Why Socializing your Pup will Change your Life!

The Importance of Being Social


When I talk about socializing it is more than just taking your dog out for a walk. It is having a very confident, well-rounded dog that can handle many situations.

Odin plays ball

I’ve worked with many dogs over the years and one thing that stands out is how unprepared the dogs are with new experiences. Many are very fearful of new experiences, new people, new sounds and new places which cause them undue stress, and this is usually the cause of many behavioral issues. Dogs are very social by nature and love to meet new people and play with other dogs. We, humans, tend to want to protect them from the world. Even though most owners have good intentions with this “protection”, it can easily back fire. [Read more…]

Why Does My Dog Lick Me?


Why does my dog lick me?

Why do dog lick us?

In my business, I get a lot of “kisses” from my doggie clients!! I have always wondered why does my dog lick me. Here are some explanations:


Dogs can mean a lot of different things when they lick.  Believe it or not, licking is a form of communication for dogs, as well as something dogs use for grooming and eating.  So, it can serve multiple purposes.  That makes it complicated and a little hard to figure out at times.


Licking begins in the whelping box, along with most of the behaviors that your dog displays.  A mother dog licks her pups to stimulate them when they’re first born.  Licking encourages their circulation, it rouses them, it removes the membrane covering them when they’re first born, and it stimulates them to nurse.  Later, the mother will lick them to encourage their bowel movements and to wash them.  Of course, to someone observing a mother taking care of her pups, all of this probably looks like maternal love!  And it may be, but it still serves many purposes.


As they get older, puppies will lick their mothers (and other adult dogs) around the lips to try to stimulate them to regurgitate partially digested food for them.  This is quite normal for wolves and wild dogs, but our domesticated dogs can do it, too.  This behavior — licking a mother figure around the face — may be retained later in life.  Perhaps this is the reason why dogs try to lick people around the face?  In some cases, this could be true.

[Read more…]

10 Ways to STOP puppy biting

10 ways to STOP puppy biting:


  1. 10 ways to stop a puppy biting

    10 ways to stop biting

    Physical Exercise – The only good puppy is a tired puppy. Most puppies have energy spurts that can      drive you nuts. The best way to physically exercise a pup is to let them play with other puppies. If you have a puppy daycare in North York, I highly recommend checking it out.

  2. Mental Exercise – A great way to tire out a puppy is to do some mental activities. Simple obedience commands, tricks, toys and scent games can tire your pup out.
  3. Keep a leash on the puppy – I was working with a nice couple once that adopted what seemed like a snapping turtle. This puppy was all mouth, chomping anything within a foot of his mouth. We used a leash to control the biting. We would attach the leash to the door so the pup was in the room but could not bite. A chew toy was provided and we would control the attention we gave to the pup.
  4. Tug Games – Tug has gotten a bad rap over the past few years but it is a great game to play. When your pup starts to bite, substitute your hands with a tug toy.
  5. Understand Unintentional Reinforcement – Ever notice how you get more and more frustrated when your pup starts biting you? You push him away, maybe you give a slight slap on the nose or do a scruff shake. Notice how he keeps coming back for more. This is unintentional reinforcement. You are making the behavior stronger by doing this. Puppies love rough play and this only encourages the biting.
  6. Never slap or hit your puppy – This will only make your him fearful and may lead to an adult dog that is hand shy, a dog that gets nervous when a hand comes close to their face. Some dogs get so fearful they actually bite the hand.
  7. No Rough Play – I once taught a puppy class and watched as a guy spent the entire class pushing his hand in his pup’s face. He would tease him with his hands and kept pushing his head from side to side. His puppy was like a shark when you got near him. Guess what the guy asked me at the end of the class? “How do I stop puppy biting?”
  8. Teach Gentle Mouth – Ever give your pup a treat and he chomps down on your hand? Well, if you release the treat, your dog will continue to do the same thing every time you offer a treat. Every time you offer a treat, make sure your puppy takes the treat with a gentle mouth. When your his mouth comes close to your hand, loudly yell, “OUCH” and pull the treat away. Wait a second and offer it again. Repeat the process if you have to and only let him take the treat when he is gentle.
  9. Be Patient – You have to understand that this behavior is normal, natural canine behavior. If you get frustrated or angry, it is better to give your puppy a time out than to lose your temper. A few minutes in the crate is better than losing your temper and taking it out on him.
  10. Get Professional Help – Finding a puppy obedience class or online course.

Why Dogs Guard Cars


What Experts Are Saying About Why Dogs Guard Cars


Dog guarding car


No doubt you’ve seen a dog in a car somewhere and thought, “What a nice dog.  I think I’ll go speak to him.”  Then as soon as you get close to the car that nice dog goes ballistic.  That dog doesn’t want any part of you — except maybe to take a bite.

Why do dogs guard their vehicles?  Is it really a good idea to go up to a dog in a car or to knock on the window when there’s a dog inside? [Read more…]

Stop Dogs From Pulling!

8 Tips to Stop Dogs From Pulling On Leash

 That Will Impress Your Friends.

  1. Exercise your dog. Too much pent-up energy makes it
    impossible for you to walk your dog.
  2. Spend five minutes in the morning and afternoon teaching
    your dog to follow a food lure at your side in low distraction
  3. Use a gentle leader for the next few weeks so walks are
    less of a struggle.
  4. Practice changing directions when your dog starts to pull.
  5. Use the right leash. Six-foot leather is the best. It is
    the right length to control your dog and leather is easy on
    the hands.
  6. Practice U-turns. Turning into your dog and doing tight
    circles helps train your dog to focus on you and avoid
    distractions – good for reactive dogs.
  7.  Practice attention exercise before, during and after walks. 
  8. Have a helper hold a ball or treat 15 to 20 feet away.
    Approach and if your dog pulls, do an about face and walk
    away.Once your dog calms, turn around and approach the helper
    again. Forward progress only happens when the leash is [Read more…]

Unusual Holidays to Spend with your Dog

Unusual Holidays to Spend with your Dog

If you are going on holiday within your own country, then taking your dog away with you can be an ideal way to spend quality time with your much-loved pet – and the rest of your family of course!  Many people enjoy exploring new hiking destinations, yet here are a few more unusual options for you and your pet.

For slightly more unusual accommodation, why not try the Dog Bark Park Inn in Idaho? The Inn itself is shaped like a giant Beagle, making it a rather more quirky place to stay. Well behaved pets are, of course, welcome. Check out [Read more…]

Basic Dog Grooming Care

Small Saint Bernard Puppy in a Washtub for Bath Time on White Background

Small Saint Bernard Puppy in a Washtub for Bath Time

Basic Dog Grooming Care

In addition to feeding your dog a nutritious diet and treating his medical and physical needs, you should be certain that you are taking care of some of the basic grooming needs that all dogs have. A dog that is well-groomed and has his basic hygiene needs taken care of will in a much better position to fight off potential infections.

Most of the grooming care needs for your dog can be taken care of at home; however, you may wish to take your dog to a professional groomer in order to ensure that he is groomed from shiny wet nose to the tip of his happy wagging tail. [Read more…]

Leash walking in North York/Toronto

Doing leash manners for Dogs the right way!

leash pulling

Stop pulling

As a Dog walker in North York, Ontario I am surprised at

how many dogs do not have proper leash manners.


Here are some simple steps to get you enjoying your walks: [Read more…]