MSPCA-Angell Headquarters

350 South Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02130
(617) 522-7400
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Angell Animal Medical Centers – Boston

350 South Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02130
(617) 522-7282
angellquestions@angell.org
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Angell West

293 Second Avenue, Waltham, MA 02451
(781) 902-8400
For on-site assistance (check-ins and pick-ups):
(339) 970-0790
angellquestions@angell.org
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Angell at Nashoba – Low-Cost Wellness Care

100 Littleton Road, Westford, MA 01886
(978) 577-5992
angellquestions@angell.org
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Animal Care and Adoption Centers – Boston

350 South Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02130
(617) 522-5055
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Animal Care and Adoption Centers – Cape Cod

1577 Falmouth Road, Centerville, MA 02632
(508) 775-0940
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Animal Care and Adoption Centers – Nevins Farm

400 Broadway, Methuen, MA 01844
(978) 687-7453
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Boston Dog & Cat Training

Welcome

Please read the class descriptions, as well as our refund policy, before registering for a class. If you don’t find what you’re looking for here, feel to check our Waltham location!

MSPCA-Boston training classes are held at the MSPCA’s Animal Care and Adoption Center, 350 South Huntington Ave., Jamaica Plain. All classes are held indoors unless otherwise specified (Agility, Rally, and Whistle Recall are held outdoors, weather permitting.) 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 Behavior Office or call 617-989-1520. We can arrange for you to see one of our behaviorists in a private behavioral consult.

COVID-19 Accommodations for Health & Safety, updated 5/1/22:

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all in-person classes were suspended from March 16 – October 21, 2020. If you need assistance resuming your training please email us, or call the Behavior Office at (617) 989-1520. 

Upcoming Classes
View Calendar

Check out our calendar to view START DATES of our upcoming classes!

Puppy Play n' Learn

Puppy Play n' Learn

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 8-16 weeks old.

See Dates & Enroll in Puppy Play n' Learn

CGC Prep

CGC Prep

This class focuses on the ten exercises that constitute the Canine Good Citizen certification.

See Dates & Enroll in CGC Prep

Agility

Agility

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. 

See Dates & Enroll in Agility

Learn to Train Your Dog: Level 2

Learn to Train Your Dog: Level 2

Longer stays, better recalls, better attention to you, and adding distractions so your dogs (and you) can continue to be challenged. Keep building your skills from Level 1!

See Dates & Enroll in Level 2

Gift Certificates

Gift Certificates

Give the gift of better bonding and behavior this holiday season, for your two-and four-legged friends. Gift certificates are delivered via email, either to the giver or recipient, your choice!

Purchase a Gift Certificate

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Class Packages

We believe in preschool and grad school for dogs! If you purchase multiple classes together, you can save between $25-70. Please refer to the individual class descriptions below for more information on each class. Progression through the classes is at your own pace and refunds are not available for unused classes in a package. Your package choices are:

Puppy Package 1


Puppy Play n’ Learn + Learn to Train Your Dog: Level 1. Cost: $365  Savings: $40
Please note that space must be available in an upcoming Puppy Play n’ Learn session for you to purchase a Puppy Package. Puppy Play n’ Learn is held at 12:45pm & 2:00pm on Saturdays and 5:00pm on Thursdays in Jamaica Plain. Most students start with Puppy Play n’ Learn, and then move on to Level 1 so you do not need to select your Level 1 class at this time.

Purchase Puppy Package 1

Puppy Package 2


Puppy Play n’ Learn + Learn to Train Your Dog: Level 1 + Level 2. Cost: $545   Savings: $60
Please note that space must be available in an upcoming Puppy Play n’ Learn session for you to purchase a Puppy Package. Puppy Play n’ Learn is held at 12:45pm & 2:00pm on Saturdays and 5:00pm on Thursdays in Jamaica Plain. Most students start with Puppy Play n’ Learn, and then move on to Level 1 so you do not need to select your Level 1 class at this time.

Purchase Puppy Package 2

Puppy Package 3


Puppy Home Start + Puppy Play n’ Learn. Cost: $405  Savings: $45
Please note that space must be available in an upcoming Puppy Play n’ Learn session for you to purchase a Puppy Package. Puppy Play n’ Learn is held at 12:45pm & 2:00pm on Saturdays and 5:00pm on Thursdays in Jamaica Plain.

Purchase Puppy Package 3

Puppy Package 4


Puppy Home Start + Puppy Play n’ Learn + Learn to Train Your Dog: Level 1. Cost: $625  Savings: $70
Please note that space must be available in an upcoming Puppy Play n’ Learn session for you to purchase a Puppy Package. Puppy Play n’ Learn is held at 12:45pm & 2:00pm on Saturdays and 5:00pm on Thursdays in Jamaica Plain. Most students start with Puppy Play n’ Learn, and then move on to Level 1 so you do not need to select your Level 1 class at this time.

Purchase Puppy Package 4

Adult Dog Package


Learn to Train Your Dog: Level 1 + Level 2. Cost: $400  Savings: $45

Purchase Adult Dog Package

Canine Good Citizen Package


Learn to Train Your Dog: Level 1 + Level 2 + Canine Good Citizen Prep. Cost: $575  Savings: $70

Purchase Canine Good Citizen Package

Adult Dog Advanced Package


Two advanced (Level 2 or beyond) classes. Cost: $360  Savings: $40

Purchase Adult dog Advanced Package

Loyalty Program

Frequent Flyer Program


Clients who have taken five or more class sessions at MSPCA are eligible for ongoing discounts. For example, if you have taken Puppy Play n’ Learn and Learn to Train Your Dog: Level 1, you have completed two class sessions. Known as “Frequent Flyers,” they enjoy 25% off each future class session. Contact our Training Coordinator to enroll if you are eligible.

To view a single class description, click the class name below:

Puppy Play n' Learn

Please note that space must be available in an upcoming session for you to purchase this class or a Puppy Package.
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 8-16 weeks old. You will pay $160 for four classes and attend for four consecutive weeks following your selected start date. Your puppy is eligible to attend classes as soon as it has been seen and declared to be healthy by a vet, until it is 20 weeks old. Therefore, please plan ahead to to find the consecutive four weeks when you and your puppy can attend class. Puppies will get to socialize and spend time learning to learn; you will get puppy-training tips and will learn how to teach your puppy to grow up to be a more confident dog. Read more about what to expect in puppy class. Puppies in class may not have received all of their vaccinations. If you are concerned about this, speak to your vet. Every day that goes by without socializing and training your young pup is a day lost to his or her social future – register today!

What to bring to Puppy Play n’ Learn:

  • A hungry puppy
  • A flat buckle collar
  • A normal leash (no flexi’s please!)
  • Enough soft, tasty treats to feed your pup every minute or so!

Classes are on Saturdays at 12:45pm & 2:00pm, and Thursdays at 5:00pm. Some sections are designated for the bigger/older/bolder puppies and others are for the smaller/younger/shyer puppies. If you are not sure which class your pup belongs in, email our Training Coordinator.

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. Make up classes in the event of an illness will be accommodated if possible.

See Dates & Enroll in Puppy Play n’ Learn

Learn to Train Your Dog: Level 1


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 class are:  sit, stay, lie down, come 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. Please note that dogs do not attend the first week of class, it is orientation, for humans only! (formerly Beginner Pet Obedience) $245 for seven classes.

See Dates and Enroll for Level 1

Learn to Train Your Dog: Level 2


Longer stays, better recalls, better attention to you, and adding distractions so your dogs (and you) can continue to be challenged. Prerequisite: Level 1 or; if your dog has been trained using rewards and can sit or lie down on a verbal cue only, hold the position while you walk around them, and take ten consecutive steps in heel position at your left side in the presence of other dogs, you may enroll in this course. If you have any questions about these requirements, email our Training Coordinator. $200 for six classes.

See Dates and Enroll for Level 2

Learn to Train Your Dog: Level 3


Looking to strengthen your dog’s basic training even more, and learn how to teach them some new behaviors? Learn to Train Your Dog: Level 3 continues to enhance your dog’s loose leash walking, stay, recall, greetings, and mat behavior. We also introduce some new behaviors to work on your dog’s core strength (tuck sit, kick back stand, back up) as well as ones that are useful in an emergency (come front, stop on recall, moving stand.) Prerequisite: Level 2 or; if your dog has been trained using rewards and can sit, lie down, and stand in heel position; walk on a loose leash past other dogs; and walk on a loose leash past a container of food, you may enroll in this course. If you have any questions about these requirements, email our Training Coordinator. $200 for six classes.

See Dates and Enroll for Level 3

Intro to Agility

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. Please note that this class is offered seasonally from June – November; over the winter, please look at “Obility” instead.

Prerequisites: In order to enroll in this class 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 our Training Coordinator.) If you have not previously taken classes at the MSPCA, please send your dog’s training history to the Training Coordinator to request permission to enroll in this class. $200 for six classes.

See Dates and Enroll for Intro to Agility

Beyond Intro to Agility

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? Prerequisite: In order to enroll in this class you must have permission from the Behavior office. If you have not previously taken classes at the MSPCA, please send your dog’s training history to the Training Coordinator to request permission to enroll in this class. $200 for six classes.

See Dates and Enroll for Beyond Intro to Agility

Obility

In this class, you and your dog will learn the prerequisite skills needed to play the fun and fast-growing sport of Agility. 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.

To enroll, dogs should have taken a Learn to Train Your Dog: Level 1 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 our Training Coordinator 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 with other dogs, please register for Learn to Train Your Dog: Level 1 instead, and plan to take Obility in the next session! Prerequisite: Learn to Train Your Dog: Level 1 or permission from the Training Coordinator. $200 for six classes.

See Dates and Enroll for Obility

Low Impact Agility

In this class, dogs will learn the fun, active sport of Agility with modifications to provide only low-impact exercise while training. The class is held indoors, in our large, climate-controlled classroom. Prerequisite: 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, martingale, or flat 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 the Training Coordinator.) You must send your dog’s training history to request permission to enroll in this class if you have not previously taken classes at the MSPCA. $200 for six classes.

See Dates & Enroll in Low Impact Agility

Try It

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, in an indoor classroom. A smorgasbord of training fun! Prerequisite: Learn to Train Your Dog: Level 1 or permission from the Training Coordinator. $140 for four classes.

See Dates and Enroll for Try-It

Private Training

We offer private training at our facility, as well as in-home training (in some areas; availability is limited.)

More Info

Puppy Home Start


Need a little extra help at home with your new puppy? Whether you’re a first-time puppy raiser, or it’s just been a long time since you had a puppy, we can help! This series of two one-hour, in-home sessions provides hands-on guidance for puppy management, house training, and more with one of our experienced puppy trainers. Decisions such as where to put the crate and how to puppy-proof your home are enhanced by having the on-site trainer’s help. $290 for two in-home visits (service area restrictions may apply; please note that currently South End/Back Bay/Beacon Hill/Downtown areas are excluded.)

Purchase Puppy Home Start

Canine Good Citizen Prep

This class focuses on the ten exercises that constitute the Canine Good Citizen certification. You can see the ten exercises here. The CGC test is given several times a year; email the Training Coordinator if you would like to be notified when the next CGC test is scheduled. Prerequisite: Learn to Train Your Dog: Level 2 or permission of the Training Coordinator. $200 for six classes.

See Dates and Enroll for CGC Prep

Rally Obedience

Rally Obedience is a fun sport that combines the precision of Competition Obedience with the fun of Agility. In “Rally O” 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. Prerequisite: You and your dog have taken at least one previous Rally Obedience class. If you have not taken a class at the MSPCA before, please email our Training Coordinator for permission to enroll. $200 for six classes.

See Dates and Enroll for Rally

Intro to Nosework

“Nosework” is the next big thing in dog training! It is a fun sport that involves teaching your dog to follow their 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! In the first Intro session, we focus on engaging your dog in the search using primary reward — food or toys! We will emphasize the dog’s independence and ability, while also teaching handlers about dog body language as they search. Please note that during class, your dog will wait in your car (weather permitting) or in a crate when it is not their turn to search. Ideally you will be able to watch the other dogs’ turns to enhance your learning, if your dog can tolerate waiting without you. Prerequisite: None. $200 for six classes.

See Dates and Enroll for Intro to Nosework

Beyond Intro to Nosework

The second Intro session continues building on the skills in the first level, searching in different environments and around various obstacles. We will continue to build your dog’s ability and introduce nose work search elements including continuing to search interiors and containers, but also start on vehicles and exterior environments. Prerequisite: Intro to Nosework. $200 for six classes.

See Dates and Enroll for Beyond Intro to Nosework

Intro to Odor

In the third session, we introduce the target odor of birch by pairing their primary reward with the odor. Over time, your dog will learn to search for this specific odor as well as other odors. Prerequisite: Intro to Nosework & Beyond Intro to Nosework. $200 for six classes.

See Dates and Enroll for Intro to Odor

Novice Nosework & Beyond

Once you have completed the three-course Intro sequence, you can join a Novice Nosework class. Dogs may remain in Novice for several sessions before progressing to the Intermediate, and then Advanced, levels. In the Novice level, dogs already searching for birch odor will be introduced to additional target odors including clove and anise. The emphasis for learning will remain on reliability and independence in the search as well as broadening each handler’s understanding of their dog’s body language as they search. This course includes foundation exercises that will continually reward needed skills for competition or fun nose work searching. In the Intermediate level, dogs already searching for all three target odors (birch, anise, and clove) will continue their nose work journey. Emphasis for this course will be on continuing to build ability and independence in searching different environments. Additional challenges will be included which will prepare your dogs for a competition environment or just add to the enrichment value of the activity. In the Advanced level, dogs already searching for all three target odors, and possibly in advanced levels of competition, will be working on challenges to advance their nose work careers. Prerequisite: Intro to Nosework, Beyond Intro to Nosework, & Intro to Odor. $200 for six classes.

See Dates and Enroll for Nosework

Loose Leash Walking

Does your dog pull more than you’d like? For some people, this pulling is more than an annoyance, it is causing injury to themselves and/or their dogs. In this focused, clinic-style class, you will work only on loose-leash walking and related behaviors. Prerequisite: None. Please note that this is NOT a reactive dog class; dogs who lunge and bark at others will be referred for a consult with a behaviorist. $140 for four classes.

See Dates and Enroll for Loose Leash Walking

Whistle Recall

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! Prerequisite: Learn to Train Your Dog: Level 1 or permission from the Training Coordinator. $140 for four classes.

See Dates and Enroll for Whistle Recall

Kitten Kindergarten

The early weeks of a kitten’s life are crucial to social development with other cats and with people. Yet, traditionally, puppies have all the fun in early socialization classes. Here at MSPCA-Angell, we are righting this inequity with our class called “Kitten Kindergarten” on Sundays at 12:45pm. The kittens will learn to socialize with other kittens and people, as well as learn some training skills, such as 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. You will also learn great enrichment ideas, and problem behavior prevention that no kitten owner should be without. Class enrollment is limited to kittens ages 7-15 weeks only. $80 for two classes.

Coming Soon!

Enrollment

To secure a spot in our classes, you must pay in full and submit a registration form. Once we have received your form and payment, you’ll receive an automatic confirmation (if you don’t see it in your inbox, please check your spam folder). 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.

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 they can provide the written homework. Make-up classes are not available.

For more information, email us or call the Behavior Department 617-989-1520.

Testimonial

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 (two 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.”

Meet the Team

A Note from the Director of Behavior Services

Welcome! If you have scrolled down to here, and did not find the class you hoped for, please call the Behavior Department at 617-989-1520 to let me know what you would like to learn with your dog! I am also quite pleased to share the MSPCA-Angell’s position on training. We rely on evidence-based methods of training to ensure an effective and enjoyable learning experience for you and your dog.

~Dr. Terri Bright

Please Join us at Dr. Bright's Behavior and Training Facebook Group!