We are proud to offer a variety of training classes for you and your pets. We are passionate about advocating for, and educating pet parents about, humane, compassionate, and fear-free training practices. We pledge our commitment to providing you and your pet with a constructive, supportive, and inspiring environment to help strengthen the human-animal bond!
This service provides you with the opportunity to meet with a certified trainer for a consultation and to have your cat’s behaviour assessed. During this session, please arrive ready to take notes while your certified trainer discusses management strategies, how to set realistic goals and training approaches to help your cat learn alternative behaviours. You will be emailed handouts recommended by our staff addressing behaviour modification approaches, as well as some initial training exercises to get you started after your first session. This service will appeal to those seeking evidence-based information to help understand and modify your cat’s behaviour.
These are shorter training sessions available to cat owners with a pre-existing relationship with our training department. These sessions will be most helpful for those who are returning to our training services after completing a consultation with a certified trainer, or for cats who have been adopted from us. In these sessions, please come prepared with a maximum of two training exercises that you would like assistance on or are finding challenging to work through on your own. Your certified trainer can help clarify the exercises and the mechanics of teaching it to your cat. Please remember to have plenty of bite-sized training treats and your clicker ready for these sessions. No written instructions or training notes are provided following these sessions.
These sessions are available for cat owners with a pre-existing relationship with our training department and have returned for additional support after completing a consultation with our certified trainers. These sessions are also great for cats that have been adopted from us. In these sessions, our certified trainers will coach you through new training exercises and may also provide mechanical handling skills. You will be provided with brief notes from the session, after its completion. Please remember to have plenty of bite-sized training treats and your clicker ready for these sessions.
Our training packages offer personalized plans and weekly training sessions led by a certified trainer. They are designed to set you and your pet up for optimal success through systematic progression and training exercises. This package includes a behaviour consultation, a personalized training plan and four consecutive weekly training sessions for cat owners facing behavioural issues ranging from house soiling issues, marking, aggression, destructiveness or fearfulness. During your consultation, your certified trainer will obtain a detailed history of your pet. They will create a personalized training plan for you, focused on training your animal to choose desirable alternatives to the problem behaviour. Over the 4 week period, you will meet weekly with your certified trainer. Follow-up sessions are booked by your certified trainer during your initial consultation. Additional monthly packages are available to existing clients who have completed their first package at a rate of $300 for four weekly sessions.
If your pet gets nervous and stressed out at the vet or if you would like to train your pet to participate cooperatively for vet visits, our Fear Free and Low Stress Certified trainers can help. The initial consultation is 60 minutes to assess your cat’s comfort level at the vet or during at-home care. For the next four weeks you will meet with your certified trainer as you work towards developing positive behaviours in place of the undesirable ones. Follow-up sessions are booked by your certified trainer during your initial consultation. Additional monthly packages are available to existing clients who have completed their first month package at a rate of $300 for four weekly sessions (1 session per week).
We can provide assistance for the following procedures:
*Note: Most behaviours require consistent commitment and training by owners over a period of time in order to achieve the desired goal in advance of procedures
This package is geared towards new kitten owners and provides four consecutive weekly training sessions in which your kitten will learn socialization and manners. Basic husbandry topics will be included each week and you will receive weekly topic handouts. Kittens may enroll between 3 and 10 weeks old to ensure all training is completed by the time your kitten is 14 weeks old. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if your kitten does not fall within that age range to discuss training package options for you.
Join us and fellow cat lovers from the comfort of your own home. Our Tricks Training classes are designed specifically to strengthen the human-animal bond and provide a joyful and enriching experience for your cat in a virtual group setting. Through trust and teamwork, you and your cat will face fun new challenges and have the opportunity to learn and practice impressive tricks. In some cases, these tricks can also be transitioned to practical use in cooperative care or conditioning applications. They are also great for enrichment! You will learn about targeting, shaping, luring and capturing and how developing these foundations can make training easier for you and your pet. Once your sessions are complete, you have the opportunity to join our advanced tricks classes, tiered at an intermediate and advanced level.
Note: New group class sessions are scheduled regularly. If you don’t see the classes you are interested in on our booking platform, check back regularly for new scheduled groups.
We invite you and your cat to join us for the opportunity to learn and practice impressive tricks that are both fun and practical for cooperative care or other applications. Each week, you will teach your cat to perform a new trick! *Prerequisite: Cat Tricks Foundations or equivalent class.
Our Cat Tricks Advanced classes build on skills learned in our Cat Tricks Intermediate sessions and progressively introduces difficult and impressive tricks which incorporate movement and precision. We invite you and your cat to join us for the opportunity to build your cat’s repertoire of skills, engage in a fun and enriching experience together and develop a stronger bond!*Prerequisite: Cat Tricks Intermediate.
Our Kitten Kindergarten class allows you and your kitten to bond and learn new skills in a group environment with other kitten lovers. In this class, your kitten will learn important socialization and manners. Basic husbandry topics will be included each week and you will receive weekly topic handouts. Kittens may enroll between 3 and 10 weeks old to ensure all training is completed by the time your kitten is 14 weeks old. Please email email@example.com if your kitten does not fall within that age range to discuss training options.
This premium bundle enrolls you in all of our Cat Tricks group classes to provide you with optimal support and resources! This package also provides weekly private meetings with a certified trainer for the duration of the group classes to address any particular challenges you may be having with your cat. Take advantage of this full-service support package and provide your cat with the consummate training and enrichment experience!
This value bundle enrolls you in our popular Cat Tricks Foundations group classes along with weekly scheduled private meetings with a certified trainer for the duration of group classes. You will also receive weekly handouts, homework and a graduation certificate. This package will appeal to those who wish to take advantage of our Cat Tricks Foundations class curriculum along with personal training support as they work with their pet to become the consummate cat.
Dr. Ellis is the Director, Behaviour at Toronto Humane Society. Prior to joining the position she served as Nestlé Purina’s leading authority on feline behaviour in her role as a Behaviour Scientist in their research and development division. She earned her PhD in Animal Welfare at the Atlantic Veterinary College, University of Prince Edward Island, where she conducted research on methods for reducing stress in shelter cats. Her work has been published widely in peer reviewed journals and she has presented at many national and international conferences, particularly on feline stress and elimination behaviour. She is currently in the process of writing a chapter on feline behavioural assessment for a new edition of the leading textbook on the behaviour and welfare of shelter animals.
Beverley is the Program Manager, Public Training Services and Care Support at Toronto Humane Society. She is an Associate Certified Dog Behaviour Consultant through the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants and a Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge Assessed through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers. She is also a Fear Free Shelter Graduate. Prior to joining Toronto Humane Society, Beverley owned and operated a successful dog training and dog walking company in Toronto’s west end, and chaired an informal 600-member strong collective of professional dog walkers with a focus on professional and positive reinforcement handling skills development. She currently serves as Secretary on the Board of Directors of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants.
Shannen began her career working with cats in our care as a Feline Enrichment Specialist, providing daily enrichment, conducting assessments and carrying out behaviour modification training for some of our more challenging cats to set them up for success in their adopted homes. In her current day-to-day life, Shannen meets with cat owners virtually both locally, nationally, and internationally via video conferencing to provide thorough assessments, management and training solutions to cat owners from the comfort of their homes. She also provides plans for low stress cooperative veterinary and husbandry care training and coaching, and runs our fun and enriching virtual feline group training classes. Shannen is a Certified Cat Behavior Consultant through the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, a Fear Free Shelter Graduate, and holds a Low Stress Handling Silver Level Certification from Low Stress University which carries on the legacy of Dr. Sophia Yin.
Jess joined the Canine Training Team in October 2018 as a Canine Enrichment Specialist. She has since worked hard to become certified through the Certification Council of Professional Dog Trainers and completed the Fear Free Shelter Program. She started at Toronto Humane Society as an Animal Care Worker in November 2017 and quickly discovered her love for working with the more challenging dogs as she built a bond with some of the long stay dogs in our building.
Prior to starting at Toronto Humane Society Jess completed a BSc at the University of Guelph in Zoology. She worked for a small CAZA accredited exotic animal rescue conducting public education programs. She has a passion for educating the public about responsible pet ownership and training practices. When she has extra time she also helps out with the cattle and goats on her family’s farm. Jess has worked with a variety of species and is continuously looking to learn more about animal behaviour and training.
Jess shares her home with a tabby cat named Arthur and a shepherd mix pup named Peyton.
Louise Lawrence started her career volunteering at Toronto Humane Society while also growing a successful dog walking and training business. During her six years in business, she earned her Animal Behaviour College Dog Trainer certificate, Certified Professional Dog Trainer-Knowledge Assessed designation, and Fear Free Certified Animal Trainer credentials, while becoming a leader in the Toronto dog walking community.In 2020, Louise joined Toronto Humane Society training team as a Certified Animal Trainer. She is excited to use her knowledge to empower dog owners and their dogs to make great choices.
Erika began her career at Toronto Humane Society in the Animal Care Department, working hands-on in the care and husbandry of animals including cats, dogs and special species. After moving to a Training Assistant position, Erika obtained certification through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers. Erika’s experience with multiple species led her to an interest in cat behaviour and she currently works with cat owners providing humane strategies to overcome behavioural challenges as a Certified Animal Trainer.
Claire is dedicated to humane, science-based training practices, committed to continuing education and strives to operate at the highest level of professional standards as a Certified Professional Dog Trainer. Claire’s interest in animal welfare began while earning an undergraduate degree in biological sciences at the University of Guelph where she worked part-time as a veterinary assistant and fostered a future dog guide through the Lion’s Foundation of Canada. She has extensive experience working in animal sheltering, rescue and commercial dog daycare, has completed the Karen Pryor Academy Dog Trainer Foundations course. She is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge Assessed through the Certification Council of Professional Dog Trainers.