About Shaggy Dog
I went to the University of Guelph where I found my passion for animal nutrition and then received my master's degree in animal welfare and behaviour.
I attended veterinary school at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies (the University of Edinburgh). I loved it in Scotland so much that I stayed to practice as a veterinarian.
I've always had a great passion for training which started in high school when I worked with neglected horses to re-train and re-home these wonderful individuals.
It was while working as a veterinarian when I realised my true passion for behaviour. One case in particular decided my path.
This dog presented was great behaviour wise, except that he was becoming increasingly aggressive with his owner's young children and had bitten on several occasions.
We considered every option, including surrender to a rescue (none in the area would accept this dog). The owner had to make a very hard decision. At this moment I wanted to do more to prevent this from happening again. My passion for dog training surrounding child safety was born and later grew to a passion for separation anxiety training in dogs as well!
The basics in dog and cat obedience remained forefront with an interest in preparing my Old English Sheepdog for the UK "good Samaritan" dog examinations and obedience trails. However, Winston quickly showed a strong love for trick training. This is an area my previous cat had really excelled! Thus, my love of trick training was born!
I had received much training and interest in cat behaviour in my master's degree and work as a veterinarian. I prusued this area as well. This because important in helping clients gain back a peaceful home life from fighting cats, scratching, and inappropriate urination. No negative tools needed!
In 2016 I returned to Canada and opened Shaggy Dog Pet Services. I started providing dog walking, pet sitting and walk & train services to the Kingston, Ontario area. I saw my first online separation anxiety clients in 2017 and my online training and in-person training has continued to grow and evolve since that time.
New services are always being added. Check out the Facebook page to keep up to date with all the new services and information. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact me or head over to the services section to book your free 15-minute call/video chat today!
I am a reinforcement-based trainer (R+). I provide force-free and fear-free training methods.
My goal is always to grow a strong and positive relationship between a client and their pets. One built on mutual trust and love. Fear and force have no place in a trainer's methods. Training in Canada is unregulated and it's very important to know:
(1) The trainer's method: No force should ever be used- chokes, prong or electric/spray collars have no place in training today. My methods employ positive reinforcement, classical conditioning and other force-free science-based techniques.
(2) Where they received their education: It's important to know some type of science-based learning was received. Mine comes from the University of Guelph, University of Edinburgh and courses taught by veterinary behaviourist on Veterinary Information Network (VIN).
(3) How much hands-on experience the trainer has: I have over 15 years' experience.
(4) How often and how much continuing education they do per year: I do several hours per year of continuing education in behaviour and veterinary-based learning.
(5) What kind of a trainer/behaviourist they are: Are they working towards certification? Do they have higher degrees? Are they a certified trainer? I have a master's in animal welfare and behaviour from the University of Guelph and have a veterinary degree from a school that still has a focus on animal behaviour in its curriculum (University of Edinburgh).
At Shaggy Dog Pet Services, every pet is a family member first! The mission is to ensure the best welfare possible for your pets by fulfilling training needs by bringing you easier access to well trained and knowledgeable and experienced professionals.
Your pet is family and deserves the very best in all areas of their life, which Shaggy Dog can help provide!