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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)

IN-PERSON All-Ages Life Skills: Foundations

Life Skills is an all-ages manners and obedience program, appropriate for puppies, adolescents and adult dogs alike.

(If you have a new pup, also check out the Socialization Skills Puppy Class!)

We will cover topics such as:

  • 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
  • Prevent “Counter surfing”
  • And more!

What you get…

  • Orientation Webinar to watch before getting started
  • Six weekly group classes with a flexible start date selection
  • Classroom Visuals for clear instruction during class time
  • Life Skills Online Resource Classroom including written instructions, videos of training exercises and bonus training exercises
  • Access to the All Things Puppy Classroom for quick answers on common puppy issues, such as house training, nipping, crate training and more (Also check out the Socialization Skills Puppy Class!)

Flexible Start Date

You can start class any time space is available!

  1. Submit the registration form below and specify your preferred class day. We’ll confirm the next available start date.
  2. Once your start date is selected, submit payment within 24hrs to confirm your spot

What you need to know:

For additional information, read the Group Class FAQs:

  • TWO people per dog. This may be subject to change in response to changing COVID risk.
  • Face masks are not required for weekday classes, and are required for Sunday classes. This policy may change without advanced notice.
  • Do not attend class if you are ill. Ill students will receive access to a Virtual Module in order to receive feedback and support on your training.
  • Your program will run for six consecutive weeks from the confirmed start date (save for clearly stated holidays/cancellations). Students can keep up in the online resource classroom if absent from class.
  • Your new dog/puppy must be living with you for at least 7 days prior to your first class.
  • Documentation of dog vaccination (Parvo/Distemper, Rabies if age appropriate) is required for ALL dogs.
  • Should your instructor become ill class may be put on hold until recovery is confirmed. Please leave additional availability after your program to accommodate possibility of this safety procedure.

Read additional Group Class FAQ here.

Schedule and Pricing:

$295+HST

Tuesday at 5:45pm & 6:45pm with Emily (face masks optional, but appreciated)
Sundays at 3pm with Kathleen (face masks required)

Your start date will be confirmed upon registration.

Weather notice: Classes will only be cancelled in truly extreme weather. Please be prepared for our Ontario winters and leave time to arrive to class safely!

Register for Life Skills!

After reading through this webpage, group FAQ and Policy, complete the form below and you’ll receive confirmation of your start date shortly! If you have questions, contact the office before completing the form.

Payment must be received within 24hrs in order to confirm the time slot offered to you, and vaccination documents must be received prior to your first class

Check your spam folder if you do not see a timely reply.
If you do not see an immediate auto-confirmation of this form in your email, complete the form on a different device. (That means we didn’t get it either!)

Agility (And Then Some!)

Agility is a fantastic activity to build your dog’s confidence, teach her to look to you for direction, and simply have fun. And this program does just that!

Agility (And Then Some!) is geared towards owners having fun with their dogs. The equipment is modified to meet each dog’s skill level, confidence and physical ability, including younger and older dogs. There’s no need for you or your dog to be a top athlete to join class!

In addition to the usual agility obstacles, this program also includes additional exercises and creative obstacles added to each level to make this class much more than a typical agility class!

Requirements and Prerequisites:

  • Dogs must be up-to-date on vaccines
  • Completion of Life Skills 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. (note: see important prerequisite behaviours, below)
  • Owners who have not trained at Scratch and Sniff Canine Services previously will be required to view the Orientation Webinar session prior to class, and possibly attend a free assessment
  • Prerequisite training skills (taught with positive reinforcement/clicker):
    • Hand target (touch)
    • Basic skills in recall, sit, leash walking, leave it/’doggy zen’
    • Must be able to work off leash behind barriers and pass other dogs on leash in a controlled manner – obstacles are completed off leash.
  • Take note that giant breeds may find some obstacles physically difficult – if you have a giant breed, please contact the office to ensure this class is a good choice for your dog
  • Refunds and credit are not available for Specialty Classes.
  • If you need to miss a class, give advanced notice to the office and you can watch the class via ZOOM from home or on recording. 
  • Two handlers per dog (subject to change with COVID rates)

Register for Introduction to Agility!

Starting Mon Jan 16th, 6pm
Five weeks

$295+HST

Register for Next Level Agility!

Starting Mon Jan 16th, 7:15pm
Five weeks

$295+HST

This class is open to anyone who has completed Level One Agility, or has already attended Next Level Agility.

Orientation Webinar

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

View as the prerequisite for group classes and 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!

Note: The date noted is for admin purposes only. By booking here, you will receive an auto-email with Orientation Access.

Check your junk mail then contact the office if you don’t immediately see an email.

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!

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.

How it Works

The Series has five programs you can choose from, outlined below. In each program, we will introduce a Base Behaviour that we will then turn into a wide variety of tricks. Each program will also include an optional assortment of other tricks to add variety to the central theme.

These programs can be taken in any order, and you can also attend one program multiple times to learn additional new tricks! Check the bottom of this page to see which program is on the schedule next!

You will need to acquire your own props for some of these tricks, some props will be available to borrow for use during in-person classes. Prop requirement will be reviewed in class.

“Boot-Scootin’ Back-up Challenge”
Base Behaviour: Back up to step on an object
Example of tricks: long distance reverse, karate kick, backward circle around you, weave through your legs backward, half-hand stand, and more…

“Snoot-Boop Challenge”
Base Behaviour: Nose touch to object
Example of tricks: close a cupboard, target stick, ring a bell, bowling, unroll a carpet, volley ball, put on your harness, and more…

“Snoot-Push Challenge”
Base Behaviour: Nose push (freeze in position)
Example of tricks: blowing bubbles in water, kiss like a seal, puppy dog eyes, finger-moustache, show your front teeth, “The Snoot Challenge”, and more…

“Hold My Beer Challenge”
Base Behaviour: Hold an object
Example of tricks: hold a sign, hold a flag, put your toys away, dunk a basket ball, throw out the garbage, get me a tissue, open the door/close the crate, and more…

“Stompin’ Paws Challenge”
Base Behaviour: Stand on object with front feet
Example of tricks: Feet up on a stool/chair, balance on a ball, press a button/door bell, file your own nails, skateboard, step up on your feet and walk with you, and more…

Additional Tricks
Each class will include an assortment of tricks in addition to the theme of the Base Behaviour. This includes ticks such as: stop punching yourself (dog paws at her face), stand under you, crawl, sit pretty, circle around you, yoga stretch, leg weave (stationary and walking), spin, twist, play dead, and more…

Pre-Requisites

  • Dogs must be up-to-date on all vaccines as recommended by your veterinarian (in-person only)
  • Completion of a foundation program at Scratch and Sniff Canine Services OR an equivalent from another school (note: see important prerequisites, below)
  • Owners who have not trained at Scratch and Sniff Canine Services previously will be required to view the Orientation Webinar session prior to class, and possibly attend a free assessment
  • Prerequisite training skills (taught with positive reinforcement/clicker):
    • Hand target (touch)
    • Basic skills in recall, sit, leash walking, leave it/’doggy zen’
  • Refunds and credit are not available for Specialty Classes.

Schedule

The Boot-Scootin’ Back-up Challenge!

Starting Tues Nov 15th
7:45pm, six consecutive weeks (ends before the holidays)
$295+HST

Book your Spot Now!

Contact the office with questions before registration

  1. Complete the registration form (click button) and review the auto-email
  2. To confirm your spot: payment must be made within 24hrs of receiving the invoice

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

IN-PERSON Sniffer Dogs Level One
Starting Tues Sept 13th, 7:45pm
Six consecutive weeks

$315+HST INCLUDING Scent Kit

For in-person classes: If you need to miss a class, give advanced notice to the office and you can join the class via ZOOM from home. 

Requirements

    • In-Person: Two handlers per dog, depending on COVID risks. that may reduce without warning in case if increasing COVID risks.
    • Virtual: Review technology requirements: Virtual Training FAQs
    • Submitting registration/payment indicates acceptance of the group class policy
  • Prerequisite behaviours, taught with positive/clicker training
    • Hand Target
    • Zen/basic leave it with food in hand
  • Materials
    • Training supplies as outlined in your handouts
    • A Scent Kit, included in the program cost
  • If you have not attended classes at Scratch and Sniff Canine Services, please review the above prerequisite behaviours and contact the office, and view the free Orientation Webinar prior to starting class.

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

Book your spot now!

Contact the office with questions before registration

  1. Complete the registration form (click button), and check your email for instructions
  2. To confirm your spot: payment must be made within 24hrs of receiving the invoice