Which type of dog training class is right for your dog?

dog in training on a mat

Animal Humane Society offers a variety of training classes for you and your pooch.

There are options for puppies who need to socialize, dogs of any age to brush up on basics or learn advanced skills, and even specialized sessions for unique behavioral needs.

And right now, you can attend the class of your choice in-person or from the comfort of your living room.

Whether you’re a home-body or a social butterfly, enrolling your dog in training not only makes for a well-mannered companion, it strengthens the bond between you and your best friend.

In-person training

If your dog does well in social settings, you may want to consider attending classes.

The benefits of in-person training classes

  • Varied stimuli: In-person training means your dog will encounter a variety of new sights, sounds, and smells. Your dog can learn over time to tune out these distractions, including the presence of other people and dogs. This can help make your training more effective in day-to-day life.
  • Hands-on help: Having hands-on access to a trainer can decrease any confusion you may have about the skills your pooch is learning. The trainer may be able to more easily identify the challenges you and your dog are facing, and modify instructions for success.
  • A new environment: In-person training provides an opportunity for you and your pup to practice your techniques in a new location. Practicing training techniques in a variety of environments can help your pup master the skills he’s learning.
  • More class variety: We offer more in-person classes than virtual classes. We have two sites that offer a variety of different classes each day to fit your pup’s needs and skill level.
  • Room size: For some of us with smaller apartments and homes, practicing skills like “recall” can be quite difficult. Training in our facilities allows for a more substantially sized learning environment.
  • Socialization: Sometimes, there’s just no substitute for being in the same room with other dogs and people!

In-person classes may not be for everyone, especially dogs that are easily distracted or stressed by the presence of other dogs. 

Live virtual training

Virtual training provides the same instruction and level of difficulty as in-person training, but through a video chat with you, your dog, the trainer, and others in the class.

Video URL

The benefits of virtual training classes

  • Minimal distractions: Maybe your dog has leash reactivity or gets excited around strangers and/or other dogs. Virtual training allows your dog to learn skills in a distraction-free training environment.
  • No commute: Short and sweet, you’ll save the trip to one of our training centers.
  • Comfortable: Train in your PJs. Enjoy a coffee. Schedule a class in between meetings. Your dog may also appreciate the ability to learn in a space that includes familiar sights, sounds, and smells.
  • Class size: We currently limit the number of people who can be present with their dog in an in-person training session. However, with virtual training, your whole family can be engaged!
  • Non-weather dependent: If we’ve got a blizzard approaching, know that your class won’t be cancelled due to weather. The forecast is always in your favor when you’re training from home.
  • Join from anywhere: Taking a trip up north for the weekend? No worries. You can access training classes from anywhere.
  • Training tools on hand: Training from home means you’ll never forget your treats, clicker, mat, or other training tools.

Private training lessons

For pet parents looking for more personalized training for their dog, AHS also offers private training. These lessons are one-on-one sessions with a trainer, and available both in-person or online. 

The benefits of private training lessons

in-home private dog training
  • One-on-one attention: You’ll work directly with one of our expert trainers who can customize your training plan to meet your dog’s needs. This hands-on help can make training easier, and help your pup overcome potential training challenges that aren’t as easy to identify or overcome in a group class setting.
  • Convenience: Private training sessions are flexible. You can meet with our trainers either in-person at one of our locations, virtually, or in your home, depending on what works best for you.
  • Minimal distractions: If your dog struggles with training in a group environment because their easily distracted by other dogs and/or people, private lessons can be a great fit. You have more control over your dog’s environment, and the one-on-one nature means limited distractions for your pup.
  • Help with specific challenges not covered in basic training classes: In private training, you and your dog can work closely with a trainer to address your specific behavior challenges that can’t be addressed in our basic training classes, like aggressive behavior toward humans, aggressive behaviors toward other animals, conflict between pets at home, housetraining, and more.

Reactive Rover training classes

These specialty classes are designed for dogs that bark, snarl, or growl at other dogs while on leash. 

These pups need help feeling more comfortable on leash, and our Reactive Rover classes help them gain the skills and confidence they need to be around other dogs.

The benefits of Reactive Rover classes

  • Designed for your dog: These classes are made especially for dogs that are leash-reactive to other dogs, and all of the course material is designed to help you better understand, manage, and overcome these behaviors.
  • Counter-conditioning in a structured setting: Working with your dog’s reactivity in the real-world can be tough without guidance. These classes teach your dog positive associations with other dogs in choreographed real-life scenarios.
  • Free, introductory seminar: The first step in Reactive Rovers training is a free, humans-only seminar that teaches you more about your dog’s reactivity including why it happens, how to predict it, and how to manage it. You’ll build a strong foundation of knowledge before you begin the hands-on classes.

Dogs that do well in Reactive Rovers class won’t do well in a traditional group class setting, so we recommend starting with these classes before enrolling your dog in one of our other in-person classes.

These classes are not included in the AHS training pass, however you can get started with a free Reactive Rovers information seminar.

You can also contact our free Behavior Helpline for guidance from our training staff on ways to manage your dog's reactive behavior while you wait for your first Reactive Rovers class.

Interested in training classes offered at AHS?

The ultimate benefit of an AHS training pass is being able to switch between locations, including in-person and virtual classes.

Maybe you want to expose your dog to other dogs some days, but prefer to work with your dog from your living room on others. Whether you’re going out or staying in, training has never been safer, easier, and more accessible to our community.

Learn more about the different training classes we offer at AHS, including our free, virtual seminar on puppy parenting.