Why Choose Us

Why Choose Us

Sit. Smile. Wag.

The pet care industry is a fast-growing but completely unregulated field of business.  Anyone with little to no knowledge about animal care can put an advertisement up on the Internet to attract you to their services.  This has created a large influx of well-meaning dog lovers to become part-time dog walkers, pet sitters and/or dog daycare providers out of their home.  With no oversight or professional accountability, dog owners entrust strangers to provide loving, kind and stress-free care for their pets while they are unable too.  You wouldn’t trust a daycare provider to look after your children simply because they raised children of their own, so why settle for the same credentials for your dog walker when you can ask for more?

Here at The Sophisticated Dog, we hope to help set an industry standard for dog walkers and pet care providers.  We are a registered business and we are insured and bonded.  bentley-sunset We also follow the training principles of modern reward-based, fear-free training methods (this includes positive reinforcement, motivational/marker training, force-free and non-aversive training techniques) because they are rooted in modern science founded in comparative psychology of dogs—the science of how the canine mind learns.  We don’t want to just put a dog-lover at the end of your beloved dog’s leash, but rather a trained Dog Handler who follows our training philosophies and will provide your dog with an walk that is both physically exerting and mentally enriching.  To learn more about how our walks are different than the average dog walker, go here.

All our walks are private.  One-on-one time between your pooch and our qualified and trained Dog Handler.  Your dog will never be walked in a lexi-jumpgroup with dogs from other households.  This ensures not only the safety of your dog but also that your dog gets 100% of our attention.

Tracy L. Wood isn’t just a dog lover, she has trained dogs professionally and has the history and up-to-date knowledge to provide the best care for your dog. She is actively engaged in the art, craft and science of dog training, frequently attending workshops and seminars on the latest in canine science.  Tracy has ensured that she, and those who walk dogs for her business, will always be qualified beyond just personal dog owning experience and history.

Sit. Smile. Wag.

We will always…

… be prepared.  This means taking water with us when it is warm out for your dog (and us) and will carry an extra leash.  Your dog’s safety and well-being during our time together will always come first.  We take your pet’s safety seriously and will take extra precaution when out on the streets or on the trails.

… listen to your dog.  As a dog trainer, Tracy is keenly aware of what your dog is trying to tell us with his or her body language.  Tracy and her dog walkers are able to recognize any signs of stress, anxiety or fear, and we know how to appropriately respond to these signs in a kind, compassionate and safe manner for both human and dog.

… provide ongoing training assistance during our time with your dog.  Our walks are more than just walks.  We will continually work on building up your dogs recall and attention getting skills.  We will work on your dog’s confidence if needed to prevent fear-triggers from occurring. Curious to learn how we do this? Read more.

We will never…

… provide car rides to get to a walking spot.  All time spent with your dog and us will be on foot, exploring the local neighbourhoods and parks.  This way your dog gets the most of our time together to stroll the city streets or enjoy a trail.

… walk your dog with a dog from another household, including our own.  All time spent will be one-on-one time between your dog and our dog walker.  This will ensure that your dog’s needs are always met and that they will get the most out of a walk with us.

… use force or fear tactics on your dog to get them to comply.  A wealth of scientific evidence at this point in time states that using force and/or fear on a dog makes their bad behaviour worse, not better.  A dog that is shutdown after the continual use of force/fear is not in a good state of mind and we believe that a dog’s emotional and mental health should be our training focus.