Here kittens will learn to socialize with other kittens and people, as well as learn some training skills, such being handled and groomed, being comfortable with being examined by a “vet;” how to come when called, sit, and go to a mat, and other useful skills. For kittens ages 7 weeks to 15 weeks.Click here to sign up
In this class, you will learn how to teach your dog to work for you for fun rewards, and the behaviors that will be taught in the class are: sit, stay, lie down, coming when called, “Leave it,” go to your mat, and loose-leash walking.Sign Up Now
Some weeks you and your canine companion will learn to navigate Rally Obedience courses consisting of signs where you perform the listed skills (see the signs here). Other weeks your dog will learn to retrieve; identify scent; and jump broad, bar, and high jumps along with other relationship-building activities. Perfection is not the goal, since humans and dogs alike seldom achieve flawlessness; instead, the goal of Obedience Unlimited is to engage and challenge our best friends with new tasks that are fun to learn and intellectually stimulating.Sign Up Now
MSPCA-Boston training classes are held at the MSPCA Animal Care and Adoption Center, 350 So. Huntington Ave., Jamaica Plain.
“Frequent Flyers” have taken 5 or more classes at the MSPCA and get a special rate. If you are a Frequent Flyer, please click the Frequent Flyer Login button before selecting your class in order to use your special discount! (If you are not a Frequent Flyer, keep coming to class- you will get there!)Frequent Flyer’s Login
Puppy Play ‘n Learn! According to the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behaviorists (AVSAB), it is critical for young puppies to be socialized with lots of other dogs and people before they are five months old.
Beginner Pet Obedience! If your puppy is well-socialized with other dogs and people, you may sign up for Beginner Pet Obedience before they are 5 months old. Dogs of every age are welcome…all dogs can learn!
If your dog is experienced with rewards-based training, and has some rudimentary training such as sit/down/stay/walk on a loose leash, you are ready to take nearly any level 2 class, such as Next Level, Obedience Unlimited, Rally Obedience, Practical Precision, Obility or Agility.
If you are interested in the newest rage in dogdom, try “Nosework!” Your dog will learn the same scent discrimination skills as police dogs!
Please note that we are unable to accommodate overly reactive or aggressive dogs in our classes at this time. If you have a reactive or aggressive dog and need training help, please contact the Training Coordinator, Michalla Bishop. She can arrange for you to see one of our behaviorists in a private behavioral consult.
We believe in preschool and grad school for dogs! If you register for more than one class in advance, you get a discount! Your choices are:
Puppy Package 1, savings= $45.00
Includes: Puppy Play ‘n Learn followed by Beginner Pet Obedience (Once you complete PPNL, email Michalla Bishop to pick your next class)Purchase Puppy Package 1
Puppy Package 2, savings = $70.00
Puppy Play ‘n Learn followed by Beginner Pet Obedience, then Level 2 Obedience (or Obedience Unlimited, Agility, Obility, Rally or Nosework)Purchase Puppy Package 2
Adult Dog Package, savings = $45.00
Beginner Pet Obedience, then Level 2 Obedience (or Obedience Unlimited, Agility, Obility, Rally or Nosework.) When you purchase this package, please review the Beginner Pet Obedience class listing below and note your desired start date on your registration form. You will register for the second class by emailing Michalla Bishop.Purchase Dog Package
Canine Good Citizen Package, savings = $70.00
Beginner Pet Obedience, then Level 2 Obedience, then Canine Good Citizen Prep. When you purchase this package, please review the Beginner Pet Obedience class listing below and note your desired start date on your registration form. You will register for the second class by emailing Michalla Bishop.Purchase Canine Good Citizen Package
In this class, you will learn how to teach your dog to work for you for fun rewards, and the behaviors that will be taught in the class are: sit, stay, lie down, coming when called, “Leave it,” go to your mat, and loose-leash walking. These are the foundation behaviors that make your dog a good and well-behaved family member.See Dates and Enroll for Beginner Pet Obedience
Prerequisite: Level 1 Obedience or permission of the Training Coordinator.
Longer stays, better recalls, better attention to you, and adding distractions so your dogs (and you) can continue to be challenged in this fun training class.See Dates and Enroll for Level 2 Pet Obedience
Prerequisites: Level 2 Obedience
An intermediary obedience course for dogs who have solidified the principles of level 2 but who are not quite prepared for level 3.
Prerequisites: Level 2 Obedience and permission from the instructor, Email Michalla Bishop for more information.See Dates and Enroll for Level 3 Pet Obedience
Prerequisite: Level 2 Obedience or permission of the Training Coordinator.
The test is given about 3 times a year; email the Training Coordinator if you want to be notified when the next CGC test takes place.
CGC TEST DATE:
Email Michalla Bishop to schedule a time.
See Dates and Enroll for CGC Prep
Prerequisite: Level 1 Beginner Pet Obedience or permission from the Training Coordinator. Email Michalla Bishop for more info!
Looking for something fun to learn with your dog but not sure what, exactly?
Come and try a little Agility, a little Nosework, a little Rally Obedience, and some trick-training, all in the comfort of a heated classroom. A smorgasbord of training fun!
Prerequisite: Level 1 Beginner Pet Obedience or permission from the Training Coordinator. Email Michalla Bishop for more info!
Obedience Unlimited features behaviors that make up a well-trained dog. The instructor relies on known (and fun) techniques from the competition Obedience community; however, this is not a class about competition; it is about reliability. Some weeks you and your canine companion will learn to navigate Rally Obedience courses consisting of signs where you perform the listed skills (see the signs here). Other weeks your dog will learn to retrieve; identify scent; and jump broad, bar, and high jumps along with other relationship-building activities. Our methods are consistent with our mission of kindness and care towards animals, so your dog will have fun in class and will always look forward to learning. Perfection is not the goal, since humans and dogs alike seldom achieve flawlessness; instead, the goal of Obedience Unlimited is to engage and challenge our best friends with new tasks that are fun to learn and intellectually stimulating.See Dates and Enroll for Obedience Unlimited
In this class, you will learn to transform traditional Obedience behaviors into daily practical usage: at home, at the vet, and in your community. Examples include: pick up my car keys, sit “front” so I can keep you away from another dog in the waiting room, and “finish” around me so you learn how to go around trees and telephone poles when your leash is tangled. Prerequisite: Dogs should know basic cues of sit, down, and stay; and should be able to work around other dogs without barking.See Dates and Enroll for Practical Precision
Prerequisite: completion of Beginner Pet Obedience (preferably with a hand or finger targeting behavior)
Enhance your relationship with your dog, enrich his or her intellect, and entertain your friends by teaching your food-motivated dog some fun tricks. In this class you’ll learn the fundamentals needed to teach tricks like roll over, jump through a hoop, and retrieve. You will also design a trick uniquely suited to your dog and learn how to combine various simple tricks to make more complex and astounding tricks. You and your dog will move at your own pace, and have an opportunity to show off your accomplishments in class.See Dates and Enroll for Tricks
“Nosework” is the next big thing in dog training! It is a fun sport that involves teaching your dog to follow his nose to find different scents. Based upon the work that police and bomb- and airport-sniffing dogs do, you dog learns first to find the box that has food in it. Over repeated lessons, the food is then paired with a scent, and the dog continues the hunt! The result is a dog who can search a space for that particular smell. Dogs LOVE this sport, as sniffing is something they were born to do! You will smile with pride as you watch your dog learn how to, well…be such a DOG!
Our homeless dogs are learning too! Here they are at their first lesson: One box has a bowl of food in it, and the dogs are following their noses! Dogs from Adoption Center learning to find food in a box
(Choose “Nosework” from the menu when you pay for all NW classes.)See Dates and Enroll for Nosework
Prerequisite: You have taken two Nosework classes, and your dog can hunt for odor. Email Training Coordinator Michalla Bishop permission to join the class.See Dates and Enroll for Advanced Odor
Research has shown that the early weeks of a puppy’s life are crucial to social development, with other dogs and with people. For that reason, this class is especially for puppies who are 8-20 weeks old, and is a drop-in format. You will pay $150 for four classes and come at your convenience until your pup is five months old. Additional classes can be purchased in blocks of four classes. Puppies will get to socialize and spend time learning to learn; you will get puppy tips and will learn how to teach your puppy to grow up to be a good dog. Every day that goes by without socializing and training your young pup is a day lost to his or her social future- register today! Your puppy should have been seen by a vet and be deemed healthy before you bring it to class. Puppies in class may not have received all of their vaccinations. If you are concerned about this, speak to your vet.
What to bring to Puppy PNL:
Class will be in the Education Room: drive past the MSPCA entrance, around to the left, and park across from the white fence. Walk up the stairs to the Ed Room.
Please note: Unless you have a note from your vet showing a medical reason your puppy could not attend, we do not give refunds for PPNL classes if you do not bring your puppy to class.
Classes are on Saturdays at 1PM and 2PM. 1PM is for the bigger/older puppies and 2PM is for the smaller/younger or timid puppies.
If you are not sure which class your pup belongs in, email Training Coordinator Michalla Bishop.See Dates and Enroll for Puppy Play n Learn
(all classes are on Saturday; you may start as soon as you enroll.)
In this class, you and your dog will learn the prerequisite skills needed to play the fun and fast-growing sport of Canine Agility. In this class, you and your dog will learn behavioral shaping games involving standing on things that move; they will also learn to jump and go through tunnels. Even more important, they will learn to stay and watch their handler and play games while other dogs jump and go through tunnels.
Class dogs should have taken a Beginner Obedience Class at an MSPCA, have taken an Obedience Class elsewhere, and/or the dogs should be able to pay attention to their owner in a room full of other moving dogs.
BEFORE YOU REGISTER: If your dog has NOT taken an MSPCA class before, please email Training Coordinator Michalla Bishop with the details of your dog’s prior training, and get permission to register! If you have any doubts about your dog’s ability to give you some attention in a classroom full of other dogs, please register for Beginner Obedience instead, and plan to take Obility in the next go-round!See Dates and Enroll for Obility
Rally Obedience is a fun sport that combines the precision of competition Obedience with the fun of Agility.
In “Rally O,” it is sometimes called, the dog and handler learn 13-20 behaviors that are standard Obedience behaviors: come, sit, heel, down, stay, along with different turns, and jumps are added for fun! The challenge is that the signs are laid out in a course (see the signs here) , and the dog and handler complete the timed course in a specific manner with as few “faults” as possible. The owners are encouraged to talk to their dogs and make the experience a lot of fun for all.
Rally is one of the fastest-growing sports in the country. Sign up and give it a try!
(Your dog must, at minimum, be able to sit and walk at your left side to take this class. If you and your dog have not taken a class at the MSPCA before, please email Michalla Bishop for permission to register!)See Dates and Enroll for Rally
Agility is a dog-training sport where your dog learns how to fly through tunnels and over jumps, and run up and down see-saws! It is the highest level of Obedience training and fun for any dog and handler, whether they want a little exercise with their dog or if their dog needs better responses to training or added confidence in the great outdoors. The class is taught in a safe, fenced-in yard.
Prerequisites is that your dog must be able to eat treats while training and not bark at other dogs, and you must be able to control them without the use of a chain or prong collar- a head halter or regular collar is fine. (If you have relied on equipment such as a pinch collar or leash corrections and are interested in taking Agility, please email Training Coordinator Michalla Bishop You must send your dog’s training history to get permission to take this class if you have not taken classes at the MSPCA. Classes run for 6 weeks. Start dates are tentative depending on the weather!
Note: When you register for Agility, choose “Agility” from the menu for any level of class.
Prerequisites: You have taken one rewards-based class in Agility at the MSPCA or elsewhere, and your dog can perform all of the equipment in class, except, perhaps, the weave poles.See Dates and Enroll for Beyond Beginner Agility
Prerequisites: In order to sign up for this class you must have permission from the instructor, please email Training Coordinator Michalla Bishop
Is your dog “fluent” on all the Agility equipment except perhaps the weaves? Do you have a start-line stay and leadout? Front and rear cross? Are you ready to take it to the next level and learn some speed, handling and control? Do you hope to compete someday?See Dates and Enroll for Competition Agility
Prerequisites: completion of Beginner Pet Obedience. If you have not taken a class at the MSPCA, in order to sign up for this class you must have permission from the instructor, please email Training Coordinator Michalla Bishop
Does your dog come when you call them? Every time? If they don’t, here is a novel new way to teach them — with a whistle! In this 4-week class, your dog will learn that when you blow the whistle, they should come running! We will supply the whistle; you supply the dog!See Dates and Enroll for Whistle Recall
Welcome! If you have scrolled down to here, and did not find the class you hoped for, please call the Behavior Department (contact info below) to let me know what you would like to learn with your dog!
To secure a spot in our classes, you must pay for the class in full and complete a registration form. Once we have received your information and payment, we will send a confirmation to you.
We require that dogs attending classes are up-to-date on their rabies vaccine and current on all other vaccines per their vet’s recommendation. All family members are welcome in class, however, please email the Director for permission for children under the age of 7 whom you want to bring to class.
Refund Policy: All classes are on a first come / first served basis. If the class you were interested in has filled, you will be contacted about alternate class availability. If you find you are unable to take a class after registering for it, you must notify the office 10 days prior to the start of the class. Notification after 10 days will result in you forfeiting 50% of your registration fee. Sorry, no exceptions! There will be no tuition refund once class has started. If you must miss a class, please notify the instructor beforehand, so you may be given make-up homework.
~Dr. Terri Bright
For more information, call the Behavior Department 617-989-1520.
Please allow us to introduce you to superstar MSPCA student, Ella! All of Ella’s training has been done at the MSPCA; she is now a Therapy Dog who earned her AKC Canine Good Citizen certificate after taking the MSPCA’s CGC Prep class. She volunteers at the Boston Sailing Center and was recently voted the Number One Therapy Dog in the Pawprints Pageant at Boston Children’s Hospital, where she also volunteers! Ella started in Puppy Play n Learn, then took Beginner Pet Obedience, Level 2 and Level 3 Obedience, with her whole family of humans (2 parents and a daughter) attending the classes so they could learn to train her. She is now having a blast taking Agility with her mom, who says “All of the teachers at the MSPCA are wonderful because they know so much about dogs and are so clear in their teaching methods.”