It’s coming to that time of year again when you need to make the big decision…what are you going to buy for the dog in your life?! What will be wrapped under the tree this Christmas? Do you struggle to find a gift for the dog who has everything? Looking for something that they are just going to love? We have hand picked our top holiday gifts made by local Toronto Based businesses for your furbaby, furnephew or just that special pupper in your life.
Kuri K9 Massage
Toby The Senior Morkie
Pamper your pooch with their very own full body massage. What a cool way of rewarding your doggo than with a well earned massage. Dog massages can help maintain your babies physical and emotional well being. Massage therapy can work in tandem with their veterinary care that your pet insurance provider may cover in your policy.
Make your pups day and have the treatment done in home like the services provided by Kuri K9 Massage. They offer a variety of massages based on your pets needs including Swedish massage, Rehabilitation massage, Palliative or Geriatric massage, Puppy massage, Lymphatic Drainage massage, and Sports massage. Can you say RELAXING!! I wonder if it’s possible to get a ‘couples’ style massage with your doggo…now that would be the dream.
Tom & Sawyer
Save Our Scruff Treat Package
Nothing shows you care about your baby more than feeding them the right food. At Tom & Sawyer they cook up a storm just for your doggo (and feline friends!). They only use top notch restaurant ingredients that they proudly cook in store for you to see. They also follow public health guidelines for human food. You can also feel good about giving back to the puppers in need while keeping your own baby happy by purchasing one of their holiday gift packs for Save Our Scruff and Redemption Paws.
You can always make it a special gift for a friend and their pupper to stop by and have a coffee and muffin for a weekend treat, coffee with your doggo – YES PLEASE!! You can order directly online or pop in and see them at their Leslieville location. This is an ideal gift for any doggo friend that will result in wet kisses!
Put Your Puff Pants On
Puff Pants Xmas Apparel
Who doesn’t want to look stylish when the man in the red suit makes his appearance? Be dapper in seconds by sporting these hand made bandanas that will last for many more holiday seasons to come. Holly (my shih tzu) will be wearing her holiday collection again this year, a girl can never have too many accessories!
Puff Pants Apparel was founded by our very own Toronto based maltipoo Frankie Puff Pants hence the name! And Frankie seriously knows style. Frankie & Mom have been styling dogs all around the world from Toronto to Europe. Whatever the occasion they got your covered. They make it nice and easy to look red carpet ready. You can browse their collection at their ETSY store.
Bone & Bred
Toronto Dog Collar
Walk the Walk and rep your city! If you know a doggo who is a proud Canadian then look no further! Bone & Bred is a local Toronto based business founded by our very own Beans (@torontoterrier on Instagram) and his mama. They have created a variety of accessories for the city loving pooch! They offer leashes, apparel, patches, bowls and more! In addition to their Canadian accessories you can get custom accessories for the Canadian cities of Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver. Rep your city now! Free shipping on orders over $75 – get your pride on!
Bentley’s Dog Treats
Mouth Watering Dog Treats
One that is a MUST for all pups this holiday season. Bentley’s dog treats is a high end home based dog treat company that specializes in dehydrated treats. If you have a fussy dog (like mine!) and they only like the good (and normally expensive) treats than look no further.
Bentley’s Treats are single ingredient treats which are great if your furry friend has allergies. What you get is what you see. They have a variety of dehyrdrated treats for you to choose from including Beef Bites, Beef Liver, Beef Strips, Calf Liver, Chicken Breast Bites, Chicken Breast Strips, Sweet Potato Strips and more. Want to see how our in house taste tester liked these treats? Click here. If you would like to know more or place an order with Bentley The Dobie – simply send him a DM on Instagram.
Photographing our furry best pals is not the easiest job in the world when they are full of energy and always on the go; and they’re not the biggest fans of posing for the ‘gram! That is why we compiled a list of the best pet photographers in Toronto. In no particular order, they are:
Off Leash Studio
Off Leash Studio stands out due to its ability to capture a dog or cat during their goofiest moments. This studio specifically focuses on bringing out your furry best pal’s unique and fun personality. The end result is professional, polished and guaranteed to put a smile on your face! Located on 165 Bathurst St., Off Leash Studio uses cinematic lighting techniques honed through years of experience shooting portraits to create classic and modern portraits with a fun twist. The official Instagram page (@offleashstudio) will definitely brighten up your day or visit them at: http://www.offleashstudio.com/
Doggy Dates Toronto takes the “nature walk” approach to bring you the most gorgeous shots of your pup with a breathtaking background on the beach, in the woods or anywhere else outdoors, running about and enjoying the fresh air! Expect to see your dog in action, like jumping up in the air and catching a ball, or running towards the waves on the beach. This kind of photoshoot is perfect for the puppers that love the outdoors and exercising. The packages start from $75 and the beautiful shots can be found at the official Facebook page /DoggyDatesToronto or on Instagram @doggydatestoronto
If you’re looking for a seasoned professional with lots of commercial photography experience as well as experience working with a variety of different animals, Jason is your guy! He has photographed exotic animals, farm animals, as well as taken commissions from humans to photograph their domestic pets. Sky is the limit for Jason Krygier-Baum, who always makes sure he has the animal’s owner or, in the case of an exotic animal, a professional animal handler on set (usually at his swanky studio) to make sure everyone involved is comfortable and everything runs smoothly.
After growing up in a house full of all kinds of different animals, Jason studied animal behaviour at the University of Toronto and decided to combine his love of animals with his passion for photography. While Jason’s rates are on the higher end price range, if you take a look at his pet portfolio at https://www.jasonkb.com/pet-portraits, you will see the extremely high quality of his work and realize that this is an unforgettable experience for both you and your furry pal, and a memory to last you a lifetime. Check out his work on Instagram @jasonkbphoto !
This one’s for the GTA folks, we haven’t forgotten about you! Based in Burlington and serving the GTA area, Happy Tails Pet Photography was founded and is operated by animal lover Stacey, who has a golden retriever and a cat of her own. Her portraits really showcase that extra personal touch that results from putting the research in to really discover which location, setting, and experience is perfect for both you and your pet. Stacey prefers shooting in outdoor locations with natural lighting, as opposed to shooting in a studio, as she believes that your furry best friend needs to be as comfortable as possible to let their true personality shine. Her portraits are as picturesque as a postcard, and if you don’t believe us, see it for yourself at https://happytailspetphotography.ca/ and on Instagram @happytailsphoto
Fetching Fotos founder (and photographer) – phew, say that 5 times fast! – Lisa and her team really care, and it shows. From a pre-photoshoot meeting to discuss session ideas, products and budget planning, to a post-photoshoot preview session of over 30 images, everything is designated to put you at ease and make sure this is an incredible experience to remember. Session options include: Simple Pet Session of 1-2 hours at a single location, Us Together Session of owner with pet for 2-3 hours at 1 or 2 locations, The Dogumentary Day of 4-5 hours of following you and your dog around doing your favourite things together, and the Four Seasons Pet Symphony with four sessions throughout the year, each 1-2 hours long. There is also the Old Faithful Session for those with senior pets or ill pets who might have mobility issues, in which case the entire photoshoot is set up for their and their owners’ convenience. Take a closer look at www.fetchingfotos.com or @fetching_fotos on Instagram.
Whether you are at the beginning of your journey with your four-legged best friend, or you are sadly near the end of your journey together and want to capture some beautiful moments, we hope this list helps you find your perfect photographer!
Who are we missing from the list? Shout them out in the comments!
Introduction to Episode 14: Phodography with El Keegan!
The Bark Show is a podcast where we discuss all things dogs, co-hosted by Pam Curry and Suzana Curcija, brought to you by Toronto Dog Walking and I Speak Dog. Today’s guest is pet photographer El Keegan of El Keegan Photography. El is als a food, product, wedding, and lifestyle photographer. El loves all fields of photography but raising two pups made her fall in love with photographing dogs. Her dogs are far from ordinary, they’re deeply emotional, hilarious and they regularly humiliate her and have done for years now. For El, it’s so important to capture their characters. Not all dogs are perfectly behaved but we love them fiercely. They are our best friends, after all.
Find us at www.TheBarkShow.dog
Instagram – @torontodogwalking & @ispeakdog
Podcast Episode Summary
Back in Ireland where she’s originally from, El didn’t really know what she wanted to do after graduating but had studied photography in college and got scouted by the Irish Independent newspaper and worked there for 5-6 years
Her and her partner decided to leave Dublin and move to Toronto with their 2 dogs
El took up any gigs she could get such as food and drink photography but would take her camera on dog walks to the dog park and take pictures of her dogs
Her two dogs are full of life and character, very wild when out on walks, so El wanted to bring that energy to her dog photography business
She has been trying different formats and styles with different dogs to see what suits them best.
Usually takes a full hour to do the shoot to leave time for the dog to get settled, sniff around, feel safe and El gets to know them with treats and toys. It’s about capturing a variety of different poses, it’s about the dog’s experience. People often put their dogs through a lot of stress to get the perfect picture but El is strictly against that
Dog owners might want to take the dogs for a walk before the shoot if they are hyper dogs
End result of her shoot is 5 really high quality images, each package comes with 8 x 10 canvas
She’s working on a coffee table book called The Secret Life of Dogs, to be offered in the next year, an elaborate dog lifestyle project. Huge concepts, dog centric, takes a month to shoot the dogs separately and then compose them together
She had the idea for a year and found a poker table on Kijiji to kick the project off, hoping to have 30 shoots in the final book
She is offering $50 off her “Phodography” package for shoots booked for the month of October – just mention The Bark Show!!
“So many people think dog photography is for the quiet, sweet dogs that will sit and pose for any amount of time, but it’s just not. Dogs are incredible, wild, hilarious and full of character. Sometimes the photos where they look deranged, with their tongue hanging out, is the perfect encapsulation of that dog.”
“I won’t let you leave until you have excellent photos, but I want to make sure it’s done in the right way.”
The Bark Show is a podcast where we discuss all things dogs, co-hosted by Pam Curry and Suzana Curcija, brought to you by Toronto Dog Walking and I Speak Dog. Today’s guest is Juliana Willems of Dog Latin Dog Training. She is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA) and a Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner (KPA CTP). Her company Dog Latin provides in-home private training for the Washington, DC area and focuses on everything from puppy training to reactivity and aggression. Her methods are rooted in the science of learning, with a heavy emphasis on positive reinforcement.
Find us at www.TheBarkShow.dog
Instagram – @torontodogwalking & @ispeakdog
Podcast Episode Summary
Juliana worked in Humane Society as an event planner, then started fostering dogs, now full time dog trainer for 3 years
Great thing about positive reinforcement training with dogs is the bond between human and dog that grows
Dog training is an unregulated industry but Karen Pryor Academy has a prestigious reputation so that’s why Juliana completed their program and learned about positive reinforcement there
Flexibility and thinking on your feet is key when training dogs
Dr. Susan Friedman’s humane hierarchy says: When you’re looking at an animal or a learner’s needs, look at their nutrition, environment, then you go to positive reinforcement, then the negative punishment/reinforcement. There is a hierarchy of steps to take. Don’t skip all the steps and go to the heavier tools, use the least invasive method of behaviour intervention.
Most of Dog Latin Dog Training clients referred to by their vet
Juliana’s specialty is reactivity in dogs, and figuring out where that behaviour is coming from
Good to keep the rate of reinforcement high, dog is getting many wins so that they stay engaged. It can be faded out slowly
The more the fun when training, the better success
Every behaviour has a function, instead of eliminating a bad behavior, think to replace
What are the benefits of positive reinforcement? Building a positive relationship with your dog.
Aversive training is taking a risk, it’s a quick but non-guaranteed solution. It’s not a magic trick, risk of fallout is not worth it.
“There is a hierarchy of steps to take. Don’t skip all the steps and go to the heavier tools because every learner deserves to be looked at as an individual. What is the least invasive method of intervention we can do here?”
“Dogs are living beings and it’s a complete myth that they want to work with us just because they are intrinsically designed to want to please us. That is not the case for pretty much any dog.”
“You don’t need to be punishing the dog to get what you want.”
“You only gamble what you can afford to lose, and when it comes to your dog I don’t think you can afford to gamble.”