Tricks Class

Let’s hang out and teach your dog cool stuff in a low-pressure, fun group class environment. Tricks are a great way to teach your dog (and you!) how to communicate effectively with each other and bond with your pooch in a way that doesn’t happen with cuddles alone! (but of course cuddles are an important part of the picture!)

Schedule

Thursday April 25th, 6pm
SIX weeks in length

$289+HST OR $280+HST when paid by e-transfer

Location

This program will be running out of the training hall at Dreamland Pets in Elora

Dreamland Pet
6484 Wellington Road 7
Elora, ON, N0B 1S0

Details

  • Submitting registration/payment indicates acceptance of the group class policy
  • Dogs must be happy to train for treats in a group class environment
  • Prerequisite behaviours, taught with positive/clicker training
  • Props will be provided for use during class time. Props for home use can be purchased at your local Dollar Store
  • View the free Orientation Webinar prior to starting class and for info on training method

Book your Spot!

Contact the office with questions before registration

  1. Click the button below to save your spot
  2. To confirm your spot: payment must be made within 24hrs of receiving the invoice

Puppy, Manners and Obedience Training

Unlock your dog’s full potential by focusing on building strong behaviours and a strong relationship through rewards-based training.

We’ll meet one-on-one in your home or neighbourhood in Guelph, in another predetermined location in Guelph, or through virtual video conferencing, to put in place the strategies and education you and your dog need to meet your manners and obedience goals.

Manners and Obedience Training

Manners are important, whether we’re talking about polite leash walking or not stealing your dinner off the counter! Mannerly pooches are invited into public places, and it takes more than wishful thinking to make this happen.

In our customized training packages, we can address a multitude of manners and training goals, such as:

  • Come when called
  • Polite leash walking
  • Settle and stay
  • Door dashing
  • Counter surfing
  • Jumping to greet
  • And more!

Puppy Socialization

Puppy Training extends beyond sit, come and stay! It’s critical to get puppies off to the right start through facilitating safe and proactive socialization (hint: this doesn’t mean meeting every single person and dog…), cultivating your own understanding of developmental and age-appropriate behaviour and expectations, and how to manage a puppy in the home day-to-day.

Do You Need EXTRA Support?

Check out Day Training for premium training programs if you need support beyond routine training sessions and resources. In Day Training, I will come to your home to train your dog or puppy while you’re at work or going about your day-to-day life, and transfer these skills to you in our regular coaching sessions.

Do You Have BIGGER Problems?

If you’re seeing behaviour such as:

  • Aggression
  • Fear
  • Reactivity – barking/lunging
  • Resource guarding/Food or toy aggression
  • Separation anxiety
  • Over-simulation, overwhelm, or frantic behaviour
  • Redirected aggression
  • Aggression or fear of handling/vet/groomer
  • Other BIG FEELINGS!

Take a moment to navigate over to the Behaviour Consulting webpage for information specific to your needs.

Private Dog Training in the City of Guelph, Ontario


Let’s Train Your Dog!

  1. Click here for details and package pricing
  2. Review Policy and FAQ
  3. Complete the inquiry form by clicking the button below

Group Classes

Come train with us in a fun, low-pressure group class environment – Positive reinforcement isn’t just for our dogs, you deserve to receive it too!

Scratch and Sniff Canine Services offers group classes based in facilities such as Dreamland Pet in Elora.

Find out what’s on offer right now by navigating the drop down menu for classes such as Sniffer Dogs, Tricks, and more!

Employment Opportunities

There are currently no employment or volunteer opportunities.

Please do not submit unsolicited resumes, resumes are not kept on file. This page will be updated if a position becomes available.

Policies

It’s important for you to understand policies prior to registration in any service or program. Policies exist in order to keep services running smoothly, and to offer equal and fair treatment to all of our valuable students.

This important information is written in language that is clear and easy to understand. Take a moment to review this information before registering for any program or service, as registration and/or payment indicates acceptance of these terms.

Follow these links to Policy for each type of service. Day Training is included in Private services.

Raising a Pandemic Puppy!

Briar came home January 1st 2021 – Right in the middle of a STRICT COVID lockdown!

A puppy’s Socialization cannot be put on hold no matter the reason. Every week is an eternity in the life of a puppy, and we need to take strategic advantage of this sensitive time in a puppy’s life to set them up for success in our human world.

Follow along with Briar’s first months at home, and how I still made Socialization happen from day one despite being in the middle of a winter COVID lockdown.

Want to know more about what Socialization REALLY is? Read this first.

Behaviour Consulting

Emily Fisher, an IAABC-certified dog behaviour consultant, will guide you through the process to resolve your dog’s problem behaviours. Consults include discussion, visuals, demonstration and hands-on training with your dog, in addition to plentiful resources and follow-up.

Did you know…

Some pet insurance companies will cover private training for behaviour modification! Contact your insurance provider to find out if your dog is covered. We do not direct bill.


Addressing Dog Behaviour Problems such as:

  • Reactivity, fear or aggression directed toward people
  • Reactivity, fear or aggression directed toward dogs or other animals
  • Resource guarding (food/toy aggression)
  • Handling for husbandry, veterinary visits and grooming
  • Fear or reactivity triggered by objects or environments
  • Arousal/over-excitement
  • Any other problem stemming from “Big Feelings”!

Do you have a young pup or manners troubles? Check out this information instead!
We do not offer service dog training.


Private Dog Training in the City of Guelph, Ontario

Let’s Train Your Dog!

  1. Click here for details and package pricing
  2. Review Policy and FAQ
  3. Complete the form by clicking the button below

Virtual Training Set-Up and Prep

Set up your training space ahead of your lesson in order to make best use of your session time. Take a look at the below information.

Read the FAQ here.

Private Training Students

Do this BEFORE your private session:

  • Take your dog out to pee
  • Put down a yoga mat or rug if the floor is slippery
  • Have all equipment and props ready in your training space
  • Chop up your treats BEFORE your lesson. This is important!
  • Set your device on a stable surface with good visibility of your training space. You may receive additional specific instructions private training.
  • Set up your camera in a landscape position – wider than tall.
  • Ensure that you will not be backlit
  • Put other household dogs into another room, and let your family know that you need quiet time.
  • Close other programs on your computer, and ask others in the home not to stream during your session time.
  • Download ZOOM and test the program prior to your first session, ensuring the both your camera and microphone work. Visit the ZOOM website for details.
  • Sign into ZOOM at the specified session time by clicking on the link in your session reminder email.
  • Contact your instructor by email (not phone) immediately if you are having tech problems!
  • For your Initial Private Session: We will begin with discussion, so prep the above but you may start out in a comfortable spot to talk before working your dog.

Have these items ready for your private session:

  • Treat pouch A fanny pack or a rock climbing chalk pouch will work fine. This makes your job easier!
  • Clicker 
  • Moist or semi-moist treats – About 300pcs. Cut all treats to about the size of a large pea, or smaller for smaller dogs. Chop treats in advance, not during your session.
    • Store-bought treats: Rollover logs, dehydrated organ meats, Ziwi Peak, etc.
    • Cook and chop meat from the grocery, such as: chicken breast, steak, pork chop, chicken hearts/gizzard, beef/pork heart, pre-cooked hot dogs, cheese, ham, etc. 
  • 4-6ft leash – no flexi leashes
  • Tug toy – Long braided fleece toy or ‘stuffless’ toy if your dog enjoys tugging.
  • A front-attaching body harness for all lessons outside of the home and for behaviour modification. Please no choke, ecollars or prongs.
  • food-stuffed toy (like a Kong) if your dog is likely to be antsy during breaks and demos. It’s important for your dog to remain settled and not barking.

Virtual Training FAQ

Welcome to VIRTUAL training! You probably have lots of questions, like whether this can actually work… the answer is ABSOLUTELY. Have a look below!

General

But, seriously, you can train dogs… ONLINE?

Absolutely! Outside of weekend workshops, all of my continuing education is conducted through various virtual formats. This includes HANDS-ON skills training! I’ve found this format to be incredibly beneficial for me and my dogs.

Does it matter where I live?

Yes – due to insurance restrictions, we are accepting only students located in Canada at the time of the training service.

What are the technology requirements?

  • You need a basic level of computer/internet literacy, including navigating a webpage and taking videos
    • Life Skills and Virtual Training for Distractions: Internet capacity that permits viewing and uploading of videos
    • Private Training: High speed internet that allows for clear video conferencing over ZOOM
  • A computer, phone or tablet that:
    • Has a functional microphone
    • Has a functional camera
    • Can connect to the internet
    • Some Private Training will require more than one device (phone/tablet/computer)
    • Optional but encouraged – bluetooth wireless headset
  • Method to hold up your phone/tablet (this can be as simple as an upside-down egg carton to support your phone, tape your phone to a paper towel holder, or a tripod/camera stand)

What Policy applies?

All regular policy applies. You can find Group Policy here and Private Policy here. Purchase and/or registration indicates acceptance of applicable policy.

All-Ages Life Skills Program and Virtual Training for Distractions

How does it work?

Using a virtual classroom called Google Classrooms, you will be introduced to new exercises with demonstrations, verbal descriptions and written instructions. The modules include a Module Presentation – this is exactly the same explanation and demonstration that you would receive in an in-person group class!

Each exercise is broken down into easy-to-follow steps, and you will receive entirely personalized feedback on your training.

  • Work at your own pace and on your own schedule!
  • Join ANY time!
  • Receive feedback and guidance on your training homework five days a week, and access the classroom 24/7
  • Eight-week access to dynamic content and personal feedback on your training and questions
  • Save the Program Manual for reference after completing your program

Can I see the classroom before booking the class?

You’re welcome to join the test classroom to get a feel for the layout and format before joining Virtual Life Skills! Just follow these steps:

How does the flexible schedule work?

You can join the program ANY week, and you can work through the modules entirely at your own pace throughout your eight-week program.

Will I see other people, and can others see me?

Your homework will be submitted privately to your instructor, and feedback will be returned privately, only your name will be visible. You also have the option to participate in discussion with your classmates if you wish, and add your dog to the student introduction document.

Will I learn the same things as in a regular group class?

Yes! The curriculum has been modified to cater to this virtual experience, and the class maintains the same manners and obedience exercises as in the in-person class.

How does virtual instruction and feedback on my training compare to in-person classes?

In a virtual class you actually have access to significantly MORE personal feedback than an in-person class! In an in-person class, you get feedback only in that one hour. In a virtual class, you have access to feedback five days each week. After making the modifications suggested, you can request further feedback on how to adjust or perfect the training exercise.

Additionally, you have access to written notes provided by your instructor, which means you have a personal reference point when you incorporate these changes into the training exercise.

You’ll also receive feedback on your training in real-life situations, and environments where you walk and train your dog in day to day life. That can’t happen in a classroom!

What about distractions?

Did you know it’s actually more effective to teach a behaviour before adding distractions? This approach actually better caters to learning needs of both people and dogs, versus an in-person class.

The self-paced format means that you can post follow-up videos from the lessons and receive feedback on whatever aspect of the lesson you would like, including introduction of distractions that you encounter day-to-day.

You’re also welcome to follow up the Virtual Life Skills program with the Virtual Training for Distractions Program, where distraction training will be the explicit focus.

What if I have questions about topics not included in the Life Skills Curriculum?

In order to provide the best training service, problems outside the scope of the Life Skills program will require a private consultation so your instructor is able to gather the information necessary for a complete response to your concerns. You can find information on the Private Session webpage.

How do I prep for my training sessions?

You can find all of this information on the Virtual Training Prep page.

Can I switch between the Virtual and In-Person classes?

No. While these programs cover similar topics, they are two distinct programs. The only exception is in case of COVID lockdown or related issue when in-person students will be welcomed into the Virtual program to complete their training.

Private Training

Which sessions are virtual?

Private training and behaviour consultations are currently running in both virtual and in-person formats, depending on the nature of the issue addressed in the session.

Initial sessions will continue to take place in a virtual format, and follow-ups will be decided on a case-by-case basis. For example, resource guarding in the home may be addressed in a virtual format, and outdoor reactivity sessions may be addressed in-person. 

We cannot guarantee that a request to meet in-person can be granted. Due to health and safety implications, availability of in-person sessions is not based solely on client preference.

How does it work?

Using a video conferencing program called ZOOM, we will meet in our “virtual classroom” at the designated start time.

Just like an in-person private behaviour consult, we will review your dog’s behaviour, your instructor will introduce and demonstrate exercises, and you will work with your dog on each skill. ZOOM allows you to receive personal feedback in real time, and questions about each exercise answered on the spot.

For some training problems, you will need multiple devices to record your dog at two angles, or a helper to hold your camera. You may have additional technology requirements such as bluetooth headphones. Contact the office for details.

Can any behaviour problem be dealt with virtually?

Please provide the office with some information about your dog’s behaviour, and where you are seeing this occur, and we will decide whether a virtual consult is the best route forward – particularly if you live too far to travel to the facility for in-person follow-ups. Contact the office here.

What do I need to do to prep for my session?

You can find that information on the Virtual Training Prep page, as well as the Behaviour Consultation page. You will also be sent information applicable to your situation.

Socializing Your Puppy in the Midst of COVID-19

These are strange times we’re living in during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the prescribed safety precautions fly in the face of healthy puppy socialization (and human socialization, for that matter!). Even during these trying times, it’s critical to do everything possible to prevent problems from arising later in life due to a socialization deficit in puppyhood.

Remember, if you are in isolation or quarantine you must put public safety ahead of socializing your pup – if you find yourself in this position, do only the indoor activities. While there’s not evidence that dogs can be infected with this virus, it is possible for a dog to carry the virus on her coat and transmit it to another person – the same way shared surfaces like door knobs can be contaminated. 

During this age of “social distancing” the foundations of socialization still apply:

  • start young (no, really, you can’t wait until this is over!)
  • let your pup’s curiosity propel her to explore a wide variety of novel circumstances
  • avoid putting your pup in a fear- or frustration-provoking situation

Let’s look at a few ways to socialize your puppy without contributing to the spread of this virus:

Social Distancing Has Always Been an Important Lesson

“Look-Don’t-Touch” has always been the most over-looked socialization activity for pups. With their owner’s emphasis on constant greetings, many pups never learn that they can let the world go by unaccosted. And don’t you want that for your adult dog?

Take your puppy to public places and practise “social distancing” to the benefit of your puppy. With treats at the ready, every time your pup glances toward a person or dog, simply encourage your pup away and feed a treat or two.

A Variety of People – When You Have No People!

Socialization to people is covered in the point above – your puppy doesn’t have to make physical contact with someone in order for socialization to take place. 

As a stand in for strangers at your door and entering your home, try playing dress-up. Wear unusual clothing and accessories, change your mannerisms, use crutches or a cane, and knock at your own front door while wearing this get-up. When options are limited, be inventive!

There’s Always More To Know About Puppies

Many people think that the primary value of a puppy class is in the play time, and this simply isn’t true. Join a virtual puppy class and learn what there is to know about raising a behaviourally healthy puppy, which goes far beyond just interactions between dogs. There’s way more to it than you might think!

(Join our Live, Virtual Life Skills Program and get access to our Puppy Package!)

Sounds

Exposure to different noises is critical for pups, and it takes more effort to find novel sounds when social distancing measures are in place!  Be sure that noises aren’t actually frightening for your puppy – if it is, turn down the volume or find a similar but less concerning noise.

The best place to start is a sound CD (check online sources) or an app like Sound Proof Puppy Training (check your app store). This gives you access to a variety of noises at your finger tips. Play it on a quality speaker system if you have one available.

Recorded noises can’t always take the place of “real life” sounds, simply due to the difference in the quality of the noise, so find sources of novel sounds in your house. That could be a kids toy that makes a weird noise, or even knocking items over (do this at a distance for your pup so you don’t startle her). Make the noise first, them provide several tasty treats after!

Confidence Games

Set up small obstacles in your home and yard, and encourage your pup to interact with them. If your pup is hesitant, change the obstacle so her natural curiosity gets the better of her. Provide all sorts of tasty treats either where your pup is comfortable, or right on the obstacles if she’s already feeling brave. 

Look around your home for inspiration. Mop buckets, garbage cans on their sides, plywood sheets propped up on bricks, chairs on a line with a blanket draped over them (like a tunnel), stepping over hula hoops and broom handles in a pile on the ground, and more – your imagination is your only limit!

Handling and Vet Prep

It is often taken for granted that a puppy will always accept handling, but in reality many pups grow into problems with being groomed or being accepting of other procedures. It’s important to understand that patting your puppy or clipping nails in a deep sleep is not the same as preparing your puppy for handling procedures! Be sure that all of your touch is done in a way that is welcomed and pleasant, and that you’re not forcing or coercing your pup. Keep a good supply of tasty treats on hand, but be sure to always touch first and feed second – this means that your puppy will think “touching makes good things happen” rather than “food means someone is going to touch me”.  Since COVID-19 will limit how many people your pup can physically interact with, have all family members participate – and maybe even do this in disguise, described above!

Variety is Still Key!

Unless you are in quarantine, the most important thing you can do is get your puppy off property. Right now. Today. And tomorrow, and the day after and the day after.

Go somewhere new every day. Walk on a new street. Drive out to walk in an industrial area. Walk down a back alley. Walk near a giant building that echos. Walk where there are honking geese. Walk where there are wildlife smells. Walk where people are passing by, and where there is heavy traffic.

Hang out near a fire station and watch the trucks leave for calls (but keep your distance, this can be scary!). Stand on near a busy intersection. Find statues and big garbage cans and weird items on the street – these items are surprisingly unnerving, so take it slow. Go to a car dealership where they have one of those flailing-armed-air-people waving at the sky!

It’s impossible to over-emphasize the importance of taking your puppy off your property.

Despite that we are literally in the midst of a global pandemic – your puppy’s development waits for no one. Do your best during these tough times to keep the socialization ball in the air, it’s a critical investment in the next 14 years of your and your dog’s lives.