Training Classes

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our classes offer it all

Pet Training Classes

The Richmond SPCA offers virtual training classes via Zoom video conferencing software, group classes at our training centers, single topic workshops, private lessons and low cost behavior consultations.

Before attending class, please read the Richmond SPCA Training Class COVID-19 Policies.

Meet our expert instructors. Regular offerings include manners, agility and puppy classes along with rotating workshop topics.

We use reward-based training and host many classes each week. Register online or call 804-521-1332. Don’t see what you’re looking for? Complete our class interest form.

Agility Classes

  • Introduction to Agility – enrolling
  • Agility A thru D

Behavior and Enrichment Workshops

  • Pet Loss and Bereavement – enrolling (no fee)
  • Stranger Issues – enrolling
  • More enrolling soon!

Manners Classes

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

Puppy Classes

  • Good Start Puppy 1 & 2 – enrolling
  • Puppy and Adolescent Socialization & Play Sessions – ongoing enrollment

Canine Sports, Tricks and More

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

Specialty Behavior Classes

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

Agility Classes

Introduction to Agility
Are you curious about agility, but you don’t know where to start? Are you interested in taking a class, but you want to learn the foundational skills first? This is a beginner agility class for dogs and people new to the sport! 4 week, 1-hour virtual class

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 at our Track & Training Center

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 at our Track & Training Center

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 at our Track & Training Center

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 at our Track & Training Center

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 at our Track & Training Center

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 at our Track & Training Center

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 at our Track & Training Center

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 at our Track & Training Center

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 at our Track & Training Center

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.

Stranger Issues – Virtual
This presentation will discuss how to help dogs who are uncomfortable and untrusting when in proximity to unknown humans.  The behavior these dogs display may range from avoidance of people all the way to barking, growling, lunging, etc. when in the presence of a stranger.  We will discuss how to help these dogs when being introduced to strangers both inside and outside the home, and how to manage their behavior when guests come into your home.

Pet Loss & Bereavement Webinar – Virtual (no fee)

This workshop intends to raise awareness about the various types of pet loss and will provide an opportunity to learn more about the disenfranchised and ambiguous feelings surrounding the loss of a pet. The presentation will provide resources that are available for support in the grieving process, but it is not a support group. The information provided would be relevant to pet owners, veterinary professionals, social workers, mental health professionals, and others interested in learning about the impact of pet loss. There is no fee for this webinar, but attendees must register at the link below.

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
  • And more

Interested in 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

Puppy Play and Socialization
This is socialization-based playtime involving lots of interaction with puppies, humans, and sometimes adult dogs. Students choose which sessions to attend. Properly socializing your puppy is a great way to have a positive influence on his or her future behavior! Play sessions are 1 hour at Smoky’s Training Center. During COVID-19, one adult human may attend with your puppy.

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 in Smoky’s Training Center

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 in Smoky’s Training Center

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. Seven week, one hour class

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 at our Track & Training Center

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 Emily Neal at 804-467-6568 for details.

  • Ongoing Thursdays from 5:30 – 6:15 p.m.

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. One-hour class, check individual class descriptions for session length

Don’t see what you’re looking for? Complete our class interest form.

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

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