Our popular Life Skills program is now offered in multiple formats! This program is perfect for puppies, new dogs, adolescents, and new adoptions. We cover all “the basics” of manners training and easier living with your dog! You can find full content details on each program webpage.
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.
In-Person Life Skills is great for those living in or near Guelph who enjoy the accountability that comes with a in-person, weekly interaction, and whose schedule allows for consecutive classes for this six-week program. Students attending in-person group classes are required to show proof of full vaccination against COVID-19.
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.
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
Email the required Health Documentation (vaccination AND deworming) to the office immediately
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.
Winter Weather Notice: Be prepared to travel to your Party during winter driving conditions. Parties will be cancelled only in the most extreme weather circumstances.
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.
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!
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”
See what students say about our various virtual training programs!
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
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!
Want to try out Google Classroom?
You are encouraged to access the test classroom and familiarize yourself with how the platform works before registering. Simply:
Sign in to Google or click here if you don’t have an account
COVID-19 vaccination is required for students attending in-person group classes
Masks are mandatory, and must cover the nose and mouth, no vents or neck gaiters. Virtual or distanced outdoor private training is the best option for those who are uncomfortable or unable to wear a mask.
ONE person per dog until further notice. Family members may switch off each class. Proof of vaccination must be provided for anyone attending class.
In case of ANY COVID-related closure or absence, including illness, quarantine or isolation, your program will transfer directly to the Virtual Life Skills Program. No refund, credit or other service will be provided in this circumstance.
Your program will run for six consecutive weeks from the confirmed start date (save for clearly stated holidays/cancellations). Make-up classes are not available, and students can keep up in the online resource classroom.
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 will be put on hold until recovery is confirmed. Please leave additional availability after your program to accommodate possibility of this safety procedure.
Your start date will be confirmed upon registration.
Winter Weather Notice: Be prepared to travel to class during winter driving conditions. Classes will not be cancelled unless weather is truly extreme.
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.
Full COVID vaccination is required for students to attend in-person group classes. If you are not fully vaccinated, check out the Virtual Life Skills Program!
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.
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…
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.
Proof of full COVID-19 vaccination is required for students attending in-person group classes
Masks that cover the nose/mouth and without vents are strictly mandatory when indoors and sanitizer is provided
No vented masks or bandanas.
Small group class size
Frequent cleaning and disinfection of the premises