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*Offering courses in Boston and Dedham*

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

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

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.

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 and semi-private lesson(s), 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.

Semi-Private Lesson(s): ARL is now offering 1-hour semi-private lesson(s). These sessions are designed for dogs that may have a hard time in a full group class or to focus on specific behaviors that may or may not be covered in a group class. Price per one time, Semi-Private lesson is $125.

Private Lesson(s): ARL is now offering 1.5-hour private lesson(s) at our Boston 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 $150.

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

  • Basic Classes
  • $225

    6-week course
  • Puppy Kindergarten
  • Good Manners
  • Advanced Classes
  • $175

    6-week course
  • Sniffing for Fun - Level 2
  • Agility for Fun - Level 2
  • Intermediate - Advanced Classes
  • $200

    6-week course
  • Advanced Puppy
  • Advanced Good Manners
  • Agility for Fun - Level 1
  • Sniffing for Fun - Level 1
  • Tricks and Games
  • Specialty Classes
  • $200

    6-week course
  • Canine Good Citizen Prep Course
  • Semi-private Lesson(s)
  • $125

    1-hour single lesson
  • Private Lesson(s)
  • $150

    1.5-hour single lesson

Dedham Course Fees

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

  • Basic Classes

  • $200

    6-week course
  • Puppy Kindergarten
  • Good Manners
  • Intermediate - Advanced Classes
  • $200

    6-week course
  • Advanced Puppy
  • Advanced Good Manners
  • Semi-private Lesson(s)

  • $125

    1-hour single lesson

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 2-6 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.

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

ENROLL IN THIS CLASS

Advanced Puppy

Ages: Puppies 4-11 months

Prerequisites: Puppy Kindergarten

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.

ENROLL IN THIS CLASS

Good Manners

Ages: 5 months & up

Prerequisites: None, however, Puppy Kindergarten is recommended.

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

Course Description: This class is designed for dogs and puppies over 5 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.

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

ENROLL IN THIS CLASS

Advanced Good Manners

Ages: 5 months & up

Prerequisites: Puppy Kindergarten 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.

ENROLL IN THIS CLASS

Agility for Fun – Level 1

Ages: 6 months & up

Prerequisites: Advanced Puppy or Advanced Good Manners

Course Location: This class is only taught in Boston.

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 – Level 2

Ages: 6 months & up

Prerequisites: Agility for Fun – Level 1

Course Location: This class is only taught in Boston.

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 – Level 1

Ages: Great for all ages – even seniors!

Prerequisites: Advanced Puppy Kindergarten, Advanced Good Manners OR Canine Good Citizen

Course Location: This class is only taught in Boston.

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 2

Ages: Great for all ages – even seniors!

Prerequisites: Sniffing for Fun – Level 1

Course Location: This class is only taught in Boston.

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 Prep Course

Ages: 5 months & up

Prerequisites: Advanced Puppy Kindergarten and Advanced Good Manners

Course Location: This class is only taught in Boston.

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. Prepare for the American Kennel Club’s Canine Good Citizen test during all six classes and call to schedule the test when you and your dog are ready, 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

Tricks and Games

Ages: 5 months & up

Prerequisites: Good Manners or Puppy Kindergarten

Course Location: This class is only taught in Boston.

Course Description: 

Designed for dogs that have completed Puppy Kindergarten or Good Manners, great for all ages – even seniors. Dogs seem to have endless energy and a good sense of humor. Keep their brain and body stimulated by teaching new tricks and letting them get a taste of some games and dog sports. Prepare your dog for the Novice AKC Trick Dog title. The test will be administered at the end of the last session.

ENROLL IN THIS CLASS

Semi-Private Lesson(s)

Ages: any age

Prerequisites: None

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

Course Description: 

These classes are designed for dogs that may have a hard time in a full group class or to focus on specific behaviors that may or may not be covered in a group class.

ENROLL IN THIS CLASS

Private Lesson(s)

Ages: any age

Prerequisites: None

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

Course 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. Each lesson is 90 minutes. Price per one time, Private Lesson is $150.

ENROLL IN THIS CLASS


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.