Birchill Kennels is owned and operated by John Heartz who has been involved in the breeding, showing, boarding & grooming of dogs for about 40 years. A former professional dog handler, Birchill is now his full time occupation. The kennel is located on 4 acres overlooking Shortt's lake adjacent to our home.

At Birchill we offer a medium size, clean, professionally run facility that is comfortably heated in the winter and air-conditioned during the summer. The kennel is also equipped with an exhaust fan to maintain constant fresh air during the days when air conditioning or heat is not needed. We have an in house grooming shop where dogs can be bathed and groomed by appointment or while boarding. We are the only kennel that has been featured in both DOGS IN CANADA & CANINE REVIEW MAGAZINES.



All of our clients records are maintained on computer so that any important information is at our fingertips which also allows for a speedy check in / departure process.

Our boarders are kept in spacious indoor sleeping quarters each with it's own outside covered exercise area that protects the dogs from the sun, rain or snow. We do not double up boarders in the same run unless they live in the same household and it is at the client's request. Each day we strive to provide personal attention and as much time as possible in our large outside yards to make boarding a happy experience for our guests.


  • We are open for arrivals & departures by appointment 7 days a week –
    8:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon and 4:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
    (we are closed between noon and 4:00 p.m.)
  • Visits to see the kennel are by appointment, during weekdays only
  • We are closed for pick up and drop off on Dec 24 (at noon), Dec 25, & 26,


All pets arriving must be in good health and have current vacinations for Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvo, Corona & Bordatella. Any pets with signs of pest infestation will be immediately bathed or dipped at the owner's expense. Any pet requiring medical attention will be taken to our veterinarian and the owner will be liable for the charges.


We encourage you to bring bedding that is washable as we frequently wash pet guest's bedding. Bedding such as Cedar beds, foam pillows, and articles too large for a washing machine are not satisfactory.

If you do not bring bedding we will supply blankets for our larger guests and small cushions for our smaller guests.

If you are bringing containers of food please label them with the dogs name. Toys are also encouraged but we recommend that anything you do not want chewed to be left at home.


All boarders are fed the same high quality food that we feed our own show dogs. If you wish to bring your own food, or a prescription diet rather than have the pet change food that is allowable. We generally feed in the morning but it is not a problem to feed guests twice a day if required.


We offer a complete door to door service for families relocating into or out of the Truro to Halifax/Dartmouth area. We will handle your pet every step of the way to ensure a safe and happy air shipment. Shipping crates, health certificates, and airline arrangements are all part of the service. Call or email us for details and price quotes.

Portion of exercise yard and shaded large 14' by 14' runs

Indoor sleeping quarters with door to private outdoor covered run

A view of some of the indoor sleeping quarters