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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.

KW Humane Society mini-shoots

i’m behind … october is my busiest month of the year – always.  i’m sure other photographers feel the same pressure … clients desperate to take advantage of the cooler temperatures and the stunning fall colours, people planning for christmas … or maybe it’s just that the kids are back to school and Rover finally gets the attention he deserves.  i’m not sure what it is but fall finds me pulling 14 hours days seven days a week just trying to stay afloat … and this october found me with another major – but exciting – project on my plate …


… twelve mini-shoots for the winners of the KW Humane Society calendar contest.  never one to do things “simple”, i scouted ahead of time around Kitchener and Waterloo, determined to shoot each dog and cat in a unique setting and thereby offer variety month by month through the calendar.

in most cases i’d visualized in advance what i was after for the calendar shots before even meeting the dogs.  of course, i had the benefit of their contest photos and a couple of short emails back and forth with the owners to find out what the individual dogs and cats could and couldn’t handle. but again, the goal was variety.  first there was Ebony (above as well) … i knew her black would stand out well against the red caboose parked down at the Waterloo Visitor & Heritage Information Service …




then there was Jack … he seemed the best candidate for the landmark Seagrams architecture …




then one-year-old Wrigley down by the mill …






and little baby Triton … (and ignore the leash … it will be shopped out before the final image goes into the calendar)





that’s the first four … stay tuned for the next group!

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  • sistamoonshineI just found your blog via another person’s following list. I love your photos. They are stunning and sweet. I especially enjoyed the cat photos. You do wonderful work and have a talent. Keep it up.ReplyCancel

  • IdilFantastic photos, Illona! I love the locations you chose and all the thought you put into these photo-shoots. You’re a wonderful person for dedicating your time to this project and you keep amazing me with your beautiful work.ReplyCancel

  • karenGreat work so far! Can’t wait to see the rest. I like how they are in different parts of KW. Good scouting job.ReplyCancel

  • LizGreat shots once again Illona. Kudos to you for undertaking such an immense project especially at this time of year! I hear you about being busy – I forget what free time feels like…haha. But we love what we do!ReplyCancel

is it your birthday?

no? that’s too bad, cuz it’s someone’s birthday today and somedog wants to say happy birthday …



someone sure loves you … and so does marvin!


this surprise has been a while in the making and keeping mum about it hasn’t been easy.  for my regular blog-followers, you’ll remember this mysterious entry and how i couldn’t reveal marvin’s identity.  i know marvin’s dad, Steven, has been dying to see the finished images from marvin’s shoot for several weeks now, but i didn’t dare share them with him, knowing that he’d probably spill the beans prematurely.  so … now that the time has at last come, i can’t tell you how happy i am to finally share this lovely boy with everyone, and most of all, to rock Lise’s birthday.



marvin was just an absolute gem to work with … then again, my last three bulldogs have all been wonderful … marvin, rosie and bella (coming soon) … and i’m starting to realize that although bulldogs aren’t my breed to own (i need a working dog), they’re pretty much my favorite dog to shoot.  sure, their bullheaded attitudes might not always make them the easiest to work with, but there is no denying that they are characters, athletes, and — in marvin’s case — total hams. no matter where the camera was, his face had to be in it.


in fact, sometimes i had to get way back just so that he wouldn’t get right up into my lens …


… but even here you can tell he wants to, can’t you?  that bum doesn’t really want to stay down very long.  🙂

Steven and i had a great time with the ever-accommodating, seemingly-tireless marvin. when the local park wasn’t enough, we headed to rougher terrain for more of a workout …


… and even met some local wildlife …


… lots more running …




… with plenty of breaks for lovin’ …


… or just hangin’ in the grasses.


at home, hours later, marvin still had some giddy-up as he waited for me to get all my gear out of the scruffy-dog mobile …


… barking at the lens when his impatience got the better of him.


and then to the backyard for some soccer and an impromptu game of tug …


inside, i introduced marvin to his new Cuz ball, care of scruffy dog


they became fast and sure friends, while i fell in love with the light and tones of marvin’s home …




Steven might laugh when he sees this next one because he may well remember how much work marvin was on the leather couch.  almost too food-motivated and too ramped up on happiness, marvin would not settle.  well, plus the little bugger’s only 5 months old.  i’m betting Steven never figured i’d get this shot.  it might look like a pup relaxing, but truly it’s a stop-action shot.  🙂


i couldn’t believe this little bruiser was still ready to rock and roll when we went upstairs, but sure enough …


it was only as i started to pack up that marvin finally flumped down and decided he was done …


thank you, Steven and marvin for a fabulous afternoon.  Lise, i hope you have a fabulous birthday and that marvin’s images thrill you.  i know the gallery is huge but i couldn’t help myself with your gorgeous boy.  i hope you’ll both be able to arrange for a client consult at the studio … it would be lovely to meet the woman behind this bruiser.  🙂

thanks again, Steven and marvin!
and happy birthday, Lise, from me and the scruffies!

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  • LainerOMG! This is exactly how my French Bulldog “Ozzy” acts. He has all of this energy, not spazzy, but like an ever ready battery. He keeps going and going. He also poses for the camera. (I’m doing a 365 days project of him on Flickr). The bully breeds may not be a working breed, like my “Tillie” (Australian Cattle Dog) that died last year, but Ozzy is a sweet 6 month old ham! This bulldog puppy is quite similar. Thanks for sharing. (Ozzy even has that same devil orange toy!)ReplyCancel

  • JeanThese pictures are beyond words fantastic. Was an absolute delight going through them. Happy birthday Lise.ReplyCancel

  • Allison F.You are brilliant! What a lovely little mug this guy is. That photo #36 above with the crazy-face going on is my fav. Well done!ReplyCancel

  • IdilOMG, Illona, I think I’m desperately in love with Marvin… and your dogography! These photos are amazing! I can’t even choose my favourite ‘coz they are all so good!

    Happy Birthday Lise! I can tell your man loves you because this gift totally rocks 😉ReplyCancel

  • Nicolehe’s adorable, stunning photos as usual. HAPPY BIRTHDAY Lise!!ReplyCancel

  • MargaretHappy Birthday, Lise! Oh my, Illona! Marvin is over-the-top with cute and personality, and just downright precious!ReplyCancel

  • RogGreat series Illona. This pup is a class clown.ReplyCancel

  • Cat =^..^=Happy Birthday Lise!
    Such a gorgeous bully, and these are such fantastic captures of him! I’m sure these will be cherished, they certainly brought smiles for me seeing them today, his personality shines in these photos! ^_^ReplyCancel

  • SydneyHappy Birthday Lise!!
    What a gorgeous bulldog, so many in your blog latley. What a fantastic birthday suprise. This guy is beautiful and full of so much life.

    I wish I could get photos by you Illona, but I am to far north in ontario T_TReplyCancel

  • KateHappy Birthday, Lise! Your little man looks like he knows how to have fun. Hope you have just as much fun on your birthday as he’s having in these pictures.ReplyCancel

  • AndaOMG, little Marvin is fantastic and your photographs a dream to look through. Happy Birthday, Lise!!!!ReplyCancel

  • CraigThese are all amazing. Beautiful work!ReplyCancel

that little melon-head rosie

dog-gamn, i love this little dog …


i mean, just look at this face!  don’t you just want to take that round little melon and squish it and kiss it?  of course, i couldn’t after the initial meet because i had my hands full of camera, but let me tell you, it was SO hard to not just set the camera down … every fifteen seconds.


and i’m so grateful for the little slice of beach Rosie’s parents found for us to romp on …


sand beaches are one of my favorite locations … the sand provides great bounced light and a wonderful backdrop.  and, of course, waves are always a bonus … well, unless you ask Rosie who was trying hard to retrieve her stick …


still, this mighty five-month-old didn’t give up easy …




some of my favorite shots of this little girl are her leaping shots.  it was really hard to restrict myself to just two on the blog … well, not including the one i previously shared with you … she’s such a little dynamite.


and when she caught air, she sure caught air …


mom and dad, Nicole and Evan, requested some images of themselves with their girl, including a feet shot.  how cute is Rosie with her paw always on Evan’s foot?


oh, okay, one more jump shot …


and of course, a soccer ball shot … i have yet to meet a bull dog who isn’t obsessed about their soccer ball.  this little melon-head sure could hustle.


then it was off to the trails …



and some more trails …


and of course, fall leaves, even though it was a little early for a lot of leaf cover and dad and mom had to collect a few handfuls for this shot.


you’d have thought this pint-sized dollface would be pooped after our hours of running, but she was still ready to entertain at home.


… so i let rosie chill a bit while i visited with the family cats.




… long enough for Rosie to relax.




working with a puppy isn’t easy … but for this face, i’ll do anything.


and by the end, i think — finally — Rosie was truly and thoroughly pooped.


thanks, Rosie for  a fabulous shoot.  and thank you Nicole and Evan for sharing your little doll-face with me.

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  • RuthWhat an AWESOME set of photos! Love them all!!ReplyCancel

  • TamandraMan, you do such great work!ReplyCancel

  • LizFantastic photos!!ReplyCancel

  • MargaretIllona, these pictures are amazing!!! And Rosie is amazing! Love that little melon-head – but you no doubt knew I would. 🙂 I knew she’s young, but thought more than 5 months. Our Belvy used to stand on his hind legs and jump a lot like Rosie. Till his first misjudged landing on the deck, when he didn’t get the landing gear down in time, and hurt his back end. Even that didn’t stop him entirely, just slowed him down. But a few more sore times, and some more years, and he doesn’t do it any more. I hope Rosie’s leaping days are many, many, many!!! What a sweet and energetic girl! And your pictures are amazing!!! When will you be in Colorado for a photo session w/B&H? 🙂

  • Holly Garner-JacksonI forgot to mention the cats….. They are pretty cool. I don’t think i’d mess with the tabby! 😉
    Any critter you can’t make look good? ;-P ?????????ReplyCancel

  • Holly Garner-JacksonOMD! Illona you never cease to amaze me with your photos. You have captured the joy of life in this sweet girl. I never thought I’d be interested in owning a bulldog but your photos show me what an awesome dog they can be.
    The owners should be very pleased with your work! These rock.ReplyCancel

  • AndaFantastic shots of little Rosie and her family! Love your wide angles, perfect for that adorable smushed in face 🙂 You are so good, Illona!ReplyCancel

  • wendyThose are awesome! I love those little bottom toothies!ReplyCancel

  • Marci (Layla's Mom)GREAT pictures! I love the 4th to last- it looks like she is smiling 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Marci (Layla's Mom)GREAT pictures! I love the 4th to last- it looks like she is smiling 🙂ReplyCancel

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