Spirit Ridge K9 Training & Rescue
PO Box 70,
"........ because sit happens"
At Spirit Ridge K9 Training & Rescue we offer a wide array of K9 Training Services, Behavioural Modification advice and activities tailored to your dog's temperament and working abilities. We offer both an outdoor fenced-in training area set on a 22 acre rural property just north of Hillsburgh as well as a comfortable indoor 1,300 square training facility constructed and finished in August 2007. This facility is insulated, heated and has rubber floor matting to help cushion our furry friends' jumps when they practice agility and other like dog sports!
There are many reasons to choose Spirit Ridge for your dog training needs. Here are the top ten reasons.
The following classes are offered in the Winter/Spring 2013 training season - please e-mail us or call Jim at 519-855-6962 for further information and start dates.
Dog Training and Dog Sport Classes
is a description of some of the courses we offer on a regular basis. From
time to time, we offer specialized or customized courses - usually a minimum of
four dog/handler teams is required in such cases. If you have any questions or
would like a customized course for your group, please contact us via email
or tel: (519) 855 6962 and ask for Jim.
PUP-TASTICS COURSE: This 6 week course is targeted for puppies up to 6 months of age who have had little or no exposure to proper or enough socialization during the first critical months of their life at home. During this course, the puppies will not only socialize with each other and learn proper K9 social skills (under supervision) but will also be exposed to our own trained older mature and stable dogs. This will be invaluable as the puppies will also learn social K9 skills from one of their own species who has the skill and patience to teach them. All existing behavioural problems in the home will be addressed and solutions will be provided. Furthermore, handlers will be taught how to 'play train' their puppies at home (only through use of purely positive techniques), administer proper and calming massage, and get them on their way to more formal obedience training. All puppies will be properly exposed to environmental obstacles (ladders, agility tunnel, different terrain) under supervision in order to create a solid foundation and improve the stability of their temperament. Expect to start laying the foundation from proper (no pull) walking, working on your sits-downs, laying the foundation for rock-solid "stays", learning the proper way to begin training your "come" (recall) command, teaching the "stand" command as well as offering alternate taught behaviours (such as the "place" command) instead of the craziness at the door or with the household cat(s). Please call (519) 855-6962 or e-mail us to enroll in our puppy class (6 weeks, Cost: $190.00, includes HST). This class is assisted by our K9 staff member Spirit Ridge's 'Ochi".
Scent Detection and Search course: This series of classes is ideally suited for those dogs that need to learn to "work" but are either shy, aggressive, fearful of other dogs or lack confidence. This course makes use of the strongest "asset" our dogs bring to the table ... their sense of "smell". The activity is taught individually in a group class setting so everyone can learn from how differently dogs approach this "job" once they learn what is expected of them. We teach this course based on the trial requirements of the Association we belong to (the Sporting Dog Detection Association). For more information on this exciting new course, please click here. REQUIREMENTS: There are only two requirements to enter this course - one, that your dog tolerates being crated until its turn to work and two, that your dog knows how to "sit". If not, you will need to start teaching the "sit" command.
Please call us at (519) 855-6962 or e-mail us for more information about this course. Our next scheduled class is expected to be on Tuesday evenings in mid June. If you are interested in registering for this class please email us or call (519) 855-6962. (6 weeks, Fee: $210.00 includes HST) - Note: 1st class will be 1.5 hour length compared to regular class time of 1 hour). This class is assisted by our K9 staff members Spirit Ridge's "Ochi" and N'Sonic Boom Van Arek ("Sonic").
BEGINNER GROUP OBEDIENCE CLASSES: During this seven (7) week class you will learn fundamental dog handling and leadership skills as well as the standard obedience exercises (sit, down, stay, recall, proper heeling, simple turns and 'about' turns etc). Classes are small (do not exceed a maximum of six dogs), last for one hour and can include dogs with varying previous experience. Week #1 will be held WITHOUT YOUR OWN DOGS present. This will allow us to concentrate solely on the theory behind a successful leadership and handling of your own dog in addition to learning how dogs actually learn (or conversely, don't learn!). Hands-on practice will occur with the assistance of the Spirit Ridge K9 crew so come ready to handle a dog that already knows the basic commands (and more!). In this Beginner Group Obedience class expect to be taught motivational techniques and the proper use of praise, toys and/or food motivation to get the most out of your dogs. The fact that we are one of the few training schools that not only allows 'bad' boys and girls in our obedience classes but also does not segregate them away from the other better behaved dogs, is an incredibly powerful learning experience for all handlers. Our philosophy is that unless handlers learn to confidently face their worst fears, then there is no point in doing any group obedience classes. The real world is full of challenges and the behavioural portion of our classes incorporates help for those handlers wanting to learn to negotiate the real world with their dog and not hide them away behind tall fences and in their homes. Please call (519) 855-6962 or e-mail us to register for our next Beginner group obedience class. (7 weeks, Fee: $220.00 includes HST). This class is assisted by our K9 staff member N'Sonic Boom Van Arek ("Sonic") as well as Spirit Ridge's 'Ochi" and "Jesse" girl as needed.
PUPPY AGILITY COURSE: This six week basic introductory low impact agility class is specifically tailored to young dogs (under the age of 1 year) paying particular attention to the fact that their musculoskeletal system is still under development. The puppies will be properly introduced to all the agility equipment and handlers will have an opportunity to determine whether their pups have an aptitude for this wonderful dog sport. Simultaneously, puppies will have an opportunity to properly socialize with their new buddies in a fun and active environment. Training will also include help with moderate behavioural issues, where appropriate. Please call (519) 855-6962 or e-mail us for more information about this class. (6 weeks, Cost: $190.00 includes HST)
CLASSES (Beginner): Get involved in this new dog sport
that teaches obedience in a fun way for both dogs and handlers! A course is set up with 10-19 signs
each of which instruct the dog/handler team to perform a certain obedience
exercise. Dog/handler teams in the Intro level course will learn all the
basic commands as well as how to motivate their dogs to do the obedience
exercises. Remember, Rally-O is a dog sport that allows constant
communication with your dog .... it's supposed to be fun! Teams will also
have an opportunity to test themselves in a few short courses. The
Beginner class will offer more advanced techniques to perfect the commands and
teams will have several opportunities to run a full Rally-O course. Pre-requisites:
Beginner group obedience class and ability of the dog to properly heel
and reliably execute basic obedience commands (sit, down, turns, come, all on
leash - minimum size of class is three handlers.
RALLY-OBEDIENCE (Advanced): Requires completion of our Beginner course and/or successful acquisition of the Novice Rally Obedience title. Please call (519) 855-6962 or e-mail us to enquire about our next Advanced Rally Obedience class. (6 weeks, Cost: $190.00, includes HST) Classes are assisted by our K9 staff member "Sonic".
PRIVATE E-COLLAR TRAINING: In certain situations, e-collar (remote collar) training may be indicated. Handlers that want to eventually do a lot of "off leash" work, live in rural areas where they are not interested in going the traditional route (first perfecting on leash work and only after that moving to off leash), handlers with dogs that pull excessively on leash, don't come when called etc are all good candidates for remote collar training.
Certain key elements that interested handlers must be aware of:
There are several different cost options available to clients depending on whether you already have a remote collar you are comfortable with and how long we believe you need to properly use this tool. Typically 4-6 hourly sessions with you and your dog (both indoors and outdoors) are usually sufficient to get most clients started off and comfortable with the use of the tool. Multi-dog households will require more time since there are additional challenges involved. The cost of DogTra remote training collars varies significantly depending on the size and number of dogs one has as well as the features on the unit (ranging from $200 - $500+).
The humane and motivational manner in which we teach the use of the remote collar also makes its use ideally suited for younger dogs (minimum age 5 months).
For more information about this training tool and the advantages it offers please e-mail us or call Jim at 519-855-6962.
At Spirit Ridge we believe that no K9 should be left behind; dogs that have issues with dog-on-dog or dog-on-human aggression are welcome. The nature of these issues as well as safety precautions, make it imperative that - initially - such sessions be private. All behavioural problems are addressed at our training facility or, if you feel more comfortable, we will hold the session in the privacy of your home to help you with your dog's "issues". Once your dog has overcome the initial problems, we recommend careful integration into our group obedience classes.
Our in-home private sessions consist of:
-- an initial consultation (during which a questionnaire about you, your dog and the dog's environment and temperament is conducted). Initial advice and training take place during this first session. Due to the seriousness of many of these aggression/dominance issues families face with their dogs, we try to provide help during this first session that will address the key issues and give families some relief.
Most dog "owners" report immediate improvement after using our recommended handling techniques and making the in-home changes that are recommended. Please note that the comprehensive nature of our recommendations is such that dog owners cannot "cherry pick" and use the ones they like while 'shelving' those they prefer less. Consistency is a main requirement for success as dogs see things very much in a 'black or white' manner. As a result, all actions on the families' part need to be consistent and point the dog only in one direction - that the humans in the family are indeed, the pack leaders. The initial consultation typically lasts between 1.5 and 2 hours. At the end of the private session you are left with both specific recommendations and instructional handouts.
-- follow up Support: There is much to absorb from the first session. Occasionally, handlers feel overwhelmed with the magnitude of information and help imparted on the first session. Have no fear! We are only an e-mail message or phone call away - if you forget or are unsure of something or there is a family disagreement on how to properly address an issue. We are available to you (at no extra charge) for any questions or clarifications stemming from the initial consultation. Applying the lessons you learn, correctly and consistently, are very important for your success and we are with you every step of the way even long after we leave your home!
-- follow up additional sessions: In most instances, the initial consultation is enough to get you well on your way to controlling your dog(s). However, in a small percentage of difficult cases or multi-dog/animal homes, it may be necessary to make a return visit and help with specific issues. These visits usually last no more than 1 hour. To date, we have never been required to make more than two visits to any household.
Following our in-home visit(s), do not be surprised if you are urged to attend an upcoming group obedience class at Spirit Ridge, in order to make your transition from behaviour modification to obedience training - in the presence of up to five other dogs and handlers. During these classes, we not only teach the usual sits, downs, come, heeling, turns etc commands but we also attend to any further behavioural needs you or your dog may have in a supportive environment. Unlike some other training schools, everyone attending our classes is there not only to learn but to also help each other. We have all been in the very same situation, at one time or another, and know that training for real life situations is the only way we can be prepared for real life situations.
The cost of private behaviour modification sessions ranges from $90-$150 per hour depending on the location of the session and the complexity of the case.
Please e-mail us or call Jim at 519-855-6962 to enquire about our private behaviour modification sessions.
Seminars & Events
Throughout the 2010-11 Season, Spirit Ridge will offer a variety of seminars and events. For more information on some of our planned seminars and events please click here.
Training Area Rental
Our clients frequently have problems training where they live either because of safety issues with urban traffic or the existence of other dogs and animals. We offer clients our fenced-in training area for their own use as well as our area with agility equipment - assuming they have the basic knowledge to safely use the equipment and their dog is age-appropriate (over 1 or 1.5 years of age depending on breed size). Hourly rental for our outdoor training area is $20.00/hr; for our indoor training facility the fee is $50.00/hr. All proceeds go to our dog rescue fund. You may call (519) 855-6962 or e-mail us to enquire on availability and to book your time slot.