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COVID-19 Update 7/31:

Our Fall 2020 course schedule is now available. Spots are limited!  Scroll down to see course availability and to enroll.

In an effort to keep our clients and staff safe, please note the following changes in our operating procedures:

  • All clients must wear a protective face covering or mask that covers both the nose and mouth at all times, by order of the State of Massachusetts.  Please alert our staff if you need to request accommodation due to a medical condition. View ARL’s full Client Health and Safety Guidelines.
  • Boston courses will primarily be held outdoors, but may be moved indoors due to inclement weather. Please dress accordingly; and sunblock is recommended.  Only one family member per dog may attend each class.  We ask that clients bring their own dog training treats, water/water bowls, and folding chair.
  • Dedham courses will be held exclusively outdoors, weather permitting. Please dress accordingly; and bug spray and sunblock are recommended. Up to two family members per dog may attend each class. We ask that clients bring their own dog training treats, water/water bowls, and folding chair

Dog Training

Sign up for a dog training course

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

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.

Classes are held at both the Boston Animal Care & Adoption Center and the Dedham Animal Care & Adoption Center. FREE parking is available at both locations.

ARL Boston

Boston Shelter

10 Chandler Street,
Boston, MA 02116

ARL Dedham

Dedham Shelter

55 Anna’s Place,
Dedham, MA 02026


Meet Some Recent Graduates

Beacon graduation

dog training

Share your graduation photos with us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter using #arlboston


Enroll in a Course

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

Sign up for a dog training course

Course Offerings and Details

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

For six week courses, 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.

Six Week Courses:

Unless otherwise noted, classes are held for one hour per week for six weeks. Our variety of 6-week courses cover a range of options from Basic Good Manners to Agility to the Prep Course for certifying your dog as a Canine Good Citizen.

Private Lesson(s):

ARL is now offering 1.5-hour private lesson(s) at our Boston and Dedham location. These sessions are designed for dogs that may have a hard time in a group class or to focus on specific behaviors concerns that they are having. Price per one time, Private Lesson is $175.

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


Boston Course Fees

Classes held at our Boston Location (rates effective for all 6-week courses starting after 4/1/19)
at 10 Chandler St, Boston, MA 02116

  • Beginner Classes
  • $225

    6-week course
  • Puppy Kindergarten (ages 8 weeks – 5 months only)
  • Beginner Adolescents (ages 6 months-12 months only)
  • Good Manners (ages 12 months and up only)
  • Intermediate - Advanced Classes
  • $200

    6-week course, for those that have attended a beginner class
  • Advanced Puppy (ages 6 months – 12 months)
  • Advanced Good Manners (ages 12 months and up)
  • Private Lesson(s)
  • $175

    1.5-hour single lesson
  • $175 includes a 90 minute behavior consultation and the creation of a personalized training plan. After the initial session, single or 3-pack lessons are available for purchase through your trainer.

Dedham Course Fees

Classes held at our Dedham location at 55 Anna’s Pl, Dedham, MA 02026

  • Beginner Classes
  • $200

    6-week course
  • Puppy Kindergarten (ages 8 weeks – 5 months only)
  • Beginner Adolescents (ages 6 months-12 months only)
  • Good Manners (ages 12 months and up only)
  • Intermediate - Advanced Classes
  • $200

    6-week course, for those that have attended a beginner class
  • Advanced Puppy
  • Advanced Good Manners
  • Private Lesson(s)
  • $175

    1.5-hour single lesson
  • $175 includes a 90 minute behavior consultation and the creation of a personalized training plan. After the initial session, single or 3-pack lessons are available for purchase through your trainer.

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

Ages: Puppies 8 weeks – 5 months

Prerequisites: None

Course Location: This class is taught in both Dedham and Boston.

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 introduce some important skills, such as sit, down, stay, coming when called, and walking on a leash.

Puppy Kindergarten classes are currently full. Please send an email to behavior@arlboston.org to have your name added to our wait list.

Please note: Week 1 is owner orientation and is held virtually via Microsoft Teams format or telephone. In-person group classes start on week 2.

Beginner Adolescents

Ages: 6 months – 11 months

Prerequisites: None

Course Location: This class is taught in both Dedham and Boston.

Course Description: This course teaches the same curriculum as our Puppy Kindergarten course but is designed for puppies ages 6 months to 11 months. This course will focus on the importance of socialization in puppies and how to raise a happy, well-adjusted dog. Helpful, basic skills of how to appropriately greet new people and leash walking along with other beginner obedience skills such as sit, down, stay and come when called, will be introduced in this course.

Beginner Adolescents classes are currently full. Please send an email to behavior@arlboston.org to have your name added to our wait list.

Please note: Week 1 is owner orientation and is held virtually via Microsoft Teams format or telephone. In-person group classes start on week 2.

Good Manners

Ages: 12 months and up

Prerequisites: None, however, Puppy Kindergarten or Beginner Adolescents is recommended.

Course Location: This class is taught in both Dedham and Boston.

Course Description: This class is designed for dogs and puppies over 6 months who have little or no previous training.  Your dog will be introduced to all basic cues such as sit, down, stay, coming when called, loose leash walking with a goal of becoming a well-mannered dog.  Some socialization and play will be covered.

Good Manners classes are currently full. Please send an email to behavior@arlboston.org to have your name added to our wait list.

Please note: Week 1 is an owner orientation, so please leave your dog safely at home.

Advanced Puppy

Ages: Puppies 6 months – 11 months

Prerequisites: Puppy Kindergarten or Beginner Adolescents

Course Location: This class is taught in both Dedham and Boston.

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.

Advanced Puppy classes are currently full. Please send an email to behavior@arlboston.org to have your name added to our wait list.

Advanced Good Manners

Ages: 12 months and up

Prerequisites: Puppy Kindergarten, Beginner Adolescents, or Good Manners

Course Location: This class is taught in both Dedham and Boston.

Course Description: This class will build on the skills learned in good manners class by adding more distractions. New skills will be taught such as ‘go to place’, ‘heel’, stay with distractions and recall with distractions. Preparing you and your dog to join other fun sports classes we offer.

Advanced Good Manners Classes are currently full. Please send an email to behavior@arlboston.org to have your name added to our wait list.

Private Lesson(s)

Ages: any age

Prerequisites: None

Lesson Location: Lessons are offered in both Boston and Dedham.

Description: 

These lessons are designed for owners and their dogs that need one on one attention with the trainer focusing on any behavior issue or to improve on skills with less distraction. $175 includes a 90 minute behavior consultation and the creation of a personalized training plan. After the initial session, single or 3-pack lessons are available for purchase through your trainer.

Please email behavior@arlboston.org to sign up for a private lesson. 


Have a question about your pet’s behavior?

If you have a question regarding you pet’s behavior, please contact our Pet Behavior Helpline to speak with a knowledgeable staff member or volunteer.

Giving Tuesday 2020 Match