I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love.

 For me they are the role model for being alive”.

                                              -Gilda Radner


Stacie decided to pursue a passion in dog behavior after experiencing problematic behaviors when she learned about fear aggression with one of her own dogs, a Husky/lab/Staffordshire/Shar Pei cross. He and his look a like sister and mother were abused and neglected, left outside in all kinds of inclement weather and prey for free roaming aggressive dogs.

They escaped from their owners, and were picked up and taken to a local SPCA. Unfortunately the male dog and his mother remained at the shelter; the owners just wanted the sister back. The mother was adopted within the first month.The male dog lived at a rather large, older and noisy shelter for 6 months. He experienced the ‘black dog syndrome’, no one wanted to adopt him because he was black.  He has always behaved older than his years. He is now 9 years old and a relatively happy dog, and we now know what makes him confident and what doesn’t. We avoid the triggers.

Feeling exasperated by the limited resources out there and inadequate knowledge available, Stacie made it her personal mission to learn more about the dog psychology of rescue and street dogs and their behaviour issues. Then try to educate people, provide answers and hope to other dog owners who have been left feeling lost, exhausted, and confused about their dog’s behavior. Stacie is committed to a lifetime of learning about dog psychology, behavior and rehabilitation. Stacie plans on taking the examination to obtain a CPDT designation in 2017/2018.

A goal of many Canine Behaviour Consultants is to provide accurate, objective assessments of canine behaviour and to save the lives of as many dogs as possible, since reliable sources like Dr. Nicholas Dodman of the Tufts University Animal Behaviour Clinic in Massachusetts estimate that half of all dogs are euthanized before they reach the age of two due to their behaviour. Thousands of other dogs are euthanized due to abandonment, abuse, overcrowded shelters and the list goes on.

Another goal of Stacie’s is to see a decrease in the number of dogs surrendered to shelters through the education of owners. By sharing our knowledge of training and canine communication, we can help people create lasting relationships with their dogs. And finally a critical goal for all shelters and rescue groups is to ensure that dogs are neutered or spayed to reduce the population of abandoned, homeless, abused and ill dogs.

 “Wow great idea, Stacie’s Urban Dogs! I can’t imagine a better person for the job”!

 Linda – Regina, Saskatchewan

At Stacie’s Urban Dogs, we constantly strive to improve the lives of canines – and their owners!  We take your dog’s health, happiness and well-being very seriously, which is why we make sure we maintain a high standard for our canine care services. We adore ALL dogs, and embrace their unique personalities, characteristics, and challenges!

Canine Care, Behaviour, and Nutrition

We believe that quality canine care requires much more than the occasional water, food, and bathroom break – your dog needs a good friend in your absence.  We’ll be there to take care of whatever needs your dog requires, whether that’s extra exercise, medication, or a hug. And above all, we have a life-long love of dogs! This applies to working on behaviour modification too. Good energy, trust, confidence and calmness go a long way with working on various issues with dogs of all ages.

” Stacie has really good energy around our dogs, she relates to them very well, they trust her, they are rescue dogs. She is giving them the confidence that they really need”

Karen – Regina, Saskatchewan


“Loki is doing awesome. More often than not he is having good outings. He’s so much better though. You’ve been a lifesaver. The suggestions that you have made have helped significantly, but the time, support, follow up, and the visits you’ve provided us with have made all the difference in the world to his progress. You are his bestie lol.  Can’t believe how excited he gets when he sees you. Like a little kid. thank you”

                                           Juanita – Regina, Saskatchewan

For Owners

We also think about you too!  This means that you should enjoy the peace of mind of knowing that your dog is well taken care of and happy.  And we go out of our way to make sure you’re updated on your dog as often as you need to feel at ease – through notes, phone calls, emails, or text messages – just let us know! You are right there with us when working with your dog, and go away with some new tools to work on daily with your canine companion!

“We were able to vacation, leaving our pets and home in trusted hands. Upon return, we received a detailed list of the activities that took place while we were away. I don’t get that kind of feedback for my own children! My fur babies had been more than “just fed”, thanks to Stacie’s amazing dedication and care.”

Carrie (client Regina, Saskatchewan)


Dog Minding

We make sure your dog is as happy as possible while you’re away.  And our high level of service extends beyond taking care of your dog, to make sure that you’re happy too when you arrive back home. We do much more than just letting your dog outside for a quick bathroom break, feed, water… we are all life-long dog-lovers, and we’ll make your dog feel absolutely adored and cared for!

  • Most dogs need to play, interact, and explore to be happy, and depriving them of this can lead to behavioral problems, or worse.
  • The scheduling of our visits is flexible to fit your needs.
  • Your dog will be in the environment they are most comfortable in – their home…   And, since we come to you, there is no extra time required to drop your dog off.
  • If you are working on a program with your dog, the exercises can continue in your absence.

We are fully bonded and insured, so you can rest assured that we’re providing safe, responsible, reliable, high-quality canine care.

Behavior Consulting

Stacie’s behaviour work is primarily one on one with the owner and their dog (s). We cover various behaviour issues and topics including: leash pulling, aggression, fears and anxieties, getting and raising a new puppy (what to look for, questions you should ask), adopting a rescue dog, choice based training, house soiling, recall training, loose leash walking, and other general issues.

I start by coming to your home and doing an initial consultation. We assess your dog in-home with the purpose of gaining a better understanding of the natural order of the household, a feel of the main environment where your dog spends its time, and witness organic problem behaviours (This is where they are most likely to occur).

I want to make the relationship between owners and their dogs strong enough to create trust and respect. I believe that aggression and other unwanted canine behaviours arise due to the unbalanced state of a dog. I work with dog owners to be consistent and calmly introduce and maintain rules and boundaries that will allow them to be seen as a leader through their dog’s eyes.

I believe it is important to look for good behaviour and reinforce it, rather than constantly trying to stop and punish bad behaviour. It’s so much easier (and efficient) to teach your dog the right thing to do. I do not recommend or use choke, pinch or shock collars or other aversive methods. Stacie’s Urban Dog does not condone fear- and force-based training methods.

  Stacie’s Urban Dogs – Rate Sheet 2017 (reviewed each January)

*Initial Consultation – 30 to 90 minutes – $60

(ongoing consultations are $70 per hour)


stacy and kids

1.  Dog Minding – $25 per day

• Food and water

• Pee and poo break

• Playtime

Daily visit – 2 visits (between am and pm)

* $5 charge for each additional dog


2.* Vacation Sitting – $40 per day

Daily visit – minimum 3 visits per day, morning, mid afternoon and evening (between am and pm)

• Food (2 to 3 times per day)

• Water

• Pee and poo break

• Walks

• Play time

• Bring mail in

• Adjust lights

• Water plants (minimum 5 days away)

• Other items as discussed and agreed upon.

4. Behaviour consultation: $60 per hour

    With you on your specific canine behavioral needs.

5. Nutritional consulting: $40 per hour 

healthy foods

With you on your specific canine nutrition needs and supplements.

What You Should Know

  • Your dog will receive lots of love, fun, care and attention.
  • Your dog will be happier, safer, and more secure in the comfort of their own home.
  • Your dog will continue on their same diet and exercise routine and play time.
  • Your dog (s) will receive the training they need one on one. and you will be provided the knowledge you need to be a better leader and trainer for your dog (s).
  • Your dog will experience less stress and they will be faced with an unknown and noisy environment.
  • Your dog’s  exposure to disease and illness is minimized.
  • Your dog will have the convenience of home if they have special needs, or diet, or mobility issues.
  • Your dog will not have to be looked after by a rotating group of friends, neighbors and relatives.
  • Your home is more secure with someone there daily.
  • You and your dog do not have to pack up and drive around the city to get to the local kennel or day care.
  • You will receive consistent updates on your dog and your home.
  • Your dog is taken care of with the best possible care.

Dogs’ Blog

Hello from Skylar

I am a big black bear with a combination of husky, Labrador retriever, staffy and Shar Pei in me!

My mom adopted me when I was a  year old. I was abused and neglected and left outside in all kinds of weather from when i was born to 6 months of age. my look alike sister and my mom escaped our owners and we ran away. We lived on the street for awhile and and my mom looked after us. Then one day someone picked us up in a park and took us to a dog shelter. it was scary, big and noisy.

The owners came and took my sister back but left my mom and me at the shelter. my mom was adopted a month later to a nice man who had a dog and wanted a playmate. i stayed there 6 months. no one wanted to adopt me because i am black. They call it ‘the Black Dog Syndrome”. i was quiet and scared. But one day this nice lady who is my mom now adopted me and drove many hours to pick me up.

Sometimes my mom calls me ‘Silent Bob”, because I do not say much and I just saunter along like Pooh Bear. I have a sister named Jessi and I love her alot, I follow her everywhere, and bug her (cause she is my younger sister), and where she pees I have to pee, and if she goes outside then I have to go outside!              

[icon icon=icon-heart size=14px color=#000 ]

My veterinarian said that my ears were either frozen or I was attacked by another dog or my owners hit me. My ears are very sensitive and they are hard to the touch. 

I did not do well with other dogs outside of my siblings at home. I was full of fear and did not like dogs that were too active and all over the place, or dogs that sniffed my butt for too long!   I would give this deep warning growl and sometimes it was scary and I could not stop from doing it. My mom said I was suffering from fear aggression, hard to overcome but not difficult. Some people can make it worse with certain methods  of training and others can make it alot better and dogs like me can feel safer and happier too. my mom is going to tell you more about aggression in dogs right now!

Aggressive behaviour is deeply rooted in the dog’s instinctual need for safety. Whether they are growling, snappy, lunging, or biting, these are critical ways of communicating their intent. and whether or not their intent is to warn, intimidate, resolve a conflict, defend or cause harm,  this behaviour is designed to ensure personal space, survival and safety. Even on an emotional level, when a dog is in pain, fearful, frustrated or angry or stressed, safety is the most important thing to them. Some people think aggression is dominance, but that is misleading.Dogs do not have preconceived notions of using aggression as a means to established an elevated status. and a dog who has not been taught how to live in a domestic environment will behave in the only way he/she knows how. And it takes time for dogs who have not experienced this to learn it!

Dogs may use aggression to control food, space, a piece of furniture or anything else that may provide comfort or pleasure to the dog. It is more likely that the dog behaves this way out of fear because of the fear that he will lose access to these important resources, not because he wants to be above every one else. so what cause aggression? Well that is the $1 million dollar question, however, it can be related to genetics, health, age, sex, fear, imbalance in their brain chemicals, hormones, intact or neutered can all be contributing factors. and of course pain. there is also acts of aggression that no one can explain. A dog can only learn while he is in a calm state. So if you are a parent of an aggressive dog, it is important to remember not to put your dog in a situation that goes beyond his comfort zone, beyond his stress threshold.

To successfully treat aggression one must be sensitive, compassionate handling and be able to manipulate the dog’s environment to set him up for success not failure. and working on changing how he feels about a certain stressor. It is important to help the dog become more confident and teach him to see his perceived threat or a potential loss of a valued resource in a different way. Some dogs can achieve this quickly and others take a longer time. Positive reinforcement and choice based training is the most effective to use as they have lasting positive results. Your goal for your dog is a lifetime of changed behaviour and a happy, confident dog. Negative reinforcement just suppresses the behaviour without addressing the cause of the behaviour and changing the way the dog feels inside. Negative would rather not concern the reason and just ‘get that dog in line”. I would rather my dog listen and follow me because he wants to not because he is terrified to and fearful of the consequences if he doesn’t! and if you continually suppress the aggressive behaviour…………..well that is just down right dangerous. And why you ask? Because every situation or incident just creates another negative experience for your dog who is already a walking time bomb ready to explode, you just do not know when! 

Resource guarding:

Many owners get confrontational with their dog if they resource guard, but this is not the best way to handle this form of aggression. Using positive reinforcement builds up trust by changing the way the dog feels by the presence of someone or another dog near their food. Some dogs are deeply insecure and do not want to loose a resource that makes them feel good. Some dogs had to fight for food to survive, or as a puppy was the last to get to his mother’s milk. You can prevent resource guarding by teaching your puppy or dog to trade an give up objects to make the whole experience enjoyable. Basically making the experience a fun game.

Some tips to prevent guarding:


1. Change your dog’s emotional response to something that he feels is valuable by teaching him to feel differently about someone or some other dog near his important resources.

2.  Implement distractions where need be depending upon what the resource guarding is about.

3.  Give your dog lots of opportunities throughout the day to use his mind and enrich his environment and plenty of exercise.

4.  Train your dog with a conditioned response. I only use four responses – ‘leave it’, ‘drop it’, ‘take it’ and ‘off’.

5. Keep things consistent. Dogs love routine too.|Be predictable!

6.  Turn competition into cooperation, use play to resolve some of these issues. Avoid negative reinforcement and confrontation. adding fear to fear only makes the problem worse and more difficult to treat!

Next week my mom will talk about negative reinforcement in more detail and techniques and dog accessories that are not good to use with dog aggression!

Happy Woofing!

Skylar Bear






Contact Information

Stacie’s Urban Dogs


Stacie V Riggs




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Member of:

  •  (Former) Pet Sitters International – PSI

  • Canadian Association of Professional Dog Trainers – CAPPDT

  • International Association of Animal Behaviour Consultants – IAABC