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RECYCLED LOVE: Jane Smith – more than just a dog trainer

Jane Smith’s business card, Ditto’s Canine Learning Centre, features her dog whose name was Ditto.
Jane Smith’s business card, Ditto’s Canine Learning Centre, features her dog whose name was Ditto. - Tracy Jessiman

Have you ever looked at something and thought it was adorable? It happened to me years ago when I saw a business card in a restaurant. I happily picked the card up, and I must admit, I kept it tucked in the mirror hanging by my front door at home. A copy of the card is running with this column today so you can see why I fell in love with it.

The card belongs to Jane Smith, owner and operator of Ditto’s Canine Learning Centre. Smith’s business is named after her beloved little dog, Ditto, who was a border collie and Jack Russell terrier-mixed pooch. He is also the handsome little dog on Smith’s adorable business cards. 

Smith lives in Mahone Bay with her husband Knut, son Felix and three dogs, Deja Vu, Moy and Tide. I met with Smith to discuss her business and her dog training techniques. Smith is a very warm and welcoming woman. She will make you feel at ease as soon as you meet her. She has a good-natured disposition and a serene manner about her. Both qualities must make her a beloved and favoured dog trainer.

Smith has been studying dog behaviour and working with dogs for more than 20 years. She has attended many workshops and lectures with experts such as Jane Goodall and Temple Grandin. She volunteers with local rescue groups and has also competed in agility, flyball, Disc Dogs and Dock Dogs. She has had a lifelong love of animals that started when she was just a little girl.

Smith said she will continue to train dogs for as long as she is able to. Furthermore, she said, she does not only work with dogs exclusively, she works with families. She holds her group classes in both Bridgewater and Mahone Bay and will conduct one-on-one classes in private homes. She keeps her group classes small with no more than 10 dogs in one class. Her training techniques are bond-based with positive reinforcement. She is a member of the Canadian Association of Professional Pet Dog Trainers.

Aside from obedience training, Smith also has a tricks and games class. It sounds like so much fun that I want to enrol in it. The class is to prevent boredom for your dog and also increase communication between you and your pet. A few of the fun tricks your dog will learn are: wave, high five, spin (right and left), bow, ring a bell and play dead.

Aside from class or one-on-one training , Smith has conducted bite prevention group sessions for places including: Canada Post, Nova Scotia Power and schools. Bite prevention is absolutely important to keep the public safe, and to keep the dog safe.

I feel very confident recommending Smith to anyone looking for a bright, kind, educated and experienced dog trainer. Please take a look at her website www.dittoscanine.com. I find Smith to be levelheaded, considerate and very generous. She will put you and your dog’s personal needs first.

Please be kind to animals.

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