Dog Training Classes

The East Bay SPCA Dog Training Program is designed to enrich the bond between you and your companion through positive reinforcement methods. We offer dog training classes at both our Oakland and Dublin locations.

Types of Classes


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.


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


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

Private Training

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.

Sathid Pankaew, CTBC

Sathid is the Behavior and Training Coordinator and a class instructor at the East Bay SPCA.

As a child, Sathid was not allowed to have a dog; instead, he won two goldfish and they lived with him for 7 years.  During this time, he taught his fish to swim through a hoop using his sister’s bangle bracelet and fish-food held with a tweezer.  Sathid credits his animal career to these early interactions.

Sathid has since progressed with his animal training education. He is a graduate of Janis Bradley’s Dog Training Internship Academy (DTIA). He has completed seminars hosted by Malena DeMartini and Ken Ramirez, and continues to expand his training knowledge and skillsets. Sathid served for three years as a puppy counselor, floor supervisor and then trainer, for puppies and adolescent dogs at SF Puppy Prep. He has enjoyed the past three years teaching dogs of all ages in private and group contexts, mentoring new trainers, working through behavior challenges with shelter animals, and otherwise offering pet parents support with their animals.

Sathid is passionate about finding ways for animals and people to reach their full potential, helping people bond with their animals, helping repair human-animal relationships, and making the science of animal training and behavior accessible and fun for everyone.

In his spare time, Sathid trains and spends time outdoors with his dog, Snorkel, who was adopted from the East Bay SPCA, and is an expert at sticking her tongue out on cue.

Rochelle Ball

Rochelle was raised in central Africa, but has been a Bay Area resident for over 20 years. In her previous lives she was a biologist and then a registered nurse. She first fell in love with training and the science of learning during an internship at the Oakland Zoo, working with a mentor and helping to care for and train the giraffe and vultures. Rochelle has worked at the Hayward and  Alameda Animal shelters and the East Bay SPCA shelter and veterinary clinic. A lifelong learner, Rochelle enjoys attending conferences and seeking mentorships, as well as reading through her ever-growing stack of canine science and training books.

Rochelle loves nothing more than to foster deep connections between family members and their dogs. She especially enjoys when families with children come to her classes! When she is not teaching, Rochelle enjoys cycling, cooking, reading (ask her about her favorite books!), art and writing lists so she can check things off. She lives with her husband, 3 children, 2 dogs, 2 cats, 2 fish, 2 birds and a bearded dragon.

Torie Silletto, CPDT-KA

Torie first decided to do what she loves and work with animals as a dog groomer. She found herself mostly concerned with teaching the dogs to love being groomed, and this is where she discovered her passion for behavior and the science of animal learning.

She eventually went on to join the San Francisco SPCA Behavior & Training team. There she specialized in shelter enrichment, puppy socialization, providing training to shelter dogs, as well as teaching ongoing classes for staff and volunteers.

She is currently a student with the prestigious Academy for Dog Trainers, founded by Jean Donaldson. She is also a Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge Assessed. It is her goal to strengthen the bond between dogs and their humans through her teaching.

Torie lives in Oakland with Don Vito, her chiweenie, and Mowglie, her bengal cat.

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 with a humans only orientation (most beginning level classes), please attend this mandatory orientation the first week of class. You will be informed whether you can be added to the class at that time by the instructor.

We cannot guarantee a spot in the class but you will not be enrolled unless you attend the orientation.


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 you to have 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

You Might Also Like

Volunteer East Bay SPCA

Donate-Help East Bay SPCA

Veterinary Services East Bay SPCA


Improve your life and theirs. Our varied volunteer activities will enhance your life and theirs.

They Need Your Help

Pay it forward: Shelter animals cost us an average of five times their adoption fees but your donation today will help fund their food, shelter and care.

Veterinary Services

Affordable vaccine clinics, neighborhood clinics, high-volume spay and neuter, we’re everywhere and still here with full-service veterinary care for your pet