Animal Friends University is always looking to expand our dog training class offerings and to meet the needs of our community. Please take a few moments to answer our survey – your feedback is important to us! Thank you for your participation.

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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.

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

NOTE:  Additional dates to be posted on/about December 1st!

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, January 8   Register

Date:  Saturday, February 19   Register

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, January 15   Register

Date:  Saturday, February 26   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, January 22   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:  Wednesday, December 8   Register

Time:  7:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m.

Date:  Saturday, January 29   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 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, February 5   Register

Time:  11:30 a.m.-12:30 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, February 12   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!

Next Sessions:

Dates: Wednesdays,  January 12, 19, 26, February 2, 9   Register

Time: 4:45-5:45  p.m.

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

Dates: Thursdays,  January 13, 20, 27, February 3, 10 – Sold Out!

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

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

Dates: Saturdays, January 8, 15, 22, 29, Feb 5   Register

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

Instructor: Sarah Stephens, 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!

Next Sessions:

Dates: Thursdays,  January 13, 20, 27, February 3, 10   Register

Time:  6:15-7:15 p.m.

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

Dates: Saturdays, January 8, 15, 22, 29, Feb 5   Register

Time:  9:00-10:00 a.m.

Instructor:  Sarah Stephens, CPDT-KA

Tuition: $100 per pup (humans free!)

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 class setting. 

We’ll test your team’s Sit, Come when Called and Touch cues along with some Wild Card Challenges all using the game show model of increasing challenges while learning along the way!

Dates:   Sunday,  December 12 – Sold Out!

Time:   3:00-4:00 p.m.    

Tuition:  $20 per dog (humans free!)

Chill with Your Dog

For dogs 9 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 will teach your dog that a Mat is a great place to chill and relax! We will also explore relaxation and massage techniques. Please bring a non-slip item to use as a mat in class such as a yoga mat.

Dates:   Saturday,  January 15   Register

Time:    12:45-1:45 p.m.    

Tuition:  $20 per dog (humans free!)

Alphabet Soup Training

For dogs 9 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 will review basic manners by having teams pick a letter of the alphabet and working on activities for each letter chosen! This is a session you can attend multiple times since the letter picked it up to chance – each class could be different!

Dates:   Saturday,  January 29   Register

Time:    12:45-1:45 p.m.    

Tuition:  $20 per dog (humans free!)

Enrichments Essentials

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

It’s cold outside so let us show you some ideas for indoor mental exercise!  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.

Dates:   Saturday,  February 26   Register

Time:    12:45-1:45 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, January 9, 16, 23, 30   Register

Time: 6:30-7:30 p.m.   

Instructors:  Gayle Bair, CPDT-KA, Missy Marzolf

Dates:  Sundays, January 16, 23, 30, February 6   Register

Time: 12:00-1:00 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.  

Dates:   Sundays, February 13, 20, 27, March 6   Register

Time:   6:30-7:30 p.m.  

Tuition:  $80 per dog (humans free!)

Instructors:  Gayle Bair, CPDT-KA, Missy Marzolf

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 – Single Sessions

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

Primary School Search Games Entry Level!

For dogs 9 months and older that are both people and dog friendly.  Dogs should be comfortable and non- reactive in a group class setting. No prior scent work experience required.

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 fun sniffy challenges that come their way!

Dates:   Sunday, December 12 – Sold Out!

Time:   1:30-2:30 p.m.    

Dates:   Sunday, February 20    Register

Time:   12:00-1:00 p.m.    

Tuition:  $20 per dog (humans free!)

Searching for Santa

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.

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

Dates:   Tuesday, December 7 – Sold Out!

Time:   11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.    

Tuition:  $20 per dog (humans free!)

Dates:   Sunday, December 12 – Sold Out!

Time:   6:30-7:30 p.m.    

Tuition:  $20 per dog (humans free!)

Distractions or Distracted?

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.

Work on searching through distractions such as food, toys and maybe even some noise.

Dates:   Sunday, January 16   Register

Time:   1:15-2:15 p.m.    

Tuition:  $20 per dog (humans free!)

Containers, Containers, Containers!

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.

Work on searching through distractions such as food, toys and maybe even some noise.

Dates:   Sunday, January 23   Register

Time:   1:15-2:15 p.m.    

Dates:   Sunday, February 6   Register

Time:   1:15-2:15 p.m.    

Tuition:  $20 per dog (humans free!)

May the Source Be With You

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.

Focus on working with your dog to pinpoint exactly where the odor is.  In this class, we will work with your dog going to the Source and not alerting on fringing odor.  This class will be fun – hope you are up for the challenge!

Dates:   Sunday, January 30  Register

Time:   1:15-2:15 p.m.    

Tuition:  $20 per dog (humans free!)

Searching for Valentine

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.

Come out for an afternoon of holiday-themed searching.  Let’s have fun and celebrate your canine companion’s love of sniffing!

Dates:   Sunday, February 13  Register

Time:   1:15-2:15 p.m.    

Tuition:  $20 per dog (humans free!)

Building Observation Skills  New Offering!

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.

Are you able to tell when your dog first picks up odor?  Do you recognize the behavior changes that occur when your dog is trying to pinpoint the source?  This class will work on your observation skills while your dog searches.

Dates:   Sunday, February 20  Register

Time:   1:15-2:15 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!) 

C-WAGS Sanctioned Scent Detective League

Check back spring, 2022!

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

Advocates: Marcy Fenell, Gayle Bair, Tracey Miller

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 – Indoor Version

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, Please check back for future class!

Time:  6:30-8 p.m.

Location:  Indoors

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:  Check back spring, 2022!

Date: Sunday,

Time: 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Tuition: $10 per dog – humans free!

Please note: maximum two dogs per handler.