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
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Angell at Essex

565 Maple Street, Danvers, MA 01923
(978) 304-4648
essex@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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Animal Care and Adoption Centers – Northeast Animal Shelter

347 Highland Ave., Salem, MA 01970
(978) 745-9888
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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 other locations!

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, we can arrange for you to see one of our behaviorists in a private behavioral consult.

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

Learn to Train Your Dog: Level 1

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.

See Dates & Enroll in Level 1

Kitten Kindergarten

Kitten Kindergarten

The early weeks of a kitten’s life are crucial to social development with other cats and with people. The kittens will learn to socialize with other kittens (if present) 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.

See Dates & Enroll in Kitten Kindergarten

Learn to Train Your Dog: Level 3

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? Level 3 continues to enhance your dog's basic obedience and introduces new behaviors for 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.)

See Dates & Enroll in Level 3

Intro to Nosework

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!

See Dates & Enroll in Intro to Nosework

Mantrailing Seminar

Mantrailing Seminar

Mantrailing is a scent-driven sport, training dogs to find people by following their unique scent trail. It has been described as “search and rescue” for fun. Our two remaining seminar dates in July & August are sold out. Please email behaviorreg@mspca.org to be placed on the waiting list for cancellations.

Email to inquire

Buy More, Save More…

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: $375  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 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: $560   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 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: $415  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 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: $630  Savings: $80
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 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: $410  Savings: $45

Purchase Adult Dog Package

Canine Good Citizen Package


Learn to Train Your Dog: Level 1 + Level 2 + Canine Good Citizen Prep. Cost: $595  Savings: $65

Purchase Canine Good Citizen Package

Adult Dog Advanced Package


Two advanced (Level 2 or beyond) classes. Cost: $370  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 $165 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 and/or watch this video. 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. 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) $250 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. $205 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. $205 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.

Prerequisite: Learn to Train Your Dog: Level 1. 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 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.) If you have not taken Learn to Train Your Dog: Level 1 at an MSPCA location, you must send your dog’s training history to request permission to enroll in this class. $205 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. $205 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. $205 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. $205 for six classes.

See Dates & Enroll in Low Impact Agility

Puppy Agility

This fun, low-impact class introduces puppies to the basic training and equipment used in Agility — a dog-training sport where your dog learns how to fly through tunnels and over jumps! The class is held indoors, in our large, climate-controlled classroom. Prerequisite: Puppy Play n’ Learn or equivalent. Your puppy must be at least 16 weeks old but not older than 7 months at the time of their first Puppy Agility class. If they are younger than 16 weeks, please enroll in Puppy Play n’ Learn first! $165 for four classes.

See Dates & Enroll in Puppy 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. $145 for four classes.

See Dates and Enroll for Try-It

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. $295 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. $205 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. $205 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 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. $205 for six classes.

See Dates and Enroll for Intro to Nosework

Beyond Intro to Nosework

Once you have completed an Intro session, you can move on to a Beyond Intro class. In this 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. Prerequisite: Intro to Nosework. $205 for six classes.

See Dates and Enroll for Beyond Intro to 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. $145 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. $145 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. $85 for two classes.

See dates & enroll!

Reducing Dog Reactivity

“Reactive” dogs bark and lunge when they see other dogs while they are on walks. They may be well-behaved in other contexts, but are out of control at these times.

This package of four 30-minute private training sessions with our certified trainer will teach you the needed skills to improve your dog’s behavior when they see another dog. To decrease stress on dogs and make learning more reliable, “model” (stuffed) dogs may be used for practice.

This training is not for dogs that have a bite history or that are deemed aggressive. It is also not appropriate for dogs that bark and lunge at people or children. Your dog will be assessed as to their appropriateness for the training, and may be referred to one of our behaviorists for a private consult instead.

If you have any questions about whether your dog would be a candidate for this class, please email the Training Coordinator.

If you need help addressing your dog’s aggressive behavior, a private consult with a behaviorist is recommended.

$365 for a 15-20 min. assessment & four 30-min. private training sessions at our facility

Enroll Now

Private Training

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

More Info

Behavior Consult

We offer private consults with our behaviorists at our facility, for behavioral challenges such as anxiety, fear, and aggression.

Request More Info

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.

Featured Student

Please allow us to introduce you to superstar MSPCA student, Juliette! All of Juliette’s training has been done at the MSPCA; she is a Certified Therapy Dog and earned her AKC Canine Good Citizen certificate after taking the MSPCA’s CGC Prep class. She volunteers at Beth Israel Hospital and Boston University in her free time, when she’s not jetsetting with her wonderful family (check out her Instagram: @ jetsetjuliettethepoodle)

Juliette started in Puppy Play n’ Learn, then took Learn to Train Your Dog: Level 1 & Level 2 with her crackerjack trainer, best friend, and style maven “mom.” Here they are with Training Coordinator Michalla Bishop and her beloved companion, “Esme the Training Dog.”

Meet the Boston Behavior & Training 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!