Dog Training

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) offers a variety of dog training courses as part of our commitment to supporting positive relationships between people and their pets. Our certified, experienced, and caring dog trainers will help you teach your dog:

  • Basic manners
  • Advanced commands (Level II and above)
  • Healthy socialization skills
  • Mental enrichment exercises
  • How to channel physical energy into class activities

Enroll in a course

At the conclusion of each dog training course, your dog will receive a signed certificate of completion. You and your canine companion will benefit from the opportunity to strengthen your bond through interactive group training courses. Our human participants feel more confident about their pet and have a deeper understanding of how to encourage good behavior.

All classes are held at the ARL’s Boston Animal Care & Adoption Center located at 10 Chandler Street, Boston, MA 02116. FREE parking is available.

Have a question about your pet’s behavior?
Contact the Pet Behavior Helpline to speak with a knowledgeable staff member or volunteer.

Enroll in a Course

You may enroll in a dog training class below either online or over the at (617) 426-9170. If you are registering multiple dogs, please be advised that each dog must have its own individual handler.

Course Offerings

View ARL’s dog training course descriptions to determine which class best matches your dog’s current level of training and interests.

Course Fees

Unless otherwise noted, classes are held for one hour per week for six weeks and cost $150.00.

A reduced rate is offered (first-time use only!) to dogs adopted from the ARL within the previous six months, and for Boston Veterinary Care clients. Please contact a dog training representative for details.

All proceeds from dog training classes benefit the animals in our care at ARL.

Contact a Dog Training Representative

To speak with a dog training representative, call (617) 426-9170 or email behavior@arlboston.org and please allow 24-48 hours for a response.

Dog Training Course Descriptions

Puppy Kindergarten

Puppy Kindergarten

Ages: Puppies 2-6 months

Prerequisites: None

Course Description:  This class concentrates on the importance of socialization in puppies and how to raise a happy well-adjusted adult dog.  This class will also cover some important skills, such as sit, down, stay, coming when called, and walking on a leash. Please note: Week 1 is an owner orientation, so please leave your puppy safely at home.

ENROLL IN THIS CLASS


Advanced Puppy Kindergarten

Advanced Puppy

Ages: Puppies 4-11 months

Prerequisites: Puppy Kindergarten

Course Description: There is no need to have the puppy fun end after kindergarten! This class will help your young dog learn new skills and perfect old ones – while still giving them the opportunity to socialize, which is so important for puppies. Your dog will accompany you to all six classes.

ENROLL IN THIS CLASS


Good Manners

Good Manners

Ages: 5 months & up

Prerequisites: None, however, Puppy Kindergarten is recommended

Course Description: Your dog will learn to stay, down, recall, heel, and polite manners.
Please note: Week 1 is an owner orientation, so please leave your dog safely at home.

ENROLL IN THIS CLASS


Advanced Good Manners

Advanced Good Manners

Ages: 5 months & up

Prerequisites: Puppy Kindergarten or Good Manners

Course Description:  Topics covered include: ‘go to your place,’ training your dog with distractions, attention, body language, how to play and much more. Your dog will accompany you to all six classes.

ENROLL IN THIS CLASS


Agility for fun

Agility for Fun – Level 1

Ages: 6 months & up

Prerequisites: Good Manners or Advanced Good Manners

Course Description:  This class is designed for dogs who know all of their basic commands with distractions. Help your dog learn off-leash commands while they maneuver through obstacle courses. Please note: Space is limited to 4 dogs per class. Enrolled dogs must be people and dog-friendly. 

ENROLL IN THIS CLASS


Agility for fun

Agility for Fun – Level 2

Ages: 6 months & up

Prerequisites: Agility for Fun – Level 1 AND Good Manners or Advanced Good Manners

Course Description: Is your dog eager to learn more agility techniques? Enroll him or her in our Agility for Fun – Level 2 class for hours of fun! Please note: Space is limited to 4 dogs per class. Enrolled dogs must be people and dog-friendly.

ENROLL IN THIS CLASS


Sniffing for fun

Sniffing for Fun – Level 1

Ages: Great for all ages – even seniors!

Prerequisites: Good Manners or Puppy Kindergarten

Course Description: Dogs have an amazing sense of smell why not tap into their natural ability to hunt? The class is to have fun with your dog and build their natural ability to hunt and find food, objects and toys. It’s a great way to build your dog’s confidence and burn energy mentally and physically.

ENROLL IN THIS CLASS


Sniffing for fun level two

Sniffing for Fun – Level 2

Ages: Great for all ages – even seniors!

Prerequisites: Sniffing for Fun – Level 1 AND Good Manners or Puppy Kindergarten

Course Description: Is your dog looking for more sniffing for fun, did they love Sniffing for fun 1? Enroll them in our Sniffing for Fun – Level 2 class and experience more challenging nose work activities and techniques.

ENROLL IN THIS CLASS


canine good citizen

Canine Good Citizen

Ages: 5 months & up

Prerequisites: None, however, Good Manners and/or Advanced Good Manners are highly recommended

Course Description: Ever wish that your dog could bring joy to those who need it most? The ARL’s Canine Good Citizen training course can train your dog to take the first step in becoming a therapy dog! This 6-week course focuses training on real-life scenarios, such as dog-to-dog greetings, walking through a loud crowded space, and grooming/handling by strangers. At the conclusion of the class, your pup will have the opportunity to complete and pass the American Kennel Club’s Canine Good Citizen test for which they will receive a C.G.C certificate, which is recognized as the goal standard for dog behavior. Let your well-mannered pup earn that gold star that he or she deserves!

ENROLL IN THIS CLASS