The most common reason someone may choose to surrender their dog is behavioural issues. But we often find that these issues can be corrected with proper training.

Which is why the HBSPCA and Kelly Robbins of K9 Principles have partnered to offer dog training sessions at our shelter on Dartnall Road in Hamilton. This partnership is designed to bring top training to dogs and their owners, support responsible pet ownership and benefit animal care at the shelter. 

We’ve been working with Kelly to offer obedience classes for more than 10 years. Before that, Kelly worked with us doing temperament testing before dogs were adopted. K9 Principles offers obedience classes on Wednesdays and Thursdays, year-round at the HBSPCA. Classes include two trainers and a maximum of eight dogs and their people. 50% of the cost of the sessions stays with the SPCA for animal care. 

When a person first acquires a dog, it takes a while to build that relationship. Kelly says it can also take a few weeks for a dog to show its true colours. “The training helps to build a relationship between the dog and its owner”, Kelly says, “Because a better-behaved dog is easier to live with”. 

Most of the problems experienced are not the fault of the dog, she says. Training and troubleshooting help keep the dogs in their homes.  

“Food is a great motivator,” says Kelly. While some people want their dog to work for them, not for food, Kelly says food helps them get motivated, especially in high distraction areas.  

If your best friend is experiencing aggression, anxiety, or reactive aggression, K9 Principles may be able to help. Kelly has counselled many dog owners through behavioral and aggression problems and has worked with hundreds of different breeds of dogs all over the world. 

If you are currently dealing with aggression, biting or anxiety, a private lesson may be helpful.  To inquire if this is the right option for you and your dog, please email Kelly at k9principlesinc@gmail.com.  

The course covers Beginner 1: sit, down, heal, stay, come when called. Address negative behaviours such as biting, jumping & housebreaking. Beginner 2: Impulse control, off-leash verbal control, hand signals, off-leash heeling and out of sight sit/down/stays. 

“The training sessions are a great, safe place for dogs to socialize,” Kelly says. At the end of the training sessions, the payoff is that the dogs are allowed to play together in a healthy encounter. 

Owners are required to bring proof of vaccines to their training session including Bordetella (also known as kennel cough vaccine) and a signed waiver form that can be printed off the K9 Principles website.

The HBSPCA is committed to supporting responsible dog ownership and keeping dogs in their forever homes, which is why we are committed to providing high quality dog training courses to dog owners. 

Click here to see when the next sessions are happening.