Effective March 1, 2022, Animal Friends will relax its mask policy. Masks are now optional.

Masks ARE required for individuals that:
• Have been exposed to COVID-19 within the past 10 days
• Have been diagnosed with COVID-19 within the past 10 days

Disposable facemasks will still be placed near entrances as an option for all visitors.

From Chaos to Calm: Understanding and Helping Your Leash Reactive Dog  New Offering!

Leash reactive dogs are those who overreact to typical things in the environment– dogs, people, animals, cars – while on a walk.  Join us for ideas to manage and begin to modify your dog’s reactive behavior.  We will explain and demonstrate techniques that you can use on walks, discuss dog body language and help you to understand your dog’s emotional state which causes reactivity. Please note that we can not provide a personalized behavior modification plan at this class, but will provide information and resources.

This is a human-only workshop; please leave your canine companion at home!

Date: Sunday, Check back for future workshop!

Time: 11:00 a.m.- 12:30 p.m.

Tuition: $30 per dog family (dog family members 16 years of age or older are welcome to attend!)

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

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

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!

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. 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: $25 per dog/per class

Instructors: Barb Grosch, CPDT-KA, Angelo Theofanous, 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 7   Register

Date:  Saturday, February 18   Register

Time:  11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Tuition: $25 per pup – 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 14   Register

Date:  Saturday, February 25   Register

Time:  11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Tuition: $25 per pup – 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:  Wednesday,  December 14   Register

Time:  4:45-5:45 p.m.

Date:  Saturday,  January 21   Register

Time:  11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Tuition: $25 per pup – 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 7   Register

Time:  5:15-6:15 p.m.

Date:  Saturday,  January 28   Register 

Time:  11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Tuition: $25 per pup – 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, December 10   Register

Date:  Saturday, February 4   Register

Time:  11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Tuition: $25 per pup – 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 Session:

Dates:  Saturdays, January 7, 14, 21, 28, February 4    Register

Time:  10:15-11:15 a.m.

Instructors:  Sarah Stephens, CPDT-KA, Anita DeBiase

Upcoming Sessions:

Dates: Thursdays,  Please check back for future class!

Time:  7:30-8:30 p.m.

Instructors:  Debbie Thomas, CPDT-KA, Angelo Theofanous, CPDT-KA

Dates: Wednesdays, Please check back for future class!

Time: 4:45-5:45 p.m.

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

Tuition: $120 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 Session:

Dates:  Saturdays, January 7, 14, 21, 28, February 4    Register

Time:  9:00-10:00 a.m.

Instructors:  Sarah Stephens, CPDT-KA, Anita DeBiase

Upcoming Session:

Dates: Thursdays, Please check back for future class!

Time:  6:15-7:15 p.m.

Instructors:  Debbie Thomas, CPDT-KA, Angelo Theofanous, CPDT-KA

Tuition: $120 per pup (humans free!)

AF 309 – Bashful Buddies  New Offering!

This class is targeted for shy, non-reactive dogs 6 months of age or older.  

NOTE: If your fearful dog reacts to new people, dogs or situations with barking, lunging or aggressive behavior, individual behavior modification is needed prior to attending a group class.  Please contact us at AFU@ThinkingOutsideTheCage.org for more information and referrals.

In this class, we will explore a variety of exercises to build confidence in your shy/fearful dog.  We will include meeting new people, confidence in new situations and making positive associations with vet visits and grooming activities.  This is a five-week class – please bring your dog to ALL five classes!  Instructors:  Debbie Thomas, CPDT-KA, Angelo Theofanous, CPDT-KA

Next Session:

Dates: Tuesdays, February 14, 21, 28, March 7, 14

Time:  7:00-8:00 p.m.

Tuition: $125 per pup (humans free!)

Pre-req:  phone consultation to determine if this class is a good fit for your dog and training goals.

Please contact Donna at AFU@ThinkingOutsideTheCage.org to inquire about a phone consultation; please provide a phone number contact.

Training Fun – Single Sessions

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

Mark & Reward   New Offering!

For dogs 8 months and older that are both people and dog friendly.  Dogs should be comfortable and non- reactive in a group class setting. 

Brand new year . . . start you’re training off right!

In this session, we’ll talk about the importance of communicating with your dog using a Marker Word. You will choose a Marker Word and practice how to use it effectively. The better your communication with your canine companion, the more successful your training will be!

Date:   Saturday, January 14   Register

Time:  12:45-1:45 p.m. 

Tuition:  $25 per dog (humans free!)

Control Yourself   New Lesson!

For dogs 8 months and older that are both people and dog friendly.  Dogs should be comfortable and non- reactive in a group class setting. 

This session will help teach your dog different ways to control his impulses. We will teach the beginnings of a Leave It, learn how a Mat can be a place to Relax, and we will show you how to communicate with your dog when it’s time to take a break and move!

Date:   Saturday, January 21   Register

Time:  12:45-1:45 p.m. 

Tuition:  $25 per dog (humans free!)

Confidence Booster   New Lesson! 

For dogs 8 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 work on building confidence by introducing new objects to your shy dog, teaching coping skills so the world isn’t such a scary place, and strengthening the human-dog relationship by empowering you to advocate for your dog.

Date:   Saturday, February 4   Register

Time:  12:45-1:45 p.m. 

Tuition:  $25 per dog (humans free!)

Primary School Scent Games

For dogs 8 months and older that are both people and dog friendly.  Dogs should be comfortable and non- reactive in a group class setting. 

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!

Date:   Saturday, February 11   Register

Time:  12:45-1:45 p.m. 

Tuition:  $25 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 8, 15, 22, 29   Register

Time:  6:30- 7:30 p.m.

Instructors:  Gayle Bair, CPDT-KA, Missy Marzolf

Dates: Sundays, January 22, 29, February 5, 12   Register

Time: 1:30-2:30 p.m.

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

Tuition:  $100 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.  

Next Sessions:

Dates:  Tuesdays, January 10, 17, 24, 31   Register

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

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

Dates:  Sundays, February 12, 19, 26, Mar 5   Register

Time:  6:30- 7:30 p.m.

Instructors:  Gayle Bair, CPDT-KA, Missy Marzolf

Tuition:  $100 per dog (humans free!)

The Nose Knows – Single Sessions

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

Gayle Bair, CPDT-KA

Multiple Hides

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.

Ready to search for more? All search areas will be set with two or more hides!

Date:  Sunday, December 11 – Sold Out!

Time:   1:00-2:00 p.m.

Date:  Sunday, January 22   Register

Time:   3:00-4:00 p.m.

Tuition:  $25 per dog (humans free!)

To Pair or Not to Pair?

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.

When to pair hides and when not to.  What can pairing do to help your game. How to pair more difficult hides.  Is pairing just for beginner dogs? Some of this depends on your dog, some may depend on the environment you are searching.  Sign up for this class and you’ll find out.

Dates:   Sunday, December 11   Register

Time:   2:30-3:30 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:   Sunday, December 11

Session One:   5:15-6:15 p.m. – Sold Out!

Session Two:   6:30-7:30 p.m. – Sold Out!

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 13 – Sold Out!

Time:   11:15 a.m.-12:15 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.

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.

Dates:   Sunday, January 8   Register

Time:   1:30-2:30 p.m.

Tuition:  $25 per dog (humans free!)

Clearing a Search Area

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.

How confident are you that you and your dog can search an area or room with an unknown number of hides?  In this session, an unknown number of hides will be placed in a room and your mission is to make sure they are ALL found!

Dates:   Sunday, January 8   Register 

Time:   3:00-4:00 p.m.

Tuition:  $25 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 including food, toys and maybe even some noise.

Dates:   Sunday, January 29   Register

Time:   3:00-4:00 p.m.

Tuition:  $25 per dog (humans free!)

Mini-Series: Building Drive to Source

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.

Finding source is the name of the game! In this mini-series, your dog will have to navigate through search areas in order to find the source of odor.

Dates:   Sunday, February 5, 12  Register

Time:   3:00-4:00 p.m.

Tuition:  $50 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 spring 2023!

Time: 5:00-6:00 p.m.

Tuition:  $20 per dog (humans free!) 

C-WAGS Sanctioned Scent League

Dates: Sundays, Please check back spring 2023!

Time:  Check-in 5:00 p.m.  First dog on line 5:15 p.m.

PREMIUM

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, Susan Weatherall

Trial Secretary:  Lisa Bartel

Advocates: Marcy Fenell, Gayle Bair, Tracey Miller

Dog Sports for Fun!

AF 410 – Beginners Agility for Fun, Level One!

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.    Instructors: Elaine Mayowski, Colleen Woods

Dates: Thursdays, Please check back spring 2023!

Time: 7:30-8:30 p.m.

Location:  Lower large outdoor grass play yard

Tuition:  $120.00 per dog (humans free!)

AF 411 – Beginners Agility for Fun, Level Two!   New Offering!

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.

Pre-req: for dogs who have completed Agility for Fun, Level One at Animal Friends or a basic agility class at another training facility.    

Continue the agility fun with level two!  This session covers the following:  stays on start line, different crosses (blind, tandem, rear), crossing behind obstacles, distance work and solid weave poles. 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.  Instructors: Elaine Mayowski, Colleen Woods

Dates: Thursdays, Please check back spring 2023!

Time: 6:15-7:15 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, Please check back for future class!

Time:  6:30-8:00 p.m.   

Location:  

Tuition:  $25 per dog (humans free!)

Hiking Hounds

Grab a leash and hit the trail!  Join us for a  wooded walk to enjoy the fall color!  This is a almost flat, out and back walk along an abandoned road bed.  A Hiking Hounds favorite! 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:  Please check back spring 2023!

Date:  Sunday,

Time: 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

Tuition: $15 per dog – humans free!

Please note: maximum two dogs per handler.