Effective March 1, 2022, Animal Friends will relax its mask policy. Masks are now optional.

Masks ARE required for individuals that:
• Have been exposed to COVID-19 within the past 10 days
• Have been diagnosed with COVID-19 within the past 10 days

Disposable facemasks will still be placed near entrances as an option for all visitors.

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!

Vaccination Requirements

For the health and safety of all class participants, both human and canine, please provide an updated vaccination record to attend class (no exceptions).

  • Puppies 16 weeks or younger | Minimum two rounds of DHPP* and age-appropriate vaccinations including rabies – PA state law states that puppies must be vaccinated for rabies between 12-16 weeks.
    • Puppies younger than 12 weeks may not have their rabies vaccination yet, and that’s okay!
  • 5-9 months | three rounds (boosters) of DHPP* and rabies.
  • Older than 9 months | up-to-date on DHPP* and rabies.

Bordetella is strongly recommended for your pup’s best protection, but not required. *distemper, hepatitis, parainfluenza and parvovirus vaccination.

Dog Training Classes

While on campus, please refrain from using our walking trails as they are designated for our staff/volunteers and canine shelter residents ONLY – thank you for your cooperation!

Guidelines/Release and Waiver of Liability

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 Dog Socials


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. Puppies must be dog and human friendly and non-reactive.

Puppies may start class as soon as the vaccination requirements are met (please see above “Vaccination Requirements”).

Kinderpuppy classes make learning fun through games and positive reinforcement to help your pup develop into a great companion.  All classes include puppy playtime with the exception of “Puppies Learn through Fun”. Each class focuses in on specific theme which as a whole help train a well-rounded pup and provides socialization with pups and people. Sign up for some or for all of the classes based on your team’s needs.

Tuition: $20 per dog/per class

Instructors: Lisa Bartel, CPDT-KA, DN-CET, Rebecca Hilbert, CPDT-KA

Kinderpuppy – Puppies Learn Basic 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.  Puppies must be dog and human friendly and non-reactive.

Your puppy will learn basic manners like sit, down, stand and to come when called. You will also learn how to encourage and get voluntary attention from your puppy and how to discourage jumping.

Note:  advance registration required; no walk-ins permitted.

Date:  Saturday, June 4 – Sold Out!

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

Tuition: $20 per dog – humans free!

Kinderpuppy – Puppies Around the Home

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 must be dog and human friendly and non-reactive.

You will learn how to decrease puppy biting through games and we will discuss housetraining issues. Your puppy will learn how to go to their mat and relax and wait at the door or for the food bowl.

Note:  advance registration required; no walk-ins permitted.

Date:  Saturday, June 11   Register

Time:  11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Tuition: $20 per dog – humans free!

Kinderpuppy – Puppies 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.  Puppies must be dog and human friendly and non-reactive.

Your puppy will learn how to walk nicely on a loose leash as well as how to play games with you to stay focused while in distracting environments.

Note:  advance registration required; no walk-ins permitted.

Date:  Saturday, June 18   Register

Time:  11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Tuition: $20 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. Puppies must be dog and human friendly and non-reactive.

Your puppy how to drop it and leave it while you will learn resource guarding prevention. You will also learn about food enrichment, how to offer it to your pups as an only pup or as the pup of a multi-dog household.

Note:  advance registration required; no walk-ins permitted.

Date: Saturday,  May 7 – Sold Out!

Date:  Wednesday, June 22   Register

Time:  6:00-7:00 p.m.

Tuition: $20 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 must be dog and human friendly and non-reactive.

Puppies are fulfilled when both their mental and physical needs are met. In this class, puppies will be introduced to beginner agility obstacles for confidence building. You will also learn about play and the rules of play as well as enrichment and how to incorporate it into everyday life.

Note:  advance registration required; no walk-ins permitted.

Date: Saturday, May 14 – Sold Out!

Date:  Wednesday, June 29   Register

Time:  6:00-7:00 p.m.

Tuition: $20 per dog – humans free!

Kinderpuppy – Puppies Learn to Build Confidence

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 must be dog and human friendly and non-reactive.  

For some puppies the world can be intimidating. You will learn how to properly introduce your pup to new things to set them up for success, how to desensitize them to handling and grooming equipment as well as games that will help your dog communicate with you on how they are feeling.

Note:  advance registration required; no walk-ins permitted.

Date:  Saturday, May 21   Register

Time:  11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Tuition: $20 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.

Note: this is a five-week class. Please bring your pup to ALL five classes!

Current Sessions:

Dates: Thursdays,  April 7, 14, 21, 28, (no class May 5-room maintenance) May 12 – Sold Out!

Time: 7:30-8:30 p.m.

Instructors:  Debbie Thomas, CPDT-KA, Angelo Theofanous

Dates: Saturdays, April 23, 30, May 7, 14, 21 – Sold Out!

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

Instructor: Rebecca Hilbert, CPDT-KA, Maggie Zangara

Next Session:

Dates: Wednesdays, June 1, 8, 15, 22, 29   Register

Time: 4:45-5:45 p.m.

Instructor: Lisa Bartel, CPDT-KA, DN-CET, Rebecca Hilbert, CPDT-KA

Tuition: $100 per pup (humans free!)

Adult Dog Training

AF 304 – Companion Dog Manners

For dogs that are both people and dog-friendly and 9 months or older. 

This first level class gets your dog started with the 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.

Note:  this is a five-week class. Please bring your dog to ALL five classes!

Current Sessions:

Dates: Thursdays,  April 7, 14, 21, 28, (no class May 5-room maintenance) May 12 – Sold Out!

Time:  6:15-7:15 p.m.

Instructors:  Debbie Thomas, CPDT-KA, Angelo Theofanous

Dates: Saturdays, April 23, 30, May 7, 14, 21 – Sold Out!

Time:  9:00-10:00 a.m.

Instructor:  Rebecca Hilbert, CPDT-KA, Maggie Zangara

Tuition: $100 per pup (humans free!)

Next Session:

Dates: Thursdays,  May 19, 26, June 2, 9, 16 – Sold Out!

Time:  6:15-7:15 p.m.

Instructors:  Debbie Thomas, CPDT-KA, Angelo Theofanous

Upcoming Session:

Dates: Thursdays,  July 14, 21, 28, Aug 4, 11   Register

Time:  6:15-7:15 p.m.

Instructors:  Debbie Thomas, CPDT-KA, Angelo Theofanous

AF 309 – Bashful Buddies  New Offering!

This class is targeted for shy, non-reactive dogs 6 months of age or older.  

NOTE: If your fearful dog reacts to new people, dogs or situations with barking, lunging or aggressive behavior, individual behavior modification is needed prior to attending a group class.  Please contact us at AFU@ThinkingOutsideTheCage.org for more information and referrals.

In this class, we will explore a variety of exercises to build confidence in your shy/fearful dog.  We will include meeting new people, confidence in new situations and making positive associations with vet visits and grooming activities.  This is a five-week class – please bring your dog to ALL five classes!  Instructors:  Debbie Thomas, CPDT-KA, Angelo Theofanous

Dates: Wednesdays, April 27, May 4, 11, 18 (no class May 25), June 1 – Sold Out!

Time:  7:30-8:30 p.m.

Tuition: $125 per pup (humans free!)

Pre-req:  phone consultation to determine if this class is a good fit for your dog and training goals.

Please contact Donna at AFU@ThinkingOutsideTheCage.org to inquire about a phone consultation; please provide a phone number contact.

Training Fun – Single Sessions

Instructor: Lisa Bartel, CPDT-KA, DN-CET

Skills Challenge: Attention, Stay, Problem Solving and More!  New Format!

For dogs 8 months and older that are both people and dog friendly.  Dogs should be comfortable and non- reactive in a group class setting. 

In this session we’ll focus on common training themes including Attention/Focus, Stay, Fading the Food Lure out of your hands, Mental Problem Solving Puzzles, and Wild Card fun! Each team will work through each category using the game show model of increasing challenges while learning along the way!

Date:   Saturday,  May 21 – Sold Out!

Time:    12:45-1:45 p.m.    

Tuition:  $20 per dog (humans free!)

The Stay Games

For dogs 8 months and older that are both people and dog friendly.  Dogs should be comfortable and non- reactive in a group class setting. 

In this session you and your canine companion will learn and practice the useful Stay cue through a variety of fun games.

Date:   Saturday,  June 4   Register

Time:    12:45-1:45 p.m.    

Tuition:  $20 per dog (humans free!)

Outdoor Foundation Skills

For dogs 8 months and older that are both people and dog friendly.  Dogs should be comfortable and non- reactive in a group class setting. 

In this Outdoor Session we will work on basic foundation skills- sit, down, attention, stay. We will practice a variety of games to develop teamwork with your dog in the distracting environment found outdoors.  In case of bad weather, the class will move indoors.

Date:   Saturday,  June 18   Register

Time:    9:30-10:30 a.m.    

Tuition:  $20 per dog (humans free!)

Canine Scent Work!

AF 411 The Nose Knows, Level One

For dogs 6 months and older that are both people and dog friendly. Dogs should be comfortable and non- reactive in a group class setting.

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, July 10, 17, 24, 31 – Sold Out!

Time: 4:00-5:00 p.m.   

Instructors:  Marcy Fenell, CPDT-KA, Lisa Bartel, CPDT-KA, DN-CET

Tuition:  $80 per dog (humans free!)

AF 412 The Nose Knows Continues, Level Two

For dogs 6 months and older who have completed The Nose Knows 1 classes (or equivalent) and are both people and dog friendly.  Dogs should be comfortable and non- reactive in a group class setting.

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.  

Current Session:

Dates:   Sundays, April 24, May 1, (8-no class due to Mother’s Day), 15, 22 – Sold Out!

Time:   6:30-7:30 p.m.  

Instructors:  Gayle Bair, CPDT-KA, Missy Marzolf

Next Session:

Dates:  Tuesdays, May 17, 24 (31-no class), June 7, 14 – Sold Out!

Time: 11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m.

Instructors: Marcy Fenell, CPDT-KA, Lisa Bartel, CPDT-KA, DN-CET

Tuition:  $80 per dog (humans free!)

 

C-WAGS Sanctioned Scent League

The spring league is dedicated to the memory of Lynn S. Uram

Dates: Sundays, May 22, (no League May 29-holiday) June 5, 12, 19

Spring Premium

Time:  Check-in 5:00 p.m.  First dog on line 5:15 p.m.

NOTE:

  • This is not a beginners game (prior nose work required) and dogs should be on all odors.
  • Teams must be registered with C-WAGS before registering for league.
  • No resets will be offered
  • Limited to ten teams per run
  • Cost is $20 per run, per dog

Tuition: $20 per dog, per run

Judges:  Marcy Fenell, Maribeth Hook, Tracey Miller, Stephanie Barber

Trial Secretary:  Lisa Bartel

Advocates: Marcy Fenell, Gayle Bair, Tracey Miller

Scent Patrol Level 1, Round 1 (May 22) – Sold Out!

Scent Patrol Level 1, Round 2 (May 22) – Sold Out!

Scent Patrol Level 1, Round 3 (May 22)   Register

Scent Patrol Level 1, Round 4 (May 22)   Register

Ranger Level 1, Round 1 (Jun 5) – Sold Out!

Ranger Level 1, Round 2 (Jun 5) – Sold Out!

Ranger Level 2, Round 1 (Jun 5)   Register

Ranger Level 2, Round 2 (Jun 5)   Register

Scent Detective Level 2, Round 1 (Jun 12) – Sold Out!

Scent Detective Level 2, Round 2 (Jun 12) – Sold Out!

Scent Investigator Level 3, Round 1 (Jun 12) – Sold Out!

Scent Super Sleuth Level 4, Round 1 (Jun 19)   Register

Scent Super Sleuth Level 4, Round 2 (Jun 19)   Register

The Nose Knows – Single Sessions

Instructors: Marcy Fenell, CPDT-KA | Lisa Bartel, CPDT-KA, DN-CET | 

Gayle Bair, CPDT-KA

Vehicle Searches

Pre-req: for teams that have completed at least one 4-week session of The Nose Knows or equivalent

For dogs 6 months and older who have completed The Nose Knows 1 classes (or equivalent) and are both people and dog friendly.  Dogs should be comfortable and non- reactive in a group class setting.

Join us in the Animal Wellness Center parking lot and have fun searching vehicles with your dog!

Date:   Saturday, June 11 – Sold Out!

Time:   10:00-11:00 a.m.    

Tuition:  $20 per dog (humans free!)

Exterior Searches

Pre-req: for teams that have completed at least one 4-week session of The Nose Knows or equivalent

For dogs 6 months and older who have completed The Nose Knows 1 classes (or equivalent) and are both people and dog friendly.  Dogs should be comfortable and non- reactive in a group class setting.

You and your dog will learn how to navigate exterior, environmental and container searches in the outdoors.  Ignore nature’s distractions to find a hidden odor.

Date:   Saturday, June 25 – Sold Out!

Time:   11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m.    

Tuition:  $20 per dog (humans free!)

Primary School Search Games  Entry Level!

For dogs 6 months and older who are both people and dog friendly.  Dogs should be comfortable and non- reactive in a group class setting.

Interested in learning more about the game of scent work?  Join us with your dog to search for hidden food (primary scent).  These games will be mentally challenging for your dog while searching various set-ups that mimic something you would find in scent work.  Your dog will be tired and enriched after using their nose to complete all the sniffy fun challenges that come their way!

Date:   Sunday, June 26 – Sold Out!

Time:   6:30-7:30 p.m.    

Tuition:  $20 per dog (humans free!)

Scent Hike at Riverview Park

Pre-req: for teams that have completed at least one 4-week session of The Nose Knows, Level One or equivalent

For dogs 6 months and older who have completed The Nose Knows 1 classes (or equivalent) and are both people and dog friendly.  Dogs should be comfortable and non- reactive in a group class setting.

Let’s take our super sniffers on the road and meet at Riverview Park for some fun!  We will hike approximately 1/2 mile and give our dogs the opportunity to find target odors along the trail.

Note: Directions to the trail head will be provided in the reminder email, the week before the hike.

Date: Sunday, Please check back for future scent hike!

Time: 4:00-5:00 p.m.

Tuition:  $20 per dog (humans free!) 

Dog Sports for Fun!

AF 410 Beginners Agility for Fun, Level One!

For dogs 1 year or older that are both people and dog friendly. Dogs should be comfortable and non- reactive in a group class setting.

This course will help the dog and handler to 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.    Instructors: Elaine Mayowski, Colleen Woods

Next Session:

Dates: Thursdays, May 19, 26, June 2, 9, 16, 23  (Rain date: June 30) – Sold Out!

Time: 6:15-7:15 p.m.

Upcoming Session:

Dates: Thursdays, July 7, 14, 21, 28,Aug 4, 11 (Rain date: August 18) – Sold Out!

Time: 7:30-8:30 p.m.

Location:  Lower large outdoor grass play yard

Tuition:  $120.00 per dog (humans free!)

AF 411 Beginners Agility for Fun, Level Two!   New Offering!

For dogs 1 year or older that are both people and dog friendly. Dogs should be comfortable and non- reactive in a group class setting.

Pre-req: for dogs who have completed Agility for Fun, Level One at Animal Friends or a basic agility class at another training facility.    

Continue the agility fun with level two!  This session covers the following:  stays on start line, different crosses (blind, tandem, rear), crossing behind obstacles, distance work and solid weave poles. This course will help the dog and handler to build a strong relationship based on positive reinforcement training and fun!  A dog with basic obedience skills will be comfortable in this class.  Instructors: Elaine Mayowski, Colleen Woods

Next Session:

Dates: Thursdays, May 19, 26, June 2, 9, 16, 23  (Rain date: June 30) – registration closed

Time: 7:30-8:30 p.m.

Upcoming Session:

Dates: Thursdays, July 7, 14, 21, 28,Aug 4, 11 (Rain date: August 18)   Register

Time: 6:15-7:15 p.m.

Location:  Lower large outdoor grass play yard

Tuition:  $120.00 per dog (humans free!)

AF 412 Try Lure Coursing!   New Offering!

For dogs 6 months or older that are both people and dog friendly. Dogs should be comfortable and non- reactive in a group class setting.

Try this fun sport – great for dogs with chase instinct!   Your dog will chase a plastic bag mechanically pulled in a straight line course in our large, fenced-in play yard. Expect opportunity for several runs.  Instructors: Elaine Mayowski, Colleen Woods

Date: Sunday, May 1 (cancelled due to weather); rescheduled to Sunday, June 26 (same times)

Session One Time:  10:00-11:00 a.m. – Sold Out!

Session Two Time:  11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m. – Sold Out!

Location:  Lower large outdoor grass play yard

Tuition:  $20.00 per dog/per session (humans free!)

AF 413 Rodeo Dog 

For dogs 6 months or older that are both people and dog friendly. Dogs should be comfortable and non- reactive in a group class setting.

The purpose of Rodeo Dog is to form a bond (teamwork) with your dog and compete in a safe environment.  The dog enjoys moving around barrels and the owners find it challenging to decide the best way to work the dog.  The team starts at an easy level and works their way to harder and more challenging levels. 

Rodeo Dog results in rounded and conditioned dogs.  It demonstrates training and good teamwork. Rodeo Dog does not discriminate against any dog or handler because of a disability, accommodations can be made.  Good team work can develop with any dog and handler team. Instructors: Elaine Mayowski and Colleen Woods.

Date:  Thursday, May 5 – Sold Out!

Time:  6:30-8 p.m.

Location:  Lower large outdoor grass play yard

Tuition:  $20 per dog (humans free!)

DOGA: Yoga for Your Dog and You

Your dog should be 6 months of age or older to participate in DOGA. 

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. Instructor:  Leta Koontz and Laurie Held, Certified Yoga Instructors.

NOTE:  Dog attendees must be both people and dog-friendly to participate as there is brief off-leash play prior to the start of class.

Date:  Sunday, Check back for fall 2022 class!

Time: 11 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

Tuition: $20 per person (includes/admits one dog)

Hiking Hounds

Grab a leash and hit the trail!  Join us with your canine companion for a Sunday morning hike through one of the area’s 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. Hike Leader:  Gayle Bair, CPDT-KA

Location:   Irwin Run – Sold Out!

Date: Sunday, April 10

Location:  Millvale Riverfront Park  New Hike Location!  – Sold Out!

Date:  Sunday, April 24

Location:  Panhandle Trail Carnegie  New Hike Location!   Register

Date:  Sunday, May 22

Time: 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Tuition: $10 per dog – humans free!

Please note: maximum two dogs per handler.