Smooch A Pooch Services was opened by Maria Perez, an avid dog lover and native New Yorker 10 years ago. It was in NY, after graduating with her degree in television production and working for a post production company one step up “the ladder” when she realized something was missing in her life. Although content at her job she wasn’t really happy and so she thought back through the years to what had consistently made her smile…..then it came to her, DOGS!!!

She discovered at a very young age (amongst cockatiels, snakes, dogs, cats, hamsters, and fish) the miracle of animal companionship and although an EOAL (Equal Opportunity Animal Lover), it was the wagging tails, furry faces, and slobbery dog kisses that had always made her gleam, even in the worst of times!  

Now that she had an idea of the direction she wanted to go she had to focus on educating herself. She moved from the Upper West Side of NYC straight to Santa Rosa, CA to attend the Bergin University of Canine Studies- a whole college dedicated to studying dogs and whose mission is to “Help dogs help people”. She graduated with a degree in Assistance Dog Therapy and became certified to train service dogs (dogs that help those who have physical disabilities). The miracle of animal companionship that she had found as a little girl was now turning into the yellow brick road of her career. Always dedicated to continuing her education she then went on to graduate from DogTec's Dog Walking Academy with certification in Dog Walking and in Pet 1st Aid & CPR.

All these certifications and education and she still didn’t know what she wanted to do. Sitting back at a dog park one day she observed some of the frustrations that other parents and their dogs were going through and wanted to help.  Knowing that the language barrier between parent and dog is a problem (or a blessing depending on how you look at it), Maria realized she could really assist the parents by helping them communicate with their dog. While talking to some parents about their dog walking routine with their pups, she also realized over half the pups in that park were not getting the daily exercise that they needed. As a dog trainer Maria knew that a lack of exercise is a fundamental cause of many unwanted behaviors (digging, chewing, barking, separation anxiety, being “hyper”…) as well as bad for their overall health. Lack of exercise, just like in humans can lead to obesity, diabetes, respiratory and joint problems, heart issues and the list goes on… Between parent-pup communication issues and knowing that most dogs don’t get the exercise they need Smooch A Pooch Services was born!

Her goal is to help make life easier for you and your pup, whether it means taking Fido out for some much needed exercise during the day, swinging by your house to take care of him when you find out last minute that you're in for a late night at work, or just a helpful dose of how dogs think to assist you in your day to day relationship. Maria believes that positive experiences, exercise, and education (Marias 3 E Theory), combined of course with a healthy diet and vet care are the foundation of a miraculous relationship between you and your pooch. 

Mission Statement

"To enhance and improve the quality of canine-human relationships through 

Exercise, Education, and + Experiences

using love as our cornerstone."

 Core Values

  • Safety first!
  • To be professional and responsible in all we do
  •  Respect for our community and our environment
  •  Honesty and integrity in all our endeavors
  •  A dedication to continuous education and improvement

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About Maria
Serving San Rafael and Surrounding Areas