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An ongoing series of informational entries

Road Salt - It make dogs sick!

November 2016

Salt from sidewalks and roads make dogs sick and up set stomach and bowel.  Be sure to rinse paws after walking.  A barrier PAW WAX  is best to protect your dogs paws - paw wax. carries their own brand of holistic PAW WAX-  we can ship to you.

Booties are an option - but a choke hazard for young pups.

SPCA offer Spay or Neuter for a better price.

December 2015

Contact your local SPCA  to enquire about a better price for spay and neutering offered at a few of their locations in Ontario.

Wait until your dog is one year old at least.  

The list of problems that are associated with early spay/neuter continues: greater risk of hemangiosarcoma, mast cell cancer, lymphoma, and bladder cancer; higher incidence of hip dysplasia in dogs spayed or neutered at six months of age; significantly higher prevalence of cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) injury; heightened risk of urinary incontinence in females that are spayed early, as well as some cases in males; greater likelihood of hypothyroidism in spayed and neutered dogs; higher incidence of infectious diseases in dogs spayed and neutered at 24 weeks or less; higher incidence of adverse reactions to vaccines in altered dogs; and increased risk of prostate cancer in neutered males.

A Day with a New Puppy.... What does that look like?

July 2009

This article was taken from Caesars Way website... a brilliant guy when it comes to raising dogs.

By Josh Weiss-Roessler

When you get a new puppy, it’s only natural to want to simply hang out with them and play and cuddle all day. Unfortunately, there are a number of things that you need to do in those first few days and weeks — both to make sure that your new pup stays healthy and to establish good behavior patterns. Rest assured that the work you put in now will pay off tenfold in the long run.

When your full-grown adult dog is balanced, well-behaved, and the envy of all your Pack Leader neighbors, you’ll be glad you took good care of her right from the beginning.

Related: Puppy proofing basics

Getting into a routine

One of the most important things you need to do for your puppy right off the bat is to establish a routine. Though it will be difficult initially for you to decide on a routine that will work for you, your family, and your puppy, don't wait too long to figure it out.

Here are some of the most important things to make sure you have on your puppy schedule:


Your new puppy is doing his best to become a full-grown adult dog. But in order to do so, he’s going to need to eat more frequently than an adult. Where you can feed many adult dogs twice a day — or even just once — puppies need to be fed three to four  times a day like people.

Sound like a lot of work? Well, the good news is that you can plan your pup’s meals more or less around your own. The best times to feed him are around 7 in the morning, at noon, and then again at 5. Snack at 8 pm.  You’ll want to follow this schedule for the first 3 to 4 months of your pup’s life. Then you can switch to twice-a-day feedings unless your vet recommends continuing more frequent meals.

Establishing a routine for eating times is especially important. With a set feeding schedule, your puppy will learn when to expect food and will be less likely to beg between designated meal times.

Potty time

Unless you want to have a big mess on your hands, you need to make sure you’re giving your pup “potty time” every 2-4 hours. Any longer than that and she just won’t be able to hold it. Putting a set time (and place) to this activity also teaches her that this isn’t just something she can do whenever and wherever she feels like it.

Keywords training

Very young puppies can’t get into any kind of formal training class right away, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be teaching him some basics every day. One thing every pup can start learning: keywords.

Begin with important words like “good,” “bad,” and “no.” Keep these words simple and be consistent with which ones you use. Your dog needs to get used to hearing the same words in order to associate the same meanings with them each time.

Exercise and play

Starting to think you’re never going to have any fun with your new puppy? Well, you can relax, because it’s also important to build time for exercise and play into your schedule.

Ideally, you want to begin your pup’s day with exercise before she has her first meal. After breakfast, try a pack walk (if she’s too young to go outside, you can do this around the house) followed by some bonding or play time. You’ll repeat this general routine throughout each day. Exercise, meal, exercise, bonding, meal, and so on.

By creating a good schedule for your puppy and starting small with tasks like feeding times, potty times, teaching keywords, and exercising and playing, you will not only save yourself innumerable future headaches, you’ll also ensure that your new bundle of joy grows up to be the best that he can be.

Why not go with a 'cheaper' dog.... 

February 2010

This article is written after so many clients have shared their horror stories about buying a 'cheaper doodle'.....

If you google goldendoodle breeders in ontario you will get a list of registered reputable breeders who know what they are doing. Out of that group- they charge anywhere from $2500 $3000 or higher.

Puppy mills often breed in massive barns - sometimes in small spaces or crates - and will sell the puppies wholesale to housewives who stay home and sell these puppies to families. No parents to be seen. No history about the parents. They are breeding dogs like livestock. These pups are usually health compromised and often have No social skills at all. They will breed any pet or dog - regardless of health or temperament - with no information or education or breeder support at all.

Backyard or hobby breeders will breed any pet or dog - regardless of health or temperament - with no information or education or breeder support at all.

They breed for a quick buck - not for love of the breed. Often parents are not vaccinated- which plays a role in the immunity of their offspring.

They are the cheaper alternative - it’s a risk- and often we get families coming to us with heartbreaking stories of all the issues they had with their cheaper dog. They realized they got what they paid for. 

Anxiety in Dogs

January 2014

On occasion, no fault to the breed or owner some dogs may feel anxiety.  It can be reduced with various products.  The two we recommend are a THUNDER SHIRT and ANXIETY SPRAY.  IF you google these products amazon and other online vendors offer them.  Your local pet store may also have similar products.

Adult Adoption VS getting a Puppy.... 

January 2012

Not everyone is equipped, capable or successful from the unpredictable challenges of a rescue. First time owners or families with children with special needs most commonly fail with the challenges to a rescue or rehome.

Often these people realize that for them - choosing a puppy who is a blank canvas from a suitable breed they will have more predictability of behaviour and allergy concerns etc.- Making them more successful as dog owners.

Dogs bred by responsible breeders such as us educate their clients so they are successful in keeping their dog and not having them land in a shelter.

Most shelter dogs are from accidental breeding. Not planned breeding.

This article is written by a friend who is in the rescue world.....

after seeing so many unsuccessful attempts at rehoming the same dog by inexperienced, kind hearted, bewilder people who did not realize that a puppy could be less work and did not know how much the knowledge and experience required for a successful adult rehome.

Adult or puppy?

Lets be honest… puppies are super cute and you shouldn’t feel guilty for wanting your own cuddly puppy who is a blank canvas just waiting for your imprinting to happen. They are much more adaptable and are easier to train than older dogs, but looking after a puppy requires time and consistency in the schedule.

An older dog really is truly more challenging than a pup. A puppy will toilet train in 3-7 days with a doggie door bell.

A REHOMED older dog can work out well... but he has to re-establish - or learn to establish new trust and re-learn new communication and new schedules. The dog will need to be fully integrated into the family so hopefully they feel comfortable and settle in. A rehomed older dog is sometimes somewhat trained and sometimes have some communication skills; all based on the previous owners efforts.

A RESCUE is a different kind of commitment. Rescued dogs have come from less than perfect situations and conditions as older or adult dogs. They can be extremely difficult to deal with. Only very experienced dog owners and trainers can rehabilitate these poor- mistreated creatures. Working with rescues is rewarding work. But it is a huge commitment, that may or may not end with success.

Older or Adult dogs can play a great role or play havoc in your day to day life....

Lots of reprogramming and consistency are challenges in changing the dogs mentality. With time and skill - this kind of situation sometimes improves with diligence and hard work. Kids are often disappointed by a failed doggie adoption or lack of success or even a stressed dog situation becoming dangerous.

Adopting an Older dog is something that should be done by experienced dog owners and people who are good at training dogs who have lots of time to “fix” the dog.

Rescues and rehomed long dogs is noble work and must be entered into with complete confidence of knowledge; commitment to endure and for the sake of the dogs sanity and trust ability.

A dog who has suffered with multiple changes in homes and owners run a good chance that; that dogs chances for happiness is difficult.

Pet Insurance

December 2020

Pet Insurance is an excellent idea for your brand new puppy as they have no pre-existing conditions.  It can help with unexpected vet bills.  Search on-line for a company and plan that works for you.

Yearly cost is about $2 a day.

With the rising costs of pet insurance, which now includes expensive procedures such as sonograms, MRIs and chemotherapy treatment, it has become increasingly important that you know your options.

Here’s what every pet parent needs to ask: Am I ready to make a difficult financial decision if my pet gets sick or injured?

Let’s look at an example. What if disaster strikes—your 7-year-old Labradoodle is hit by a car and you are faced with a $6,300 vet bill. Would you be able to afford the out-of-pocket expense or would you have to take on the debt to cover the cost of the procedure? Worse, would you make the hard decision to put your beloved pet down because of financial concerns?

Sadly, these are the options that tens of thousands of pet parents, they must consider if they do not carry pet insurance. In many ways, pet insurance is worth it just for your peace of mind.

So, is pet insurance worth it?

To help you answer that question for yourself, here are a few important factors to keep in mind before making that personal decision.


You might not actually want a policy that only covers your routine trips to the vet. It sounds bizarre, but these types of policies carry higher premiums and you may find yourself spending more on the policy than for the actual vet bills.

If you are considering coverage for routine veterinary visits for your pet, then a “Wellness Care” or preventative care policy, which many pet insurance companies offer, might work for you. Some insurance providers offer the coverage as a separate policy while others combine it in their comprehensive coverage plan.

This policy type only covers the following services: annual exams, routine visits, vaccinations. It does not cover illnesses or accidents. However, some policies will cover some of the yearly tests and treatments of your pets. These tests include heartworm and parasite detection, as well as deworming. Some provider plans also cover microchip insertion and grooming services.

Preventative care for your pets sounds like the smart choice, but we recommend you do the math first to see if it is worth it for you to purchase the coverage for your pet. Factors such as where you live, and the age and breed of your pet should be considered in determining your choice.

We do know that the tipping point to break even in most cases is $500 in annual preventative care.


If you're a pet owner who sees your pet as a part of the family and you don’t want to choose between a $5,000 vet bill and putting down your pet, then pet insurance is probably a good choice.

As pets age, it becomes much more likely that expensive surgery or ongoing medical treatment for a chronic condition will come up. Pet insurance can soften the financial blow by allowing you to do what's right for your pet, the same as you would for another family member.

Therefore, the best time for you to purchase pet insurance is when your pet is young and healthy. You’ll not only save on premiums, but you will have coverage for your pet before a chronic illness develops or an injury occurs.

Keep in mind that most providers do not cover pre-existing conditions or will not insure your pet if it already suffers from a chronic condition or previous injury.

Pet insurance can range from $60 to $100 per month, with the average policy costing about $65 per month. Is it worth it? Let’s say your dog becomes diabetic. Monthly insulin injections costs anywhere from $30 to $90 and that doesn’t include office visits or other treatments.

You will pay between $800 and $1,500 for unexpected veterinary care. And more than one-third of pet owners lacks the savings to cover this kind of significant out-of-pocket expense.


We recommend that you understand the following factors before you make a decision on purchasing pet insurance for your family pet.


There are four types of benefit limits, including:

Unlimited Lifetime (recommended) – once you pay your deductible, there are no caps on what a provider will pay to cover your vet’s bills

Annual Maximum – a provider sets a cap on how much it will cover each year

Annual Per Incident – this is the maximum amount a provider will cover per year for a particular procedure, illness, or medical condition

Lifetime Maximum – this is the maximum amount a provider will cover over the lifetime of your pet in total or for a specific condition

Deductibles and Reimbursements

Deductibles: this is the amount you will pay before your provider begins to cover expenses. As with other types of insurance, you determine the deductible amount, and the higher the deductible, the lower your premiums.

Reimbursement: this is the percentage of a vet bill that the pet insurance provider will pay. Similar to deductibles, you can choose the percentage for your pet’s plan.


Pricing is determined by a number of variables including where you live, your pet’s breed and age, your deductible amount and reimbursement percentage.


Most pet insurance companies will not cover a pre-existing condition.

Think of it this way, if you crashed your car when it was uninsured and then signed up for insurance, would you expect them to pay?

We don't think so. Don't delay in getting a quote.


Pet medical bills are expensive.

If you have a pet, you need to know your options and be prepared, should the unexpected strike.

Whether that means getting pet insurance or not is a personal decision for every pet parent, but it is essential to know your options. 


TRUPANION is $65 a month

Before puppy goes home- you need to activate YOUR 30 DAYS FREE PET INSURANCE

Call 855.266.2156 | Code: BR1LR92220

Or visit TRUPANION.COM to activate coverage

Timing on 

getting a dog 

Feb 2019


 Best timing to get a puppy is during your regular work pattern or schedule. Taking off a month or two to “train” your puppy only results in having to “re-train” your puppy AGAIN to get used to the NEW schedule. Much harder on the puppy and you. Teachers and people who get lots of time off in summer should get a puppy in closer to summer than February/ March so the puppy is used to his regular schedule by the time summer comes. 

Being home for A few days to get him used to being alone a bit at a time and using a crate is suggested. 

Toilet training when you are at work is best accomplished by getting a dog walker or helper to come at 10 am and 2 pm to feed and take out for a toilet break.  The puppy soon gets into this routine and that is what the dog gets used to.  As they get older one mid-day break is ok.  And by 8 months they can go all day in their crate if need be.  (8hrs). When your puppy goes home they aren’t expecting to be with you all day- so why allow them to if that’s not what life will look like most of the time?

If you are at home - or work at home daily - the dog should be alone or in a crate least two hours a day to prevent separation anxiety.  

Cancer Prevention

May 2019    Karen Becker

5 Ways to Reduce Your Dog's Cancer Risk

• Don't allow your dog to become overweight. Studies show that restricting the amount of calories an animal eats prevents and/or delays the progression of tumor development across species, including canines.

Fewer calories cause the cells of the body to block tumor growth, whereas too many calories can lead to obesity, and obesity is closely linked to increased cancer risk in humans. There is a connection between too much glucose, increased insulin sensitivity, inflammation, and oxidative stress – all factors in obesity – and cancer.

It's important to remember that fat doesn't just sit on your pet's body harmlessly. It produces inflammation that can promote tumor development.

• Feed an anti-inflammatory diet. Anything that creates or promotes inflammation in the body increases the risk for cancer. Current research suggests cancer is actually a chronic inflammatory disease, fueled by carbohydrates. The inflammatory process creates an environment in which abnormal cells proliferate.

Cancer cells require the glucose in carbohydrates to grow and multiply, so you want to eliminate that cancer energy source. Carbs to remove from your pet's diet include processed grains, fruits with fructose, and starchy vegetables like potatoes.

A probiotic is helpful to keep the system balanced. A daily vitamin is very important.

Cancer cells generally can't use dietary fats for energy, so high amounts of good quality fats are nutritionally beneficial for dogs fighting cancer, along with a reduced amount of protein and no carbs. I recently learned that dogs fighting cancer can do a better job addressing this sugar-crazed disease if their protein intake is limited for 120 days, more on that later!

Another major contributor to inflammatory conditions is a diet too high in omega-6 fatty acids and too low in omega-3s. Omega-6s increase inflammation while the omega-3s do the reverse. Processed pet food is typically loaded with omega-6 fatty acids and deficient in omega-3s.

A healthy diet for your pet – one that is anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer – consists of a holistic diet. It should include high-quality protein, including muscle meat, organs and bone. It should also include high amounts of animal fat, high levels of EPA and DHA (omega-3 fatty acids), and a few fresh cut, low glycemic veggies..

This species-appropriate diet is high in moisture content and contains no grains or starches. I also recommend making sure the diet is balanced following the ancestral diet recommendations, which have much more rigorous standards (higher amounts of minerals and vitamins) than our current dietary recommendations for dog.

A few beneficial supplements like probiotics, medicinal mushrooms, digestive enzymes, and super green foods can also be very beneficial to enhance immune function.

• Reduce or eliminate your dog's exposure to toxins. These include chemical pesticides like flea and tick preventives, lawn chemicals (weed killers, herbicides, etc.), tobacco smoke, flame retardants, and household cleaners (detergents, soaps, cleansers, dryer sheets, room deodorizers).

Because we live in a toxic world and avoiding all chemical exposure is nearly impossible, I also suggest offering a periodic detoxification protocol to your pet. Allergic reactions are also possible.

• Allow your dog to remain intact (not neutered or spayed), at least until the age of 12 months to two years. Studies have linked spaying and neutering to increasing cancer rates in dogs. Even better, investigate alternative ways to sterilize your pet without upsetting his or her important hormone balance.

• Refuse unnecessary vaccinations. Vaccine protocols should be tailored to minimize risk and maximize protection, taking into account the breed, background, nutritional status and overall vitality of the dog.

The protocol with healthy puppies is to provide vaccine at or before 8 weeks, and a second at 12 weeks – Rabies at 16 weeks. Then titer at one year. (ask your vet to run titers at a lab that uses the IFA method). Two weeks after the last set and if the dog has been successfully immunized, he is protected for life.

Avoid the standard yearly booster at many veterinary practices. This practice is completely unnecessary and immunologically risky.

BOREDOM BUSTERS.   available in our boutique-

May 2019    

Nose work or snuffling capitalises on this natural desire to sniff. Snuffle Mats are an interactive enrichment puzzle, used to help refine search and find skills along with many positive results including; Encouraging attentive play. Mentally stimulating and boredom-busting.

Try using a slow feed puzzle bowl sometimes. Feeding your dog out of a regular dog bowl is pretty boring. Dogs are natural foragers, so making them work for their bites of kibble is a great way to work their brain. If you have a dog that likes to inhale their food at record speeds, using an interactive puzzle for their meals is a great way to slow them down and prevent choking or GDV/Bloat.

And a true "classic" interactive food puzzle toy is the Kong Classic (which can be stuffed with a huge variety of recipes). Kongs come in a variety of sizes and "chewing strength," with softer options for puppies and seniors. Puzzle balls that are stuffed with food are also handy.

My personal favourites are the Lick Matts and Kongs. Kongs makes it easy to stuff with a variety of food and treats. Peanut butter is great - freeze it to keep him busy for hours. Lick matts are great for puppies still learning how to de-stuff toys or for dogs who might get frustrated if they can't empty out a Kong.

The Lick Matt works wonders in helping your puppy settle down, as repetitive licking has a calming effect for dogs. I mix up what I smear on the mat — from canned pumpkin to peanut butter, honey, refried beans and more. He usually takes about ten to fifteen minutes to lick it clean. And if I want it to last a bit longer, I'll pop it in the freezer beforehand. After finishing it off, he's always ready for a nice long snooze.

A snuffle mat is a fun way to feed your dog their regular meals and work their foraging skills at the same time. My dog loves to root around in the long "grass" for treats and kibble, and is learning how to navigate the pockets and other puzzles on her snuffle mat. I love how it keeps her busy for around ten minutes, slows down her eating, and how she usually takes a nap afterwards to recover from all that nose work.

How to keep your dog busy while you are away from home - teach self entertaining

July 2020    

Most modern pet parents lead very busy lives with jobs and children, and our dogs often end up spending a good portion of the day home alone. A lonely, bored dog will find a way to occupy her time that can be destructive to your furniture and clothes and potentially harmful to herself.

Hiring a dog walker may actually save you money in the long run when you factor in damages to your home. The dog walker can exercise your dog for as long as you think necessary, and hopefully your pooch will just snooze the rest of the day, until you get home.

Here’s suggestions to ease your dogs anxiety.

1. Let your dog watch television.

Turn on your TV to the Animal Planet™ station and up the volume. The sights and sounds of barking dogs and mewing cats helps to stimulate your dog’s brain in a quiet house, keeping her from finding ways to get in trouble.

2. Provide ways your dog can look through a window or door.

Open the curtains or blinds to a back window in your home so that your pooch can watch whatever is going on outside your back door. If you also have a small dog or a toy breed, set a cushion or chair by the window so that your pup is comfortably able to see out.

3. Fill a hollow toy with peanut butter - like a KONG.

Stuff the toy with your all natural all-natural peanut butter. Most dogs love the smell and taste of peanut butter and can take hours finding every last dollop in a treat stuffable toy. To provide an extra challenge, freeze the toys after stuffing them. Some examples of food puzzle toys like a Kong.

4. Scavenger Hunt

Make your dog hunt for her meals by hiding stuffed food puzzle toys or small piles of her kibble around your house.

Scatter a couple of handfuls of kibble in the areas where your dog hangs out during the day and she’ll have fun hunting her treats while you’re at work. You can also hide one of her meals or puzzle toy right before you leave home so that she learns to associate your leaving for the day with a positive – as opposed to a negative – emotion.

5. Calm your dog!

If your dog becomes nervous, anxious, or overactive when you’re not at home, you can try these ideas:

-Apply a combination of calming essential oils (lavender, peppermint, eucalyptus, wild orange, and frankincense  be careful of how much you use and which oils are dog safe. – whichever smells best to you) on your pet’s bedding.

-Give them a treat designed to promote rest and relaxation like all natural calming chews. This may keep your dog relaxed while you’re gone and help alleviate any barking issues that disturb the neighbors.

-Use a dog pheromone.

If you sense that being alone causes anxiety in your dog, try using a dog-appeasing pheromone collar, spray, or diffuser. Sentry makes a calming collar just for this. The pheromone released by these products is similar to one that a lactating mother would emit to calm her newborn puppies. This pheromone will be familiar to your pup and create a sense of relaxation. You can place the diffuser in a room that is usually occupied by your dog, apply the spray to a dog bed, or have your dog wear the collar.

6. Give your dog a puzzle

There are loads of interactive dog toys on the market that will keep your dog occupied for hours.

7. Get your dog a furry brother or sister.

Adopting or rescuing another dog as a companion to your furry friend helps both animals. You give your existing animal someone to socialize with during the day and you save a life. This is entirely a personal choice on your part, but you need to ensure that any new animal coming into your home is healthy, has been vaccinated and vetted, and gets along with your dog. Reputable rescues will often allow you to foster first, and then adopt the dog of your choice to make sure the animal fits well with your family.

8. Give your dog a block of ice to play with.

Place your dog’s treats or some suitable food in an ice-cream container, fill with water, and freeze. Alternatively freeze a toy like a knotted rope in some water. As the ice melts, toys and treats become available for your dog.

9. Schedule a Puppy Playdate!

Schedule playdates with the pets of a trusted neighbour or family member. Allow a pet parent you trust – and who owns a dog that your pet knows well – to come over and have a playdate with your pup. Make sure that both animals enjoy each other’s company and play well together before trying this activity. Leave your veterinarian’s name and phone number with the other pet parent just in case of an emergency.

10. Enroll you pooch in doggy daycare.

If your dog is well-socialized and enjoys the company of other pets, send her off to doggy daycare while you’re working. Reputable pet care facilities employ staff trained in ways to keep your pup safe and active. Find one in your area that fits your schedule and schedule a tour and an interview with management and staff. Make sure you get references and recommendations from pet owners that use the facility before you leave your precious companion for the day.

11. Employ a dog walker to exercise your pet daily.

Many reputable pet care facilities include a dog walking service. They send a bonded, experienced person to your home to walk your pooch on regularly scheduled visits. For those pet parents whose workdays run long, a dog walker may be the only way your pooch can get some much needed exercise.

12. Bully sticks and dental chews

Giving your dog plenty of her own toys and dental chews will help prevent her from gnawing on your things. Additionally, dental chews help to keep her teeth clean and freshen her breath. 

13. Introduce a new toy

A new toy can add some excitement during the day while your dog is home alone. A tough chew toy that can’t be torn apart while you’re gone is best, just in case your dog likes to gobble things up. Also rotate her toys…after a day or two, put one toy away so it’s out of sight and mind, and bring out another to replace it. This will keep all of your pet’s toys fresh and exciting.

14. Add a fountain.

Making sure your dog has enough water for the day while no one is home is very important, and a dog fountain can provide a constant supply of clean fresh water while also piquing your dog’s interest. Many dogs love water and the running water of a fountain can create a diversion for your dog. Be sure to have the regular bowl of water out just in case your dog does not take to the fountain while you’re away.


Frozen uncooked cow bones- Give in while in the crate Beef Bones – Chewing reduces stress and anxiety in dogs. Look for them at our butcher or grocery store- KEEP MEAT AND MARROW. 

visit to look for interesting STUFF for your dog.

What will my puppy grow out of or what is an issue?

June 2021 - Pippa Mathinson

“Don't worry, he’ll grow out of it” is something that struggling dog owners hear a lot. Especially if their dog is between six months and two years of age.

Sometimes, it’s true. Most dogs do eventually grow out of chewing everything in sight, for example.

But sometimes, waiting for a dog to ‘grow out of it’ is likely to end in disappointment. And putting bad behavior down to 'adolescence' or 'hormones' is not always such a good idea.

I thought it might be interesting to look at some of the behaviors that dogs DO grow out of, and some of the behaviors that are more likely to persist or even get worse.

Behaviors that many dogs will grow out of

Puppy play biting

Toilet training accidents



Excessive boisterousness

I say 'many dogs' rather than 'all dogs' because there are instances when such behavior can persist indefinitely. Or morph into something worse. Let’s look at each of those behaviors in turn

Play biting

All puppies bite. And puppy biting tends to peak at around 3 months old, then decline. However, a different kind of biting, an ‘excitement nip’, can develop and persist in dogs during the second half of the first year.

Excitement nips can become very rough and they are usually triggered by rough, physical play. You can avoid, and cure them, by insisting that family members do not engage in physical play or ‘rough housing’ with your dog.

And by switching your dog’s focus from rough play to calm training, using short structured training games that can be played regularly throughout the day. You'll find examples of these games on our website and in dog courses.

Constant puddles

Toilet training can seem like a two steps forward and one step back journey at times, but with good supervision, most puppies improve rapidly as their bladder matures.

Even rescue dogs with poor toilet control will respond rapidly to a structured toilet training course.

Exceptions can occur in dogs that have lost that all important instinct for keeping their own bed clean.

That’s why we place such emphasis during Puppy Parenting on never forcing a puppy to wet their own bed by crating them with a very full bladder for example, or leaving a puppy too long in a crate.


Clumsiness is very common in large friendly puppies. And it can be a problem in homes where a large breed puppy is sharing floor space with a toddler.

As they mature, most puppies do learn to step around babies rather than walking straight through them, and life gets easier!

In the meantime, baby gates and supervision are your friend.


The bad news is that the chewing phase is long. In some breeds up to two years. The good news is that for most dogs it does end. Eventually!

In the meantime, providing your dog a variety of chew toys, of different types, will help. And young dogs should not be left for long periods unsupervised until they have outgrown this phase.

And I say 'most dogs' because adult dogs will sometimes chew and destroy furnishings, and even the fabric of buildings if distressed. Usually as a result of long periods of isolation.

Okay, so those are mostly good news. Be patient, manage puppies and young dogs appropriately, and with time their behavior will settle and improve. But what about those behaviors that don't simply resolve over time?

Dogs do not grow out of these

Here are some behaviors that don't spontaneously improve as dogs mature. In fact they are likely to get worse

Running away

Regularly peeing or soiling the crate

Refusing to be caught

Barking or whining in the crate


Pulling on the leash

Not listening

Running away

Running off during walks, sometimes for hours at a time, is a very common problem. It starts when a young dog's growing independence is not accompanied by a growing bond with, and interest in, their owner.

When training goes right, the owner becomes the centre of the dog's world. The source of so much fun, that the dog never wants to be far from them, in case they miss the next good thing.

A good structured training system ensures that this happens.

When training goes wrong, the dog discovers they can have much more fun on their own. And the only solution is a period of restricted freedom while the dog is retrained, and the bond with the owner is rebuilt.

We'll be talking more about retraining dogs with problems in the next few weeks.

Peeing or soiling the crate

Occasionally I hear from a puppy parent that has got themselves into a particularly difficult situation. They have a young puppy that pees and poops in its own bed.

This can be a difficult problem to fix but it is a very easy one to avoid.

All puppies have a powerful instinct to keep their bed clean and from being very small will move away from the ’nest’ area to empty themselves. Bed wetting in this situation is usually the result of the puppy being forced to stay in its bed, until it can no longer hold on

Refusing to be caught

If you've ever spent an unhappy half hour trying to catch your dog at the end of a walk you'll know just how infuriating this can be!

It happens because the dog doesn't want the walk to end. And it's usually an easy one to fix. You need to make the return to the vehicle or being leashed, a cause for celebration.

TIP: Start at home with some very high value rewards. Warm roast chicken is usually a winner. Leash your dog, feed, and unleash your dog. Repeat many times. Progress to the garden or yard. Then to open country with the dog on a long line. Put the leash on as well as the line. Feed, and take the leash off again.

Keep practicing and always, but always reinforce the end of a walk with some high value treats.

Barking or whining in the crate or kennel

Some dogs will give up making a noise in a crate or kennel if nobody ever responds to them. But not many. And those that do, may get worse before they get better.

It's not unusual for a dog to bark throughout the working day if left alone at home.

And the way to avoid this un-neighborly problem, is to train your dog how to relax on their own. Starting with the games that we play with our puppies that reinforce them when we leave the room.


Occasionally dog owners write to me because they are concerned that their dog is straying from their property. This is more common in rural areas where people are hoping to give their dog more freedom.

Roaming tends to begin in the second half of the first year and although more common in intact male dogs, it does occur in neutered males, and in females too.

It goes without saying that your dog is greatly at risk from this habit and unfortunately not only do dogs not grow out of it. It tends to get worse. And sadly, there is no foolproof solution, other than a secure fence.

Pulling on the leash

If your dog pulls on the leash you'll almost certainly be aware that this is a problem that is not going to go away on its own.

Check out my article: When Your Dog Will NOT Stop Pulling On The Leash for more information on that one

Not listening

Not listening tends to precede other problems, such as running away, and needs addressing promptly. You should be able to engage your dog in the space of just a few seconds.

By engage your dog, I mean: make sure that they are fully focused on you and trying to figure out what you want them to do next.

Getting your dog's attention is critical, and it's something we focus on in all our entry level courses, from Puppy Games up.

TIP: You can make a start today, by practicing some simple short games with your dog - rewarding them for eye contact or a nose touch for example.

Make sure you play those games throughout the day, so that your dog starts to realise you are not just a pretty face, you are actually worth listening to!

Have fun, and keep your dog engaged!

Dogs are being stolen

jan 2021

Be careful about your backyard view to the road.  Do not tie your dog up where it can be seen from the road.  Very high incidents of dog theft are happening and the dog is being resold on Kijiji and other classified sites for crazy money due to COVID demands for dogs.  Be careful about leaving your dog unattended.

Eating Habits and using Treats 

Dec  2021

Dogs eating habits slow down and change as they slow growing and become more mature

Your Goldendoodle should learn to be a grazer - benefits are much healthier digestion health because they’re not wolfing their food down; Less food aggression and no food coveting.

They should be allowed to self govern their food intake.

Avoid too many high protein; carbohydrate or sugary treats. 

Sweet or really favoured treats are like candy for your dog child. They much prefer them over a well balanced meal they get from kibble.

To avoid too much “candy” Put kibble in a bag with dehydrated liver to transfer the flavour and not use other types of treats as the dog gets past toilet training.

Use a certain treat for toilet training. Use a different treat for behaviour training.

Dogs that over eat should have a slow feed bowl to avoid eating too quickly and causing many digestive issues.

Dogs train much faster when using a food reward over praise only. 

THC  poisoning in dogs

jan 2021

Veterinarians are seeing a 'dramatic spike' in dogs with marijuana toxicity dogs

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals runs a poison control hotline in the U.S. and has reported a 756 per cent increase in calls related to marijuana or cannabis over the course of the last 10 years,

Dogs getting sick on pot brownies and edibles, even as owners turn to cannabis oil as an alternative treatment.

Public parks are a dangerous place where people discard Butts from marijuana cigarettes and dogs eat it.

Because THC stops vomiting, a vet needs to either flush their stomach or give them activated charcoal.

These types of cases may become more common because pot is now legal in Canada.

A recent study in Colorado of 125 dogs found cases of marijuana toxicity in dogs quadrupled after pot was legalized there.

Importance of giving your dog probiotics

jan 2023

The Importance of Giving Your Dog Probiotics

Did you know? 70% of your dog's immune system is in their gut. As a result, there are endless complications and disorders that can be triggered if your dog is suffering from poor gut health. Inflammatory bowel disease, paw biting, scratching and even tear stains can all be caused by an imbalance of bacteria in your dog.

However, poor gut health has a far more systemic reach. While poor gut health impacts things such as immune response,it can even affect your dog’s behavior, with problems such as anxiety and depression.

Luckily, with the right Probiotic or Digestive Supplement product, your dog's poor gut health and symptoms can clear up in just a few weeks. Read on to discover the benefits and our top 5 expert ranked list of products.

Potential Problems of Poor Gut Health

Failure to provide the best care for your best friend’s gut can result in discomfort at best and sereve illness at worse. Possible complications include:

    •    Allergies

    •    Skin Irritations and Itchy Skin

    •    Chronic or Intermittent Diarrhea

    •    Paw Biting & Licking

    •    Gassiness, Flatulence and Bloating

    •    Behavioural Issues Linked To Anxiety

    •    Nutritional Imbalance and Deficiencies

    •    Yeast Infections

Benefits of Probiotics

There are endless scientific studies which highlight the benefits of probiotics for dogs. Probiotics are filled with good healthy bacteria, which when ingested, can help fight back against harmful bacteria in your dog's gut. Probiotics bring the following benefits:

High Quality Dog Probiotics Can:

        Prevent Paw Biting

        Alleviate Allergies

        Reduce Itching & Scratching

        Fix Recurring Diarrhea

        Reduce Anxiety & Boost Mood

        Prevent Excessive Shedding

        Boost Muscle Mass

        Rid of Yeast Infections

What To Look For In Dog Probiotics

Dog probiotics are NOT all the same. It is critical to ensure you choose a vetted probiotic that contains scientifically proven ingredients such as:



The most effective family of bacteria to prevent harmful bacteria growth & boost immunity. This powerful probiotic has been thoroughly researched and has proven effectiveness.



A powerful natural ingredient to aid digestion, reduce inflammation of the gut and is a strong antioxidant.


        Yucca Schidigera

This all-important ingredient improves digestion, serves as prebiotic fiber and helps strengthen stool.


        Black Pepper To maximize absorption of the Probiotic, calm the gut and produce critical stomach acid to kill bad bacteria.

Your Definitive Probiotics Checklist

It is important that you make sure to buy a Probiotic with the following, so that you do not waste money on ineffective products. Ensure your Probiotic has:


        High Volumes of CFUs

CFUs are colony-forming units – the number of living microbes in the probiotics. We recommend 2+ Billion CFU..


        Vital Ingredients Ensure the probiotic follows the above recommended list of ingredients, to ensure effectiveness and safety.


        Additional Nutrients Opt for a probiotic that supports overall health with a balance of vitamins such as A and C, as well as minerals such as Manganese. These are important minerals that can help the overall health of your dog. Probiotics can be fragile. Look for storage instructions and check this probiotic is formulated to contain live bacteria for its full life.

Understanding Addisons

October 3 2022

Hypoadrenocorticism, or adrenal insufficiency, is more commonly known as Addison's disease. Named for the British physician Thomas Addison, who described the condition in humans in 1849, Addison's disease is a genetic condition that mimics other illnesses. Signs may occur suddenly and severely or may wax and wane. As a result, dogs with Addison's disease sometimes are mistaken for having conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease, hepatic or liver disease, or acute kidney failure.

Addison's disease first was recognized in dogs in 1953. Although the disorder can occur in any breed it is impossible to know ahead if a dog will develop it.  There is no way of detecting any genetics in a dog.  No test without symptoms.   Just having a genetic potential does not mean an Addisons flare up will happen. Triggers play a huge role

Addisons is not necessarily in a simple autosomal recessive inheritance pattern as other factors seem to govern onset of the disease  30 to 40 genes may be involved in each autoimmune disease. While some are common to all autoimmune diseases, others are disease-specific. Some genes are protective, and others increase risk.Layered on these are the triggers that make a particular animal ill. 

***These can be environmental, or medications, but most are unknown. Other factors, such as penetration, expression and epigenetics, also are involved in whether a dog will get sick. ***

For example, there was a litter of Beardies in the U.K. in which both parents developed Addison's after the puppies were born. All the puppies would be genetically programmed for Addison's if the disease were simple autosomal recessive, yet they are 11 years old now and none has developed Addison's.

Similar to cancer - there is no test ahead of a dog getting sick to know if they carry a possibility of having Addisons develop.

It is believed that any dog could develop it because like cancer - not enough is known about what triggers it.

Hopefully they will discover a marker and possible gene mutation that increase the risk of these diseases.

Discovery of the gene mutation for Addison's disease would help breeders in making breeding decisions. For now, vets cautiously advises breeders to not disregard dogs with valuable characteristics. "I encourage breeders not to eliminate a potential carrier of Addison's disease, or another autoimmune disorder, if the dog has phenomenal attributes," she says. "You could easily trade one disorder for another. 


Sick Puppy?

You are worried that your dog is sick?

Behaviour is the key to knowing if your dog is sick.  Stress stool can occur in dogs during a change of environment or food.  Some times even droplets of blood can occur in the stool from stress.

Diarrhea is a common problem in puppies, and can range from a single mild episode to a severe symptom of a serious underlying condition.

There are a number of causes of diarrhea in very young dogs including:

1. Stress

2. Change in diet

3. Ingestion of a foreign object

4. Parasites

5. Viral infection

It's important to keep a close eye on a puppy with diarrhea, as very young dogs can get much sicker much faster than an older animal.

Most pet owners who've had experience with a puppy have also had at least one go-round with puppy diarrhea.

If your puppy is having diarrhea, there's no reason to panic unless the problem is very severe.

However, you should watch your pup carefully and if the problem doesn't resolve within one or two potty sessions, you should make an appointment with your pet's veterinarian or visit an animal emergency clinic. Young puppies can become dangerously dehydrated in 24 hours or less.

#1: Stress-Induced Diarrhea

Both people and animals can get diarrhea as a result of stress.

Think about it. A puppy new to your family has undergone tremendous changes in a short period of time.

She's been removed from her mother and littermates. She has been physically relocated from the only environment she's known to a new, unfamiliar one. There was probably some travel involved, if only a short drive in the car.

The sights, sounds, smells and temptations in her world have changed overnight.

She's no longer one of several, but the only puppy in the household. If your family is like most, your new little girl is overwhelmed with attention – she's being handled, talked to and played with more than ever before.

Any change can be stressful, even a change for the better. When you consider the inexperience of your puppy and the major adjustments she must make during her first few months of life, it's really not surprising if her GI tract reacts to the stress.

If your puppy's diarrhea is stress related, it should resolve within a few days. Make sure to keep clean, fresh water available for her at all times, and if necessary, take her to the bowl and encourage her to drink. Your integrative vet can also offer many suggestions on simple, natural remedies that can help your pet through this initial adjustment period, if needed.

Also make sure she has lots of opportunity to nap and plenty of quiet time.

#2: Diarrhea Caused by a Change in Diet

Depending on where your puppy came from, you may or may not have received information on his diet before you brought him home.

Many new puppy owners either don't know what food their pet is used to, or decide to make a change for some reason (hopefully to upgrade to species-appropriate nutrition).

An abrupt change in your puppy's diet can bring on a bout of diarrhea. In fact, this is true for older dogs as well, if dietary diversity has not been practiced.

Even if your pup was being fed a low quality commercial puppy chow, a sudden change to a high quality diet can temporarily upset his digestive system and cause loose stools.

Changes to your dog's diet, no matter his age, should be gradual – preferably over a seven to ten day period, and sometimes longer, depending on each pup.

It's always a good idea to learn what your puppy has been fed up to the time you bring him home. That way you can blend a bit of the food he's used to with the food you want to transition him to, gradually decreasing and ultimately eliminating the old food over the course of one to two weeks.

I recommend you continue to rotate your puppy's food intermittently throughout her life, as there is no one perfect protein source that should be fed exclusively for a lifetime. Gradually tapering off of one brand and onto another will reduce episodes of diarrhea in the future.

#3: Ingestion of a Foreign Object

Puppies are incredibly curious about everything they encounter in their environment, and the way they explore new things is usually with their mouths.

You might think all your pup is doing is chewing something he shouldn't – which is problem enough – but whatever he's chewing will get swallowed if it isn't removed from his mouth.

Foreign objects, including several people foods, plants, and flowers, can do more than cause a case of diarrhea.

Your little guy can also be poisoned or suffer a complete blockage in his GI tract if he swallows the wrong thing.

For a number of reasons, including the potential for ingesting a non-food, toxic or other foreign object, your puppy should never be left roaming unattended in your home or yard – not even for a minute.

If you suspect your pup has swallowed something he shouldn't, call his veterinarian or an animal emergency clinic immediately.

#4: Diarrhea Caused by Worms or Other Parasites

Some of the most common organisms causing diarrhea in puppies are hookworms, roundworms, tapeworms and whipworms.

Fortunately, worm infestations are easily cured medically, so get your puppy to her veterinarian if you suspect her diarrhea is caused by worms.

In the meantime, make sure to keep her hydrated, as dehydration is the most immediate concern for any puppy with diarrhea.

Once your puppy has been medically dewormed, discuss with her holistic veterinarian safe, natural options for keeping future intestinal invaders in check.

Other types of pests that can cause diarrhea in your pup are protozoan parasites. These are single celled organisms, the most common of which are coccidia and Giardia. They are taken in from drinking water from puddles or eating feces. Symptoms can start as soon as 24 hours from contact.

If your puppy is carrying a protozoan parasite in her intestinal tract, her diarrhea will typically be watery and very smelly. You might see blood or mucus in the stool, and your pup will generally have other symptoms like vomiting, loss of appetite or fatigue.

It's important to get your pet to a veterinarian as soon as possible if you think parasites are causing her diarrhea, as medical management may be necessary to get rid of the problem.

Unfortunately, the drugs used to treat these types of parasites have side effects and aren't always entirely effective.

I recommend you take your pup to a holistic or integrative vet who can work with you to solve the problem with natural alternative remedies. Again – don't delay treatment, and make sure to keep your puppy hydrated in the meantime.

Be aware that Giardia and coccidia are easily transmitted to other pets and human family members as well. Eliminating the parasites from your environment and good personal hygiene are musts in order to avoid spreading the problem around.

#5: Viral Infection

Diarrhea is one of the most common symptoms of several canine viral infections, the most serious of which is parvovirus, also referred to as CPV or simply parvo.

Parvovirus is highly contagious and is passed through exposure to the feces of an infected dog. The virus invades the lining of the small intestine and causes foul-smelling, bloody diarrhea, as well as vomiting, lethargy, depression and severe dehydration. Symptoms can start within 3-7 days from exposure.

Older dogs usually recover from parvo, but the virus is often fatal in infected puppies.

If your pup is showing signs of a viral infection, time is of the essence. If you can't get in to see your veterinarian right away, I recommend you take your pet to an animal emergency clinic.

How to Know If Your Puppy's Diarrhea is Life Threatening

Unfortunately, there's no hard and fast rule for determining whether your puppy's diarrhea is mild and will resolve quickly or is a symptom of a serious threat to his health.

Generally speaking, if your puppy suddenly develops watery stools – especially if they're streaked with blood – and has any other symptoms like vomiting, I recommend you seek immediate veterinary care. Very young puppies can become desperately ill in a matter of hours and it's better to be safe than sorry.

The key is to stay alert with any new, young four-legged member of the family. Keep a close eye on your puppy and be disciplined about securing him in his crate or a puppy-proof area of your home when you can't watch him – even for a minute. This will reduce or eliminate the potential for your pup to swallow something he shouldn't.

Likewise, changing his diet gradually should help to avoid GI upsets.

Insuring he's not over-stimulated and gets plenty of rest and quiet time should curb his stress reaction to a new environment.

Until your pup has received two well-timed puppy vaccinations or homeopathic nosodes, it's not a good idea to take him to dog parks or other places where dogs you don't know congregate. Take care not to give him access to any area where other dogs do their business.

Do, however, start socializing your pup on his first day home. Keeping him safe from disease before he's immunized (which means his immune system has developed the correct antibodies to fight of life-threatening infection) doesn't require that you quarantine or entirely isolate the little guy.

Taking sensible precautions with your new puppy can reduce or eliminate the potential for tummy upsets and diarrhea, and put you in a better position to know immediately if you should seek veterinary care.

The more you know about possible causes of your puppy's loose stools, the better prepared you'll be to react to a true emergency.

Home Care for Mild Diarrhea

If your puppy is having some mild diarrhea but is otherwise playful, energetic and weighs more than 5 pounds, fast her for 12 hours, preferably overnight. The G.I. tract can only rest, repair and restore itself when it's not working.

If she's better in the morning, give her some chicken or vegetable broth (no onion) and cooked sweet potato or pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling!). If the stool improves, but isn't 100%, feed a second and third meal of cooked ground turkey meat (no bones) and sweet potato or pumpkin. Once she continues to improve, you can go back to regular feedings.

If the diarrhea continues another day or two, even if she seems fine, it's time to take her to the vet, and bring a small stool sample with you.

An effective herbal remedy for mild diarrhea in very young puppies:

* Bring a pint of water to boil

* Add 2 teaspoons of dried chamomile herb to the boiling water; steep for 10 minutes

* Pour the mixture through cheesecloth, then add 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt and 4 tablespoons slippery elm powder. Stir well and let cool.

Give your puppy two to three teaspoons of this mixture three times a day. Make sure she drinks plenty of water in between doses. You can also give her an electrolyte solution to help prevent dehydration and replenish vital nutrients.


Does your Dog Bark to get Attention?

by Linda Cole

One reason a dog might end up in a shelter is because their owner didn’t understand why they did certain things, such as bark excessively. Dogs bark when they’re playing, bored, alerting us to danger or because they want attention. Separation anxiety and barking for attention are two different things, but both need to be dealt with before the barking gets out of hand.

There are a variety of reasons why a dog might develop separation anxiety. Barking to get attention is more like the child who keeps tugging on his mom’s arm while she’s talking to someone else. If Mom stops talking and pays attention to the child, an onlooker might say the child is spoiled. Dogs that bark to get attention are also classified as being spoiled. I agree that you can’t allow your dog to try and manipulate your attention by constantly barking. However, referring to a dog or child as being spoiled links behavioral problems to a word that can be offensive to some and often is not true about either the child or the dog.

Dogs learn what we teach them, and we teach them a lot even when we don’t know it. Small dogs can easily become attention-getting barkers because they are small and it’s easy to pick up your small dog when he’s standing with his paws on your leg or lap and barks to get your attention. He learns the way to get your attention is to jump up and bark and you will pick him up. Some dogs bark when they are outside and can’t see their owner. The difference between barking for attention and separation anxiety can be seen in their body language and in the sound of their bark.

Puppies learn quickly that barking or whining gets us to pick them up and give them attention, and some adult dogs will continue the behavior. When my dog was a pup, she never barked for attention. However, as she matured into a young adult, she did start barking to get our attention. My dog is not a spoiled dog. She’s loved and she knows it, but she also knows she won’t get what she wants by barking.

If your dog barks constantly or whines and you’re certain it’s not caused by separation anxiety or medical problems, barking for attention can be corrected by ignoring their barking and with consistent training. You need to ignore the barking because if you yell at them or show them any kind of attention, you’re rewarding them for barking or whining. Even negative attention is attention as far as a dog is concerned. So begin your training by completely ignoring your barking dog. Then, get out the treats and do some dog training.

Start by teaching your dog to sit. When he’s barking or whining nonstop and insisting that you pay attention to him, show him a treat and have him sit. Don’t give him the treat or attention until he’s sitting quietly. You need him to learn that if he wants your attention, he has to behave and work for it. Have him sit whenever you’re giving him attention. It doesn’t matter if you’re sitting down or standing. If he starts to paw at your arm or leg, whining or barking, have him sit first and then give him the attention he’s asking for. He will learn to sit politely to ask for attention instead of barking and demanding attention.

You want your dog to learn he will get the attention he wants when he is quiet and calm. Think of an attention seeking dog as a work in progress that just needs some refining to become a well mannered pet. Training your dog is fun for both of you, as long as you do it with lots of praise, patience and consistency. Most dogs learn how to sit quickly and when you teach him to sit before you feed him or give him attention, he learns he doesn’t have to bark or whine to get your attention. Plus, he’s learning an important basic command all dogs should know.