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 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. 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: $20 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, Feb. 8 – registration closed

Date: Saturday, March 21   Register

Date: Saturday, May 9   Register

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

Tuition: $20 per dog – humans free!

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, Feb. 15 – registration closed

Date: Saturday, March 28   Register

Date: Saturday, May 16   Register

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

Tuition: $20 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, Feb. 22 – Sold Out!

Date: Saturday, April 4   Register

Date: Saturday, May 30   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. 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, Feb. 29   Register

Date: Saturday, April 25   Register

Time: 11:30 a.m.-12:30 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 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, Feb. 1 – registration closed

Date: Saturday, March 14   Register

Date: Saturday, May 2   Register

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

Tuition: $20 per dog – humans free!

Puppy Playschool

Puppies ages 12-20 weeks are invited to join us for organized play time at Puppy Playschool!

schedule

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. This is a 5-week class, please plan to bring your dog to all sessions.

Instructors: Sarah Stephens, CPDT-KA, Lori Caruso, Michael Cunningham

Current Session:

Dates:  Saturdays, Feb. 15, 22, 29, March 14, 21 (no class March 7 due to conference)

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

Tuition: $90.00 per puppy (humans free!)

For toy, small, medium size dogs and shy dogs (Instructor: Lori Caruso) – Sold Out!

For medium, large and giant size dogs (Instructor: Sarah Stephens) – registration closed

Session One:

Dates: Thursdays, March 19, 26, April 2, 9, 16   Register

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

Tuition: $90 per puppy (humans free!)

All sizes! Instructors: Sarah Stephens, CPDT-KA, Lori Caruso, Michael Cunningham

Session Two:

Dates: Saturdays, March 28, April 4, 25, May 2, 9 (No class April 11 due to holiday or April 18 due to event)

Time: 10:15 – 11:15 am

Tuition: $90 per puppy (humans free!)

For toy, small, medium size dogs and shy pups (Instructor: Lori Caruso)   Register

For medium, large and giant size pups (Instructor: Sarah Stephens)   Register

Session Three:

Dates:  Saturdays, May 16, 30, June 6, 13, 20 (No class May 23 due to holiday)

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

Tuition: $90 per pup (humans free!)

For toy, small, medium size dogs and shy dogs (Instructor: Lori Caruso)   Register

For medium, large and giant size dogs (Instructor: Sarah Stephens)   Register

Session Four:

Dates: Thursdays, May 21, 28, June 4, 11, 18   Register  

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

Tuition: $90 per pup (humans free!)

All sizes! Instructors: Sarah Stephens, CPDT-KA, Michael Cunningham

Current Session:

Dates: Thursdays, Jan. 16, 23, 30, Feb. 6, 13 – Sold Out!

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

Tuition: $90 per puppy (humans free!)

All size pups (Instructors: Sarah Stephens, CPDT-KA, Michael Cunningham)

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

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

Session One: 

Dates: Thursdays, March 12, 19, 26, April 2, 9, 16 – Sold Out!

Time:  7:30-8:30 p.m.

Tuition:  $120 per dog (humans free!)

Session Two: 

Dates: Thursdays, May 14, 21, 28, June 4, 11, 18   Register

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

Tuition: $120 per dog (humans free!)

Current Session:

Dates: Thursdays, Jan. 9, 16, 23, 30, Feb. 6, 13 – registration closed

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

Tuition: $120 per dog (humans free!)

Instructors:  Sarah Stephens, CPDT-KA, Michael Cunningham

 

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.
Instructor: Lori Caruso

Session One: 

Dates: Saturdays, March 14, 21, 28. April 4, 25, May 2 (No class April 11 due to holiday or April 18 due to event)   Register

Time: 12:45-1:45 p.m.

Tuition: $120 per dog (humans free!)

Session Two: 

Dates: Saturdays, May 9, 16, 30, June 6, 13, 20 (No class May 23 due to holiday)   Register

Time: 12:45-:45 p.m.

Tuition: $120 per dog (humans free!)

Current Session

Dates: Saturdays, Jan. 4, 11, 18, 25, Feb. 1, 8 – Sold Out!

Time:  12:45-1:45 p.m.

Tuition:  $120 per dog (humans free!)

 

 

Dog Sports for Fun!

AF 411 The Nose Knows 1

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. Instructors:  Gayle Bair, CPDT-KA, Missy Marzolf

Dates: Sundays, May 3, 10, 17, 31 (no class May 24 due to holiday) – Sold Out!

Time: 6:30-7:30 p.m.    

Tuition:  $80 per dog (humans free!)

AF 412 The Nose Knows Continues

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.  Instructors:  Gayle Bair, CPDT-KA, Missy Marzolf

Dates:   Sundays, March 1, 15, 22, 29 (no class March 8 due to event) – Sold Out!

Time:   6:30-7:30 p.m.    

Tuition:  $80 per dog (humans free!)

AF 414 Tracking 101

For dogs 6 months and older who are people and dog friendly. No previous nose work 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 terrainInstructor:  Gayle Bair, CPDT-KA

Location: Hartwood Acres Park, Hampton Township

Dates:  Saturdays, March 28, April 4, 11, 18 – Sold Out!

Time:  9-10:30 a.m. 

Tuition:  $80 per dog (humans free!)

The Nose Knows – Single Sessions

Instructors:  Marcy Fenell CPDT-KA, Susan Wetherell, KPA CTP

Where Did the Scent Go?

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

-Dogs must be at least 6 months old and be both people and dog-friendly.

-Dogs must feel comfortable working in close proximity to new people/dogs; this class is not appropriate for reactive dogs.

Inaccessible Hides. Work with your dog on finding hides they just can’t put their nose on. Hides in the session could be in a cabinet, pipe or out of your dog’s reach.  Learn how to support and read your dog when the hide is technically out of reach. The usage of birch, cypress, anise and clove scents will be tailored to students’ experience.

Date: Sunday, March 15

Session One: 5-6 p.m.   Register

Session Two: 6:15-7:15 p.m.   Register

Tuition: $20 per dog

Let’s Play Games!

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

-Dogs must be at least 6 months old and be both people and dog-friendly.

-Dogs must feel comfortable working in close proximity to new people/dogs; this class is not appropriate for reactive dogs.

Looking for odor can sometimes be stressful.  In this session come and play games to reduce your stress, build your canine partner’s hunt drive or stop them from “marking” in the search area.  Your instructors will have some fun games chosen and if there is something specific you would like to work on and time allows, we’ll try to come up with a game for that too!  The usage of birch, cypress, anise and clove scents will be tailored to students’ experience.

Date: Sunday, March 29

Session One: 5-6 p.m.   Register

Session Two: 6:15-7:15 p.m.   Register

Tuition: $20 per dog

Containers, Containers, Containers! 

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

-Dogs must be at least 6 months old and be both people and dog-friendly.

-Dogs must feel comfortable working in close proximity to new people/dogs; this class is not appropriate for reactive dogs.

This session will use containers to set up mock-trial scenarios.  If you’ve never competed no worries, it will be a lot of fun! You will learn more about NACSW ORT, C-WAGS Level 1 and AKC Container Searches.  Your dog can do it! Sign up and have some fun. The usage of birch, cypress, anise and clove scents will be tailored to students’ experience.

Date: Sunday, April 26

Session One: 5-6 p.m.   Register

Session Two: 6:15-7:15 p.m.   Register

Tuition: $20 per dog

That’s It!

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

-Dogs must be at least 6 months old and be both people and dog-friendly.

-Dogs must feel comfortable working in close proximity to new people/dogs; this class is not appropriate for reactive dogs.

Is it clear to you when your dog is on the odor? Work on a strong indication so you’ll never doubt your dog.  Remember the Nose Knows! Dogs should be fluent in hand targeting (touch) and sit or down with a verbal cue. The usage of birch, cypress, anise and clove scents will be tailored to students’ experience.

Date: Sunday, May 3

Session One: 5-6 p.m.   Register

Session Two: 6:15-7:15 pm   Register

Tuition: $20 per dog

Using Patterning to Your Advantage 

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

-Dogs must be at least 6 months old and be both people and dog-friendly.

-Dogs must feel comfortable working in close proximity to new people/dogs; this class is not appropriate for reactive dogs.

Circle, Square, Straight Line? How to strategically approach a search area. The usage of birch, cypress, anise and clove scents will be tailored to students’ experience.

Date: Sunday, May 17

Session One: 5-6 p.m.   Register

Session Two: 6:15-7:15 p.m.   Register

Tuition: $20 per dog

AF 410 Beginners Agility for Fun!

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.   This class will be held in the Animal Friends lower grass fenced play yard.  Instructor: Elaine Mayowski

Dates: Mondays, May 11, 18, June 1, 8, 15, 22 (rain date June 29)   Register

Time: 7-8 p.m.

Tuition:  $120.00 per dog (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.

Class will be held indoors in the Outreach Center.

Date:  Thursday, May 7   Register

Time:  6:30-8 p.m.

Tuition:  $20 per dog (humans free!)

AF 415 Connecting with Your Canine

For teams that have basic foundation skills including walking on a loose leash, sit, down, come, stay.  Dogs must be dog and human friendly and at least six months old. This class is a fun option for therapy teams!

Come polish your teamwork skills in a fun and relaxed setting.  Move through courses challenging your dog to do things like sits, turns and downs.  There will also be surprise tasks for you, the handler, to do along the way. Practice skills in creative ways to strengthen your relationship!  Instructors:  Gayle Bair, CPDT-KA and Missy Marzolf

Date: Sunday, February 9 – Sold Out!

Date: Sunday, April 26   Register

Time:  6:30-7:30 p.m.

Tuition:  $20 per dog (humans free!)

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 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. Trip Leader:  Gayle Bair,CPDT-KA

Dates:  

Sunday, March 22, Bird Park, Mt. Lebanon   Register

Sunday, April 19, Irwin Run, Gibsonia   Register

Sunday, May 17, Harrison Hills Park, Natrona Heights   Register

Time: 10 a.m.- noon

Tuition: $10 per dog – humans free!

Please note: maximum two dogs per handler.