The best source of information for city dog parks with great maps.


The Whole Dog Journal

An excellent online periodical with information on care, nutrition and training. 

Well worth the $20 annual subscription fee.


Dog Food Advisor

Comprehensive reviews of commercial dog foods.


Dog Vacay

Dog sitting site.  There are some quality sitters available, but none are vetted, so buyer beware.


Pet Sitters International


Calgary K9 Adventure Group

There are several dog-focused Meetup Groups in the city:  K9 Adventure is the most active in terms of offering events weekly.



Kikopup is a YouTube channel posted by Swedish trainer Emily Larlham with a ton of videos teaching different behaviours.  I loved watching when I was first learning how to clicker train, as seeing the timing and mechanics of treat delivery in real time was a great adjunct to book learning.  It was also very helpful in understanding how tiny increments need to be for shaping.  I also love Emily's high level of compassion for dogs that is built into her training methods.

Emily’s main site is here:


Back Alley Soapbox

Authored by a local Calgary blogger, Back Alley Soapbox is brimming with photographs of two drool-worthy (and also DROOLY) Newfoundlands.  Rhetoric is amusing.


Dogs YYC

"A Social Network and Information Site for Calgary's Doggy Parents".  The site lists a business directory and dog activities, and offers information on responsible parenting.    A great feature is an online listing of lost and found pooches.


Dog Sports

Introducing your dog to organized sport is a fantastic way to enrich life for both of you.  Sport increases focus and provides mental and physical exercise for your dog, and if trained properly, will enhance your communication skills and strengthen your bonds.  Mixed breeds are now accepted in many disciplines and more and more non-competitive, just-for-fun sport opportunities are opening up.  Local information:


Dock Diving:     







Lure Coursing:  




Rally Obedience:



Search & Rescue:



Water Rescue:  


PALS (Pet Access League Society) dogs visit hospitals, retirement residences, schools and correctional facilities to assist patients who may not respond to other forms of therapy.  If your dog is calm, tolerant and enjoys being with people and other animals (including cats), s/he may be a good candidate to participate in this valuable program.


Nail Trimming

Overgrown toenails affect a dog’s balance and gait, and can cause spinal and hip degradation because of a misaligned gait.  Dr. Leslie Woodcock, DVM, gives a fantastic presentation on the importance of nail trimming here:

My guy infinitely prefers trimming with a Dremel to clippers.  This is not true for all dogs, however, and a Dremel should be slowly conditioned to avoid development of fear around nail care.  (clippers should be conditioned too!)  The best guide I’ve found for Dremeling is here:

A video demonstrating conditioning is here:

Trimming information video:


Pet Portraits

Robyn Millar:                    

Rad Dog Portraits:         

Peter Potapoff:              

Evocative Photography: 

Allie Pets:                      


Food Recalls & Advisories

(Dog Food Advisor has a free app that will send notices of recalls, so that you don’t have to continually check sites for your brand)


Pet Food Assistance Program

Provides dog & cat food to low-income families or individuals in need.


Adoption Organizations

AARCS (Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society):

Established:                                        2006

Processes:                                           Dogs & cats

Origin of animals:                                Rural Alberta

Staff composition:                               Volunteers

Housing:                                              3851 21st Street NE (temporary housing) + volunteer residences

Number of animals placed in 2015:      unpublished


ARF (Alberta Rescue Foundation):

Established:                                         1995

Processes:                                            Dogs & cats

Origin of animals:                                 First Nations and rural Alberta areas 

Staff composition:                                Volunteers

Housing:                                               no physical facility; dogs housed at volunteer foster residences

Number of animals placed:                   approximately 300 per year


Calgary Humane Society:        

Established:                                         1922   

Processes:                                            Dogs, cats, rabbits, birds, reptiles & rodents

Origin of animals:                                 Calgary’s only open-admission shelter, animals are primarily local  

                                                            arising from surrender, seizure and abandonment

Staff composition:                                Professional paid medical staff and trainers + volunteers

Housing:                                               4455 110th Avenue SE

Number of animals placed (2014):        5,580


City of Calgary:         

Established:                                         unknown

Processes:                                            Dogs & cats

Origin of animals:                                 local seizure and abandonment

Staff composition:                                paid professional

Housing:                                               2201 Portland Street SE

Number of animals placed in 2015:       unpublished


Pawsitive Match:                     

Established:                                        2012

Processes:                                           Dogs & cats

Origin of animals:                                Hand-selected dogs from Mexico and sometimes other locations,  

                                                           selectively accepts animals scheduled for euthanasia at other shelters

Staff composition:                               Volunteers.  Organization partners with some professionals like        

                                                           veterinarians and trainers

Housing:                                              no physical facility; dogs housed at volunteer foster residences  

Number of animals placed (2015):       533


Dog-friendly accommodation rental site:


Walks 'n' Wags certified pet first aid courses:  

Paws First Aid:


Kong Recipes:  

Instructions for how to stuff a Kong and recipes to try:  

Tips & tricks to make filling less messy:

How to incorporate Kong philosophy into training and everyday life:


Dog Trainers:

Educated and experienced trainers committed to using force-free methods exclusively:

Barbara Walmer at Good as Gold:

Colleen Herring at Sit Happens!:

The Calgary Humane Society:

This article is intended for veterinarians, to help them select and recommend trainers, but the information is equally valid for pet parents:

More references:

General description of service levels available to parents:


Pet Poison Helpline:

If you suspect your dog has gotten into something, these are the people to call.  Service is available around the clock.  The Helpline is used by many veterinary clinics.  A call has a fee of $49 USD, but is worth every penny for time-sensitive, accurate advice.                    855-764-7661


Alberta Force Free Alliance:

Learn how to build the best possible relationship with your pooch.