Obedience Courses

Completing Obedience Courses (levels 1–5) will give you practical skills for training your dog to be a well-mannered member of your household. Before enrolling in obedience courses we ask that you watch our Introduction to Dog Training video, where you'll learn more about our program.

Obedience Course descriptions and schedules

    Level 1: Foundation Skills

    Level 1 teaches your dog how fun it can be to follow commands and lays the groundwork for skills that are key in developing a well-mannered canine companion. You may be surprised at how readily your dog will learn new things — it’s all about consistency! Basic skills taught in Level 1 training include:

    • Stationary attention and name recognition
    • Sit (verbal and hand signals)
    • Polite greeting of people who approach you and your dog
    • Intro to loose-leash walking

    Prerequisites

    Dogs must have completed four classes of Puppy Kindergarten or be at least 18 weeks old.

    Owners must watch the short Introduction to Dog Training video to learn what to bring to class and what to expect from our program.

    See class times and purchase a pass

    Level 2: Skill Building

    You’ll continue developing the skills you learned in Level 1 and begin introducing training exercises that are more challenging and useful in the real world. In Level 2, we’ll work on:

    • Automatically sitting when you stop walking (great for icy sidewalks)
    • Going to a mat
    • Laying down
    • Coming when called

    Prerequisites

    Dogs must complete Level 1 training before advancing to Level 2.

    See class times

    Level 3: Reliability

    Now that you’ve established a solid foundation, the skills your dog learned in previous classes will really start to shine in Level 3! At this level, we’ll start reinforcing reliability and working on more complex behaviors. Upon graduating Level 3, you will also be able to enroll in specialty classes. This class works on:

    • Settling on a mat
    • Walking on a loose leash passed an easy distraction
    • Introducing real life situations during "Come"
    • Starting in June: "Leave it"

    Prerequisites

    Dogs must complete Level 2 training before advancing to Level 3.

    See class times

    Level 4: Advanced Skills

    As you begin Level 4 training, you should feel excited about all you and your dog have accomplished together. It’s time to show off! During Level 4 training, you and your dog will work on polishing the skills learned in prior classes, and start practicing more challenging tasks, such as:

    • Settling and remaining on a mat for longer periods of time
    • Walking on a loose leash past a difficult distraction (like other people or dogs)
    • Responding to "Come" despite distraction (a toy, other dog or person)
    • Waiting at a door

    Prerequisites

    Dogs must complete Level 3 training before advancing to Level 4.

    See class times

    Level 5: Expert Skills

    Dogs that pass Level 5 training exhibit exceptional control and behavior. In this final course, we’ll work on more advanced skills. Dogs that pass Level 5 have mastered:

    • Settling and remaining on mat until release
    • Backing up (getting out of the way)
    • Moving to a new position (at the vet or groomer)
    • Staying in a sitting or “down” position for extended periods of time

    Prerequisites

    Dogs must complete Level 4 training before advancing to Level 5.

    See class times

    Canine Good Citizen Prep

    Build the skills your dog will need to pass the Canine Good Citizen (CGC) test. Dogs that pass the CGC test are considered reliable family and community members and will receive a certificate from the American Kennel Club. Students and dogs interested in advancing their training, without the goal of taking the Canine Good Citizen test, are also welcome to attend. Highlights from the class include:

    • Sitting politely for greeting by another person
    • Proper reaction to distraction
    • Proper reaction to another dog
    • Walking on a loose leash through a crowd
    • Staying in place in both a sit and down position

    Prerequisites

    Dogs must complete Level 4 training before advancing to the Canine Good Citizen Prep class.

    See class times

    Not all dogs benefit from group training classes. Your dog may not be appropriate for group class if they:

    • Have a bite history of either people or other animals
    • Bark, snark, or snarl at other dogs or people
    • Are excessively shy of new people or situations
    • Are easy overstimulated by new situations

    Dogs who exhibit behaviors incompatible with a group training setting will be dismissed from class without refund. If you have questions about your dog's eligibility, please contact the training school prior to registering for class at 763-489-2217. Depending on your dog's behavior, we may be able to help you through private training sessions, specially designed classes for reactive dogs, or referrals to specialists.

    Purchase a Training School pass

    We offer two- or four-month training passes for our obedience classes (including Puppy Kindergarten and Levels 1-5), providing you more flexibility with your schedule. 

    Purchase a Training School pass

    Questions?

    Review our Training School FAQ, call us at 763-489-2217, or send us an email.

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

    Contact the Pet Helpline