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No chain-link fences at this doggy daycare

This week's Midweek Mugging is Ruff Haus
Maddy Haveman and her clients enjoy being a part of Ruff Hauss. Shawn Gibson for BarrieToday

Ruff Haus may be tucked away in the back of the plaza at 304 B Dunlop Street West in Unit 5, but that doesn’t stop the all-things-dog business from being busy most times with a packed schedule.

The local dog care business has been around for about seven years and with a steady flow of clientele they are in no way slowing down. Assistant manager Maddy Haveman says that while the summer is usually their slow time with folks heading to cottages and being outside, it doesn’t stop the date book from filling up.

“We’re at about 24 dogs today but tomorrow we’re at capacity and have a waiting list in case someone cancels,” said Haveman.

Ruff Haus has been in Barrie since 2011 and specializes in dog training, grooming and daycare. There are no chain link fences on the site as they prefer to make it a more welcoming and relaxing environment for you and your pet. The facility has a large playground floor that is covered in soft rubber for the enjoyment of the dogs and is equipped with tunnels, climbing equipment and bright windows that help that pets get exercise and sunlight throughout the day.

“We do daycare, grooming and training throughout the day and evenings to help fit the schedule of those who may work different times of the day,” said Haveman. “In the summer we have a class that is out by the water by Centennial Park which is our urban dog class which helps training sessions that include distraction techniques and such. But we have all levels of training from puppy to agility so there really is something for everyone.”

Some classes can accommodate up to 10 dogs and the overall facility is maxed at 40 dogs a day. Security cameras feed a tv in the front foyer for anyone to watch how the dogs are doing. Like a children’s daycare, Ruff Haus has assessment classes that take place for about an hour and a half and see where the dogs are at and what they need. The grooming is another huge aspect of the business and is enjoyed by many regulars who recommend it to their friends.

“The grooming is popular because most people are so very busy and need their pets to receive the proper care and treatment,” said Haveman. “I’m very happy that our regulars trust us enough to not only have been coming for years but to tell others about us; we are tucked away in the back of a building off of Dunlop but word of mouth has countered that well.”

The employees are dog lovers including Haveman who has been around this type of business and pets her whole life.

“My first job was washing 12 labs for a flight attendant who was away on weekends and my mom is a groomer as well,” said Haveman. “I’ve always had dogs and I just really love animals, as does everyone here. We have about six staff and the groomer and everyone here really enjoys being here and spending time with the pets; we get to hang out with adorable dogs all day, it’s a pretty cool job.”

If you’re looking for any of the services that Ruff Haus provides, you can contact them through their website at


Shawn Gibson

About the Author: Shawn Gibson

Shawn Gibson is a staff writer based on Barrie
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