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The Dapper Dog offers 5-star service to its four-legged clients and peace of mind for pet owners.

Inside the lobby of The Dapper Dog is owner Carie Decker (right) and manager Amy Flippin. PHOTO/ELLE-KAY NEECE

Fancy hotels and spas aren’t just for people; dogs love them too.

The Dapper Dog, Stephenville’s new 5-star doggie daycare and boarding facility, offers upscale service for pet owners who demand the very best for their fur babies.

Chad and Carie Decker opened The Dapper Dog on Feb. 1, and let me tell you, this place is impressive.

“I have always been a dog lover and this is something Chad and I talked about doing for a couple of years,” Carie told Beneath the Surface News. “We travel a lot and didn’t have a place we felt comfortable leaving our dogs and we saw that there was a real need for this in Stephenville.”

Today, Carie spends her days making sure The Dapper Dog lives up to the expectations she has set forth.

“My number one thing is cleanliness,” she said. “When you first step in here, I want the ‘wow’ factor. I want you to say, ‘This place smells amazing and it’s so pretty.’ I want my clients to say, ‘This place looks fun and my dog would love it here.’”

Walking into The Dapper Dog feels uniquely different than other boarding facilities.

Yes, it’s virtually spotless and smells fresh and pleasant, but what I really took notice of is its, well, beauty.

Step inside The Dapper Dog and you’ll be greeted with a large, cheerful boutique that carries everything from “Chewy Vuiton” food and water bowls to bougie dog beds, toys and treats.

Artwork (which is for sale) hangs throughout the facility.

Just down the hall sits the ‘Spaw’ where dogs can get a bath and blowout after a day of play or the works by Kendra Noland with Pawsitively Perfect Dog Grooming.

(Appointments are needed.)


Dogs can get in a day of socializing with The Dapper Dog’s doggie daycare program.

“My staff loves the dogs and loves to spend time with them,” Carie said. “We have three play areas and dogs are divided into groups by temperament and personality, not size.”

Each dog goes through an introduction process and is eased into play settings and introduced to the other dogs while on a leash.

“If a dog doesn’t play well with the others, we put them in a different section and play with them one on one,” Carie said.

And if they are naughty, well, they get a time out.

“It’s just like it is with kids; if they’re misbehaving, they are taken out so they can chill for a bit,” she said. “When they straighten up, they are allowed to come back in to play with the group.

“It really works.”

Dogs can be dropped off as early as 7:30 a.m. with pick up no later than 6 p.m.

“A typical day involves lots of interaction and play time with the staff, and if one of the dogs needs a little extra attention, we give it to them,” Carie said. “We also have ‘snap’ time when they get a snack and have a little nap.

“Socialization is a big part of this; we have regulars that have become friends.”

The cost for a day of play is $25.


If your fur baby needs an extended stay at The Dapper Dog, the facility’s hotel is nothing short of luxurious.

Think individual space, comfy beds, soothing music and soft lighting.

“We try to keep them on the schedule they are used to; we want them to feel like they are at home as much as possible,” she said.

Feeding sheets and special instructions are posted on the door of each suite and cameras are monitored by staff throughout the night.

“We get them all comfy in their suite and love on them before they go to sleep,” Carie said.

“We have spa music to relax them and we turn off the can lights, but leave on the chandeliers so they have a really pretty glow light.”

The cost for an extended stay is $40/night.

If you’re interested in learning more about The Dapper Dog, stop by and take a look around.

You will be amazed.

“I will give a tour to anyone who walks through the doors; I am that confident that The Dapper Dog looks and smells nice at all times,” Carie said.


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