Although things may look a little different, we’re thrilled to welcome back some of our AFU training classes! For the health and safety of all attending, please review these important COVID-19 safety protocols before registering for or attending any of our training classes.

  • We have reduced class sizes to ensure social distancing.
  • Masks or face coverings are required for all two-legged attendees.
  • Some classes may be held outdoors, weather and daylight hours permitting.

In the last 14 days, if any class attendees have tested positive for COVID-19, are experiencing signs or symptoms of illness, have been in contact with someone who is positive or believed to be positive for COVID-19, you must not report to class. A refund will be processed – please reach out to Donna at dklingelhofer@ThinkingOutsideTheCage.org. Thank you for your cooperation!

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!

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. 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: Barb Grosch, CPDT-KA, Rebecca Hilbert

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, May 1 – Sold Out!

Date:  Saturday, June 12   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, May 8 – Sold Out!

Date:  Saturday, June 19   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, April 10 – Sold Out!

Date:  Saturday, May 15 – registration closed

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, April 17 – Sold Out!

Date:  Saturday, May 22   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, April 24 – Sold Out!

Date:  Saturday, June 5   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.

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

Next Sessions:

Dates: Thursdays, May 13, 20, 27, June 3, 10 – Sold Out!

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

Instructors:  Michael Cunningham, CPDT-KA, Kelsey Hooker

Dates: Saturdays, May 15, 22, June 5, 12, 19  – Sold Out!

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

Instructors:  Sarah Stephens, CPDT-KA, Rebecca Hilbert

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. 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.

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

Next Session:

Dates: Thursdays, May 13, 20, 27, June 3, 10 – Sold Out!

Time:  6:15-7:15 p.m.

Instructors:  Michael Cunningham, CPDT-KA, Kelsey Hooker

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. This class is suitable for shy small dogs to build confidence and social skills.

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

Dates: Saturdays, Check back for future class!

Time: 12:45 p.m.-1:45 p.m.

Tuition: $100 per dog (humans free!)

Instructors: Barb Grosch, CPDT-KA, Rebecca Hilbert

Training Fun – Single Sessions

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

Skills Challenge 

For dogs 9 months and older that are both people and dog friendly.  Dogs should be comfortable and non-reactive in a group setting.

In this game show style session, we’ll focus on “sit,” “stay,” “leave it,” and “come” when called using the Jeopardy model of increasing challenges while learning along the way!

Date: Sunday, May 23 – Sold Out!

Time: 2:30–3:30 p.m.

Tuition: $20 per dog (humans free!)

Mat and Relax

For dogs 9 months and older that are both people and dog friendly.  Dogs should be comfortable and non-reactive in a group setting.

In this session we will teach your dog a Mat is a great place to stay and relax!  By teaching your canine companion a Place cue, your dog will learn where to be on his own without having to ask you for direction.  We will also explore relaxation and massage techniques.  Please bring a non-slip mat to class such a bathroom rug or yoga mat.

Date: Sunday, June 6   Register

Time: 4:00–5:00 p.m.

Tuition: $20 per dog (humans free!)

Four on the Floor

For dogs 9 months and older that are both people and dog friendly.  Dogs should be comfortable and non-reactive in a group setting.

In this session you will learn fun and effective ways to help your dog stop jumping.  We’ll teach you and your canine companion how to make the floor more exciting than jumping up on people or things!

Date: Sunday, June 13   Register

Time: 4:00–5:00 p.m.

Tuition: $20 per dog (humans free!)

The Stay Games – New Offering!

For dogs 9 months and older that are both people and dog friendly.  Dogs should be comfortable and non-reactive in a group setting.

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

Date: Sunday, June 27 – Sold Out!

Time: 4:00–5:00 p.m.

Tuition: $20 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. 

Dates:  Sundays, June 6, 13, 20, 27 – Sold Out!

Time: 6:30-7:30 p.m.   

Tuition:  $80 per dog (humans free!)

Instructors:  Gayle Bair, CPDT-KA, Missy Marzolf

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.  

Dates:   Tuesdays, May 11, 18, 25, June 1 –  registration closed

Time:   6:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.    

Tuition:  $80 per dog (humans free!)

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

AF 416 The Nose Knows Ninja 

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.

If your dog has been doing nose work classes for quite some time now, let’s work on raising the level of your game. Most exercises in this class will be based upon C-WAGS competition style courses and increase your confidence on reading your dog. Skills worked on will be leash handling, staying out of your dog’s way, reading your dog and developing a confident Alert!   

Dates:   Sundays, Please check back for future class!

Time:   1:15-2:15 p.m.    

Tuition:  $80 per dog (humans free!)

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

The Nose Knows – Single Sessions

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

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: Sunday, June 6 – Sold Out!

Time: 5:30-6:30 p.m.    

Tuition:  $20 per dog (humans free!)

Let’s Go Outside!

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 outdoors while ignoring nature’s distractions to find a hidden odor.

Date: Sunday, June 13 – Sold Out!

Time: 5:30-6:30 p.m.    

Tuition:  $20 per dog (humans free!)

 

C-WAGS Sanctioned Scent Detective League

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.

League Premium/Waiver of Responsibility

Dates:  Sundays, April 11, 18, 25, May 2, 16, 23

Check-in: 4:45 p.m.

Judges Briefing: 5:00 p.m.

First dog on line: 5:15 p.m.

Tuition: $20 per team, per run; please note that you will need to complete a registration form for each run on a particular date!

Sunday, April 11 – registration closed.

Sunday, April 18 – Sold Out!

Sunday, April 25 – Sold Out!

Sunday, May 2 – Sold Out!

Sunday, May 16 – registration closed

Sunday, May 23   Register

Judges:  Marcy Fenell, Maribeth Hook, Tracey Miller

Advocates: Marcy Fenell, Gayle Bair, Tracey Miller

 

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

Dates:  Saturdays,  Please check back for fall 2021 class!

Time:  9-10:30 a.m. 

Tuition:  $80 per dog (humans free!)

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.    Instructor: Elaine Mayowski

Dates: Thursdays, May 20, 27, June 3, 10, 17, 24 (rain date Thu., July 1) – Sold Out!

Time: 7-8 p.m.

Dates: Thursdays, July 8, 15, 22, 29, Aug. 5, 12 (rain date Thu., Aug. 19)   Register

Time: 7-8 p.m.

Location:  Lower large outdoor grass play yard

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.

Date:  Thursday, August 26 (rain date Sep 2)   Register

Time:  6:30-8 p.m.

Location:  Lower large outdoor grass play yard

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, Please check back for future class!

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 21 | Frick Park – registration closed

Sunday, April 25 | Irwin Run – Sold Out!

Sunday, May 16 | Rachel Carson Trail – Natrona Hgts Area – registration closed

Time: 10 a.m.- noon

Tuition: $10 per dog – humans free!

Please note: maximum two dogs per handler.