Training and obedience FAQ

If you're unable to find answers to questions you have about the training program, contact the Training School by email or call 763-489-2217. You may leave a voicemail at any time and your call will be returned as quickly as possible.

How do I get started?

We ask all students wishing to attend Puppy Kindergarten, Levels 1-5 courses, or the Canine Good Citizen Prep class to watch our Introduction to Dog training video before registering for class. The video provides vital information about needed vaccinations, what to bring to class, how our training program works, and more.

Once you've watched the video, you can register for class and pay for your training pass online. If you prefer a more personal experience, you can call the Training School 763-489-2217. All students must be pre-registered before attending classes.

To register for a specialty class, call 763-489-2217 or send us an email.

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

Don't wait to get started! Our basic obedience classes, known as "Levels classes," are open enrollment, so you pick your start date based on your schedule. Our training passes function similar to a gym membership, in that your pass starts the first day you attend class and you're able to register for individual levels classes throughout the duration of your pass without paying additional fees.

How does your training program work?

Students purchase either a 2-month or a 4-month training pass that functions similarly to a gym membership. Students register for individual classes throughout the duration of their pass. Students are able to register for, and attend, up to one class per day and can register for classes up to three weeks in advance. Students are able to attend classes at or below their current skill level, and are encouraged to do so. Passes start the first day class is attended.

Students 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, allowing students to work at their own pace. Most students average 3-4 classes per level.

Which class should I take?
Can I attend more than once a week?

Yes, students are able to attend more than once a week as their schedule and our availability allows. Students are limited to one class per day and can register for classes up to three weeks in advance. Space is only guaranteed with completed registration, either online or through our program coordinator at training@animalhumanesociety.org or 763-489-2217.

What vaccinations are required?

All pets should be kept current on vaccinations in accordance with their pet's licensed veterinarian's recommendations. At minimum, puppies attending classes or playgroups should have started their distemper/parvo series, and all dogs ages 3 months old or older should be current on their rabies and bordetella vaccinations as well.

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

Your pet 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.

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 (100+) of small, tasty, soft treats. We recommend small tasty 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.
  • 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.
How many dogs or puppies are in a class?

It depends on the class, but generally 6-8 in most classes at the Golden Valley and Now Boarding locations. The Coon Rapids and Woodbury classrooms are smaller with room for 5-6 dogs per class.

Can my kids come to classes?

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 owners.

What is your 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.

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

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

Contact the Pet Helpline