothy - 16th Apr, 2014
"My husband and I thoroughly enjoy being hosts for dogs. Faye is great and runs a valuable service. Every dog we have has it's own wee personality and we grow to love them more and more every day. They are like little rays of sunshine in our home. We are so happy we decided to be hosts. We love it."

Ian - 16th Apr, 2014
"It is a real pleasure for us to look after so many varied dogs and hopefully give them a great time in a caring way close to their home life.Have done this now for over 3 years with nothing but positive experiences and would fully recommend being a host."

Jaclyn - 15th Apr, 2014
"We are the lucky ones that get to look after your lovely dogs my family and i enjoy it because we get to meet so many different characters and they are all individual and whilst they are with us they are treated as part of our family. We love dogs but because of work commitments we can only host during the school holidays so we are always looking forward to our new guest arriving and we hope to be part of Barking Mad for a very long time."

Our HostsOur hosts

Shirley Rands

Shirley Rands

Hello, my name is Shirley Rands. I live in Brackley in South Northamptonshire and I run the Barking Mad service covering Northamptonshire.

As a dog lover and owner myself, Barking Mad can offer the most rewarding holiday for your dog as an alternative to kennels. My Westie, Deefer, was on medication for life and after owning him from a puppy he was very much one of the family. I wanted the best for him and when I went away needed to have someone trustworthy to look after him, give him the personal care that he needed, and his cuddles and walks as he was used to, whilst ensuring he received his medication. Barking Mad arranged for him to be cared for by another dog lover, kept his same routines and we both had a stress free holiday. It was great! Unfortunately I lost Deefer in 2012 at the age of 12, but now own a Black Labrador puppy, Diesel. He has very different needs but still receives the same care, love and attention he craves, whilst maintaining his all-important routines.

My background is in retail Banking and I have worked for 2 of the big banks over a 20 year period, my last 5 years in management. I love meeting people, and have pride and passion in my work. With Barking Mad I can still deliver all of these qualities, whilst offering a great unique service to dog owners for their beloved family member while they are away.

Places Covered

We're delighted to provide our service in the following towns and surrounding areas:

  • Brackley
  • Farthinghoe
  • Croughton
  • Helmdon
  • Silverstone
  • Towcester
  • Paulerspury
  • Potterspury
  • Daventry
  • Woodford Halse
  • Byfield
  • Badby
  • Preston Capes
  • Aston Le Walls
  • Upper Boddington
  • Braunston
  • Crick
  • Long Buckby
  • Guilsborough
  • Walgrave
  • Wilby
  • Chapel Brampton
  • Church Brampton
  • Welford
  • Brixworth
  • Spratton
  • Bugbrooke
  • Kislingbury
  • Pattishall
  • Weedon
  • Flore
  • Roade
  • Hartwell
  • Blisworth
  • Greens Norton
  • Hardingstone
  • Moulton
  • Northampton
  • Duston
  • Weston Favell
  • Hunsbury
  • Kingsthorpe
  • Billing
  • Wellingborough
  • Hackleton
  • Earls Barton
  • Irchester
  • Rushden
  • Raunds
  • Irthlingborough
  • Higham Ferrers
  • Denton
  • Bozeat
  • Cogenhoe
  • Wollaston
  • Finedon

Finedon & surrounding villages.

 

Customer Comments

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A very happy Poppy has just arrived home from her Barking Mad holiday! Thank you to Shirley and her fantastic team for providing a wonderful and thorough service.

Posted by: Karen on

Thank you so much Barking mad and host Rhona for looking after our pampered dachshund Rosie. Because it was her first stay with you we were very worried about leaving her , but she was well looked after and came back to us a very happy girl. You have put ours minds at rest and we wont hesitate to use your service again.

Posted by: Liz and Doug Cole on

Having recently moved to the area I was due to go on holiday. Ollie my Jack Russell has never been to a kennel before and would normally stay with his gran and grandad. Barking Mad was a perfect solution for us both and managed to find a wonderful host for Ollie.
The service was first class and Shirley attention to detail was excellent. I went on holiday knowing that Ollie was in safe hands and in a welcome environment in a happy home. I would definitely recommend Barking Mad and would use this service again.

Posted by: Michael Reilly on

A very professional service. This was a trial weekend with Barking Mad and it has put our minds at rest. All was as promised.
There was no stress for us and no stress for our 5 month old puppy, Elsie.
We have confidence that she will be well looked after during our next holiday.
Thanks to all and especially Maggie for the lovely photos and postcard Elsie came back with.

Posted by: Elaine and Phil Doughty on

Thorough, professional & caring Barking Mad is a fantastic alternative to kennels (which didn't suit my Labrador). Being with a host family & keeping to usual routines & of course lots of fuss are all important for a happy waggy tailed person.
I would recommend it to anyone.

Posted by: J Sparrow on

Used Barking Mad last weekend for the first time and very happy with the service given.Our dog Frodo had a lovely time with his hosts John and Sue and came back very happy.Will definitely use Barking Mad again.

Posted by: Sue hyde on

After being told that our 1 year old miniature labradoodle was not suitable to be 'kennelled' we turned to Barking Mad for help. We were not disappointed. Shirley and Pamela looked after him wonderfully and he came home full of beans after having been looked after superbly. He was a bit mischievous by the sound of it but hopefully as he grows and matures he will settle down however we were delighted to hear that Pamela had enjoyed looking after him. So thank you - from all of us.

Posted by: Rosemary Ward on

I have just used the services of barking mad for the he first time over the August bank holiday. My lovely 9 yr old border terrier Tilli is quite a sensitive soul and has never been boarded out with anyone she doesn't know before. She went off very happy. I had a picture and a text later that day which put my mind at rest and she came back as happy as could be. I was very impressed with the professional service, the quality of information. It was a very positive experience for both Tilli and us. Thank you Shirley.

Posted by: Kay Lee on

Hello Shirley, I just wanted to say thank you for taking such good care of Tilly and Sydney whilst we were on holiday. Anne was a lovely host and we really appreciated the home from home care. The photos are lovely of their stay and the card from Anne saying how well behaved they were for her. The collection and delivery service was wonderful as was the professional manner we and the dogs were treated with.
We hope to use your service again in the future.

Posted by: Sarah Moore on

Our Cocker Spaniel Aero has just returned from his first holiday with Barking Mad. We were very apprehensive as he had recently been recently diagnosed with diabetes and various eye conditions requiring twice daily injections and medication. Shirley immediately put our minds at rest as Aero’s host Audrey had previously owned a pet requiring insulin injections. The service provided by Shirley is professional, caring and reassuring. Within a couple of hours after collecting Aero, we received a message saying that he was settled and exploring Audrey’s garden. As ‘concerned parents’ we also received a couple of messages during the week confirming that he was fine! We cannot thank Audrey enough as Aero has returned home looking healthy and extremely well cared for. The photos and postcard brought tears to our eyes - we too feel very fortunate to own our lovely Aero. Thank you so much Shirley and Audrey; we will certainly be using Barking Mad in the future.

Posted by: Gill & Martin White on

Bronte, my miniature dachshund, has just returned home from her first stay with Barking Mad. I was very anxious when the time came for her to be collected, but Shirley was so very kind and reassuring. She quickly sent me an email confirming that Bronte had settled in well with her lovely hosts Jane and Bob. They looked after her so well and she came home very happy and content. Super idea to send a postcard and photos. I have another booking arranged for next month and this time I will have no worries. The service provided by Barking Mad is excellent and very professional. Thank you Shirley and your team. I will definitely be singing your praises to others. Kind regards. Jackie

Posted by: Jackie Bishop on

I had not used Barking Mad before and was anxious that Yogi was looked after in a home from home environment. Shirley was very reassuring and efficient from the outset. Yogi was extremely well cared for and returned home happy and content and it was great to hear from the host family by way of postcard and photos. It was great to have peace of mind while away and Shirley took care of all the arrangements , taking time to ensure a great match family for Yogi. I will definitely use Barking Mad again and have already been recommending the service to others.

Posted by: sarah seiger on

Thank you so much for the excellent service and care for our two pugs. This was the first time we had used 'Barking Mad' as an alternative to kennels. It was so reassuring to know they were in a home from home. They were very well looked after. Both dogs require daily eye medication which was no trouble for their host. They were returned home right on time and it was lovely to receive photos and a postcard from their host family. All in all, an excellent service and one we will be using again. Thank you.

Posted by: Liz White on

Alfie, had his first experience with his Barking Mad family and came back happy and contented. So much so i have already booked my next weekend away.

Posted by: Chris Potter on

Hugo had his first holiday with Barking Mad all went really smoothly and we received lovely photos of him with Shirley who was Hugos host.Hugo is spending a week soon in the care of Barking Mad and we are reassured by his previous experience he will be well looked after.

Posted by: Karen Pearson on

Bracken and Sorrel are two young dogs(19 months old) and this was the first time they had been away from us for an extended period. We were concerned but we need not have worried. They came home happy, contented and fit.
Everything worked well from the pick up to the return. In between we were kept informed on how our precious dogs were settling down. It all meant that we enjoyed our own holiday even more.
We are now planning other holidays for ourselves in the sound knowledge that the dogs will be well looked after by Barking Mad.

Posted by: Keith Jones on

Thank you so much for providing this service. We went away for a lovely weekend and was really pleased to see that Oscar had one too. We feel thoroughly confident in using Barking Mad in the future.

Posted by: jane hargrave on

Barkley had his first stay with Barking Mad and had a lovely time. He stayed with Bradley and Kim who we hope will have him back when we go away again, it's sounds like he had a whale of a time and even made new doggy friends. The service is fantastic from start to finish and we wouldn't hesitate to recommend you to family or friends. A big thank you to Bradley and Kim for looking after Barkley so well he came home happy and relaxed a big change from when he came back from kennels in the summer. We will definitely use you again.

Posted by: Marie and Jeff Burnett on

Dear Shirley
Thank you for looking after Penny for the weekend. It was so good to have peace of mind whilst we were enjoying ourselves to know that Penny was being well cared for. Your attention to detail was so reassuring and definitely paid off. The couple you placed Penny with seemed so right for her, the notes they wrote to me and the photos they sent of Penny during her stay with them were lovely. I will definitely be using your services again when we have the need to and I have been singing your praises to all our friends and family.
Thank you and regards

Jan Rands (no relation that we know of)

Posted by: Jan Rands on

Dear Shirley
Thank you for looking after Penny for the weekend. It was so good to have peace of mind whilst we were enjoying ourselves to know that Penny was being well cared for. Your attention to detail was so reassuring and definitely paid off. The couple you placed Penny with seemed so right for her, the notes they wrote to me and the photos they sent of Penny during her stay with them were lovely. I will definitely be using your services again when we have the need to and I have been singing your praises to all our friends and family.
Thank you and regards

Jan Rands (no relation that we know of)

Posted by: Jan Rands on

What can I say....this was the third time my beautiful black lab was looked after, and he was extremely poorly and had major surgery, just a few days before we were due to go on holiday, which in itself was very upsetting. Our host family, and the Barking Mad family were nothing short of amazing, the care of him was absolutely first class, they all went above & beyond the call of duty, and I cannot thank them all enough. Ole needed round the clock care, and staples removing while we were away, again nothing was too much trouble. I received many email updates, and photographs, which was so reassuring especially as we were out of the country.
There are not enough words to say how grateful we are for the love, and care, that Ole received. I just cannnot speak highly enough of Barking Mad. The care and attention was superb. I wouldn't use any other company for the care of my dog, it really is home from home, with very special people. Thank you all so very much.xx

Posted by: Ali Miller on

I was a little apprehensive about Lucky going to stay with strangers, but there was nothing to worry about. They took the most beautiful photographs of her while she was there and she was clearly having a lovely time with a big smile on her face. Thank you very much!

Posted by: Claire Williams on

To say we were anxious about leaving our spoilt boy Oscar for 3 weeks at the age of 9 months would be an understatement.
We really had no need to worry, Oscar has come back this morning from his holiday with his host family thoroughly chilled out!
It was really lovely to hear how he was getting on whilst we were away & the photo's & postcard confirmed that Oscars had lots of fun with his host family.
Thank you for such a professional & caring service, we will certainly be looking to book for next year.

Posted by: Nicola Slinn on

This was our first time using Barking Mad, but was very pleased with the service provided. Bonnie was only away for the weekend, but she seemed to really enjoy her time with Jim. Nice to get the photos and feedback from the host. Would definitely recommend Barking Mad.

Posted by: Kate Ward on

I cannot thank Shirley enough for the before holiday reassurance she gave us.. While we were away the care that Cassie our 7 month old springer spaniel got from Shirley picking her up then being looked after by Lesley was great.. She looked happy and content in the pictures I got sent so I could relax and enjoy our holiday... Cassie looked so healthy and had been bathed before she came home we will not hesitate to use barking mad again and I think Cassie feels the same.. Thank u

Posted by: Rachel James on

This was our first experience of Barking Mad and we were thoroughly impressed from start to finish. Bailey had a fantastic time at his host family and got on really well with their dog, Hero! We were particularly grateful for their professional and caring approach in taking care of Bailey when he became ill and needed to be admitted to the vets. Thanks very much. We will definitely be using you again!

Posted by: Catherine Massey on

This is the first time we have used Barking Mad whilst we were away on holiday and I cannot praise Shirley and her team highly enough. Barking Mad is an extremely professional service and I was able to enjoy my holiday to the full knowing Bill was being well looked after. The postcards from his host families are a great idea. We will definitely be using Barking Mad again and I would recommend Shirley and her team to anyone who may be anxious about leaving their beloved dog. Many many thanks.

Posted by: Jayne Tyrtania on

I found the service well organised and very efficient. Lottie seemed well and very happy on her return home. The collection and drop off worked particularly well for me making the whole experience a very positive one all round.

Posted by: Cath Young on

Rufus enjoyed his stay with Audrey and I can see from the photos that he made himself at home. The post card is a great idea too. He's looking forward to his next holiday. Thank you for looking after him.

Posted by: Pat Carter on

First time I had used Barking Mad, was so pleased when my precious black Labrador came back from his lovely holiday with his hosts. He went off tail wagging, and came back exactly the same, the photos we were given showed him completely as he would be at home. We have already booked him in for a further two times this year. At least we know when we go on holiday, that he will be very well looked after, just as he is at home. Thank you very much Barking Mad

Posted by: Ali miller on

Very happy we chose Barking Mad for Alfie's stay away from home. He obviously enjoyed himself and was very relaxed on his return.

Posted by: Lynda Garratt on

Really impressed with the service of Barking Mad and shirley's thoughtful,kind and totally professional service ,we have a very elderly dog Wellington who is very rarely left ,and Barking Mad was the answer to our prayers ,he came home from his holiday looking well and happy and it gave us peace of mind that he had been so well looked after by Jim ,shall be using them again !!

Posted by: Jenny Rivers on

When Izzy came back she looked really happy and well cared for. The service from beginning to end was excellent.

Posted by: Clare Rance on

Very grateful for the care and attention Frankie received when we were on our holidays. We've never left her with people other than family and friends so this was a big deal for us but the professionalism and service Shirley provided helped put our minds at rest. Seems like Frankie had a great time and will definitely be using the company again.

Posted by: Lucy Cook on

we are most grateful for the care that was given to Alice whilst on her holiday. this is the first time we have used barking mad and would use them again with no hesitation, also we will recommend them to our friends,thank you all once again for putting our minds at rest.Please pass on a special thank you to Audrey for the love and care that she gave to Alice over the past month.

Posted by: david roberts on

Hi. We were away for a month so I was very nervous about leaving Rocky & Candy!
They are still puppies & a small breed, Maltese, so kennels weren't an option. We normally leave them with friends or family but it wasn't an option this time either.
I am very impressed with the service provided by Shirley at barking mad. The puppies came home very happy & obviously well looked after & loved. The postcard & pictures were a great bonus! I would definitely use this service again. Thank you !

Posted by: Justine Verwey on

I have been very happy with Barking Mad and when Chloe came home so relaxed I knew she had been well looked after. It was especially good to have a write up from her foster mum, so lots of thanks for caring for her.

Posted by: Valerie Pullen on

We were so very pleased with the professionalism and services of Barking Mad. It was such a relief to know our Ashley & Millie were being well taken care of while we were away.

Posted by: Lisa on

We were very impressed by the professional and personal service. Oscar clearly enjoyed his holiday and it was great to see the pictures. He is 13 now and needs to be comfortable and settled when we are away. We now have peace of mind when we travel.

Posted by: Jan Balzanella on

We are extremely pleased with Barking Mad,the pictures and postcard were an added bonus to an excellent service. I was anxious about leaving our dogs to go on holiday for the first time but felt very at ease after talking to Shirley and giving details of eating habits and quirks and what the dogs do daily so as not to disrupt their routine. On their return they were very happy dogs. We will definitely be requesting Barking Mad's services again:-)thank you
Posted by: M Calvert on 3rd Oct, 2013

Posted by: bmadadmin on

Thank you so much for caring for Badger. We were concerned as the last time he was away from us he became seriously ill - and we are still treating that! Shirley and the team at Barking Mad have given us the confidence that Badger loved his home away from home and we will definitely be booking him in again in the future. Thank you again and big licks from Badger!

Posted by: Diane on

Jasper returned relaxed, and probably spoilt. I am extremely pleased with Shirley Rand's professionalism and will be more than happy to use her to utilize the service again.

Well done

Glenn Otto

Posted by: Glenn Otto on

It was great to see photos of Bubbles on holiday when we got her back and to receive written confirmation that she had been ok.

Posted by: Bernadette Nevison on

Shirley is extremely professional and puts our mind at rest, like many owners leaving our dogs can be nerve wracking (for us not them!) The effort that goes in really shows everyone involved cares, and from start to finish confidence is always there. We can truly recommend Shirley and her team to look after you four legged friends. Paul & Viv James

Posted by: bmadadmin on

I was very impressed with the whole experience. Daisy came home happy and calm, and settled very quickly. Thank you so much.

Posted by: Sally Richmond on

Shirley was very professional. Chips photos and postcard showed us he had fun on his holiday while we did on ours.

Posted by: Dawn on

Very impressed with the professional way Shirley ensured when Robbie went away on his holiday we was at ease, we enjoyed our first break away without him for the first time, returning home Robbie really looked like he had enjoyed himself, thanks Shirley and team

Posted by: Dave Richardson on

I was absolutely bowled over with the whole package Shirley and her team at Barking Mad offered, from our initial enquiry to the return of Poppy after her holiday, particularly as she was a young dog of 16 months with lots of progress and training still to come. Many many thanks

Posted by: Karen Baldry on

We left for our holiday knowing Diesel was in safe hands and this has been proved to be correct. He has come back very contented and the photos of his holiday are great

Posted by: Barbara Drake on

Very impressed, completely happy and satisfied! Thank you so

Posted by: Elaine Clark on

Very professional and reassuring service. Thanks SO much.

Posted by: Jane Lewis on

Felt completely at ease leaving our precious dog with such a professional company...and Maya loved it!!

Posted by: Candy Wilson on

News

January 2017 

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                                                                 Monty, relaxing!!
Happy New Year!!
Happy New Year to you all. I do hope it has been a good start to the year for you, and hope it continues.
So who needs a holiday? Some warm weather to make us feel better and a reason to shed those layers? Yes please! Anyone else thinking about booking one yet??
Well lots of you already have, and then booked your dog in for their holiday with us. So whether you are planning a weekend break or that holiday of a lifetime then don't forget your dog. Book them in now and don't leave it to the last minute, especially for a summer school holiday break. Whilst there is plenty of availability at the minute, make sure you secure your place for peace of mind.
NB - There is also current availability for February half term and Easter.

Balloon flight winner

Our national competition last year to win a Virgin Champagne Balloon flight for 2 has now closed and 5 winners have been drawn by Head Office.
More information about the winners will be given in due course.

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                                                        Miley on holiday with Gillean
Host Families
We all know someone who has lost their dog and are missing some doggie company, but feel they don't want to own again for one reason or another.
Or do you meet anyone when you're out walking that say "I miss my Rufus" and makes a fuss of your dog? If they are at home during the day, then please ask them to get in touch with us. They could make great host families and fill their doggie void by caring for a holidaying dog matched to suit them.
Ask them to mention your name when calling and if we successfully recruit them, you will receive a night free on your next booking as a thank you from me. 01280 700110
Some of our recent holidaymakers.....

 

 

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                           Boo                                           Scruffy                                           Archie
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                          Brandy                                         Pogo                                            Cupcake

 

           otis.1.jpg    dexter.1.jpg      holly.1.jpg                                      Otis                                          Dexter                                                   Holly

 

         max.1.jpg     ozzie and henry.1.jpg     bobby.1.jpg

                                Max                              Ozzie and Henry                                         Bobby

 

 

 

Its a dogs' life!! Willow whilst on holiday with Wendy

DOG IN BASKET.jpgBusy, Busy...

Wow!! What a busy summer we have had! This is now my 6th year (5th summer) operating the Barking Mad franchise in Northamptonshire and it has certainly been the busiest yet, growing from strength to strength year on year.

Looking at July and August alone, I have put some stats together......


Its a dogs' life!! Willow whilst on holiday with Wendy      

41 hosts used for 116 doggie holidays, of which most were 8 days plus, with half 14 days plus. The longest stay was 27 nights with the shortest just 1 night.

We have also had 9 repeat holidaymakers during this time and 13 x2 dog holidays.

Altogether totalling a whopping 895 nights in dog holidays staying with our hosts during just July and August.
We have also driven almost 8300 miles between the 2 cars, with the furthest driven in 1 day of 257 miles (well done Keith!). Phew!!

Having said all of that it has been another thoroughly enjoyable summer by myself, my team and of course my hosts, with some laughs along the way.

Thank you so much for your business and continued support. We hope you all had a great summer yourselves.

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New Bookings

Diesel, splashing about!!Bookings are now being taken for Autumn/Winter 2016 holidays, with September already nearly full.

We have also already taken a fair few bookings for 2017. So if you have some dates planned already, why not beat the rush and book your dog in with their favourite host, subject to availability.

Call on 01280 700110, email shirley.rands@barkingmad.uk.com or use our quick booking system on the website.

Diesel splashing in a puddle!

Thank You

Thank you for your kind messages regarding the selling of part of my area. It was a tough decision but feel the time is right as the business has grown beyond my expectations, especially this year.

But please don't worry. I'm not leaving the business totally, I love it too much, and from your point of view everything will continue as normal with no change to our service, just perhaps a different person at the helm.

So do you or someone you know want a change of career, to get out of the rat race and work with lots of lovely dogs and dog loving people? If so, then please get in touch on 01280 700110 or visit our website here for more information.

Some of our many August holidaymakers....

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June 2016

Doggie Holidays!!

HOLIDAY.png Well July is looking pretty solid now with minimal spaces left, however we  still  have spaces available for August if you are yet to book your summer  holiday.

 If you do need to use our services then please don't hesitate to get in touch.
 We are now taking bookings for September onwards and have a few  October  half  term bookings confirmed already.
 Just call us on 01280 700110 during office hours or email  shirley.rands@barkingmad.uk.com to check availibility for your 4-legged  family  member.

 Save the Date

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Barking Mad Northants will this year be attending the Flore Charity Dog Show with Animals

In Need. It is taking place on Sunday 17th July at Brodie Lodge Playing Field, Spring Lane, Flore, NN7 4LS from 11am - 3pm.
Why not come and say hello, bring your dog and help raise some money for charity.

Our latest holidaymakers......   

           RUFUS.jpgCONNIE.jpgBUSTER.jpg                                             Rufus                                                Connie                                          Buster

           BRADY.jpgMISTY.jpgPEP.jpg                                            Brady                                                    Misty                                           Pepe

 

May 2016

Welcome...
....to a sunny newsletter from Barking Mad Northants.
Have you entered our competition yet for your chance to win a Virgin Balloon flight for 2 people?

Help Wanted
Due to the demand of our service we are still looking for more host families to help care for the dogs, especially over the summer, and particularly for the medium - large breeds.
If you know someone who is at home during the day and misses the companionship and exercise the dogs bring, please ask them to get in touch for more information.
There are no costs involved, just happy times with doggie cuddles, when its convenient for them. I can be reached on 01280 700110 or email shirley.rands@barkingmad.uk.com. Many Thanks.

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 April 2016

Welcome...
...To another Barking Mad Northants newsletter.
Spring has definitely sprung and a lot of you are thinking about your summer holidays. We have been inundated with bookings for July, especially towards the end, and into August, so places are now very limited for this time.
We have also been fortunate to have a few more hosts join us to help care for your 4-legged family members so welcome to you all. I am sure we will keep you all busy this year and it won't be long until you receive your first visitor.

Another Warm Waggy Welcome...

SAM Shirley Rands Barking Mad Dog Care.jpg

...To my new staff member Liz.
Liz will be working alongside Keith collecting and delivering the dogs. She has been out training with me during April but if you haven't met her already then I'm sure you will soon.
Liz is an ex-nurse and also runs a dog training school near Brackley a few times a week.
Some of our April holidaymakers.....

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Shirley Rands Barking Mad dog holidays April 1.jpg

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October 2015

Fireworks.jpgRemember, Remember....
Love them or hate them, it is that time of year when we need to think about our pets safety a little more.
Fireworks cause so much distress for a lot of animals so here are a few tips to keep them calm at this stressful time....
1. Make a Den. Use a blanket over a dog crate or a table to create a dark hiding place for them to go to. Put in a couple of treats and their bed with a few favourite toys.
2. Turn up the radio or television to try to hide the noise, whether you are at home or need to go out, it will give them a little distraction.
3. Keep them indoors. Alter their routines a little so they are walked before it gets too dark.
4. Consult your vet if you feel they need something to help them through and ease that anxiety.
If you know your pet hates fireworks, start planning early to give them the best possible chance to get used to the changes and stay a little more relaxed.

Facebook
Are you a Facebooker? Would you like to keep in touch with Barking Mad Northants? Then please "like" our new Barking Mad (Northants) business page.
Just click this link to go to our home page and like us for all things doggie.

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September 2015

It’s our Birthday!!!

Barking Mad, The alternative to kennels, in Northamptonshire are pleased to be celebrating our 5th Birthday!!
On the 20th September 2010 we first opened our doors for doggie holidays, offering our unique one to one care with a loving host family, whilst maintaining all the dogs' current home life routines.
Since then we have grown from strength to strength, with over 400 customers now registered and have organised over 1200 doggie holidays through 12 months of the year with 30+ host families.

party.jpg cake.jpg


With us celebrating our 5th Birthday recently we held an afternoon tea for our host families, courtesy of Carol's Vintage China Hire. It was also a great opportunity to thank them for all their help over the last 12 months caring for our holidaying customers.

It was a great day with lots of doggie conversations, a slide show of our 4-legged guests and of course lots of cake!

host 1.jpg host 2.jpg
host 3.jpg host 4.jpg

 

Summer 2014

 

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Social Media

For more up to date photos, tips and news, please follow me on Twitter “@barkingmadshirl” https://twitter.com/BarkingMadShirl or on Facebook “Shirley Rands”  https://www.facebook.com/shirley.rands.7

 

“Some of our recent holidaymakers”

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SAM_5786.JPG  Archie_2_2.jpg 
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Brand Builder

I have been awarded Brand Builder of the year 2012 by Barking mad’s MD Lee Dancy.
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Local Links

We love working with and recommending local business, here are a list of fantastic people we think you might like to hear about:

Useful Links

Dog Walking

www.wagalotpetservices.co.uk – Peter Gilbert, dog walking service and small animal feeding

Dog Groomers

www.k9clipandshine.com – Based in Kingsthorpe, Northampton

 www.doggystylesgrooming.co.uk – Based in Upper Stowe, near Weedon

Dog Training

www.caninecoaching.co.uk – Paul Daly, weekly puppy and socialisation classes, 121 meetings for behavioural issues

Rescue Centres

www.animals-in-need.org

www.algernontrust.org.uk – Rescues Dogs and other animals

Other Local Services

www.topserveautos.com – Ian, Car servicing, MOTs, etc.

http://www.brackleyphotographic.luxipics.com - Photography services.


4595+

CUSTOMER
REVIEWS

Karen - 4th Apr, 2016
"A very happy Poppy has just arrived home from her Barking Mad holiday! Thank you to Shirley and her fantastic team for providing a wonderful and thorough service."

Liz and Doug Cole - 14th Dec, 2015
"Thank you so much Barking mad and host Rhona for looking after our pampered dachshund Rosie. Because it was her first stay with you we were very worried about leaving her , but she was well looked after and came back to us a very happy girl. You have put ours minds at rest and we wont hesitate to use your service again."

Michael Reilly - 2nd Dec, 2015
"Having recently moved to the area I was due to go on holiday. Ollie my Jack Russell has never been to a kennel before and would normally stay with his gran and grandad. Barking Mad was a perfect solution for us both and managed to find a wonderful host for Ollie.
The service was first class and Shirley attention to detail was excellent. I went on holiday knowing that Ollie was in safe hands and in a welcome environment in a happy home. I would definitely recommend Barking Mad and would use this service again."

Elaine and Phil Doughty - 21st Oct, 2015
"A very professional service. This was a trial weekend with Barking Mad and it has put our minds at rest. All was as promised.
There was no stress for us and no stress for our 5 month old puppy, Elsie.
We have confidence that she will be well looked after during our next holiday.
Thanks to all and especially Maggie for the lovely photos and postcard Elsie came back with."

J Sparrow - 28th Sep, 2015
"Thorough, professional & caring Barking Mad is a fantastic alternative to kennels (which didn't suit my Labrador). Being with a host family & keeping to usual routines & of course lots of fuss are all important for a happy waggy tailed person.
I would recommend it to anyone."

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