About Canine College

Canine College is a dedicated dog training facility serving the Fort Drum-Watertown area in upstate New York by offering a wide variety of training classes and dog activities.

Canine College was founded in 2012 by Sandra King and originally operated under the name Cosgrove K-9s, offering private classes and in-home dog 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 expand training services, 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, and moved 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, pictured above, 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 high-traction area is used for activities that require secure footing, such as tricks and jumping, with future plans to install agility flooring throughout the building.

Canine College is a family-friendly business and we encourage clients to bring all members of their family to training, as long as they are able to supervise their children to ensure everyone’s safety. 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.

Although Canine College does not currently sell training equipment, we have collars, harnesses, leashes, and long lines for use in class when needed. We also have high-quality dog treats available for sale.

About Sandra King

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 Körbelbach during 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 (by the 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

About Hedy Starr

Hedy’s passion for animals started before she could walk.  While her main focus is dogs, Hedy has experience working with a wide variety of animals.  She spent several years as an educational presenter, representing a program that specializes in bringing exotic animals into the classroom.

Hedy has spent her whole life with dogs.  She owes much of her passion to the family’s first dog, a rescued German Shepherd.  At the age of 12, Hedy decided she wanted to learn more about training, titling, and showing dogs.  She was gifted a dog of her own, a Shetland Sheepdog named Coaty.  Hedy earned her first titles in agility and obedience at the age of 13.

Currently, Hedy spends most of her spare time working with her own dogs in a variety of sports and training disciplines.  Her favorite dog sports are nosework and French Ring, which is a protection sport.

Hedy graduated with a degree in animal sciences and behavior.  She has continued to expand her education by mentoring under numerous trainers across the country, as well as several very experienced breeders.  Hedy also regularly attends hands on seminars and discussions to improve her training skills and knowledge.


​Hedy has over fifteen years of experience training animals as well mannered pets, professional working dogs, and preparing animals for roles in the media industry.  In regards to working dogs, Hedy got her start in training service dogs.  She has now expanded into training and placing narcotics detection dogs with law enforcement.  Although working dogs are a passion of hers, the bulk of Hedy’s clients include reactive or fearful dogs.




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 specializes in behavior evaluations and obedience training. She is also available to perform 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