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New canine training facility opening in Callander

LOCAL : NEWS Canines need to have their own socialization and workout time

By Laurel J. Campbell

Sat., Feb. 12, 2022 2 min. read

With COVID-19 limiting family activities over the past two years, many people have added a dog or puppy to their home for increased companionship, affection and entertainment. But canines, like their owners, need to have their own socialization and to meet that need Ron and Wilma Schweitzer are ready to open a new facility in Callander dedicated to the needs of dogs and their handlers. The Callander Canine Centre is located on 19 acres on Tillicom Bay Road and includes a 3,000-square-foot building. “We are just in the final stages of inspection,” said Wilma. “The business plan is to offer the building as a rental to trainers, or kennel clubs and we will have agility equipment but the facility is certainly not limited to agility usage.” While Wilma says the new canine facility is a semi-retirement project, it will be their daughters, Emma and Heather who will be running the show. “Prior to COVID, Emma was a junior handler with the Agility Association of Canada,” said Wilma. “When everything got shut down there were no opportunities for dog owners to continue training, so we felt this new facility was a good business move.” Plans are for the Emma, who has her heart set on attending veterinary college in Guelph and following in her father’s footsteps, to be the hands-on operator and part/time trainer at the canine centre and her sister Heather is going to take over administration and management “and Ron and I will be paying the bills,” Wilma quipped. So far, the project appears to be headed for success with local well-known animal trainer Rebecca Cable already booking space to hold classes. And even before the Callander Canine Centre website has been launched, Wilma says the facility’s email account “exploded” when Cable informed her previous clients about her upcoming classes. And while COVID-19 has had a negative impact on so many businesses, it has been a bit of a boon for the pet industry. “I think people are looking for something to do with their dogs. Our vision for the hall is for it to be a recreational facility for people with pets where they can socialize,” said Wilma. From the canine health perspective that is a very important aspect to a dog’s wellness. “We have seen many new dog owners in the last two years,” said Dr. Ron Schweitzer, “and not all of them realize that dogs need training and discipline. “They need to learn basic manners around the house, and if you want a pet you can enjoy that involves both socializing and training. They need direction, and they need to get out with other dogs and learn to walk on a leash.” The Callander Canine Centre is hoping to provide more extensive training than this with an eye to working with future service dogs, scent training and search and rescue. “Not all will be into agility, but even involving them in dog sport like walking your dog is important. It’s like taking your kids to hockey or soccer or other extracurricular activities, it’s good for their development.” There will be an open house at the Callander Canine Centre at 119 Tillicom Bay Road, on Feb. 20. For more details contact the centre via email at

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