Tag Archives: training classes

All Ages Life Skills – Program Options

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

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

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.

Puppy Party: Socialization & Play Group Drop-off

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 no-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 up-to-date on age-appropriate vaccinations
    • be dewormed
    • have appropriate health documentation, as outlined below
    • have been in the home at least 7 days prior to the Puppy Party
    • wear a body harness (why?)

Important Health Requirement:

Before your puppy can attend her first Puppy Party, health documentation is STRICTLY required. The following must be in place:

  • Vaccination of at least ONE set of age appropriate vaccines, including Parvo-Distemper
  • Deworming

We can accept the following forms of documentation:

  • A clear photo or scan of your puppy’s vet papers, showing vaccination and deworming
  • An email from your local vet clinic stating that your puppy has received the above

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.

Take note that if this documentation isn’t received prior to your first Puppy Party, your puppy will not be able to attend and credit cannot be transferred/refunded.

Pricing

Standard Pricing: $30+HST (=$33.90 total)

SPECIAL DISCOUNT for puppies in our training classes: $20+HST (=$22.60 total)
Join the All-Ages Life Skills Program, or Private Training to access this discount! Discounts cannot be applied retroactively.

Register Here!

Follow the below steps to register for Puppy Parties!

  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 enrolment.

VIRTUAL All-Ages Life Skills

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!

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
  • 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 get a special discount on Puppy Parties: Socialization and Play Group Drop-off! Click the link for more info!

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:

Watch this demo of Virtual Life Skills!
(Note: the platform and content is the same, however now you can progress through at your own pace. This video will be updated to reflect this shortly!)

Register for Virtual Life Skills!

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

$275+HST

Start on demand!

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

IN-PERSON All-Ages Life Skills

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
  • Life Skills Online Resource Classroom including videos of training exercises and bonus material
  • If there is a COVID related closure, illness or quarantine, you will be transferred directly to Virtual Life Skills to seamlessly complete the program!

Puppies! You get all of the above PLUS:

  • Access to the All Things Puppy Classroom for quick answers on common puppy issues, such as house training, nipping, crate training and more
  • Puppy Play & Socialization A 30% discount on the Puppy Party: Socialization and Play Drop-off

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
  3. Attend SIX consecutive weeks of in-person training classes with your dog

What you need to know:

For additional information, read the Group Class FAQs:

  • 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.
  • Two people per dog from the same household are permitted in the facility – please note that this may be reduced to ONE person should COVID numbers increase.
  • 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 vaccination (Parvo/Distemper, Rabies if applicable) is required for ALL dogs.
  • Because COVID symptoms mimic regular cold and flu, should your instructor become ill class will be put on hold and run an extra week in length. Please leave an extra week of availability after your program to accommodate possibility of this safety procedure.

Read additional Group Class FAQ here.

Schedule and Pricing:

$275+HST

Tuesday at 5:45pm and 6:45pm
Wednesdays at 5:45pm

Start any time space is available and attend six consecutive weeks of class. Your start date will be confirmed upon registration.

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

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.

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.

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 significant social difficulties including: barking/lunging, snarking/snapping upon greeting a dog,  etc. If this describes your dog, please see below for options.
  • Dogs must be up-to-date on all vaccinations as recommended by your veterinarian
  • 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 may 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 and 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

Starting Sept 27th
$275+HST
* The school will be closed for the Thanksgiving Long Weekend, see below for class dates

* Due to similarities between COVID and common cold symptoms, if your instructor is ill with a suspected cold your program will be extended by a week.

Make-up sessions for missed classes 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 for earlier classes and strongly suggested for later classes.

We are planning for TWO handlers per dog to be able to attend class. However be aware that this may be reduced to ONE person without notice should COVID numbers increase.

Book your spot now!

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 joining class, you will attend 6 consecutive weekly classes to complete your full program. The curriculum is specially designed such that classes may be taken in any order.

What happens if I miss a Life Skills 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 of any group program are welcome to purchase a discounted half hour private session to make up that content. This may be required in some specialty programs in order to keep up with the class.

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, 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!

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 if a class is cancelled. If you haven’t heard from the office, assume classes will run.

What are your COVID safety precautions?

  • Masks are mandatory indoors and sanitizer provided, as dictated by WDG Public Health
  • Small group class size and limited attendance
  • Frequent cleaning and disinfection of the premises
  • Social/Physical Distancing in effect
  • Puppy Party Drop-offs prevent contact between owners during high-contact play, while maintaining socialization benefits for your puppy. Drop off your pup, play and socialization will be managed by your trainer, and you bring home a tired puppy!
  • In the event of a COVID-related closure, illness, or quarantine that prevents either the running or attendance of in-person classes, all students will immediately transition seamlessly into the Virtual Life Skills Program to complete their program in an online format.

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