Due to Allegheny County’s recent level of COVID transmission moving from moderate to substantial, masks are strongly recommended for the public, but not required.  If you choose not to wear a mask, please maintain social distance between you and others in class.  Thank you for your cooperation.

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: Lisa Bartel, CPDT-KA, DN-CET, 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, October 9 – Sold Out!

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, October 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, October 23   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, September 18 – Sold Out!

Time:  11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Date:  Saturday, October 30   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, October 2 – Sold Out!

Time:  11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Date:  Saturday, November 6   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, Sep 9, 16, (no class 9/23), 30, Oct 7, 14 – Sold Out!

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

Instructors:  Debbie Thomas, CPDT-KA, Kelsey Hooker, Barb Grosch, CPDT-KA

Dates: Saturdays, Sep 11, 18, (no class 9/25), Oct 2, 9, 16 – registration closed

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

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

Next Sessions:

Dates: Thursdays, October 21, 28, November 4, 11, 18   Register

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

Instructors:  Debbie Thomas, CPDT-KA, Kelsey Hooker

Dates: Saturdays, October 23. 30, November 6, 13, 20   Register

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. 

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, Sep 9, 16, (no class 9/23), 30, Oct 7, 14 – Sold Out!

Time:  6:15-7:15 p.m.

Instructors:  Debbie Thomas, CPDT-KA, Kelsey Hooker, Barb Grosch, CPDT-KA

Dates: Saturdays, Sep 11, 18, (no class 9/25), Oct 2, 9, 16  – Sold Out!

Time:  9:00-10:00 a.m.

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

Next Sessions:

Dates: Thursdays, October 21, 28, November 4, 11, 18   Register

Time:  6:15-7:15 p.m.

Instructors:  Kelsey Hooker, Debbie Thomas, CPDT-KA

Dates: Saturdays, Saturdays, October 23. 30, November 6, 13, 20   Register

Time:  9:00-10:00 a.m.

Instructors:  Sarah Stephens, CPDT-KA, Rebecca Hilbert

Tuition: $100 per pup (humans free!)

Training Fun – Single Sessions

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

Leash Manners, Level One

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

This mini-series will focus on the basics of good leash handling skills that will make walks with your dog more enjoyable.

Date: Sunday, September 19 – Sold Out!

Time: 1:30–2:30 p.m.

Tuition: $20 per dog (humans free!)

Leash Manners Continue, Level Two

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 the continuation of this mini-series, you will learn how to combat pulling and how to connect with your canine companion so you aren’t relying on your leash to move your dog.

Date: Sunday, October 3   Register

Time: 1:30–2:30 p.m.

Tuition: $20 per dog (humans free!)

Enrichment Essentials  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 we’ll discuss the importance of enrichment in your dog’s daily life, identify the different types of enrichment, and explore provided examples of enrichment activities.

Date: Sunday, October 10   Register

Time: 1:30–2:30 p.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, Sep 12,19, 26, (no class Oct 3) Oct 10 – 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, 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.  

Dates:   Tuesdays, October 5, 12, 19, 26   Register

Time:   11:15 a.m.-12:15 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 Continues, Level Two 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 Ninja – Single Sessions

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

CWAGS Prep for Level 3 League Play  New Offering!

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

Teams will have the opportunity to practice both Scent Investigator Level 3 and Ranger Level 3 in a mock trial setting. This session was developed for those who are competing in C-WAGS or interested in competing.  Rules & regulations will also be covered.

Date: Sunday, September 19 – Sold Out!

Time: 3:00-4:00 p.m.

Tuition:  $20 per dog (humans free!)

C-WAGS Sanctioned Scent Detective League

Fall Premium Guidelines and Waiver of Liability

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.

Sunday, October 17Check in 4:00 p.m.  First dog on line 4:15 p.m. (after Judges briefing)

Level 1 (CW-SP), Round 1   Register

Level 1 (CW-SP), Round 2   Register

Level 1 (CW-SP), Round 3   Register

Level 1 (CW-SP), Round 4   Register

Sunday, October 24 – Check in 5:00 p.m.  First dog on line 5:15 p.m. (after Judges briefing)

Ranger 1 (CW-SCR1), Round 1   Register

Ranger 1 (CW-SCR1), Round 2   Register

Ranger 2 (CW-SCR2), Round 1   Register

Sunday, November 7 – Check in 4:00p.m.  First dog on line 4:15 p.m. (after Judges briefing)

Level 2 Scent Detective (CW-SD), Round 1   Register

Level 2 Scent Detective (CW-SD), Round 2   Register

Ranger 2 (CW-SCR2), Round 1   Register

Sunday, November 14 – Check in 4:00 p.m.  First dog on line 4:15 p.m. (after Judges briefing)

Level 3 (CW-SI), Round 1    Register

Level 3 (CW-SI), Round 2    Register

Tuition: $20 per dog, per run

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

Advocates: Marcy Fenell, Gayle Bair, Tracey Miller

The Nose Knows – Single Sessions

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

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, October 3 – Sold Out!

Time: 5:30-6:30 p.m.

Tuition:  $20 per dog (humans free!)

Dog Sports for Fun!

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, Check back spring, 2022!

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, Check back spring, 2022!

Time:  6:30-8 p.m.

Location:  Lower large outdoor grass play yard

Tuition:  $20 per dog (humans free!)

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 – registration closed

Date: Sunday, September 19

Location:   Riverview Park   Register

Date: Sunday, October 24

Time: 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Tuition: $10 per dog – humans free!

Please note: maximum two dogs per handler.