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Internationally-renowned, award-winning animal photographer Illona Haus is the province's premier pet photographer, serving clients across Ontario, the US and the world. Photographing exclusively animals, both commercially and for private clients, since 2007, scruffy dog photography inc. -- based in Kitchener, Ontario -- is considered one of the world's leading and most influential pet photographers.


To learn more about the scruffy dog experience, its creator and history, as well as how YOUR scruffy can become a part of the SDP family, feel free to browse through the menu above, and scroll through a decade's worth of blog entries below!


Please drop us a line! We'd love the opportunity to capture stunning, creative, one-of-a-kind photographic memories of your 4-legged loved ones to treasure in artwork for a lifetime, and show you just what makes the scruffy dog experience second to none.

we are out of service

just a quick post to let everyone know that scruffy dog photography will be down for the count over the next few days.

like millions around the world we have been severely crippled by anti-virus software Bitdefender’s collosal f*-up yesterday.  an automated update of what was once considered one of the top anti-virus programs left countless customers and businesses with thoroughly trashed systems as the update proceeded to annihilate critical system and application files for Windows, other programs, and including Bitdefender itself.

i’m sure someone at BD is losing a job this week … i’ll certainly be losing days of work while attempts are made to salvage my system … but currently it appears as though a complete reinstall of every program will be required.  for me, this is much more than a few days of work … not to mention the extreme stress, as i have never been a computer whiz and rely heavily on the generosity of others to get this done.

so for those of you with pending orders, please bear with us.  i believe i have contacted most of you by phone already.

as for Bitdefender … this situation affects customers who are using Bitdefender along with Vista 64-bit (not 32-bit) or Windows 7.  however, if it’s happened to us … well, you decide whether you can continue to trust Bitdefender’s software.

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  • MeredithHi, I am so sorry to hear about your loss but I luckily he had a great life with you. I am currently reading the book you recommended called Natural Animal Healing and working on my own Pet Photography. I was so glad to see Merrick and how you got him – you did the right thing and I know he appreciates it – hope to meet you one day!
    Thanks for the inspiration!ReplyCancel

  • baupSorry to hear about this disaster. I do not mean to upset you with my advise, but why are you as a photographer using a system that is not on par with your quality of work. Get a Mac! 🙂 – Life will be good again.
    BTW if you are ever in Europe, I would love to have my pets photographed by you. You are the best!ReplyCancel

    • illonathanks, baup. i have a lot of people asking me why i don’t use a Mac. there are several reasons … (1) my partner is PC-savvy and that’s what we’ve got in the house. it would be counterproductive to have a Mac and then the other systems in the house PCs … not to mention that i would no longer have my framework of support …. but the main reason (2) is that by using a PC i’m able to have it custom built, and the memory and speed my current machine posseses you just can’t get in a Mac (that i’m aware of).

      but this isn’t an issue of PC over Mac … it was a once-reputable software company seriously dropping the ball and letting a lot of users down. maybe one day i’ll get a Mac, but for now i’ve got thousands of dollars sunk into my current system, and it really is a powerful machine.ReplyCancel

  • illonamichelle, yup it’s my worst nightmare. i can’t allow myself to think about it … one day, or one program, at a time. just got the beast back tonight and can now start the long haul of loading everything on again. fingers firmly crossed.

    karen, you’ve got a good memory. this is my THIRD rebuild in 13 months. i had a trojan back then and had to rebuild my system, then realized the system wasn’t enough to handle the bigger programs i’m now running so i had this new system custom-built … and here we go again. 🙁ReplyCancel

  • karenDidn’t you have computer issues this time last year? Maybe March isn’t a good computer month for you! :o) – Hope all turns out well.ReplyCancel

  • MichelleEwww, Sounds like my worst nightmare. Best wishes for working it all out as quickly (and sanely) as possible.ReplyCancel

this is Kava

meet handsome Kava …


this Gift Certificate shoot has been a while coming … knowing that this mal needed a snowy backdrop, Kava’s parents waited for just the right day.


and they agreed that the area around the scruffy dog headquarters was as good a place as any as far getting some great shots of this gorgeous boy.




it was a gorgeous afternoon, with some glorious sun.


and there’s always room to run in this neck of the woods.



and how gorgeous is that coat of Kava’s?


Kava even sang for me when coaxed with enough treats.




i should mention — since i am asked this frequently by viewers of the blog — leashes and long-lines are removed from images ordered by the clients.  i can’t possibly remove  them from every single photo; i’d be at it for days.  in this case, the line used is one that i bring to any shoot where the dog can’t be entirely trusted off-leash … 60′ of light climbing line that could easily hold a horse, yet is light enough to let the dog run.


in Kava’s case, he’s generally good off-leash, but after scaring up a bunny and taking chase during the shoot, the line was put back on for safety’s sake.




besides the long-line, i always bring treats … gooooood treats apparently. here i’d given Kris a few to entice Kava away from the camera.






thanks, Jen and Kris for a lovely afternoon … i hope you enjoy Kava’s images for years to come.


and thanks, Kava, for being so willing.


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  • Fennebeautiful dog, great pictures!ReplyCancel

  • SqueakDog Pet PhotogLOVE these pictues! I always wait for spring/summer/fall to get good shots, but you continue to inspire with amazing photos in the winter!ReplyCancel

  • nickAwesome session 😀 He looks very handsome indeed!ReplyCancel

  • alexaGorgeous images! Love all the sun flare you caught.ReplyCancel

  • Jill BeninatoI love all of these….the shot of the dog howling with the owners in the background is great…ReplyCancel

  • KarenThey are all gorgeous photos but as a former husky owner I have to vote for the B&W “howling” shot…..nothing depicts a husky/malamute better…ReplyCancel

  • jennifer metzgerthe 1st, 2nd, and 7th (leaping) shots are my favorites, along with the howling shot. Fabulous.ReplyCancel

  • tinawhat a gorgeous dog…great shots!!!ReplyCancel

  • MichelleStunning photos and Kava is so beautiful! The owners chose the perfect day, and you’re right – the setting is just right. Love the shots!ReplyCancel

  • BariWOW! I read daily, but these made me feel compelled to comment. They are wonderful!!ReplyCancel

  • MarlaLovely entry, Illona. I know everyone has their own tastes but I so hope they choose 165. It’s a gorgeous shot anyway but the camera flare just adds to that and makes it that much more special.ReplyCancel

  • wendyGorgeous as always. I love the singing one!ReplyCancel

  • tee4tiaglorious photos and beautiful dog.ReplyCancel

meet merrick


this boy has a story, and not a good one. but he’s making the best of things for now …


merrick loves balls, and balls is what he loves.  it’s probably the only thing he loves right now. these shots were possible only because of a ball … a chewed up, discarded, crushed old tennis ball.





thanks for tolerating the camera, merrick, and working so hard at overcoming your incredible fear.

merrick-first-day-30-2more on this superscruffy soon … stay tuned.

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  • Holly Garner-JacksonWow! Deja vu all over again!!!!
    You’ve come a long way Merrick….. a long way!!! Well done illona!ReplyCancel

  • LaurenHi Merrick! You look like you are really enjoying life now! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Jenni Heffneryou rock and merrick knows a great gal when he meets one… YOU ROCK:) Happy HolidaysReplyCancel

  • Holly Garner-JacksonHey your new boy is going to have a great life. He deserves to have someone like you in his life. These photos are awesome as usual. The diptych is great and the one with the flag makes him look so proud. I know he’ll be that proud soon under your tutelage 😉
    BTW you need a new flag.ReplyCancel

  • MargaretMerrick deserves all the balls he wants! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Susan HumphreysHi Ilona,
    I have followed your wonderful photographs of your beautiful dogs for
    about three years or so when my son showed me how to work a computer.
    I absolutely adore Morley, he’s just the kind of dog I’d love. I hope you
    don’t mind me commenting on here, (I haven’t got a clue how to get on
    Flicker!) I just had to say that I know Merrick has found in you a
    perfect owner, and it’s great he’s company for the mighty Morley.
    I love seeing your pics all the way here in England,they really cheer
    me up too, if I’m feeling a bit down. Your dogs are so lucky to have an
    owner like you. Take care, and give Morley a big hug frome me.!ReplyCancel

  • andreayour shots never fail to amaze me!! so beautiful! it’s always a pleasure to spend some time on your blog.. 🙂ReplyCancel

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