Lucinda’s Thesis on Early Enrichment wins top award at US Annual Conference!

Puppies have a highly sensitive learning stage between 7 and 14 weeks of age – at a time when veterinarians in Canada are often recommending keeping them home.  Lucinda completed her Thesis on the positive impact of starting socialization as early as 10 weeks of age.  This is the recommended age by the US Veterinarian Board since 2008; Canine Campus has been following this protocol since 2009 and has had zero incidents of disease.  This Thesis was done for her BSc. in Psychology at York and followed 5 litters and measuring the different levels of reactivity at 5 months.  Lucinda is now pursuing her MSc. at University of Guelph and doing further research on behaviour and learning stages in dogs.  The Ontario Veterinarian College at Guelph is now also teaching their vets to start classes at this age.

At the American Professional Dog Trainers (APDT) annual conference in October, the work was judged against many other scientific studies and awarded first place!

Bring your puppy to Canine Campus and take advantage of our excellent curriculum and methods to help you create a wonderfully socialized animal that will be able to reach their full potential!

Training fear aggression into confidence


“Canine Campus is absolutely amazing, and Lucinda is a very incredibly talented trainer and coach to both My American Bulldog Kush and to me.  Her knowledge, confidence, support, and her genuinely caring are really inviting and beneficial for both of us.

I rescued Kush from a bad situation at 6 months old.  At the beginning I was told that it was less than a 50/50 as to whether he would have to be put down because of his aggressiveness towards humans and other dogs.  Lucinda did home visits and gave me great training methods on how to deal with an extreme case like him.  She invited us to participate in High Anxiety and that was the beginning of turning him into such a happy, smart, obedient, and more confident dog, and turning me in to a better leader for my boy.  He has since completed Manners 2, as well as Agility for fun, and we are enrolled in Advanced in the Park, which we are really enjoying!

Her training methods are spectacular, and frankly I believe that no one else would have had the same outcome with both of us that Lucinda has had, and it really is because she cares so much about the success of the dogs and the people in her classes.  Canine Campus has two rooms separated by a glass wall, which is super because when Kush needed a mental break to shake things out, he could go in the second room and not miss any of the class.

Thank you to Lucinda and her team for taking the time to work with Kush,  not only saving his life, but also being so important in manifesting an amazing dog/owner bond that is the greatest feeling in the world

The smile on Kush’s face, which I never saw until I worked with Lucinda, really says it all!  – Cedric Fortin”

Car Sickness

a safe doggy!

Car sickness is very common in young dogs, as the stress and anxiety of the ride causes them to hyperventilate and then vomit.  There are a number of things to do to minimize these occurrences:

  1. Don’t allow them to eat or drink much before the ride – the contents sloshing around in their belly adds to the feeling of nauseousness
  2. Bring them to the car at least once a day and don’t go anywhere at all.  On the third day, turn the engine on for a few moments.
  3. Feed them their dinner or give them a good chew bone in the car, then get them out with out going anywhere.  Trying to build positive associations
  4. When they’ll get in the car and sit happily for a few minutes, take a very short ride around the block – or maybe even just out of driveway and back.  We want them to get out of car while still relaxed
  5. ALWAYS use some type of restraint in the back seat or back of car.  Crate is ideal, but seat belt harness is good too.  When they can move around too much, it adds to the problem.
  6. If going for long rides, such as to the cottage, a baby dose of gravol can help with the motion sickness

Canine Campus Voted #1!

Canine Campus win’s Readers’ Choice Award

We are very proud and grateful to our clients to announce that we were voted the number one facility in the Markham-Stouffville area for 2011!  All the staff at Canine Campus is dedicated to offering dogs and their owners a positive experience and we made a lot of changes in the past year to enhance our offerings.

We renovated and expanded, so that there’s much more room for training clients and offer the ability for the little ones to socialize in their own area, safely separated by a glass wall.  This allows all the dogs to get used to the sight of different sizes, without incurring safety issues of having them together off leash.

We are committed to keeping the size of our classes to a safe group – no more than 6 in training.  This ensures proper socialization and safety.

Thanks to all who voted for us!  Please come out and try our award winning services!

Helping Anxious Dogs with Positive training


Thank you so much for the reactive training classes. We learned so much, and will continue to put into practice what you taught us. I have gone to numerous dog training classes and seminars  in Canada and the US over the years, but your class was quite simply the best! I can see why your dogs have won so many obedience titles.

Already we have made headway. Yesterday was the first day Henry didn’t go ballistic when another dog walked into the lobby of our building. He looked at the other dog, looked at me, and sat for treat. I gave him a treat because it was the first time he’s ever done that. Six weeks ago we never would have been able to take him on Yonge. The two times we tried it, he was a leaping, barking maniac. Now he pretty much ignores bikes and even motorcycles, which is amazing.

Sarah, Terry and Henry

To Tug, or not to tug?

Tug games with your dog can be one of the most rewarding games for dogs, most just love it!  It’s a great way to reward after a job well done, as many working and agility handlers do, or to use as a distraction in an exciting situation.

However, I do have concerns on teaching it to the very young puppy who is still learning what is know as bite inhibition – the ability to control the pressure of their bite.    This crucial skill must be learned before they are 4 months of age, because it is nearly impossible to learn after that time.  The best way is through socializing with other pups, as in a Puppy Kindergarten.  There they learn that if in play they bite down too hard – the other pup squeals and won’t play any longer.  Humans can provide the exact same feedback – high pitched “ouch!” when the pup mouths your inappropriately and on a second occurrence, you stop playing and leave.

Many young pups that engage in tug with rope or cloth toys have a problem distinguishing this joy of the hard grab and bite in the tug game, from doing the same to your shirt or pants.  I only teach tug after I have a totally solid “out” command with any type of toy and when I’m certain that my pup has enough self control to listen when he’s all revved up.   This is a great way to teach self control – but they need to demonstrate the “out” with toys first, before I introduce tug.

This is specially true when there are children in the household. I want to be absolutely sure that the puppy understands the rules, because a puppy playing tug with a child’s pant leg can be a very frightening thing!  Because of children’s quicker movements, higher voices and general proximity – pups often feel that they are just another playmate for them and might engage too enthusiastically for a small child to be comfortable with.  Those very sharp teeth can be unintentionally dangerous!

Tug is a great game and wonderful skill to teach – but be sure to introduce it properly, so that it doesn’t lead to behavioral issues down the road!

Puppy training basics

Young dogs go through a number of physical and mental stages as they grow and it’s important that we keep this in mind as we train.

Puppies in the 8 weeks -4.5 month stage are growing quickly, but mentally are very immature with a very short attention span.  They still retain a high level of dependency on their owners which translates to a desire to please.  At this stage this willingness makes it fairly easy to train the basic commands, and an excellent time to set the ground rules for what you expect down the road.  You need to clearly establish the house rules now to be effective later.  Often, the puppy will challenge the youngest and smallest in the house and they tend to see them as playmates.  Teaching young children how to handle the pup respectfully is very important – they’re not stuffed animals!

 Behaviors that are totally common in puppies might seem cute now, but will not be as endearing in an adult dog.  It is best to manage them now before they become ingrained.  Behavior such as begging, nipping and chewing in play, jumping up and getting on the furniture are normal concerns – but they can translate into big problems down the road.  Set out your house rules consistently and show your puppy positive alternative behaviors, such as redirecting to a soft floppy toy when they want to grab your pantleg.

All training is cumulative – even small activities can help improve  the total learning of your dog.  Training a dog to come when called is not just about them understanding what the command “come” means, but knowing that they will be rewarded when they listen to you.

Puppies are not good at policing themselves – they naturally need to chew, may not have excellent bladder control yet and don’t have a clear understanding of what is yours or theirs.  Therefore, it is important to limit your puppy’s range both when you’re at home and when you’re away.

Crate training can be very effective for this when done humanely, and can be the difference between coming home to a puppy who you are as happy to see as they are to see you.  Accidents from too much room to roam are going to happen in a young dog – and it is up to the owner to help the puppy be successful.  Baby gates to control the amount of freedom your puppy has are an excellent means of letting the dog be with the family while not allowing them to wander out of sight and get in trouble.

Long days at home alone can be just too much for a puppy, and if given a chance they will look for ways to entertain themselves that might not be so acceptable to you.  A “safe” room, such as a laundry or fenced off basement area, can be an ideal alternative to a crate.   You can leave toys, a chew bones and maybe a corner with pee pad/paper if you have to be away for too long.  This way you can possibly crate at night and have a safe space for the puppy during the day – or vice-versa.  The general rule of thumb is that a puppy can only be successful at housetraining for as many hours as they are months old.  When they’re up and actively playing though, 30 to 45 minutes is appropriate. Working towards helping your dog be successful at being alone is very important in how your relationship develops. 


Winter Dog Training Classes!

  When the weather gets so cold that we don’t want to go out, it’s the perfect time to work inside with your dogs!  We offer classes at all levels, using positive reinforcement which result in a dog that  wants to work with you!  We have everything from Puppy Kindergarten to Agility for Fun – including Manners and Advanced/Canine Good Neighbor Courses.

We believe in the power of positive reinforcement methods and appropriate/non physical corrections.  We focus on teaching canine manners to help you achieve the dog that is a pleasure to have in your home and in the park. We use voice, toy play and the randomized treat to motivate and correct pups – no harsh methods. Classes at Canine Campus are recommended and attended by area vets, rescue organizations and breeders who all know that we provide small, quality training classes. Check out the training page for more info, or give us a call! 905-477-8092

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Breeder of the Pack!

 BREEDER OF THE PACK! Lucinda featured on Animal Planet documentary, ”Breeder of the Pack”!

VIEW SHOW (opens in new window or tab)


Animal Planet contacted Lucinda about doing a documentary on her history as a trainer and breeder of champion show and obedience dogs. Five breeders in Canada were chosen to be part of the series, so it was quite an honor. When they first called, I thought it was just a prank – it took a moment to realize that they were serious!


They followed our training routine for a week, including filming at a competition, capturing a training class, out for walks in the woods and our normal at home routine. It was an unbelievable amount of footage to create one half hour show – I certainly wouldn’t want to do it on an ongoing basis.

The crew was very thorough and professional, but it took a bit to get the dogs used to all of the commotion and cameras around them. They wanted us to keep to repeating activities over and over so that they could capture exactly what they wanted on film. Sometimes I had to just say no, because it got confusing for the dogs when they’d done something perfectly and I kept asking them to do it again. Hard to convince the producer that though it made for better TV, it didn’t work well for training!

Despite all the stress, Sonic and Kudos both came through and did a great job – they look so cute onscreen!