Animal Training

San Diego Humane Society offers fun, affordable classes and workshops to address a variety of needs for companion animals.

Our training philosophy is based on the behavioral science concepts of positive reinforcement. Training your pet using these concepts will not only help them learn new behaviors more quickly, it will also strengthen the bond you share.

For assistance with choosing the appropriate training professional or class, call 619.299.7012 x 2247, email [email protected] or fill out our form and a trainer will respond.

    Training

    Have a training question?

    Need behavior help?
    Ask a San Diego Humane Society trainer for advice.

    ASK A TRAINER >>

    Or call 619.299.7012 x 2244.
    You can also email [email protected].

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    Class Policies Class Locations Class & Training FAQs

    PUPPY TRAINING CLASSES

    puppies under 18 weeks
    Puppy Preschool is designed to meet the training and socialization needs of pups that are under 18 weeks old. Owners and their pups learn to adapt to new people, dogs, environments, and experiences. Cost: $160.

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    Puppy Kindergarten is a continuation of our Puppy Preschool Class and is designed to meet the training and socialization needs of pups that are 14-20 weeks old. Held at our San Diego Campus on Gaines Street, owners and their pups learn to adapt to new people, dogs, environments and experiences. Cost: $150.

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    puppies under 18 weeks
    Puppy Play Group is a great opportunity for your puppy to learn social skills with other puppies in a safe and supervised environment. Trainers narrate play and match puppies who are compatible playmates, ensuring puppies are having positive experiences. Periods of play alternate with breaks, where you will have time to ask our professional trainer any questions you have about puppy training. Cost: $20.

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    KITTEN TRAINING CLASSES

    Kitten Kindergarten is designed specifically for kittens between the ages of 7 weeks and 15 weeks, this is the time period in which they are most receptive and open to learning new things. Kittens exposed to new environments, human handling, new people, and unfamiliar cats, new sounds and so on during this critical development period are more likely to be friendly and social adult cats. Kitten Kindergarten is held at our San Diego Campus on Gaines Street. Cost: $60 for three weeks.

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    Obedience Classes

    Ideal for pets that need to learn or maintain basic manners and skills.

    dogs 18 weeks and up
    This introductory-level training class will teach you the basics of positive reinforcement training techniques while your dog learns good doggie behaviors. Cost: $110.

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    dogs 18 weeks and up
    This class builds on the skills learned in Level 1: Marvelous Manners Class. We focus on differentiating verbal cues from hand signals and add distance and duration to behaviors. Cost: $100.

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    dogs 6 months and older
    This training class is designed to challenge both you and your dog. Lessons will focus on strengthening behaviors learned in Level 2: Superb Skills by increasing distance, duration, and distractions. Cost: $90.

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    Specialty Classes

    Specialized classes for animals that need specific focus or special training.

    dogs 18 weeks and up
    Get your dog certified as a Canine Good Citizen! This intermediate-level class prepares you and your dog to earn the American Kennel Club certificate.
    Cost: $120.

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    dogs 6 months and older
    Rally incorporates the use of a series of numbered directional exercise signs to guide the dog and handler through a designated course. The dog and handler team heels from one sign to the next and performs the exercises indicated by each sign, until the course is complete.
    Cost: $120.

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    This course will cover dog body language, how to interact with dogs safely, how to pet/handle a dog, as well as basic obedience cues and some obstacle course work! Children between the ages of 6 and 12 will be able to handle and train their dog during this class. Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian each week.
    Cost: $120.

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    Teach your dog to trot attentively by your side and walk nicely on-leash in any situation.
    Cost: $100.

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    Learn what it takes to have your dog reliably come when called, all the time, any time.
    Cost: $120.

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    Shy Dog is an introductory level course designed for dogs that are overwhelmed by their environment. This class focuses on building trust between you and your dog, as well as boosting your dog’s confidence through positive reinforcement training.
    Cost: $150.

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    This training class is designed to be a fun, challenging, and rewarding class for you and your dog. Class topics will cover trick basics such as spin, roll over, bow, back, crawl, and more.
    Cost: $120.

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    Urban Canine is designed for students and their dogs to be able to practice the skills learned in training classes out in real life public situations.
    Cost: $120.

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    Does your dog run away when you try to clean their ears? are they scared when you pull out the nail clippers?Do they look uncomfortable when you try to brush or restrain them? If so then Level 1: Wag More, Struggle Less is for you! This course focuses on teaching skills to both you and your dog that will help make basic care easier and even fun!

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    Nose Work WORKSHOPS

    Nose work is a great way for any dog to have fun, build confidence, and burn lots of mental and physical energy.

    This beginner workshop focuses on teaching you how to encourage and develop your dog’s natural scenting abilities by using their desire to hunt and their love of toys, food and exercise. Dog and handler teams learn how to perform basic container and interior searches. Cost: $100.

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    Topics covered in this Advanced level workshop include improve your dog’s sourcing ability; refine how your team covers a search area; handlers ability to accurately read dogs communication signals when in odor and at source; inaccessible and elevated hides; converging odor, and trial preparation. Cost: $100.

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    Topics covered in this Advanced level workshop include improve your dog’s sourcing ability; refine how your team covers a search area; handlers ability to accurately read dogs communication signals when in odor and at source; inaccessible and elevated hides; converging odor, and trial preparation. Cost: $100.

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    Workshops

    Specialized workshops for animals that need specific focus or special training.

    Not sure how to use your newly-purchased crate? Do you have a dog that refuses to go into their crate? This workshop is designed to make crate training fun using games! In addition to crate training we will also teach your dog to settle and pay attention to you.
    Cost: $35.

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    Dogs & Storks™ workshop offers positive, practical, and fun solutions for new parents and expecting families. We strive to help make the transition from pet parent to baby parent as joyful and stress-free as possible.
    Cost: $35 per person.

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    Dogs & Toddlers™ offers positive, practical, and fun solutions for families with young children and dogs as they face various ages and stages of baby’s first three years. You will learn how to prevent problems, implement realistic management methods, facilitate appropriate interaction, and much more.  All the material covered is designed to be relevant, valuable, and easy to implement.
    Cost:  $35 per person.

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    Dogs Parks? Are they good or are they bad? Depending on who you talk to dog parks can be viewed as a terrific place to take your pet for some off leash exercise and socialization. They can also be viewed as a traumatic place, some dogs develop behavioral issues or have been seriously injured. What determines whether your dog will have lots of fun or wish they never left home? Well the answer is Dog Park Etiquette for both owners and their dogs. This workshop focuses on educating pet parents on the do’s and don’ts of a dog park, what to look for in regards to healthy play vs. unhealthy play, and how to be a good dog park visitor all together.  This is a lecture for humans only, please leave your dog at home.
    Cost: $35.

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    This mini lecture addresses how to prevent and manage unwanted dog behaviors before they become a problem. Lecture Topics Include: How to successfully integrate your pet into your home; how to communicate effectively with your dog; preventing destructive behaviors; solving problem behaviors; and house training.
    Cost: $35.

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    Mini Workshops

    Mini workshops offered by San Diego Humane Society address a variety of issues. Cost: $35.

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    Mini workshops offered by San Diego Humane Society address a variety of issues. Cost: $35.

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    Other Behavior Resources

    Due to the potential for serious injury, canine and feline aggression is best handled by a professional who specializes in behavior. Because phone or email counseling is inadequate for addressing serious behavior concerns, we ask that you contact a qualified professional for help.

    To learn about Veterinary Behaviorists visit dacvb.org. To learn about Certified Applied Animal Behaviorists visit animalbehavior.org.

    Dr. Rachel Malamed
    DVM, DACVB
    behaviordogtor.com

    Dr. Patrick Melese
    DVM, DACVB
    sdvetbehavior.com

    Dr. Stefanie Schwartz
    DVM, DACVB
    petbehavior.org

    Dr. Karen Sueda
    DVM, DACVB
    vcaspecialtyvets.com

    Dr. Jill Goldman
    Ph.D., CAAB
    drjillgoldman.com

    San Diego Humane Society Training Partners

    All training partners have demonstrated their commitment to using positive reinforcement training techniques and San Diego Humane Society’s mission of promoting the humane treatment of animals, preventing cruelty to animals, and providing education to enhance the human-animal bond.

    These trainers donate their time to San Diego Humane Society in various ways, and we would like to recognize them with preferred status on our Training Partners list.

    Alyssa Rose (Lapinel), CPDT-KA
    Legends Dog Training
    (619) 431-1233
    [email protected]
    www.legendsdogtraining.com
    Specializes in: Creating customized behavior modification plans for fearful, anxious, aggressive, or impulsive behavioral issues and puppy start right training. 

    Angie Fonseca, CPDT-KA
    SD-K9
    (619) 384-1024
    sd-k9.com
    Specializes in: puppy classes, basic manners, training in public settings, private consultations

    Atsuko Greenwood, KPA CTP
    (619) 207-7661
    [email protected]
    Specializes in: in-home training, fearful and reactive dogs, Japanese and English clients

    Hiromi Suzuki
    Canine to Five
    (619) 684-5959
    sdk9to5.com
    Specializes in: doggie daycare, group classes, warm water exercise, grooming

    These trainers have worked with us at events, through class offerings and workshops, or in other ways that have given us firsthand knowledge of their training techniques.

    Jamie Bozzi-Surmont, CBCC-KA, CPDT-KSA, KPA CTP, ACDBC, CC, CNWI
    Smrt Dog
    (619) 241-4828
    [email protected]
    smrtdog.com
    Specializes in: group classes, dog sports, tricks classes, puppy classes