Canine Facts

This page is in the midst of a re-write.


Nathalia Boarding Kennels and Cattery operate very differently from most other kennels, in fact, we are one of the first boarding establishments in Australia to run an ‘open plan socialisation‘ style kennel.

Open plan socialisation‘ means that we mix our dogs to play during the day – for up to 8-hours per day (weather dependent).

This is distinctly different to the ‘traditional’ style kennel (a dedicated room, with a small yard attached – and maybe some supervised play).

If your dog is NOT social, then we may not be the boarding establishment for you. If you are unsure (due to Covid or other circumstances) about the sociability of your dog, we are happy to assess them and provide a supervised introduction to the world of doggy etiquette.

What do we mean by mixing dogs?

We have 35+ yards at our disposal. Each yard can have between 2 to 8 dogs in them (depending on the season and cohort of hounds with us). Dogs are assessed, then mixed with other pals based on a number of important factors, namely:

  • Age (eg. pups, teens, adults, geriatrics)
  • Size (eg toy, small, medium, large etc)
  • Breed
  • Agility & Ability (Runners, snoozers, ballplayers, tug-o-war heroes etc)
  • Temperament – (chatty, cuddly, loners, social, human-focused)
  • Yard type (see below)

Our Grounds

Yes, our property is pretty, but oh so practical.

With a variety of yards at our disposal (spacious, circular, escape-proof, high fenced, lower-fenced, small, grassed, sanded, concreted etc) we can pick and choose yards to best suit the various dog-onalities staying with us.

All yards have water troughs, sprinklers, beds, toys, shade & shelter. 

There is super-careful planning and considerations underpinning the play-mate matching. Mixing dogs is a constant and evolving task, the yards (play-mates) are continually monitored, and adjusted, as dogs are checked in and out. Balls are tossed, waters refilled and tug-o-wars happen as staff watch over our guests.

NEW dogs are allowed to absorb our atmosphere in their own yard for a short period before we introduce them to a new pal, or two.

By mixing dogs, we provide stimulation, interest and excitement whilst simultaneously keeping boredom and frustration at bay.

Ultimately this produces the happy helicopter tail wag that we look for.

Because of our groovy style, there are certain limitations and rules to help keep our grounds safe and social for all.

De-sexed or ‘Fixed’ only

All animals on our grounds must be desexed (excluding pups under the age of 8 or 9 months of age – and some geriatrics).

Removing the ‘hormone factor’ from the play-group equation definitely makes the yards far easier to manage for our hard-working staff.

This strategy is NOT personal, and we adhere to it without fear or favour. Ultimately our policy is to protect entire pets from potential injury.

You can read more about this policy here.

Peak Periods

Christmas, New Year, Easter and some long weekends.

NBKC has a permit to host 150 dogs and we reach capacity at peak times – that is 600 pounding paws, can you imagine that? With so many feet to watch it is ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL that we KNOW every single one of our guests during peak times.

Therefore, if you want to book for these periods then a pre-stay or pre-play is mandatory. This is so we can plan playgroups and know what to look for in the body language of each dog staying with us.

Of course, it is far less stressful on the dog as well, as they are familiar with us and our quirky routines.

Helicopter tails abound!


AKA… The boring stuff…

We adhere to the Code of Practice for Boarding Kennels in Victoria. This includes, but is not limited to, the following:

C5 VaccinationAll dogs (& pups), for whatever visiting purpose, must be up-to-date with their vaccinations (opens on new page)
The validated proof is stored on your online account.
Age – BoardingDogs must be over 16 weeks of age
Age – DaycarePups must be 14 weeks+
Kennels – Sleeping Each dog has their own room (where they eat and sleep). Family members may sleep together (if pet-parents allow).
Kennels – CleaningKennels are cleaned daily and are dry and daisy fresh by day’s end.
Kennel – FeaturesNBKC has an assortment of kennel styles that are comfy whatever the weather. For example, concrete floor heating, demister systems, roller doors, fans, evaporative-coolers, reverse cycle air-conditioners, blankets, coats (all sizes), Snooza beds, soft beds and water bowls.
AgreementsPrior to boarding, you must electronically acknowledge the NBKC agreement/s. Just so that we are on the same paw-fect page.
Bath time!


  • Boarding rates are based on weight and are shown on the right-hand side of our website.
  • Prices are fluid, to keep in line with rising prices and may change without notice.
  • For full details visit Pricing and Refunds.

They smell nice like that…

  • All of our canine boarders receive a complimentary hydro bath before going home – spritzed, bowed & tail wagging.