Episode 35: The Importance of Mental & Physical Stimulation for Your Dog’s Well-being with Karen Baxter

Is your dog home alone for long hours with nothing to keep them occupied? Have you considered how crucial mental and physical stimulation is for your dog’s well-being?

In this Episode of the Muttz with Mannerz™ Canine Academy Podcast, host Corey McCusker is joined by Expert Trainer & Behaviour Consultant Karen Baxter to share the importance of keeping your dog both mentally and physically active, and how it can significantly enhance their overall health and happiness.

In this episode, Corey and Karen discuss:

  • All the letters behind Karen’s name and what they mean for selecting a trainer or consultant to work with.
  • How at Muttz with Mannerz we teach, train, and provide social activities & solutions for their clients to build a solid foundation to have those well-behaved and balanced dogs.
  • The definition of enrichment for your dog and what an activity needs to incorporate to be classified as enrichment.
  • Why enrichment is so important in addition to your normal physical activity and how it can lessen your dog’s stress.
  • The five areas of enrichment – social, cognitive, physical, sensory, and occupational.
  • What each of these areas are and how they impact your dog.
  • How an owner would go about developing a plan to introduce enrichment activities into their dog’s routine.
  • The history of how enrichment became an important part of a dog’s care.
  • Some great ideas for you to use right away to add enrichment activities into your dog’s life.
  • The enrichment Corey does with her high-energy girl, Skye to keep her engaged – including going on a sniffari!
  • Making sure that the enrichment is natural and is something the dog likes to do and is going to want to do.


To learn more about what Corey and Muttz with Mannerz™ offers visit us at www.muttzwithmannerz.com

Visit Karen’s K9 Behaviour center Unified K9 at https://www.unifiedk9.ca

100 Days of Enrichment – https://aniedireland.com/100daysofenrichment/

Pet Harmony Training – https://petharmonytraining.com/

Book:  Canine Enrichment for the Real World (amazon link)

Canadian Kennel Club – https://www.ckc.ca/clubs/default.aspx

Agility Association of Canada – https://www.aac.ca/

Special Guest – Karen Baxter

Karen is the owner and head Behaviour Consultant at Unified K9 Behaviour Centre which she founded in 2022. Her training philosophy is “one size does NOT fit all!” and true to the Unified K9 difference, tailors her training protocols and/or treatment plans to the needs of the dog and the lifestyle and goals of the dog’s owner. Her positive and fair techniques are designed to bring out enthusiasm in each dog so they learn to love training which results in building stronger relationships with their humans, based on trust.

Karen has a diploma in Canine Science Technology and is a Licenced Canine Complexity Consultant as well as a Certified as a Dog Behaviour Consultant by the International association of Behaviour Consultants.  And she is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer. Karen has also studied and completed training on the practical application of Behaviour Adjustment Training for fearful, anxious and aggressive dogs and Aggressive Dog Conflict Resolution with Behaviourist and author Cheryl Smith and has completed the Master Aggression Course with world renowned Behaviour Consultant and expert on dog aggression, Michael Shikashio . Her continuing education and experience have ensured Karen has developed expertise in dog psychological issues manifesting themselves as anxiety or aggression.

Karen’s training specialties include Rally Obedience, Agility, Working Dogs Tracking, Scent work, and puppy foundations. She is a member of the International Association of Animal Behaviour Consultants, The Agility Association of Canada, the Canadian Association for Professional Dog Trainers and is certified in Pet First Aid and CPR.

Karen lives in York Region with her dogs most of which compete in obedience, agility and Rally Obedience. Her dogs have reached master level in all sports.

Your Host:

Corey McCusker, Canine Coach
Corey’s passion for helping humans and dogs excel led her to take a leap of faith after 22 years working in the Financial Industry to leave her corporate job in 2006 and start two companies. Corey is a Coach at heart and works with business leaders and high-performance teams, but her true passion has always been canines. She now has created a career that supports both.

Corey founded Muttz with Mannerz in 2006. Her foundation of knowledge which includes being a Senior Manager, Dog Trainer, Vet Assistant, World Tour Lead, and Mental Performance Coach helped her to launch the Canine Academy. The purpose of the academy is to assist pet parents build the foundation for their pups to be with them for life.

Corey believes in giving back to the community. Over many years she has volunteered at the Toronto Humane Society and the OSPCA and is also proud to be an evaluator for St. John Ambulance Dog Therapy Program. She held the position of Director of Communications on the board for the Canadian Association for Women Entrepreneurs and Executives from 2017-2019. She has been active with Markham Fair and been a Team Captain and on the Executive for Stouffville Ladies Floor Hockey League for over 15 years.

Corey has made Stouffville her home for the last 18 years and shares it with Mike, her partner, two stepdaughters, Karla and Alison, and their two energetic kittens, Dino and Demi. Over the years Corey has been fortunate to be blessed to share her life with 6 wonderful canines, Tilley ( Miniature Dachshund), Tiny, Kira (Great Danes), Fred(Maltese), Charlie(Morkie), and Cleo(Miniature Poodle). Corey and Mike welcomed their new puppy, Skye, a rescue Muttz from Manitoba reserves into their home in June. 2021. They have big hopes for her and look forward to Skye filling their lives with joy and being an active member of Team Muttz.


Muttz with Mannerz – https://muttzwithmannerz.com

Corey’s Email – corey@muttzwithmannerz.com

Join Corey each month for the Women and Dog Circle Free Meetups you can register here >> https://www.seewhatshecando.com/women-and-dogs-circle


To read a transcript of this episode click here

Subscribe to the Podcast