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Training Academy

Obedience training doesn’t come naturally to everyone. And despite early efforts, training may slide a bit over time. One day you may suddenly realize that your little treasure pulls on the leash, jumps on strangers, and gets way too excited when they see another dog or a squirrel.

If you discover that your dog has become the leader of your pack—and every dog will fill that role if they see a vacancy—the problem can seem overwhelming. You might be surprised at how some simple changes can turn things around and restore you to your rightful position.

Whether your relationship with your dog needs minor tinkering, or a major overhaul, we can help. Our goal is to ensure that dogs are never surrendered by owners because of behavioral issues. We see many dogs that other trainers have already given up on, but no problem is too big to handle.

Our standard programs are described below. Contact us to discuss your particular training needs.

INBOARD TRAINING

This program requires your dog to come and live with us for 8-12 weeks, were we will train them completely off-leash. We also have shorter inboard programs if there are only certain issues that you need worked on.
Trained by Lucas Mucha

 

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The Art of Obedience

We begin training your dog by using an established system of markers with various rewards/play to increase performance and motivation in obedience. Establishing thresholds and responses to such things as prey-based behaviour, defensive behaviour and environmental stressors helps us to customize a successful program for your best friend. We are of the thought that learning and generalization of all commands, rules, and manners you intend to hold your dog responsible for, should always be taught first without any compulsion (correction). After your dog is versed in all the obedience, we begin a conditioning phase in preparation for correction. We then begin to condition the e-collar for obedience. There are strict guidelines we follow for the fair use of the e-collar, the lowest level possible is used for response, the dog is never corrected for things it does not know the answer to, it is not used where a dog is confused or makes a mistake. The e-collar is not a magic bullet and it does not come without a host of caveats. For this reason, we believe only competent professionals should condition this tool.  

Unlocking your dog’s potential in obedience:

Our intention with every dog we train is to help bridge the communication gap between owner and dog for complete off-leash control. Your dog will learn all the fundamental behaviours of obedience to an advanced level. Sit, down, place, downs from motion, stay, recall, off-leash heel, and loose leash walking -under all distractions that you may face in everyday life.  

Your dedication in training:

One important factor is your dedication to continue with the freshly polished skills your dog has learnt. Consistency with training and the new routines is of paramount importance here. Please remember that we can train your dog to an exceptional level, but dogs are social opportunists and they will slowly revert to the old way of life if it presents itself before habits are formed. Your training will take place at our facility once your dog has graduated the program. You will be required to come for a 3-4 day seminar with Lucas, and 1 home visit where distance permits (within Ontario). Lucas will teach you all the skills you need in order to take over as a competent handler. You will learn to master the skill of off leash control and learn how to communicate with your dog using a language of markers, and to apply the e-collar properly in training. By the time you are done your 3-4 days of training you will be on your way to be a confident and well-educated canine handler! The first 3-4 days of your training will be at our Swissridge kennel facility in Schomberg Ontario. On the first day we will teach you communication and handling skills without the dog being involved. On the remainder of the days we will integrate your dog into the training and slowly put your skills to the test in increasingly distracting environments. For the final day we will meet at your household to go over routines, handling, and walking in your neighborhood (where distance permits in Ontario).    

What the training comes with:

* 8-12 weeks of training. We give a wide range as every dog starts with a different skill set and has a different personality. Some dogs were able to get done faster than others. We do not believe in rushing training and pushing the dog beyond what is fair. This is how we achieve a happy working dog without compromises on their temperament.  

* inboard care for the length they are here for training * weekly updates on how your dog is progressing

* 3-4 days of training for the owners after your pup has graduated from our inboard training program. 1 home visit- if your home location permits.

* slip lead

* ongoing support after your dog gets home to ensure a smooth transition.

Price

Please contact us.

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PRIVATE SESSIONS

Schedule Lucas for one on one training at the kennel.
Trained by Lucas Mucha

 

 

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We offer private, one-on-one sessions at the kennel to work on specific issues you are having with your dog or we can take you through our full obedience course.

Price

Private sessions are sold as a package of 10 sessions only. Please contact us for the price.

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REMOTE COACHING

Train in the comfort of your own home.
Trained by Lucas Mucha

 

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This is a structured course on the fundamentals of dog training.

Lucas talks to you on the phone weekly and sends you example video’s of homework you will have for that week. At the end of the week you submit your homework (through video) and Lucas will critique it, give you tips on what needs to be improved and how to improve it, then he will give you example homework for the next week. He will also help you in correcting any unwanted behaviours your dog is performing.

During the weekly homework review you are able to ask any questions that may come up or problems you are having with your dog that week. This is a remote training course for puppies and older dogs and will help any owner through the challenges that may come with dog ownership.

Price

Please contact us.

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Here’s what owners had to say about SwissRidge training…

Willie - Australian Goldendoodle

“When we dropped Willie off with Lucas for training last September, I was hopeful but skeptical.  My 4 year old mini goldendoodle Willie has always been happy go lucky,  great with kids, dogs and loves everyone but he had some pretty bad habits that I couldn’t seem to resolve on my own or with the help of other trainers.

Willie’s main issues: hyperactivity, he was wild – no matter how much exercise he got, he always seemed to be getting into trouble and couldn’t settle.   If i didn’t have eyes on him for 10 seconds he would be off chewing something, counter surfing or trying to run out the door.  I had baby gates everywhere in the house and I had to keep him sequestered in the room with me at all times.  On two occasions, despite my hypervigilance he still managed to slip out the front door and run outside onto the street. Both times we got lucky and thankfully nothing happened to him.  He also barked constantly at every sound in the house and when he didn’t get his way.   I couldn’t take him anywhere beyond regular walks because if I stopped walking for a minute to chat or to look at something he would bark at me until I started moving.  I once took him to a friend’s place and he ran around the house, scratching at closed doors and then barking at me to let him explore. Needless to say, Willie was the boss and he ran my life lol.

 

My expectations in sending Willie to training were low – I really just wanted to minimize the barking and to not have to be constantly stressed out that Willie would run away and get hurt or worse.

 

When Willie came home from training after 11 weeks he was almost like a brand new dog- he still has the same cheerful, curious personality – but now he’s what I call the best version of himself.    Lucas’s training blew my expectations out of the water.

 

Now that Willie has a clear understanding of what is expected of him with consistent rules and boundaries, he’s lost that edgy/hyperactive side to him. He’s now perfectly content to lie in the same room near me or in his “place”.   All the baby gates are gone and  I can leave doors open, he won’t pass a doorway without me giving him the okay.  He’s actually a pretty lazy dog these days – happy to sleep most of the day but still loves to hike with me and explore or play fetch.

 

His demand barking is completely gone, along with all the other “minor” issues he had that I hadn’t expected to just disappear like counter surfing, jumping on people, jumping on furniture, eating/chewing stuff he shouldn’t, carrying clothing/shoes around the house, scratching on doors..etc

 

Willie’s newly acquired behaviors: he’s 100% off leash trained, he walks in heel by my side, he has 100% recall which makes outdoor off leash hikes finally possible (and a lot of fun!), he will stay in down or sit position until he’s released, and one of my favorites : place command – he has designated beds/cots around the house and when he hears “place” he heads there and stays there until told otherwise.  It really comes in handy!

 

Keeping up the training does take effort especially in the beginning but the rewards are so worth it.   It’s now been 8 months since Willie came home from training, and he’s doing amazing. People in the street often stop to comment on how well trained he is.  I am no longer stressed out and having to check on Willie every 2 min to make sure he’s not getting into trouble.  He’s like my little sidekick now that I can take anywhere.

I’m so grateful to Lucas & Sherry for this incredible (miraculous) transformation and the amazing care they took of my baby Willie while he was there.   I highly recommend training with Lucas and if I could change anything it would be that i would have sent Willie sooner.”

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Bumble and Magic - Standard Goldendoodle and Standard Bernedoodle

Bumble is a Standard English Goldendoodle bred at SwissRidge, she is now 7 years old.

“Magic is a Standard Bernedoodle bred at SWR, he is now 5 years old.

I received both pups from Sherry at 16 weeks, after 8 weeks of imprinting. They were both very well trained for wee 16 week old pups, and I received excellent instructions from Sherry regarding ongoing training.

Well, I was far from consistent in following those instructions, so as the pups grew I faced some challenges.

 

Bumble is a gentle and smart pup. She was wonderful with children, obedient and calm indoors. She loved to run but had a very strong prey drive outdoors.  As a result I could not offer her off leash freedom since she was inconsistent in returning when called. She was also a little timid with strangers.

Magic was very attached to me, a big gentle teddy bear with me. As he grew out of puppyhood, he became increasingly possessive of me and started to block Bumble and other pups from getting to me. When he was excited – when I returned home or when he greeted strangers, it was challenging to restrain him because of his extra-large size, he weighed 110 lbs.! At that size he could inadvertently hurt someone without meaning to, just from sheer affection. And like Bumble his off leash recall was far from perfect.

Both pups were not great at leash walking, and since combined they weighed 180 lbs. it was not easy to restrain them when they pulled or strained on leash.

When Bumble was 4 and Magic was 3 years old, I got in touch with Sherry and requested inboard training with Lucas. My hope was to have obedient, easily restrain-able dogs that would not overwhelm strangers with affection or curiosity. Dogs that I could control and hike off leash with, without worrying they would run off or get lost. 

So off the pups went – back to SwissRidge for inboard training with Lucas in 2018, 2 years ago

Their training was truly transformative. Lucas trained both pups to impeccable advanced obedience. This included 100% reliable off leash recall in all environments – outdoors while hiking, at a shopping mall, in a hospital, in traffic and everywhere else. They were also trained in loose leash walking, sit and stay under distraction.

Equally importantly, at the end of their training, I spent 5 days at SWR training with Lucas and my newly trained pups. In those 5 days Lucas taught me in great detail how to manage and direct my dogs. He taught me the vocabulary and gestures he had used to train Bumble and Magic, so I was fluent. Even more importantly he taught me how to communicate with my dogs. And the rudiments of the nuances of canine and human behavior and interactions.  The importance of calm energy and consistent expectations in order to have balanced, well behaved dogs.

I must add it was also very evident to me that the pups were truly eager to please Lucas and engage with him. Neither pup was fearful , it was obvious they adored Lucas and their training experience with him had been a very positive one.

It has now been 2 years since the pups were trained by Lucas. In the past 2 years I have not put a leash on either dog. They run errands with me everywhere, in stores, malls, at the dentist and the library, always off leash; they have often accompanied me to the hospital where I work, off leash and impeccably behaved. We hike frequently, again off leash.
During our daily outdoor walks they walk past all kinds of distractions like squirrels, bunnies, other pups, sometimes wildlife like possum, groundhogs and raccoons without giving chase, always obedient and always off leash.
I have taken them to NYC and walked through NYC traffic and stores with all kinds of distractions, with flawless obedience from the pups. They are completely reliable without being leashed, at all times, everywhere. It no longer amazes me but it continues to amaze and startle everyone we meet!

 My relationship with the pups has also changed. They now understand what is expected of them and they are happy to oblige. They enjoy so much more freedom since they have trained with Lucas, since now I can trust them to always listen. They are also much calmer, more settled and so much better with each other. Long gone is the past frenzy of rambunctious affection from Magic or timid submission from Bumble.

Bumble is more confident of approaching strangers with her tail wagging. Magic, who was always social, is now much gentler with smaller dogs and much calmer overall

Overall, Bumble and Magic’s training far exceeded my expectations, lol and then some! They are now model dogs, welcomed everywhere; I certainly had not expected this level of obedience nor such a transformed relationship with them.

Whether you want a more obedient pet at home or a true canine superstar trained to the level of service dog performance, I really cannot recommend Lucas enough! He truly is gifted.”

Sabeena Arora

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Gemi - Standard Berendoodle

“We  were excited to learn we were getting a SwissRidge puppy. We knew from reputation, we were getting a pup with an excellent temperament. Gemi had two months of SwissRidge Imprint Training and two grades of formal professional Obedience Training once Gemi came home.

 

We turned to Lucas Mucha when Gemi was just weeks away from her second birthday, for two reasons. 

1.  We  wanted a completely safe, off-leash, trustworthy dog.  Gemi is a big, strong girl.

2.  Gemi was a good dog. We wanted a GREAT dog!

 

Gemi was with Lucas for about three months.  Her skills have exceeded our expectations.She is fully off-leashed trained around every outdoor distraction.  

Gemi  walks in a zone. She is in total follower-mode. 

Gemi’s scope of training is that of Service Dog Level. She has been fully accredited and can accompany me everywhere I go.

 
It’s been one year since Gemi has graduated. 
There was a learning curve for me, as Gemi’s handler but Lucas made sure I was also well-trained.  He not only requires it….  he makes  it happen.  He told me not to worry about making some mistakes while learning.  Gemi, after all, knows what to do!
We never would have sent our dog to anyone but Lucas. Gemi became a part of his pack and that was very comforting for us. 
Lucas Mucha’s has a world-class reputation and exemplary results. His kind, patient and calm demeanour is so reassuring for his clients… both human and canine.
 
We feel so incredibly lucky to have had this amazing opportunity. Not only in having a SwissRidge dog, but a Lucas Mucha-trained, SwissRidge dog!
 
We have so much pride in Gemi. Not only is she sweet-natured and beautiful, she is so good, remarkably trained and just one, GREAT dog!”
 
Gayle and Sheldon Frank
Gemi is a Standard Bernedoodle. 
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Blizzard - Standard Bernedoodle

“Lucas really is a dog whisperer. I started taking private lessons with him after getting my second dog, and I’m so pleased with what I have taken away from our lessons.

Lucas has taught me how important it is to be a gentle yet firm, consistent leader. He has provided advice on so many topics, from introducing a second dog to the pack, to counter surfing, hand shyness, fears of certain things, to…

“Lucas really is a dog whisperer. I started taking private lessons with him after getting my second dog, and I’m so pleased with what I have taken away from our lessons.

Lucas has taught me how important it is to be a gentle yet firm, consistent leader. He has provided advice on so many topics, from introducing a second dog to the pack, to counter surfing, hand shyness, fears of certain things, to proper collar fittings. I really like his positive reinforcement approach to training.

My two dogs are now walking beautifully on leash, side by side, without pulling. He worked with my standard Bernedoodle to discourage jumping on people, and I’ve never seen him do it again. I can now confidently take control of my two dogs (in one hand!) in large crowds of people and dogs—something I was very wary of doing before.

I would highly recommend Lucas for helping you work through any training issues. ~Karley Gittens

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Roscoe- Standard Goldendoodle

“We have held off giving feedback, because I wanted to make sure I wasn’t still in a dream! Our pup, Roscoe, has now been home with us for 6 weeks. And from the day he returned right up to today, he retains the training and behavior he demonstrated at the conclusion of the training with Lucas.

BEFORE:

Whether it be walking (and pulling us where…

“We have held off giving feedback, because I wanted to make sure I wasn’t still in a dream! Our pup, Roscoe, has now been home with us for 6 weeks. And from the day he returned right up to today, he retains the training and behavior he demonstrated at the conclusion of the training with Lucas.

BEFORE:

Whether it be walking (and pulling us where HE wanted to go), to playing (the way HE wanted to), Roscoe was frustrating. I would call him our “wild card.”

We tried local evening group classes, but made limited progress. Each dog had different challenges that needed to be addressed in too short a timeframe. We approached Lucas and Sherry explaining where we were and where we wanted, needed to be. We are an active family on the move a lot and wanted a pup to be a part of that unit to participate with us on our activities.

They accepted the challenge without hesitation and confident we could be there in a short amount of time.

What happened next?

  • We made our notes, summarizing our current situation and challenges in detail and submitted them to Lucas.
  • We met with Lucas: At the drop off date, we reviewed these items and he observed how Roscoe interacted within our family unit.
  • We said our goodbyes and entrusted our pup into Lucas’ care. The drop off was difficult, but we knew it was needed.
  • Progress updates: Lucas kept in touch with us, giving us updates and enquiring if he saw odd behavior to understand where it may have arisen.
  • Seeing the ‘Results of Lucas’: It was a Sunday morning when we got the news that we could plan to pick up our pup at the end of the following week. We were ecstatic, but nervous. We were worried that Roscoe might only listen to Lucas, and not to us. We were worried that Roscoe would revert to the behavior he had before he left home. And we were worried about whether we were skilled enough to uphold this training.
THE UNVEIL:

We arrived to be reunited with our pup. It’s like getting your puppy all over again. It was awesome. Lucas controlled the situation and advised us what to do and what to expect. He then explained some of the tools, methods and commands he used. Then he started training us. One by one, mom had a turn, dad had a turn, our 8 year old son had a turn, then the test, our 6 year old daughter had her turn to learn how to work with Roscoe. Lucas worked with our family until we were all confident in our abilities, and Roscoe’s abilities. His instructions were simple enough for all ages to follow.

Then we headed home. All by ourselves. Without Lucas. Still a little nervous about what we’d wake up to the next day.

AFTER:

We woke up to—and continue to wake up to—a well-behaved and obedient dog, who loves to play but understands his limits and role within our family unit.

Last weekend we put him to the test, having over 80 people plus 5 visiting dogs to our home for a family reunion. I would summarize this as distraction, territorial and excitement levels at their max! We gave him commands, and near or far he nailed them! Our visitors could not believe how calm and well-behaved a dog he was.

This transformation has been a journey, learning about not only our dog but also ourselves—a journey that Lucas guided us through and continues to support.

Lucas and Sherry, thank you for loving our pup as much as we do and spending time to develop him into the awesome family member that we knew he could be!

Words cannot express our gratitude. ~Karen Pratt and family

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Cash - Mini Bernedoodle

“We sent Cash to Lucas for the 4 week inboard training when he was 6 months old. The timing was perfect for us, as we were heading on a 2 week vacation, and the combination of boarding and training was very appealing, since young dogs of any sort can be quite challenging, especially for those of us with absolutely no experience owning a dog.

Cash was a great puppy. He always…

“We sent Cash to Lucas for the 4 week inboard training when he was 6 months old. The timing was perfect for us, as we were heading on a 2 week vacation, and the combination of boarding and training was very appealing, since young dogs of any sort can be quite challenging, especially for those of us with absolutely no experience owning a dog.

Cash was a great puppy. He always wanted to please us, and is still this way, but he didn’t always do as asked. He jumped up on neighborhood kids and visitors, pulled on the leash, and leapt at other dogs as we walked. We live on a quiet court and also wanted to be able to have Cash off leash out front while we worked or talked with neighbors.

Lucas asked what our expectations were from the training and we told him we wanted Cash to walk nicely on leash, curb his jumping, plus be able to be outside off leash. I was skeptical, since we hadn’t had much luck with these things (in spite of all my Cesar Milan watching and book reading!).

The transformation in 4 weeks was amazing. He was a changed dog. Not only had Cash mastered all the things we had asked… and many things we had not asked, including down, stay, leave it, and looked to us for direction under every circumstance.

When we got our second SwissRidge pup, Finn, Cash’s good behavior rubbed off on the puppy. It made it easy to potty train Finn, as well as teach him some basic things, such as sitting, waiting to be fed, walking on leash, as he would follow Cash’s lead. Lucas is a true professional who has a natural way with dogs. Cash’s training with Lucas bettered all of our lives, and set Cash up to be an amazing adult dog! ~Suzanne McKenzie and family

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We wrote the first book on Bernedoodles

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This comprehensive, easy-to-read and entertaining book covers everything you need to know about this amazing hybrid. Since Bernedoodles can vary significantly in size, build, coloring, and even personality, prospective owners need advice from someone who knows the breed inside out. Who better than the breeder who created them?

Pawsh Magazine – “… insightful tips for finding the right breed and puppy for your family dynamic.”

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