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Training School FAQ

Do I have to attend the Introduction? 

Yes.  The Introduction session is the first class of our program and it is required for all students before you start classes with your dog.  We provide vital information at this first session that you will need to be most successful in our program, and we want you to be successful!

What training methods do you use in the Training School? 

All our classes are positive reinforcement-based classes, using a combination of Lure/Reward and Clicker Training methods. We find that this is suitable for all pets, and puts all family members more in control of the dog. We are dog-friendly but not permissive, and we never use pain during training.  High-value food rewards are used in class.  We will teach the correct way to use food in training so your dog does not fall into the “my dog only works for food” trap.

How does your Levels Program work? 

Our Levels Program is comprised of short class blocks designed to give you the time you and your pet need to master certain skills before moving to the next level.  Each level takes an average of 3-4 weeks.  The skills are designed as building blocks for the next skill set.  The graduation standard for Level 4 is the AKC Canine Good Citizen Test.

How much do your classes cost? 

When you enroll in our program, you are purchasing a block of time in which to train your pet. Our format is structured so students purchase a 2-month or 4-month Training Pass.  The cost is $150 for 2 months or $250 for 4 months.

Under what circumstances will you extend my Training Pass? 

We are able to be flexible in the case of emergency or illness. We are not able to extend passes for vacations or spay/neuter surgery.

When should I start my dog in classes? 

We know that puppies are at their optimal learning during the first four months, so we encourage you to bring your puppy to classes as soon as possible. Adult dogs of all ages can learn too, so it is never too late!  Puppies can start as soon as they have at least one distemper/parvo vaccination. Adult dogs must be in your home for at least two weeks before starting class to become accustomed to your family.

How do I get a schedule of classes? 

Class descriptions and schedules are available here.

You can also call the Training School at (763) 489-2217 or click here to email for more information.

I don’t see any start dates on your calendar. When do the classes start and end? 

Our Levels classes have rolling enrollment, so you pick your start date based on your schedule. You can start classes with your dog any time after you have attended the Introduction to Pet Dog Training.

How do I register for classes? 

Apply online, download an application The quickest way to apply is online, or you can mail or drop off your application at our Golden Valley location. You can also register at our Introduction session. Please allow 3-4 business days for processing and confirmation of your application.  All students must be pre-registered before attending classes.

Which class should I take? 

If your puppy is less than 18 weeks old, you will start in Puppy Kindergarten. If your dog is over 18 weeks old, you will start in Level 1. Shy/fearful dogs can attend our Wallflower class. Dogs that are reactive to other dogs can attend our Reactive Rovers class.  Dogs with their Canine Good Citizen Certificate can attend our Therapy Dog class.

What dogs shouldn’t come to class? 

Dogs that are aggressive to other dogs or people are not appropriate for our group training classes. Students should call (763) 489-2217 for an appropriate referral to help address this problem before bringing the dog to group classes. Currently enrolled pets should not come if they are showing signs of illness or infection.

What are your health requirements for attending classes? 

Your pet needs to be free of signs of communicable diseases to attend classes. Even if your vaccinations are current, it is possible to pass minor illnesses among other dogs.  Please watch for signs of coughing, sneezing, discharge from the eyes or nose, lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, or fever and do not bring a dog with these symptoms to class.

What vaccinations are required? 

Distemper/Parvo Combination: Required for all dogs and puppies. Puppies should have at least one booster before attending classes.

Rabies: Required for all dogs and puppies over 4 months

Bordetella: Required for all puppies and adult dogs over 3 months

Proof of vaccination is required at the first class or your pet will not be allowed in the classroom.  Vaccination records from your vet or your adoption paperwork must be brought to class the first night.  Rabies tags alone are not sufficient.

What should I bring to class? 

  • A hungry dog! (do not feed adult dogs at least 6 hours before class, and puppies at least 3-4 hours before class)
  • A generous supply of small, tasty, soft tidbits.
  • Current vaccination records. Your pet will not be allowed to attend without current vaccinations.
  • Collar/Harness: buckle collar, Gentle Leader™ head collar, or front-clasp harness. No chain collars.
  • Leash: Must be 4' or 6' long. No retractable leashes.

What treats should I bring to class? 

Something that smells really wonderful and enticing will work best in class to keep your dog’s attention. We recommend small tasty bits of meat, cheese, small and soft prepared dog treats, or anything else that your pet wants. Please keep in mind that treats really need to be exciting for your dog to want them around other dogs.

Can I attend more than once a week? 

Yes, if there is room in another class at your level or below, you may float into that class. Please call the Training School office to check for class availability. We have a finite amount of space in each classroom, and we need to know when you will be attending.

How many dogs or puppies are in a class? 

It depends on the class, but generally 10-15 in most classes at the Golden Valley and Now Boarding locations. The Coon Rapids and Woodbury classrooms are smaller with room for 6-7 dogs per class.

Can my kids come to classes? 

Yes! Our classes are family friendly, and we welcome all family members, including children. Small children may become bored, tired, or disruptive, and we recommend that you bring an extra adult who can tend to their needs. We encourage children to be involved in all parts of training classes, but for everyone's safety an adult must be present and maintain control of the dog at all times.

What is your cancellation/refund policy?

After the first class session, refunds will be given only in case of medical or other emergency, and we must be notified before the end of the last scheduled class to ensure a refund. We encourage students to observe a class without their dog if they have any questions about our training methods.

What if I want private lessons? 

We offer private lessons at the rate of $75.00/hour at our Golden Valley location.

Who do I talk to if I have questions? 

Call the Training School at (763) 489-2217 or click here to email for more information.  The Training Coordinator is available weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.  The Training phone is not staffed on weekends.  You may leave a voicemail at any time and your call will be returned as quickly as possible.

Animal Humane Society locations

Buffalo

4375 Hwy. 55 S.E.
Buffalo, MN 55313
(763) 390-3647

Operating hours
Directions

Coon Rapids

1411 Main St. N.W.
Coon Rapids, MN 55448
(763) 862-4030

Operating hours
Directions

Golden Valley

845 Meadow Ln. N.
Golden Valley, MN 55422
(763) 489-2201

Operating hours
Directions

St. Paul

1115 Beulah Ln.
St. Paul, MN 55108
(651) 645-7387

Operating hours
Directions

Woodbury

9785 Hudson Rd.
Woodbury, MN 55125
(651) 730-6008

Operating hours
Directions

  • Administration
    (763) 522-4325
  • Animal Admissions
    (763) 412-4969
  • Pet Behavior Helpline
    (763) 489-2202
  • Boarding
    (763) 489-2222
  • More contact info »