Puppy Nursery at Barkley Manor – Lifeline for puppy parents


It might not be Hogwarts, but Barkley Manor comes pretty damn close. The magic these guys create for young pups and old dogs alike is exactly why they have been around for 13 years and show no sign of slowing down. At this doggy daycare, not only will your pooch be treated to more fun than you can throw a stick at, the experience is just as rewarding for Mum and Dad! Let’s start at the beginning.


When Millie was originally enrolled with Barkley Manor, she was a 15 week old bolshy, sass queen with quite literally zero ideas about social etiquette. What’s more, she couldn’t care less what anyone thought. ‘You guys have your work cut out for you’, I laughed knowingly to myself as we approached. As Millie and I turned off busy Great North Road and coasted down the long, unassuming driveway, we had absolutely no clue about the greatness that was in store for us.


Heading inside the large building with Millie the Menace tucked under my arm, I saw her silent and bewildered for the very first time. She, like myself, was taking the whole place in with wide, disbelieving eyes – Barkley Manor is amazing. Feeling like we were walking into a high school assembly hall, we noticed an ornately framed print on the wall which featured the smiling faces of doggy students who made up the ‘Class of 2019’. Each pup proudly sported a brightly coloured bandana, with each colour representing their school house – yes, just like back at human school, your dog will be sorted into a house according to his/her personality. At the end of the year they team up with a professional photographer to take ‘end of year portraits’ which are sent home with each pup, along with a report card outlining their achievements, best friends and grades for each ‘subject’. Such fun!


barkley manor daycare report cards

Image courtesy of https://www.instagram.com/thepuppynurserynz


If that’s not enough to have you hooked, just WAIT until you meet the staff. Bright, bubbly and downright infectious for dogs, the team at Barkley will make sure your child goes home happy, content and with a few new manners. On top of that (and this is arguably the best bit), your pup will have absolutely no energy left in the tank. Let’s be honest, the thought of a quiet, relaxed evening is like kryptonite for new puppy parents, am I right?


Heading up to the ‘Puppy Nursery’ which is Barkley’s new area for young puppies, we are greeted by smiling faces who already know Millie by name and are excited to welcome her. Unphased by her exuberance, puppy nipping or loud voice, these guys sure know what they’re doing. We spent around 15 minutes doing a ‘meet and greet’, allowing Millie to get her bearings and have a good sniff around in a private room. Which, may I add, is a room decorated with brightly coloured foam number mats – I found myself wondering if my dog would end up excelling in mathematics. From there, I was free to go and I felt unwaveringly confident leaving my precious baby/devil in the hands of Barkley Manor.


sign at puppy daycare

Image courtesy of https://www.facebook.com/thepuppynurserynz


It made me feel satisfied at work that day, knowing Millie was making new friends, learning new things and basically just having the time of her life. When it came time to pick her up, I was met with more smiling faces from a team who quite clearly never get exhausted from a full day of raucous puppy behaviour. These guys truly love your dogs like they are their own. I was given the rundown on how she had gone on her first day, and the ‘nursery aunties’ explained she was working on her ‘sharing’. Unsurprisingly, my little menace was not so good at sharing toys or treats… shock. All jokes aside, it’s great to know these bad habits are nipped in the bud by trained professionals who know how to handle them before they become a lifelong behavioural problem.


Millie adored her time in the Puppy Nursery, and as she is now 7 months old has since ‘graduated’ to Colehill Cottage, the area for Barkley’s smallest dogs. I’ve been told she has a bunch of cronies she rounds up when she arrives and as a proud mum I just hope she’s a little more Serena van der Woodsen than Regina George. I’ve already seen a pattern of pooches she is photographed with regularly, as the Barkley Manor and Puppy Nursery social media pages are constantly updated with daily photos of what students have been up to – another genius idea to keep the experience fun for parents as well.



Image courtesy of https://www.instagram.com/thepuppynurserynz


Once a week, I drop Millie off to Barkley Manor and every time without fail, she begins losing her cool when we hit that long driveway. She knows where we are and she knows that she is in for epic fun. You feel like such a great parent paying for such a luxury experience for your dog, but don’t expect so much as a look back from your pooch once you hand over their leash to the Barkley team. Millie is as good as gone as soon as we get to the front door, dissolving into a wriggly ball of overexcited yelps because at 7.30 in the morning all she can think about is treats and playtime.


It’s hard to put into words how magical Barkley Manor really is. I’m hooked on seeing how happy it makes my wee girl, so I guess as long as they will have her, she will be a proud student. Judging by the steady stream of dogs and their humans at school drop off, this seems to be a common thought. Arguably the most magical part is the chilled, relaxing glass of wine you can enjoy at the end of the day, with an exhausted, sleeping pup by your side. Cheers Barkley Manor!


For more information and contact, check out Barkley Manor here.

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