Shalom Life | April 17, 2014

Top 20 Under 40 - Jesse Sternberg

Toronto's Jesse Sternberg left a successful career in software development to pursue his true passion: Animals.

By: Ashley Baylen

Published: February 14th, 2012 in Culture » Society » Interviews

Top 20 Under 40 - Jesse Sternberg

Shalom Life is proud to present our 2nd annual ”Top 20 Under 40” list. This list encompasses 20 individuals of diverse occupations and backgrounds from businessmen and businesswomen and innovative entrepreneurs, to philanthropists, entertainers, doctors and more, the list places a spotlight on the myriad of talented, creative and passionate Jews, all under 40, who call Canada home.

Top 20 Under 40- Jesse Sternberg

Age: 30

Toronto’s Jesse Sternberg is the founder of Woof and Shloof- an eco-friendly doggie daycare, grooming and training company in midtown.

Although Sternberg has always been an animal lover, his career began in the corporate world working at software company, Viigo. When Research In Motion (RIM) purchased Viigo, the entrepreneur had an important decision to make.

“We had just sold Viigo to RIM, a company I had helped build from its embryonic stage. RIM made me a seductive offer to join their team, but I wasn't in the right stage of life to accept it. There was lots of traveling required and a move to Waterloo... neither were in the cards for me,” Sternberg shares.

After making the life-changing decision to decline RIM’s offer, Sternberg opted to leave the software world behind and focus his energy on his true passion- animals.

“As I rode the subway home from my last day at Viigo I had a sudden beam of clarity telling me to start my own business. It was something I always wanted to do, but never had the confidence nor the courage to do so in the past. I finally had an idea I loved, and it stuck.”

And so Woof and Shloof was born.

Woof and Shloof has a unique philosophy. Sternberg and his team believe in connecting with dogs using simple, non-verbal methods. Sternberg’s techniques allow dogs to utilize their natural instincts to happily exist in our chaotic world.

“Every dog knows how to do a 'sit', 'stay', 'down', 'follow', 'leave it' and a variety of other basic skills before their owners even bring the pups into their homes. These are basic skills that they learn from their parents. How does a stray pup know not to leave his safety spot from under the dumpster until his mom comes back with food scraps? That's basically a down-stay for a very long duration ... what's not basic is learning the English language and matching it to specific behaviours.... then staying motivated enough to perform those behaviours like circus tricks on command.

I try to stay mindful and remember that these animals don't know our crazy human world... like cars stay on the right side of the road, mailmen are friendly, greeting dogs by sticking the back of your hand in their face is actually non-threatening (what a terrible idea). I understand their body language and I use it myself whenever I'm interacting with dogs or working with clients,” Sternberg explains.

Although Sternberg advertises training services, he does not consider himself a “dog trainer”.

“I wouldn't call myself a dog trainer... I'm a coach for humans looking to unlock the mysteries behind their dog.”

When Sternberg isn’t at Woof and Shloof, he enjoys spending time with his wife, baby, dog, family and friends. He also loves yoga, meditation, basketball, and chess.

For more information on Woof and Shloof, please visit www.woofandshloof.com


Shalom Life is currently searching for the best and brightest Jews under 40 in New York who have gained recognition in business, entertainment, philanthropy, technology and more. Please send suggestions to top20NY@shalomlife.com

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