Our Philosophy

We aim to guide dogs and owners down the path to a better life together and to fundamentally change the perception of dog ownership.


In today's society, dogs aren't viewed as just pets, but as family members who live, eat, and sleep under the same roof as us and deserve the same care as any other member of the family. These privileges come with expectations for dogs to behave a certain way so as to not disrupt the family's normal lifestyle. Oftentimes dogs are not given the appropriate tools to uphold these high expectations and end up misbehaving, causing problems for their family as a result. We excel at guiding you and your dog towards a better life by offering a holistic approach towards their care, encompassing balanced training, in-home care, exercise, and nutrition. This means a better quality of life and more manageable behavior for your dog and greater flexibility and convenience in your lifestyle. 

Meet The Trainer

Shilee is Ruff Life's Owner and Head Trainer and has a soft spot for animals of all kinds. Before founding RuffLife, Shilee already had a passion for caring for and building relationships with animals. She grew up training horses, competing in rodeo as a barrel racer, and teaching kids how to ride. It wasn't until she met her dog, Koda, that she decided her calling was to help dogs and their owners. Koda was rescued from terrible conditions when he was just six weeks old and suffered from behavioral issues as a result. He inspired Shilee to learn more about canine behavior, which led her to complete a training apprenticeship with Dharma Dog Training and to eventually become a professional dog trainer and caregiver. Shilee has a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology, holds the certificates of Pet Food Nutrition Specialist and Raw Pet Food Nutrition Specialist from DNM University, and is the co-owner of RAWfitness LLC.


We incorporate structure in all of our services. Providing leadership for dogs in the form of structure provides them with clear direction to make better choices no matter the circumstances. 


What is structure, and why is it important?

Simply put, structure is a set of rules that dogs have to follow in order to keep them healthy and safe. Rather than being let loose in uncontrolled play, the dogs in our care are watched closely for any signs of excessive roughness, temperamental behavior, or bad habits in general. Just like humans, each dog has a unique personality and will react to situations differently than other dogs. Some dogs are very social and play well in large groups, while others prefer to play fetch alone or in a smaller, more controlled group. Our program is tailored to the individual needs of each dog so that everyone can play to his or her hearts’ content and go home healthy when it’s time to leave.


That sounds like a lot of rules. Does this mean my dog can’t play with friends?


They can absolutely play together! We take the time to figure out each dog's individual personality and pair dogs with similar temperaments together so that they are more compatible. What this means for you as an owner is that your dogs are in a safe, more controlled environment while still having a great time with their pals.


Is structure good for my dog?


Our programs incorporate controlled play, socializing, exercise, and scheduled rest, all of which are essential to the health and happiness of your pet. Our goal is to keep bad habits controlled to a minimum while reinforcing good habits. Dogs are pack animals and learn what is acceptable from one another, so structured play can be a very valuable learning tool for your dog. Placing your dog in an improper environment can be potentially dangerous and can damage them both physically and mentally.

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