Forever Families Canine Services - Available Services

By: Forever Families  09-12-2011
Keywords: dog, Socialization Classes

The Puppy Priority Program

Who can resist those cute little bundles of fur and love that steal are hearts and wiggle their way into our lives. They offer us endless love, joy and entertainment but they also pee on our rugs, chew up our most treasured possessions and generally frustrate and exhaust us. This occurs because most would be puppy owners fail to recognize the level of commitment and effort required to train and develop a growing puppy during those initial formative months. Housebreaking schedules, early socialization needs and the constant supervision required to protect and train your puppy, all can be a source of frustration and disruption to your normal life. Yet it is widely accepted that skipping any of these elements can have a lasting detrimental effect on the health and well being of your dog. So what is a would be puppy owner to do? Well you could take a two month hiatus from your job and life to work on these things yourself. OR you could enrol your puppy in our 2 month Puppy Priority Program.
The Puppy Priority Program ensures your pup’s proper development by making the following social, physical and psychological elements a daily priority:

  • Housetraining via a consistent schedule, including age appropriate access to water and the recommended three meals a day, crate confinement and praise based learning.
  • Positively reinforced exposure to various sounds, objects, people, and environments to ensure the development of a stable temperament and basically well adjusted dog.
  •  Age appropriate games and exercises to develop your puppies physical and mental capabilities.
  • Introduction to leadership and handling exercises that will allow your dog to be more comfortable following direction and participating in physical examinations performed by you, your groomer and your vet.
  • Preliminary introduction to obedience training by a qualified instructor by presenting the primary obedience commands in a stress free reward based manner.

In addition to the elements listed above, we also provide you with the information necessary to pick up where we left off. This will provide you with the tools necessary to foster a strong forever family relationship with your dog. Many people assume this is a boarding program. It is not. We believe these formative months are crucial in developing your relationship with your dog, which is why you spend every night and weekend with him or her. Our goal is only to aide you in the proper growth and development of your dog by providing you with the opportunity to avoid the sometimes frustrating and difficult learning curve inherent in training a new puppy.
If you would like more information on this program, please don’t hesitate to contact to us to discuss this program in greater depth.

Socialization Classes

While it is not uncommon to hear people talk about canine socialization like it is just another romp in the park, proper socialization is actually a critical factor in the development of a happy, healthy, stable dog. As much as we may like to believe that all dogs naturally love everyone and everything, it is much more realistic to realize that dogs, like people, need to learn to positively interact with the world around them.

This means exposing your dog, in a positive manner, to various people, places and things at a very early age. Indeed many behaviourists believe that if a puppy misses out on this crucial element of development that the puppy’s emotional stability will be irretrievably damaged. While I do not share such a pessimistic outlook, it is unquestionable that many of today’s neurotic, aggressive and unstable dogs are a direct result of missing out on or receiving ineffective socialization.

But not only is effective socialization imperative for your dog, it is also invaluable for you. During effective socialization, dogs learn how to give and read the signals that are crucial to doggy etiquette. Learning how to recognize the body language dogs use to communicate, fear, aggression, and other critical emotions is as imperative for any responsible dog owner as it is for any dog.

At Forever Families Canine Services we offer two levels of socialization:

Canine Interactions Course I
  - (Open to dogs younger than 6 months of age or dogs who weigh less than 40lbs.)
Canine Interactions Course II  -  (Open to any dog older than 6 months of age or who weigh more than 40lbs.)

Our new Canine Interactions Course is designed to give you the skills necessary to help your dog become a safe and stable member of the community. To that aim the course covers:

  • understanding how dogs communicate through:
    • Body Language
    • Proper Play
    • Dog to Dog Correction
  • helping our dogs cope with strange situations through:
    • the Quiet Command
    • the Watch Me Command
    • and the Stand on the Dog Exercise
  • learning how to properly socialize your dog to:
    • a variety of new people
    • dogs on leash
    • unusual sounds
    • moving objects (such as runners, bikes and skateboards
  • and of course enjoying some off leash fun!!


Playdates are a wonderful opportunity for already well socialized dogs to get together and enjoy each others company in an off leash environment. Prior to joining the playdates each dog/owner combination must participate in a Dog Etiquette class (Complimentary with the price of the 5 session package.)

Specialty Skills

Relationship Builder Program         (Open to all dogs ofany age but so called "second hand dogs" and new dog owners especially benefit!)

Does your dog act like he pays the mortgage? Or is she overly protective of you like a mother hen? Our relationship builder program is designed to provide you with the skills necessary to ensure your position as head of the household using stress free and non confrontational techniques and without resorting to bribes. Also learn how to help your dog control his or her emotional state, how to read your dog's body language so you can better understand what your dog is trying to tell you and learn how to recognize when your dog is not well..long before he or shedecides to show you!.

Loose Leash Walking

Are your daily walks more of a challenging chore than a relaxing stroll? We will work with you and your dog on how to achieve a loose leash using a variety of techniques and exercises.

Taught slowly over 4 half hour sessions, we'll have you and your dog enjoying your walks again!

Bringing Home Baby

Learn how to prepare your dog for thenew sights, soounds and smells that come with bringing home a new baby. Also learn to baby proof your dog and gain the skills necessary to ensure your dog will respect your new addition!

Obedience Training

At Forever Families Canine Services our obedience training focuses on the family pet and improving the level of appropriate behaviour occurring within the dynamic of each individual family. As such our programs strive to create long lasting forever families built on understanding, respect and trust, as opposed to teaching competitive level “on cue” performances and tricks.
To accomplish this level of ingrained reliable behaviour, we offer four levels of obedience training: Puppy, Basic, Advanced and Off Leash.

Puppy Obedience           (Open to dogs 6 months or younger who have received all their shots, as verified by their vet.)

Our newly redesigned Puppy Obedience program now focuses on giving you the skills necessary to create a solid foundation for both your future relationship and obedience goals. Learn:

  • what's normal and healthy for your dog
  • how to establish a healthy relationship withyou as the leader
  • how to recognize and channel puppy energy appropriately
  • how to effectively housetrain your puppy
  • how to curb mouthing
  • how to socialize your dog
  • how to begin building a solid future recall.

Basic Obedience             (Open to all dogs 6 months or older who have received all their shots, as verified by their vet.)
Our basic obedience program teaches both you and your dog the skills necessary to ensure that your relationship is built upon mutually appropriate behaviour and effective communication. You will also learn the skills necessary to navigate the inevitable bumps in the road that will occur over the lifetime of your dog. To successfully complete this program, both you and your dog will need to demonstrate a reliably consistent performance and sincere effort to achieve your obedience goals.

Commands taught include: Sit, Down, Stand, Stay, Off, Take It / Leave It, Come and how to walk on a loose leash.

Graduation Standards:

Dog shows an understanding of the commands by performing them with at least 75% reliability with little to no distractions.

Comprehensive Obedience     (Open to all dogs 6 months or older who have received all their shots, as verified by their vet.)
Our new Comprehensive Obedience program aims to cement our dogs understanding of all th commands and material taught in the Basic Obedience program while teaching them to work with us regardless of distractions and/or temptations.

Commands taught include: Sit, Down, Stand, Stay, Off, Take It / Leave It, Come and how to walk on a loose leash.

Graduation Standards:

Dog shows an understanding of the commands by performing them with at least 95% reliability regardless of distractions

Advanced Obedience     (Open to graduates of our Basic Obedience Program or those with proven similar skills.)

Our advanced program builds on the foundation laid in the pervious programs by expanding on the skills learned and increasing the level of expectation we have for successful completion of your obedience goals. It is at this level that we will begin to introduce corrections for inappropriate behaviours or wilful disobedience.

Commands perfected include: Sit, Down, Stand, Stay, Off, Take It / Leave It, Place, Come and Heel.

Graduation Standards:

All commands will be tested at increased levels of duration and difficulty and will be completed with at least 90% reliability in the presence of substantial distractions.

Off Leash Obedience     (Open to graduates of our Advanced Obedience Program. While not mandatory, it is highly recommended that participates complete the relationship builder program as well.)

The off leash program is the ultimate challenge for you and your dog. While none of the commands taught are new, the level of expectation is high as the ultimate goal of this class will be to have your dog complete all of the exercises taught and tested in the advanced program reliably while off leash and subject to substantial distractions. A sincere bond of trust and leadership will be crucial for this program.

All of the above programs are available in either as private lessons or in a group class format!

Obedience for Fun

While we believe the obedience training should be a natural progression of your relationship with your dog as opposed to an act of simply performing “on cue” performances for treats, we also believe that obedience work can and should be fun. With that in mind we also offer the following classes for you and your dog to enjoy:

Trick Training              (Open to any dog who has completed puppy or basic obedience)

In these classes we will show you how to teach your dog a few simple tricks as well as the process of trick training so that you and your dog can continue to learn new tricks on your own.

Recall Relays               (Open to any dog who has completed puppy or basic obedience)
In this ongoing mini program we will encourage a rapid recall by turning it into a fun game of relay races.

coming spring 2009!

Agility for fun              (Open to any dog who has completed puppy or basic obedience)

Agility is a fun and exciting way to strengthen your relationship with your dog and foster cooperative obedience. While Agility is officially a competitive canine sport, our agility program’s goal is only to get out, have fun and provide our dogs with new opportunities to play and obey

PlayDay Programs

Remember the good old days, when you weren’t constantly busy with work and chores? Well so does your dog! And he or she longs for those good old days. Two of the most common causes for inappropriate behaviour are a lack of exercise and sheer boredom. Help your dog get out of that rut by having him or her participate in one of our Play Day programs.

During a play day, your dog will enjoy not only the camaraderie of romping with a small group of carefully selected dogs but also the constant reinforcement of appropriate behaviour and wilful obedience under the watchful eye of a qualified obedience instructor. With drop off times as early as 7am and pick up times as late as 7pm, your dog will enjoy a full day of hearty exercise and playful activity.

And depending on your dog’s social and behavioural needs, he or she can join us 5, 3 or 2 times a week, the choice is yours.

(Frequency subject to availability)

Educated Choices Consultations

Some of the most common questions we are asked are:

  • Is it better to get a puppy or to rescue an adult dog?
  • Which is easier to train - male or female?
  • Should I get a purebred or a mixed breed?

But honestly the most important questions you can ask yourself are:

  • Does this dog’s energy level match my own?
  • Do I have the resources to meet this dog’s needs for the next decade?
  • Am I willing to work at building a strong healthy relationship with my dog so that he or she can have a forever family?

To help you honestly answer some of these questions we offer private consultations in the following areas:

Breed Consultations

One of the single most important factors to ensure a happy healthy long term relationship with your dog is energy compatibility. No matter how great a dog or how dedicated a trainer you are, a couch potato who owns a Border Collie is destined to misery. This is because a dog who is receiving too little physical and mental stimulation will become frustrated and anxious and that spells trouble for both of you. In fact, the great majority of problem behaviours that owners seek assistance for are the direct result of this type of frustration. But don’t worry, finding a dog who matches your emotional and physical needs is a little like finding your soul mate, there is someone out there for everyone – it is just a matter of knowing what you are looking for. That’s where we come in. During our in home visit, we will discuss with you your current lifestyle, energy level, available resources, and expectations as well as your future plans to help you find the breed that is just right for you.

Dog Selection

Almost as important as finding a dog with a compatible energy level, is finding a dog with an appropriate temperament. Many first time dog owners find themselves struggling to control a dominant dog, or disappointed by their less than lovable lab. That is because like us, each dog is an individual. Which means that while a particular breed may be known for certain traits, (i.e happy go lucky Labs, hyper active Jack Russel Terriers, protective German shepherds) we can not be certain that every dog of that breed will behave in that manner. Some Pitbulls will run from strangers and some Greyhounds wouldn’t get off the couch to get a cookie! So how do you ensure that the dog you are thinking of bringing home is right for you? Temperament tests, thorough questioning of the breeder and a detailed history of the parents along with your original breed research can help paint a more accurate picture. Sound daunting? It can be. So allow us to use our knowledge and experience to help you filter out the less suitable candidates so that you can concentrate on building your forever family right from the beginning!

Am I ready for a dog?

This one hour session will review with you some of the critical factors you should review before deciding to purchase or rescue a dog. Being a responsible dog owner means ensuring you have the physical, emotional, and financial resources to bring another living creature into your life not only now, but in the foreseeable future. Let us help you discover whether now is the right time for you to bring home a new family member.

Live, Love for Life Seminars

Responsible dog ownership is about taking care of your dog’s physical and emotional needs throughout the lifetime of your dog. To assist you in doing that, we are continually offering workshops and seminars on the various aspects of dog care; such as grooming, nutrition, and the various life stages.

Check back frequently for upcoming classes.

Previously held sessions:

Glory Days – how to see your dog through its senior years
Trials and Tribulations of Training – understanding the ups and downs of training your dog
How much is that doggy in the window? – a realistic look at the cost of owning your dog
Nail Clippers, grooming necessity or medieval torture? – a look at how to make clipping your dog’s nails more enjoyable for both of you!

Keywords: dog, Socialization Classes