Dog Training Classes

In compliance with Shelter in Place health and safety guidelines, the East Bay SPCA is closed to the public, but it is still possible to begin your dog’s training in the comfort of your home during this time through online training courses. 

Online courses are designed to enrich the bond between you and your companion through positive reinforcement methods and taught via Zoom. Participants will be able to submit videos of in-home training sessions for feedback from our trainers and have the ability to ask questions real-time during sessions.

Online training courses not for you? Once the COVID-19 Shelter in Place restrictions are lifted, we’ll re-open our shelters so you can train with us in person.


Beginner classes are the perfect place for you and your dog to start achieving your training goals. These classes are designed to help your dog learn the fundamentals of good manners. Also, beginner classes are a great way to improve communication and enhance the bond between you and your dog. We have beginner classes for pups and dogs of all ages.

Skill Builders (Level 1) – Online Training Course Available

5 week class: For dogs over 16 weeks of age.

Foundation Skills for the Constant Companion: Do you want to know how to have a dog with delightful manners in the home who can also accompany you everywhere dogs are invited? Do you have a dog that isn’t well suited for the classroom environment either due to fear or reactivity? Are you wanting to begin your dog’s training but feel at a loss while we Shelter in Place?

This online class is designed to build a solid training and relationship foundation in the ease and comfort of your own home. Training skills include recall, sit, down, door manners, polite greetings (i.e. no jumping), nose targeting, polite leash walking, and developing play skills.

This class will be taught via Zoom with additional video submission of in-home training sessions for feedback from our trainers and the ability to ask questions real-time.

Prerequisites: None.

Price: $175 for 5 week course plus video lesson ($150 for adopted animals)

Puppy Stars – Online Training Course Coming Soon!

6 week class: For puppies between 8 and 16 weeks of age by the first day of class.

Bringing out the Einstein in Your Puppy: Start your puppy off right in our cutting edge puppy socialization class.  We’ll provide positive exposure to people, dogs, and novel stimuli; help you prepare your pup for grooming, vet care, and other handling; teach you foundation training skills such as relaxation on a mat, sit, recall, leash walking, and targeting; and we’ll focus on puppy-specific topics, such as resource guarding prevention, crate training, potty training, and teething. This class is everything you need to know to raise a puppy!

Prerequisites: None.

Price: $175 for 6 week class ($150.00 for adopted animals)


Our advanced classes are geared toward those who have previously taken classes and for human-dog teams who are looking to achieve that next level of behavior and training greatness!

Connection Boosters (Level 2) – Online Training Course Coming Soon!

6 week class

Engagement Skills for the Constant Companion: You’ve got the foundation.  Now, we’ll teach you how to become the most important thing in your dog’s world so that you can take him anywhere dogs are invited.  As a continuation of the Skill Builders class, Connection Boosters builds reliability to leash walking and recall by adding in distractions and distance.  Additional training skills include building focus, sit-stay and down-stay, wait in any location, automatic sit when stopping during polite leash walking, go to mat, drop it, and mastering play skills.

Prerequisites: Successful completion of Skill Builders (Level 1)

Price: $175 for 6 week class ($150.00 for adopted animals)

Canine Good Citizen (Prep & Test)

5 week class – For puppies and dogs that are 6 months and older by the first day of class.

Our Canine Good Citizen class is designed to practice the 10 test items you and your dog must pass in order to receive the AKC CGC certificate. The test includes meeting novel people politely, accepting petting and grooming, walking nicely on a loose leash alone and through a crowd, demonstrating Sit, Down, Stay, and Come, meeting another leashed dog, remaining calm during sight and sound distractions and being separated from owner for 3 minutes. On the last day of class, a certified AKC CGC evaluator will conduct the test and determine at that time whether your dog has passed the test.

You and your dog will attend all 5 classes together.

Prerequisites: Any intro level class such as Skill Builders, Mind Your Manners Part 1, Puppy Kindergarten Part 1 or another similar class from another training school. Dogs are most successful when they’ve taken Skill Builders and Connection Boosters before attending our CGC class.

Price: $150.00 for the 5 week class

This class is not being offered at this time. Please check back soon. 


Our specialty classes are designed to be fun, informative, and really take your behavior and training to the next level!

Calm, Cool, and Collected – Online Training Course Coming Soon!

6 week class

The Class for Your Feisty Fido: Does your dog growl, bark, or lunge at other dogs, people, or sometimes apparently random things?  Do you wish you could walk your dog, but his aggressive behavior is embarrassing and/or even a little scary? Learn the tools to help your dog feel safe and remain calm in the presence of triggers.

Prerequisites: Approval by one of our trainers through class attendance, private training, or individual assessment if you haven’t trained with us before.

Price: $200.00 for 6 week class ($175.00 for adopted animals)

If you are interested in taking this class, please contact us at to discuss next steps.

Intro to Nosework

6 week class – For dogs that are 6 months and older by the first day of class.

Nosework is an easy to learn activity that uses a dog’s natural abilities for hunting to find hidden treats, toys or other items. This game builds confidence and focus as the dog is rewarded for doing what comes naturally! It’s also a safe way to provide mental and physical exercise to all types of dogs. Handlers will learn about dog body language and how to motivate your dog, which are great tools for developing your relationship with your pet!

Prerequisites: None.

Behavioral Appropriateness: Dogs work one at a time so this is a great class for dogs that are not comfortable around other dogs. Dogs must be crate trained and able to handle confinement in a crate between turns.

Price: $150.00 for the 6 week class

This class is not being offered at this time. Please check back soon. 

Intro to Odor

6 week class – For dogs that are 6 months and older by the first day of class.

Introduction to Odor is a continuation of skills from our Intro to Nose Work Class. Dogs are taught to identify the first target odor, a natural essential oil.  Skills that each handler acquire from the class include search techniques, dog/handler teamwork and reading the dog’s body language during the search.

Prerequisites: Dogs and handlers must have completed Intro to Nose Work and have instructor approval to register for this class.

Behavioral Appropriateness: Dogs work one at a time so this is a great class for dogs that are not comfortable around other dogs. Dogs must be crate trained and able to handle confinement in a crate between turns.

Price: $150 for the 6 week class

This class is not being offered at this time. Please check back soon. 

Private Training

Private training sessions are available online via Zoom during Shelter in Place. In these sessions, one of our trainers will observe and work closely with you and your dog to make recommendations for training and behavior management plans.


Carol Wilson, CPDT-KA, KPA CTP, CNWI

Carol Wilson discovered the depth of human-canine bond that can be developed through training and shared adventures when she entered the world of competitive obedience over thirty years ago. She has been training and playing with her own dogs in various companion animal activities ever since. After leaving a career in corporate marketing, Carol chose to spend time pursuing her passion for encouraging the bond between humans and their dogs. She graduated from the Canine Behavior Academy I & 2, and with distinction from the Karen Pryor Academy for Animal Training and Behavior. She is a Certified Pet Dog Trainer – Knowledge Assessed and a NACSW Certified Nose Work Instructor. As a believer in life-long learning, Carol continues to pursue additional educational opportunities in all aspects of training and learning theory. Carol has experience in competitive obedience, rally, nose work, agility and parkour. She continues to participate in a variety of canine activities with her two best friends, Border Collie-mix Maya and terrier-mix Dodge. Carol offers private behavior and nose work training through her own business, Rewarding Results, LLC.



Anna grew up with a sweet, fat cat named Peaches ‘n Cream. She has always loved animals, but her interest in training began after she adopted her dog, Kempie. She was introduced to positive reinforcement training through a puppy class at the East Bay SPCA and was hooked.

While Kempie is almost perfect in her mommy’s eyes, she hasn’t been the easiest of pups. As a result, she has been one of Anna’s best teachers. In her journey, Anna took additional training classes and hired private trainers to coach her in working on specific issues such as building Kempie’s confidence and preventing resource guarding. Everything she learned about behavior modification was so fascinating that she enrolled in Karen Pryor Academy’s Dog Trainer Professional course, where she earned her professional certification.

Anna is dedicated to continuously improving her knowledge base and skills through coursework, reading, attending conferences, and talking shop with other trainers. She’s thrilled to be a trainer for group classes at the East Bay SPCA, where her dog training journey began. She also runs her own private training business in Oakland. Outside of her life of training dogs, she has advocated for 15 years with Bay Area nonprofit organizations to make our youth and adult criminal legal systems more humane and equitable, and this work continues to be an important part of her life.

Danielle trainer east bay spca

Danielle Fuchs

Danielle Fuchs serves as the Behavior & Training Coordinator at the East Bay SPCA. She discovered her passion for both shelter animal welfare and animal training when she began volunteering with the East Bay SPCA in 2014. Over the next several years, she volunteered as a canine behavior and training assistant, a training class assistant, a kitten foster volunteer, and a feline socialization volunteer. After realizing she could not get enough of working with animals, she decided to pursue a path to working full-time in the field of animal welfare. Since 2014, she has earned a Certificate in Training and Behavior Consultation from the Dog Training Internship Academy and a Master of Science in Applied Animal Behavior and Animal Welfare from the University of Edinburgh with distinction honors. She is also a Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge Assessed. Alongside training companion animals and teaching people, Danielle is committed to continuing education to better serve both human and animal members of the community. She lives in Alameda with her partner, John, and her cat, Wolfie.

We offer two convenient locations for our dog training classes

East Bay SPCA Oakland Adoption Center: 8323 Baldwin Street

East Bay SPCA Dublin Adoption Center: 4651 Gleason Drive


Class Cancellations & Date Changes

We require at least a minimum number of people per class. If that minimum is not met 72 hours before the class, the class may be cancelled or the start date pushed back one week.

We will contact you 24-48 hours before the class start date to notify you if the class has been cancelled or the start date changed to accommodate low registration numbers. You will have the option of enrolling in an alternative class, receiving credit toward a future class, or receiving a full refund if the class is cancelled or the new dates do not work for your schedule.

Refund & Transfer Policy

We will refund your class fee or transfer you to a new class if you cancel in writing at least 3 days before the class starts. If you enroll within 3 days of the class, you are not eligible for refunds or transfers for any reason.  We are unable to offer any refunds or transfers after the class begins.  If you adopt from us and return the dog, your fees are not refundable for any reason.

Families with Dogs

Because having and training a dog is a family affair, we encourage family members and kids to come to class with the handler. However, it is important that some guidelines be followed regarding children.

Children must be non-disruptive under parental control at all times. Please explain to your children that not all dogs are friendly towards children and therefore they should obtain the owner’s permission before approaching another dog. Handlers must be at least 13 years of age. Parents must attend class with their children except in the case that the child is at least 16 years old.

Behavioral Appropriateness 

Not all dogs are behaviorally appropriate for the group class environment.  If your dog does not get along with other dogs and/or barks incessantly at the sight of other dogs, s/he may not do well in the group class environment.  Excessively fearful dogs may also have trouble in group classes.  If you’re unsure if your dog is behaviorally appropriate for class, please contact us in advance at  If your dog is too disruptive or not behaviorally appropriate for class, your instructor may suggest training alternatives.

Wait List Policy

If you are registered on the wait list for a class, a member of our staff will contact you if there are openings for enrollment.


We are dedicated to the safety of all the dogs that attend classes, therefore we ask you to have at least 2 DH2PP vaccines before coming into any class. This shot should include Distemper and Parvo. We encourage a Bordetella shot for puppies, but it is not a requirement. For adult dogs we also ask that your rabies vaccination be up to date. Please bring in your vaccination papers to your first class.

We do strongly recommend that you vaccinate your canine companion against the Canine Influenza Virus (CIV). For more information on CIV talk with your veterinarian or visit our Canine Influenza Virus information page.

Additional Information

  • We prefer dogs are spayed or neutered when attending our dog training classes, except for puppies under 6 months.  If you have questions, regarding this, please contact us at  We have two low cost Spay / Neuter Centers located in Oakland and Dublin.
  • We use reward based, force free training methods and do not allow prong collars or choke collars in our dog training classes.
  • Unfortunately, we do not offer make up classes.  If you need to miss a class, please let your instructor know and they will send you the class homework/information.

If you have any questions, please contact or call (510) 563.4624.

Training Class FAQs

Both of these classes mainly focus on basic manners, but Puppy Kindergarten is for pups that are 2-5 months old, and Mind Your Manners 1 is for pups and dogs that are at least 5 months old and fully vaccinated.  We also offer an Older Puppy Kindergarten class for puppies that are 5 – 11 months old.

If you know your dog does not get along with other dogs and barks incessantly at the sight of other dogs, then either our Grumpy Growlers or a private training setting would be more appropriate.

If your dog is often too nervous in a public setting to be able to focus on you or care about treats, some classes may be too overwhelming and thus prevent your dog from learning.  We offer a special Wallflowers class specifically designed for shy dogs to build confidence.  If Wallflowers is likely to be too overwhelming for your dog, a private training session may be recommended.

For all of our 5-week, beginning level classes, we offer a special Adopter Price.  You may register with this discounted price ($25 off) if you adopted your pet from a non-profit animal welfare organization (shelter or rescue).  This is our way of thanking you for choosing the adoption option!

We also offer a 15% discount when you “bundle” any 5-week beginning level class with an intermediate level, Part 2 class.  For example, if you register for Puppy Kindergarten – Part 1 and Puppy Kindergarten – Part 2 at the same time, you will receive the 15% discount when you check out.  We offer this discount to encourage you to commit to your dog’s ongoing education!  To take advantage of this discount, contact for the coupon code.

We are dedicated to the safety of all the dogs that attend classes, therefore we ask your dog to have received at least 2 DH2PP vaccines before coming into any class. This shot should include Distemper and Parvo. We encourage a Bordetella vaccination, but it is not a requirement. For dogs 4+ months old, we also ask that your rabies vaccination be up to date. Please bring in your vaccination papers to your first class.

We do strongly recommend that you vaccinate your canine companion against the Canine Influenza Virus (CIV).  For more information on CIV talk with your veterinarian or visit our Canine Influenza Virus information page

If you are missing a class that you know about in advance please let your instructor know so you can get the scoop on what you will be missing. If you have to miss a class due to unexpected circumstances, you can contact your instructor via email to see what you have missed before the next class.  Unfortunately we are unable to offer make up sessions.

We definitely encourage family members to be involved in the training process for your four legged family member. However, class may not be appropriate for very young children. Please review our Class Policies.

If your child is at least 13 years of age and excited to be the primary trainer for your family dog, absolutely! Parents must attend class with their children, except in the case that the child is at least 16-years old.

  • Copy of your dog’s Vaccinations
  • Copy of your confirmation email
  • Standard, Flat Collar (no choke or prong collars)
  • 4’ or 6’ Leash
  • Yummy Treats
  • Kong, Bully Stick or Greenie – these will serve as a “doggie pacifier” for the many times in class when you wish to encourage quiet behavior
  • Dog’s mat

Food is a popular motivator for most dogs which is why we prefer this for training. We want to make training fun and exciting to the dog. The more enticing the motivator the most inclined the dog will perform the behavior. We also use food to lure the dog into position, such as a sit or a down. This way we are not making them sit instead we are showing them what we want with the food.

We use food in the beginning of training to communicate what exactly we want and if the behavior gets reinforced many of times with good things for the dog the behavior is more likely to happen again. If you were to go to work and get a raise for doing a great job in the office you would be more inclined to keep it up. That is the way we can look at food as a motivator to increase wanted behavior. Eventually once your dog “gets” the behavior, you can start to wean he or she off the food and have the reinforcer coming at random to keep the dog guessing.

The best kind of food as a reinforcer is soft, small easy to chew bits so the dog can eat it fast and you can continue training. The dog only needs a small taste of the treat on his or her mouth to be rewarded. Example of high value treats, Natural Balance food logs, and meat, meat based baby food and cheese.

Classes are a great way to build confidence in the presence of other people and dogs! The classes offered by the East Bay SPCA focus on individual training between you and your dog. Classes are arranged so there is space between each dog to minimize the distractions. If you have specific concerns regarding your dog’s behavior around other dogs, but still want to take a class, contact us for recommendations.

The East Bay SPCA does not test or certify dogs to be service dogs. A Service Dog is “any guide dog, signal dog, or other animal individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including, but not limited to, guiding individuals with impaired vision, alerting individuals with impaired hearing to intruders or sounds, providing minimal protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair, or fetching dropped items.” Service dogs that perform these necessary functions are required by law to be permitted in all public places. There are organizations that train and certify the dog, specific for the disability (such as Guide Dogs for the Blind in Santa Rosa trains guide dogs, Canine Companions train dogs for people who use wheelchairs, etc).

Therapy Dog is different in that a dog visits rest homes, hospitals, etc. simply for companionship and socializing. This process could be first started with our Canine Good Citizen course, which includes testing on the last day. Therapy Dogs are not required to be allowed in public places.

A clicker is a device that marks the behavior the dog has done correctly. For example if you were reinforcing a sit, the click would happen when the dog’s bum hits the floor followed by a treat. It lets the dog know what he or she is being reinforced for and acts as a promise that the reinforcer, ie.treat is coming! We highly recommend using it since it is a fast way to communicate to the dog exactly what behavior you are looking for. Class students receive a clicker at the Orientation of each class.

Have More Questions?

To contact us, please email

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