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Pet Services

Dog Training Classes

Toronto Humane Society is proud to offer a variety of training classes for you and your pet. We are passionate about advocating for, and educating pet owners about humane, compassionate, and trust building training practices. We pledge our commitment to providing you and your best friend with a constructive, supportive, and inspiring environment for strengthening the human-animal bond!

Puppy Socialization

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  • $220
  • Group
  • 4 Classes

This class focuses on socializing your puppy by providing new socialization experiences and discussion topics each module to create a healthy and happy puppy ready to take on the world. You will learn how to condition your puppy to husbandry care, equipment and other experiences or items encountered in everyday life. We will also discuss when and how to socialize your puppy with dogs and people. Puppies should start this class between the ages of 8 to 12 weeks.

Puppy Manners

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  • $220
  • Group
  • 4 Classes

This class focuses on puppy manners and common challenges new puppy parents experience. You will learn how to teach your puppy basic training exercises and work through issues such as crate training, house soiling, and more. This class may be started as early as 8 weeks of age and is open to puppies under 6 months of age.

Canine Foundation Skills Tier 1

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  • $330
  • Group
  • 6 Classes

Our Foundation Skills Tier 1 class is one of our most popular classes. This class emphasizes the importance of trust and teamwork between you and your dog with a focus on learning and practicing solid foundational skills such as walking politely on leash, handler focus, leave it, come when called, relax on a mat, sit and down stay. Learn how to support your dog through the learning process with positive reinforcement-based training practices. Foundations Skills Tier 1 is a prerequisite class for Tier 2, Tier 3 and specialty classes such as Introduction to Rally Obedience and Tricks Training.

Canine Foundation Skills Tier 2

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  • $330
  • Group
  • 6 Classes

Our Foundation Skills Tier 2 class builds on the skills learned in Tier 1. This class introduces fun new exercises and focuses on practicing new and existing skills in the presence of distractions to generalize your dog’s ability to behave politely in everyday life. We will also focus on appropriate rates of reinforcement and will explore different types reinforcement and when to use them. Prerequisite: Foundations Skills Tier 1 or equivalent. This class is offered periodically throughout the year. Please check our scheduling page for availability.

Potcakes and Street Dogs – Acclimatization and Integration Into New Homes

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  • $220 – Currently Offered Virtually
  • Group
  • 4 Classes

This group class focuses on some common challenges international dogs used to living on the street, the beach or quieter environments may face as they settle in to their new Canadian homes. We’ll cover strategies to address flight risk, stranger danger and low stress greetings, environment fearfulness, leash reactivity, resource guarding and alert barking. This class is offered periodically throughout the year. Please check our scheduling page for availability.

Specialty Classes –Rally Obedience, Scent Detection, Tricks Training, Leash Walking Skills

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  • $220
  • Group
  • 4 Classes

Our specialty classes are fun and challenging follow up classes for those who have graduated from our any of our Tier 1 classes. These classes include Tricks Training, Introduction to Rally Obedience and Introduction to Scent Detection along with other specialty classes that are offered from time to time. These classes provide new and increasingly difficult exercises that will continue to grow your dog’s engagement and skills in day-to-day life and provide joyful enrichment to increase your human-animal bond. Recommended Prerequisite: Foundations Tier 1 or equivalent. Please check our scheduling page for availability.

Perfectly Prepared Puppy Group Class Platinum Bundle

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  • $684
  • Includes Puppy Socialization Class & Puppy Manners Class
  • Registration in exclusive weekly Office Hours virtual group meetings with a certified trainer to address individual challenges for the duration of group class enrollment
  • Complimentary registration for 8 puppy play groups or buddy walk socialization experiences during group class enrollment (play group size varies based on registrations – in the event of low registration other enrichment such as ball pit or puppy obstacle course provided)
  • Handouts, homework, graduation certificate
  • In the event of COVID-19 restrictions, in person group classes will take place as scheduled via virtual meeting. Puppy play dates or buddy walks may be cancelled or other activities substituted as required by civic and/or provincial law pertaining to COVID-19 restrictions.

This premium bundle provides the discerning puppy owner with everything your puppy needs to get a perfect start on his lifetime of adventures with you. This package includes a full complement of group training classes, additional office hours support to help work through any particular challenges your puppy presents, and weekly trainer led playgroup and socialization opportunities. Take advantage of this full-service support package during your puppy’s critical socialization period when every experience counts. Puppies should enroll in this package and complete the Puppy Socialization component before 16 weeks of age. Puppies up to 6 months old may register in Puppy Manners.

Ultimate Dog Group Class Platinum Bundle

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  • $739
  • Includes Foundations Tier 1 and choice of Tier 2 or any specialty group class
  • Registration in exclusive weekly Office Hours virtual group meetings with a certified trainer to address individual challenges for the duration of group class enrollment (note: acute behavioural challenges can not be assessed in office hours. Dogs presenting with acute behavioural challenges should enroll in private classes).
  • Handouts, homework, and graduation certificate
  • In the event of COVID-19 restrictions, in person group classes will take place as scheduled via virtual meeting. Puppy play dates or buddy walks may be cancelled or other activities substituted as required by civic and/or provincial law pertaining to COVID-19 restrictions.

This premium bundle provides enrollment in our Tier 1 6-week group class and in our 6-week Tier 2, or 4-week Tier 3 or specialty class of your choice to keep that training momentum going. This package also provides registration in our weekly Office Hours meetings with a certified trainer to help work through any particular challenges unique to your dog. Note that acute behavioural challenges will not be addressed in office hours. If your dog presents with acute behavioural challenges, please register for a Problem Solving and Behaviour Modification Consultation and Private Training Support package. Take advantage of this full-service support package to go beyond the basics and support your pet through his journey towards becoming the ultimate dog.

Canine Problem Solving and Behaviour Modification Consultation and Training Support Package

Available virtually or in-person

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  • $520
  • Private
  • Consultation conducted virtually, subsequent training sessions offered in person at our facility or virtually

Our training packages create excellent value in the form of a personalized plan and subsequent certified trainer led training sessions to set you and your pet up for optimal success through systematic progression through training exercises. This popular package includes a behaviour consultation, a personalized training plan and 3 subsequent training sessions for pet owners with animals who struggle with behavioural issues such as but not limited to anxiety, destruction, fear, reactivity or aggression. During your consultation, your certified trainer will obtain a detailed history so that the functions of the problem behaviour can be assessed and will create a personalized training plan focusing on managing the behaviour and training your animal to substitute desirable behaviours in place of the problem behaviours. You will then meet with your certified trainer for training sessions where you will work together training your animal to default to the new replacement behaviours. Renewal packages are available to existing clients who have completed their first package at a rate of $400 for four additional training sessions.

Separation Anxiety Behaviour Consultation and Training Support Package

This is a virtual service in order to effectively work through a separation anxiety training plan

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  • $520
  • Private
  • Consultation and training sessions conducted virtually

Separation Anxiety is a medically diagnosed condition that can be helped through systematic behaviour modification along with medical intervention. Animals with separation anxiety can suffer acute distress and poor welfare when left alone making the condition very hard on both owners and their pets. Some behaviours that might look like symptoms associated with Separation Anxiety may be in fact be caused by other triggers in the animal’s environment. If your dog has not been formally diagnosed by a vet, we will conduct a brief no charge phone call with one of our certified trainers to help us eliminate potential non-Separation Anxiety related triggers for the presenting behaviours to ensure that this package is the best solution for you and your dog. Following approval, you may then purchase the package, and schedule your initial consultation. During the consultation your certified trainer will schedule your remaining sessions with you. This package includes a pre-consultation to rule out non-separation anxiety related behaviour, an initial consultation and 3 subsequent training sessions. Renewal packages are available to existing clients who have completed their first package at a rate of $400 for four additional training sessions.

Canine Problem Solving and Behaviour Modification Consultation

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  • $225
  • Private
  • Offered Virtually Or In Person At Our Facility
  • Follow Up Training Sessions Available For Purchase After Completing Consultation

This service provides support and a personalized training plan to dog owners who struggle with behavioural issues such as anxiety, destruction, fear, reactivity or aggression. We can also provide assessment and training plans to alleviate stress during veterinary care. During your consultation, we will obtain a detailed history so that the functions of the problem behaviour can be assessed and personalized behaviour management and training strategies will be provided. Follow up training sessions are available for purchase on an as-needs basis. If your dog displays acute aggression please email us at publictraining@torontohumanesociety.com before your visit for instructions for entering the building.

Platinum Level Monthly Day Training Package

$1150 per 20 Day Training Sessions

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Our Day Training package offers 20 weekday (excluding weekends) training sessions conducted by a certified dog trainer in your home or neighbourhood. This package is developed to provide the framework for optimal training results. After your initial goal setting session, we create a personalized training plan and come to your home 3-5 days a week to work with your dog. You’ll receive weekly updates and an end-of-month skills transfer session. The full list of services and benefits in this package includes:

  • A consultation with a certified trainer to identify your dog’s training goals
  • A personalized training plan
  • 20 day training sessions in your neighbourhood or home during typical mid-day work week hours
  • Weekly emailed report card
  • Potty break, enrichment and water bowl refresh while you are busy working
  • Peace of mind with the knowledge that a certified trainer is teaching your dog new skills using evidence-based positive reinforcement methods
  • A skills transfer session with your trainer at the end of your package so that you can continue to maintain your dog’s new skills
  • Discounted registration in your choice of group training class when your dog is ready to attend

This package is available to pet parents residing in the following neighbourhoods:*

  • Corktown
  • Moss Park
  • Regent Park
  • The Distillery District
  • Riverside
  • Rosedale
  • Cabbagetown South
  • St. James Town
  • Leslieville

*We expand our boundaries from time to time as our service grows, so please check with us if you fall outside of this geographical area.

Packages are renewable. 

A virtual group experience your employees and their fur companions will enjoy

  • Work-from-home or on-site employees in pet friendly offices can join certified animal trainers in a virtual, hands on and interactive animal training class
  • Each event is led by a certified dog trainer and a certified cat trainer
  • Classes are suitable for cats, dogs or other domestic pets
  • Classes can be tailored to meet individual corporation needs
  • Perfect for employee engagement events
  • Suggested duration: 60 minutes
  • Platform: Zoom or Microsoft Teams
  • Cost: $1,000.00

A hands-on and interactive animal training experience that is perfect for employee retreats or a team building exercise. Trainers will lead your group through fun and engaging foundational skills and simple tricks using positive reinforcement training methods. Group class duration can be tailored for your company’s specific needs and can include a Q&A period to address individual employee training questions at the end. A handout detailing training instructions for each exercise will be provided at the end of the class. 

Book your corporate group training experience by emailing Beverley McKee, Program Manager of Public Training Services & Care Support, bmckee@torontohumanesociety.com.

Dr. Jacklyn Ellis, MRes PhD CAAB

Director, Behaviour

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 McKee, BA, CDBC, CPDT-KA

Program Manager, Public Training Services and Care Support

Beverley is the Program Manager, Public Training Services and Care Support at Toronto Humane Society. She is a 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 Certified Animal Trainer Professional, a Fear Free Shelter Graduate, a Living and Learning With Animals Graduate under Dr. Susan Friedman, and serves as Secretary, Board of Directors for the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. Beverley and her Toronto Humane Society adopted Australian Cattle Dog Luke train and compete regularly in Sporting Scent Detection and Rally Obedience and have achieved numerous sporting dog titles.

Jessica Tartaglia, CPDT-KA

Certified professional Dog Trainer

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 at the shelter.

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 shelter 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, CPDT-KA

Certified Professional Dog Trainer, Fear Free Animal Trainer Professional

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.

Shannen McNee

Certified Cat Behavior Consultant

Shannen began her career working with cats in-shelter 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, 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 th 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.

Erika Ehrenreich, CPDT-KA

Certified Professional Dog Trainer

Erika began her career at Toronto Humane Society in the Shelter Care Department, working hands on in the care and husbandry of shelter 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 Blumenthal, CPDT-KA

Certified Professional Dog 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.

Virtual Setup

Virtual Setup

  • We conduct our training sessions via video calls using free and easily accessible video conferencing platforms. After you schedule your session, your trainer will send a link to access your training session.
  • Be sure to be online and signed into the conferencing software designated by your trainer no less than 5 minutes before your session.
  • Have bite-sized training treats or any other equipment recommended by your instructor on hand prior to beginning your consultation or group class session.

Owner Responsibility

  • By registering for training classes, private behaviour consultations or practical training sessions with Toronto Humane Society you acknowledge and recognize that the role you play in your animal’s training is integral to achieving desired results. You acknowledge and agree that there is no guarantee that your animal will achieve the desired level of training despite the best efforts of Toronto Humane Society. You further understand and agree that any service or product recommended by Toronto Humane Society is not a guarantee of satisfaction with that product or service.

Equipment

  • It is recommended that you bring a treat pouch along with your pet’s favourite pea-sized treats. (Treat pouches and treats are available for purchase in our lobby if needed).
  • For the comfort and safety of your pet, a fitted flat or martingale collar coupled with a non-retractable leash is required. Harnesses may be worn if preferred.

Group Classes

  • Dogs must be healthy with proof of vaccination. Please see our Health and Vaccinations Form for our general health guidelines and vaccination requirements.
  • All group classes run for approximately 60 minutes.
  • The amount of hands-on training that occurs during each class is determined at the discretion of the trainer; factors such as but not limited to class size, comfort and energy level of the dogs, type of exercise being taught, etc. may be taken into account
  • Female dogs in heat may not attend group classes
  • Dogs/handlers that display aggressive or consistently disruptive behaviours towards other dogs or people during class may be asked to leave.

Cancellations and Rescheduling

  • Private classes may be cancelled and rescheduled with your trainer within 4 months of the date of purchase.
  • Group classes run on a week to week basis. Unfortunately, we cannot provide make-up classes if a session is missed.

At Toronto Humane Society, we strive to do our best to protect you, your pet, and the animals that live at the shelter from illness and disease. Please ensure that you carefully review our General Health Guidelines and Vaccination Requirements before registering for our classes.

General Health Guidelines

Your puppy/dog must be healthy, bright, alert, and free from contagious disease. Please contact your trainer and do not attend class if your puppy/dog develops any of the following:

  • Vomiting and/or diarrhea
  • Coughing and/or sneezing
  • Nasal and/or eye discharge (that is yellow or green in colour)
  • Skin lesions or hair loss
  • Ticks and/or fleas

Vaccination Requirements

You will be required to provide proof of vaccination and any other specified preventative treatment upon registering for classes. Please bring these records with you on your first day of class. It is recommended that you arrive at least 15 minutes early prior to your first class to make payment at our front desk and submit your registration paper work and proof of vaccination to the trainer.

Puppy and Adult Group Sessions

  • Minimum first set of core vaccines (DHPP) at least 7 days prior to attending first class*
  • First deworming at least 7 days prior to attending first class

Foundation Skills Tier 1, 2, & Problem Solving and Behaviour Modification

  • Up to date DHPP vaccination at least 7 days prior to attending first class
  • Up to date rabies vaccination

*Please continue to follow your veterinarian’s recommended vaccination schedule

Contact Us

If you would like more information on our training services, please email us at publictraining@torontohumanesociety.com