Classroom Assistants Wanted

If you’re current working in the pet dog services industry (dog walker, daycare staff, groomer, veterinary staff, etc.) or are a positive reinforcement/clicker training enthusiast, and would like to learn what and how we teach, we welcome you to take a look at our Classroom Assistant program!

In exchange for some basic assistance in the classroom, you’ll be able to see us deliver our curriculum, class structure, and coaching skills.

Currently, we are particularly interested in looking for classroom assistants that would be interested in assisting some of our Reactive Dog Group Classes at our South Etobicoke location, on Tuesday nights, Wednesday afternoons, and Saturday afternoons, which is the only of it’s kind in Toronto. You’ll get to see exactly how we help dogs that are struggling with leash reactivity by assisting.

Learn more about our Classroom Assistant program, and how to apply here:

Dog Trick Seminar with The Ultimutts

Over the Easter long weekend, When Hounds Fly was lucky enough to have Melissa Millett of the Ultimutts come and help us level up our tricks training!

Melissa Millett Say Prayers Trick

Melissa and her colleague (also named Melissa!) brought some of the stars of the Ultimutts team, and we also were able to bring some of our own pups to work with.

DC Titans Krypto Dog

In addition to getting to see Melissa demonstrate her Disc and Freestyle training, she shared insights into her work in TV and Film. In the above photo, she’s working with the Pepsi, the dog actor that plays Krypto, on DC Titans.

For this special event for our team, we were able to also invite two of our training colleagues from the Toronto Humane Society to come enjoy the seminar alongside us.

Thanks again to Melissa and the Ultimutts team for spending time with us!

Photo Credits: Stephanie Tran

Want to teach your dog how to do some awesome tricks?
Join us for Tricks Class, which runs at our South Etobicoke, Dundas West, and Pape Village locations on a Start Anytime basis. As an advanced class, dogs must have passed the Evaluation Module prior to joining us for Tricks Class.

Masks Stay After March 21, 2022

Important Announcement!
After consulting with the entire instructor team, and polling our current and alumni students, and looking at supporting evidence, we are making the decision to continue requiring all participants of our group classes to wear a facemask covering the nose, mouth, and chin.
Like many institutions, such as Ontario universities, we are erring on the side of caution at this time until the effects of lifting restrictions can be assessed in phased approaches. That, coupled with the fact that by mid-April, we will be able to open windows and doors to increase ventilation at our facilities, inform our decision.
Trust us, it’s not easy to teach class for hours while wearing a mask! We can’t wait for the *right* time to no longer require masks in our group classes.
We will revisit the policy on a week-by-week basis and keep everyone updated.
See you in school soon!

Classroom Re-Opening Rules – Last Update – May 10, 2022

Updated May 10, 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 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: Wear Facemasks At All Times

Although our classrooms are relatively large, from time to time, physical distancing will be breached. We are also staying indoors in a confined space (although we will maximize ventilation from outdoors as much as possible) for a duration of close to an hour, while talking. To mitigate the risks of droplets projecting while speaking in an enclosed space, where physical distance recommendations may be breached from time to time, we are mandating the wearing of a facemask at all times by all participants.

Please note, we define facemasks as close fitting to the nose, mouth, and chin, medical, or non-medical. Masks that have exhale valves are not permitted, as are plastic “shield” type masks (either full face or mouth only) as they are not snug enough to the face.

Without a facemask, you will not be permitted in your class, nor will you be given a makeup credit.

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

Webinar: Train Your Own Service Dog 101 – May 21, 7PM

Service animals can be life-changing, providing much-needed freedom to their handlers. Similar to a wheelchair or portable oxygen, service animals allow their handlers to participate fully in society by mitigating effects of a disability.

There are two common ways service dogs are trained:

  • By an organization, where they are raised from birth and trained to a very high level before being placed in a home
  • By an individual, who trains their own dog with the guidance of a trainer

Both of these methods are effective, and both are completely legal and legitimate ways to obtain a service dog.

This webinar will introduce the steps to the second method, answering questions such as:

  • Who could benefit from a dog that has been trained to perform assistance tasks?
  • What resources are required, and what are the qualities of someone who could be successful at training their own service dog?
  • What qualities are required for a dog to be successful at becoming a task-trained service dog?
  • What does a training program for an owner-trained service dog entail?
  • What are the laws regarding Service Dogs and Public Access in the Province of Ontario?

Capacity is limited to 100 on a first-come first serve basis – Please arrive punctually!

If we reach capacity or you miss the live event, don’t worry, we will be recording the webinar for viewing later.

Topic: Training Your Own Service Dog 101

Time: May 21, 2020 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Cost: Free

Join Zoom Meeting:

Meeting ID: 874 3952 9722
Password: 384125

How Do I Socialize My Puppy While Puppy Socialization Classes Are Suspended?

By Erin Britton:

May 11th  Update:

With curbside dropoff/pickup retail permitted – we’re pleased to now be able to offer Puppy Parties – curbside dropoff/pickup socialization – exclusively for our Puppy Socialization class st udents.

April 13th Update:

After reading this article, go check out our Pandemic Puppy page for newer information including our “10 Genius Hacks to Socialize Your Puppy Safely During Covid-19”.

COVID19 is disrupting more than just our human interaction; our dogs are affected too! Some puppies may be isolated during a critical socialization period. How can we continue to give our dogs adequate physical and mental stimulation, as well as positive socialization experiences during this time?

Socialization Done Right

Many people think of a pile of puppies running, wrestling, and playing when they think of socialization. In reality, teaching dogs to mind their social manners is only one part of proper socialization. 

Socialization done right teaches the puppy that the world they live in is safe and fun, through positive experiences with new sights, smells, noises, feelings, and environments.

If you are not currently affected by COVID-19, you MUST still bring your puppy out for socialization experiences:

  • Continue to bring your puppy on walks, exploring new areas, and seeing new dogs. Always supervise interactions closely, and be picky about which dogs your puppy will meet (do you know their vaccination and health status?)
  • Taking your puppy out for walks or outings each and every day still lets you expose them to other dogs in the following way:
    • Sight – Seeing various dogs, how they move, what they look like
    • Sounds – Hearing other dogs bark and make noises
    • Smell – Air scenting as they follow the trail of a dog that was by a few minutes ago
    • On-Leash Greetings – Best advice at this time from health officials would suggest this is not safe, as leashes could quickly get tangled, and then owner(s) would have to break social distancing guidelines to untangle leashes and dogs
  • As soon as permitted to by health authorities: Current Students and Alumni of When Hounds Fly can use our Facebook Group to set up play dates with other puppies from unaffected homes. Similarly, as soon as permitted, we will be hosting Puppy Parties for our students for supervised socialization sessions.
  • Puppies that have not completed their vaccinations can still observe other dogs at a safe distance. They should not be going into the dog park (which are closed at this time), but can be carried nearby to these environments and allowed to observe the sights, sounds, and smells of adult dogs.


From the American Veterinary Medicine Association:

  • If you are not ill with COVID-19, you can interact with your pet as you normally would, including walking, feeding, and playing. You should continue to practice good hygiene during those interactions (e.g., wash hands before and after interacting with your pet; ensure your pet is kept well-groomed; regularly clean your pet’s food and water bowls, bedding material, and toys).
  • Out of an abundance of caution, it is recommended that those ill with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus. Have another member of your household take care of walking, feeding, and playing with your pet. If you have a service animal or you must care for your pet, then wear a facemask; don’t share food, kiss, or hug them; and wash your hands before and after any contact with them.

Continue to use safety precautions when out with your puppy: 

  • Stay at a distance from people. Let the dogs interact on leash, if your puppy has sufficient vaccinations. Do not shake hands with other dog owners. 
  • Do not touch the other dog, unless necessary. 
  • Do not touch your face with unwashed hands (after coming close to other dogs and owners). Wearing gloves is a good physical reminder to not touch your face (even with gloves on!)
  • Wash your hands thoroughly after walks.


Every new puppy owner, whether affected by COVID19 or not, should practice a multitude of other socialization exercises that can be done in your home! The key is to expose your puppy to something new. It could be anything from a new surface (the bathroom floor) to your vacuum cleaner noise, from checking teeth and ears, to you wearing hats/scarves. In each case, the idea is for the puppy to be comfortable in that situation. 


Set Up for Success:

  • Know how to read puppy body language! If we don’t know what our puppy is telling us (I’m afraid vs. I’m fine), we run the risk of accidentally having a negative experience.
    • Need some help decoding your puppy’s body language? Check out this awesome website:
  • Allow your puppy to explore new things by choice. Do not force a puppy to go closer to things they are afraid of or unsure of. Allow them to back away if they want to.
  • Make the experience even MORE positive by giving your puppy treats and playing with them when they explore the new thing, hear the new thing, feel the new thing, etc.
  • To avoid creating fear, anxiety, and aggression problems, if your puppy is reacting with extreme fear with the new thing/situation, stop the exposure. 


Methods to Use

New sights, smells, and surfaces

Present a strange object such as a skateboard to the dog. At first, the dog may be scared of it, but when it musters enough courage to go closer to take a bit of a sniff, click, and then treat the dog for approaching it. 

Repeat this many times with this object, and many other objects, so that the dog’s confidence to explore increases. The same should be done for exploring surfaces and spaces, such as the bathroom floor, the stairs, crawling under chairs, etc. For people-shy dogs, this exercise can even be extended to being brave to go up and sniff strangers.


Here’s a great look at creating a positive experience with the vacuum cleaner:


Scary sounds

Sound Sensitivity is another key area to work on. Anxiety around thunderstorms and fireworks can be crippling. Use YouTube sound clips to socialize your puppy to scary sounds. Play the sound at a low volume, and feed, play, and engage with your puppy. When the sound stops, stop feeding!

We love the Sound Proof Puppy Training App! It has a great variety of sound clips to help you create positive experiences for your puppy.


Grooming and Handling

Touch your dog or restrain your dog. If your dog remains calm, click, and then feed a

treat. If your dog flinches, pulls away, or generally seems uncomfortable, stop, and try again but

using a milder, gentler version of what you did previously. 


Looking for inspiration?

Check out this puppy socialization checklist, from Dr. Sophia Yin.


Other resources:


In Summary…

In brief, during this period where Puppy Socialization group classes are suspended, you still have a lot of work to do. Puppies running around and playing with each other only represents a portion of the important work you are responsible for doing. You should still be teaching basic foundation behaviours, and you’ll want some advice on topics like nipping and biting, so that’s what our Virtual Classes, Phone Consultations, and 1-on-1 Lessons (Both in-person and virtual) are for. Take advantage of your free time and get to work!


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:

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

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…

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

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


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.

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

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

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!


Starting January 2020! Puppy Socialization Classes at Wellesley Animal Hospital

Wellesley Animal Hospital x When Hounds Fly

We are very excited to announce that we have partnered with Wellesley Animal Hospital to expand our reach and offer our Puppy Socialization classes on Sunday afternoons at their clinic at 535 Yonge Street.

Sessions start in January 2020, and we will be running a limited number of classes only on Sunday afternoons. So, to avoid disappointment, if you’d like to enroll your puppy you are expecting to join your family in January, please reserve your spot right away.

Of course, we will be continuing our daily Puppy Socialization class schedule at our Dundas West and Pape Village facility, but for those of you who live right in the core, this may be a very convenient option for you to also consider!

Get the details, and apply for admission:

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