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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 Education and Training Center. FREE parking is available at both locations.

ARL Boston

Boston Shelter

10 Chandler Street
Boston, MA 02116

ARL Dedham

ARL Dedham building 10 Anna's Pl

10 Anna’s Place
Dedham, MA 02026


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Enroll in a Course

You may enroll in a dog training class below either online or over the phone at (617) 426-9170 x227. 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 note, that there are no discounts on workshops, Agility for Fun, or Reactive Dog classes. To learn more, please contact a dog training representative for details at (617) 426-9170 x227 or email dogtraining@arlboston.org.

Classes are limited to six dogs. All classes need at least three dogs to start and may be rescheduled if not filled. All class sessions run for 6 weeks and will be extended if a holiday falls within the session. If classes are cancelled due to weather or an emergency, the end date will be rescheduled.

Refund Policy

To receive a full refund, for a cancellation of a class registration, please email us at dogtraining@arlboston.org at least (3) days before the date of the first class. A Partial refund (prorated and equal to 5 of the 6 sessions) is available up until 24 hours after the first class, by emailing us at dogtraining@arlboston.org. We are unable to offer any refunds after this period. Refunds will be credited back to the original credit card used for payment.

Vaccination Requirements

Puppy Kindergarten ONLY: Distemper (DHLPP). We know that puppies must be a certain age before receiving the Rabies vaccine and this is OK.

We require that all dogs be vaccinated for Distemper (DHLPP) and Rabies, while Kennel Cough (Bordetella) is simply recommended. Please note every puppy/adult dog that can receive rabies is required to and all of our shelter dogs that share the space are fully vaccinated.

Donations

All donation proceeds made to the dog training department go towards the animals in our care at ARL. You can donate during your course registration.

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 Puppy Kindergarten to Advanced Canine Foundation Behaviors.

Workshops

Workshops are held for one hour per week for two weeks and range from heeling, loose leash walking, reactive dog handling, and more.

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


Course Fees

Discounts are available for repeating clients!

Please note, that there are no discounts on workshops, Agility for Fun, or Reactive Dog classes

 

  • Beginner Classes
  • $225

    6-week course
  • Puppy Kindergarten (ages 8 weeks – 5 months only)
  • Introduction to Canine Foundation Behaviors (ages 5 months and up)
  • Reactive Dog Level 1 (Ages 5 months and up)
  • Intermediate - Advanced Classes
  • $225

    6-week course, for those that have attended a beginner class
  • Intermediate Canine Foundation Behaviors (ages 6 months and up)
  • Advanced Canine Foundation Behaviors (ages 6 months and up)
  • Introduction to Rally Obedience (ages 6 months and up)
  • Agility for Fun (ages 6 months and up)
  • Workshops
  • $100

    2-weeks, 1 hour per week
  • Come When Called
  • Good Manners
  • Heeling and Loose Leash Walking
  • Distracted Dog

Contact a Dog Training Representative

To speak with a dog training representative, call (617) 426-9170 x227 or email dogtraining@arlboston.org and please allow 48 hours for a response.


Dog Training Course Descriptions

Workshops

Come When Called Workshop

Prerequisites: None

Course Location: This workshop is taught in Dedham and Boston.

Course Description: Coming when called can be very challenging for most pet owners. This two-week workshop will focus on how we can teach our dogs to come around high-level distractions. Through the use of positive reinforcement methods, you will learn how to get your dog to come away from other dogs, people, novel stimuli, and more.

Please note, discounts cannot be applied to this workshop.

ENROLL IN A WORKSHOP


 

Good Manners Workshop

Prerequisites: None

Ages: 5 months and up

Course Location: This workshop is taught in Dedham and Boston.

Course Description: This workshop is designed to help prepare you and your dog for the holidays including large gatherings, vacations, and other events. You and your dog will be introduced to new skills including ‘Go to bed’, ‘Leave it’, and other basic obedience. Other techniques to manage problem behaviors will also be introduced. These behaviors include how to stop jumping, counter surfing, barking, and more.

Please note, discounts cannot be applied to this workshop.

ENROLL IN A WORKSHOP


 

Heeling and Loose Leash Walking Workshop

Prerequisites: None—However, no dog/human aggressive dogs. This is not a reactive dog-handling workshop. For questions, please contact the Dog Training Manager at (617) 426-9170 x227 or email dogtraining@arlboston.org.  

Course Location: This workshop is taught in Dedham and Boston.

Course Description: During these 2 weeks, you and your dog will master the art of “Heeling” which is a structured loose leash walk. This workshop will help you teach your dog how to walk by your side regardless of distractions. Through the use of positive reinforcement methods, we will teach you how to stop your dog from pulling. Dog training is about fostering a relationship with your pet. Your dog will learn lifelong leash skills in a fun and productive way.

ENROLL IN A WORKSHOP


 

Distracted Dog Workshop

Prerequisites: None. We cannot accept dogs with aggression to dogs or people, including those with a bite history to a dog or a person. For questions, please contact the Dog Training Manager at (617) 426-9170 x227 or email dogtraining@arlboston.org.

Course Location: This workshop is taught in Dedham and Boston.

Course Description: This workshop will help you teach your dog how to refocus their attention back on you when they get reactive and fearful. Through the use of positive reinforcement methods, we will teach you how to manage your dog from growling, pulling, lunging, snapping, barking, and more. In this judgment-free environment, you will learn about your dog’s reactivity and gain the confidence to handle your reactive dog in our unpredictable world.

ENROLL IN A WORKSHOP

Reactive Dog

Ages: 5 months and up

Prerequisites: None. We cannot accept dogs with aggression to dogs or people, including those with a bite history to a dog or a person. For questions, please contact the Dog Training Manager at (617) 426-9170 x227 or email dogtraining@arlboston.org.

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

Course Description: This course will help you teach your dog how to learn self-control and learn the skills to become a more confident dog. We will teach you how to refocus your dog’s attention back onto you when they are reactive or over-excited around dogs, people, and other distractions. Through positive reinforcement methods, you will learn how to control your dog’s barking, lunging, excitement, and more.

ENROLL IN THIS CLASS

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 appropriate play with other dogs, name recognition, how to greet people/dogs, and how to become more comfortable wearing a harness, collar and leash along with many other fun activities! Puppy play during class is at the trainer’s discretion.

ENROLL IN THIS CLASS

Introduction to Canine Foundation Behaviors

Ages: 5 months and up

Prerequisites: None

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

Course Description: This course is designed for dogs over 5 months and have little or no previous training. Using positive reinforcement methods, 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. Positive training leads to positive results.

ENROLL IN THIS COURSE

Intermediate Canine Foundation Behaviors

Ages: Puppies 6 months and up

Prerequisites: Introduction to Canine Foundation Behaviors or a related course at another facility.

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

Course Description: This class will build on the skills learned in Introduction to Canine Foundation Behaviors classes by adding more duration, distance and distractions. New skills will be taught such as ‘Leave it’ ‘Drop it’ ‘go to place’ and ‘heel’. This course will help prepare you and your dog to join other fun classes we offer.

ENROLL IN THIS COURSE

Advanced Canine Foundation Behaviors

Ages: 6 months and up

Prerequisites: Intermediate Canine Foundation Behaviors or a related course at another facility.

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

Course Description: This course will prepare you for the real world. You will continue to enhance your dog’s loose leash walking, stay, recall, greetings, and go to place behavior. You will learn how to walk pass other dogs, food, toys, people and more. You will continue to learn and understand how to be consistent regardless of location and distractions.

ENROLL IN THIS COURSE 

Introduction to Rally Obedience

Ages: 5 months and up

Prerequisites: Puppy Kindergarten, Beginner Adolescents, or Good Manners

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

Course Description: Rally-O is a class that takes obedience exercises and skills and improves performance and accuracy. The handler and dog will navigate through a course of 10-20 signs, asking for a specific skill to attempt. You and your dog will strengthen your loose-leash walking, heeling, sit, down stay, tricks and more! This is a spin on traditional obedience by adding challenging fun exercises to build a stronger relationship with your dog while reinforcing your obedience techniques.

ENROLL IN THIS COURSE

Agility for Fun

Ages: 6 months and up

Prerequisites: Introduction to Canine Foundation Behaviors or have taken a class at another facility. 

Course Location: This class is taught in Boston only.

Course Description: This course is designed to build mental and physical exercise for your dog. Agility for fun is a fun outlet that allows your dog to release their energy in a fun safe way. Your dog will learn impulse control and build confidence around jumps, tunnels, weaves, and more. This class will be focused on creating focus out of your dog through attention games.  

ENROLL IN THIS COURSE


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.