Canine College is a dedicated dog training facility that has been serving the Fort Drum and Watertown area of northern New York since 2012. We offer a wide variety of classes and activities for dogs of all ages and skill levels, from basic pet obedience, to AKC Canine Good Citizen (CGC) and trick dog titles, all the way to Service Dog training and advanced scent detection skills and practice for working dogs.

Canine College was founded in 2012 by Sandra King and originally operated under the name Cosgrove K-9s, offering private classes and in-home boarding. We became Canine College in September 2015 when we moved into a building shared with Best Friends Doggie Day Spa on Eastern Boulevard. It quickly became apparent that Canine College needed room to grow, and we moved to an old warehouse on Edmund Street in spring 2016 where we could do so.

In January 2017, Canine College made the switch from offering training, daycare, and overnight boarding, to becoming a dedicated dog training facility, moving into its current home on NY State Route 283 (outer Pearl Street), a few minutes from Fort Drum’s Mount Belvedere gate. The new facility is conveniently located across the street from Jessie’s Pet Spa, and just seconds down the road from Valley Veterinary Clinic.

Canine College’s new facility provides a large, open, and well-lit area for dog training. Our purpose-built odor detection wall is used to train scentwork for sport and real-life purposes, including Nosework and bedbug detection, and also does double-duty as a room divider, allowing trainers to slowly introduce dogs who are fearful, reactive, or aggressive, to the group training environment.

A coffee and snack area at the back of the training room provides a place to chat, watch other dogs at work, and browse through our training books and dog magazines. A separate crate room allows us to take turns during training, and our equipment storage room ensures the facility stays tidy and equipment is always ready when needed.

About the Trainer

Sandra King is the owner and primary trainer at Canine College.

Sandra is a German citizen who moved to New York in 2010 with with her husband and three German Shepherds: Yukon, Nala, and Indra. She has been involved with dogs since birth: her family bred, trained, and titled working-line German Shepherd Dogs under the kennel name Vom Bärenfang. Sandra continues her family’s legacy with her own breeding program, Von den Sturmfalken German Shepherds.


Young Sandra (center) holding Gildo vom Körbelbachduring summer break.

At Canine College, Sandra specializes in behavior evaluations and public access training for Service Dogs. Like all good trainers, she continually expands her own knowledge and skills by attending seminars, taking classes, and training with other dog professionals, such as  ProFormance K-9 and good friend and SDONA founder Bill Dotson.

Outside of Canine College, Sandra is one of the founders of the Watertown Working Dog Club, a member of the United Schutzhund Clubs of America and the Search Dog Organization of Northern America, and a foster for the German Shepherd Rescue of Central New York. She was previously active with the New York Federation of Search & Rescue Teams and currently works her dogs in obedience, protection, conformation, tricks, and Nosework.

Sandra’s continuing education and training includes:

  • Detection Dog Workshop at Canine CollegeBill Dotson
  • Growl Class – A Workshop Demo for Reactive Dogs – Dr. Ian Dunbar
  • Simple Solutions for Common Dog Behavior & Training Problems –  Dr. Ian Dunbar
  • Crucial Concepts in Dog Behavior & Training – Dr. Ian Dunbar
  • Dog Training – How to Work With Aggressive Dogs. – Ted Efthymiadis
  • Area Search & Human Remains Detection – Bill Dotson
  • SAR Dog Fundamentals I – SDONA
  • SAR Dog Fundamentals II –  SDONA
  • Detection & Engagement – Bill Dotson & Mike Suttle
  • Advanced Detection & Engagement  – SDONA
  • Police K9 Seminar (Binghamton PD) – Hennie Bolster, Ruud Leus & Upstate K9
  • The Tracking Dog‘ Seminar in Germany – Silke Ruenz
  • Combined Federation Training Event of NY SAR Teams 2011
  • Combined Federation Training Event of NY SAR Teams 2013
  • Wilderness Search & Rescue Academy 2014

Past Trainers

Kelly Smarr and Sandra have built Canine College together. Kelly will forever be an important part of Canine College and we are sad that the military has sent them to Fort Gordon in Georgia.

Kelly moved to New York in 2014 with her husband and two children. Originally from North Carolina, Kelly’s calm demeanor, excellent timing, and ability to adjust to working with each individual dog make her a favorite of many of Canine College’s clients.

Kelly started in German Shepherds at age 15 when she saved up money from her summer job to buy her first working-line dog. She currently has three dogs in her home, she is raising Encore von den Sturmfalken for Sandra and owns Bruna von den Sturmfalken and Qa’boom von der Staatsmacht.

At Canine College, Kelly specialized in behavior evaluations and obedience training. She also performed Volhard Puppy Aptitude Testing (PAT) for litters and individual puppies on request. Her training focus is on positive reinforcement, competition-style obedience, scent detection, and IPO, and she actively trains and competes her own dogs in these venues.

Outside of Canine College, Kelly is a member of the Watertown Working Dog Club, Schutzengel Working Dog Club, United Schutzhund Clubs of America, and Search Dog Organization of North America.

Kelly’s continuing education and training includes:

  • Detection Dog Workshop at Canine CollegeBill Dotson
  • Competition Obedience Classes – Debbie Zappia
  • Competition Obedience Seminar at North Boston IPO Club – Gabina Macounova
  • SAR Dog Fundamentals I – SDONA
  • SAR Dog Fundamentals II –  SDONA
  • NAVTA-approved Veterinary Assistant Program – Penn Foster Career School