Frequently Asked Questions
What Services Do You Offer?
We specialise in dog and cat training services (Online and in-person). We also offer in-client-home pet sitting. All services can be seen with rates on the 'Book Services' section of the site.
Services: Puppy classes, adult obedience classes, Trick Training classes (3 levels), Separation Anxiety, Behaviour Modification (aggression, fear, and leash reactivity), Walk and Train, Social Sunday Group walks, and more.
What kind of training techniques do you use?
Shaggy dog employs 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 just train dogs?
No- we see cats too! Visit our ‘Book Services’ section for more information.
How Much Experience Do You Have Training?
The trainer has been working in training since 2000 working with hand-on experience in horses, dogs and cats, mainly.
She has an undergraduate and master’s degree from the University of Guelph. Her master’s was in Animal Welfare and Behaviour. She also has a Veterinary Degree from the University of Edinburgh received in 2015. She has practiced as a veterinarian in UK clinics, but also had her North American Veterinary Licencing exam qualification (2020).
Yearly continuing education is performed to keep knowledge and skills up to date. She enrolled in a course in 2017 “Dog Aggression Directed Towards People” 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 absolutely recommend helpful training tools- the main one being treats! We also recommend the best harnesses and leashes to ensure great communication between you and your dog while training.
Will you walk/train my dog on a prong or choke collar?
No, but we can recommend tools that will encourage effective communication and that do less harm.
Can you train my dog for me?
We can provide 'walk and train' options in the Kingston area, but will not solely train your pet. ‘Drop and train’ options are not available.
In general, training is most successful when the owner/pet-parent takes the role of the main trainer. To that effect, we help you succeed as the main trainer to achieve the best outcome.
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 the obedience training and Behaviour modification?
We see dogs and cats for both types.
Obedience training would be any standard or basic manner training such as sit, down, stay, recall (come), ect. 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 is employed to help with behaviour medication.
The aim is to change the emotions surrounding the issues then the behaviour itself with change as a result.
Visit the ‘Book Services’ section and book a free phone consultation if you are unsure which to choose. The trainer will have a chat with you about which option would work best for you and your pets.
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 simple. It works the same as in-person training, but you and the trainer speak via a web messenger instead.
You can choose any web messenger, but zoom/skype/Facebook messenger are the most popular options. See video below.
Your pet will get live training during the video conferences. We can arrange private session, but I also teach online group classes. Techniques are demonstrated live on Winston (the mascot dog if you will). Written instructions and hand outs 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. Less distractions for your dog, less travel time and gas money, and young puppies can start learning right away (as early as 5 weeks of age rather than having to wait until 10-12 weeks).
Online is a great alternative for dogs with aggression or fear too. They can also benefit from classes and learn essential obedience to help with behaviour modification programs without putting themselves or others at risk. No risk to your dog or your own health- social distancing maintained!
What are the advantages to online versus in-person training?
There are actually quite a lot of advantage to online based training:
Access the very highly educated and trained pet trainers
No longer limited by your immediate area:
you can access real professionals who are actually qualified, even if they don’t live near you.
You can train from the comfort of your own home!
You can start training your puppy right away!
Training can start even before they can go outside because they won’t be leaving home or mixing with other dogs (no risk of parvovirus infection).
Less distractions for your dog/puppy when they’re first learning.
This improves learning time and allows you to add distractions in a slow and controlled way vastly improving the outcome of training.
Complete flexibility in when you attend training appointments/classes.
If you miss a class it’s much easier to make-up the class:
It's easier to book a make-up class if you miss one via online, unlike in-person training where if you miss a class you never get a chance to re-take it. Thus, less risk to the quality of your experience.
You can see how the training should look by watching the trainer demonstrate on their own dog’s at home!
Usually not possible in a normal puppy class due to infectious disease risks.
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 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.
Trainer can show online videos and other resources right away 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.
Can still receive diplomas and ribbons for your dog at the end of classes! They can easily be mailed.
Are your rates negotiable?
Not for any standard service options.
All rates can be found on the ‘Book Services’ section.
If you have something outside the standard rate the trainer will give a quote. There are cheaper rates for those booking several sessions at once. Email or arrange a chat with the trainer for more details on the block booking rates.
What kind of payment do you accept?
We accept etransfer, cash, and cheque.
Are taxes included in the service rates?
There is a 13% tax are on top of all in-person services, with some exemptions (Online training and webinar/ lectures usually have taxes included).
Can I receive a receipt for services provided?
Yes, absolutely. All receipts/paid invoices will be emailed to the email address provided on your client contact forms.
Do you require deposits? Why?
Yes, for all pet sitting bookings. This protects your booking interests and our pet sitters.
Pet sitting slots are often limited so it’s highly recommended to book well in advance. Christmas and Summer holiday booking request start coming in 4-5 months in advance by most clients.
Can I arrange last-minute bookings?
Yes, but there is an added $10 fee for any booking made less than 24-48 hours in advance. You must have all necessary paper work including contracts signed and up to date prior to booking any service.
We reserve the right to decline any last-minute bookings based on availability, but will most definitely accommodate last minute or emergency booking whenever possible.
Is there any extra fees for Holiday days?
Yes, for pet care services only. An extra fee of 10$ per day/service needed on statutory holidays: Christmas eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Day, Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Family day and Thanksgiving.
What is the cancellation/refund policy?
Training services are non-refundable.
Pet sitting clients must provide a 50% NON-REFUNDABLE deposit to book. Cancellations can be made at any time for this service, but the deposit is non-refundable. The remaining 50% of the pet sit is due on the first day of services. Cancellations after the first day of service are non-refundable- full fees are required unless otherwise arranged with the business owner.
In-person services are for the Kingston Ontario area only. Online options are available Canada wide.
Reviews and Testimonials?
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As of June 2020 we have 28 reviews with a 5/5 rating.