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Dog Classes and Training

Our Classes:

If the class you are interested in isn’t available below, this class is currently full. Please check back at the beginning of each month for newly scheduled classes.

If you can’t find the class you’d like, please call us at (303) 442-4030 x 368, or email: Training.Center@boulderhumane.org for help to schedule a training session that’s best for you and your dog.

Life Skills

Looking to spend some time having fun while taking a team approach to training your dog? In this 4-week series (1 hour per class) you will be learning how (and when) to ask for basic skills like name recognition and focus, sit and down positions while adding distractions, duration and distance. Mat work will help promote calm behavior, and some leash walking and impulse control exercises will be introduced and expanded upon. This class is not appropriate for dogs that are fearful of or reactive toward people or other dogs. Please consider a private behavior consultation instead.

AKC Canine Good Citizen

Want some proof that your dog is a trustworthy, well-behaved citizen? This 5-week class will cover all ten skills required to earn the AKC Canine Good Citizen title. The first four weeks of the class will be dedicated to learning and practicing these advanced skills. During the fifth week, teams will have the opportunity to take the test. Dogs who enroll in this class should have a basic understanding of the cues sit, down and come. This class is not appropriate for dogs that are fearful of or reactive toward people or other dogs. Please consider a private behavior consultation instead.

Come Back to Me

Class prerequisite: Life Skills

Looking to create an enthusiastic response when calling your dog to come back to you? Register for this fast-paced, 3-week series (1 hour per class) to learn pro tips on helping your dog build the skills to get there while having fun in the process. Distance will be created safely in the class environment with longer leashes.

Fine-Tuned Focus

Class prerequisite: Life Skills

Is your dog easily distracted by critters and other exciting things in the world? This 5-week series (1 hour per class) helps install listening and critical thinking skills in the face of distractions in the environment. As a team, you and your dog can prepare for life’s encounters while acquiring a foundation of impulse control and check-ins instead of disconnect and chaos. Methods include desensitization (reduction of the distraction’s intensity), learning by association, results of action and re-direction with specific tasks. Channel your dog’s attention to the wanted behaviors you seek with guidance. Your dog will learn to do something that keeps their attention when tempted by commotion.

This class is not appropriate for dogs that are fearful of or reactive toward people or other dogs. Please consider a private behavior consultation instead.

Grumpy Growlers

Does your dog bark, growl, or lunge at other dogs he sees in the distance when he’s on leash? Whether your dog performs these behaviors on leash out of frustration (meaning your dog often plays well with other dogs when off leash), fear, or aggression, this 6-week series (1 hour per class) is for you!

This specialty course is designed to provide you with the skills to manage and modify your dog’s current reaction to other dogs when seen at a distance. We train in a safe, low-stress classroom environment to teach your dog alternative behaviors that are incompatible with reactivity and aggression. Dogs will not greet one another in class, so if your dog only experiences conflict with other dogs at the dog park, in your home, or when greeting nose-to-nose, please consider scheduling a private behavior consultation instead.

This class is not suitable for dogs who demonstrate reactivity or aggression toward people.
If your dog is reactive or aggressive toward people, please schedule a private behavior consultation instead.

Important note: The first class for this course is for pet parents only. Please leave your dog at home for the first class.

Because vital information and safety precautions are discussed during the first night, if you are a ‘no-show’ for the first class, you will not be permitted to attend the rest of the classes (and will not be refunded the class fee) unless you arrange a private consultation with the class instructor for an additional $40 fee. The Training Center recommends scheduling a private consultation if you feel you need immediate assistance while waiting for your Grumpy Growler classes to start.

Advanced Grumpy Growlers: This course is only available with instructor approval following completion of Grumpy Growlers.

Wallflowers

Is your dog insecure or shy when meeting new people and potential dog friends? Does your dog seem nervous about exploring new environments? Wallflowers will benefit both of you! In this 5-week series*, we train in a safe, low-stress environment to help your dog build confidence and gain new skills. Sessions will include a mix of training to help them overcome their fears, confidence building activities, and discussion on key aspects of life with a worried dog. If your goal is to enhance the quality of your dog’s life, look no further- we’re here to help!

This class is not suitable for dogs who show reactivity or aggression toward people. If your dog is reactive or aggressive toward people, please schedule a private behavior consultation instead.

*For the first night of class, each dog will be assigned a private 10-minute time slot to get to know the instructor and explore the room without the other participants. This will also give you an opportunity to talk to the instructor about your dog’s specific needs. Your instructor will reach out before the first night of class to notify you of your time slot. Training sessions will be one hour per week, for four weeks, after the first class.

A martingale collar is included in your registration. Martingales are great for worried dogs because they are specially designed to prevent your dog from escaping if they get startled.

Tricks & Games

During this 3-week series (45 minutes per class) you’ll teach tricks for the joy of it and offer your dog the ability to problem solve with games. In this fast-paced class, there are a variety of options that are sure to please everyone!

For the best experience in Tricks & Games, we recommend that you register if your dog is already fairly proficient with basic skills like sit and down.

MORE Tricks & Games

Did your dog graduate from our Tricks & Games series class and is itching for MORE? We have a variety of other tricks up our sleeves!

K9 Nose Work®

Inspired by working detection dogs (bomb, arson, drug), K9 Nose Work® is a sport where dogs get to be dogs! This FUN game is perfect for almost any dog – all it requires is a dog with a nose and a guardian looking to have a great time with their four-legged companion. The game begins with a dog using its nose to search for a favorite treat or toy hidden in cardboard boxes. Later, the dog will search whole rooms, outdoor environments, containers and even vehicles, to find what is hidden. Once your dog is excited about the game, odors are introduced and should you desire, competitions are available as well. In addition to providing excellent enrichment and exercise for the dog both mentally and physically, this sport is great for helping shy and fearful dogs gain more confidence and giving those sniffers an appropriate outlet for sniffing.

*Dogs must be crate trained in order to participate in our Nose Work classes*

Offerings include:

  • K9 Nose Work®: An Introduction – 4-week class designed to introduce you and your dog to the sport of Nose Work.
  • K9 Nose Work®: Continuing – 4-week class introducing your dog to elevated hides, patterns, corners, thresholds, and more! Dogs must have already completed our Introduction course first.
  • K9 Nose Work®: Introduction to Odor – 6-week class introducing target odor (anise, birch, and clove) into your dog’s searches. Dogs must be at least 1 year of age to participate in this class and must have already completed our Introduction and Continuing courses.
  • K9 Nose Work®: Odor Practice Sessions – 1-hour class for graduates of Introduction to Odor to keep practicing odor searches.
  • K9 Nose Work®: Private Sessions – one-on-one sessions with a Nose Work instructor. All levels welcome!
    Proof of current vaccinations is required to attend class.

Sidekicks

Looking for something fun to do with your child and their four-legged friend during the school break? Sidekicks is a class where children and their dogs can learn, bond, and have fun together! Your budding trainer will learn how to communicate and interact with their dog as we train new tricks, play fun activities, and learn about all things dog. This class is for children aged seven and older and meets for 45 minutes for three days in a row. We ask that all children are accompanied by an adult in class.

This class is offered seasonally.

Outdoor Play Yard Rental

Don’t have a backyard or have limitations of where you can take your dog off leash?

Rent our Happy Hounds play yard to give your dog the space to stretch their legs!

The Happy Hounds yard, located on the southeast side of the Humane Society’s building, is available for rent for you and your dog to enjoy fresh air together and is particularly well-suited for sensitive dogs (especially those that are reactive to the sight of other dogs). You can schedule a ½ hour slot for $10 and we request you follow all posted guidelines of use (details also provided at time of registration) – please clean up after your pet. Reservations are limited to the dogs and residents of up to two familiar households (not higher volume dog meet-up groups). This yard’s availability is limited based on Adoption Center and Training & Behavior Center hours.

If you can’t find the class you’d like, please call us at 303.442.4030 x 368, or email: Training.Center@boulderhumane.org for help to schedule a training session that’s best for you and your dog.

Proof of current vaccinations is required to attend all classes.