Flash Sale! Foundation Skills 10% Off Till Canada Day 2022

To celebrate this Canada Day, we’re having a sale!

Worried about missing a class?

Our dog training classes are Start Anytime, so even if you’re away for a few cottage trips, you can jump back in when you return. The foundation skills program includes 6 modules that can be taken in any order, at any location, with any instructor, as long as they are completed within 3 months. That means you’ll have an array of daytime, evening, and weekend classes to choose from until the end of September. Loads of time to fit those 6 classes in.

With a maximum of 4 dogs per foundation skills class, you’ll get plenty of attention from our certified instructors. The program covers all the skills your dog will need for your summer social events! Polite greetings, coming when called, and walking on a loose leash are all covered in detail.

Check out more details on the curriculum here.

Origin Story: How Andre Yeu Got Into Dog Training

Tanner was a Beagle we rescued from a neglect situation and temporarily fostered in 1995

Families of the Chinese diaspora did not own dogs back in the 80s and early 90s. To my parents, dogs caused allergies and were messy. With the exception of one summer when we temporarily fostered a purebred Beagle named Tanner, the thought of asking for a dog growing up was unthinkable.

Finally, My Very Own First Dog

Tanner had a real influence on me, because nearly ten years later, living in Toronto, I would adopt my own Beagle and finally become a dog parent. The office manager at the company I worked for at the time was peppering me with rescue dog listings every day. One morning, Duke the Beagle’s listing crossed my inbox.

Not knowing anything about anything at the time, I was amazed to see a pure-bred, CKC registered Beagle in rescue. I thought back to Tanner and how awesome it would be to actually get to keep the dog I rescued this time!

I also thought that pure-breed dogs in rescue must be rare (ha!), so I quickly forwarded the listing to my partner, and that night, we discussed the economics (yes, we could afford doggy daycare every day, and a large budget for veterinary bills, food, insurance, everything!). We applied and were approved, and in very short order, the date was set to meet Duke and pick him up from his current owner.

Duke was owned by a hunter that kept him outdoors with multiple Beagles. He lived in a concrete floored kennel, kept in with a chainlink fence, and he had an uninsulated, unheated wood dog house he shared with his hunting mates. The owner was rehoming him because he wasn’t a great hunting dog, although he also said he didn’t get along with the others in his pack.

As an outdoor dog, he smelled absolutely terrible. He loved hunting though, because when we took him out of the kennel, he immediately dragged us to the hunter’s pickup truck trying to climb into the tailgate. He probably only knew two things – waiting in the kennel, and going to hunt.

Driving our new rescue dog home from the country

Today though, he’d be riding on the inside of our car with the passengers and moving to King West, and because he stank so badly, we went straight to the local doggy spa to get him washed and cleaned up.

I felt a tremendous sense of responsibility for Duke the moment we signed the paperwork and he became ours. I fell in love with him immediately. How could this be? It’s like there was a spot in my heart waiting for him to plug into.

I Did Everything Wrong

The first month or two of having Duke was the “honeymoon” period. He was excited to meet dogs on the street, (he’d spin in circles whenever one approached, and loved playing with them). We introduced him to many of our friends and neighbours and he got along with everyone. The rescue had told us to take obedience classes, and we were given the instructions to “go to places that train with food”, so we took him to classes at Who’s Walking Who (in the Distillery District at the time).

But during that time, I made so many mistakes.

Two days after bringing him home, we were walking him and going for groceries at the Liberty Village Metro. My partner, Hyedie, went inside to buy groceries while I waited outside with Duke. There was a large white dog (I later learned the dog was an intact male Dogo Argentino) tied up to a post. Duke wanted to go meet him, and I ignorantly let him. That tied up dog full on attacked Duke, latching onto him and biting, causing an ear tear. Duke managed to break away, escaping his ill-fitting collar, and literally tried to scale up a wall to escape. Passerbys were so upset by what they saw. I collected Duke and went home and felt like an absolute failure.

Duke had separation anxiety, so we were taking him to doggie daycare full-time. The first couple of weeks, he pulled to go in, and was excited to see some of his friends. We’d watch as he played with the dogs that were already inside. But over time, we noticed he started getting reluctant to go inside, and eventually he started to anchor and refused. Maybe Duke doesn’t like daycare anymore, we thought? (Duh!) We later learned that he was getting into fights with other dogs he disliked in the daycare, and the daycare staff would sequester, muzzle, and admonish him when he got into fights. He was on a citronella collar every day there.

Naturally, it was around this time instead of meeting dogs and spinning in circles into play bows, he started stiffening up, and then lunging and biting at their necks. First it was just on leash, and then it started happening at Trinity Bellwoods off-leash. He instigated a fight, chasing a French Bulldog. The Frenchie’s owner picked his dog up to shield him from Duke and when everyone was separated, we discovered that Duke caused a facial puncture to the Frenchie. Owners were mortified. We left the park in tears.

People gave us advice. Our dog walker loaned us his entire DVD set of Cesar Milan. To us, it sounded like a bunch of pseudo-science so after an episode or two, we tossed it. I bought a few books, one of which was so ridiculous, it had us eat food from his bowl before he could eat as part of a rank reduction program (Duke looked really sad, he loved food). Our vet (at the time, he was a terrible vet!) told us to pin him and make him submit. We tried that advice that night. Duke was a good boy – instead of biting us in the face, like most dogs would, he just cried. We stopped right away and felt like absolute trash.

I remember feeling extremely conflicted. I loved Duke so much, but he was causing us so much stress, and became a source of conflict between Hyedie and I. We argued over him and his reactions while on walks, and the dog fights at the park.

Good Advice

Fortunately, some of the advice we got was good! We met Julie Posluns at the park (now, the founder of Cat School), who at the time, was a full-time dog walker, and she taught us how to strengthen and reinforce Duke’s recall, so we could cue him to come back to us before he got in trouble. She also taught us how to teach him to fetch (give him a treat for bringing the ball back, duh!) which also gave him alternative behaviours to do while exercising at the dog park.

Around that time as well, the office staff at Who’s Walking Who referred us to Joan Weston, who we hired for a consult, where we learned about counter-conditioning and the value of a ziploc bag of boiled chicken breast. We also picked up Calming Signals by Turid Rugaas, so we could understand what Duke was saying non-verbally, and also Feisty Fido by Patricia McConnell and Karen London– the first of many books that I would order from Dogwise.

Progress wasn’t linear, but there was no question that by learning more, and training properly, Duke was getting better. We also tackled his separation anxiety, in a systematic fashion, and we were able to leave him loose in the home without incident or destruction. Walks in King West became enjoyable again, and we were able to bring him back to two more levels of group classes.

(In the 2007 training video above, despite the fact that my marker timing was off, my mechanical skills were sloppy, and I was training Duke in an over-threshold state, he still improved!)

But, always wanting more for him, I kept learning, kept studying, and kept searching. Eventually that led to my decision to enroll in the Karen Pryor Academy Dog Trainer Professional program in 2009, and the rest is history.

Duke’s Legacy – My Origin Story

I founded When Hounds Fly so that pet parents who end up caring for dogs like Duke get the best information as fast as possible, and can avoid making the mistakes I made. This is why I wrote (and we give away for free!) our Manual for New Foster/Adopted Dog Owners. If I had read it the day I picked Duke up, I wouldn’t have put him in many of the situations that likely caused him to become dog aggressive in the first place.

And for those that feel that same conflict – unconditional love for their dog, but a ton of stress and frustration, and the resulting feelings of guilt, I want them to get the right information right away, and not waste even a single day reading about dominance, rank reduction, or aversive training methods. This is why I recorded (and give away for free) a 90 minute webinar on Leash Reactivity. I know it has helped already, because I get emails and DMs from people thanking me for releasing that information, and that it’s already helped make their walks more enjoyable again.

Our team has done thousands of 1-on-1 lessons to help reactive dog owners over the last decade, and the next step in our plan is to launch Reactive Dog group classes in Spring 2022. Reactive Dog group classes require a lot of space and resources, and When Hounds Fly finally has both the space and the people to make it happen. Duke would have really benefited from them.

Thank you Duke, for being patient with me. I knew nothing the day you entered my life. I did the best I could for you. I’d do it again in a heartbeat (and much better this time). I love you and miss you every day.

Duke the Beagle at 3 years old

Duke the Beagle at 14 years old

Becoming a Dog Trainer in 2021 – Why Now?

As I write this, Ontario is in the middle of battling the second wave of Covid-19, and we’re all under a Province-wide Stay at Home order. All of our dog training facilities are closed, and economists are suggesting to get ready for a “double-dip” recession (don’t expect a Spring economic recovery).

Despite that, I’m here to suggest now is the best time ever to consider switching careers and pursue pet dog training, whether it’s a side-hustle, a passion project, or all-in as full-time employment or starting your own business.

I started When Hounds Fly in the last recession – the 2008/2009 recession caused by the sub-prime mortgage collapse in the US. At the time, I worked in sales for a large US technology firm, and no one was hitting their quota, no one was buying, and the sales pipeline looked pretty grim. Hero one day, zero another, and I found myself unemployed late 2009.

A global recession was the perfect time to pursue dog training! Really! It was time to follow my passion. I had only owned a dog for about three years at the time (although I was forced to learn very fast, as my first dog was severely dog reactive and had severe separation anxiety!)

The same conditions that made it an easy decision for me to go all-in back in 2009 are almost the same now in 2021. Here are two similarities:

Pet Spending Increases During Recessions

In 2008, as people had less certainty in terms of earnings, spending, and budget, people held off on big purchases (expensive vacations and other luxuries) and instead put their spending on their pets.  And, rather than get cheaper with their pets (buying lower-cost food, reducing veterinary care, buying less toys and accessories), spending in these categories increased.

America’s Spending on Pets Continues to Increase (2010)

4 Reasons the Pandemic is a Boon for the Pet Industry (2020)

The “Dog Parent” Generation

Millennials continue to trend towards having less kids (or delaying), and in their place, more dogs. Survey after survey shows that pet dog owners get a lot of joy out of spending on toys, treats, clothing, and experiences for their pet dogs. An important part of that is investing time and money for enrichment of their dog’s quality of life – for which training and mental stimulation is a crucial part of the equation.

Pets replace progency for hesitant millenials (2019)


And finally, here are two trends that are unique to 2021 that make the pet industry poised for even more growth than previous recessions:

Work from Home/Work from Anywhere

A common reason for people to delay getting a dog is being away from home for long hours. Previously, that would altogether prevent people from getting a dog, or require considerable budget for daytime care options (typically dog walkers or dog daycares). With the shift to work from home/work from anywhere, this primary barrier is removed for many and has caused a major increase in the demand and purchasing of pet dogs.

This is the Future of Remote Work in 2021: Remote Work Becomes Permanent

How Covid Accelerated a 20 Year Surge in Demand for Pets

Reduced Travel

The second unique characteristic of 2020 and 2021 is the continued reduction in global travel/tourism due to the pandemic. If you’re not going to be travelling around the world for 4-6 weeks this year, or possibly the next two, for many, now’s the time to get that dog you’ve always wanted.


For all these reasons, I think it’s safe to say the demand for training and enrichment-related products and services for pet dogs is going to continue to grow into 2021 and beyond – and if you’ve been thinking about a career change, now’s the time to make the move.

Going back to 2009, when it was time for me to go all-in, I invested in taking the six-month long Dog Trainer Professional program with the Karen Pryor Academy to earn my KPA Certified Training Partner (KPA CTP) designation. Taking a comprehensive program is crucial, as too many self-taught dog trainers (that these days just watch YouTube videos) are missing crucial details that often make their advice ineffective, or harmful. It also acts as a signal to the market that you’re the real thing.

Karen Pryor Academy Dog Trainer Professional Program in Toronto – Spring 2021

One thing that is very different than 2009 though – I am pleased to announce that the flagship Dog Trainer Professional (DTP) program will be available locally here in Toronto! Back in 2009, you either had to travel to Ottawa or Upstate New York to take it. In 2020, as I joined the Karen Pryor Academy as a faculty member, we’ll now be running it out of When Hounds Fly starting Spring 2021.

I remember clear as day – it was around the completion of Workshop 2 that I began looking for commercial space for our first location – which we still have to this day at 1108 Dundas Street West – so that we’d open roughly as I was completing the Karen Pryor Academy program.

Since that time, I have seen countless pet dog owners in group classes, or privately 1-on-1. I’ve helped dozens of shy puppies come of their shell, helped many struggling owners get a handle on their rambunctious teenagers, and helped lost, desperate owners struggling with some very serious issues get some relief and see success.

I haven’t always been able to help everyone have a successful outcome, but I know that the vast majority of times, I’ve been able to help achieve our mission of strengthening relationships between a dog and their owner.

Over ten years after the start of my journey, I am excited about the opportunity to pay it forward and help the next generation of positive reinforcement dog trainers!

The KPA DTP program is for dog trainers that wish to take their clicker training knowledge to the next level. Veterinary staff (vet techs and veterinarians alike) and pet care professionals (dog walkers, dog daycare staff) with a strong interest in clicker training also benefit from this program.

About the Author

Andre Yeu is the founder of When Hounds Fly. He is one of only two Canadians to be part of the prestigious Karen Pryor Academy Faculty.

In Spring 2021, he’ll be teaching Karen Pryor Academy’s flagship Dog Trainer Professional (DTP) program in Toronto. The DTP program is regarded by many as the gold standard for dog training in the industry.

Classroom Re-Opening Rules – Last Update – May 31, 2022

 

We are confident in our ability to run safe, effective, and enjoyable classroom experiences during the Covid-19 Pandemic. Part of the success of our classes is thanks to our students! Please see below for the latest operating procedures:

Rule One: Symptomatic or Vulnerable? Stay Home

If with less than 24 hours notification you come down with Covid-19 symptoms or test positive for Covid-19, if you email the office at info@whenhoundsfly.com BEFORE your class starts, you may receive a credit return. We will return a single class credit, but you are responsible for removing any future bookings that fall within any mandated isolation period. Retroactive requests will not be accepted.

Rule Two: Dog OK for Group Class?

Virtual lessons or private lessons allowed fearful, anxious, or even aggressive dogs to learn key foundation skills. In-Person group classes are not the right place for them and are not permitted – we reserve the right to make the decision to remove them from class. Home school them and they’ll be happier too.

Rule Three:  24 Hour Cancellation Policy

Students may book classes up to 10 weeks into the future (and plan their entire Puppy Socialization or Foundation Skills program).

Our strict 24 Hour Cancellation Policy still applies – Cancellations must be done online via our calendaring system.

Cancellations via Email, verbal, or requests via Social Media not accepted. For details regarding our Booking Window and Cancellation Policy, please click here.

Rule Four: Be Punctual

Please arrive 5-10 minutes before your scheduled start time.

Please be on time as if you are late, you may not be permitted in your class, nor will you be given a makeup credit.

Rule Five: Masks Optional

Effective June 1, 2022, we will be making Face Masks optional.
Students may request the instructor wear one, as instructors are more likely to be in close proximity to a student (vs. other students).

Rule Six: Use Positive Reinforcement

Rude or inconsiderate behaviour affects the classroom experience for other students and the instructor, and won’t be tolerated! Furthermore, this applies to interactions with our Client Experience team outside of the classroom. We value the well-being of our team members and also the classroom environment, and this kind of behaviour will result in the immediate expulsion of the student with no refunds.

We believe that the best way to teach and reinforce desired behaviour is through positive reinforcement – for people, that’s about expressing your needs clearly, and also being considerate, gracious, and patient.

With gratitude,

Andre Yeu

Founder, When Hounds Fly

When Hounds Fly’s Core Values

As we got ready to celebrate our 10th year in operations, our team got together to reflect on what we do, how we do it, and what’s important to us. We collaboratively defined a list of core values that we’d like to share for all to see, and hold us accountable to:

In our conduct, we strive to uphold the following values:

ABOVE ALL, POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT
We believe Positive Reinforcement is the most effective way to change behaviour, therefore, it is core to our dog training curriculum, but also how we seek to change behaviour in our clients, ourselves, and each other.

YES, Above All, Positive Reinforcement

ALWAYS LEVELLING UP
We endeavour to make every aspect of our company better tomorrow than it was today. That extends to our curriculum, our knowledge, our skills, our operations, and our facilities.

Clicker Training a Donkey…

ELEVATE THE PROFESSION
We regard ourselves as professionals that conduct ourselves with honesty, integrity, and autonomy. We aim to raise the bar by which the community at-large regards the dog training profession.

Invited to speak at University of Toronto Psychology courses

ALL FOR ONE, ONE FOR ALL
We believe that we are stronger and better together as a team, than individuals. We endeavour to strengthen our bonds as a team.

 

HAVE FUN
Our work should be enjoyable and we should always try to have fun in our work both in the classroom, with our clients 1-on-1, and working (and playing!) with each other.

HEALTH AND WELLNESS
To meet our promises to our clients and each other, we invest in lifestyle choices that promote health and wellness.

WELCOME DIVERSITY
We welcome all people to be their authentic selves both in our classroom and on our team. This includes, but is not limited to, welcoming people of all age, creed, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, ability, race, or place of origin.

At ClickerExpo 2019

IF YOU CAN CLICKER TRAIN IT, DON’T EAT IT
We believe that humane training is just as important as a healthy diet, physical exercise, a loving home, and veterinary care. Our commitment to animal welfare extends to the treatment of other species, which is why many of our staff and volunteers are vegetarian or vegan.

When we eat together, it’s vegetarian or vegan, every time!

 

Scientific Consensus in Dog Training

In our field, there is consensus amongst those that study the science, that aversive training methods are harmful, and that we should all endeavor to use as much positive reinforcement as possible when teaching our animals.

It is a myth that there is “a divide” amongst experts when it comes to training our dogs. Because if you look at what the science says, look at what the research says, and what the evidence says, there is no debate.

Your Facts are Just Your Opinion

“I don’t believe in science, it’s just your opinion!” – in 1920

“I don’t believe in climate change, it’s just a theory!”

“I don’t believe in evolution, it’s just a belief!”

“I don’t believe in using positive reinforcement, its just one of many ways to train a dog!”

What needs to be made clear, and in firm language, is that there are hard facts that dictate our bias towards using positive reinforcement. If you understand these facts, then the path is clear.

Here Are Some Facts

Fact 1:  Dogs trained with negative reinforcement show more stress-related behaviors during training, and have higher levels of cortisol in their saliva (Reward-based training group dogs showed no changes in cortisol), and when testing for mood after the fact, the more punishment a dog has received in the negative reinforcement group, the more pessimistic it is.  (Vieira de Castro AC, Fuchs D, Pastur S, et al. Does training method matter?: Evidence for the negative impact of aversive-based methods on companion dog welfare.)

Schematic for the Cognitive Bias Test in Viera de Castro’s Study

Positive Reinforcement-based training achieves better results and also does not cause elevated stress or anxiety. So, if you’re choosing how to teach your dog to sit, stay, and walk nice on a leash, why wouldn’t you choose the method that is both effective but also brings joy to your dog and doesn’t make them depressed?

Fact 2:  When using confrontational or aversive methods to train aggressive pets, veterinary researchers have found that most of these pets will continue to be aggressive (Herron, Frances S. Shofer and Ilana R. Reisner)

Dogs that are aggressive towards people or other animals are usually acting out of fear, so the science suggests we should use systematic desensitization, counter-conditioning, and the differential reinforcement of incompatible behaviours. We teach dogs how to feel at ease in situations, without the threats of a prong collar or shock collar.

The science supports our practice as well – We setup educational environments to avoid triggering the fight-or-flight response. Learners (dogs included, of course) learn best when their parasympathetic nervous system is active (the rest and digest response) – this cannot be possible under the threat of a leash correction or shock.

The claim that “red zone” or “aggressive” dogs cannot be helped unless you use harsh training techniques is perhaps the most harmful of all of the incorrect information out there today.

Neuroscience dictates that our learners do best when they feel safe, so why involve training tools that are proven to cause elevated stress?

Logical Fallacies

One of the benefits of working with people who take an interest in science is they usually understand how to construct logical arguments. On the flipside, those who operate “intuitively” usually are very difficult to talk to because they lack the ability to construct a cohesive argument.

Usually, what you are presented with is a lot of logical fallacies and some pseudo-science:

“OMG you would rather have the dog die than give a single harsh correction?” (No, those aren’t the only options usually, thank you Mr. False Dilemma)

“I’ve saved X-number of dogs using e-collars, they are lifesaving” (Thank you, Ms. Anecdotal Evidence, I was also spanked as a child, I turned out OK…)

Credibility Should Be More Than Number of Instagram Followers

Rachael speaking to Dr. Jill Sackman, Veterinary Behaviorist, at 2019 seminar on effective behaviour modification techniques and psychopharmacology

At When Hounds Fly, we don’t rely on tradition, intuition, one’s personal experience alone, or other unproven methods. Our approach relies on scientific evidence for guidance and decision making. With the proliferation of knowledge that is available, one can’t be expected to know everything about everything, therefore, we learn from people who:

  • Have Ph.Ds in relevant fields (Psychology, Neuroscience, Biology, Veterinary Medicine)
  • Have written published papers or books on the subject
  • Have received training, supervision, or endorsement from others with a similar background
  • Have credentials that are difficult to obtain and demonstrate a high level of knowledge (i.e. a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist, requires one to have a doctoral degree, usually veterinary medicine, plus five years of experience working in applied animal behavior)

Our team with Kathy Sdao, applied animal behaviorist with 30 years of experience teaching animals ranging from marine mammals to pet dogs

 

Guest Presenting at 100-Level Psychology Class at University of Toronto

The problem with the world we live in today is that the largest distributors of information – Google (and YouTube), Facebook (and Instagram), and Twitter, are for-profit organizations that generate revenue by keeping users addicted to their platforms.

On Instagram, a dog rescue group with 10,000 followers has more clout than a Veterinary Behaviorist with only 1000 followers, and when the rescue’s social media manager, who relies on intuition and anecdotal evidence only, suggests that “Balanced Training, using all training tools equally, is the best way”, that makes it seem like there’s a debate, when in fact there should be none. But, in the eyes of Facebook and Instagram’s algorithm… it’s fit for publishing and promoting on your feed, and there’s no mechanism for verifying whether it’s the truth.

My wish for 2020 is that proponents of aversive training methods be relegated to the same category as anti-vaxxers, climate-change deniers, flat-earthers, or Holocaust deniers. Just look at the science, and it’s clear that their messages do not belong on the same footing as practices like ours which are evidence-based.

Do your own research, look into the credibility of the presenter, and where the evidence comes from – and do not assume that what appears on your social media feed is truth, because some of it is probably harmful or just plain incorrect.

Closed March 21 – 25, 2019 Inclusive

Thanks for visiting our web site!
No classes or orientations are scheduled from March 21  – 25 inclusive as the entire teaching staff at When Hounds Fly are at ClickerExpo in Washington, DC.

We look forward to bringing back what we learn to improve our students’ learning experiences.

Please note, any admission forms or applications will not be responded to until we’re back and running on Tuesday March 26th. So please be patient!

Ecovacs Deebot N79 and N79S – Red Light and Four Beeps Error

We own a total of three Ecovacs Deebot N79 / N79S robot vacuum cleaners and we use them daily at When Hounds Fly.

As a dog training school, upwards of 30 different dogs may come per day for classes. It’s a LOT of fur and dander and lint and sand and dust!

Despite this, our N79s were giving us great service for many months until suddenly they all started giving the “Red Auto Light / Four Beep” error.

They would run for about 2 minutes and suddenly stop dead in its tracks and give off the error.

Initially our research showed it was a battery issue. So, we spend weeks playing with charging dock positions, cleaning the charge contacts, etc. and nothing seemed to stick.

After a while I had a guess that it was due to hair/fur accumulation in the beater brush and after giving it a thorough cleaning, I was really happy to see the robots perform again good as new.

All it takes is removal of four tiny phillips screws (Update on 6/20/2019 – You don’t actually have to unscrew the clean that piece, it’s not critical), and a flathead screw driver to help with removing the front wheel. I shot a video of me cleaning one of our Deebot N79 vacuums for you to see.

Hope this helps and keeps your Deebot working for many years to come and out of the landfill!

*Update on 6/20/2019* – One of our three Deebots actually stopped working, even after thorough cleaning. I logged a ticket with Ecovacs support and after going through some basic troubleshooting, they authorized me to send it back for a warranty replacement. But, before going through that hassle, honestly, just try thoroughly cleaning your Deebot and you may be surprised!*

Going to Training Camp! Fenzi Dog Sports Academy 2018

Fenzi Dog Sports Academy

When Hounds Fly is closed from Thursday May 31 to Monday June 4 inclusive because most of us will be attending the Fenzi Dog Sports Academy Training Camp 2018 in Wilmington, Ohio!

We look forward to learning from the brightest minds in Dog Sports training from disciplines such as Agility, Obedience, Nosework, and Canine Freestyle.

We are never satisfied; always trying to level up 🙂

In the meantime, please note that we will generally NOT be checking emails or admissions forms, so please be patient and we’ll be getting back to your inquiries after June 4th.

In the meantime, this weekend, check out:

Dundas West Fest Saturday June 2

Pape Village SummerFest Saturday June 2

Is my dog playing, bullying, or fighting?

In our Puppy Socialization classes, one of the lessons we try to teach new puppy owners is how to recognize the signs of appropriate and healthy play between dogs.

On one hand, we have some owners that are “helicopter parents” and at the onset of anything more physical than polite sniffing, they feel like their dogs are in mortal danger.

On the otherhand, we have some owners who believe their dog who is bullying or over-aroused is just playing with good intentions, and we are being too uptight. “Let dogs be dogs, let them work it out”, they’d say.

As instructors, our job is to either help those who are worried feel safe that their dog is having a good time – yes that includes facial and ear nips and tumbling and wrestling.

Our job is also to identify when a dog is getting overaroused, or is *not* picking up on the cutoff (please stop!) signals of other dogs and to interrupt or time-out.

To help our students (and anyone, anywhere!) we commissioned Hyedie Hashimoto to create an infographic. Please download a copy and print it off for your dog training facility, dog daycare, dog park – wherever it might be useful!

PDF: whf_appropriateplay

PNG: whf_approriateplay