Tag Archives: training classes

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 PupAgility Program and Puppy Parties are not currently on the schedule. Click here for details and registration! in PupAgility!

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 PupAgility Program and Puppy Parties are not currently on the schedule.. Click here for details and registration! in PupAgility

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.

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 clarity of instruction
  • Life Skills Online Resource Classroom including 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

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). 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 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 6:45pm
Wednesdays at 5:45pm
Sundays at 4:05pm (face masks required)

Your start date will be confirmed upon registration.

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!)

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.

Group Training FAQ

Click the arrows to learn more about our IN-PERSON group classes!

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 foundation program, Life Skills, runs in an “open enrolment” format and is always on the calendar (see below), and you may join this program 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 does “open enrolment” work?

You’re welcome to join Life Skills class any time there is a space available! Once in class, you will attend 6 consecutive weekly classes to complete your full program. Any holidays will be clearly indicated, adn the school is closed for long weekends.

What happens if I miss a class?

In the case of a COVID-related shut down, illness, quarantine, students in the In-Person Life Skills program will be transferred into the Virtual Life Skills format to complete their remaining classes. Students will already be familiar with the virtual platform because this is where their at-home reference information is found!

Students with non-COVID related absences, for example scheduling conflicts, can keep up with access to their online Life Skills Online Resource Classroom.

Students in a Specialty Class should alert the office in advance and a ZOOM call will be set up during the class for viewing live or as a recording.

What happens when the school is closed?

All scheduled closures, for example holidays and continuing education events, will noted on the side menu on the webpage, and programs will be scheduled around this.

In the case of a COVID-related shut down, illness, or quarantine, all students in the In-Person Life Skills program will be transferred into the Virtual Life Skills format to complete their remaining classes. Students will already be familiar with the virtual platform because this is where their at-home reference information is found!

Specialty Classes will convert to ZOOM or be put on hold, and this will be made clear on the program webpage.

Do you cancel classes in bad weather?

Very rarely! Unless the roads are truly dire, classes will run. All students affected will be contacted if a class is cancelled. If you haven’t heard from the office, assume classes will run. Please be prepared to drive in our Canadian winters, especially if you choose to travel to the facility from out of town during winter months!

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 presented to you, ask for clarification, 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 properly.

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. Specific behaviours or issues addressed in each class are detailed on program webpages.