We’re committed to providing you and your dog with the tools you need to develop a strong and lasting relationship. All of our instructors teach using humane and effective positive reinforcement techniques. Family members (including well-behaved children) are encouraged to attend our training classes with their dogs!

Be sure to read our cancellation policy before completing your registration. If you have questions about any of our course offerings or prefer to register by phone or email, contact Animal Friends University.

Email   |  412.847.7035

Our group dog training classes are best suited for pups who are both people- and dog-friendly. If you have concerns about whether one of our course offerings is suitable for your dog, contact our trainers at 412.847.7035 or BGrosch@ThinkingOutsideTheCage.org.

Puppy Training Adult Dog Training Dog Sports for Fun!

Puppy Training

AF 301 – Kinderpuppy

For puppies who have had their 2nd DHP vaccination and are 20 weeks of age or younger. Small breed and/or shy puppies may attend until 24 weeks of age.

All classes include puppy playtime and teach foundation cues – sit, down, stand, touch. In addition, each class has a specific theme. Exercises, behavior talks and homework relate to the theme of the class.

Tuition: $15 per dog/per class

Instructors: Lori Caruso and Barb Grosch, CPDT-KA

Kinderpuppy – Puppies Learn Polite Manners

For puppies who have had their 2nd DHP vaccination and are 20 weeks of age or younger. Small breed and/or shy puppies may attend until 24 weeks of age.

Your puppy will learn to “come,” pay attention to their people when asked and we will share ideas to cope with puppy chewing and mouthing.

Date: Saturday, March 30   Register

Date: Saturday, May 18   Register

Time: 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Tuition: $15 per dog/per class

Kinderpuppy – Puppies Around the Household

For puppies who have had their 2nd DHP vaccination and are 20 weeks of age or younger. Small breed and/or shy puppies may attend until 24 weeks of age.

This class includes ideas for puppy management (i.e. crating and tethering) and housetraining tips. Puppies will learn “sit to say please” and we will practice ways to discourage jumping.

Date: Saturday, March 2 – Registration Closed

Date: Saturday, April 6   Register

Time: 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Tuition: $15 per dog – humans free!

Kinderpuppy – Puppies Out in the World

For puppies who have had their 2nd DHP vaccination and are 20 weeks of age or younger. Small breed and/or shy puppies may attend until 24 weeks of age.

This class presents socialization ideas and manners when interacting outdoors. This will include introduction to loose leash walking and jumping prevention.

Date: Saturday, March 9 – Sold Out!

Date: Saturday, April 27   Register

Time: 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Tuition: $15 per dog – humans free!

Kinderpuppy – Puppies Learn to Share

For puppies who have had their 2nd DHP vaccination and are 20 weeks of age or younger. Small breed and/or shy puppies may attend until 24 weeks of age.

This class focuses on resource guarding prevention. Puppies learn “drop it” and “leave it” and “wait for the food bowl.” We will discuss ideas to prevent possessive behavior of food and toys.

Date: Saturday, March 16 – Registration Closed

Date: Saturday, May 4   Register

Time: 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Tuition: $15 per dog – humans free!

Kinderpuppy – Puppies Learn through Fun

For puppies who have had their 2nd DHP vaccination and are 20 weeks of age or younger. Small breed and/or shy puppies may attend until 24 weeks of age.

Puppies gain confidence by working on the beginner agility obstacles and learn some fun tricks. We will share some game ideas to exercise your pup both mentally and physically.

Date: Saturday, March 23 – Sold Out!

Date: Saturday, May 11   Register

Time: 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Tuition: $15 per dog – humans free!

AF 302 – Puppy Manners

For puppies ages 5 months to 9 months.

Basic training for the older puppy will include household manners, manners for interacting with new people and places and playtime to increase dog-dog social skills. Cues to be taught include: sit, down, come, walk nicely on leash, wait politely, drop it and leave it.

Session One:

Dates: Saturdays, March 30, April 6, 27, May 4, 11 (no classes April 13 due to event or April 20 due to Easter)

Instructors:
Lori Caruso (for toy, small, medium dogs and shy pups)   Register

Sarah Stephens (for medium, large and giant size pups) Sold Out!

Session Two:

Dates: Saturdays, May 18, June 1, 8, 15, 22 (no class May 25 due to Memorial Day)

Instructors:
Lori Caruso (for toy, small, medium dogs and shy pups)   Register

Sarah Stephens (for medium, large and giant size pups)   Register

Time: 10:15-11:15 a.m.

Tuition: $75 per pup (humans free!)

Current Sessions:

Dates: Saturdays, February 16, 23, March 2, 9, 16

Instructors:
Lori Caruso (for toy, small, medium size dogs and shy dogs)

Sarah Stephens (for medium, large and giant size dogs)

Time: 10:15-11:15 a.m.

Tuition: $75 per puppy (humans free!)

Adult Dog Training

AF 304 – Companion Dog Manners

For dogs that are both people and dog-friendly and 9 months or older. Not recommended for dogs under 25 pounds

Teach your dog the basic cues of sit, down, stay, coming when called and loose-leash walking. Laying a solid foundation with these skills is the key to living happily with your four-legged friend. As well as good manners, class discussions will give you an understanding of why dogs do the things they do to and how to build a strong relationship with your dog.

This is a six-week class. First class is orientation – humans only, no dogs please.

Dates: Thursdays, May 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, June 6   Register

Current Session: Thursdays, March 7, 14, 21, 28, April 4, 11 – Sold Out!

Time: 6:15-7:15 p.m.

Instructor: Sarah Stephens

Tuition: $105 per dog (humans free!)

AF 308 – Companion Dog Manners for Small Dogs

For dogs 35 pounds or less and six months or older

Positive reinforcement techniques are used to teach your dog basic cues like sit, down, stay, come and to walk comfortably on a loose leash. Behavior issues common to smaller breeds will be discussed.

This is a 6-week class. Please plan to bring your dog to all class sessions.

Dates: Saturdays, May 4, 11, 18, June 1, 8, 15 (no class May 25 due to Memorial Day)   Register

Current Session: Saturdays, March 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, April 6 – Registration Closed

Time: 12:45-1:45 p.m.

Instructor: Lori Caruso

Tuition: $105 per dog (humans free!)

Dog Sports for Fun!

AF 413 – Rodeo Dog NEW!

You and your dog will weave through a variety of barrel-like obstacles as a team. Learn to work together, building a strong bond based on positive reinforcement training and fun! This is a beginner level offering – any dog/handler team is welcome to participate. Your dog will remain on leash for this first level offering.

Class will be held outdoors in the Animal Friends lower grass fenced-in play yard. Rodeo Dog is a new titling event for you and your dog. This event is only timed for placements; there are no time disqualifications. We just want you and your dog to have fun!

Date: Check back for future dates!

AF 408 – Hiking Hounds

Grab a leash and hit the trail! Join us with your canine companion for a Sunday morning hike through one of our area’s many beautiful parks. Hiking is a great way to exercise, relieve stress, and strengthen the bond between you and your dog. Come out and explore a different park each month with your best friend. Dogs and people must be in condition to hike up to three miles on unpaved trails. You will receive details the week prior to the scheduled hike.

Waiver of Responsibility: In consideration of your acceptance of this form, I hereby for myself, my administrators, my heirs and assigns waive and release any and all right and claims for damages I have against the organizers of this event, their associates and representatives. I also agree to obey all traffic laws, exercise all safety precautions, avoid littering and respect the property of others. I also give full permission to use my name and photograph in connection with this event.

Dates and Locations:
Sunday, March 31 | Urban Hike, Allegheny Commons Park, North Side, Pittsburgh   Register

Sunday, April 28 | East End Hike, Frick Park, Pittsburgh   Register

Sunday, May 19 | South Hills Hike   Register

Time: 10 a.m.- noon

Tuition: $10 per dog – humans free!
Two dog maximum per handler, please.

Trip Leader: Gayle Bair, CPDT-KA

AF 411 – The Nose Knows (Level One)

For dogs 6 months and older who are both people- and dog-friendly.

Looking for sport that can be done indoors with dogs of all ages? Want to exercise your dog mentally and physically? Come and find a fun way to channel your dog’s natural talent for sniffing! Scent games are a great way to stimulate your dog while working together as a team. Watch and learn as your dog detects an odor and hunts to locate its source. Have a good time while building skills through new search activities each week.

Dates: Sundays, Feb.10, 17, 24, Mar. 3 – Sold Out!

Dates: Sundays, March 10, 17, 24, 31 – Sold Out!

Time: 6:15-7:15 p.m.

Instructor: Gayle Bair, CPDT-KA

Tuition: $65 per dog (humans free!)

AF 412 – The Nose Knows Continues … (Level Two)

For dogs 6 months and older that have completed The Nose Knows (Level One) and are both people- and dog-friendly.

Have fun and build on your scent work foundation skills with challenging new sniffing activities each week. You and your dog will work as a team doing container, exterior, interior and vehicle searches to locate target odors. Pre-requisite: The Nose Knows (Level One).

Session One:

Dates: Sundays, March 3, 10, 17, 24 – Sold Out!

Time: 4:15-5:15 p.m.

Instructor: Marcy Fennell, CPDT-KA

Session Two:

Dates: Sundays, April 28, May 12, 19, June 2 (no class May 5 due to seminar or May 26 due to Memorial Day) – Sold Out!

Time: 6:15-7:15 p.m.

Instructor: Gayle Bair, CPDT-KA

Tuition: $65 per dog (humans free!)

AF 406 – Flyball for Fun!

For ball-crazy, high-energy dogs of any size!

Try the canine sport of flyball where teams of dogs race over hurdles, retrieving a ball which is released from a box. In this introductory workshop we will learn about the sport, practice the basic skills and each dog will run the course repeatedly. Dogs must be both people and dog-friendly and in good physical condition for running and jumping low hurdles. Class will be held outdoors in the Animal Friends lower grass fenced play yard.

Date: Sunday, Check back for future date!

Time: 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

Tuition: $20 per dog (humans free!)

Instructor: Kristen Priestly

AF 410 – Beginners Agility for Fun!

For dogs 1-year or older that are both people- and dog-friendly

This course will help the dog and handler build a strong relationship based on positive reinforcement training and fun! A dog with basic obedience skills will be comfortable in this class. Obstacles introduced in this beginning course will include jumps, tire jump, tunnel, dog walk, a-frame and pause table. This class will be held at Animal Friends in the grass, fenced-in lower play yard.

Dates: Mondays, May 6, 13, 20, June 3, 10, 17 (no class May 27 due to Memorial Day / rain date June 24) – Sold Out!

Time: 7-8 p.m.

Tuition: $105

Instructor: Elaine Mayowski

AF 414 – Tracking 101

For dogs 6 months or older who are people- and dog-friendly. No previous nosework experience needed!

Dogs will put their natural sniffing talents to work tracking human scent. Come out this spring and learn the basics of this fun sport with your canine companion! Humans and dogs should be in condition to hike several hundred yards over field terrain.

Waiver of Responsibility: In consideration of your acceptance of this form, I hereby for myself, my administrators, my heirs and assigns waive and release any and all right and claims for damages I have against the organizers of this event, their associates and representatives. I also agree to obey all traffic laws, exercise all safety precautions, avoid littering and respect the property of others. I also give full permission to use my name and photograph in connection with this event.

Dates: Saturdays, March 30, April 6, 13, 27 (no class April 20 due to Easter)

Time: 9-10:30 a.m.

Location: Hartwood Acres Park, Hampton Township Sold Out!

Instructor: Gayle Bair, CPDT-KA

Tuition: $95.00

AF 415 DOGA: Yoga for Your Dog and You

Canine attendees should be both people- and dog-friendly to participate.

Dogs are natural yogis! They live in the moment, they breathe from their bellies and they stretch immediately upon waking! Deepen your connection with your dog in this fun class. Class will include a walking meditation, human and canine yoga poses, doggie-massage and meditation. Please bring a large beach towel, treats, leash and a willingness to learn. Prior yoga experience not required. Space is limited; advance registration required.

Date: Sunday, May 19.  Register

Time:
11 a.m.

Instructor: Leta Koontz, Certified Yoga Instructor

Tuition: $20 per person (includes one dog)