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Angus-searching_CRop.jpgWe are all aware of the remarkable power of a dog’s nose, especially when our own dogs come running from a different area of the house to beg for food. But did you know a dog’s nose can detect bacteria? A recent article showcasing a Springer Spaniel named Angus demonstrates just how powerful a dog’s nose can be.
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Big City Dogs
November 07, 2019
pq1zpk7cQ7GUSU05wzop_iStock-488384172-1.jpgOwning a dog in a city apartment takes dedication, routine and a good pair of shoes.

I live downtown Toronto with my Standard Poodle and my Dandie Dinmont Terrier. Throughout the years of condo living in the big city with dogs, I’ve learned how to live in a tight space while still taking care of all my dogs’ needs.  Here are some tips and tricks I have learned while owning dogs in a big city apartment. If you are a dedicated owner, you too can give your dog a great life in the big city.
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hy8JerX6RmugzRaW0bTF_Victor-2nd-place.jpgFirst off, some of you may recall my blog piece titled ‘The New Handler – the Journey to the Show Ring’.  It tells the tale of how I started off and how the journey of my beloved four-legged companion becoming a Canadian Champion was full of ups and downs.  However, if I have learned anything in the last three years, it is that hard work, determination and perseverance prevails in the end.
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Coyote Safety Tips
August 21, 2019

D59zEDgcRoa90fRhLb5S_iStock-1149269101-1.jpgHow to coexist with this wild member of the dog family

I recently encountered a coyote while walking my dogs in the afternoon in a park in downtown Toronto. I had previously seen two coyotes about a year ago while I was at the gym as one of the club’s huge windows look out to a set of train tracks.  At first, I figured they had somehow got lost (jumped onto a car while a train was it was stopped looking for food and ended up in the big city).

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VA39vDjJT6kUxGXtbRqG_iStock-474841900.jpgCareful consideration, trust and intuition is needed when hiring this member of your dog’s care team. 

Benefits of a Dog Walker
Many of us lead busy lives and work outside the home. It’s not unusual for a dog owner to be away from the home for 10 hours a day. I personally don’t think it is fair to leave a dog to be home alone for that amount of time, so for me, and countless urban dog owners, a dog walker is an important part of our pet’s care team. A dog walker is an individual you are giving a key to your home and leaving your dog’s care in the hands of. Needless to say, this is not a position you fill on a whim!
 
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FjaPS0nPTcWsdUr7jSYG_The-Airedale-terrier-dog-sleeping-in-the-chair-843091562_2209x1361.jpegYour absence does not have to be traumatic. Routine is key. 

Don’t tell your kids, but back to school season is creeping up on us. The summer is a nice break from the regular routine and our four legged friends love having their pack with them all day. Many dog owners report having difficulty leaving their dog alone when September returns and the family must leave for work and school as the dog becomes vocal, anxious and destructive. 

 
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i1xcQACGQu2JRjBehRHR_RC-AR-July-6-7-2019-031.jpgA great way to introduce the public to purebred dogs
 
As a writer and influencer for the Canadian Kennel Club I’m always thinking of ideas to introduce the public to purebred dogs or to remind them of the great, predictable qualities they have.
 
While dog shows are a fantastic place to learn about the CKC’s many incredible breeds, if you don’t know who to ask, a newcomer to the dog world might leave with only visual memories of beautiful dogs and questions left unanswered. 
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Photo by Clint ElleryIt’s no secret that the exhibitor is the backbone of the fancy. I’ve been to many dog shows and apart from watching the beautiful dogs, I also tend to watch the exhibitors. I have often joked that the people at a dog show can be more entertaining than the dogs (hence the success of the movie “Best in Show”).

I’ve seen thousands of people show thousands of dogs and have noticed some traits that successful exhibitors tend to have. I’m not a professional handler or judge, but here are, in my opinion, signs of a good exhibitor.
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4cMtja89Rr2HFQWczFAf_IMG_5089.JPGSix of the CKC’s most common inquiries answered

The Canadian Kennel Club employs a team of hard working Membership Services representatives. The team consists of both English and French speaking staff. The team takes calls, email and even corresponds via Live Chat on www.ckc.ca from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST, Monday to Friday. While many issues pertaining to dogs are complicated and do require a conversation with a membership services representative, many questions have fairly straight forward answers, so I asked a member of the team to send me a few commonly asked questions for the first in a series of blogs on the CKC’s FAQs.
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yMDSDDaMSg6vhx8GlkDk_MeashaLeroyJune2019.jpgA new addition requires careful planning, consideration and supervision.

I bought a new puppy this spring! Feel free to send gifts to the CKC head office and they will forward them over to me (just kidding). I had been planning on getting a second dog for years.  I’m the kind of person who really looks before he leaps, sometimes this is a good quality to have, and at other times it’s exhausting. 
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Make the most out of the year’s warmest months with these summer safety tips.


Summer always promises big fun in the great outdoors: beach days, picnics, cottage getaways, camping trips and more. While summer is undoubtedly Canada’s favourite time to get out and enjoy our beautiful landscape, the season presents certain hazards to our beloved dogs. With some tips and awareness, you can take advantage of the summer months safely with your best friend.
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All photos by Lesley R. FinlayManitoba Junior Kennel Club host’s the first CKC sanctioned Stand-Alone Junior Handling Competition
 
In 2018, Beth Chopey, Zone 8 Junior Handling Representative for the Manitoba Junior Kennel Club, had a meeting with her friend and the Manitoba Director for the Canadian Kennel Club, Mr. Larry Kereluke. The two were discussing ideas and plans for the Manitoba Junior Kennel Club, as well as the success they had when the Northwinds Dog Club held a dog show in conjunction with the Winnipeg Pet Show earlier in the year. At that event Junior Handling was offered both days and drew a large crowd, as well as gathered interest from new people who became members of the MJKC. Like most provinces, Manitoba has seen a decline in dog show entries which has caused some clubs to fold. Larry and Beth discussed the future of the dog show world, and ideas on how to keep the interest alive.
 
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viyBRD3VTqGaQmpzGsKf_951784846.jpgA few tips on attending your first Dog Show!

Even if you have watched “Best in Show” in its entirety, it’s tough for a first-time spectator to prepare themselves for an all-breed dog show. Between the dogs being groomed on tables, dogs being brought out to exercise, loudspeakers, numbers called out, vendors chatting and dogs of all sizes walking in all directions, it can be confusing for the new comer. Not to mention that the “ring” where your favourite breed is being judged is actually a rectangle.

 
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dyBBl6EMTkur8i5zHjD9_91351771.jpgEnjoy cottage country safely with your best friend.

Dogs and cottages seem to go hand in hand: the great outdoors and lots of free time to spend with your best friend. So many of my fondest cottage memories involve my dogs, and each summer I look forward to making more. Cottages can be fun for dogs, but the experience presents several hazards. With a little knowledge and planning, you can safely enjoy the cottage with your dog this year.
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Some tips and tricks for training and hosting a scent detection trial.

The CKC’s inaugural scent detection trial was a great success! Hosted by the North Gower Dog Club on Sunday, March 17, 2019, 71 runs were held with 11 Scent Detection Instinct (SDIN) and three Scent Detection Novice (SDN) titles awarded – Siberian Husky ‘Achilles,’ owned by Maryrose McIntyre; German Shepherd ‘Ryder,’ owned by Francoise Adam; and Pembroke Welsh Corgi ‘Miller,’ owned by Sandra Hebert.
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Easter Safety Tips
April 17, 2019
f3x7gOSVenyBXKtSN2DA_638552430-1.jpgBeing aware of potential hazards can help you and your dog have a Happy Easter.

Many families and friends gather this time of year to celebrate Easter and included in that guest list is, of course, our beloved dogs. While Easter is a fun and cherished holiday, as with any gathering where food and a large number of people are involved, it can present some dangers to our pups. I’ve listed some items to be cautious of this Easter because when it comes to dogs, preventing a situation is a thousand times better than having to deal with one.
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rD8NElc0RckZy7gZ97Cl_177300523.jpgCareful consideration and research are required when adding a dog into your life

Are you hoping to own a dog in the near future? Every time one of my friends tell me that they are seriously considering buying a dog, I offer to text them every time I spend time with or money on my dog for a week. If they actually agree to this, by day three I usually get a polite “Got it. Thanks”.
 
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844088862.jpgA few bits of advice to help those with a new puppy.

I’ve written several blogs on puppies and will probably write dozens more. Since new puppy owners don’t have tons of spare time, I thought I would put together a quick list of tips to help puppy owners during the first few special and challenging months with their gorgeous new pack member.
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6GKpKLEDSJElzS18QE9H_Hovawart_1402346_Annie_Lambert_37bf07ca-f5d2-42c9-ac79-9b1583b54b20.jpgSigns to look for when buying a puppy.

If you look up the word “breeder” on Wikipedia you will find a definition that reads: “A breeder is a person who selectively breeds carefully selected mates, normally of the same breed to sexually reproduce offspring with specific, consistently replicable qualities and characteristics.” Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case.
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9-TRD-topdogs3.jpegIn addition to the Top Dogs that excel in their chosen disciplines, every year there are a few dogs who lead the pack in not one, but two sports. For these dogs, the Top Dogs Category Multi-Discipline was created. Multi-Discipline Top Dogs celebrates the versatility of dogs by recognizing teams who have earned Top Dog status in two or more disciplines at the breed, group or all breeds level.
 
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Finding a Great Groomer
March 08, 2019
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How to pick a Groomer and maintain a good relationship with this important member of your dog’s wellness team

Many new puppy owners wait until a first hair cut is long overdue before they begin to look for a Groomer. But finding a good Groomer can be a challenging task, so you should begin your search early on. Many breeders also groom, so if this is the case with your dog's and you live fairly close by – lucky you (and lucky them as I’m sure they would love regular visits with your dog)! 

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Pointing-Amateur-Shooting-Dog-2-3.JPGField events are some of the oldest of dog sports. Designed around the important roles dogs have performed with humans for centuries, field events mirror the tasks many dogs were originally bred to perform. From signaling the presence of game, retrieving it, or chasing and catching it, we find the origins of many of today’s dog sports from field trials to lure coursing.
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We caught up with Lee of the amazing Lee and Scooter team while they were down in Florida enjoying a well-earned vacation. They have claimed the #1 Obedience Top Dogs spot for two years in a row, and Lee graciously expanded on her Top Dogs interview, offering some wonderful insight into the world of Obedience training and her work with Scooter. 
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9 Thanksgiving Safety Tips
October 05, 2018
pic001.jpgThe holidays are a wonderful time to give thanks for all the blessing in our lives, including our awesome dogs. While Thanksgiving is a celebration enjoyed across the country, the holiday does present some safety concerns for our four legged friends.

The majority of the action at any Thanksgiving celebration happens in the kitchen. Cooking a Thanksgiving feast is busy work and having a dog around your feet can be very dangerous. You could trip over them and seriously injury both the dog and yourself. You could also drop something hazardous and before you can grab it, it’s ingested by a curious pup
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Help! My Dog Got Skunked!
October 01, 2018
001.jpgCanada is home to two species of skunk. The most common is the Stripped Skunk (like Pepé Le Pew) which can be found across the country and the second is the Spotted Skunk which can be found in the southern British Columbia. Although the Spotted Skunk is slightly smaller than the Stripped Skunk, both are very similar.

Although shy, skunks are very adaptable and show no discrimination when picking a place to live as they can be found in both rural and urban areas as long as they have a nearby source of water. Skunks will either make a new home by using their long claws to dig a den or they will reside in an abandoned den built by another animal, such as a fox. You might also find skunks in aboveground places like in hollow logs, woodpiles, or in brushes. It’s also quite common for skunks to build their homes close to humans underneath porches, houses, garages. A skunk will use grass, hay or leaves to line its home when it lives in a den. A skunk’s den often contains one to three chambers, and there may be up to five entrances, each about eight inches in diameter.
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Creating Crate Success!
August 29, 2018
IMAGE1.jpgYou’ve probably heard from other dog owners that crate training is incredibly helpful in housebreaking a puppy and you’ve definitely seen dogs at shows and trials in crates - but why should you crate train your dog? For one, it’s very natural. Crate training takes advantage of your dog's natural instincts as a den animal. A wild dog's den is their home—a place to sleep, hide from danger and raise a family. If introduced properly, the crate will become your dog's den, where they can find comfort and solitude while you know they’re safe and secure. Crate training can save your furniture, your floors and even your dog’s life.

If you are lucky enough to have gotten your puppy from a breeder who started the crate training process before she sent her puppies to their forever homes, you will be ahead of the game. But for the purpose of this blog, I will start with the assumption that your puppy has had no previous crate experience.
 
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chips001.jpgA dog finding a bag of chips can lead to an owner’s worst nightmare in a matter of minutes.

Doctors and personal trainers tell us to avoid potato chips – they are full of fat and salt, but did you know that Canada’s favourite snack also presents an enormous danger to your four legged buddy? 

Picture this scenario: you come home after a long day of work and plant yourself on the couch with a cold beverage and a bag of chips to watch Netflix with your best friend. After consuming a portion you won’t be bragging about on social media, you toss the bag on your coffee table and eventually you doze off on the couch next to your pup. We’ve all done it, but it’s not the chip portioning we need to worry about in this scenario – it’s your dog’s life.
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dogpark001.jpgIt’s not always easy to find a place for your dog to run and play when you live in a densely populated neighbourhood. When on-leash and on-concrete options won’t do, leash-free zones—also known as “dog parks”—become the go-to spaces for many dog owners in Canada’s urban and suburban areas.

With the ever increasing urbanization of rural areas, dog parks remain a reality for many owners, as it’s better to take Fido to a dog park for 30 minutes to let off some steam, rather than have him chew a hole in your door, reduce your sofa to shreds or help with your interior decorating in some other imaginative way. Therefore, keep the following tips in mind:
 
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iggyjoey-1.jpgInstagram has over 500 million active users on a daily basis. Instagram is favoured as a passive social media platform where users can look at pictures of their favourite things – travel destinations, fashion and, of course, dogs.  Many people love taking a break from the stress of daily life by scrolling through cute pup pics. It’s no secret that Canada homes thousands of gorgeous dogs but, did you know that some Canadian dogs are among the most followed dogs on Instagram? Here are a few of my favourites. 
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FW001.jpg“I love fireworks” said no dog ever.

I consider it a cruel irony that the things I love most about fireworks – the sudden flashes, bright colours and echoing blasts – are the same things that make my best friend want to run and hide. While fun for humans, the loud, unexpected sounds of fireworks cause stress and anxiety for most dogs. As Canada Day approaches, here are some facts on why fireworks make dogs anxious and tips to help you keep the experience calm. 

Fireworks are scary for dogs for a number of reasons. The bright lights and booming sounds would be scary by themselves, but these lights and sounds appear out of nowhere and disappear again not to be seen for another 12 months. Unlike humans, dogs don’t know that Canada Day is coming. They aren’t expecting fireworks so the experience is quite startling. Though many dogs are afraid of thunder, thunderstorms actually come with way more warning than a fireworks show. Things like changes in barometric pressure and high winds help dogs, so many dogs are better able to anticipate them. Since fireworks are sudden and occur less frequently than thunderstorms, dogs can be even more stressed by them. Even dogs that are usually calm in noisy, crowded situations can react to a firework display. 
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Pride001.jpgPride festivals are all about good vibes of love, inclusion and family so it’s only natural that many people celebrating Pride this summer want to bring their dog along for the fun. While the idea of having your adorable pooch show off his new rainbow collar may seem fantastic – the truth is that large, crowded festivals with lots of intoxicated people (many in costumes) have the potential to cause great amounts of stress to a dog. There’s a lot to consider when deciding whether or not you should take your dog to Pride.
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dog0012.jpgFamily and strangers alike will tell you to shave down your double coated dog each and every summer but should you?

Last summer, I went walking with my neighbour and her Alaskan Malamute. Craving some attention? Then I would recommend walking a 95 lb Malamute through downtown Toronto!  Apart from being told that Harper is the “biggest husky” dozens of people had ever seen and being the subject of 50 Instagram photos (#AlaskanMalamute – she made sure they got it right with the hashtag), I was surprised by how many strangers told her that she needed to “shave him down for the summer.”

 
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Raising a Show Dog
January 17, 2018
- Advertorial - 

I’ve always wondered how people become interested in showing and breeding dogs. What really interested them in a particular breed? How do they raise them to be worthy of becoming champions? I got the chance find out more about the show world when I interviewed breeders and owners of generations of champion dogs, Brad and Christina Koffman-Heard of Summerford Perm. Reg’d. Newfoundlands 

How did you choose your breed?
We were looking for a dog that could do various activities such as water rescue work, carting and therapy work, along with lots of outdoor activities.  Our family liked the Newfoundland breed because they are kind, sweet and happy and are the perfect fit for families with children. After we had been involved with the breed for more than five years, we finally decided that breeding might be a good fit for us...
 
 
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‘Tis the season for parties, yule log TV, gift giving, and while we may enjoy all the festivities, our pets might need a bit of extra help coping with all of our holly jollies. All the extra commotion can be really confusing to our pups and it can be difficult for them to stay calm and collected in the face of all the new additions to the house... like wrapped gifts, trees (“but you never let me bring my sticks inside!” - Rex), and plates upon plates of sweets and meats.

 Though there isn’t any surefire training you can do in just a few short days before Christmas to avoid the present spoiling of a lifetime, what you can do is manage and prevent unwanted behaviours. Real change with training takes up to three weeks, so management and prevention are a key component in any training plan, but it’s important to remember that it is temporary - don’t expect miracles, people! 

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Healthy Aging
November 15, 2017
- Advertorial -

Aging… no one wants to hear this word. When my Bichon Frise, Toby, was getting into his senior years it was hard for me to admit the reality. Our dogs go through a similar aging process to us. Typically, a dog is considered to be a senior dog around the age of 7. They may not be as active as they used to be, start going grey around the muzzle and not want to play with us as much as they used to. They also may even have accidents around the house or forget their favourite trick you once taught them. Toby was slowing down a lot, not as active and sometimes he took longer to complete his favourite trick. Whatever the changes may be, we need to be aware of them and ensure we do the best for our furry friends.
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Happy Howl'oween
October 26, 2017

IMG_5971b.jpgHalloween is a favourite holiday in my house, which means the decor has been up for weeks, the dog beds are surrounded by pumpkins, and Remy and Ira have been wearing festive collars and bandanas since October 1st. Admittedly, it is easy to get wrapped up in the fun of this holiday, but as pet parents we do have to remember to limit the level of involvement of our pups to something suitable for their individual needs... which sadly may not include wearing a t-rex costume 24 hours a day so you can feel like you’re living in Jurassic Bark. 

When approaching any holiday, you can’t browse the internet without finding a slew of safety tips to abide by. Of course, there are some important basics:

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7 Summer Safety Tips
August 08, 2017

Ira-Glasses.jpgIt’s taken a while, but summer is finally in full swing! For many of you, that means adventure is just around the corner, but warm weather brings along risks and challenges... especially if you have flat-faced pals like I do. To help you have a safe, fun-filled summer with your best friend, I have compiled a list of my top tips.

Water water water!  Hydration is so important during the hot summer months, for both your pets and you! Bring a water bottle and collapsible bowl on your daily outings, making sure to stop for drinks often. Water can be a friend in many other ways, too; wet your pet down with cool water before and during time outdoors, treat them to a kiddie pool if you have a yard (this suggestion comes highly recommended by yours truly), and if you do dog sports, consider investing in a cooling coat or bandana...

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