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: $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.

Dates:

Saturday, Oct. 5 | 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. – Sold Out!

Saturday, Nov. 9 | 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.   Register

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.

Dates:

Saturday, Oct. 12 | 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. – Registration closed

Saturday, Nov. 16 | 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.   Register

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.

Dates:

Saturday, Oct. 19 | 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.   Register

Saturday, Nov. 23 | 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.   Register

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.

Dates:

Saturday, Oct. 26 | 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.   Register

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.

Dates:

Saturday, Nov. 2 | 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.   Register

Tuition: $15 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.

Next Sessions:

Dates: Wednesdays, Oct. 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 – Sold Out!

Time: 7-8 p.m.

Instructor: Barb Grosch, CPDT-KA

Tuition: $75 per puppy (humans free!)

 

Dates: Saturdays, Oct. 5, 12, 19, 26, Nov. 2

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

For medium, large and giant size pups (Instructor: Sarah Stephens) – Registration closed

Time: 10:15 – 11:15 am

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

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.

Next Session:

Dates:   Thursdays, Sept. 26, Oct. 3, 10, 17, 24, Nov. 7 (no class Oct. 31 due to event) – Sold Out!

Time: 6:15 – 7:15 p.m.

Tuition: $105 per dog (humans free!)

Instructor:  Sarah Stephens

 

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, Oct. 5, 12, 19, 26, Nov. 2, 9 – Registration closed

Time:  12:45 – 1:45 p.m.

Tuition:  $105 per dog (humans free!)

Instructor: Lori Caruso

 

Dog Sports for Fun!

AF 416 – Sniffing Out Confidence

For dogs new to the sport of canine nose work, shy with objects, people and/or dogs and at least 6 months old.

This class will introduce both you and your canine to the exciting sport of canine scent work.  Exercises and the classroom set up will be structured to help a shy dog build confidence while developing new skills.  Other topics helpful to modifying fearful behavior will be included in this four-week class.

Dates:  Sundays, September 29, October 6, 13, 20 – Sold Out!

Time:  3:30 – 4:30 pm

Tuition:  $65 per dog (humans free!)

Instructors: Marcy Fenell, CPDT-KA, Barb Grosch, CPDT-KA

Single Session Scent Fun

Instructors: Gayle Bair CPDT-KA, Marcy Fenell CPDT-KA, Missy Marzolf

Let’s Play Games

For teams that have completed at least one 4-week session of The Nose Knows or equivalent.

Games, games, games.  Fun nose games that will work on building drive, motivation and handler skills all while having fun as a team.

Date:  Sunday, Nov. 3 – Sold Out!

Time:  5-6 p.m.

Tuition:  $20

Searching for Santa

For teams that have completed at least one 4-week session of The Nose Knows or equivalent.

Come out for an evening of holiday-themed searching.  Let’s have fun and celebrate the season with sniffing!

Date:  Sunday, Dec. 8

Session 1: 5-6 p.m.   Register

Session 2: 6:30-7:30 p.m.   Register

Tuition:  $20

Reading Your Dog

For teams that have completed at least one 4-week session of The Nose Knows or equivalent

Do you know how to tell when your dog has found the target odor?  What is your dog’s unique way of signaling you while he’s sniffing?  Come and practice reading your dog’s body language while building teamwork.

Date:  Sunday, Dec. 1   Register

Time:  5-6 p.m.

Tuition:  $20

Containers, Containers, Containers

For teams that have completed at least one 4-week session of The Nose Knows or equivalent. Dogs must be dog and human-friendly and at least 6 months old. Where could the scent be? It might be in basket, a ball or a shoe! Your dog’s nose will know exactly where it is. Letting us know? Well, that’s up to you.

Date: Sunday, Oct. 20 – Sold Out!

Time: 5-6 p.m.

Tuition: $20 per dog (humans free!)

Vehicle Searches NEW!

For teams that have completed at least one 4-week session of The Nose Knows or equivalent.

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

Date:  Sunday, Oct. 6 – Sold Out!

Time:  5-6 p.m.

Tuition:  $20 per dog (humans free!)

Let’s Go Outside

For teams that have completed at least one 4-week session of The Nose Knows or equivalent. Dogs must be dog and human-friendly and at least 6 months old. Enjoy the summer weather and come out for some exterior and vehicle searches. Learn about how temperature and wind may affect scent and have fun searching outside with your teammate.

Date: Sunday, Check back spring/summer 2020!

Time: 6:30-7:30 p.m.

Tuition: $20

Scent Hike

For teams that have completed at least one 4-week session of The Nose Knows or equivalent. Dogs must be dog and human-friendly and at least 6 months old. End the summer session with a Scent Hike at Riverview Park, North Side, Pittsburgh.

Date: Sunday, Check back spring/summer 2020!

Session One: 5-6 p.m.

Session Two: 6:30-7:30 p.m.

Tuition: $10

AF 413 – Rodeo Dog Indoor Version!

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 – accommodations can be made for dog or handler with a disability. Your dog will remain on leash for this first level offering. 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: Thursday, Nov. 21   Register

Time: 6:30-8 p.m.

Tuition: $20 per dog (humans free!)

Instructors: Elaine Mayowski and Colleen Woods

Location: Animal Friends’ Indoor Outreach Center

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.

Date and Location:

Sunday, Oct. 27 | Urban Hike, Grandview Park, Mt. Washington, Pittsburgh   Register

Sunday, Nov. 24 | Riverview Park, North Side Pittsburgh   Register

Time: 10 a.m.- noon

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

Trip Leader: Gayle Bair, CPDT-KA

Connecting with Your Canine NEW!

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.

Session 1:

Date: Sunday, Nov. 17   Register

Time: 5-6 p.m.

Session 2:

Date: Sunday, Dec. 1   Register

Time:  6:30-7:30 p.m.

Tuition:  $20 per dog

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, Sept. 29, Oct. 6, 13, 20 –  Sold Out!

Time: 6:30-7:30 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).

Dates: Sundays, Check back 2020!

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, Sept. 29 – Sold Out!

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, Check back spring 2020!

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.

Location: Hartwood Acres Park, Hampton Township

Dates: Saturdays, Check back spring 2020!

Time: 9-10:30 a.m.

Tuition: $95

Instructor: Gayle Bair, CPDT-KA

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, Oct. 20 – Sold Out!

Time: 11 a.m.

Instructor: Leta Koontz, Certified Yoga Instructor

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