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Puppy Class Toronto

This is for you if…

Your larger-breed dog finishes by 17 weeks, and your smaller-breed dog can finish by 21 weeks. That means you’re on the ball and you’ve applied for admission as soon as you get your 8 week old puppy, or even before they’ve left the breeder.
DO  NOT WAIT until your puppy has all their vaccinations or you will be too late.

The Program – Puppy Classes

Five classes – Start in any order (you don’t have to start on Module 1)

Classes are organized around basic clicker training exercises, best-practice advice and exercises to raise your puppy, and structured on and off-leash socialization and free time with your puppy’s classmates.

Module 1

  • Socialization Exercise: Resource Guarding/Food Bowl Safety
  • Training: Walk with Me
  • Focus and Attention

Module 2

  • Puppy Topic: Visiting the Vet and the Groomers
  • Socialization Exercise: Accepting Handling, Restraint, Grooming
  • Training: Lay Down

Module 3

  • Puppy Topic: Body Language, Preventing Fear, Anxiety, and Aggression
  • Training: Greetings with Consent

Module 4

  • Puppy Topic: Alone-Time Training / Housetraining
  • Socialization Exercise: Practice being left alone
  • Training: Hand Targeting (Touch)

Module 5

  • Puppy Topic:  Nipping and Biting / Appropriate Play
  • Training: Recall Games (Come)
  • Training: Tug of War / Drop It

Why It’s Important

To reduce the likelihood of a puppy growing up and developing fear, anxiety, or aggression problems, it is important that prior to complete vaccinations, the puppy must have a rich socialization history. A well-run puppy socialization class is a key component of that. 

Puppies without complete vaccination should not be taken to dog parks or dog daycares mixed with adult dogs. Therefore, a puppy socialization class with strict age limitations in a sanitized environment is a crucial component to early socialization towards a variety of breeds of dogs.

The American Veterinary Society of Animal Behaviour believes it should be the standard of care for puppies to receive such socialization before they are fully vaccinated. 

In 2008, the AVSAB released a position statement urging veterinarians to encourage clients to enroll in Puppy Start Right classes prior to 3 months of age. Download their position statement here.

Do not wait until your puppy has received all of their boosters, or else they will likely be too old to participate in our program. 

“Given the fact that behaviour problems are the No. 1 cause of relinquishment to shelters, along with the fact that 56% of dogs that enter shelters in the United States are euthanized, and that puppy classes help present behaviour problems and increase the likelihood of retention in the home, there must be evidence of phenomenal risk of infectious disease transmission associated with early socialization classes to warrant holding puppies back. And there is no such evidence to date. In fact, renowned behaviorist Dr. R. K. Anderson, longtime advocate for early sociation, has more than a decade of experience and date supporting the relatively safety and lack of disease transmission in puppy socialization classes in many parts of the United States.”

 

K. Turner

“Rachael was absolutely wonderful – she is experienced, knowledgeable and makes you feel super comfortable and confident. She gave us great tips, answered all of our questions, and was overall an excellent teacher (showing us by example and then having both my husband and I try). We had moved condo buildings and our dog had become reactive to some of the new dogs in the building and in just 2 sessions with Rachael he has improved so much. He now seems relaxed and secure and excited about his new routine and skills.  How much she cares about dogs comes across and you can tell she really wants to help.”

– K. Turner

Steph, Dylan, & King

“We are thrilled with how far King has come!

King is a rescue from the Toronto Humane Society and we got him a little over a month ago. He’s about a year and a half and to say he’s full of energy is an understatement. When we first got him we were told he was very dog aggressive, and probably wouldn’t do well in a condo.

Enter Stephanie – Within the first few minutes of meeting her we knew she was perfect for us. She’s extremely knowledgeable, confident, and you can just tell she loves dogs. She was very patient with the 3 of us and gave us confidence in our training. Without Stephanie we would have never realized how smart King is, and how much potential he has. “

– Steph, Dylan & King!

Tom and Deborah

“A year after our private sessions with Andre, our beagle Jake sits on our front porch and watches dogs walk by without aggression — dogs that used to set him off on sight at any distance. We continue to use food rewards on walks and have reduced fear-aggression responses to a rarity. He no longer guards the porch when the postman, delivery people or friends approach. Can’t tell you how grateful we are for Andre’s sound advice.”

– Tom and Deborah

Lauren R.

“We had an absolutely fantastic experience here. When we adopted our dog, Corky, she didn’t even know her name and didn’t know any commands. By the end of the Foundations Skills Class she knows a ton — how to sit, lay down and even go to bed! Most of all, the trainers gave us the skills and knowledge to train Corky on an ongoing basis. The trainers are awesome and always give individual feedback about your dog. Corky had a blast going to class.”

– Lauren R

Lauren K.

“My husband and I took the Puppy Start Right classes with our pup when we first got him. Two years later I still think it’s the best thing we’ve done so far as pet “parents”. In addition to teaching him the basics and teaching us how to properly train our pup, I think the early socialization made a huge difference in terms of how he interacts with other dogs. We take him to doggy daycare a few times a week and every time we pick him up the staff comments on how good he is with other dogs (even the ones who don’t typically play well with others).
The classes at When Hounds Fly were fun, informative and taught us how to train our dog instead of just focusing on teaching obedience and tricks. If you have a new puppy, I highly recommend the Puppy Socialization class.”

– Lauren K

Puppy Class Program Tuition

Prices do not include HST.

For details regarding class/training policies, please see our Policy page:

Offered at all five of our locations (Dundas West, Pape Village, Queen West, Yonge & Eglinton, and South Etobicoke). Tuition grants you flexible access to all locations!

Okay, I’m Ready to Book!

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