Top Dogs is the place for your dog! Whether you are looking for a dog walking service, a daycare facility or a grooming parlour, we aim to cater for your needs.
Based in North London, in bespoke premises close to Alexandra Palace, we are more than dog walkers – we offer a premium and personalised service. The experienced team at Top Dogs take care of your dogs everyday needs for exercise, socialising, fun and grooming.
We are licensed and insured. Human pack leaders all have references, are DBS checked and trained in canine first aid.
Services we offer
Doggie Day Care
We walk all types of dogs and believe that all can benefit from a Top Dogs adventure. The experience is especially beneficial for energetic and easily excitable dogs. Providing them with an outlet to let off all that excess energy gives them a calmer home life and makes them a much more pleasant (and less stressful) dog to live with. If your dog is socialised, friendly and has good recall, send him along. All sizes of dog are welcome. Even dogs with lower energy levels require a daily walk for their general well being. They are pack animals and need exercise and socialisation to remain healthy and happy.
With Top Dogs, they will be able to join a pack that suits their needs. We have several walks going out everyday with experienced handlers. Whether it is a gentle amble around Ally Pally or a rambunctious race around Trent Park, or something between the two, your dog will find the right companions with us.
We collect dogs from their homes and exercise them for a minimum of one hour (not including travelling times) around local parks and woodlands – often in the wonderful Trent Park near Enfield. Under continuous supervision, they are encouraged to run, swim and play games with each other and with their human pack leader. To ensure the safety of your dog and other park users, we will never walk more than six dogs per handler. This is in the best interest of everyone and makes sure that the adventure is enjoyed by humans and dogs alike.
Doggie Day Care
When one walk is just not enough, some dogs can come for doggie day care. Owners who are away from home for the whole day may prefer to send their pooch out for a day with the pack. Then you can have a guilt free day, knowing he or she is having a wonderful time, walking and getting lots of cuddles in our daycare centre. Your dog will make friends and many of our clients tell us how happy their dogs are to meet other pack members in the park at weekends.
Dogs who come for day care get two walks and spend the rest of their time at our premises. They have their own room with access to a yard at the back, where they can rest and socialise. They are not caged or crated (except on instructions from a vet) so the playtime goes on.
There is also an option of half day care. Dogs can spend either just a morning or an afternoon with us. During their half day, one walk is included in the service.
To top it off, your dog will be dropped home tired, happy and clean – saving you time and energy! Before they are returned home, muddy dogs receive a complimentary paw wash and tummy rinse if necessary. They can also take advantage of any of our grooming services, if booked in advance.
** Spaces for this service are now very limited. **
The day care service is run approximately from 9am-4pm. Half days are 9am-12.30pm or 12.30pm-4pm. These timings are not exact and both half day and full day care may well be longer that then 7 and 3.5 hours listed, particularly during the summer months. Dogs maybe collected from as early as 8am and not delivered home until 5pm or after. Extended hours can be arranged, at no extra cost, but may need to be by client collection and delivery.
We understand a trip to the groomers can be stressful for your dog. Whether they have had a bad experience in the past, hate the sound of the hairdryer, or don’t like to be separated from their owner – we take the time to create a stress-free environment so your dog can get to know us and feel safe and comfortable. Your dog’s safety is our priority so our front door is locked at all times.
What we offer
Puppy intro – For pups 3-6 months we offer a gentle introduction to grooming. This includes a bath with our natural shampoos, blow dry, ear check and clean, paw trim and nail clipping, sanitary trim, eye trim and a spritz of dog perfume. This allows your puppy to get used to the sites, sounds and smells of the salon to ensure a stress-free experience going forward.
Bath and Brush – Bath and brush includes a bath with natural shampoo, blow dry, brush out and de-matting (if necessary), ear check and clean, paw trim and nail clipping, sanitary trim, eye trim and a spritz of dog perfume. We encourage our clients, especially poodle-mix breeds, to book in for a bath and brush in between full grooms to keep on top of knots.
Full groom – This is a groom to breed standard, or a pet cut of your choice. This includes bath with natural shampoo, blow dry, brush out and de-matting (if necessary), clipping, scissoring or hand-stripping the coat, ear check and clean, paw trim and nail clipping, sanitary trim, eye trim and a spritz of dog perfume. Prices vary on breed and condition of coat.
“Laura has groomed Merlin since she started at Top Dogs. She was very keen to groom him to breed standard but is also good at listening to my ideas about the practicality of having a pedigree dog. I am continually asked who grooms my dog and am happy to recommend her especially at bedlington meets. Merlin is always happy to see her, which is the sign of a very good groomer.”
“We have a beautiful Golden Doodle called Ruby and are happy to say that Laura provides a wonderful grooming service.”
A walk for 1 dog – £15
A walk for 2 dogs from the same house – £25
Doggie Day Care
Half day care: £20 Includes 1 walk.
Full day care: £30 Includes 2 walks.
Half day care: £30 Includes 1 walk.
Full day care: £50 Includes 2 walks.
A full groom or handstrip is
£30 – £80 depending on whether the dog is a
Jack Russell or a
For example, a full groom for a Cockapoo is typically around £45
For an accurate quote, please visit with your dog.
Bath & Brush: approx £30, depending on breed
Puppy Trim: approx £30
Nail clip: £10
We (and Lewis the dog) feel very lucky to have found Ruth and the Top Dogs team. Lewis has been with Top Dogs for seven years and couldn’t be happier. He loves it! So much so that when the van pulls up he’s at the door…waiting for it to open…ignoring us…ready to head off on another adventure.
Michael & Joanna
Extraordinary care for dogs, complete peace of mind for owners
Searching for a top quality local dog walker, we met Ruth and Dillinger became part of the Top Dogs pack. Today, almost 7 years later, this remains the best decision we ever made regarding the care of our dog.
The home pickup and drop off service is super convenient, and our dog runs to greet the happy, friendly staff with a wag, eager to leave. The walkers all get to know their dogs, learn about their character, peculiarities and sensitivities. Top Dogs are flexible and accommodating even with last minute requests, and truly go above and beyond what we ever expected to receive in care for our dog.
All dogs medical records are kept and updated regularly, and medication, when necessary, is given with great care. In the last year, Ruth and her team have supported our dog through the 3 month long recovery time after a full hip replacement operation with much patience, diligence and unwavering encouragement and enthusiasm.
We trust Ruth and her team implicitly and have complete confidence in the services provided, and hope Dillinger can get to spend many more happy years with the Top Dogs pack.
Julia & Christopher
I would highly recommend Top Dogs for their reliability, friendliness and above all their total love and devotion to the dogs they look after. They also provide an excellent grooming service Eddie is very happy being walked and looked after by Top Dogs brilliant team.
Mark & Sarah
Dexter has been part of Ruth’s Top Dogs’ pack since 2010 and he loves it. He leaves in the morning with a spring in his step and comes home tired and happy. Ruth and her team are reliable, caring and very professional. They go above and beyond ‘just’ dog day care and we couldn’t manage without them. When Dexter slipped a disc and then had cancer, Ruth did everything possible to support his recuperation and ensure he was comfortable. We can’t recommend Top Dogs highly enough, they’re absolutely brilliant.
Mr & Mrs C
Professional, caring and efficient, Ruth and her team has provided invaluable day care and support for us for some years. Highly recommend.
Top dogs is top class ! We couldn’t be happier with the care and service from Ruth and her top team ; even our stroppy madam of a bulldog seems to be enchanted by them. I asked Lola what she thinks and she said “ They are Woof-terful “ !!
Lola the top dog , plus her parents too x
Ruth and her team offer a very professional service. We are first time ‘parents’ of our beautiful Labrador and Ruth has provided guidance and advice throughout. We wholeheartedly recommend Top Dogs – Lulu skips out of the door every day without a backward glance! Ruth runs a great team.
Claire and Murray
Day Care and Walks
What do I need to bring on my dogs first day?
Absolutely nothing! We have plenty of leads, toys, blankets and dog bowls. If you would like, you can send your dog in his or her own harness and you can send lunch or special treats (due to allergies). We will follow any instructions you give.
What do the dogs do all day?
Your dog will receive two walks (full day) or one walk (half day) in one of the local parks. When we are back at base the dogs can play in our daycare room, or in the garden. There are also lots of comfy beds for those who want to have a snooze
Where do you walk?
We do many of our walks at our nearest park: Alexandra Palace. However we like to vary things with the dogs so also go regularly to Highgate Wood, Queens Wood, Coldfall Wood and sometimes Brook Farm Open Space in Totteridge. At least once a day, we take a pack out to Trent Park.
Do you let the dogs off the lead?
All dogs are let off lead for full exercise, unless there is a medical reason to restrict them. Of course dogs new to the pack and to the handler are kept on lead until a bond is established. For extra security all our dogs wear company tags on their collars which have our phone numbers printed on them.
Do you offer a collection service?
Yes we offer collection and drop home service to dogs living in Alexandra Palace, Muswell Hill, Crouch End and Bounds Green. If you live in another area please ask us and we can see if we can accommodate collection in your area.
How many dogs do you walk at one time?
Each member of our team is insured to walk 6 dogs at one time. Sometimes two dog walkers will walk together and take a bigger group. This group will never exceed the legal limit of 6 dogs per person.
Do all the dogs get on?
Generally, yes. They love each other! If we had a dog that we felt was not socialising well, or being aggressive, this dog would be asked to leave for the safety of the rest of the pack. This is a very rare situation however.
Do I need to book my dog in or can I just pop by?
Our daycare service is very popular and most days we are full so a booking is essential.
My dog is very matted – will they need to be clipped short?
Depending on the severity of the mats, dematting may be an option. Dematting can be very time-consuming and painful for the dog. Our main priority is the comfort and safety of your dog. Clipping the dog short is often the kindest option for your dog and the hair will grow back – we promise! All options will be discussed with you before any decisions are made.
How often does my dog need grooming?
This depends on the breed of your dog and the type of hair they have. Regular grooming is essential for the health of your dog, not just for aesthetics. Regular bathing and brushing allows us to carry out a health check on your dog to check for the following:
Fleas and ticks
Knots and matting
Sore or split paw pads
Problems with ears and eyes
What does a Full groom include?
A full groom includes:
Bath – shampoo and blow-dry
Grooming – breed specific or pet trim of your choosing
Ear plucking and cleaning
Nail cutting, clipping in between paw pads
Anal gland excretion (on request)
What does a Bath and brush include?
Bath – shampoo and blow-dry
Nail cutting, paw tidy
Trimming of hair around the eyes (if necessary)
When can I bring my puppy in for their first groom?
This, again, depends on the breed. However if your dog is going to require regular grooming (eg. Poodle-mix breeds) then we suggest getting them used to the grooming process early. As soon as your pup has had all their vaccinations (around 12 weeks) they can come to the salon. We offer a Puppy Intro grooming session which will introduce your dog to all the sights and sounds of the salon so they can build a relationship with us.
My dog has sensitive skin, what shampoos do you use?
All our shampoos and natural and hypo-allergenic. We use the Hownd range of products, which is a premium brand, ethically sourced and not tested on animals. If your dog has a skin condition that requires a special shampoo from your vet, please bring it along and we will be happy to use it.
Top Dogs is a new business with an old pedigree. It was started as Big Walkies in 2009 by Ruth Gillbanks and ran from her home in Muswell Hill. By 2016 the pack had grown to a point where it became necessary to get premises, so she took over the Ruff Mutts grooming parlour and doggie day care business. Two separate packs are now very successfully joined together and they are Top Dogs!
The owner is Ruth Gillbanks, who has been working with dogs since she owned a boarding kennels in Worcestershire in 1996. Her own canine companions since then have been a Bullmastiff, a Greyhound, a Jack Russell cross, a Rottweiler and now two small rescue dogs from Romania. Every breed and type of dog has its own special charm!
Our senior walker is Chema who hails from Spain and who started working at Big Walkies in 2013. He is usually to be found with the boisterous dogs and is most often the one taking our dogs up to Trent Park.
Our part time walker is Anna. She can be found most often in Alexandra Palace with the smallest of our dogs, sometimes joined by older or quieter pack members. Anna is also our designated puppy walker.
Our newest team member is Niki, who comes from Hungary. She joined Top Dogs in 2018 but has worked with dogs for many years, both in her homeland and since coming to the UK. Her experience has proved to be a great asset to us. She enjoys the exuberance of the lively dogs but is gentle with our smaller pack members, who bonded with her very quickly.
Laura has excellent qualifications from the award winning, Dogs Delight Grooming Academy and has been working with dogs since 2012. She has a special place in her heart for older or nervous dogs, particularly rescues. She found her own dog, Rosie on the streets of Mexico and is familiar with many of their issues. She is kind and patient with them but also skilled in grooming dogs to breed standard. She is popular with our clients who have Cockerpoos, Goldendoodles and similar breeds.
Sabine is a very experienced and professional groomer who worked for several years in her home country of Australia where she helped revive a failing salon into a highly regarded business. More recently she gained invaluable experience in one of the most reputable and long-standing salons in London. She is particularly good at grooming Schnauzers, Spaniels and all breeds that need expert use of the scissors. Her own Bichon Frisé, Remy, is a showcase for her skill.
To book in with Top Dogs, contact us using the details below.
9 Crescent Road, London, N22 7RP
Phone: (+44) 020 8881 1883
Mobile: (+44) 07588 492483
Monday to Friday – 09:00 to 16:00
Saturday and Sunday – Closed