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Mission & Philosophy


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Employing the latest in best practices

Every dog is different, and many dog training techniques exist. What to do?

At Swansea we gravitate to a motivational approach as studies have shown that when a dog performs a behavior willingly, there is a higher retention rate which leads to reliability even when a dog faces tempting distractions. Having a dog who behaves well because he wants to is better than behaving because he has to.

We encourage a happy, positive approach so your dog will equate trying new things with good times and amazing rewards. Likewise, we want you to have fun too because isn't that why you got your dog in the first place?

One size does not always fit all so we are flexible when it comes to employing different methods to reach the same goals. As far as we are concerned training is really about communication, and by reading your dog properly you can make great strides quickly. This is a two way street and your dog can teach you a lot too, so long as you leave your ego at the door and show your dog respect and consideration. Mutual respect and trust allows you to build a closer bond with your dog. And, by the way, an "educated dog" make a much more interesting companion, with a deeper cognitive powers and consciousness. It is remarkable how profound a connection you can forge after working with your dog even for a short time. What you get back will far exceed the effort you put in.

We DO NOT not employ coercive training, based on punishment, which was popular in the past. While it may be true that some special ciumstances may require a stern and memorable correction, this should be a tool used only under the strict supervision of a qualified animal behaviourist.

Training with a gentle hand can take more skill and finesse, compared to crude methods, but long term, that's the way to go if you are looking to build a lasting relationship both you and your dog feel good about. You will never regret treating your dog compassionately.

Our Mission

You got yourself a dog. Congratulations! Now what? The Swansea Dog Obedience Club (SDOC) offers a wide variety of fun, gratifying and useful activities you can enjoy with your K9 companion. Since 1974, the Club has successfully instructed thousands of dogs and their owners in puppy, basic obedience, competitive obedience, Rally-O, Agility classes and much, much more... We offer tons of options to bring out the best in your dog, and the best in you! Remember, great dogs are the product of great owners. And we endeavor to help you become the best dog owner you can be.

Why Choose Us

At Swansea, we combine praise, positive motivation and reinforcement to enable every dog to reach its full potential as a well behaved companion or a participant in competitions. Our instructors are professional and highly experienced, some with decades of experience and multiple performance titles. Classes take place in the west end of Toronto, Ontario at St. Matthew’s Church (3962 Bloor Street West, a few blocks east of Highway 427); click here to see a map. Our training venue offers plenty of free parking. Swansea is a not-for-profit volunteer club. Members of the club volunteer their time to promote responsible dog ownership through class instruction, seminars, obedience trials, agility competitions. We also undertake community outreach initiatives, attending festivals, offering demonstrations, and providing pet companionship at seniors' residences.

Testimonials

Hi Kelly,

Just wanted to thank you once again for all your support and guidance over the last several weeks. You and your team did an outstanding job teaching me and the others how to train our dogs!

Your expertise and wonderful patience was much appreciated as I had little experience training our dog Winnie. Obedience 1 was wel worth my time and money as I feel so much more prepared to care and further train Winnie!

I would and will reccomend Obedience 1 to anyone with a new dog!
Siana and Winnie about Beginner Obedience 1

"My dog and I greatly enjoyed Swansea's Open CDX class. The instructor's enthusiasm, knowledge and instruction was superb and we feel more prepared as we continue on our competitive obedience journey. In the past 12 years with multiple dogs of different breeds, I have taken puppy, level 1 and 2 obedience, rally, competitive obedience and dog sport classes with Swansea Dog Obedience Club and enjoyed all of these classes. Thank you Swansea for offering quality instruction and a wide variety of training options."
Monica and Brio (Doberman Pinscher)

"I would like to thank Swansea Dog Obedience Club for helping me make a breakthrough with my Border Terrier, Pym. We have been struggling for months with retrieving the dumbell in Open. I have tried so many things to motivate her. This is actually a bigger issue than just between me and Pym. I have struggled with the dumbell with other dogs. It really affected my confidence in the ring and, I feel, hurt my relationship with my dogs. (All my fault!!)

After a couple of weeks of calm instruction and unfailing positivity, we made a breakthrough! Pym retrieved the dumbell with a happy attitude!! I really feel I may have given up on Competition Obedience if this had not happened. Thank you so much for keeping us going, checking in and your detailed homework."
Lisa and Pym (Border Terrier)

"My dog Carbon and I started training with Swansea in 2019. We’ve taken both Obedience and Rally classes and the instructors have been absolutely amazing. They work with each student to provide a personalized experience, whether it be making an exercise more simple or advanced to ensure your dog either fully understands what’s being asked of them or are being challenged if they’ve already grasped the concepts. We’ve trained with several other schools and clubs before and I cannot say enough about the quality that comes from this club. We’re looking forward to the next set of classes so we can start preparing for competitions!

Thank you so much Swansea Dog Obedience Club!
Jenny Lu and Carbon