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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions


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No. We welcome both members and non-members to our classes. Click here to view our range of classes.

By finding our website, you’ve already made the first step. Congratulations! We recommend clicking here to check out our range of beginner-level classes and see which is right for you and your dog. Puppy Kindergarten is highly recommended for dogs between 10-20 weeks, or Obedience Level 1 for all ages. Still not sure? Click here for our contact form and send us your questions!

We definitely still have classes designed to suit your needs. We try to offer Puppy Kindergarten, Beginner Obedience 1 and Beginner Obedience 2 every term and all of those courses will help you attain a general goal of "well behaved pet".

However, training is life long, and is more about communication than anything else. Without regular practice and reinforcement those lines of communication breakdown. So whatever the age of your dog, or however long they have lived with you, taking another course can be just the thing your frendship with your dog needs.

Some people like to have an activity they do with their dog to facilitate that relationship beyond walks or a game of fetch, hence sports. The game can be as informal as sniffing out cookies hidden in a room or it can be formalized into SDDA or CKC sanctioned scent detection. Activites like these come with the added benifit of the opportunity to allow your dog to get out energy that couldn't get out with a long walk or with fetch; but because you take a course does not mean you have to compete. Taking the course and learning something new is enough.

At the end of the day sports are just games and they should be fun, but what is fun for one person or one dog will not suit another. Which is why we try to offer as diverse a range of sports as possible to allow all individuals the opportunity to explore what they consider fun and to give everyone the opportunity to have fun with their dogs.

Check out our list of classes here to see if there are any that might interest you.

No not at all.

At Swansea Dog Obedience Club we feel that responsible pet ownership is the goal, and that is enough.

However, sports are an excellent way to facilitate responsible pet ownership, and competition is the opportunity to test yourself and your training. Competition also gives you the opportunity to see the training techniques of other people and improve upon you knowledge set. So, while you do not have to compete, it is important to have goals, so let us know how we can help you facilitate them.

Click here for our contact form and send us your questions!

Classes run out of the church hall at St. Matthew’s Church. The hall enterance is on the east side of the building through the glass doors facing Bloor Street at the rear of the church lot. The and the address of our training hall is 3962 Bloor St. West, Toronto, Ontario, M9B 1M3.

St Matthew's church has a large parking lot and a small bike rack. It is generally best to park on the east side of the building.

If taking the bus: take the 49 to Shaver Ave and walk west less than 1 block. The 49 is a 3 minute bus ride to Kipling station.

If taking the train: take the train to Kipling Station, then walk 20 minutes north west to 3962 Bloor St. West.

The training hall "main enterance" is up 3 steps from grade on the east side of the building where most people park. From the west side the training hall is at grade, please let us know in advance if we should unlock that door for you. The surface of the training hall is tile but we roll our rubber mats to give the dogs a more grippy surface. Chairs are provided for the class, but let us know if other accomidations should be made.

All classes require you to have your dog on a leash connected to either a secure: collar, head halter, or harness.

Because we are positive reinforcement (negative punishment) trainers, we do not want your dog on a pinch, fursaver or slip lead or slip collar. We will also teach you how to train without those tools so you can be sucessful

Please bring a TON of non-crumbling treats, and a motivating toy.

Additional items include:

  • A Quiet chew toy (especially good for puppies)
  • A water bowl and water
  • A mat or dog bed
  • A towel for wet feet or for excess drool
It is also good practice to bring a crate.

There are many perks of becoming a club member, including; special membership class fees, access to member-only classes, fun social events and many more! Click here to learn more about membership perks, eligibility criteria and to find our application form.

Obedience trials are a fun place to showcase the skills of both dog and handler in a social, competitive environment. Trials are overseen by official organizations, like the Canadian Kennel Club, where licensed judges evaluate your dog's skill in order to bestow titles. An obedience title is like a university degree for your dog and obedience trials are like final exams. You need to pass (or 'qualify' in obedience parlance) three times under at least two separate judges to earn a title. Titles are a great way to honour your dog and challenge your skill. Ask your Swansea Dog Obedience Club Instructor for details.

No. At SDOC we welcome all dogs and owners who are interested in learning new skills, working together and furthering their bond. Obedience trials do provide a fun and competitive arena for both you and your dog, however, so we highly recommend giving them a try!

Wrong! Although it’s great to start training your dog as a puppy, dogs of all ages benefit from a structured learning environment, while having tons of fun along the way...

While we at Swansea Dog Obedience Club love a well trained cat, as we do not recommend you put your cat in the presence of unfamiliar dogs who are undergoing training themselves please do not sign your cat up for training classes with us. However, cats DO benefit from positive reinforcement, in much the same way as dogs, lizards, fish, birds, and humans. Information from courses taken with our teachers will apply to training your cat. this is something some of our members will attest to.

We highly reccomend John Bradshaw and Sarah Ellis book "The Trainable Cat: A Practical Guide to Making Life Happier for You and Your Cat" in order to learn more.

Testimonials

"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

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