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Policies and FAQ

It’s important for you to understand policies and FAQ 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 and FAQ for each type of service:

Advanced Life Skills Series

Next up on the Schedule!
Oct 17th: Walks and Distractions

Read this webpage carefully and book your spot through the buttons below!

The Advanced Life Skills Series is comprised of five programs that build advanced skills on what you learned in the Foundation Life Skills program.

Each of these intensives will focus on a specific topic introduced in Foundation Life Skills, and can be taken in any order. Check out the info below for details and registration!

Do you see a class you want that’s not on the schedule? Join the newsletter to find out the next time it runs, and email the office to express interest – classes may run on demand!

The Master Prerequisite List (Read me!)

Each Program below requires the following, in addition to specifics listed for each class:

  • Foundation Life Skills with Scratch and Sniff Canine Services is a prerequisite for these programs. We will be building directly on exercises as they are introduced there. You can join the Foundation Life Skills Program here.
  • Each class indicates which Life Skills module will be built upon. Review these exercises leading up to the start of class. We will build directly on this foundation.
  • One consistent handler should attend all classes (do not switch handlers mid-class)
  • Dogs must be comfortable and food-motivated training in a group class environment
  • Proof of dog vaccination including Distemper, Parvovirus and Rabies is required
  • Do not attend class if you are ill. See below.

Regarding absences, illness and lockdowns:

  • If a STUDENT is ill/absent: Email the office in advance and a ZOOM call will be set up for you to watch live or recorded.
  • If the INSTRUCTOR is ill/in case of lockdown: The program will be put on hold until it is safe/legal to reopen, and will resume on the same schedule. No alternatives are available for this contingency plan, please be ready to adjust your schedule if need be.

Walks and Distractions

The Walks and Distractions Program will focus on developing next steps on your leash walking skills, with a big emphasis on tackling social distractions like dogs and people.

Want to focus on not jumping up while greeting people? Check out Stop the Jumping!

Qualifications and Prerequisites for Walks and Distractions
  • All points in the Master Prerequisite list above are required
  • Dogs must wear a front attaching no-pull harness
  • Building on the Life Skills Out and About Module

This program does not address reactivity or aggression. If your dog barks/lunges intensely, has fought/bitten a dog or person, and/or is unable to eat treats in the presence of a dog/person, private training will be a better fit for you.

Schedule for Walks and Distractions

$295 +HST
Four students in class
5 consecutive weeks (50min)

Starting on: Monday Oct 17th 6pm
** note that class skips Nov 7th, see the list of dates below

Join the Newsletter if there’s no start date listed

Next Level Leave-It

If your dog scans the ground, ready to grab the next leaf, stick, garbage or… poop (eew!) … this program is for you!

Next Level Leave-It focuses explicitly on dogs that have trouble controlling the impulse to grab food or items off the ground when on walks.

Looking for dog distractions? See Walks and Distractions!

Qualifications and Prerequisites for Next Level Leave-it
  • All points in the Master Prerequisite list above are required
  • Dogs must wear a front attaching no-pull harness
  • Building on the Life Skills Impulse Control Module

This program does not address resource guarding (food/toy aggression). If your dog is showing threat or guarding behaviours, private training will be a better fit for you.

Schedule for Next Level Leave-It

$295 +HST
Four students in class
5 consecutive weeks (50min)

Starting on: Check back soon!

Join the Newsletter if there’s no start date listed

Stop the Jumping!

Does your dog pummel your guests at the door? This program is made just for you! We’ll be looking at various strategies to calm the excitement and calm the jumping.

Qualifications and Prerequisites for Stop the Jumping!
  • All points in the Master Prerequisite list above are required
  • The same TWO adults (15yo+) must be present for each class – without exception. Both people will be trainers. Children cannot participate due to safety concerns interacting with other people’s dogs.
  • This program will involve closer distance between student than in a typical class
  • Dogs must wear a front attaching no-pull harness
  • Building on the Life Skills Out and About Module

This program is explicitly for dogs who LOVE people. If your dog is not loose and wiggly upon greeting a stranger, please contact the office for direction.

Schedule for Stop the Jumping!

$295 +HST
Four students in class
5 consecutive weeks (50min)

Starting on:

Join the Newsletter if there’s no start date listed

Superb Stays

This program is all about cultivating a fabulous STAY! We’ll be focusing on several strategies to teach the next levels in settle and stay, as well as go to mat.

This class is perfect for keeping your dog out from underfoot when cooking, away from the dinner table, or waiting her turn for training in a multi-dog household (and whatever else you can think of!).

Want to focus on being calm in the face of social distractions? The Walks and Distractions Program is for you!

Qualifications and Prerequisites for Superb Stays
  • All points in the Master Prerequisite list above are required
  • Building on the Life Skills Stationing Module
Schedule for Superb Stays

$295 +HST
Four students in class
5 consecutive weeks (50min)

Starting on:

Join the Newsletter if there’s no start date listed

Come Quick

Every time you call your dog and they come, they are putting effort into LEAVING the very things they find interesting. Come when called sounds so simple, but it’s one of the most difficult things to teach reliably!

Qualifications and Prerequisites for Come Quick
  • All points in the Master Prerequisite list above are required
  • The same TWO adults (15yo+) must be present for each class – without exception. Children cannot participate due to safety concerns interacting with other peoples dogs.
  • Dogs must be wearing a harness with a leash attachment point on the BACK
  • Dogs must be explicitly friendly with dogs/people and show no reactivity or social sensitivity
  • Building on the Life Skills Come When Called Module
  • Handlers will be running in this class

Due to many off leash components, this program cannot accommodate reactivity to dogs/people. Private training will be the best option if this describes your dog.

Schedule for Come Quick

$ 295+HST
Four students in class
5 consecutive weeks (50min)

Starting on:

Join the Newsletter if there’s no start date listed

Life With Puppy!

Welcome to Life with your Puppy!! There’s so much to learn and so much to do, congratulations on taking the first steps to get your puppy off on the right paw.

Socialization Skills Puppy Class

Socialization Skills is a puppy-focused program that incorporates a safe introduction to obstacles to climb on, through and under, with puppy problem solving and prevention, and interactions with other pups. Confidence building is the name of this game!

Life Skills Foundations Training Program

Life Skills is the best place to start for teaching your puppy manners and obedience skills. This program covers the foundation on everything from leash walking, settle and stay, come when called, and distractions.

Puppy Resources

Students of Life Skills and PupAgility! will receive access to the All Things Puppies! online resource classroom

Position Statement on Puppy Socialization from the American Veterinary Society of animal Behavior
(aka “why puppies should be socialized before they finish their vaccines”)

Raising a Pandemic Puppy

What Socialization REALLY is

Socialization During Lockdowns

Socialization Skills Puppy Class

Socialization Skills is a puppy-focused program that incorporates a safe introduction to obstacles to climb on, through and under, with puppy problem solving/prevention and interactions with other pups.

Program Content

Socialization Skills is a program all about fun and positive exposure to new obstacles, surfaces, miniature agility equipment and interactions. It’s a perfect way to build confidence in your puppy and build your relationship, too!

We will introduce new equipment each week, as well as elements of socialization and problem prevention that are too often forgotten – for example, preventing and identifying sensitivity to sound and resource guarding, and prep for the vet and groomer. We’ll also have time for a Q&A on common puppy troubles, and interactions between pups!

Students will also receive access to the All Things Puppies! online resource classroom for easy at-home reference.

Are you looking for manners and obedience training? Check out the Foundation Life Skills program! These two programs are different and can be completed concurrently.

Eligibility/Requirements

Puppies:

  • Maximum 15wks at the time of your first class (enrol early, especially large breeds!)
  • Age-appropriately vaccinated (notably Parvovirus and Distemper), and veterinary documentation must provided
  • Deworming documentation must be provided
  • Pups must be in their homes for at least 7 days prior to their first class

Owners:

  • Up to two family members per dog may attend each class. This may be subject to change in light of COVID risk factors.

Program Details

Sunday at 2pm with Kathleen
Masks are required for Sunday classes

$239+HST
Four consecutive weeks (skipping holiday weekends if applicable)

Flexible Start Date

You can start class any time space is available!

  1. Submit the registration form below. We’ll confirm the next available start date.
  2. Once your start date is selected, submit payment within 24hrs of receiving the invoice to confirm your spot

Join us for Socialization Skills!

Check eligibility/requirements prior to registration

Contact the office if you have questions.

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.

All-Ages Life Skills – Program Options

The Life Skills Series is your go-to for manners and obedience!

The Foundation Life Skills Program, in-person or virtual, will get you started right with your puppy or new adoption of any age. (Or maybe your old dog want to learn new tricks!)

From there, work through the Advanced Life Skills Programs for an intensive focus on advanced skill-building for distractions, come when called, stay, leave it and more!

Foundation Life Skills Program (In-Person)

In-Person Life Skills is great for those living in or near Guelph who enjoy the accountability that comes with a in-person interaction, and whose schedule allows for weekly classes in this six-class program.

Advanced Life Skills Series (In-Person)

The Advanced Life Skills Series is made up of multiple programs that you can attend in any order for a deep-dive into advanced application and skill-building of concepts introduced in the Life Skills Foundation program.

Foundation Life Skills Program (Virtual)

Virtual Life Skills is perfect for pandemic safety, for those living outside of Guelph, and owners with hectic or unpredictable schedules! Get started on-demand and receive personal feedback on your training for the duration of the 8-week program.

Puppy Party: Socialization & Play Group Drop-off

Puppy Play is now included in the Socialization Skills Program so Puppy Parties are not currently on the schedule. Click here for details and registration for Socialization Skills!

THIS is what you get to bring home from a Puppy Party!

A Puppy Party: Socialization & Play Drop-off is the ideal way to socialize your puppy while social distancing!

Drop your pup off at our door, and we’ll take your puppy for a session of play, fun, socialization, confidence building and more. At the end of the Puppy Party, come back to our door for a minimum-contact pick up of your zonked out puppy.

Wondering about letting your 8wk old pup out to play? Check out this position statement from the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behaviour.

Want more Puppy Party videos? Check out this YouTube Playlist!

The Details:

  • For puppies to start between 8-18wks, until they age out of the program (dependant on size, development, and play skills)
  • Puppies must:
    • be kept up-to-date on age-appropriate vaccinations
    • be dewormed
    • have appropriate health documentation (below)
    • have been in your home at least 7 days prior to the Puppy Party
    • wear a body harness (why?)

Strict Health Documentation Requirements:

Health documentation is STRICTLY required with no exceptions nor credit/refund for failing to provide:

  • At least ONE set of vaccinations for Parvovirus/Distemper, administered by a veterinarian
  • Deworming

This must be provided in advance in one of the following ways:

  • Photo/scan of your puppy’s vet papers, showing vaccination and deworming
  • An email from your vet clinic stating that your puppy has received the above

Pricing

Standard Rate: $38+HST

Special Discount for those attending classes with Scratch and Sniff: $28 +HST

Register for a Puppy Party!

  1. Read the FAQ here
  2. Book your Play Group below!
    – For SHY or SMALL puppies: Book the EARLY group
    – For BOLD or LARGE puppies: Book the LATER group
    Your puppy may need to be moved between groups depending on the other puppies present in each
  3. Email the required Health Documentation (vaccination AND deworming) to the office immediately
  4. Check your email for instructions.

Book Your Puppy Party!

If a party is full, check back later – New parties may be added to accommodate high enrolment.

If your puppy exhibits any sign of illness in advance of a party (for example, lethargy, gastrointestinal or respiratory symptoms), please do not attend and contact the office immediately.

Puppy Play is now included in the Socialization Skills Program so Puppy Parties are not currently on the schedule. Click here for details and registration for Socialization Skills!

VIRTUAL All-Ages Life Skills: Foundations

Dog training in the age of Social Distancing…
it CAN be done!

The COVID-19 pandemic has created lots of barriers in our lives, but luckily we can achieve the same great training results with the wonders of modern technology!

Virtual Life Skills is an all-ages manners and obedience program, appropriate for puppies and adult dogs alike – with the BONUS All Things Puppy Classroom for puppies under 6mo!

Who says learning can’t happen on the couch?

We will cover topics including:

  • Come when called
  • Settle and stay on a mat
  • Polite leash walking
  • Dealing with distractions
  • Polite greetings with people
  • Prevent running out the front door
  • Impulse control around food
  • Preventing “Counter surfing”
  • And more!

How Does Virtual Life Skills Training Work?

Using a virtual classroom called Google Classrooms, you will be guided through training exercises with video demonstrations, verbal descriptions and written instructions. You will also receive entirely personalized feedback on your training from your instructor! This is NOT just a video tutorial.

Each exercise is broken down into easy-to-follow steps, and you will receive personalized support and guidance as you train your dog.

  • Train at your own pace and on your own schedule
  • Join class any time
  • Eight weeks access to dynamic content and personal guidance and training support
  • Access to the handy reference manual after your program is completed which includes written and video instructions for all training exercises

Technology requirements are:

  • A basic understanding of computer/internet use, including recording a video
  • Internet capacity that allows for watching and uploading videos
  • A computer, phone or tablet that:
    • Has a functional microphone
    • Has a functional camera
    • Can connect to the internet

Read the FAQ for more important details

The All Things Puppy Classroom!

Puppy students receive free access to the All Things Puppy Classroom for information on socialization and problem prevention that is specific to puppies – including guidance on nipping, house training, crate training and more!

Try out Google Classroom before you register!

You are encouraged to access the test classroom and familiarize yourself with how the platform works before registering. Simply:

Register for Virtual Life Skills!

This program is not interchangeable with the in-person Life Skills Program. You cannot transfer between programs after registration.

$295+HST

Start on demand!

Top-up your program timeframe: $60+HST/2 weeks (available only to current students)