We want your experience here at The Toronto Centre for Canine Education to be as enjoyable as possible. For that reason, we want to share our "School Etiquette" guidelines so that everyone can enjoy their experience!
Arrive five to ten minutes early. Latecomers will not be accommodated out of respect for the class in progress. In difficult weather leave early to give yourself plenty of time and if you're early, take a walk in the neighbourhood! Arriving more than ten minutes early might mean hanging out in the hall until we open.
Ensure cell phones are turned off or on "silent" while at TCCE. This is your time to “unplug” and focus on your dog. We don't mind you taking the occasional picture or video of your dog, however ensure that you do not capture other students or instructors / staff in the photo or video. We may ask that devices are put away if we find they are distracting. (*Note: during Cranky Canine classes, phones are not permitted to be used due to the high risk nature of the class and the need for your full attention at all times.)
If there is a class in session, keep voices down as our school is not sound proofed. Excessive noise can distract students when they're learning.
Remember that dogs have sensitive senses especially in the nose department! Please skip the cologne and perfume and avoid overwhelming their senses, depressing learning and even giving them (and us!) a headache!
If children (6yrs+) are in attendance, please ensure they have something to work on just in case the classes are not quite up their alley. (Remember this is your dog - not theirs!) A few ideas - colouring book, reading book / magazines, iPod and earbuds with quiet music, a tablet or video game device on "silent". Children who follow rules may be given a sticker at the end of class!
Not everyone appreciates your adorable dog jumping on them or their dog. Keep your dog's focus on you using treats, a toy, or a stuffed Kong. Reward their good choices, like *not* jumping!
If your dog is barking for any reason, tend to their needs first and foremost rather than ignoring it. Ignoring unwanted behaviour often doesn't work (ask us about extinction!) so redirect your dog's attention to a stuffed Kong or ask for a desired behaviour and reward it handsomely.
If your dog has a tendency to "mark" by urinating on items, please let us know in advance and prevent your dog from urinating on our barriers and supplies. You can also purchase a "male wrap" or "belly band" from Pet Valu to use in class and in new places to prevent this from happening until we can address it in training. We appreciate not having to take home urine-soaked items to wash at home!
We do not allow aversive tools to be used on the dogs in our classes. This includes prong/pinch collars, choke/check chains, slip-leads (including limited slip leads), spray collars, and/or shock collars. Use of these tools will result in expulsion without refund. Instead, ask us to help you find a humane tool that you can use! We are here to help you!
If your dog displays an undesired behaviour, ask them to do something they know how to do (sit, watch me, come, etc...) and reward that behaviour. If it doesn't work, calmly walk them away to a quieter spot and encourage them to relax on their mat with their stuffed Kong. We would like to remind you that we do not condone nor permit the use of punishment or force. We are more than happy to help you in your moments of frustration and strive to give you the skills and knowledge to manage/change undesired behaviours. We do reserve the right to remove a student (without refund) from the classroom for inappropriate behaviour toward dogs, other students, or our staff.
Thank you for being a marvellous student!