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Dog training classes

Our training philosophy:  All of our training is based on scientifically proven principles of reinforcement based training.  This means that we:
  • create value for desired behaviours by rewarding them with something the dog loves (treats, play, affection, praise etc.)
  • avoid use of force and punishment in training including use of choke or prong collars or other devices intended to deliver an aversive stimulus

Why don't we use punishment / corrections in training?  Correction, punishment and aversive methods often have unintended and undesirable consequences.  At the very least, when aversive methods are used in training, dogs become hesitant to offer new behaviours for fear of being wrong - and the consequent 'punishment' that may follow.  In contrast, force-free, reward-based training encourages dogs to become enthusiastic and creative partners in the training process.  They offer the behaviours we want willingly, rather than out of fear of punishment.  

We do not permit use of choke collars, prong collars or punishment in our classes - if you are interested in a class but feel that you need these devices or strategies to control your dog, please contact us to discuss how we can help you prepare to work without these devices while still having your dog under control .

Our trainers:  Our trainers are skilled, experienced and accomplished in methods such as clicker training, free shaping, and reward / reinforcement-based training.  Collectively we have experience with many different dog breeds and temperaments and in many different canine performance events.  We strive to keep class sizes small so that each student gets individual attention from instructors.

  • All dog breeds and mixed breeds are welcome in our classes.
  • Dogs will be assessed at registration to ensure that we place you in the most appropriate class.
  • Dogs must be able to safely interact with other dogs and people.  We can provide referrals or alternative options for dog-reactive and people-reactive dogs.
  • Unfortunately, due to time and space constraints, we do not offer all classes at all times.
  • Class size is limited.  It is recommended that you reserve a spot early.  To reserve a spot, pre-registration with payment of class fee (by cash or check) is required.  A registration form is available as a dowload from the documents page.
  • Refund Policy:  A full refund of registration fees will be provided if we are unable to offer you a place in an appropriate class.  In the event that you are unable to attend classes after sending in your registration, a refund less a $25 processing fee will be provided if we can fill your class spot from a wait list before the first class.  Once classes have commenced, refunds will generally not be provided.
  • For more information use the "contact us" page.  Be sure to provide your first and last names, the name, breed and age of your dog and what you are interested in or your questions.  We also need both an e mail and phone number.  You can also submit a registration form from the "registration form" page under the 'More' tab

Next set of classes begin March 2, 2019

Stay tuned for changes to class time & description 

March 2nd for 7 weeks
Beginner Obedience and Socialization - 9 am class & 10 am
Novice Scent Work (dogs have previously been in Scent work class/workshop) - 1 pm
Introduction to Scent Work-2 pm

The following 2 classes begin March 9, 2018 for 6 weeks.
Advanced Novice Obedience ( competition focus) - 11 am
Beginner  Obedience (basic with competition focus)-12 am

Please contact us for more Information on other classes to be offered and what you like to learn.

Registering for a class:  Please send email to HCKOCdogs@gmail.com

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Complete class listing and descriptions


Conformation / Show Handling: No regular class available please watch for Sanction Match to be offered.

Obedience: A series of classes designed to take dogs and handlers from the very first steps in obedience up to and including advanced classes preparing for competition at the CKC Novice, Open and Utility levels.  We believe that obedient working dogs should be enthusiastic and happy working dogs.  Obedience training should be fun - not a chore.

Obedience 1 (Introduction) - for dogs with little or no prior obedience training.  This class will provide a good foundation in the basic obedience skills, beginning with building strong handler focus. Other skills taught at this level include: sit, down, stays, recalls and heeling.  We also include some tricks and games to play with your dog. We believe training should be enjoyable and fun, rather than a chore.  Dogs in this and all other obedience classes must have good manners around other dogs and a basic level of handler focus (able to give you some attention and respond to simple cues).  If your dog may not be "there" yet, we recommend starting with the Canine Life Skills class.   We recommend this basic obedience class to all handlers who might be interested in competitive obedience or rally obedience.  It will also provide a good foundation for other canine performance sports such as flyball, agility, trieball or musical freestyle etc.

Obedience 2  (Beginner) - This class is for handlers and dogs that have completed Obedience 1 or have basic obedience skills and is designed to improve consistency and reliability.  Strengthen your dog's ability to: work around distractions, work at a distance and sustain behaviours over greater durations.  

Obedience 3 (Novice Competition)
- This class is for handlers and dogs preparing for CKC Novice Obedience trials and will include preparation for all of the Novice exercises. Dogs in this class must be reliable off leash.Obedience 4 (Open / Utility Competition) - This advanced class is for handlers and dogs preparing for competition at the Open or Utility level.  Dogs in this class must be reliable off leash.

Rally-Obedience:
Rally classes will help handlers and their dogs learn the skills needed for  CARO and / or CKC Novice, Advanced, Excellent and Versatility levels. This includes not only the individual exercises but also building excellent focus and heeling to ensure that your dog's performance between stations is strong. A basic/beginner obedience class (such as Obedience 1)  is a prerequisite for taking one of our Rally-O classes. 

Canine Good Neighbour:
This class will help you prepare for the the CKC Canine Good Neighbour test. The class will introduce and provide instruction for each aspect of the test. 

The Nose Knows - Scentwork for Dogs:  A beginner level, fun class for dogs of all sizes and ages. Help your dog learn to use his incredible nose to locate objects by scent.  Whether you want to explore scentwork as a formal sport or just learn some fun activities to for you and your dog to enjoy, this class will be a good introduction to scent work.

If there is a particular class you are interested in that you don't see here, contact us.  If we cannot offer a class that is in your area of interest we can often provide referrals to trainers or groups that use force free training methods.
Check out our resources page for information about canine performance sports.