Camp Bandana! a Summer Day Camp for Teens and Their Dogs

Having recently inherited Toby, a 95 pound Rottweiler Shepherd,  I understand all too well the importance of bonding and learning to walk with and play together while maintaining the role as his human. So when Mariane Bolla emailed me about Bandana!,  her unique day camp opportunity for teens with their dogs, I could hardly wait to meet her.

Mariane is a McGill wildlife biologist, who’s lifelong passion for animals brought her to start Bandana!  As a falconer, she  trained birds of prey to do wildlife control for  three years. She also  handled elephants in Asia. 

Throughout the year Mariane is  a professional dog trainer who specializes in dog/human relationships. She completed her training, Intervenante Canin, B.Sc, MBA. at L’École des intervenants canins du Québec where she rehabilitated rescue dogs with serious behavioural problems.

Last summer she wanted to take that experience to create an opportunity for preteens and teens  to learn to  interact effectively with their dogs while having fun. Thinking from a teen’s brain’s perspective,  she founded Bandana! , a week of day camp  teen/dog oriented activities in which the teens and their dogs bond, grow and learn.

Again this summer the Westmount resident  is hosting Bandana!, this year at Westmount Park United Church, 4695 de Maisonneuve Boulevard West. From July 31 to August 14 preteens  and teens aged 10 to 15 and their  dogs of any size and breed, from puppies of nine months to agile elderly adults will have an opportunity to participate in one or more of three weeks of Bandana!

The days begin at 9 a.m.  with a 30 minute  walk in the neighbourhood. The day and week are filled with dog and teen oriented activities. Agility is developed through a canine obstacle course with jumps, tunnels and more, that trains their human to lead their dogs. During obedience training the teens are taught the basic commands to both beginner and experienced dog owners including sit, down, stay, walk on leash, come and heel.

An important part of dog training is for the human and dog to be able to communicate through the  canine language of calming signals. L learning how to read them creates a stronger bond and can prevent dog bites.

A particularly fun part of the program is the Canine Freestyle Dance, a choreographed dance to music.between the dog and his handler. Once a week a special guest speaker will come talk to the kids about their work with animals.

The camp runs Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.At the end of the week the handlers and their dogs present a dog show to parents and friends.

Participants bring their own bag lunches and their dog’s individual food and treats. The cost is $495 for the week. Registration, that has already started, is limited to 12 teens and their dogs.

For more information or to register email or   514.293.2826

 Train Play Bond

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