Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Puppy Class in Milton - Dog Training Milton Ontario

We have a couple spots left in our upcoming Puppy Class starting December 13th, 4-5pm.

This is a fantastic class to introduce your puppy to the basics of obedience in a fun, positive environment. It is also a very imformative class, going well beyond sit, down and stay.

For puppies 10-18 weeks - second shots required.

Cost is $125 plus HST for 4, 45min - 1 hour sessions.

Please contact dogtraining101@hotmail.com if you are interested in signing up, or check out the website for more details:

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Keep Your Puppies Safe - Dog Training Milton

There is a time in a young puppy's life where the most important thing in the world is to follow their new owners around. It's cute, it's wonderful to think that these creatures are so bonded to us immediately ... but it's also a short phase for most pups, and can be deceiving.

Witnessing an incident the other day made me realize that it's important to post this information.
There comes a time in a puppy's life (not unlike children) where they start to develop confidence, their own personalities, and a sense that they are not part of a whole, but rather individual. And there is nothing more heartbreaking than watching this moment happen to an unsuspecting owner who is walking their young puppy off leash, close to roads, because they think that the pup "came trained" and would never leave their side.

For safety of your puppy, there should never be a moment, before they are fully trained, that they are allowed to wander, unleashed in an unsecured area. Too many things can go wrong, and you could stumble upon that moment where the pup thinks, "wow, I'm not attached to you, so I'm going to explore over there."

And there is not just dangers from the road, there is dangers of puppies getting into things that they shouldn't, being startled by something and bolting (possibly during a fear period), becoming lost after bolting, being attacked by a loose dog, starting in on bad habits and the list goes on.

This situation can startle owners, create panic, and often has the owner blaming the pup for not sticking by their side, which is completely unfair and does nothing to forward the relationship. If an owner lets their puppy off leash before they have a solid recall, it is the owners fault that the pup ran away, or didn't heed the recall, not the dogs fault.

Set your pup up for success from step one, not after an incident has happened and the leash is a tool to help you do this. Always remember, training continues through your dog's lifetime, and should start the moment you acquire, purchase or adopt. Keep your puppies safe and have fun!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Fun Dog Agility INTRO Class in Milton - Miltons Dog Trainer

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, targeting 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. For dogs 8 months plus. We cannot accept aggressive dogs in group agility classes. 

Class runs for 6, one hour sessions, cost is $195 plus HST.

We have some spaces left in our class starting September 19th, 11:30-12:30.

Please contact us for more information or visit the website:


Friday, August 28, 2015

Beginner Dog Training Classes in Milton

Come join us for our highly anticipated Smart Dogs Basic Class!

If you take no other class, make sure you take this one.

Our Basic Classes teaches you how to engage with your dog, teach your dog the basics of obedience, and creates a better understanding and bond with your canine companion.

Class runs for 7, one hour sessions, cost is $220 plus HST. For puppies and dogs 18 weeks and up.

Basic Classes take place at the Fairgrounds, Hall #1, downtown Milton.

Available times are:

Friday September 11th, 7-8pm (5 spots available)

Saturday September 12th, 10-11am (2 spots available)

Class sizes are limited for optimum individual attention, so contact us ASAP to sign up, or visit the website for details: www.smartdogsk9.com

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Doggy Play Time in Class? Dog training Milton Ontario

Those whom have taken our classes know that we are pretty strict on our rules that dogs are not to meet or play during, right before, or right after class time, and there is good reason for this.

First off, unfortunately, we are never more exciting to our dogs, than the dogs standing next to us in the class line up. If we allow meet and greets before class, especially for new comers in basic training, it will make your job as a handler MUCH more difficult when you are competing for attention with another dog. This is true even when food or toys are invovled (unless you own the high prey/play/food driven dog who shuts out all else but that precious resource when it is around).

Secondly, if we allow play time after class, during class session, for those dogs who are highly play and pack oriented, they are anticipating that glorious ending, and many have a hard time concentrating throughout, leaving handler frustration in their wake.

Thirdly, our goal, as trainers and handlers, is for the dogs to respond to us under all distraction, be movitivated to work for us, engage with us and to start to understand that a distraction is just that, and nothing more. Nothing to be played with, barked at, lunged at or engaged with. If play between dogs is allowed during training time, we loose the opportunity to teach that engagement with handler is better than engagement with other dogs.

Lastly, there are dogs who are very uncomfortable with other dogs in their space. There are also owners who are uncomfortable with other dogs in their space. There are dogs that are too excitable with other dogs in their space. We keep everyone separates for the comfort level of all participants, canine and human.

The above is not to say that dogs shouldn't have dog/dog play time, rather, dog/dog play time should be separated from training time, and the two should not intermix. Dog/human play time is a different story, and can be intermixed successfully with training, especially when you are looking for a highly annimated, quick and exciting performance.

So keep it easy for yourself, separate dog/dog play time from training time. Make you number one when training, and teach your dog that it is better to pay attention to you, than what is going on around him/her.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Puppy Classes in Milton

Puppy Class starting July 5th, 4-5pm!!! 

Did you get a new pup, or are thinking of adding a pup to your family? 

We have a great puppy class that starts young puppies off on the right foot, in a positive environment that lets them enjoy learning, improves the bond with your pup, and teaches the owner how to handle
typical puppy issues.

4 sessions, 45 minutes - 1 hour each. Cost is $125 plus HST.

For puppies up to 18 weeks of age - must have two sets of vaccines. Space is limited, please contact us today for more information dogtraining101@hotmail.com.


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Respect - Dog Training in Milton

How do you gain your dogs respect?

It's not about who's the biggest, baddest, strongest, meanest or most domineering.

It's about relationship, mutual respect, clarity and calm energy within the person holding the other end of the leash that gains your dogs respect ... and love.


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Relationships with your dog - Dog Trainer in Milton

Does your dog blow you off? Decide not to listen to you? Do you have trouble training your dog? Is your dog always checking out anything else other than you?

Sometimes it's not a matter of training, conditioning or repitition - it's a matter of relationship and handling skills. Sometimes with the slightest body movement, we confuse our dogs. Sometimes with a command uttered one too many times makes our dog loose focus. Sometimes a hectic nature on our part, creates frustration in the dog. Sometimes our lack of clarity creates stress in our dogs. Sometimes our bodies are saying one thing, but our voices are saying another.

Having a well behaved, responsive dog isn't always about sit, down, stay and come. Sometimes it's about being clear in our expectation, calm in our interactions and meaningful in our relationship.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Beginner Dog Training Classes in Milton - Best Dog Trainer Milton

Smart Dogs Canine Training Basic Obedience Classes are starting this month! This is a MUST HAVE class.

We get wonderful results, you get lots of information, skills and better communication with your dogs. We focus on engagement, response and fun.

Class runs for 7, one hour sessions, cost is $220.00 plus HST.

Start dates:

Thursday June 25th, 7-8pm
Saturday June 27th, 10-11am

For dogs/puppies 18 weeks and up, all breeds. All shots are required in order to join this class.

If you would like to sign up, please contact us at dogtraining101@hotmail.com or visit the website at www.smartdogsk9.com 

Like us on facebook as well www.facebook.com/smartdogsk9

Classes take place at the Fairgrounds, downtown Milton.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

But I let my dog out to run in the backyard ... isn't that enough? Dog Trainer in Milton

Exercise for ourselves, as well as our dogs, is extremely important for maintaining a healthy, balanced life. To often, proper exercise is over looked when it comes to dog ownership, and breeds vary drastically on the amount needed throughout the day.

There is a saying that, "a tired dog, is a good dog", and essentially this rings true. Dogs who have been given an outlet for their physical needs are less destructive, less anxious and less hyper active because boredom has been reduced, and their physical needs met. However, not all exercise is created equal.

I always ask my Basic group classes how much exercise owners give their dogs on a daily basis. Many times I am pleasantly surprised with the answers, but not always. When I hear, "he runs around in the backyard for hours", or, "we take her to the dog park" I cringe a bit. Neither is the preferred form of exercise for us here at Smart Dogs Canine Training. I won't get into dog park details, as I will save that for a different post, however, dogs left to entertain themselves, or run themselves silly are not having their energy expended in an appropriate way.

I am absolutely not against dogs having doggy friends to play with, though it isn't a necessity. Good doggy friends, and some playtime in a backyard together is a wonderful treat, but shouldn't replace a dogs daily exercise with their owner. Nor should letting your dog play alone in the backyard (or typically pace and whine in the backyard) for hours on end.

Dogs NEED and CRAVE both mental and physical stimulation (as well as human contact). And what, might you ask, is our preferred method of relieving dogs of excess energy?
  • Training
  • Structured walks
  • Interactive play with owners 
  • More training
  • Hiking

Training and structured walks (incorporating training on walks) are absolutely awesome ways to drain your dogs excess energy and provide exercise at the same time. When we work our dogs mind, along side their bodies, they use up a lot more energy than if we just exercise the body alone. This helps to inject rules into your lifestyle, build a better bond, maintain control, practice obedience, (or what ever type of training you like), and helps to make you the focus for your dog.

Interactive play, for example tug or fetch, are wonderful ways to build a bond, exercise the body, and exercise the mind by teaching rules and incorporating obedience to the play routine. For example, teaching an "out" or "give", requiring calm sits before throwing the ball, utilizing high speed obedience during tug, etc. Tug and fetch make you more interesting to your dog, and we always want you to be the interesting one, not what or who is going on around the dog.

More training ... why not? It never hurts to add more training to you dogs life.

Hiking with your dog involves immersing your dog into new situations, new smells, nature and allows your suburban dog to experience the wonderful world beyond the sidewalks and roads. Good for you and good for your dog. Hikes do not have to be structured, but can incorporate the odd obedience command, for example, the recall. Hikes allow your dog just to be a dog for a while, and that is important as well, as long as it is in a controlled situation and their are rules (ie. no running up to other dogs on or off leash, no jumping on passerbys etc.).

My personal preference for dog exercise is for the dog to be involved with the other end of the leash, (the owner) rather than the dogs in the dog park, or the dogs you are passing on the street. I would rather have my dogs focus on me, than the distractions around them such as other dogs and people. I would rather have my dogs engage with me during physical activity, rather than want to engage elsewhere. By exercising in this way, it can help to reduce leash reactivity, teaches manners, creates engagement and always make you the focus anywhere, any time. And heck, it never hurts any of us owners to get out more, get moving, enjoy the weather and play with our dogs.

So get out and have fun with your dogs, exercise, play and train, and if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us. We have lots of classes that involve both physical and mental work for your dog.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Venture Hill's Frankie of Smart Dogs - Dog Training Milton

I thought it was about time that we officially introduce Frankie since many have already met him out at our classes. He came at both a good and a bad time for us. Frankie arrived about a month before we lost Brandy. He was to take over most of the work so that Brandy could retire. Unfortunately it didn't happen that way. 

It has been a very tough road over the last few weeks. I miss my little dog terribly. However, I am thankful that Frankie was able to meet her and get to know her before she left us. Even in a very short period of time, she passed on some great habits to him. He has also been able to keep us distracted through this difficult period.

With a crash course in Basic Obedience, Bootcamp level, a little Advanced stuff and some minor agility equipment intro's, he has helped out a great deal. He has a lot of learning left to do, but I am confident he will be able to handle the things that I throw at him.

For those unsure as to what breed of dog he is, Frankie is a Rat Terrier. Not popular up here in Canada, but they are very popular in the US. He will be training for Rally Obedience, possibly Agility and from there, what ever else I decide.

He will never replace Brandy, no dog can, but he will do a good job helping to fill the void, keeping us occupied and moving us forward in our training careers.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Goodbye Brandy ...

On April 22nd, 2015, we had to make the hardest decision of our lives. We had to let Brandy go.

She was my best friend, my business partner and my rock. She was my son's best buddy, and just an amazing little dog. She was the main reason that I got into training dogs, not because she was a problem dog, but because I was blown away at the things you could teach a dog and by the things that you could accomplish with one if you put your mind to it.

She touched the lives of many, and those who knew me in the past 12 years, more than likely knew her as well. She changed many, many peoples negative opinions of Jack Russell Terriers - she was a breed ambassador. On multiple occasions I would get the comment, "can I take her home?", she made people smile where ever she went. She came everywhere and did everything with me, and was always more than willing to do what I asked of her.

Brandy was a very independent, driven little dog (probably the highest drive dog that I have worked with to date), who had tonnes of attitude and spunk. She liked to back talk if I was unclear in my handling, but always gave 300%. She was a brat of a puppy, typical Jack Russell Terrier, but once enrolled in obedience classes, became the easiest dog ever, that fit in to our family like she was always with us. She also had one heck of a sense of humour, and entertainment was high on her list of things to do.

She was multi-titled in agility, always participated in the Jack Russell Terrier Club of Canada trials, and had a few Rally Obedience titles as well. Her job was to work with dogs that displayed leash reactivity and work as my demo dog in classes, which she did beautifully. She took on another job, and became my son's best buddy and protector, even though she was never raised with children.

Brandy was a once in a life time dog who took a piece of my heart when she left. I will be forever grateful for being able to share my life with her, and I miss her terribly. I love you little dog.

Thank you to Hawkins Animal Hospital for taking care of her over the years, especially to Dr. Hornamen who gave her a new knee and who was there at the end. Thank you to the Jack Russell Terrier Club of Canada who started us off on the road to competition and became a constant in our lives. Thank you to my family, friends and clients for being so supportive during this difficult time.

Brandy The B-Hive:
August 13, 2002 - April 22, 2015
RIP my little girlie.


*Master Level Agility Training
*Advanced Level Obedience Training
*1st Place On-Leash Agility 2005 Niagara Group Terrier Trial
*Agility Dog of Canada Title (ADC) with the AAC 10/27/06
*Starters Games Dog of Canada Title (SGDC) with the AAC 2/9/07
*4th Place 10" Division Royackers Canada Cup 2007 ($78.50) 7/21/07
*Retrieval Proficiency Test (RPT) 8/18/07 with the Canadian Disc Dog Association
*JRTCC Nationals 2007 - 1st Place Agility II, 2nd Place Jumpers, 2nd Place Tunnelers, 3rd Place Gamble
*CARO Novice Rally Obedience Title (RN MCL) - 3 rounds, 197pts each 11/10/07
*CPE Level 2 Standard Title - CL2-R - 03/09/08
*CPE Level 2 Handler Games Title - CL2-H - 04/05/08
*CPE Level 2 Fun Games Title - CL2-F - 07/05/08
*7th Place 10" Division Royackers Canada Cup 2008 07/19/08
*CPE Level 3 Standard Title - CL3-R - 08/02/08
*JRTCC Nationals 2008 - 1st Place Agility II, 1st Place Jumpers, 1st Place Gambler, 1st Place Tunnelers
*CPE Level 2 Strategy Title - CL2-S
*JRTCC Nationals 2008 - 1st Place Agility II, 1st Place Jumpers, 1st Place Gamble, 1st Place Tunnelers
*Advanced Agility Dog of Canada Title (AADC) with the AAC 11/29/08
*JRTCC/JRTRO June 2009 Twin Trials - JRTRO Trial June 6/09 - AGILITY TRIAL CHAMPION,
  1st Overall   - 1st Place Agility II, 2nd Place Gamble, 3rd Place Jumpers
*JRTCC Nationals 2009 - Small Terrier Steeplechase Challenge WINNER, 2nd Place Agility II , 5th
  Place Gamblers, 4th Place Jumpers
*JRTCC Nationals 2011 - Small Terrier Steeplechase Challenge WINNER, AGILITY RESERVE
  CHAMPION (2nd overall)
*JRTRO June 2012 - RESERVE Agility II & III Champion, 2nd Place Agility III, 1st Place Gamble,
  1st Place Jumpers, 2nd Place and Reserve Pet/Rescue Conformation
*JRTCC Sept 2012 - RESERVE Agility II & III Champion, 1st Place Agility III, 1st Place Gamble,
  1st Place Jumpers, Small Terrier Steeplechase Challenge WINNER
*CARO Trial October 26, 2014 - Advanced Rally Obdience Title - 1 previous round 196,
  2 rounds 10/26/14 196 - RA MCL

CPE: CL2-H, CL2-R, CL2-F, CL2-S, CL3-R, CL3-F, CL3-S, CL3-H, CL4-R
JRTCC: HIT Agility 2009 JRTRO Trial, JRTCC SGD, JRTCC AAD, JRTCC Nationals Reserve Agility Champion 2011
JRTCC Rescue Trial Reserve Agility Champion June 2012, JRTCC Nationals Reserve Agility Champion 2012, JRTCC Nationals 2012 Steeplechase Challenge Small Dog Winner