Sunday, December 29, 2013

Year End at Smart Dogs Canine Training in Milton

Looking for some New Years resolutions that are not the norm? No dieting, less spending or being nicer? How about some resolutions to making you and your dogs relationship stronger, and more meaningful? And how to we acheive this, you may ask. Through training, exercise, play and quality time. Nothing builds a better bond with a pet than taking the time to comunicate with them through good obedience training (or any type of training for that matter). So, if you've got some things that you know your dog needs work on (or both you and your dog), why not make that your New Years resolution instead of loosing 10lbs. And hey, the bonus is the more time you take with your dog, the more active you'll get, and you'll probably loose those 10lbs anyway.

The old cliche that time goes by way too fast is often spot on during the holiday season. The New Year is now upon us and we'd like to take the time to thank all of our wonderful clients whom we've worked with over the 2013 year. The efforts we've seen and the dramatic results make our work so very worth while. Keep up the great work everyone, and we look forward to 2014 with new and return clients!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Merry Christmas from Smart Dogs Canine Training

Just wanted to take a moment to wish our clients, friends and family a very Merry Christmas, a Happy, Healthy Holiday Season no matter what you are celebrating, and a Happy New Year

All the best for 2014!!! From your friends at Smart Dogs Canine Training in Milton.

Friday, December 20, 2013

New Training schedule for January 2014 - Dog Training Milton

We have a new schedule available for January 2014.

Smart Dogs Basics is for beginner dogs 20 weeks and up, or anyone who wants to refresh their basic obedience in a group environment to introduce distractions. Great results with this class, and the dogs learn to work with you, not against you. The most important class to take!

Smart Dogs Puppy will be running pending interest. We typically do private training for pups under 20 weeks, but every now and then we offer group puppy class, so take advantage while it's running.

Smart Dogs Agility INTRO will run in January as well as our Refresher course for those who've take our agility classes and want to keep up with training over the winter months until we get back out in the barn in warmer weather.

Saturday Morning Jan. 11th 10:00-11:00am (indoor) $200 + HST - 7 weeks
Thursday Evening Jan. 9th or  Jan. 16th 7:00-8:00pm (indoor) $200 + HST - 7 weeks

Saturday Afternoon 11:30-12:15pm Jan. 11th pending (indoor) $100 + HST - 4 weeks

Fun Agility Intro Saturday Afternoon Jan. 18th pending 1:45-2:45pm (indoor) $180 + HST - 6 weeks
Agility Refresher Saturday Afternoon Jan. 18th 12:30-1:30pm (indoor) $100 + HST - 4 weeks

BOOTCAMP will resume in the Spring 2014 (outdoor) - 6 weeks - $180 + HST

If you are interested in signing up for one of these classes, please do not hesitate to contact us at If you'd like more information, please visit our website at and click the "Services" tab.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Mini Holiday Pet Portrait Photo Sessions in Milton

It’s that time of year once again ... the cold is in the air, and the holidays are just around the corner.
This year we will be sponsoring a Mini Holiday Photo Session captured by Chickadoo Expressions Photography & Design (yes you will also see me behind the lens) for our canine companions along side Woof Walking & Co., and Mutt Life.
A portion of proceeds from the sessions will be donated to the Jack Russell Rescue of Ontario.
The holiday photo sessions will take place outdoors with a gorgeous backdrop at The Gallery Upstairs at Harrop Restaurant 345 Steeles Ave. Milton. on Sunday December 1st starting at 11:00am. Our focus is on the dogs, but if a human wants to jump in on a shot, you are welcome to. Please see the above flyer for details. Spaces are limited.
To book a space for your dog (and possibly a human or two) you can either contact or to reserve your spot.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Puppy Class in Milton

We don't run them often, but every now and then we offer a Puppy Class for young pups under 16 weeks of age.

This class introduces your puppy to training in a fun, positive way, emphasizing focus and self control as well as teaching the sit, down and come. We do a little socialization work as well.

Class runs for 4 weeks, 45 minutes once a week, cost is $100 plus HST.

This is a great base to start with before entering the more challenging and structured Basic Class.

This class runs on a per interest basis and is scheduled for Thursday evenings starting in November, 6:30-7:15pm. We have two spaces available.

Contact us at if you are interested in signing up or visit our website for more details:

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween - Dog Training Milton Ontario

Just wanted to take a moment to wish everyone a Happy and Safe Halloween.
Make sure to secure your pets properly to keep them safe.
Enjoy everyone!!!


Thursday, October 17, 2013

Thursday Evening Dog Obedience Classes in Milton

We will have another Smart Dogs Basic Class running Thursday evenings starting November 7th, 7:30-8:30pm.

This class helps you teach your dog all of the basics (sit, down, stay, come, heel) in a group environment, under distraction, and emphasizes control and focus.

Class runs for 7 weeks, one hour a week, cost is $200 plus HST.

We will also have a Smart Puppy Class running Thursday evenings starting in November, 6:30-7:15pm. 

This class introduces your puppy to training in a fun, positive way, emphasizing focus and self control as well as teaching the sit, down and come. We do a little socialization work as well.

Class runs for 4 weeks, 45 minutes once a week, cost is $100 plus HST.

Watch for our upcoming SMALL DOG SOCIAL GROUP in partnership with Woof Walking and Co. Details to follow soon.

Please contact us at or visit the website for more details:

Friday, September 20, 2013

Dog Poop and Walking Paths

I'm not typically an internet ranter, and I apologize to those who loath reading internet rants, but here goes:

Why is it that there are still dog owners out there that don't feel the slightest responsibility to clean up after their pets? This is a HUGE pet peeve of mine, as this is one of the many responsibilities and obligations of dog ownership. My feelings might be a bit harsh, but if you don't feel the need to handle your obligations as a dog owner, and clean up after your canine companion, don't get a dog!

It amazes me the amount of ignorant people who let their dogs leave bombs along the walking paths (especially the paths around the ponds in this town), with no regard for the many other people that use those paths on their daily outings; be it other dog owners, parents and children, kids coming home from school, couples taking a relaxing evening stroll etc. It is absolutely disgusting to have to avoid 10 piles of steaming turds on a 50 foot path, like some sort of excriment slolum, while trying take a leisurely stroll out in the fresh air.

Worst of all, is the fact that young children use those paths to walk or bike on. The last thing I want to see is a child falling into or stepping on a dung heap left by some ignorant dog owner who feels he/she is above the job of clean up. If I can clean up after multiple dogs EVERY single time, with a three year old and a wagon in tow, then everyone should be able to clean up after their single or multiple dogs with no exceptions.

So if you own a dog, it is YOUR responsibility to clean up after that animal, not to mention that there are by-laws in place requiring your to do your duty. So man (or woman) up, and pick up!!!

Rant done.

This has become a rather disgusting problem in my area and over the winter months will only get worse, hence the rant.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Dog Training Classes in Milton Ontario

We've got a few classes coming up in October, two of which will be indoor, the other will be outside braving the fall elements. If you are interested in joining us for one of our group sessions, please feel free to contact us at We keep our classes small (4-6 max), so spaces fill quickly. Below is our October schedule:

Smart Dogs Bootcamp - Outdoors! Saturdays starting October 19th - 1:00-2:00pm, rain or shine. This is our next step after our Smart Dogs Basic Class. We travel to different locations each week, preparing your dog to respond in high distraction of the REAL WORLD. Class runs 6 weeks, cost is $180.00 plus HST. We prefer that you have taken our Smart Dogs Basic Class, but will consider those who have taken basic training at another facility. For puppies and dogs 7 months and up.

Smart Dogs Basic Class - We are now Indoors until the Spring! Saturdays starting October 26th - 10:00-11:00am. This is a MUST HAVE class. Learn all the basics and teach your dog how to work and behave around other dogs and people. Class runs 7 weeks with an 8th week test, cost is $200 plus HST. This is a class for those who have had no previous group experience or those who have taken puppy class. For puppies and dogs 5 months and up.

A Thursday evening Smart Dogs Basic class will be added soon as well.

Smart Dogs Fun Agility INTRO - Indoors! Saturdays starting October 26th - 11:30am-12:30pm. A great introduction to simple equipment, handling skills and focus. Agility is a great way to strengthen the bond with your dog, increase confidence and engagement. We do require that dogs have Basic Obedience skills to join (sit, down, stay and recall). Class runs 6 weeks, cost is $180 plus HST. For puppies and dogs 8-9 months and up.

Join us for one of our classes, and check out our website for more details:

Thursday, September 12, 2013

It's not always the dog - Dog Training in Milton Ontario

This is a good post and definitely worth the read, especially if you've ever encountered a "problem dog" in your life. It's not always the human half to blame. So much of behaviour relies on genetics and heredity that we can not always blame the other end of the leash. But not all trainers are willing to admit this.

This isn't to excuse people who are not willing to put the time and effort into training their canine companions, far from it, but it does allow those, who've put the effort in, and blamed themselves, to take a step back and realize that it might not be all them to blame when their dog has severe behavioural issues (especially fear and aggression).

Got a doggy problem? We can help. Check out the website for details:

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Walk - Socialization at it's Best - Dog Training Milton

Dogs need to be socialized in order to become stable, well rounded companions. However, I believe there is a big misconception on how we socialize our dogs, particularly not taking into account the temperament of the dogs in question. Yes, it is very important that puppies are able to meet as many different people (adults, children, men, women, different races, different sizes etc.) and get out to as many different places as possible in their early months in order to accustom them to our ever changing, busy world, but, no one seems to mention that if a dog is inherently fearful, or inherently shy, you can throw 30,000 people at them in there first optimal socialization days, but you may still end up with the dog who is nervous around strangers or skittish at new surroundings.

It also seems that many people think of the dog park as a great place to have their pooch socialize and learn how to behave around other dogs, but this really isn't in the best interest of your dog as there are too many things that can "go wrong" at the dog park. The concept is nice, but the fact that they are not "policed" and the fact that owners bring dogs who shouldn't be there, or decided they don't need to pay attention to their dogs once in the fence, makes the "go wrong" inevitable. Dogs who lack confidence, are fearful or aggressive are sure to experience negative situations at the dog park that can exacerbate their already delicate temperaments.

One of the best forms of socialization that we have found is simply taking your dog on a walk, be that walk with another canine buddy, another human buddy or just by yourself with your best friend. The walk is a fantastic time to practice obedience, and also is a great opportunity to get dogs out into the world without putting direct social pressure on them that may be overwhelming to some.

To clarify, the walk should be a walk only, and not a parade of greeting all other dogs outside, as this can have negative consequences down the road. It is more important to have your dog pay attention and listen to you, rather than learn that the walk means playing with other dogs. It is important for your dog to learn to coexist with other dogs passing by, but that you are more important than those other dogs. If not, you can end up with the screaming roaring mess at the end of the leash, that demands to greet every canine it encounters, which in turn can lead to leash aggression.

Teaching proper human greeting skills is essential and can be practiced on the walk as well. Sit nice for petting and a friendly stranger may offer a treat - this doubles up on both the positive experience with other people, and the reinforcement of good behaviour around newcomers.

Keep in mind, when socializing and working with your dog on a walk, that many others will not have the same control over their own dogs (or children for that matter), and it is best, at the point of passing, to move off so that your dog does not experience the negative behaviour of the other, on-coming dog. Keep the social experience positive, and keep that positive directed towards yourself so that you become the best thing in the world to your dog, and their confidence in you grows.

A great way to introduce dogs to each other is going for a walk together. I've had many dogs become "friends" this way as the dogs got the opportunity to learn about the other using their noses, ears and eyes, without the sometimes overwhelming, direct contact/pressure. Of course, this means keeping your dog under control, and preferably in the heel position while you are walking, as the idea of this is not a leash tangling, free-for-all. Even my anti-social Jack Russell has accepted and even made friends with dogs in this way. The dog has the opportunity to feel comfortable first and that is extremely important.

So use the walk as both an opportunity to introduce your dog to the world, as a reduced social pressure environment and always use it as a training opportunity when ever possible.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Smart Dogs Basic Class - Milton Ontario Dog Training

Smart Dogs Basic Class will be starting Friday, Sept. 6th, 7-8pm. There are a few spots left, so please contact us to sign up. We will be enjoying a new format and some different requirements, but as always, lots of fun and a great learning opportunity. All the basics are taught (sit, down, stay, come, heel) and you learn how to work your dog in distraction, duration and distance. Cost is $200 plus HST for 7+1 weeks. This is a must have class!! Outdoors, in real life environment, maximum 6 students per class.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Happy Birthday Brandy!! Dog Training Milton

 11 years old and still going strong. My best buddy turns 11 today. Love every moment that I've had with this little white dog - couldn't have asked for a better friend, business partner, competitor and entertainer. Happy Birthday Brandy, here's to many more!!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Consistency is Key! Dog Trainer in Milton Ontario

I can never emphasize enough that the key to training your dog is consistency. Of course, this isn't the only factor involved, but it is such an important one, and one that owners tend to slide on, that I must reiterate over and over again.

If you are consistent in how you handle and train your dog, you are giving them a clear direction and communicating effectively and fairly. If you lack consistency in your training and handling, at best, you are confusing your dog, at worst, you are potentially reinforcing bad habits and possibly causing behavioural issues.

I will give the example of typical demanding type, attention seeking behaviours. If you give your dog attention for whining or barking at you one day, then get mad at it the next, then offer attention the next, correct the next, and so on, you are putting your dog on a variable schedule of reinforcement, which actually increases the likelihood of the behaviour your are reinforcing (however unintentionally), thus causing a bad (and annoying) habit in your dog.

This is one that I find a lot of owners have trouble with on their own, without proper direction. We approach this with ignoring the demands (unless they are over-the-top), which typically extinguishes the behaviour as the dog realizes it doesn't work. When you are inconsistent in dealing with this type of situation, and allow or give in to it some days, the dog figures "I'll keep trying because it works sometimes" - kind of like the slot machine theory (I'll keep gambling because I get a payout every-now-and-then). Owners do struggle at ignoring their dogs because it's second nature to put a hand on the dogs head for a scratch when they whine at you, or throw the toy for them when they are pushing it into your lap during dinner - this leads to inconsistency, and an increase in the behaviour that you are giving attention to.

This inconsistent handling also affects obedience training. If you ask your dog to sit/stay, he does, but then get's up when he feels like it, and you don't address the incorrect response, you are being inconsistent (and unclear) in teaching him first, what the command means, and second, what your expectations are of him performing this command.

Bottom line, to be fair to your dog, no matter how you train, consistency in how you handle him will always result in better response and behaviour.

If you are struggling with your dog and need help to become a better handler, please feel free to contact us and we can guide you on how to become more consistent with your dog

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Bring the Whole Family! Dog Training Milton Ontario

I am often asked the question "Do you allow other people to handle the dog during training, or do you prefer having only one person do the training?"

It always baffles me when I hear that other instructors would prefer only one person to handle a dog during training. This is something that makes no sense to me, especially when there is more than one person invovled in the dogs care and well being at home.

I want everyone who shares their life with a dog, to be able to properly handle that dog and learn the correct training techniques. Of course, when we are talking young children, there is an age limit, and if the dog has severe behavioural issues, we make an exception. However, it is for the benefit of both the family and the dog, that everyone learn how to properly handle and care for their pet.

Of course, in group classes, I don't want to see a family of five trailing the dog around during heeling exercises, but I am more than happy to allow a switch of handlers during the class, so that everyone has a chance to learn hands, on under direct instruction. And I am more than happy to have the family come out and watch so that they too can learn the proper techniques.

Getting the whole family on the same page and being consistent with training is absolutely key in order to get the dog to understand his/her role, reduce confusion on the dogs part, and become reliable with his/her behaviour.

If you are looking for a class or private training that involves everyone in your dogs life, feel free to contact us at and we will set you on the road to success with your canine companion.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Leave Your Dogs At Home - dog training Milton Ontario

With the long holiday weekend approaching, I wanted to take this time to remind everyone that fireworks are also approaching and not all dogs appreciate the light show that is our celebrations. Some dogs have hugely adverse reactions to the loud sound, and there are times where dogs will run away to try and avoid the frightening situation, or they become so frightened that they can cause injury to themselves trying to get away.

Please keep your dogs home during the firework celebration, even if you have one that doesn't bat an eye at the noise (it's for their ears sake). Keep them in the house or their crate, where they are safe, and not able to run or injure themselves.

Hope everyone has a safe and happy long weekend!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Dog Training Class / Dog Obedience Class in Milton Ontario


 Smart Dogs Canine Training will be running our in demand Smart Dogs Basic Class starting Saturday July 6th, 10-11am.

This is a MUST class for all dogs. Learn to handle your dog in a real life environment, gain control and obedience in all situations, and have fun while learning.

Commands taught are sit, down, stay, recall, place and heel.

7 weeks, 1 hour a week - cost is $200.00. Classes held at the Fairgrounds in Milton.

Join us for this very important class, space is limited so contact us through this ad to sign up or visit Smart Dogs Canine Training on the web for more information - or email to sign up.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Over Exuberant Praise - Dog Training Milton


Utilizing praise in training your dog is a key component in the reward process. You always have praise with you, so it is a good idea to learn how to use it. However, often times it gets owners in trouble when they are trying to gain or maintain a calm state of mind in their dog. The level of praise is extremely important and differs from situation to situation.

Remember this; the more excitable and flamboyant your praise, the more you are driving your dog back into that frenzied, excitable state that you may be trying to avoid. Unless you are amping your dog up for a run on the agility course, or releasing from a stationary position and looking for better engagement, praise needs to be kept calm and level in order for your dog to maintain control. It is unfair to ask our dogs to compose themselves when we are bouncing around in front of them, with high pitched, squeaky voices and are acting un-composed ourselves.

Another tid-bit to keep in mind is that over-done praise can also act as an aversive to dogs who are not so into the "baby talk" or those who are shy/nervous/fearful/anxious, instead of viewing it as rewarding they view it as something to be avoided. It's easy to see in the body language of your dog if they are enjoying the interaction or not. If your dog is backing up, trying to avoid you, or looking uncomfortable when you lavish on the praise - stop!

Soft eye contact, a sincere "good girl" and/or a pat under the chin are often enough to show the dog that they have done well, to keep them in their current clam state of mind, and to not overwhelm them with your own excitability.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Dog Obedience and Agility Classes in Milton Ontario

More new classes opening June!! Come on out and train with us!

June 22nd, Saturday, 10-11am - Smart Dogs Basics:

This is a MUST class for all dogs. Learn to handle your dog in a real life environment, gain control and obedience in all situations, and have fun while learning.

Commands taught are sit, down, stay, recall, place and heel.

7 weeks, 1 hour a week - cost is $200.00. Classes held at the Fairgrounds in Milton.

June 15th, Saturday, 1-2pm - Smart Dogs Fun Agility INTRO:

A great class to introduce your dog to agility. Learn the ground work, handling skills, introduce obstacles and sequences and build a better bond with your dog.

6 weeks, 1 hour a week - cost is $180.00. Classes held at the Fairgrounds in Milton.

Space is VERY limited. Contact us asap if you are interested in signing up


Monday, May 13, 2013

Dog Obedience Class Milton Ontario

We still have 3 spots available in our upcoming Friday evening Smart Dogs Basic Class. This is a must have class - learn all the basics (sit, down, stay, come, heel and place) and learn to work with real world distractions.

Classes start May 24th, 7-8pm, and take place at the Milton Fairgrounds. Contact us at to sign up or visit the website for details

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Dog Training is for Life - Milton Ontario Dog Training

I've said it before, and I'll say it again, and again, and again. Dog training doesn't just end after class is done, dog training continues throughout the life of your dog. Consistency, follow through, fairness and good leadership are keys to obtaining and maintaining a well behaved, balanced dog.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Negative Thinking - It Doesn't Just Affect You - Dog Trainer in Milton

I'm not going to go into a big lecture here about positive and negative thinking and how it affects the world around you, however, I felt it needed to be mentioned in the context of training your dog.

If you think your dog can't be trained, then he won't. If you think your dog will not listen, then he won't. If you think your dog will never change, then he won't. If you think training will be useless, then it will.

You will get absolutely no where with your dog when you continue in the above state of mind. Negativity breeds negativity, and not just from human to human, but also everything you come in contact with, including your canine companion.

If you change all of the above statements to a positive context, you will most definitely see different results. If you think your dog can be trained, then he will. If you think your dog will listen, then he will. If you think your dog can change, then he will. If you think training will better yours and your dogs life, then it most definitely will. 

Of course, thinking it is only the first step. Follow through and consistency, practice and more practice also play an enormous role in changing your dogs behaviour.

Remember the Little Engine That Could? Hard work, perseverance, and positive thinking, just like that little train showed us, will help to create a relationship with your dog that you've always wanted.

Need help with your dog? Contact us

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Friday evening Basic Obedience Class - Milton Dog Training

Friday evening class is now open in Milton!

Snart Dogs Basic class available starting May 17th, 7-8pm at the Milton Fairgrounds.

Get your dog started on the right foot, with relevant, real life, success oriented dog training. Fun, informative classes that set your dog up for obedience in every day life.  Spaces are VERY limited, so contact us soon to sign up. 3-6 max per class for optimum individual attention. 

Email us to sign up!

or give us a call

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Its the little things that count - Dog Training in Milton

Often we are unaware that we are encouraging behaviours that we dislike in our canine companions, rewarding unwanted natural behaviours and allowing the dog to train us, rather than the other way around. It's the little things that count, as far as dogs are concerned, and the little things to dogs are a lot more meaningful and less subtle than we really realize.

Take, for example, the hanging hand off the side of the couch that goes automatically to pet the dog pawing and mouthing at it. The soft, "it's okay", when a dog is whining in it's crate, or the less subtle dog straining at the end of the lead to see the oncoming dog or person and the dog is given more leash and the freedom to socialize.

All of the above examples are actually rewarding behaviours that most people would at the very least, find annoying, or in the extreme, find dangerous.

As humans, we have a bad habit of rewarding behaviours that we really don't realize we are rewarding. Reward doesn't always come as a treat, reward can come as something as simple as eye contact, a touch or a social interaction. It is really imporant when dealing with dogs, to be aware of what behaviours we are rewarding, conciously or unconciously. 

When you reward behaviours with social interaction, play, attention, physical contact, treats etc., the more often those behaviours will occur. The opposite obviously occurs when you ignore or correct a behaviour. So it is extremely important to be aware of what is rewarding to your dog in all situations. In the above example of straining on the leash to meet another dog or person, if you allow the dog to interact socially after dragging you down the street, you are rewarding that very behaviour that could get you in trouble.

Sometimes owners need to take a step back and look at their dogs behaviour from a different stand point. Many times bad/unwanted behaviours are caused by inadvertent rewards on that part of the human. So be aware of the little things, no matter how small they seem.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Happy Smart Dogs Canine Training Clients - Milton Dog Training

Just wanted to share a great testimonial that we've received from some hard working clients that saw significant improvements in their dogs behaviour in just 4 sessions with us.

"We just wanted to send you an email to say thank you for helping us. We cannot believe the changes we have seen in such a short period of time and look forward to the changes we will see in the months to come with all the tools you have given us. We will definitely recommend you to anyone.
Thanks again"

- Annie & Matt, Halton Hills

If you need help with your dogs behaviour, feel free to email us at or visit the website for more details

Friday, April 12, 2013

Meet Jack - Jack Russell Terrier Rescue of Ontario

Jack - QUIET MELLOW LAP DOG is a very sweet 13 yr old 10.6 pound dog - loves people, he gets along with other dogs and also with cats. Jack has lived in a home all his life and owner decided she no longer wanted him. We brought him into our care and we had him examined by a veterinarian, blood work and a complete dental done. He is in good health! Foster mom says he is no trouble and loves to sleep on her lap as she works on the computer. Jack is house trained and enjoys going outside but, like most of us, doesn't like to be out too long if it is cold.  
Jack would make someone a wonderful companion and wants nothing more than to be with his forever family.  Even at 13 he still has many wonderful years to make you very happy and keep you smiling.
Jack sure hopes he meets his forever family soon!

Visit Jack's adoption page on Petfinder below:

And contact The Jack Russell Rescue of Ontario if you are interested in this great boy:

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

New Group Dog Obedience Classes - Dog Training Milton

New outdoor dog training classes starting on Saturday April 27th!!
 Get your dog started on the right foot, with relevant, real life, success oriented dog training. Fun, informative classes that set your dog up for obedience in every day life. 
Spaces are VERY limited, so contact us soon to sign up.
3-6 max per class for optimum individual attention.

Smart Dog Basic Classes

Friday TBA
7:00-8:00pm Milton (outdoor Milton Fairgrounds)

Saturday April 27th 2013
10:00-11:00am Milton (outdoor Milton Fairgrounds)

Smart Dogs Bootcamp

Saturday April 27th 2013
11:30-12:30 am Milton (Outdoor - different location each week)

Email us to sign up!

or give us a call

Monday, April 8, 2013

Happy Clients - Best Dog Trainer in Milton

It's always so nice to hear from clients happy clients who are seeing the results that they'd hoped for in their dogs. I'd like to share the latest:

"As I was walking Brooklyn yesterday it reminded me to thank you, now I know we are all helping in the matter however the big thanks goes to you with how far Brooklyn has come in terms of walking properly. If can remember how bad she used to pull ALL the time and also how I would avoid walking by any person on the side walk, its like night and day difference. Now she isn't perfect we still have our moments but over all her walking, her responding to commands she has come so far. We don't know what we would do without you! So thank you."
Sarah - Milton, ON

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Woof Walking and Co. Milton

Since we are full and no longer accepting new walking clients at this time, we are very pleased to announce that we have paired up with a fantastic local walking business in town, Woof Walking and Co., that would be happy to take on any new clients in the area.

They are an extremely reliable, professional and caring company and we highly recommend their services. If you are looking for a dog walker in Milton, please check out their website at, or contact them at 905-510-0786 and they would be happy to help you and your pooch out.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Separation Anxiety - Dog Training in Milton

Below is a good video on some techniques to follow when dealing with separation anxiety. We utilize some of these techniques ourselves and they WORK! As a disclaimer, not all dogs will react the same to a single method, however, this offers a good base to follow with different options.

In our opinion, the best thing you can do for a dog with separation anxiety is add some control in their life, teach them a "Place" command, and DO NOT allow them to trail you around everywhere (of course, that paired with a good obedience foundation). They start to learn that it's ok not to be glued to your hip, it builds their confidence and reduces anxiety when you move away from them. And remember, a crate is for your peace of mind and your dogs safety, so don't be afraid to utilize it in your training.

Thanks to Solid K9 Training for allowing us to share this video.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Dog Training Doesn't Have To Take Long - Top Dog Trainer in Milton

Training happens quickly if you are consistent, firm and fair. Some motivational obedience with Hope in this video. Does not take long to achieve this sort of response with the proper techniques and correct motivation.

With some proofing and distraction work, she would be Rally Obedience competition ready. We can help you acheive your training goal, whether you are looking for simply a well behaved dog in the house, or if you are looking to take your dog's training further to competition level. Contact us anytime

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Key To Training Your Dog?

Consistency, repetition, consistency, clear communication, consistency and make training part of your daily life - you owe it to your dog.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Practice Makes Perfect ... Well, Close Enough To It - dog training in Milton

It's true, practice does make perfect (or as close to it as you can get). And it's true for everything in life, including training your dog. If you don't practice, you can not expect your dog to "get it" or move forward in training. Of course, when I say perfect, I don't literally mean perfect. No one in this world is, so I never expect dogs to be either, but getting as close to it as you reasonably can should be everyone's goal.

Training your dog should be peppered in throughout your daily routine, rather than once a week for an hour at class. Training for 5-10 minutes here and there throughout your day will benefit your dog immensely, and practicing obedience in real life situations will help your dog understand that it's not just once a week that he/she has to listen to you, but every day, when ever you ask.

If you are looking for help training your dog, feel free to contact us any time, we love to help owners succeed with their dogs!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Awesome Dog Training Class! Milton Ontario Dog Trainer

These guys finished off this past weekend, and had to post about the improvements that I saw in each dog. This group did fantastic - everyone passed and everyone improved their handling skills and communication with their dogs.

Every owner has a different goal for the relationship with their dog, which is why we use the methods that we do. Each dog is an individual, therefore, no two dogs react the same to training, and even in a class environment we try to tailor some of the training to the individuality of each dog and owner.

If you are looking for some great training, better handling skills and over all an improved relationship with your dog, send us an email, we love helping owners succeed with their canine companions

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Private In-Home Dog Training - Milton, Burlington, Oakville, Halton

If you are looking for a more tailored approach to training your dog, or are looking to work on specific issues that you may be experiencing with your dog, private training is the way to go. Private training sessions offer the one-on-one time that you can not get in a group setting*. They give you the ability to work in your dogs regular environment (in-home and around the neighbourhood) making the training relevant to your situation, and your own personal goals can be met, rather than the goals of a class.

We offer many options for private training including puppy training, basic dog training, advanced dog training, agility and problem solving. We work around your schedule and sessions can start at anytime.

If you are interested in furthering your dogs training, please don't hesitate to contact us at Our goal is to help you succeed with your dog!

*I will mention that our group sessions are kept small, and we give as much one-on-one time as we can to those who need it in our group classes. Because our classes are small, you don't get lost in a corner somewhere, wondering what you are suppose to be doing.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Don't Pop Your Release Cue!! - Milton Ontario Dog Training

Yikes, I see this a lot, and thought I'd better make note of it. Owners need to make a conscious effort not to leash pop their dogs on the "release cue" - being the words "ok", "free" or what ever you like to call it. The best thing to do to indicate to the dog that the task (often being the stay) is complete is to use movement when you give the release, NOT a leash pop. A leash pop is a negative, and we want the dogs to know that they have done the task correctly, so adding a pop after the release is technically correcting them for carrying out the command in the right way - definitely not the message we want to convey. So, when you are training your dog, make the effort to keep a loose leash and use movement instead of adding a negative to the positive thing that they've done. Use your release command, and then step away as you reward so that the dog follows and understands completely that "ok" means I can get up know or I'm done.

Happy Training!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Puppy Class in Milton Ontario

New Puppy Class starting on February 9th 2013!

We get your puppy to enjoy learning in a fun, positive environment. We use positive motivation to teach and the puppies thrive with this type of training.

This class is a must for anyone with a new pup. We go over typical puppy issues and how to deal with them, basic puppy obedience training and intro to some agility equipment.

This class runs for 5 weeks. This class is for puppies from 10-20 weeks of age. Cost is $160.00 and first shots (and preferably 2nd) are required.

Come learn with us and get a head start on your puppies education.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Positive Reinforcement Sheldon Style

A funny look at positive reinforcement training. Yes, Sheldon has explained the scientific term "Negative Reinforcement" incorrectly  (which means the removal of an aversive stimulus), where is should have been labeled "Positive Punishment" (the squirt bottle that he speaks of or the electric shock - adding a negative stimulus) but you get the idea.

(Disclaimer: please don't use chocolates with your dog)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A Trained Dog Makes EVERYONE Happy - Dog Training in Milton

Training your dog, of course, benefits your own family and close friends, but training your dog also benefits everyone who your dog comes into contact with. Vets, groomers, dog walkers, pet sitters, people you pass on a walk, etc. are all people who are directly affected by your dogs behaviour, training or lack there of.

Two of the people most affected are your vet and your groomer. They have to handle your dogs in a way that can make them uncomfortable, clean teeth and ears, give needles, take temperatures ... well, you get the point. If your dog hasn't been trained and will not accept handling, their jobs become A LOT more difficult and the stress on your dog can be overwhelming (not to mention cost involved with a dog who will not co-operate).

But, if your dog has been trained, and has learned to accept handling and is reliable it can make vets and groomers jobs a pleasure and possibly reduce your bills in the end. I will relate to you a small story of the benefits of having a trained and reliable dog in a veterinary situation.

We had to rush the little white dog into the emergency vet a while back for a puncture wound. Of course, after speaking with the vet and an initial examination (where she was stoic as usual), they said they would need to take her to the back, sedate her and clean out the wound. At this point, I offered to go back and hold her, telling them she doesn't need to be sedated because she will allow you to do the job with no fuss. As per usual, "the back room" is reserved for vets and staff only, but they said they would see how she reacts and sedate it needed. Cost was not an issue for us, but knowing that sedation of an older dog can cause issues was my motive for helping out.

They took her from me and brought her to the back room for what seemed like an eternity. But when they emerged with a saline solution cleaned, little white dog, awake and happy to see us, they related that she was so well behaved that they neither needed my help, nor did they have to sedate her, making their jobs easier, her life better and bringing the cost of the visit down.

This would not have happened if she were untrained. Untrained dogs will resist handling, they will not heed your words, especially if they are in pain or stressed and they will make everyone's lives more difficult, even if those people are trying to help them.

This is only one of hundreds of reasons why you should train your dog and why it will make yours and a lot of other peoples lives easier. Training your dog is a daily process, and taking advantage of new opportunities to train in, like the vets office, the pet store etc., will be of huge benefit to you both. The dog learns that he/she has to behave, regardless of where they are, and you can relax knowing that your dog will be under control no matter what the situation.

If you need help with any training, please don't hesitate to contact us at and we can put you on the road to gaining a trained and happy companion. Remember, a trained dog is a happy dog and has a happy owner.

Monday, January 21, 2013

What type of training do we use? Milton Ontario Dog Training

While we start every dog off with positive reinforcement to teach commands/positions, in the form of treats paired with praise and touch, our goal as trainers is to fade out the lure, or hint of a lure, as quickly as possible so that we can avoid a dog who will only listen when you are holding a cookie in front of their nose.

By in large, most owners don't want to have to carry a bag of treats with them where ever they go, nor do they necessarily have the time to co-ordinate such methods when family, children and work are involved. We keep our training as real to life as possible in order to accommodate those who actually have other obligations, not just their dogs. I speak from experience when I say certain methods don't fly when you're walking two dogs and a child in a stroller.

Combining both positive reinforcement, to encourage behaviours, and corrections, to discourage and proof behaviours, tends to get the quickest, and most reliable results. Of course, not all dogs are created equal, so methods must be adjusted per personality type, owner type and drives of the dog. Over all though, the goal of our training is to enable you, the owner, to gain a dog who is under control and easier to live with. We want you and your dog to succeed and we are always excited to see our clients come away with a better behaved canine companion.

Contact us today to sign up for group or private sessions and visit our website for details

Saturday, January 19, 2013

The Place Command - Dog Training in Milton and Burlington

I cannot emphasize how important the PLACE command is for our dogs in everyday, real life situations.

For those who are unfamiliar with it, the PLACE command is a loose form of stay wherein the dog is taught to GO to his or her allotted area (be it a mat, rug, pillow, dog bed etc.) and stay there for an extended period of time. The dogs can get up, spin around, chew a bone, basically do anything they want while in PLACE, but cannot leave the mat.

This is an awesome command to use when you have guests over, while you are eating or preparing dinner, if you have a new baby, watching TV or working, basically any time you would like to have your dog under control, but out with you as well to enjoy the family.

Consistency is key with teaching this command, and it is built upon similar to the STAY - duration then distance. What is great about this command is it translated to other objects, meaning you could use a dog bed in one room, a mat in the next, and a towel in the other, as long as the dog can differentiate between the floor surface and the PLACE object.

Need help with teaching your dog control? Contact us to set up training sessions any time at and visit the website for more details

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Leash Is Your Friend - Dog Trainer in Milton

Often times I am called out to clients home's with dogs who have had a minimal amount of training and are somewhat out of control in their own environment (this includes both puppies and adults dogs). Many times these dogs have been given so much freedom that there are very little rules to follow and no way of enforcing them. Owners become frustrated and disheartened at the lack of control and response from their dogs, yet most times, no one considers the option of putting their dog on a leash in the house in order to gain back control.

I am here to tell you that the leash is your friend. There is absolutely nothing wrong with having your dog on leash in the house, especially dogs and puppies who have been recently adopted. The leash and crate are two VERY important tools in the process of raising and training your dog, and should not be shyed away from.

The leash gives you the ability to directly supervise your pet and give them some freedom without giving them run of the house. It aids in house training, obedience training and teaches your dog to follow you rather than the other way around. Common training problems can be solved by putting your dog back on leash and working up to off leash freedom again. Dogs need to earn their freedom, regardless of if it's in home, or out at the park, and the best way to do this is start at step one - with the leash.

If you are experiencing any training or behavioural problems with your pooch, feel free to send us and email and dicuss how we can help you gain back control and build up obedience with your dog

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Dog Agility Class in Milton and Burlington

Ever Wanted to Try Agility Class with

your dog??

Smart Dogs Canine Training is offering our Fun Agility Intro Class over the winter, indoors.
A great class for building confidence, having fun with your dog and as an intro to the world of dog agility. Basic agility equipment introduced, handling skills, and brushing up on the basics. Keep your dog's mind and body active - a tired dog is a happy, well behaved dog.  Must have basic obedience skills and be able to work around other dogs without issues.

Starting January 19th 1-2pm, class runs for 6 weeks.

Check us out on the web and feel free to contact us at any time for more information

Dog Training Classes in Milton and Burlington

Fun and Effective Basic Obedience Training for your Dog!

Our new Smart Dogs Basic classes will be starting Saturday January 19th, 10-11am, so if your dog is driving you crazy, this is the class for you.

This is a great class for anyone who owns a dog. Learn how to gain control, and have fun doing it. We make learning enjoyable for both owner and dog, and utilize positive reinforcement to teach commands.

You and your dog will learn all of the basics (sit, down, stay, come, heel and place) and you will come away with a more manageable canine companion.

Class runs for 7 weeks (45 min. to 1 hour each week).

Check out Smart Dogs Canine Training in Milton and Burlington's website for all sign up information. And feel free to contact us, we are always happy to answer and questions you may have.

Puppy Class in Milton and Burlington Ontario

Puppy Classes Starting January 25th!

Get your puppy started off on the right foot!!

We are offering our Smart Puppy beginner class starting January 25th, 7-8pm.

We get your puppy to enjoy learning in a fun, positive environment. We use positive motivation to teach and the puppies thrive with this type of training.

This class is a must for anyone with a new pup. We go over typical puppy issues and how to deal with them, basic puppy obedience training and intro to some agility equipment.

This class runs for 5 weeks. This class is for puppies from 10-20 weeks of age. Cost is $160.00 and first shots are required.

Come learn with us and get a head start on your puppies education.

We are conveniently located between Milton and Burlington.

To sign up visit and contact us through the site or email

Friday, January 4, 2013

Another New Year, Another New Opportunity to Train ...

Learning how to pull

Make this years New Years Resolution one that will benefit both you and your canine companion. Make this years resolution to train your dog. It's never too late or too early. It's not rocket science, it's common sense. It doesn't have to be a chore, it's fun. It doesn't have to be for nothing, it enhances your dogs life.

Don't think that you need to drill your dog for hours a day on obedience commands, that's unrealistic, and boring for your dog. It takes little effort in the beginning to start; 3-5 times a day, 5 minutes at a time. Everyone who owns a dog has at least 25 minutes a day to spend with their best bud, so why not make that time quality time. Keep your sessions short, fun and always end on a positive with something you know your dog is able to do.

Use every opportunity in your dogs life as a training opportunity. That doesn't mean every waking hour is spent on obedience training (that's what the above 15-25 minutes is for), but it means enforcing basic manners in every day life occurrences. No jumping, no pulling, no mouthing, no mounting and so on. Its easier to prevent problems from day one, rather than correcting them later on. If you don't like a behaviour, don't allow it to happen, period.

Remember exercise is part of a dogs well being, and part of a well behaved dog. Exercise also benefits the human side of the partnership, so make an effort to get out with your dog every day. It will enhance both owner and dog health, it's free, and there is no excuse not to do it.

So make this year's resolution one that will benefit not just you, but your best friend and others around you. Get out there and train your dog! You buddy will love you for it - a trained dog is a happy dog, and has a happy owner.

New classes starting this month with Smart Dogs Canine Training, so here is your opportunity to start training: