Hi there! I love animals and I'm a lifelong pet owner (you name it, I've likely lived with one!), I've been living with dogs forever. My 17 year old dog died earlier this year and I currently live with my other senior dog "Tank". He's 13 now and was given to me four years ago by a couple who could no longer care for him. Tank and I have been able to work together to improve his manners and leash skills, as well as working on fears (rain, squeaky toys, etc.) and successfully overcoming his extreme separation anxiety. We've come a long way! Tank misses having a companion, and he really likes being around other dogs.
I'm great with dogs because I try to understand what they're experiencing, and being creative, I find the best way to connect with each dog based on their individual personality and needs. I tell them what I DO like with tons of praise (verbal and physical) so they will repeat that behaviour, and what I DON'T like (sharp "NO" with hand clap) paired with an immediate re-direct to reduce the behaviours, then praise on the successful redirect. Doing this immediately and consistently is how I've trained all of my dogs - it's very effective, they feel confident, safe, and their self-esteem stays intact. I'm constantly studying and learning about dogs, Once I know a dog better, I'm even able to stop unwanted behaviours *before* they happen - simply by interrupting a thought and correcting/redirecting, just by reading their body language. (For example, stopping the thought to run after a squirrel is much more effective than trying to stop the dog once he/she's already running after it!) I read all the time and this has helped so much in understanding how dogs think, what they need, and what makes a good caregiver. We have a lot of fun, and dogs feel safe because they quickly understand their role and my simple rules. I'm fair and loving, fun and caring.
I've hosted many dogs for friends and family over the years, and every time they get picked up, the owners notice how calm and happy their dogs are, and how silky their fur is (I add fish oils and coconut oils to their food - but wouldn't do this for Clients dogs without checking first!). I can bathe your dog, and trim nails as well.
We love dog guests. Tank loves other dogs, he just prefers that they don't try to mount him. I would ask that any male dogs we host are neutered and/or significantly smaller than my dog (Tank is 75lbs. & neutered).
My home is comfortable, with a large dog bed, a dog chair, and dogs are also allowed on the sofa, or anywhere else they please. I have a giant dog crate that I could set up if needed, it can fit a Great Dane. My home is dog-proofed for safety, quiet, and filled with sunlight and fresh air. I even set up dog beds on the balcony, weather permitting. Dogs can rest, play, or wander around my home. It's a relaxed environment.
On a typical day we wake up and go outside right away, then we have breakfast, then we go for a walk - and that includes some social play time at our local dog park. Then Tank sleeps and I work on my computer, and/or run errands. Around 4-5pm we go for another walk, then we play at home (snuggles, toys, treats, etc.). Then I work more, dinner happens later, and then we go out again for another potty break, Before bed we go out one more time, and then we sleep! It's a simple life, one easily adapted to the needs of an older dog. I have a flexible schedule and would be happy to work around your dog's needs as much as possible.
We live right next to an off-leash dog park, on the Humber River Trail. We're 2.5 kms north of Lake Ontario and it's such a beautiful nature walk along the Humber River trail, with lots of singing birds and greenery.
My rates may be a bit higher than other sitters, but from my experience with sitters for my dogs in the past, I've found that skimping on dog care was not our best bet. If I can afford to have a dog, I can afford to provide that dog with a quality experience when I'm not able to be with him/her! I have high standards for my dog's care, and will provide that same level of care for yours. Your dog is worth it! I'm worth it!
I'd be happy to speak with you to see if we're a match for dog care. Thanks :)
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