Frequently Asked Questions
What Services Do You Offer?
We specialise in dog and cat training services (Online and in-person). See the "Book Services" section for more details, but services are offered outside this section; contact for more information.
Services: Online puppy classes, Online Adult obedience classes, Trick Training classes (3 levels), Separation Anxiety, Behaviour Modification (aggression, fear, and leash reactivity), Private online and in-person training and packages.
What kind of training techniques do you use?
Shaggy dog employs science-based, force-free reinforcement training and classical conditioning techniques. Operant conditioning, classical conditioning, counter conditioning and de-sensitisation methods are used to train pets.
No aversive or punishment-based techniques or tools are tolerated. This includes choke shock or prong collars. No striking or spraying of pets is very permitted either.
Do you train dogs?
No- we see cats too!
How Much Experience Do You Have Training?
The trainer has been working in training and animal behaviour for over 20 years. She has hands-on experience in horses, dogs and cats.
She has an undergraduate and master's degree from the University of Guelph. Her master's was in Animal Welfare and Behaviour. She also received a Veterinary Degree from the University of Edinburgh in 2015.
Yearly continuing education is performed to keep knowledge and skills up to date. She enrolled in a 2017 "Dog Aggression Directed Towards People" course and passed with a 98% on the final exam, as one example.
Do you ever recommend tools to help with training?
Yes, for our training clients, we recommend helpful training tools. However, no tool will ever replace you as the trainer. They are to assist but not to train.
Will you walk/train my dog on a prong or choke collar?
We will not train your dog with a choke and would show alternative options to prong collars, but you can start in them until you feel more confident with the alternative tools and training. Some tools give far more control than a prong and don't cause pain in your dog.
Can you train my dog for me?
Day training is provided on a case-by-case basis to some clients. However, we will mainly show you how to be the primary trainer for your pets since you see them the most and have the most opportunity to train them. A few hours a week won't make as much of a difference as daily training by you.
Do you only train young animals?
Nope! We see dogs and cats from 5 weeks old to 20 years old. Age is not a restriction.
What is the difference between obedience training and Behaviour modification?
We see dogs and cats for both types of training.
Obedience training would be any standard or basic manner training such as sit, down, stay, recall (come), etc. This is operant conditioning training-- teaching pets to do certain behaviours on cue.
Behaviour modification is used with more serious behaviours stemming from issues with the pet's emotions. Classical condition, counter conditioning and de-sensitisation training are employed to help.
The aim is to change the emotions surrounding the issues and then the behaviour with change as a result.
Click the link above to fill in the intake form and book a free phone consultation. The trainer will chat with you about which option would work best for you and your pet.
Do you do private or group training sessions?
We do both!
Check out the Book Services section for more details or arrange a chat with the trainer.
How does online training work?
Online training is very easy and straightforward. It works the same as in-person training, but you and the trainer speak via a web messenger instead.
We primarily use Zoom but can accommodate any video conferencing tool that is most convenient for you.
Your pet will get live training during the video conferences. We can arrange a private session but also teach online group classes. Written instructions and handouts are provided after each session. Many classes will also have video demonstrations to help.
You get all the same high-quality training from the comfort of your own home. Fewer distractions for your dog, less travel time and gas money, and young puppies can start learning right away (as early as five weeks of age rather than waiting until 10-12 weeks).
Online is a great alternative for dogs with aggression or fear too. They can benefit from classes and learn essential skills to help with behaviour modification programs without putting themselves or others at risk or in front of their "triggers" that will reinforce the reactive behaviours.
What are the advantages of online versus in-person training?
There are many advantages to online-based training, but it depends on the situation:
Access the highly educated and trained professionals
No longer limited by your immediate area:
You can access real professionals who are qualified, even if they don't live near you.
You can train from the comfort of your home!
You can start training your puppy right away!
Training can start before they can go outside because they won't be leaving home or mixing with other dogs.
Fewer distractions for your dog/puppy when they're first learning.
Complete flexibility in when you attend training appointments (private sessions).
You can see how the training should look by watching the trainer demonstrate or in the online videos!
If you have animals that are stressed by strangers, you can learn from the trainer without them ever entering the home and frightening your pets.
You can work your pet up to in-home visits rather than worsening the fear by having the trainer come in person.
You can show the trainer your house set-up without ever having them over.
You maintain full privacy and don't have to worry about the security or privacy of your home, but still receive all the benefits as if the trainer had come over!
Fees are slightly cheaper as you don't have to pay for trainer travel time back and forth.
The trainer can show online videos and other resources immediately, and you can save any links to your favourite list, rather than having to search for them after class and possibly never finding them.
Rather than a trainer only being able to visit between 9-6 pm, you can be seen much later/earlier without putting too much stress on the trainer, allowing for increased flexibility.
You can still receive diplomas and ribbons for your dog at the end of classes! They can easily be mailed or provided as pdf files.
Are your rates negotiable?
Most services and packages are a standard rate and non-negotiable.
However, custom training and plans are available for clients on a strict budget. Email the trainer and provide more details on your situation.
What kind of payment do you accept?
We accept etransfer, cheques, or cash at this time.
Payment MUST be provided in advance to secure your booking times.
Are taxes included in the service rates?
There is a 13% tax on all services, with some exemptions (Online training and webinar/ lectures usually have taxes included).
Can I receive a receipt for the services provided?
Yes, absolutely. All receipts/paid invoices will be emailed to the email address provided on your client contact forms. Email to receive an official receipt.
Do you require deposits? Why?
All services must be paid in full upfront.
This is to secure your spot with the trainer and prevent others from booking over that spot. The trainer will lesson plan before your meeting, set up necessary products for the training, and pay for the rent on spaces such as training halls.
Can I cancel/reschedule last minute?
There is a $30 fee to reschedule last minute (48-hour notice or less).
There is a $30 fee to cancel a service before the 72-hour period. Any cancellations received 72 hours or less from the time of services are non-refundable.
Are services available on holidays?
Yes, we provide training on holidays except for ones we are closed: Christmas eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year's Day, Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Family Day and Thanksgiving. For the remaining holidays, we are available.
What is the cancellation/refund policy?
Payment is due within three days of the time of booking. If not received within seven days, your service will be cancelled.
All cancellations are subject to a $30 cancellation fee per booking. Any cancellations with less than three days notice are NON-REFUNDABLE.
A cancellation fee of 50% of the cost of the class/course is required for cancellation at any time 48 hours before the start of the course/class. Classes are NON-REFUNDABLE 48 hours from the start of the class.
Separation anxiety packages: All package services must be used within their designated four or eight-week periods. Rescheduling is subject to the fee above. All attempts will be offered to reschedule within the time frames. But, if the client cannot reschedule within that time frame or refuses the fees to extend their service, their sessions are forfeited without a refund. Other cancellation and rescheduling fees above apply.
Other Packages/Bundles: all services must be used within four months of the first session and are subject to the rescheduling and cancellation policies above. Other cancellations and rescheduling policies above apply.
It is considered services rendered if you do not appear for your scheduled training. You cannot be rescheduled at that point. Any clients appearing late to their training sessions will not receive extra time.
In-person services are provided from Kingston to Trenton. Online options are available Canada-wide.
Reviews and Testimonials?
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As of June 2022, we have 28 reviews with a 5/5 rating.