Virtual Training Classes & Consultations


Toronto Humane Society is excited to offer new dog and cat virtual training classes for those looking to continue their pet’s training and enrichment, while still practicing responsible social distancing. With the closure of many dog parks and training facilities now more than ever it is important to keep your pets life active, healthy, and always improving.

Have a feline friend? Not a problem! We have cat behaviour consultations and training available to teach new tricks or work through behavioural challenges, with options tailored to suit your needs!

Both virtual group classes and one-on-one sessions are available to help you and your pet bond and continue to grow together.
CLASS AVAILABILITY

Class Descriptions

Dog Twenty for Twenty

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  • $20
  • Private
  • 20 Minutes Each
  • Meet one on one with a trainer via Skype or Zoom for a training session.

Mental enrichment and training can be as beneficial to dogs as extended physical exercise sessions. In some circumstances, training sessions teaching happy and calm behaviour can even provide more benefit than a long off leash free for all romp in a dog park, especially for those dogs prone to over arousal during dog park visits. Even the needs of high energy pets can be met with do-at-home enrichment ideas and training challenges.

  • Tell us what you’d like to work on with your dog and the trainer will coach you through an exercise or give you an enrichment or training challenge to work on for the week.
  • Re-book weekly as desired for continued challenges or exercises, or to have the trainer review your progress and coach you through next steps.

Feline Twenty for Twenty

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  • $20
  • Private
  • 20 Minutes Each
  • Meet one on one with a trainer via Skype or Zoom for a training session.

Our problem solving and behaviour modification consultations are specifically designed to offer training and support to you and your cat where needed the most. As we offer these services as virtual consultations, you and your cat are able to participate from the comfort of your own home.

  • Get guidance on behavioural issues you may be experiencing or to explore enrichment ideas and fun training games.
  • Re-book weekly as desired for continued challenges or exercises, or to have the trainer review your progress and coach you through next steps.

Dog Problem Solving and Behaviour Modification Private Sessions

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  • $75
  • Private
  • 60-90 Minutes Each
  • Meet one on one with a trainer via Skype or Zoom for a training session.

Our Problem Solving and Behaviour Modification classes are specifically designed to offer training and support to you and your dog where needed the most. If your dog struggles with issues relating to anxiety, fear, or aggression, we can help by providing a full evaluation, as well as a thorough management and behaviour modification plan. Your dog’s individual history and needs, as well as realistic goals will be discussed in a private setting. Receive comprehensive, compassionate, and dependable care for the emotional and mental health and well-being of your dog.

  • A written management and training plan will be forwarded by email to you after the consultation

Cat Problem Solving and Behaviour Modification Package

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  • $105
  • Private
  • 60-90 Minutes Each
  • Meet one on one with a trainer via Skype or Zoom for a training session.

Our Problem Solving and Behaviour Modification classes are specifically designed to offer training and support to you and your cat where needed the most. If your cat struggles with issues relating to anxiety, fear, or aggression, we can help by providing a full evaluation, as well as a thorough management and behaviour modification plan. Your cat’s individual history and needs, as well as realistic goals will be discussed in a private setting. Receive comprehensive, compassionate, and dependable care for the emotional and mental health and well-being of your cat.

  • A written management and training plan will be forwarded by email to you after the consultation

Dog Foundation Skills Tier 1

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  • $120
  • Group
  • 6 Sessions - 40 Minutes Each
  • Group call with a trainer via Skype or Zoom for training sessions.

Our Foundation Skills Tier 1 classes emphasize the importance of trust and teamwork for you and your dog! Learn how to support your dog through the learning process with positive reinforcement based training practices. Discover the basics of learning theory, and how to recognize constructive learning opportunities in everyday situations! Grow together with your dog while building foundational skills and strengthening the human-animal bond!

  • Week 1 – Rewards, reinforcements, markers and adding cues the right way!
  • Week 2 – Motivation, generalization, targeting and attention exercises
  • Week 3 – Impulse control, Solid stays, stationary behaviours
  • Week 4 – Excellent expectations, targeting and building on stationary behaviours
  • Week 5 – Successful sessions, Recalls and leash handling
  • Week 6 – Review, games and problem solving

Puppy Socialization

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  • $80
  • Group
  • 4 Sessions - 40 Minutes Each
  • Group call with a trainer via Skype or Zoom for a 40 minute training session.

Providing you and your best friend with constructive, supportive, and inspiring training for strengthening the human-animal bond!

  • Online Orientation Video – Register for Puppy Socialization Classes, and access our online orientation video! This video will help prepare you with the basics in order for you and your puppy to get the most out of classes! Once you have completed the online orientation video, you and your puppy can attend your first class.
  • Health and Handling – Focuses on creating positive experiences around handling your puppy, as well as helpful tips on how to make vet visits fun and rewarding. Learn how to problem solve when it comes to issues such as crate training and elimination training.
  • Outfits and Appearances – Focuses on meeting familiar people who might be dressed in unfamiliar attire! From lab coats to baseball caps, adventure and lots of treats await puppies for this week’s focus. Learn how to problem solve issues such as jumping up to say hello, and chewing on people or items.
  • Obstacles and Sounds – Focuses on fun and exploring around novel items! Your puppy can traverse new and interesting surfaces, and will have the opportunity to build positive associations around the presence of every day house hold items, as well as objects they might come across during regular walks and adventures. Learn how to problem solve issues such as resource guarding prevention, and collar handling.
  • Wheels and Motion – Focuses on items that may be in motion. Puppies will have the opportunity to get the scoop about skateboards, scooters, strollers, and more! Learn how to problem solve issues such as pulling on leash, independence training, and counter surfing.

Tricks Training

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Our Tricks Training class is designed specifically to help you do more with your dog. Through trust and teamwork you and your dog will face fun new challenges and have the opportunity to learn and practice impressive tricks that are both fun and can be transitioned to practical use in cooperative care or conditioning applications. You will learn more about targeting, shaping, luring and capturing and how these foundations make trick training that much easier. You and your dog will be the talk of the town when you show off these fine tricks! Recommended Prerequisite: Foundations Tier 1 or equivalent.

Trainer Bios

Beverley McKee, ACDBC, CPDT-KA
Certified Fear Free Professional
Assistant Manager, Training

Beverley McKee joined THS’s training department in May, 2018. Beverley is an Associate Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (ACDBC) through the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, a certified dog trainer (CPDT-KA) through the Certification Council of Professional Dog Trainers and a Fear Free Certified Animal Trainer Professional through Fear Free Pets. She also holds a BA from Carleton University in Ottawa.

Prior to joining the team, Beverley was the owner of a boutique dog walking and dog training company in Toronto and was a founding partner and instructor in a dog walker continuing education initiative called EduCanine as well as a founding member and former administrator of a 500 person strong collective of professional dog walkers in Toronto. She also founded an informal Tricks Training group called the Tricky Trainer’s Collective which she has since expanded through offering open mat tricks training drop ins at THS. Beverley lives in Toronto’s west end with her two Australian Cattle Dogs, Petunia and Luke, an adopted dog from THS.

Caitlyn Jerome
Feline Enrichment Specialist

Caitlyn joined the Feline Training Team in September 2018 as a Feline Enrichment Specialist. She has since been working on many different courses to help her further her knowledge on cat behavior. She has earned her International Associations of Animal Behaviour Consultants (IAABC) Shelter Behaviour Affiliate designation and Silver level low-stress handling certificate. Over the 5 years Caitlyn has worked at THS she has worn many hats until finally realizing her true calling was working with cats. Now she works to help to change the stigma that cats are “untrainable.”

Caitlyn shares her home with THS feline alumni Majora and her hedgehog Babs. Along with her own animals Caitlyn is an avid foster parent for THS and has now housed over 80 foster animals.

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. She started at the THS as an Animal Care Worker in November 2017 and couldn’t decide if she more enjoyed working with the cats or dogs. Jess 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 the THS Jess completed a BSc at the University of Guelph in Zoology. She worked for a small CAZA accredited exotic animal shelter doing 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 farm.

Kassie Dickson, CPDT-KA

Certified professional Dog Trainer

Kassie Dickson is a CPDT-KA certified trainer with the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers. Working professionally in the industry for 10 years she has completed many self study courses and attended many seminars including those from Dr. Ian Dunbar, Michael Shikashio, Karen Pryor, and Ken Ramirez. Kassie started working with dogs at a very young age as a junior CKC Handler as well as with Seeing Eye dogs and working dogs in training. She is committed to finding the most humane and effective solutions to both client and shelter dog training needs. She continues to learn and grow through her fellow trainers and continuing education. When Kassie isn’t at the shelter or working with clients and their dogs, she is training her own dogs Norco and Bernie in agility, dock diving and disk!

Kyla Guercio, KPACTP

Certified professional Dog Trainer

Kyla Guercio has been working within the animal industry since 2015. She has worked as a dog walker, daycare attendant, an assistant in training classes, and a certified trainer since receiving her Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner designation in May of 2019. Since then, she has owned her own dog walking and dog training company, completed Michael Shikashio’s Aggression in Dogs course, her Fear Free shelters course and is working though her Fear Free Trainer course. Kyla shares a home with two husky mixes, an orange tabby cat, and an eyelash crested gecko. She has been passionate about animal welfare for as long as she can remember and is thrilled to be a part of the THS team so she can help improve the lives of many more humans and animals.

Louise Lawrence, CPDT-KA

Certified professional Dog Trainer, Fear Free Animal Trainer Professional

Louise Lawrence started her career volunteering at The 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, and Fear Free Certified Animal Trainer credentials, while becoming a leader in the Toronto dog walking community.

In 2020, Louise joined the THS 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.

Melissa Shupak, CPDT-KA, SBA

Assistant Manager, Training

Melissa Shupak joined the Toronto Humane Society (THS)’s Training team in July 2017. Melissa started at the THS as an Animal Care Worker (ACW) in 2015 and later took on the role of Canine Enrichment ACW. This position enabled her to further educate and expose herself to the world of canine behaviour and training which then led her on her journey towards being an Canine Trainer. Melissa became assistant manager of the training department with an in-shelter focus for both canine and feline training in February 2019.

Melissa strives to continue to educate herself in the most current humane, trust building methods of training to implement in-shelter and with clients. Melissa holds certification as a trainer through the Certification Council of Professional Dog Trainers as well as earned her International Associations of Animal Behaviour Consultants (IAABC) Shelter Behaviour Affiliate designation. Melissa is also in process of receiving her Fear Free Animal Trainer certification.

Melissa shares her home with a rescue cat, Russo, a senior rescue beagle, Molly, and from time to time a THS foster animal!

Shannen McNee
Feline Enrichment Specialist

Shannen started at the Toronto Humane Society as a Feline Adoption Agent in 2016 and quickly developed an interest in working with the cats in the shelter requiring some extra TLC. She started assisting the Feline Training Department in 2017 and officially joined the Feline Training team in April of 2018. She is currently working towards her Low Stress Handling certification and continues to learn from her mentors and peers in the shelter. Shannen enjoys working hands on with the cats in the shelter and part of her experience includes leading Kitten Kindergarten classes with our THS foster parents and their foster kittens (which is as cute as it sounds). Shannen is committed to providing humane and practical behaviour modification advice to people to help their cats live happy and enriched lives.

Shannen shares her home with 3 wonderful animals. A senior cat named Chanel, a no-eyed cat named Pipsqueak and a one-eyed dog named Rosy.

Price Menu

Class Type Duration Price*
Dog twenty for twenty Private 20 minutes $20
Cat twenty for twenty Private 20 minutes $20
Dog Problem Solving & Behaviour Modification Private Sessions Private 60-90 minutes $75
Cat Problem Solving & Behaviour Modification Private Sessions Private 60-90 minutes $60
Dog Foundation Skills Tier 1 Group 6 Sessions-40 Minutes Each $120
Puppy Socialization Group 4 Sessions-40 Minutes Each $80

Policies

Registration and Payment

Virtual Setup

  • It is recommended that you download and install Skype and Zoom to your digital device to allow for the highest quality possible for the virtual consultations.
  • Be sure to be online and signed into the conferencing software designated by your trainer no less than 5 minutes before your session.
  • Have all treats, leashes, toys, and other training materials on hand prior to beginning your consultation session.

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.

Contact Us

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