Category Archives: more classes

Orientation Webinar

The Orientation Webinar is a free, no-obligation webinar that is open to everyone.

View as the prerequisite for group classes, a supplemental class for private training – or simply to see what we’re all about!

Register below to receive an email immediately with details and links to view, and you can get started in class immediately!

Get Started!

Register below by clicking on the bold date and receive full instructions via auto-email.  Contact the office if you don’t immediately see an email.

Note: The date noted is for admin purposes only. Select the bolded date and register to receive an email with full instructions on how to get started in class.

Smart Socialization Puppy Seminar

“Socialization: That just means having friends over and going to the dog park, right…?”

Think again!

You’ve probably heard about socialization, but do you really know what that means? Often, “common knowledge” approaches to socialization can do more damage than they do good.  Proper socialization is like a ‘behavioural vaccine’ that can protect your puppy from developing a multitude of behaviour problems as an adult.

  • Did you know that this “window of socialization” closes at a very young age?
  • Do you know what are you doing now that might be putting your puppy at risk as an adult?
  • Are you missing critical pieces of the socialization puzzle?

Come learn about Socialization, what it is, what you need to do, and what you need to avoid.

Upcoming Dates:

No planned dates at this time

This is a “people-only” seminar

Are you interested in joining Puppy Socialization Class with your puppy? Click here for more info!

Training for Distractions

The Training for Distractions Program is perfect for your dog if you:

  • Have a dog who is distracted by food/toys/environment, and other dogs and people, but is friendly and is not reactive (see below)
  • Want better reliability and compliance in the face of distractions
  • Want your dog to make better choices without nagging her
  • Want training strategies that are applicable to all distractions

Requirements and Prerequisites:

  • Dogs must be comfortable with other dogs and humans. This class is not for dogs with social difficulties including: barking, lunging, growling, stiff approaches, snarking/snapping upon greeting a dog,  etc. If this describes your dog, please see below for options.
  • This class requires a consistent handler to attend all classes. Pairs of handlers are welcome, but both should come to all classes.
  • Dogs must have had received all puppy vaccinations + Rabies
  • Completion of a foundation program at Scratch and Sniff Canine Services OR an equivalent from another school if owners/dogs have a solid understanding of clicker training and prerequisite behaviours.
  • Owners who have not trained at Scratch and Sniff Canine Services previously will be required to attend a free assessment and Orientation Webinar session prior to class
  • Experience with positive training (both dog and human), and at least an introduction of the following:
        • Zen or Leave it (impulse control around food in hand)
        • Sit (verbal cue or hand signal)
        • Down (verbal cue or hand signal)
        • Stay basics
        • Loose leash walking basics
        • Hand target/touch
        • If you have most but not all prerequisites, please contact the office to discuss

Does your dog have “Big Feelings”? Is she reactive, worried, or intense in her reactions? Check out our Private Training and Behaviour Consulting. If you’re unsure, contact the office to set up a free assessment.

Pricing and Schedule

$265+HST

7 classes, starting Sat Sept 14 2019, 12:30-1:30pm

** Take note that the program will be delayed on Oct 12 (Thanksgiving) and Oct 26 (Instructor is at a seminar). The last day of class will be Nov 9.

Make up classes: Make-up sessions are offered at a discounted rate of $30/half hour and must be completed the same week as the class that is missed (subject to private session policy) – this is required only for the first half of the program and optional for the second half. This is to ensure that the class runs smoothly for all students.

Book your spot now!

An assessment may be required, free of charge, to ensure this class is suitable. Contact the office with questions.

Class is currently in session. Join the mailing list to be alerted to the next time this class runs.

Brain Training Series

All too often, “training the dog” is about dealing with the habits we don’t like. Isn’t it time to train for fun, for enrichment, and for relationship?

The Brain Training Series focuses on increasing your dog’s receptivity to you and capacity to learn in order to work through various stages of difficulty and complexity of FUN tricks and behaviours.

The topics covered will range from perfecting individual tricks to advanced training concepts, such as cuing, shaping and behaviour chains. Behaviours and concepts will increase in difficulty as you progress through this series.

In this ALL-LEVELS CLASS you can revisit the program any time it runs, you don’t have to wait for the next level to be scheduled! This program is self-paced, allowing you to progress through training at your own pace, focusing on what is important to you.

A sneak peak at the behaviours… unroll a carpet, ring a bell, blow bubbles under water, “puppy dog eyes”, karate kicks, jump through a hoop… learn all this and more!

Schedule

$265+HST

This class is currently in progressjoin our newsletter for a notification of the next time it’s on the schedule!

Make-up classes: Make-up classes are not mandatory for this program due to the self-paced nature of the class. Optional make-ups are available at a deeply discounted rate of $30+HST/half hour and are subject to regular private session policy.

Pre-Requisites

Dogs and owners should:

What’s your prior experience?

  • Graduates of Foundation Programs with Scratch and Sniff Canine Services are welcome to join the Brain Training Series.
  • If we’ve worked privately to address fear, reactivity or aggression, or you are concerned about your dog’s behaviour, please contact the office prior to registering.
  • If you’ve taken classes elsewhere, please contact the office prior to purchasing the program to ensure it is right for you.
  • This class requires a consistent handler to attend all classes. Pairs of handlers are welcome.

Book your Spot Now!

Contact the office with questions prior to registration

Behaviour Consultation and Private Training

Learn the least invasive, minimally aversive, positive reinforcement-based methods to resolve your dog’s behaviour problems. Learn more about our training, and prepare for your private training, by viewing the free Orientation Webinar!


Behaviour Consultations

Emily, a certified dog behaviour consultant, will guide you through the resolution of your dog’s problem behaviours. Consults include discussion, visuals, demonstration and hands-on work with your dog, a personalized training plan, and resources. See below for in-home travel restrictions.

For dogs who:

    • Have bitten or are at risk of biting a person, dog or other animal
    • Show aggressive or reactive displays in response to people, dogs or other animals
    • Are fearful, scared or anxious in response to people, dogs or other animals OR objects/sounds
    • Are protective/possessive of/aggressive around food, toys, or other objects (resource guarding)
    • Do not like to be touched, handled or groomed
    • Have other similar issues rooted in emotional distress

Private Training for Manners, Obedience and Puppies

Private training for manners and obedience is tailored to your specific needs. We will work on exercises where you need them in daily life with your dog, whether in your home, in the park, or your neighbourhood. Private sessions come complete with notes, handouts and follow-up. See below for in-home travel restrictions.

For dogs who:

    • Ignore their owner and will not comply with requests
    • Will not come or stay when asked
    • Jump up to greet people
    • Pull on leash when out for a walk
    • Run out the front door without permission
    • Chasing inappropriate targets
    • Puppy concerns, including nipping, teething, chewing, house training, crate training, alone training, socialization guidance, problem prevention, etc.

Owners with these issues are encouraged to consider group classes, such as the Puppy Socialization and Life Skills programs.


Private Training Services and Pricing

Read this Important Document for complete session details.

• Initial Session 2hr session 

$185+HST

This is always the first session for Private Training. This session must be used within 90 days of purchase. Purchase is required in advance in order to hold session time.

• Package of Five – 5hr total 

$450+HST (Save $50!)

After the Initial Session you may continue with the Package of Five at a discount.  All five sessions must be completed within six months of payment. Purchase is required in advance in order to hold session time.

• Single session 60min

$100+HST

After the Initial Session you may continue with Single SessionsThis session must be used within 90 days of purchase. Purchase is required in advance in order to hold session time.

• Puppy Class Add-On 60min 

$80+HST (Save $20!)
*contact the office for purchase

This session is available exclusively to current students of our Puppy Socialization Class and must be used before your last puppy class. Purchase is required in advance in order to hold session time.




Behaviour Consultation and Private Training Booking

Complete these steps in the following order (or contact us with questions any time!):

  1. Read this Important Document for complete session details
  2. Read Policy and FAQ, and view the free Orientation Webinar.
  3. Contact the office for the behaviour questionnaire (alert us if you are outside of Guelph and require in-home training)
  4. Schedule your appointment directly with the office
  5. Purchase your Initial Session in order to reserve your appointment booking

*TravelService Area for dog training in guelph fees apply to a limited distance outside of this service area, contact the office to see if travel to your home is possible. In-school training is always an option.

Fitness and your Senior Dog with Tania Costa – May 4, 2014

On Sunday, May 4, 2014, from 11am-1:30pm Scratch and Sniff Canine Services is thrilled to host a hands-on workshop by Tania Costa of the Canine Wellness Centre about physical health and wellness for your older dog.

Book a working spot and bring your dog for a personalized hands-on experience – book an audit spot to learn the techniques on other people’s dogs.

The workshop will explore:
  • Arthritis and its affect on your older dog
  • Your dog’s ideal weight
  • Principles of balance and proprioception for your older dog
  • Core strengthening exercises to help maintain muscle mass in your older dog
  • Equipment and exercises for typical muscle weakness
  • Manual therapy you can perform on your older dog

First-come-first-served, so register now to claim your spot!

  • Working spots (bring your dog) are limited $69+HST. Working Spots are now SOLD OUT. Please register for an audit spot.
  • Audit spots (working with other people and their dogs) $49+HST.
  • Priority will be given to senior dogs for working spots. Anyone is welcome to register for an audit spot.

Spots are limited, register now to avoid disappointment. Refunds are not available for registration fees.

Continue reading Fitness and your Senior Dog with Tania Costa – May 4, 2014

Group Training FAQ

Click the arrow to learn more.

I’ve reviewed the Orientation Webinar and want to register for a group class… how do I do that?

Ensure that you are making the correct class selection, and contact the office if you have any questions. Make your purchase from the online store and start booking your program! You’re welcome to send an EMT to info@scratchandsniff.ca if you prefer that to credit card payments in the store. Cash and cheque payments must be received in person prior to your first class.

When is group training the best option?

Group classes are ideal for dogs who are friendly/tolerant of people and other dogs and require training in manners/obedience. (The only exception is any program where behaviour modification is a primary focus.) There is an assortment of training programs offered at Scratch and Sniff Canine Services. The two foundation programs, Puppy Socialization and Life Skills, run in a “modular” enrolment format and are constantly on the calendar (see below). Students may join these classes at any time. Specialty classes are offered routinely and on a rotating basis. Use the drop-down menu to view more information on the program that most interests you.

How do “Mix and Match”/modular classes work?

Click here for full details on how this unique and flexible enrolment works – including booking, cancellation and puppy class age limits.

When do group classes run?

Foundation group classes run constantly in several time slots each week, Monday/Wednesday/Saturday. Viewing the Orientation Webinar is required in advance of joining class. Specialty Class start dates are specified on each webpage.

What happens when the school is closed?

All scheduled closures, for example holidays and continuing education events, will be blocked off on the schedule and noted on the side menu on the webpage.

Individuals affected will be contacted if there’s an unscheduled closure. The unique and flexible enrolment format means you’ll always be able to make up classes.

Do you cancel classes in bad weather?

Very rarely! Unless the roads are dire (e.g. heavy freezing rain), classes will run. All students affected will be contacted when this is the case. If you haven’t heard from the office, assume classes will run.

How do I find out more about a program?

You will find detailed descriptions on each program in the Group Class drop down menu in the side menu bar.

Do you offer a guarantee?

In order to remain in compliance with the CCPDT Code of Ethics, I do not offer a guarantee.  A trainer teaches an owner how to train their dog; thus, asking a trainer for a guarantee isn’t asking for a guarantee on training methods, it’s asking for a guarantee on the one’s own behaviour inasmuch as it affects the dog. A guarantee is simply a marketing tactic – buyer beware!

What is the owner’s role in training?

Your role is invaluable! Your job will be to assure that you understand the information given to you and adhere to the training protocols laid out for you and your dog. The most successful owner is engaged, actively listens and assimilates information, asks lots of on-topic questions and requests clarification when necessary, frequently gives and requests feedback, and is overall an active partner in training. I want to work with you to help you and your dog – your dog and I can’t do it without you!

What methods of training do you use in group classes?

Respect for the dog’s physical, mental and emotional well-being is a top priority in any training at Scratch and Sniff Canine Services. Positive Reinforcement refers to a type of consequence: offering the dog something they want in order to increase the frequency of a behaviour. This is not a bribe because the dog is not shown up-front the “thing” they want. Consequences occur after the behaviour has happened, as opposed to a lure (or “bribe”) which is used in order to prompt a behaviour. Lures have their place, however must be used properly and must be faded out of training as soon as possible.

In class, students will learn how to “shape” behaviour, to properly use and fade a lure, to add a cue (the word “sit” for example), to capture behaviour, to properly reinforce a behaviour and to effectively manage and prevent reinforcement for undesirable behaviours. Rather than resorting to corrections to stop unwanted behaviours, owners will be coached thorough how to effectively teach an incompatible behaviour that will have the added benefit of preventing unwanted behaviours (for example, a dog cannot simultaneously sit and jump). Specific behaviours or issues addressed in each class are detailed on program webpages, found in the drop down menu above.

Private Training FAQ

Private dog training for fear, reactivity, aggression, manners, obedience and puppies.

When is private training the best option?

Private training is the best option for dealing with issues of  reactivity, fear and aggression. It is also the best option for manners/obedience for owners wanting to pursue focused training on a single topic, prefer one-on-one training and for those owners with schedules that cannot accommodate the group class program.

How much does private training cost?

All pricing is listed on the Private Training webpage.

Where are you located? What is your service area?

Private training is offered in your home or at the facility. The school is located at 340 Southgate Drive #3, Guelph. There is a map of the service area for in home sessions on the Private Training page. Contact the office to find out if travel to your location can be accommodated, and to determine any applicable travel fees.

What are your hours?

Private training may be booked during days, evenings or Saturday afternoon. Specific availability varies by week.

What is your booking/cancellation policy?

Payment must be made within two days to hold your appointment time. Notice of cancellation/rebook must be made 48 hours in advance or there is a full charge for the missed session. Please read full policy here.

Do you cancel classes in bad weather?

Very rarely! Unless the roads are dire (e.g. heavy freezing rain) or there’s some very specific reasons to cancel (for example, we’re supposed to train your chihuahua outside in a down pour). In some cases we will relocate indoors.

How many sessions/how long does it take to solve my problem?

The length of time or number of sessions that it will take to solve the issue is very much dependent on the issue, the owner and the dog. For example, an owner looking to teach a non-aggressive dog to settle at the sound of a door bell may take only a couple of sessions, however working through multiple issues involving fear or aggression will take multiple sessions. There is a discount available on multi-session packages, as outlined on the Private Training webpage. Owners acquire skills at different rates of speed and this in turn affects the dog’s progress.

Do you offer a guarantee?

In order to remain in compliance with the CCPDT Code of Ethics, I do not offer a guarantee.  A trainer teaches an owner how to train their dog; thus, asking a trainer for a guarantee isn’t asking for a guarantee on training methods, it’s asking for a guarantee on one’s own behaviour inasmuch as it affects the dog. I will guarantee that you will receive up-to-date information and instruction on force-free training methodology, support, guidance and consideration of the wants and needs of you and your dog.

What is the owner’s role in training?

Your role is invaluable! Your job will be to assure that you understand the information given to you and adhere to the training protocols laid out for you and your dog. My “dream client” is engaged, actively listens and assimilates information, asks lots of questions and requests clarification when necessary, frequently gives and requests feedback, and is overall an active partner in training. I want to work with you to help you and your dog, and I can’t do it without you!

What do I need to prepare for my session?

  • Completed Behaviour Questionnaire
    • This will be sent to you via email. Complete in detail it on your computer and return it via email in advance of your session. Do not print, complete by hand or save it as a PDF. If you experience technical difficulties please contact the office.
  • Treats
    • Prepare extraordinary treats, the smellier/grosser the better. For example: sandwich meats, dehydrated organ meats, cooked and chopped lean meat from the butcher, or tripe treats
    • NO veggies, fruit, kibble, hard biscuits, etc.
    • Chop treats no larger than the size of a pea (or smaller for tiny dogs)
    • Minimum 300 pieces
    • Choose treats that will not upset your dog’s stomach
  • Pouch
    • Purchase a fanny pack, a treat pouch from the pet store, or a rock climbing chalk pouch, or notify your trainer and one will be available for purchase.
    • NO pockets and over-the-shoulder type bags
  • Equipment
    • Have ready your regular walking equipment (leash, harness, etc) as well as any favourite toys. You may be required to use a different type of equipment, as determined in your session.
  • Feeding/Exercise
    • If the session falls near a meal time, please feed only a very small portion of the meal earlier than usual. Cut back on all meals to accommodate the extra calories of training treats.
    • Exercise your dog appropriately prior to your session, however be sure not to exhaust your dog.
  • For dogs who are not friendly with people
    • For in-home sessions please secure your dog in a room out of sight from the front entrance. (i.e. in a room with a door closed, not in a crate in the front entry way). Ensure that your dog is not able to open the door or otherwise escape or injure her/himself. You may be asked to meet your instructor outside the home, ensure that your dog is not able to access windows and become agitated.
    • For in-school sessions please discuss this with your trainer prior to your session.

What methods do you use for behaviour modification training?

Respect for the dog’s physical, mental and emotional well-being is a foremost priority in any training at Scratch and Sniff Canine Services. Behaviour modification training focus on creating good associations with a trigger and teaching the dog how to make good choices, particularly when under stress. This training is not about controlling the dog, it is about returning agency to the dog. A dog who feels in control of herself feels safe and secure, thus removing the root cause of most behaviour issues (fear, anxiety, stress, over-arousal, etc). Our goal is to demonstrate to your dog that she is able to make choices and more importantly to teach her how to make good ones. It is important to note that the dog is never pushed to react and then punished; modern behaviour modification training must be conducted sub-threshold in order for a dog’s behavioural and emotional reactions to change. (Learn more about what “threshold” is.)

Primary protocols include:

Positive Reinforcement

Positive Reinforcement refers to a type of consequence: offering the dog something they want in order to increase the frequency of a behaviour. This is not a bribe because the dog is not shown up-front the “thing” they want (“here’s what you get if you perform”). Consequences occur after the behaviour has happened, as opposed to a lure (or “bribe”) which is used first in order to prompt a behaviour. Lures have their place, however must be used properly and do not play a significant role in behaviour modification training. Positive reinforcement is an over-arching theme of training and provides a foundation to change a dog’s behavioural and emotional reaction to a trigger.

Classical Counter Conditioning

Classical counter conditioning is an element of classical conditioning, also known as Pavlovian conditioning. This focuses not on behaviour but on emotional response. The dog is exposed to the trigger sub-threshold (dog notices but does not react) and this exposure is paired or associated with “good stuff” and pleasant experiences. This acts to change a dog’s emotional response by changing the meaning of the trigger.

Desensitization

Desensitization involves incremental, sub-threshold exposure to a trigger. Desensitization is used in conjunction with other methods and is an element of any training that exposes a dog to a trigger sub-threshold. Note that desensitization is not flooding! Flooding is a very detrimental method that involves exposing a dog to the trigger at great intensity, usually for a prolonged period. Imagine having a deathly fear of scorpions and being locked in a small box filled with them! Flooding often provokes a “freeze” response (“learned helplessness”), similar to a mouse that has been caught by a cat. This is not indicative of relaxation, and the dog is not calm. For more information on this, please read this article.

Behaviour Adjustment Training

Behaviour Adjustment Training is a low-stress, effective protocol designed by Grisha Stewart for fear, reactivity and aggression. It works by exposing the dog sub-threshold to the trigger and using a functional reward, most often distance from the trigger, to reinforce socially appropriate behaviours. The foundation of BAT training lies in the owner learning to read their dog’s body language and teaching the dog how to deal with stressful or uncomfortable situations using non-confrontational means.

Sniffer Dogs Program

Scent detection is an up-and-coming sport that’s seen a recent surge in popularity in Canada. The goal is to teach your dog to search for a particular scent, and then alert you to its location. The scent can be hidden anywhere from in one of multiple containers, to an interior room, a vehicle, or the outside of a building. This is a great way to mentally exhaust your dog, and truly learn to appreciate the unique abilities of our dogs.

The training taught in class is similar to what is used to teach working detection dogs, including bed bug dogs, border patrol dogs, conservation dogs, and drug dogs. There are also some similarities to other scent sports, such as tracking and search and rescue.

This is a fantastic way to tire out your pooch, and your dog will love it!

Program Details

Starting Monday October 28th, 8:30pm
6 consecutive weeks, 45-60min in length

$275 (includes your Scent Kit)

This class is full. Join the newsletter for an alert of the next program!

Make-up sessions are offered at a discounted rate of $30/half hour and should be completed the same week as the class that is missed (subject to private session policy) – this will be required for earlier classes and optional for later classes.

 Requirements

    • This class requires a consistent handler to attend all classes. Pairs of handlers are welcome, but both should come to all classes.
    • Dogs must not be a risk to people or dogs, and must be comfortable in a group class environment. Dogs with minor social issues may be accepted if the class is suitable to their behavioural needs.
    • Dogs must have received their complete puppy vaccinations
    • Do not attend with a dog who is sick, including vomiting, diarrhea, coughing, sneezing, lethargy or fever
    • Submitting registration/payment indicates acceptance of the group class policy

Prerequisites: Dogs and owners must have basic clicker training skills as taught in the Puppy Socialization or Life Skills programs.

  • Prerequisite behaviours
    • Hand Target
  • Materials
    • Training supplies as outlined in your handouts.
    • A Scent Kit is included in the cost of the class
    • Students will be required to purchase three identical Tupperware-type containers suitable to the size of their dog. Requirements will be reviewed at the first class.
  • If you have not attended classes at Scratch and Sniff Canine Services, please review the above prerequisite behaviours and contact the office to arrange for a free assessment, and view the free Orientation Webinar prior to starting class.

If you have questions, please contact the office prior to enrolment. 

Cash payments can be accepted by special arrangement, please contact the office to inquire.

This class is full. Join the newsletter for an alert of the next program!