To our prospective students…

August 8, 2017

Dear Prospective Student,

Thank you very much for visiting our web site and checking our services out. Since I started When Hounds Fly in January 2010, over 4000 dogs and their families have taken classes with us. My mission when I opened our first location at 1108 Dundas Street West was to raise the quality of dog training services in Toronto, and to improve the welfare of pet dogs in our city.

Thanks to the success of our students, word of mouth spread quickly and we grew. Our Dundas West location now has two training halls and we frequently run multiple classes per night that are always full. Requests for private lessons to help with dogs that have fear, anxiety, or aggression issues pour in, to the point where new students were waiting many weeks for a first available appointment.

From an economics perspective, when demand for services exceed supply, it’s time to increase supply. The problem is it’s not easy for me to increase our availability. I can’t just “train up” new employees to meet demand. Finding experienced, professional dog trainers with sufficient practical experience and academic experience is very difficult. (We’re hiring – in case you know of anyone!) Unlike big-box dog training schools, we don’t have a “6 week teacher training class” and certify people to be instructors. Rachael Johnston and Sara Russell have 10+ years experience. We are that serious about qualifications and expertise.

Going back to economics – if supply can’t be increased, then I could just increase prices to reduce demand and maximize profit for our business. I am, however, community-oriented at heart, and I want people who have modest incomes to be able to afford our services and programs. I don’t want to price ourselves such that only the wealthy can benefit from our classes and services. So, I haven’t increased prices of group classes since 2014. I’ve setup this business to avoid unnecessary frills (such as a receptionist who answers phone calls – when all the basic information is freely available on our web site and most customer service functions are fully self-service) and put all our resources into teaching and lessons.

My goal is to grow our teaching staff so that we can meet demand. I’m working on it. It’s my top priority. But I won’t compromise on my original mission of maintaining extremely high standards. So until I find the right people to join our team, please see the following regarding lead times/wait times for coming to take classes with us:

Availability at Pape Village

Our newest facility at East York can accept students almost immediately. We have both extra classroom capacity and teaching resources. If you want to start Puppy Socialization or Foundation Skills class as soon as possible, please enroll at Pape Village. Our investment in our Pape Village location is very important to us, therefore our most experienced instructor, Rachael Johnston, teaches the majority of classes here.

Availability at Dundas West

Our original location is very busy, and we carefully limit the number of new students we take in per week to avoid having more students that we can serve. As of this update, we are currently accepting applications for new students, however, New Student Orientation spots are only available for later in August with an eye to be taking classes in September.

Availability of Private Lessons

As of mid-June, on average, between all of us, it is about a 4-6 week wait time from the time of enrolling to your actual first appointment. And like all things in life, good things come to those who wait – hiring someone strictly based on who can see you first usually results in disaster.

Thanks for taking the time to read this. I look forward to meeting you and your pup at school soon.

Sincerely,

Andre Yeu

3 Replies to “To our prospective students…”

  1. Hi,
    I contacted you a while back, but we never managed to connect because of conflicting schedules.
    We adopted a rescue about 18 months ago. While she has become a lovely and affectionate dog in the house, she is extremely fearful outside. People, other dogs, wind, bikes, loud noises scare her.
    We were warned that rescues can take a while to settle in. I’d love to take her to a class, but I fear the environment would be too stressful for her.
    She is obviously smart and very trainable – she can sit, lie down, shake the paw, high five, etc…, but walking her except for late at night is difficult. We could really use some private lessons and guidance to help her overcome her fears. I live near Queen and Dufferin. Do you have anybody in this part of town you could recommend?
    Thanks

  2. Hi Andre,

    My name is Mitra and I just recently adopted a rescue female puppy. I already have two other dogs, around 5 years of age. The new puppy is thought to be a german sheppard/lab mix around 6 months to a year old. She gets along great with my two other dogs, and even with other dogs outside at the park. However, recently she’s been becoming more aggressive with other dogs. This is very strange of me to see, since a week ago we use to take her to the dog park and she was very friendly. It is as if the safer she feels at her new home, the more aggressive she is becoming with outside dogs. If she even sees another dog far away, she pulls her leash, barks, whines and there’s absolutely no way of getting her attention back to you until the dog is out of site. This of course sets off my other dogs as well, and then I have a situation with 3 barking dogs. She is not super aggressive, as once she gets to the dog she usually just jump around them being very vocal.

    I have thought about dog training classes, however I don’t know what kind of class and if it should be private or in a group setting. I definitely think she would benefit from obedience classes, but I think first she needs to become a little more relaxed with her outdoor environment.

    If you could please give me some insight of what I should do, I would really appreciate it.
    Thank you for taking the time to read this.

    Best regards,
    Mitra

  3. Hello,

    My name is Anastasia and I have a 7 months Doberman Pinscher male puppy named Almas. Almas is shy of strangers and sometimes he barks and even lunges at people, especially when on the leash. He knows all the basics like sit, down, stay, come, speak, quiet, etc. We noticed that he is especially reactive when the person is by himself. He rarely barks at groups of people. He also reacts when people make sudden movements or sounds (he is an intimidating looking dog so sometimes people freak out – especially in the elevator with us – and I think it startles him and he starts barking). Other examples are: somebody jumping out of the elevator in front of us; somebody suddenly comes around the corner; people being too “in his face” too fast…

    Almas barks at our neighbors in the corridor and we would like to teach him to be polite. Please advise what training program do you think will suit us best and how much it would cost.

    Thank you very much in advance!

    –?
    Anastasia Druzhina

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