Dog and puppy behavior and training

Dog and Puppy Behavior and Training

Flexible dog training programs and services that fit your schedule and skill level

Animal Humane Society’s positive reinforcement training classes taught by our team of expert trainers empower your dog to thrive in real-world situations.

  • Flexible program: We provide flexible training options for your schedule, location, and skill level.  

  • Positive reinforcementWe only use reward-based, scientifically-proven training methods.

  • Training expertise: Our trainers offer a combined 70+ years of training experience along with CCPDT certification.

  • Practical training: Our training classes focus on real-life situations to make sure what you learn is useful.

  • Support our mission: All training fees go directly towards supporting our mission of creating a more humane world for animals.

Find training that fits your dog's needs
Basic Skills Obedience Training Classes

Looking to brush up on your dog’s manners or teach them a solid foundation of good behaviors? Basic skills classes give your dog practical skills for navigating real-world situations, so they can co-exist peacefully in your household. 

  • 5 levels of training from beginning to expert
  • Available in-person and online in group and private settings
  • Unlimited classes at flexible locations and times with your membership
  • Kids welcome
Specialty Classes

Are you looking for a more specialized class for your dog? We offer fun classes like scent detection and therapy work, as well as classes that teach specific skills like managing your dog’s jumpy, mouthy behavior.

  • Wide variety of skills to choose from
  • Challenge your dog’s brain with mental stimulation
  • Convenient times to fit your schedule
  • Special class offered for dogs who bark and lunge at other dogs on-leash
Puppy Training

Puppy Kindergarten helps your newest family member gain confidence and learn new skills that will set them up for success as they get older. Our in-person puppy classes focus on critical socialization training, and our All About Puppies virtual seminar helps your puppy build important skills like potty training and minimizing mouthy behaviors.

  • Open to dogs 18 weeks old and younger
  • Focus on puppy-specific skills
  • Unlimited classes at flexible location and times with your membership
  • Kids welcome
Puppy Playgroups

Socialization is key to helping a puppy grow into a well-adjusted, happy dog. Our weekly puppy playgroups offer designated dog-to-dog socialization time in a controlled environment to help your puppy learn social skills, experience new situations, and have fun with new puppy friends.

  • Weekly playgroups at Golden Valley location
  • Playgroups categorized by age and size
  • Available for puppies up to 6 months old
  • Discount for students of our training classes
Private Training Sessions

Does your dog need more individualized attention? We offer one-on-one training sessions to give your dog the personalized training they need to be successful.

  • One-on-one training sessions with an expert trainer
  • 30-minute sessions available for on-site private training
  • 60-minute sessions available for in-home private training
  • Personalized attention with less distractions

How to become a member

Becoming a member gives you unlimited access to our basic skills and puppy training classes. Our specialty classes, playgroups, and private sessions are offered on a per-class basis, and are not included in the membership. Here’s the process to purchase a training membership:
Step 1

Watch the video

Before you start your training, we ask that you watch this short introduction to training video to learn more about our program, structure, and the variety of classes that we offer.
Step 2

Purchase a membership

Decide which membership is right for you. We offer a 2-month pass for $199 and a 4-month pass for $349. AHS adopters get a $20 discount if you register within 3 months of adoption.
Step 3

Register for classes

With your membership, you get unlimited classes during your time period, though we recommend capping it at three classes/week and not attending back-to-back classes. Pick the classes that fit your schedule, location, and skill level—or switch them up each week.

Join thousands of happy students who have successfully completed our training program

"I researched training facilities in the Twin Cities, and best bang for your buck is AHS. You don’t get stuck in a level for 6 weeks at a time. When you master the skills, you move up to the next level right away. Plus, you can go to more than one class a week. I’ve taken both my dogs through there and highly recommend them!"

"So impressed with AHS classes. The trainers are calm, clear, and positive. Great suggestions for home practice."

"I have had an INCREDIBLE experience at AHS. The trainers provided me such useful information in such a short amount of time. After attending classes, workshops, and one private training session, my dog has gone from a panicked, anxious, over aroused pup most of the time, to a wonderful, calm pup most of the time, and the trainers provided me with knowledge to help understand his triggers and management tools for the few times that he does get overstimulated. Words cannot adequately describe my gratitude for the training program at AHS, and how much of a difference it made in my life."

Frequently Asked Questions

How does your training program work?

You can purchase either a 2-month or 4-month training pass that grants you access to unlimited basic skills and puppy training classes within that time period, similar to a gym membership. You can register for up to one class per day, but we recommend capping classes to three per week to avoid overworking your dog.

Students can register for classes up to three weeks in advance, and passes start the first day your dog is registered for class.

Students are able to register for classes that are at or below their current skill level, and they graduate from level to level once they can perform each level’s skill set. There is no set amount of time spent at each level, so you and your dog can work at your own pace.

Which training class should I take?

The class that’s right for your dog will depend on their age, skill level, and overall personality.

If your puppy is 18 weeks old or younger, you will start in one of our puppy training classes.

If your dog is over 18 weeks, they will start with level 1 obedience classes

Some dogs don’t do well in group environments, and that’s okay. If your dog is shy or fearful, we recommend trying our virtual classes or a private training session. If your dog is reactive on-leash towards other dogs, they would be better suited for Reactive Rovers.

Can I attend training classes more than once a week?

Yes! You’re able to attend up to one training class per day, as your schedule and availability allows. Students who have purchased our membership receive unlimited classes within their timeframe, so we encourage you to take more than one class per week.

Dogs benefit the most when they have rest days in between training, so we recommend no more than 3 classes per week. This also gives you plenty of time to practice the skills you’ve learned at home.

Can I attend a classes at different locations on one pass?

Yes! The training passes offer you the flexibility to pick and choose which classes work best for you, regardless of where they’re located.

Attend up to one class per day at any of our available locations, and feel free to switch it up during your pass timeframe.

What vaccinations are required?

All pets should be kept current on vaccinations in accordance with your pet's licensed veterinarian's recommendations.

At a minimum, puppies attending classes or playgroups should have started their distemper/parvo series, and all dogs ages 4 months old or older should be current on their rabies and bordetella vaccinations as well.

By attending training classes or playgroups, students agree to the above terms and assume responsibility for maintaining their pet's vaccinations while participating in AHS training programs.

Your dog needs to be free of signs of communicable diseases to attend classes. Even if your vaccinations are current, it's 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.

How many dogs or puppies are in a class?

The class size varies from class to class. At our Golden Valley location, classes typically top out at 8 dogs or puppies. Classes at our other locations are usually smaller, with 4-5 dogs per class.

What should I bring to class?
  • A hungry dog! (Don’t feed adult dogs at least 6 hours before class, and puppies at least 3-4 hours before class.)
  • A generous supply (100+) of small, tasty, soft treats. We recommend bits of meat, cheese, small and soft prepared dog treats, or anything else your pet really wants. Dry kibble or treats are best used only at home.
  • A collar or harness. Buckle collar, Gentle Leader™ head collar, or front-clasp harness typically work best. No chain collars.
  • A 4' or 6' long leash. No retractable leashes please.
Can my kids come to class?

Yes! Our classes are family friendly. 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.

Small children may become bored, tired, or disruptive, so we recommend you bring an extra adult who can tend to their needs.

Please be aware other dogs in class may not be accustomed to children so we ask children to refrain from approaching other dogs, particularly without explicit permission from their guardians.

What is your refund policy?

Class fees are due at time of registration and are nonrefundable. Exceptions apply only in cases of emergency or illness.

We are also unable to extend training passes for vacations or planned veterinary procedures, such as spay/neuter surgery.

If you have any questions about our training methods or wish to observe a class prior to registering, call 763-489-2217 or send us a message.

Ready to get started? 

Simply sign up for your membership and then choose the classes that work best for your pup. Still have questions? Contact us at 763-489-2217 or send us a message. 

Current training school students

For caring, compassionate advice and resources to address all your animal concerns.

Contact the Pet Helpline