Training Classes

SIT. STAY. PLAY!

our classes offer it all

Pet Training Classes

Based on updated recommendations and guidelines from the Virginia Department of Health and Governor Northam, we will not be holding any training classes until social distancing guidelines are lifted.

The Richmond SPCA offers a variety of group training classes and one-day workshops taught by our expert instructors. Regular offerings include manners, agility and puppy classes along with rotating workshop topics.

We use reward-based training and host more than 30 classes a week. Private lessons are also available. Register online or call 804-521-1332.

Agility Classes

Behavior Workshops Currently Enrolling

  • Free Introduction to Flyball
  • Dealing with Distractions
  • Recalls (“Come!”)
  • Separation Anxiety
  • Jumping
  • Nosework Enrichment
  • How Dogs Communicate

Manners Classes

  • Advanced Canine Manners
  • Canine Manners
  • House Manners
  • Street Manners
  • Surviving Adolescence

Puppy Classes

  • Puppy Socialization & Play Sessions
  • Good Start Puppy 1 & 2

Canine Sports, Tricks and More

  • Canine Good Citizen Prep
  • Flyball
  • Tricks for All Types

Specialty Behavior Classes

  • Building Canine Confidence
  • Creating a Calm Dog
  • Managing a Reactive Dog

Frequently Asked Questions

Agility Classes

Agility A
Agility A offers an introduction to agility and agility equipment for new dogs and handlers. Dogs should know sit and down and be generally under control when off leash. Dog agility is a sport in which a handler directs a dog through an obstacle course in a race for both time and accuracy. Seven-week, one-hour class

Agility B
Agility B is for dogs and handlers who have completed Agility A (or equivalent) and want to perfect their performance on all pieces of agility equipment. Students will improve their handling skills (turns/crosses/jump sequences) over jumps and tunnels, and their performance of the teeter, A-frame and dog walk. Seven-week, one-hour class

Agility B/C
Agility B/C is for dogs and handlers who have completed Agility B (or equivalent) and want to spend more time practicing their performance on all pieces of agility equipment at this level before moving on to Agility C. Students will improve their handling skills (turns/crosses/jump sequences) over jumps and tunnels, and their performance of the teeter, A-frame and dog walk. Seven-week, one-hour class

Agility C
Agility C is for dogs and handlers who have completed Agility B (or equivalent) and have learned the agility equipment and want to start focusing on the skills needed to run full courses. Dogs and handlers will polish basic handling moves, practice short sequences of obstacles and longer courses and continue to improve their equipment skills. Seven-week, one-hour class

Agility C/D
Agility C/D is for dogs and handlers who have completed Agility C (or equivalent) and want to spend more time practicing their performance at this level before moving on to Agility D. Agility C/D offers advanced agility practice for dogs who know the equipment well and are ready to compete (or are already doing so). Students will work on skills and drills to enhance the working relationship between dog and handler. Seven-week, one-hour class

Agility D
Agility D is for dogs and handlers who have completed Agility C (or equivalent). Agility D offers advanced agility practice for dogs who know the equipment well and are ready to compete (or are already doing so). Students will work on skills and drills to enhance the working relationship between dog and handler.  Seven-week, one-hour class

Agility Weaves and Teeter
Agility Weaves and Teeter is a class for dogs and handlers who have completed Agility A (or equivalent). This specialty class is focused on teaching and/or building confidence in agility weave poles and the agility teeter.  Additional agility equipment (jumps, tunnels, table, etc.) may be used during training but is not the primary focus. Seven-week, one-hour class

Agility Go the Distance
Agility Go the Distance Stuff is a class for dogs and handlers who have completed Agility B (or equivalent). This class will work on building your dog’s confidence at working away from you on individual pieces of agility equipment (jumps, tunnels, contacts, weaves) and in short sequences.  Seven-week, one-hour class

Agility Skills and Drills
Agility Skills and Drills is a class for dogs and handlers who have completed Agility B (or equivalent). If you are interested in improving specific skills needed to run agility courses then this could be the perfect class for you. We will tailor the drills to fit the dogs that attend. Seven-week, one-hour class.

Behavior and Enrichment Workshops

Our workshops cover reward-based training techniques to help improve your relationship with your four-legged friend. Most workshops are single 90-minute sessions and are for people only. We offer workshops throughout the year based on expressed interest.

Intro to Flyball Workshop (Free)
Watch trained flyball dogs participate in a fast-paced dog relay race, and try out the sport of flyball with your own dog. Single two-hour session

  • Postponed, new time and schedule to be announced soon

Dealing with Distractions

Once a dog has learned his or her basic manners, it’s beneficial to help them learn to respond to their human even in distracting situations.  This workshop will cover the concepts of how distance, duration, and difficulty effect your dog’s reaction to distractions. 

Recalls (“Come!”)

Having your dog come when called is crucial for so many reasons- including the safety of your pet and others. This hands-on workshop will focus on your dog responding when you call them to come.

Separation Anxiety

This workshop is designed to help identify and discuss basic solutions for dogs who display signs of anxiety when separated from their human family. 

Jumping

Does it feel like teaching your dog to stop jumping on people is a never-ending battle? Like no matter what you do, the jumping just won’t stop? We can help! Join us for our Stop the Jumping Workshop and learn the ins and outs of getting rid of the ups and downs.  

Nosework: Enrichment for Your Dog

Did you know that your dog “sees” the world through his nose?  Dogs have an incredible sense of smell, and exposure to novel scents is incredibly important to their mental health. This workshop will feature very basic nosework principles and how to use scent detection as an enrichment activity for your dog. Students and their dogs will learn a variety of methods—from  simple nose work exercises to games to play (both in and outside of class).

How Dogs Communicate

When you want to make a good impression while greeting another person, do you make direct eye contact, smile, and reach out to shake hands?  Did you know that in dog language staring, showing teeth, and hovering are all threats?  Join us for a presentation on how your dog communicates via body language. 

Workshop topics we offer:

  • Bringing Home Baby
  • Crate Training
  • Dealing with Distractions
  • Destructive Chewing
  • Dog Park Safety
  • Handling Issues
  • House Training
  • How Dogs Communicate
  • Intro to Flyball
  • Jumping
  • Leash Pulling
  • Mouthy Behavior
  • Problem Barking
  • Recalls (“Come!”)
  • Resource Guarding
  • Separation Anxiety
  • Stranger Issues
  • Therapy Dog Work
  • Welcoming a New Dog
  • Welcoming a New Puppy

Interested a workshop topic? Please complete our class interest form to be notified when workshops are enrolling.

Manners Classes

Canine Manners
Teach your dog the basic skills needed to succeed in everyday life. Skills covered include sit, down, come, stay and leave it. This class also covers common behavior challenges such as jumping up. Seven-week, one-hour class

Advanced Canine Manners
Advanced Canine Manners is an intermediate-level manners course designed to advance the skills your dog already learned in Canine Manners. We will build upon behaviors such as stay and come, while covering new areas such as distance work and handling increasing levels of distraction. Seven-week, one-hour class

House Manners
House Manners will help your dog put his best paw forward and develop polite behaviors in the home. Skills include getting on and off furniture when asked, giving polite greetings and waiting at doors.   Seven-week, one-hour class

Street Manners
Street Manners is an intermediate-level course with a focus on developing the skills dogs need to take on the world, especially during outdoor walks! Students will learn how to properly teach and guide their dog using a head harness. There will be a heavy emphasis on overcoming leash pulling and dealing with distractions. Seven-week, one-hour class

Surviving Adolescence
Surviving Adolescence is for dogs 4-18 months old in their challenging “teenage” stage of development. Teach your dog the basic skills needed to succeed in everyday life. The skills we will cover include sit, down, come, stay and leave it. This class also covers the importance of proper socialization during this growth stage and common behavior challenges such as jumping up.  Seven-week, one-hour class

Puppy Classes

Good Start Puppy 1
Good Start Puppy 1 is for puppies 8-16 weeks of age at the start of class. We will concentrate on socialization with people and other dogs and problem prevention exercises while also introducing foundational manners and skills. Lots of playtime with other puppies is included, and your dog may make lifelong friends! Seven-week, one-hour class

Good Start Puppy 2
Good Start Puppy 2 is designed for older puppies who are 16-24 weeks of age at the start of class. We will concentrate on socialization with people and other dogs as your puppy enters adolescence.  We will discuss problem prevention exercises, while also introducing foundational manners and skills. Lots of playtime with other puppies is included, and your dog may make lifelong friends! Seven-week, one-hour class

Puppy Socialization and Play Sessions

For dogs up to 20 weeks of age, this is socialization-based playtime involving lots of interaction with puppies, humans, and sometimes adult dogs. Students sign up for at least four sessions and choose which to attend. Properly socializing your puppy is a great way to have a positive influence on his or her future behavior!

Canine Sports, Tricks and More

Canine Good Citizen (CGC) Prep
Canine Good Citizen Prep is an intermediate-level course designed to help prepare dogs and handlers to take the CGC test.  Canine Good Citizen (CGC) is a certification program designed to reward dogs who have good manners at home and in the community.

Intro to Flyball Workshop (Free)
Watch trained flyball dogs participate in a fast-paced dog relay race, and try out the sport of flyball with your own dog. Single two-hour session

Intro to Flyball
Flyball is an exciting, fast-paced sport where a four-dog relay team races over jumps. Each dog is sent over four jumps, hits a box spring loaded with a tennis ball and then returns over the jumps with the ball before the next dog goes! Seven-week, one-hour class

  • Postponed, new start date to be announced soon

Flyball Run Throughs
Flyball Run Throughs are a great way to continue practicing flyball skills you’ve learned in class, or an opportunity to try out the sport with your dog. Each session requires pre-registration, please call Gail Bird Necklace at 804-521-1332 for details.

  • Thursdays at 5:30 p.m. Host: Emily Neal
    Current skip dates: March 12, March 19, and March 26

Tricks for All Types
Tricks are tons of fun and a great way to bond with your dog! This class includes catching and shaping while covering fun activities like roll over, riding a skate board, wave and more. Dogs and trainers of all levels are encouraged to attend. Seven-week, one-hour class

Specialty Behavior Classes

Building Canine Confidence
Building Canine Confidence is a beginner to intermediate course for people who would like to help their dogs be more confident when interacting with the world around them. This class will focus on skills for the dogs, confidence building games and team building games for dogs and handlers. Seven-week, one-hour class

Creating a Calm Dog
Creating a Calm Dog is a class for dogs who are young and overly energetic. Skills covered include settle, place, crate, quiet and more. A basic manners class such as Canine Manners is highly recommended before attending this intermediate-level class. Seven-week, one-hour class

Managing a Reactive Dog
This is an entry-level class for dogs who growl, bark, or lunge toward dogs or people while out on walks. Learn how to identify your dog’s triggers (source of fear or excitement) and help your dog learn to be less worried about his or her triggers, have better focus on you and make better decisions instead of reacting. Seven-week, one-hour class

Need help now? Our pet behavior helpline and resource library is here for you!

Get the latest Richmond SPCA news:

Our Partners

Petco-Foundation-Site-Badge-White.png
maddies-fund.jpg