Seven Dog Training Classes Every Pet Parent Should Know About!

training black and white shepherd mix dog to shake hands and paws

There’s nothing on earth quite like the unconditional, unreserved love of a dog. There’s a reason they are known as man’s best friend! Training your dog is one of the most important and rewarding things you can do, because it improves your communication and strengthens your trust and bond. Not to mention, training can be so much fun! There’s a wide variety of training classes to suit various ages and experience levels. Read on to find the training class for you!

Dog Training Class #1: Puppy Start Up

Puppies are soft, fluffy, adorable, and irresistible. They are also clumsy, messy, and completely lacking in boundaries in the most endearing way. As a new puppy parent, your interactions and dog training efforts will influence your puppy’s behavior far into adulthood. Can you tell rough play from aggression? How can you prevent harmless behavior like play biting and potty accidents from developing into more serious issues?

Train the Bay’s Puppy Start Up allows puppies to socialize with friends, learn good play etiquette, and gain confidence. This class also covers common topics such as crate training, house training, mouthing, and puppy handling in various situations. This “Puppy Kindergarten” class is a must for every puppy and parent!

Dog Training Class #2: Basic Skills

Whether you’re a new pet parent, your dog is new to training, or you’re new to each other—the Basic Skills class is for you. Using rewards-based training, this class is your foundation to a positive relationship built on love and trust. Learn how to recall so they come running happily, and teach them to sit, stay, properly greet strangers, and more. A well-adjusted dog starts here!

Dog Training Class #3: Canine Good Citizen

Have you ever had “dog envy” because you met a “perfect dog”? Well, he/she probably has the Canine Good Citizen (CGC) certification! The American Kennel Club (AKC) awards the CGC certificate to dogs who demonstrate calm and safe behavior during everyday activities. To earn the certificate, dogs must accept friendly strangers, sit politely for petting, welcome grooming and handling, walk on a loose lead, perform sit, down, and stay commands, come when called, amongst other things. 

Train the Bay’s CGC class offers dogs and parents an opportunity to practice exercises before testing for the certificate. Take it to the next level with the AKC Community Canine or the Urban Dog Canine Good Citizen certificates!

Dog Training Class #4: Let’s Just Walk

Do you have an energetic pup who likes to take you on a walk? If you dream of relaxing strolls with your companion on a loose leash, then this is the class for you. Stop your dog from pulling or dragging by improving communication and using body language. Teach him/her to take your lead and walk next to you at your speed. Train the Bay’s class will teach you essential skills to use when walking on a leash with your pooch.

Dog Training Class #5: Dogs Reacting

We love our dogs and they love us. But, reactive behavior such as barking, growling, lunging, and snapping can be stressful. Whether they’re being defensive, possessive, aggressive, or just overly excited, Train the Bay’s reactivity class can help. This class offers science-based explanations of your dog’s behavior, along with handling techniques and protocols to practice with your pooch. With time and patience, you can redirect or even command your dog’s attention, and teach him/her to ignore triggers.

Dog Training Class #6: Scentwork

We all know about dogs’ amazing sense of smell. In fact, dogs “see” the world through their sensitive snouts. All pet parents have experienced their dogs picking up scents and sniffing their way through daily walks. Dogs can also easily recognize familiar people, animals, food (and anything else smelly) solely through their noses. Why not turn your dog’s natural instinct into a fun and meaningful activity? Train the Bay’s Scentwork classes teach dogs and parents techniques similar to those taught to professional detection dogs. Dogs learn to recognize, search, and “rescue” objects through fun and confidence-building exercises. An engaged dog with a purpose often makes for a very happy dog! In addition to an introductory to Scentwork, an advanced class featuring multiple, complex scents is also available for experienced searchers who are up for a challenge.

Dog Training Class #7: Tricks & Skills

Young or old, all dogs can learn new tricks! Tricks are a great way to strengthen your bond and keep your dog engaged. Have fun learning to capture, lure and shape your dog’s behaviors into entertaining and impressive tricks. Shake, play dead, roll over, bow, sit pretty, speak, fetch mail and beer—you name it! Your dog will love being the life of the party at get-togethers. Therapy dogs can also bring uplifting emotion support to schools, hospitals, and senior centers. Those who are interested may also go on to obtain the American Kennel Club (AKC) Trick Dog title.

About Train the Bay and Berkeley Humane

Train the Bay is the Bay Area’s premier dog training program. Since 1985, Train the Bay has helped dogs and pet parents build communication, love, trust, and strengthen their human-animal bond. Our team of certified trainers have extensive experience and passion for dog training. Our Lead Trainer Nancy Frensley, CPDT-KA, CAP2, CGC EVALUATOR, AKC SCENTWORK JUDGE, has spent decades honing her craft and developing this program. Train the Bay also offers a free behavior hotline for pet families struggling with various pet behaviors.

Founded by 501(c)3 non-profit organization Berkeley Humane, Train the Bay intends to minimize behaviors that cause beloved family dogs to be surrendered to shelters. Berkeley Humane has provided lifesaving programs for dogs and cats in the Bay Area and beyond for over a century. You can support these lifesaving efforts by making a donation!

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