About our Training Classes

Dog Training

Did you recently bring a dog home who needs some guidance? Are you looking to build a life-long bond between you and your canine companion? or just looking to sharpen skills that have slipped away with age? Humane Society of Sonoma County is here to help. We understand the importance of building a lasting bond through a number of exciting classes, workshops and socialization groups. Watch your dog grow with knowledge, confidence and skills along the way. The Humane Society of Sonoma County provides a safe, positive form of training that will help foster a healthy relationship between you and your dog.

Puppy Class

(UNDER 4 months old)

To view the current class schedule and register please click the button

below or contact us at msouder@humanesocietysoco.org

Kindergarten Puppy Training

Start your puppy out right in this fun, interactive 6 week class. For puppies between 10-16 weeks old. This class provides a safe place for puppies to learn how to socialize with each other as well as other humane’s. Our dog training instructor will help guide  new puppy parents through common puppy issues, including mouthing, house training, chewing, and basic house manners. Kinderpuppy Training will help providing a strong foundation to a life long bond. If your puppy is over 16 weeks/4 months please visit the Basic Manners tab. Visit the Class Calendar to register for the next Kinderpuppy Training class.

  • Class Length: 6 weeks
  • Cost: $150

 

 

Have fun while training your dog on the basics of daily life. Each level sharpens your dog’s focus with greater distance, duration, and distraction. All classes use positive training methods.

To view the current class schedule and register please click the button below or contact us at msouder@humanesocietysoco.org


Rover’s First Class

Reactive Rover trainer, Wayne Smith, is now offering Rover’s First Class! This class will help your dog start off on the right paw. Rover’s First Class is designed keeping the Reactive Rover curriculum in mind, the goal with Rover’s First Class is to help strengthen and enhance the relationship between dogs and their humans. While the focus is on training, there will be relationship games as well information about management. This specific course strives to help the human realize what the dog is telling you with a goal of not developing unwanted behaviors or substituting a different behavior if an unwanted one has already developed.

  • Series Length: 6 Weeks (1 hour per week)
  • Cost: $150


Basic Training and Manners – Level 1

Previously known as Companion Dog 1, Basic Training and Manners is a fun interactive 6 week class to teach you and your canine the fundamentals of training (for dogs 4 months & older). Even for experienced handlers, starting in a beginner’s class will help your canine build confidence in you as well as in themselves. In Basic Training and Manners we will give you positive tools and guidance to teach your dog loose leash walking, polite greetings, sit and down, as well as the lifesaving skills: come when called, wait and leave it. If your dog is leash reactive please contact 707-542-0882 EXT. 247 to discuss other training options. Proof of two sets of shots and current rabies vaccination is required.

  • Series Length: 6 Weeks (1 hour per week)
  • Cost: $150

 


Small Dog Basic Training – Level 1

Small Breed Basic Training is just like Basic Training and Manners but tailored to small breed dogs under 30 lbs. Compassionately teach your small dog loose leash walking, polite greetings, sit and down, as well as the lifesaving skills: come when called, wait and leave it. Dog training instructors will help guide handlers through common small dog issues and struggles that small dogs have in this giant world. Small Dog Basic Training is for adolescent puppies 4 months & older, as well as adult dogs of all ages.

  • Series Length: 6 Weeks (1 hour per week)
  • Cost: $150

 


Jumpers and Pullers

Do you have a dog with bountiful energy who drives you crazy pulling on the leash and jumping? This series is your opportunity to learn a variety of practical techniques to manage and retrain your dog. Your dog will learn that it can be rewarding to pay attention to you and walk politely at your side. This class will cover equipment available to help manage your dog, while you have fun with games, tricks and methods you can use every day to increase your enjoyment when walking your dog.

  • Cost: $150

 


Bully Breeds Basic Training

Basic Training and Manners specifically catered to your block headed “bully breed” (Pit Bulls, Boxers, Bulldogs, AmStaffs, Rotties, Mastiffs and mixes of these breeds.) Have fun while teaching your bully breed loose leash walking, polite greetings, sit and down, as well as the lifesaving skills: come when called, wait and leave it. Bully Breed Basic Training and Manners focuses on breed specific challenging such as body language and eye contact. While utilizing the amazing bully breed traits to create a fun and dynamic class.

  • Series Length: 6 Weeks (1 hour per week)
  • Cost: $150

“We should not be trying to change dogs, but change the world in which they live.” Kay Laurence

 

“The Art of Teaching Dogs” series is for people seeking to build a greater understanding of how dogs learn. Once the science of learning is understood, the nuances of how to apply that science is an endless exploration.   This series has been developed by Sue McGuire CPDT KA and TAKL certified (Trainer Accredited by Kay Laurence) and host of Learning about Dogs podcast.  This class is not recipe following. Students are encouraged to develop their own, ethically sound, approach to teaching their dog.  This is an evidence-based class series where participants are encouraged to develop their own learning path with coaching and guidance.

 

To view the current class schedule and register please click the button

below or contact us at msouder@humanesocietysoco.org

THE ART OF TEACHING DOGS LEVEL 1—Reinforcement and Base Behaviors

We start with how the teaching process works and develops into clarity of understanding for our dogs. This first level class explores the reinforcement process.  We will investigate how rewards compliment a behavior. Reinforcement types, delivery and patterns are in play when developing behaviors.  Only with a deep understanding of what dogs find motivating, can we begin to unravel the mysteries of how dogs learn.  We can use reinforcement processes to build strong behaviors. We will start working toward teaching the concept of base behaviors from which other behaviors can be generated.

This class uses a combination of written work and video to show evidence of learning. Participants should be comfortable with some level of technology to aid learning.

This is a great class to get you started the “nerdy dog teacher path.”

Six weeks…first class is without dogs.

$175



 

The Art of Teaching Dogs Level 2—Planning Training and Using Props

This is the second in a series of classes teaching people the skills needed to teach dogs. We will build on what we learned in the first class about reinforcement and start exploring how that develops into behavior. We will explore how to develop a training plan designed to help our dogs succeed. Through planning our teaching sessions, our canine learners are more likely to succeed. This learning will create less stress and greater understanding for your dog.

We will explore training set ups, the use of targets and platforms to develop behavior that grows.

Handler MUST show proof of successful completion of level I or by permission of the instructor.

This class uses a combination of written work and video to show evidence of learning. Participants should be comfortable with some level of technology to aid learning.

Six weeks—dogs come to all classes.

$175



 

The Art of Teaching Dogs  Level 3-The Wonderful World of Cues

With the foundation set from the first two levels, handlers will learn to build their own training plans for their dogs using a variety of training set ups. This level class starts exploring the wonderful world of cues. Cues are a way of having a conversation with our dogs. When we are considerate about their use, cues can inform and enlighten the relationship. We will explore changing cues, developing cue hierarchy and know when the dog is able to attend to our cues. This is all an effort to build strong understanding, reduce stress and be creative in our cue choices.

Before enrolling in this class, students must have participated and shown evidence of understanding the concepts of the first two level classes.

This class uses a combination of written work and video to show evidence of learning.  Participants should be comfortable with some level of technology to aid learning.

Six weeks—dogs come to all classes

$175

Tricks

So, you and your dog have completed Basic Training and Manners, Companion or Small Dog 1 (or equivalent) and are wondering what fun things you can do next. How about HSSC’s Tricks Class? In four fun weeks, you’ll gain a foundation for training tricks – it’s easy once you know how to break it down into steps. Get ready to wow your audience with tricks such as the Chorus Line Kick, Leg Weaves, Jump Through Circled Arms and many others! Beyond the razzle dazzle factor, Tricks Class is a great way to help nervous dogs build confidence and create an amazing bond between you and your dog!

Class length: 4 weeks

Cost: $100



How to register:

Visit our class schedule by clicking on the button below, call 707.577.1909, or email MSouder@humanesocietysoco.org

Leash Manners @ The Barlow

“Leash manners” is for dogs who have completed a basic training and manners class and looking for more time with a trainer focusing on leash manners. Class is 1 hour per session and a total of 4 sessions. Class will vary pending the specific dogs who enroll and each family’s needs.

Class Details:

  1. Series Length: 4 Weeks
  2. 1 hour duration per class
  3. Cost: $100

Class Requirements:

  1. Completion of Companion Dog 1 or Basic Training and Manners here at the Humane Society or something similar
  2. Dogs MUST be dog friendly or comfortable around other dogs without reaction.
    1. Dogs will not be asked to socialize but while focusing on recall dogs will have more access to each other than in a standard “basic training class

 



How to register:

Visit our class schedule by clicking on the button below, call 707.577.1909, or email MSouder@humanesocietysoco.org

Intermediate Classes

 

Have fun while training your dog on the basics of daily life. Each level sharpens your dog’s focus with greater distance, duration, and distraction. All classes use positive training methods. Please view class descriptions below and visit our class calendar to register for training.

To view the current class schedule and register please click the button

below or contact us at msouder@humanesocietysoco.org

Intermediate Training and Manners – Level 2

Are you wanting to take your training to the next level? Does your dog need a little more then what basic training could provide? Are you looking to use your dog as an emotional support animal or volunteer with our Animal Assisted Therapy program? Previously known as Companion Dog 2, Intermediate Dog Training and Manner will be the difference between your dog learning the fundamentals of training versus mastering life skills like loose leash walking, polite introductions, long duration sit/wait, learning hand signals and more. Intermediate Dog Training and Manners will help prepare you to take the next level of training and help you become more confident with your dog, creating an even stronger bond between human and canine. Must have completed Basic Training and Manners, Companion Dog 1, Small Dog 1 (or equivalent) to enroll in this class.

  • Class length: 6 weeks
  • Cost: $150

Small Dog Intermediate Training – Level 2

The Humane Society of Sonoma County understands the specific needs of having small dog, especially with training. Like Intermediate Training and Manners, Small Dog Intermediate Training focuses on mastering life skills while providing a same place for your pint size pup to learn. Using a mix of games and exercises, we will improve performance on sit and down (add duration and distraction), wait at a distance, tricks, and polite leash manners and recall. Curriculum is set up to meet the needs of smaller dogs. This class is for dogs 30 pounds and under who have completed Basic Training and Manners, Companion Dog 1, Small Dog Basic Training and Manners (or equivalent) to enroll in this class.

  • Class length: 6 weeks
  • Cost: $150

Bully Breed Intermediate Training

Take your bully breed’s training to the next level! Advance you and your dogs skills while continuing to focus on bully breed challenges and positive traits. Master skills like long duration sit/wait, loose leash walking, recall and polite greetings. All Level 2 training classes will cater to the classes specific needs.

  • Class length: 6 weeks
  • Cost: $150

Animal Assisted Therapy

Animal Assisted Therapy is designed for dogs who are training to become service dogs, therapy dogs and emotional support dogs. Prepare your dog for a rewarding opportunity offering therapeutic, educational and motivational support in your community. We will help hone the skills and behaviors that will make your dog a welcomed visitor in assisted living centers, senior homes, children’s reading programs and more. Field trips, guest speakers, and exposure to children, disabled, and mobility equipment. Animal Assisted Therapy will focus on preparing dogs to pass their Therapy Dog International Test (TDI).

You must complete Companion Dog 1 & 2 prior to enrolling in the Animal Assisted Therapy program. 

  1. Length of class: 6 weeks
  2. Hours per session: 1.5 hours
  3. Prerequisite: Companion Dog 2 or equivalent, or consent of instructor.
  4. Class cost: $200
  5. Instructor: Brian Galindo
  6. Location: Humane Society – Healdsburg Campus


AKC – Canine Good Citizen (CGC)

Many dog owners choose Canine Good Citizen training as the first step in training their dogs. The Canine Good Citizen Program lays the foundation for other AKC activities such as obedience, agility, tracking, and performance events. As you work with your dog to teach the CGC skills, you’ll discover the many benefits and joys of training your dog.

There is no age limit for the CGC test. Some dogs who are entered in CGC tests will have completed basic obedience classes. Owners who have trained their dogs themselves may also have their dogs tested

  1. Length of class: 5 weeks
  2. Hours per session: 1 hours
  3. Prerequisite: Companion Dog 2 or equivalent, or consent of instructor.
  4. Class cost: $150


AKC – Urban Canine Good Citizen

AKC Urban CGC is a public access test that demonstrates dogs are well-behaved and well-trained when in public settings. AKC Urban CGC requires that the dog demonstrate CGC skills and beyond in a setting that includes traffic, crowds, noises, smells and other distractions that are present in a city or town. As with Canine Good Citizen, AKC Urban CGC is a 10-step test of skills that dogs must pass to earn the official AKC Urban CGC title.

All skills are tested on leash. AKC Urban CGC should be administered in a place where there are cars, streets to be crossed, noises, and distractions.

To earn the AKC Urban CGC (CGCU) title, dogs must meet the following two requirements:

  1. Must already have a Canine Good Citizen (CGC) certificate or title on record at AKC
  1. Must have an AKC number of one of 3 types (AKC registration number, Purebred Alternative Listing (PAL) number, or AKC Canine Partners number). How to get an AKC number


How to register:

Visit our class schedule by clicking on the button below, call 707.577.1909, or email MSouder@humanesocietysoco.org

Reactive Rover

Compassionately attuned toward dogs who are reactive to or fearful of other dogs (not appropriate for dogs who are fearful of humans). Guardian and dog will learn skills to help their dog make better choices when faced with dogs they are fearful of or reactive to. Learn evasive maneuvers, attention exercises, body language, and leash management skills. Help your dog learn to be more attentive to you and confident in uncomfortable or difficult situations.

  • Class Length: 6 weeks
  • Class sessions: 1.5 hrs
  • Cost: $200

Reactive Rover 2

Sharpening Skills. For dogs that are fearful of or reactive to other dogs (not appropriate for dogs who are fearful of humans). Continue learning additional skills to help your dog make better choices when faced with difficult situations. Curriculum can be adjusted to meet individual needs. Proof of vaccination is required. Must have completed Reactive Rover I (or equivalent) to enroll in this class. Cost: $175



How to register:

Visit our class schedule by clicking on the button below, call 707.577.1909, or email MSouder@humanesocietysoco.org

Discounts, Registrations and Cancellation Policy



Discounts

The Humane Society of Sonoma County offers a 20% discount on 6 weeks training  classes to seniors (62+), newly adopted dogs (within 4 months of adoption) from the Humane Society of Sonoma County. A 10% discount is available for any dog recently adopted (within 4 months of adoption) from a 501c3 rescue groups and low-income individuals.  We also offer a complimentary behavior consultation for dogs and cats within 90 days of adoption. (By appointment only.) To enroll in a class with a discount, call 707.542.0882 ext 247.

 

Registration

Choose your desired class and register online and pay by credit card online or with cash or check by calling 707-577-1909. For all classes, payment is required at the time of registration to reserve your spot in the class.

Note: The six-week Kinder Puppy Training class included in your HSSC Puppy Adoption Package is a non-refundable part of your adoption package fees.  If you choose to enroll your puppy in another class, you may request that a credit be issued to be used within 90 days of the adoption for another Training class.

Cancellation Policy

If you have registered for a class and have to cancel, you must notify Humane Society of Sonoma County no less than ten (10) days prior to the first day of class for a full refund. If notification is received less than ten (10) days prior to class, we regret that we cannot offer a refund or credit. No refunds or credits will be given once class has started or for missed classes in a series. Make up classes will are not available at this time.

Private Training & Behavior Consults

** Pricing verifies based on which trainer you contact and what is being requested**


Sue McGuire CPDT KA TAKL Certified

LLA Professional in Good Standing-Behavior Works
Humane and Intelligent Training for Your Dog
707-387-0231
Smilingk9s@yahoo.com

Sue McGuire TAKL (Trainer Accredited by Kay Laurence) is the Manager of the Canine Behavior Program at the Humane Society of Sonoma County in Santa Rosa/Healdsburg.

Sue has taught thousands of dog/handler teams how to be the best partners for each other, all the while honoring the needs of the dog. Sue has taught public dog training classes for almost 20 years and remains actively involved in updating her skills. Sue also provides behavior consultations and private training with an ethically sound approach to teaching people and dogs.  “There are no recipes in teaching dogs. Dogs are as individual as are their people. Honoring the relationship is paramount.”

Sue is one of four trainers in the world who has successfully received accreditation from Kay Laurence from “Learning about Dogs” in the United Kingdom. She is a member in good standing of Living and Learning with Animals from Behavior Works. Sue has competed in Rally, competition obedience, agility and Nosework. Her current crew of dogs includes Georgia, an Australian Shepard/Lab mix, Hattie, a Border Collie and Hank Williams a perfect little tan mix of who knows.  Sue finds her biggest inspirations from the shelter dogs she works with each day.

Sue is co-host and producer of the hugely successful podcast, “Learning About Dogs” with Kay Laurence. Available on Apple iTunes or your favorite podcast platform.

 

 


 

 

Lynnette Smith

Dog Star: Concierge for Canines

Positive Reinforcement Evidence Based Dog Training and Behavior Consults.

Lynnettesmith@humanesocietysoco.org

Phone: 707-583-1975

 

 


Yuching Desch

K9 Learning
https://www.k9learning.com/
Behavior consultations & Private training

I have been a lifelong lover of dogs. But it wasn’t until I rescued a fear-aggressive little poodle mix named Bailey that I became serious about dog behavior and training. My training philosophy is focused on having a positive and fun experience. Having “fun” is very important in learning especially for both the teacher and learner. When my dog is having fun during a training session, the new environment is no longer scary to him. I have seen many shy and fearful dogs suffering during training sessions because they don’t feel safe and enjoyable. It is my goal to help the owners of shy and fearful dogs to understand how their dogs feel and help them find the “fun” again in training and in life.

I offer behavior consultations and private training in Marin & Sonoma. My specialties include basic obedience, puppy training/socialization, tricks, body conditioning exercise and behavior modification for fear-aggressive dogs.

Contact: yuching@k9learning.com
Cell: 415.265.2539

Dog & Puppy Socialization

please contact us at 707-542-0882 X247 or dogtraining@humanesocietysoco.org

About our Socialization Classes:

Our socialization program is designed to provide a safe place for puppies to develop confidence, social skills and for adults to have a safe place to meet new friends and get their energy out. (Please see schedule below, you MUST pre-register)

These small-group, size-specific classes are designed with a focus on providing a safe environment and individualized guidance in which:

  • Puppies can:
    • Develop & practice clear communication of social intentions to other dogs, including:
      • Inviting play.
      • Declining an invitation to interact.
      • Asking for a time-out.
      • Apologizing for a mistake.
    • Learn & practice reading and responding appropriately to social signals from other dogs, including:
      • Taking “no” for an answer.
      • Checking in during play.
      • Learning how to play with smaller or less confident dogs.
      • Understanding the various different games other dogs may want to play, and how to join in or opt out.
    • Develop the confidence to freely decide if, and how, to engage with other dogs.
    • Learn how to self-regulate their own excitement and stimulation, including:
      • Taking breaks
      • Controlling the strength of bites, shoves, etc.
      • Making appropriate choices to cope with fearfulness, anxiety, irritation, and anger.
    • Learning to ask humans for support when needed.
  • Humans can:
    • Learn to spot and understand canine social signals.
    • Learn to recognize when a dog needs help and what to do.
    • Learn about your pup’s always-evolving social style and how to support them in being safe and successful.

Class details

Class Cost: $20

Class Length: 45 minutes



  • 5 months old and under:

    • Saturdays:
      • 1:00-1:45 pm: Under 10 lbs (Teacup & Small)
      • 2:00-2:45 pm: 10 – 20 lbs (Medium)
      • 3:00-3:45 pm: Over 20 lbs (Large)