Event Date(s): 
Thursday, February 29, 2024
6:30pm - 7:30pm

Hosted at Barkside Pets with Valerie Berry - Dog Behaviour Specialist, this community event where we discuss, learn and share all things dog.

If you have a dog, have questions about dogs, have a dog problem, or just want to learn about dogs, this is for you! The topic will be Friendly Dogs, Reactive on Leash.


  • Topic presentation
  • Q & A plus discussion
  • Summary and resources

Tickets are $20.
Only 30 spots available, with pre-purchase required.

Finding the right motivation is the first step in training – we need to find something the learner will happily work for. Using food to train a dog is extremely effective. We can usually find at least one food treat that will happily motivate any dog to work with us.  

Treats are first used as a lure to guide the dog into a position like a Sit, then given as a reward for doing so. After several successful repetitions, the Sit can be put on cue. Then treats are used only as the reward when the dog is able to Sit on cue reliably. 

We all want our dogs to be friendly and get along with people and other dogs. That starts with socialization. Breed type, genetics and early learning play a strong role, but once we choose a puppy, our job starts with socializing.


Leashes were intended to keep our dogs close to us and moving in the same direction in situations where being off the leash could be dangerous. Leashes keep our dogs safe, so learning how to be comfortable walking on a leash is a critical skill. 

Halloween is at the end of this month and that means fireworks! There are many dogs who are sensitive to loud noise and most common is a fear of thunder and fireworks. No one knows whether they experience pain or whether it’s a negative association formed from such a startling or traumatic event. 

When I ask new behavioural clients about their dog’s socialization history, they often reply that they did lots of socialization by taking their puppy or dog to the dog park as often as possible. There’s so much more to socialization than dogs meeting dogs!  

If you have a dog who is fearful, reactive, or aggressive; or if you have a dog who is overly aroused and easily excited, understanding trigger stacking can help.

Trigger stacking is when a dog experiences multiple stressful or scary situations in a short time. All these experiences build adrenaline. Each stressful experience builds on the previous one, and normal responses begin to escalate.

What does it look like?

Just because your dog is friendly, it doesn’t mean they will joyfully welcome your new baby. I work with a lot of people who bring home a new baby and discover their dog is very unhappy with the new addition.

From the dog’s perspective, this is a big change in their routine. There’s often a change in exercise habits, less on-demand attention and usually an invasion of their space in a very different way. These changes may last the rest of the dog’s life and, as children mature, things continue to change over several years. That’s a very big adjustment for the family dog.

Does your dog love to dig? Puppies love to dig, and some grow into dogs who remain determined diggers, but the human end of the equation doesn’t always appreciate their digging “art.”

Providing enrichment for our companion animals is about giving them as many opportunities as we can to display natural behaviours. Dogs love to dig, so we should try and find appropriate outlets for that instinctive behaviour.

Learning to walk on a leash is a critical skill. Even if you live somewhere your dog can be free, there are times they need to be leashed.  

My criteria for good leash skills are a dog who can walk without pulling and stay on one side or the other without impeding my movement. Like any training, success depends on thorough and consistent practice and clear communication.

Dogs who already pull hard.
This is a great exercise for any dog who already has a strong (pun intended!) history of reward for pulling – getting where they want to go!